Can a business card affect my personal credit? | finder.com
man paying business credit card in cafe

Can a business card affect my personal credit?

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

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.

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

What business credit cards minimally affect a personal credit score?

Business cardHow it reportsReview link
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
Ink Business Cash℠ credit cardChase typically reports to personal credit bureaus if your payments are late by 60 days or more.Read review
Wells Fargo Business Platinum credit cardWells Fargo reports to personal credit bureaus if your card is in default — typically 180 days overdue.
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.

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.

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 September 21st, 2018
Name Product APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Introductory Purchase APR Annual Fee
None (Charge Card)
$450
New cardholders can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points by spending $10,000 for the first 50,000 points and then another $10,000 for the next 25,000 points on their new card in the first 3 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($250 thereafter)
This Charge Card gives you the option to pay in full each month or to carry a balance for up to 60 days with no interest.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($175 thereafter)
13.99%, 18.99% or 20.99% variable
0% for the first 9 months (then 13.99%, 18.99% or 20.99% variable)
$0
Save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; after that your APR will be 13.99% - 20.99% variable.
14.99% to 20.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 20.99% variable)
$0
$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
17.74% to 22.74% variable
$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®.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$99
75,000 Bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening with your Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card.
24.74% variable
$0
Get the credit you want for your business, and unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase, every day
14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable
0% for the first 9 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable)
$0
Unlimited 1.5X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
18.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable
0% for the first 9 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% variable)
$0
Unlimited 1.5 cash back on every purchase, every day.
18.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Unlimited 2% cash back from Spark Cash could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business. No minimum to redeem.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$99
Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and 1x point on all other purchases. Plus 6,000 anniversary bonus points.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
For a limited time, earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening

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.

Megan Horner

As the assistant publisher of credit cards at finder.com, Megan is passionate about helping you compare and find the best credit cards for your situation, whether that is earning great rewards or improving your credit score. In her previous position, Megan worked as an assigning editor at Credit Karma, where she focused on editing and publishing educational articles on credit cards. Megan started her career as a writer at a comparison website, so she has a longstanding background in surfacing the best deals and helping people make decisions. In her spare time, Megan likes to hike, camp, surf, and read.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.74
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card®
First Access Visa Card®

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Go to site