American Express® Platinum Business Card
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- Enjoy access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.
Are you in the market for a business credit card and want to know what to expect from the application process, or maybe you have already chosen the perfect card for you and your business’s needs and are ready to apply?
A business credit card gives you access to revolving credit, improving cash flow by allowing you to borrow the funds needed to grow your company whenever you need to.
It also lets you build your business credit score, making it easier to be approved for larger business loans in the future.
Many cardholders also appreciate the ease of tracking business credit card expenditure. It’s possible to get additional credit cards for employees all linked to the same account.
The application process isn’t always straightforward, though. This guide explains what you’ll need to successfully apply for a great business credit card.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
To apply for a business credit card, you will need to be a director of a registered business or a sole trader.
You can apply for a business credit card online, by phone or, in some cases, in a branch. Most providers will allow you to apply online.
While many comparison sites offer eligibility checkers for personal credit cards, they are less common for business cards. You can only check your eligibility for individual cards on a specific card issuer’s site.
Business credit card providers such as Capital on Tap have an eligibility checker on their website. Business credit card eligibility checkers show which credit cards you’re most likely to get accepted for without impacting your credit score. This is because they only involve a “soft” search of your credit file.
Any company, big or small, can benefit from having a business credit card. To apply for a business credit card, you will usually need to have some sort of business income in order to be eligible.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be the CEO of a major business. If you’re a freelancer or you have a small side-hustle, you could also successfully apply.
However, you’ll need to be able to provide a number of documents and meet various criteria with regards to your finances and credit score.
Most lenders will want to see information about your business’s financial history, including the number of years in business, annual revenue, existing debt and monthly expenses. You’ll need to provide tax documents and bank statements in order to back this information up.
You may need to provide this financial information from a personal standpoint too, particularly if you are a startup or a fairly new business.
Lenders will run a credit check on your business credit report (and most likely your personal credit report too). There is no getting around this.
If you have a bad credit score, it’s unlikely that you will be able to access the best business credit card deals. However, in recent years, we are seeing a rise in credit card providers using open banking technology to assess potential borrowing. This means that the issuer will use AI technology to check your real-time spending habits, and not just your credit score, to paint a better picture of your borrowing journey.
There are also a few business credit cards aimed at new businesses or those with poor credit. Most of these are secured credit cards, which will require you to put up personal assets as collateral. These assets can be repossessed by the lender if you fall too far into arrears.
Often, these credit cards have higher rates and fewer perks than other cards. Still, by paying them off every month and taking other steps to boost your business credit score, it’s likely you’ll be eligible for more appealing credit cards soon enough.
Most lenders will make a decision on your credit card application immediately, although some may take up to a couple of days or weeks to either approve or reject your application.
If you are approved, the lender will confirm details such as your APR, credit limit and annual fee. The APR might be higher than advertised and your credit limit may be lower, depending on your perceived risk as an applicant.
Once you accept the terms, your card(s) will be sent to you in the post, typically arriving within five working days. If you have the option to use a virtual card, usually once your account has been activated, you can start using the card straight away.
You should always choose a credit card that best suits yours and your business’s needs and wants. Consider the following factors when picking a business credit card:
The application process for a business credit card is more complex than it is for personal credit cards, particularly if you’re a new business owner with a poor credit score. Nevertheless, the benefits they can provide to your business make it worth the hassle.
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