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Business Credit Card Preapproval: How to Get Approved Instantly

Preapproval isn't common among business credit cards, but some offer nearly instant approval once you apply.
By Meredith Turits, Kelsey Sheehy
Last updated on May 9, 2024
Edited byRyan Lane
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 9 minutes

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence 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.

The best way to get a business credit card preapproval is to have an existing relationship with the company offering it. For instance, using one of their other cards responsibly, having strong banking reserves with them or demonstrating some other kind of financial wherewithal (like via online sales) can entice a card issuer to want more of your business.
Otherwise, preapprovals are rare. Many small-business credit cards won't let you pre-qualify before applying, either.
However, some issuers do make near-instant application decisions — here are some of the best cards that do — and there are ways to increase your chances of getting approved for a business credit card quickly.

How to get fast approval on a business credit card

Having good to excellent credit (a FICO score of at least 690) and little debt will give you the best chance of fast approval. Most business credit cards require a score of 690 or higher, and some require a score of at least 720.
If you’ve been in business for a while and can demonstrate your annual business revenue, that will likely help.
Applying for a card online can also speed up the process. Plus, a handful of issuers will give you a virtual card number and credit line right away, so you can start spending immediately.

Preapproval vs. pre-qualification vs. instant approval

These terms may sound similar, but they have different meanings — and they may affect your credit differently.
A preapproval is a business card application offer that usually comes directly from an issuer. If you've ever gotten a letter or email offering you a business credit card, that's likely the result of a preapproval. Preapprovals are typically based on your existing relationship with that financial institution (for example, if you have a business checking account with them) or that issuer pulling your credit and deciding it wants your business. This kind of credit inquiry is known as a soft pull, and it doesn't affect your credit score.
Pre-qualification is you asking the issuer whether you're likely to be approved. Unlike a preapproval, you have to initiate a pre-qualification. To pre-qualify, you proactively provide the issuer with some basic information about yourself and your business. It then runs a soft credit check to see if you might qualify for the business card you're interested in. Again, the soft pull doesn't ding your personal credit, making pre-qualification a great tool to help you avoid wasting time or impacting your score by applying for a card you can’t get.
Preapprovals and pre-qualification are rare with business cards. When available, they can let you understand potential card options — but neither guarantees you’ll be approved.
Instant approval requires an actual application with a hard credit check. You'll still need to go through the standard application steps, which will involve a hard credit pull that may impact your credit score. That process can end with an instant approval, though — some issuers say they can deliver a decision in as little as 60 seconds after you apply for a business credit card.

How long does it take to get approved for a business credit card?

Some business credit card issuers can offer near-instant approval decisions. But there’s no hard-and-fast rule about how quickly applications can be processed. Credit card companies need to take time to review your business financials as well as your personal credit history.
Factors that could slow down the application process include:
  • Having bad credit (typically a personal FICO score below 630) or frozen credit.
  • Entering incorrect information on your application.
  • Having a discrepancy on your credit report — for instance, if you’ve moved recently, your application could take up to two weeks to be approved.

Looking for business credit cards that offer near-instant approval to qualified applicants?

Our picks are below. Some of these selections can be applied for through NerdWallet, and some cannot. Application links through NerdWallet are available for the credit cards from our partners. Those are followed by the full list of our editorial choices.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence 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.

The best way to get a business credit card preapproval is to have an existing relationship with the company offering it. For instance, using one of their other cards responsibly, having strong banking reserves with them or demonstrating some other kind of financial wherewithal (like via online sales) can entice a card issuer to want more of your business.
Otherwise, preapprovals are rare. Many small-business credit cards won't let you pre-qualify before applying, either.
However, some issuers do make near-instant application decisions — here are some of the best cards that do — and there are ways to increase your chances of getting approved for a business credit card quickly.

How to get fast approval on a business credit card

Having good to excellent credit (a FICO score of at least 690) and little debt will give you the best chance of fast approval. Most business credit cards require a score of 690 or higher, and some require a score of at least 720.
If you’ve been in business for a while and can demonstrate your annual business revenue, that will likely help.
Applying for a card online can also speed up the process. Plus, a handful of issuers will give you a virtual card number and credit line right away, so you can start spending immediately.

Preapproval vs. pre-qualification vs. instant approval

These terms may sound similar, but they have different meanings — and they may affect your credit differently.
A preapproval is a business card application offer that usually comes directly from an issuer. If you've ever gotten a letter or email offering you a business credit card, that's likely the result of a preapproval. Preapprovals are typically based on your existing relationship with that financial institution (for example, if you have a business checking account with them) or that issuer pulling your credit and deciding it wants your business. This kind of credit inquiry is known as a soft pull, and it doesn't affect your credit score.
Pre-qualification is you asking the issuer whether you're likely to be approved. Unlike a preapproval, you have to initiate a pre-qualification. To pre-qualify, you proactively provide the issuer with some basic information about yourself and your business. It then runs a soft credit check to see if you might qualify for the business card you're interested in. Again, the soft pull doesn't ding your personal credit, making pre-qualification a great tool to help you avoid wasting time or impacting your score by applying for a card you can’t get.
Preapprovals and pre-qualification are rare with business cards. When available, they can let you understand potential card options — but neither guarantees you’ll be approved.
Instant approval requires an actual application with a hard credit check. You'll still need to go through the standard application steps, which will involve a hard credit pull that may impact your credit score. That process can end with an instant approval, though — some issuers say they can deliver a decision in as little as 60 seconds after you apply for a business credit card.

How long does it take to get approved for a business credit card?

Some business credit card issuers can offer near-instant approval decisions. But there’s no hard-and-fast rule about how quickly applications can be processed. Credit card companies need to take time to review your business financials as well as your personal credit history.
Factors that could slow down the application process include:
  • Having bad credit (typically a personal FICO score below 630) or frozen credit.
  • Entering incorrect information on your application.
  • Having a discrepancy on your credit report — for instance, if you’ve moved recently, your application could take up to two weeks to be approved.

Looking for business credit cards that offer near-instant approval to qualified applicants?

Our picks are below. Some of these selections can be applied for through NerdWallet, and some cannot. Application links through NerdWallet are available for the credit cards from our partners. Those are followed by the full list of our editorial choices.

Here are the best instant approval business credit cards from our partners

Credit cardNerdWallet ratingAnnual feeIntro APRRegular APRLearn more

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

4.9/5

Best for Cash-back business card

$0

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Rates & Fees

4.8/5

Best for Business travel card

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

N/A

26.24% Variable APR

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Rates & Fees

Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

Apply now

on Capital on Tap's website

3.9/5

Best for Business owners with fair credit

$0

N/A

18.49%-35.99% Variable APR

Apply now

on Capital on Tap's website

Brex Card

Apply now

on Brex's website

3.1/5

Best for Corporate card (no personal guarantee)

$0

N/A

N/A

Apply now

on Brex's website

BILL Divvy Corporate Card

Apply now

on BILL Spend & Expense's website

2.9/5

Best for Corporate card (soft credit pull)

$0

N/A

N/A

Apply now

on BILL Spend & Expense's website

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

4.6/5

Best for AmEx Membership Rewards

$0

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

Credit cardNerdWallet ratingAnnual feeIntro APRRegular APRLearn more

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

4.9/5

Best for Cash-back business card

$0

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Rates & Fees

4.8/5

Best for Business travel card

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

N/A

26.24% Variable APR

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Rates & Fees

Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

Apply now

on Capital on Tap's website

3.9/5

Best for Business owners with fair credit

$0

N/A

18.49%-35.99% Variable APR

Apply now

on Capital on Tap's website

Brex Card

Apply now

on Brex's website

3.1/5

Best for Corporate card (no personal guarantee)

$0

N/A

N/A

Apply now

on Brex's website

BILL Divvy Corporate Card

Apply now

on BILL Spend & Expense's website

2.9/5

Best for Corporate card (soft credit pull)

$0

N/A

N/A

Apply now

on BILL Spend & Expense's website

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

4.6/5

Best for AmEx Membership Rewards

$0

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees

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I'M INTERESTED IN:

Our pick for

Cash-back business card

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
Regular APR
18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rate
  • Intro APR period
  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards
  • Requires good/excellent credit

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

NerdWallet rating 

4.9/5
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
Regular APR
18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Our pick for

Business travel card

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee
$0 intro for the first year, then $95
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
26.24% Variable APR

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • No Intro APR period
  • High APR

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

NerdWallet rating 

4.8/5
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee
$0 intro for the first year, then $95
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
26.24% Variable APR

Our pick for

Business owners with fair credit

Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

Apply now

on Capital on Tap's website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
18.49%-35.99% Variable APR

Pros

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 24/7 customer service

Cons

  • Not available to sole proprietors, charities or nonprofits
  • Must enroll in automatic payments

Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

NerdWallet rating 

3.9/5
Apply now

on Capital on Tap's website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
18.49%-35.99% Variable APR

Our pick for

Corporate card (no personal guarantee)

Brex Card

Apply now

on Brex's website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • New cardholder bonus offer
  • Qualify with limited/bad credit
  • Bonus categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No personal guarantee

Cons

  • Complicated rewards structure
  • High capital requirement for approval
  • Daily repayment may be required
  • Not available to sole proprietors

Brex Card

NerdWallet rating 

3.1/5
Apply now

on Brex's website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A

Our pick for

Corporate card (soft credit pull)

BILL Divvy Corporate Card

Apply now

on BILL Spend & Expense's website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Card-level spending controls

Cons

  • Complicated rewards structure with limits on redemption
  • Balance must be paid in full each billing cycle
  • Not available to sole proprietors.

BILL Divvy Corporate Card

NerdWallet rating 

2.9/5
Apply now

on BILL Spend & Expense's website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A

Our pick for

AmEx Membership Rewards

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
Regular APR
18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rate
  • Intro APR period
  • Transfer partners

Cons

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards
  • Requires good/excellent credit

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

NerdWallet rating 

4.6/5
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee
$0
Intro APR
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
Regular APR
18.49%-26.49% Variable APR

NerdWallet's editorial picks: Best instant approval business credit cards

Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Our pick for: Business travel card
NerdWallet star rating:
4.8
The
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
is one of the best business travel cards, offering unlimited
2
miles per dollar spent, with no caps or restrictions. There’s also no annual fee for the first year and a solid welcome bonus:
Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Business owners who are approved for a Capital One business credit card can call the issuer's dedicated small-business support line to see whether they qualify for an instant virtual card number. Not all owners will qualify. Those who don’t need to wait seven to 10 business days for their physical card to arrive. (See rates and fees.) Learn more and apply.

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Our pick for: Cash-back business card
NerdWallet star rating:
4.6
If you need to make an immediate purchase, American Express offers instant card numbers for almost all of its small-business cards, according to a company spokesperson. (Co-branded cards like the
Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express
and
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
are exceptions; however, cardholders can spend instantly with the co-branded merchant.) The no-annual-fee
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
may be a good fit for fast spending thanks to its long introductory annual percentage rate, or APR, offer and solid cash-back rate. Learn more and apply.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Our pick for: AmEx Membership Rewards
NerdWallet star rating:
4.6
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
is a near-twin to
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
, with one key difference: Rather than cash back, it pays you in AmEx Membership Rewards points. Learn more and apply.

Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

Our pick for: Business owners with fair credit
NerdWallet star rating:
3.9
The
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
promises a decision within 48 hours of applying, and if approved, you’ll get instant access to your virtual card so you can start using it immediately. It is also one of the few business cards available to business owners with fair credit. Beyond instant spending power and flexible approval, the
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
offers unlimited
1.5
% cash back on all purchases, 24/7 customer support and business-friendly features, including realtime spending insights and unlimited employee cards with customizable spending limits. Learn more and apply.

Brex Card

Our pick for: Startups with outside investment
NerdWallet star rating:
3.1
The
Brex Card
is available to well-funded, registered businesses and looks at cash flow and revenue, rather than the business owner's personal credit history, to determine creditworthiness. If approved for a
Brex Card
, you’ll get instant access to your virtual card number and can issue virtual cards for employees as well. The
Brex Card
also doesn't require a personal guarantee and earns rewards. Learn more and apply.

BILL Divvy Corporate Card

Our pick for: Corporate card with more flexible qualification requirements
NerdWallet star rating:
2.9
The
BILL Divvy Corporate Card
requires a personal credit check, but it's a soft pull. That’s similar to pre-qualification in that applying has no effect on your personal credit score. You will need at least fair credit to qualify (a FICO score of 650+), but BILL also considers factors like cash balances. Its threshold for those (typically at least $20,000) is lower than the
Brex Card
($50,000), making the
BILL Divvy Corporate Card
potentially more accessible for some business owners. BILL also offers unlimited virtual card numbers. Learn more and apply.

First National Bank Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

Our pick for: Fast pre-qualification
This card is not rated by NerdWallet.
If you have bad credit, it can take as little as 30 seconds to see whether you'll pre-qualify for the
First National Bank Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card
. In addition, First National Bank lets you choose your own credit limit between $2,000 and $100,000 (in multiples of $50) when you apply. This card charges a $
39
annual fee.

How long does it take to get a business credit card?

Even with instant approval, you may need to wait a week or longer for a physical business credit card to arrive before you can use it. Some issuers offer virtual card numbers to eligible applicants, which you can add to a mobile wallet or otherwise use online while you await your card. You also may be able to request expedited shipping for your physical card, though that can come with an extra fee.

Are there instant approval business credit cards for bad credit?

Ultimately, the easiest business credit card to get is one you're qualified for. If you have bad credit, it will be tough to get approved for most business credit cards. Your best bet will likely be a secured business credit card.
With a secured business credit card, you provide a refundable deposit at the opening of the account. This helps reduce the lending risk for the credit card company and helps you start to build business credit.
However, credit limits on secured cards are tied to your deposit. That means these cards may not necessarily be the best fit if you’re looking for an instant approval business credit card because you need to access additional capital quickly.
In that instance, a bad credit business loan may make more sense. You may be able to qualify for a business line of credit, which functions similarly to a credit card, with subpar personal credit. Or if you have outstanding invoices from clients, invoice factoring could turn those into quick cash.
All information about the Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.
Last updated on May 9, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet's Credit Cards team selects the best credit cards for small business based on overall consumer value, as evidenced by star ratings, as well as their suitability for specific kinds of small-business operators. Factors in our evaluation include annual and other fees, rewards rates, the earning structure (for example, flat-rate rewards versus bonus categories), redemption options, bonus offers for new cardholders, introductory and ongoing APRs, and other noteworthy features such as special financing arrangements, free cards for employees or tools for managing business expenses. Learn more about how we rate business credit cards.
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Looking to earn rewards or build your credit? We’ll help match you to the perfect business credit card based on your qualifications.