Can a business card affect my personal credit? | finder.com
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Can a business card affect my personal credit?

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Know more about how your provider reports your spending to protect your personal score.

A business credit card can increase your working capital and keep your business expenses off your personal cards. But you can’t fully separate your personal finances from your business’s: Many providers consider your personal credit score to determine the rate and credit limit for your business credit card. And many cards require a personal guarantee, in which you agree to be on the hook personally if your company can’t pay.

Even after your account is open, you could inadvertently hurt your personal score if your business falls behind on payments.

Our pick for a card that won't affect your personal credit

Brex for Startups

  • The first corporate card for startups
  • No personal liability or security deposit needed - your personal credit score won't be affected
  • Minimum of $100,000 of funds in corporate bank account and US EIN required
  • Earn 7x points on rideshares, 4x points on travel booked through Brex Travel, 3x points at restaurants, 2x points on software subscriptions and 1x points on all other purchases
  • Get a credit limit 10 to 20 times higher than traditional business cards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Build business credit - Brex partners with Experian to report your on-time payments
Read less
Read more
Promoted

What business credit cards minimally affect a personal credit score?

Business cardHow it reportsLearn more
Brex for StartupsBrex for Startups has no personal liability, meaning your personal credit score won’t be affected.Read review
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit CardChase typically reports to personal credit bureaus if your payments are late by 60 days or more.Read review
Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit cardBofA doesn’t report activity to personal credit bureaus.Read review
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®Citi business card activity doesn’t show up on personal records.Read review
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit CardWells Fargo reports to personal credit bureaus if your card is in default — typically 180 days overdue.Read review
U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards CardU.S. Bank does not report to personal credit bureaus unless your payments are late by 60 days or more.Read review

Can a business credit card affect my personal credit?

Yes, it can in a couple of different ways. When crunching your credit score, the major bureaus look at factors that include your payment history, credit utilization, overall history, the types of credit you carry and recent credit inquiries.

A business credit card — or any type of new card — can affect these factors, starting with your application. Most business cards require a personal guarantee when you apply. This agreement permits the card’s provider to pursue payments from your personal accounts if your company isn’t able to meet its obligations.

Business card issuers also typically run a hard inquiry on your personal credit, which can temporarily lower your personal credit score.

Other factors depend on whether the issuer or bank reports your business card’s activity to the personal credit bureaus. Many don’t, including Bank of America, Citi and PNC Bank. If yours does, it’s possible for large business card balances to be factored into your personal credit utilization, affecting your score. And late payments or delinquencies can also show up on your personal payment history.

Which business card issuers report to the personal credit bureaus?

Bank or issuerReports business cards to personal bureaus
American ExpressYes, but only delinquencies
Bank of AmericaNo
Capital OneYes
ChaseYes, but only delinquencies of 60 days or more
CitiNo
DiscoverYes
Navy FederalNo
PNC BankNo
Synchrony BankYes, but only delinquencies
TD BankYes
U.S. BankYes, but only delinquencies of 60 days or more
Wells FargoYes, but only when in default

Will a business credit card with no personal guarantee protect my personal credit?

Even without a personal guarantee, your business card can affect your personal credit score — at least initially.

Most business card providers pull a hard inquiry on your personal credit, which can temporarily lower your personal score. After approval, you’re typically not on the hook personally for high business balances or delinquencies.

Business cards with no personal guarantee

3 tips to protect your personal credit score from a business credit card

Healthy credit comes with monitoring your finances — ever important when you’re running a business. Even if your business card provider reports to the commercial bureaus, work to protect your personal credit with these pointers:

  1. Pay on time. Many issuers report delinquencies or negative info to the personal bureaus, even if those payments are for business purchases.
  2. Stay under your limit. Spending conservatively and even paying your bill in full can keep your credit utilization low, making it easier to qualify for other credit cards or business loans, should you need them.
  3. Keep your business spending separate. Draw a line between your personal and business finances and build a stronger business credit score by using your card for business expenses only.

How to build business credit

Do I need a business card that won’t affect my personal credit?

If you’re worried about potential hiccups with your business credit card, you can look into cards that won’t report to the personal credit bureaus. But serious delinquencies — late payments of 60 days or more, defaulting on your account or reports to collections — may end up on your personal credit history regardless.

If you’re confident in your business’s financial health, instead focus on weighing cards that can best benefit and maximize your business spending, whether with a low interest rate, a balance transfer promotion or tiered rewards.

Compare business credit cards

Updated March 25th, 2019
Name Product APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Introductory Purchase APR Annual Fee
18.24% to 23.24% variable

N/A

$95
80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
15.49% to 21.49% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.49% to 21.49% variable)
$0
$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
15.49% to 21.49% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.49% to 21.49% variable)
$0
$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
None (Charge Card)

N/A

$0
The first corporate card for startups. No personal liability or security deposit needed, meaning your personal credit score won't be affected.
None (Charge Card)

N/A

$0
60-day interest-free financing for e-commerce businesses.
17.99% to 25.99% variable

N/A

$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
70,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $4,000 in purchases in first 4 months of account opening.
None (Charge Card)

N/A

$595
Earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months. Plus earn 25,000 bonus points after spending an additional $10,000 in the same timeframe.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

For most business owners, the need for a business credit card can be a sign that you’ve made it — your company is robust enough to need separating from your personal spending, and you can take advantage of rewards designed for your spending habits.

Still, your business activity could negatively affect your personal credit score without knowing the terms you’ve agreed to. Minimize any risk to your personal credit by managing your business spending carefully.

To find a card to best suit your unique business needs, read our comprehensive guide to business cards.

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