Our pick for a business credit card: Brex 30 Card
Up to $25,000
In credits as signup bonus
- Easy-to-use charge card
- No personal guarantee required
- $0 annual fee for first five cards
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Fear not: Applying for a business card, sometimes known as an LLC credit card, is fairly straightforward. And there are myriad benefits of having one, such as separating your personal and business finances and having access to expense-management tools.
Getting a business credit card doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Here’s how it works:
There’s a low bar to jump for qualifying as a business. You’re eligible if you have a formal business structure such as a limited liability company (LLC) or S corporation. However, you can also apply as a sole proprietor. That means you qualify if you make money through freelance work — for example, as a photographer-for-hire or an Amazon seller. Just make sure you can produce documentation that proves you make money outside of regular employment.
Every provider will check your personal and business credit. Your personal credit weighs most on the provider’s decision, but having strong business credit will increase your odds of approval. As a rule of thumb, however, you’ll have better odds if you have a good to an excellent FICO credit score of 670 to 850.
To build business credit, start by obtaining vendor credit. Put your phone and utility bill under your business name. And ask your vendors — such as your office supply store or advertising agency — if you can start small lines of credit with them. You might also want to apply for a business loan. As you make consistent on-time payments of at least the minimum amount due, you’ll build your business credit.
There are many excellent cards on the market, and the perfect pick will depend on your specific needs. Here are a few key factors that’ll help you choose between different cards:
Generally, if you do business or receive payment for your services, you’re eligible to apply for a business card. This includes:
You don’t necessarily need to turn a profit to be eligible. But if you can provide projected revenue numbers in your application, it could help your chance of approval.
Once you’ve picked a business card, it’s time to apply. You’ll need to provide information about yourself, including:
You’ll also need to provide information about your business, including:
Fill out the application form, request employee cards if needed and agree to the provider’s terms. The last step is to review your application and submit it.
Getting a business credit card can help you streamline your business finances and earn rewards on your purchases. Make sure you compare multiple options until you find the right fit for your wallet.
The following are a few great picks for certain business types.
|Card||Great for …||Why|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||Online businesses and e-commerce||Earn 4x points on two categories of your choice on up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, then 1x points. Categories include US purchases for advertising in select media, US purchases made directly from select technology providers and more.|
|The Plum Card® from American Express||Freelancers||Each month, you can carry a balance for up to 60 days without incurring interest.|
|Brex 30 Card||Startups||Requires no personal guarantee, plus earn rewards.|
|Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business||Restaurants||Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase.|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||Businesses with frequent travel needs||Earn 3x points on travel, shipping, eligible advertising purchases and more for the first $150,000 in combined purchases every card year, then 1x points.|
Applicants with a good or excellent credit score of 670 or higher have a wide choice of credit card options. If your score is below 670, consider a secured business credit card.
When weighing your options, first read the provider’s requirements to make sure you’re eligible. That way, you avoid unnecessary hard pulls on your credit history, which can temporarily lower your overall score.
Your personal credit score is different from your business credit score, though lenders may rely on both when reviewing your application for business credit. Each score reveals to potential creditors how you handle different types of financing.
An established business credit score can help your business down the road, when your larger business may need a larger business loan or line of credit.
There can be many advantages to getting a business card, including:
LLCs and sole proprietors are both eligible for a business credit card. If you have a formal business structure, you’ll enter your tax identification number while applying for your card. If you’re applying as a sole proprietor, you’ll simply enter your Social Security number.
Yes. But you still need to do some form of work to qualify, like having an income as a freelance writer or an Amazon seller outside of your employment. In this case, you can mark on your credit card application that you are a sole proprietor and use your own Social Security number instead of the tax ID or EIN.
Don’t lie to the bank if you don’t really have a business because they may ask for supporting documentation to prove that you have a business or that you have an income.
Ultimately, your card issuer will decide whether your business qualifies. But to give you an idea of the possibilities, here are a few solo businesses that could get you approved:
No. Business credit cards and LLC credit cards are one and the same. If you operate an LLC, you’ll have the same business credit card opportunities as though you a different form of business, such as a partnership or operate as a sole proprietor.
Yes, but your options are slightly limited. To start building your credit with a business credit card, you can apply for a:
Applying for a business credit card can be very simple. If you’ve decided on a business structure, it’s a matter of comparing different business credit cards and finding the best fit. When you’ve settled on a card, you can easily apply for it on the provider’s website.
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