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How to Apply for and Get a Business Credit Card in 3 Steps
You'll want to know what kind of personal credit you have and what your goal is with the card, among other things.
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
⏰ Estimated read time: 6 minutes
Getting a business credit card can provide small-business owners with a great asset. You can earn rewards, net big-time sign-up bonuses and even finance large purchases interest free by opening the right business credit card.
Applying for a business credit card may seem overwhelming, especially as a new business owner. But you can get a card in three steps with just a little preparation. Here's how.
1. Assess your eligibility
Approval for small-business cards is based largely on your personal credit score, so getting a business credit card as a startup or new businesses isn't tougher than if your company is more established. Most cards require good or excellent credit, typically a personal FICO score of 690 or higher, though there are secured business cards for entrepreneurs with bad credit.
Have bad personal credit but strong revenue or venture funding? Consider a corporate card like Brex or Ramp, which base approval on your business’s finances, not your personal credit score.
2. Compare different types of business credit cards
Narrow your options to the type of small-business card that best fits your business needs. Then, compare features, perks, rates, fees and reward options to find the best card for your small business.
If you need to finance a large purchase or consolidate existing debt: Consider a business card with a 0% introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers. A card that offers ongoing rewards along with an intro APR period is a better long-term bet than one with just a 0% offer.
If you want a simple, versatile card:Cash back business credit cards are among the most versatile because your rewards can typically be redeemed as a statement credit or deposited into a connected bank account.
Flat-rate cards earn the same rewards rate for all purchases and are a good bet if you don’t spend heavily in one specific category. For example, the
, for example, earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 per anniversary year in purchases at office supply stores, and on internet, cable and phone services; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 per anniversary year in purchases at gas stations and restaurants; and 1% everywhere else.
If you spend a lot of time on the road (or in the air) for business travel: A business travel card that earns extra points on travel-related expenses can offer added value via traveler-friendly perks like lounge access and airline credits. Similar to cash back cards, you’ll find travel cards either offer flat-rate rewards or tiered rewards with certain categories earning a higher rate.
, for instance, offers lots of extras in exchange for its steep annual fee of
. First, there's a rich welcome bonus:
Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
You'll earn 5 Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through the American Express Travel website, and 1 point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. You also earn 1.5 points on eligible purchases at U.S construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, software and cloud system providers, and shipping providers — as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
You’ll also get up to a $200 annual airline fee credit, a $189 credit toward the cost of a Clear membership, airport lounge access, and more. Terms apply (see rates and fees).
) offer sign-up bonuses and earn rewards on every purchase.
3. Apply for a business credit card
Applying for a small-business card is relatively straightforward. You’ll provide much of the same information as you would for a personal credit card, along with additional details about your business (industry, revenue, etc.).
Any business owner can apply for a business credit card; that includes sole proprietors, freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors.
Having a dedicated credit card for your small business makes it easy to separate business and personal expenses, identify tax deductions and build your business credit history.
While there are bad credit business cards, you typically need a personal FICO score of 690 or higher to be approved for a business credit card — though some business cards set an even higher bar. The Capital One Spark Cash Plus requires excellent credit (a 720+ FICO score), as does the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card.
Secured business credit cards, on the other hand, typically don’t have a minimum credit score requirement. And you can qualify for a corporate credit card without a personal credit check, though these have other requirements, including minimum revenue and annual spend.
To view rates and fees of
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express