BEST OF

8 Best Business Credit Cards for Startups With No Credit of May 2022

May 17, 2022

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Startups with no credit can still open a business credit card on the merits of the founder’s personal credit since most card issuers prioritize that over your business credit score. That means new companies can get a business card with perks like cash-back rewards, travel perks or a long intro APR period — whatever suits their new venture’s needs.

Keeping expenses low is especially important for startups, so we focused on cards that have a low or no annual fee; we did not include any premium cards, which offer serious perks but carry an annual fee of $500 or more. We also prioritized flat-rate cards that make it easy to earn rewards. Want to explore more options? Check out our best business credit cards for small businesses roundup.

Business owners with no personal credit can use a secured card to build their credit score before upgrading to a startup business credit card with better rewards. Secured cards require an upfront deposit, which determines your credit limit, and some are available with no credit check. A secured personal card will help build your personal credit score, but not your business score. Likewise, most secured business cards will only help build business credit.

Some of our selections for the best no-credit business cards for startups can be applied for through NerdWallet, and some cannot. Below, you'll find application links for the credit cards from our partners that are available through NerdWallet, followed by the full list of our picks.

NerdWallet's Best Business Credit Cards for Startups With No Credit of May 2022

Best Business Credit Cards for Startups With No Credit

Our pick for

Cash-back rewards

Apply now

on Chase's website

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Regular APR

13.49%-19.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • No reward caps

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • No bonus categories

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business

  • No Annual Fee

  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control.

  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.

  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.

  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases

Read full review

Our pick for

Cash-back rewards + intro APR

Apply now

on American Express's website

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

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

Regular APR

13.99%-21.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate

  • Intro APR period

  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months.

  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.

  • From workflow to inventory to floor plans, your business is constantly changing. That’s why you’ve got the power to spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power.

  • Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express and other factors.

  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% - 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.

  • No Annual Fee

  • Terms Apply

  • View Rates & Fees
Read full review

Our pick for

Travel rewards

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

21.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • No Intro APR period

  • High APR

  • 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

  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account

  • Transfer your miles to 15+ travel loyalty programs

  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services

  • Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA PreCheck® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

  • Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 2X miles from their purchases

Read full review

Our pick for

Travel rewards + big welcome bonus

Apply now

on Chase's website

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.24%-21.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Bonus categories

  • Transfer partners

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • No intro APR offer

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.

  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.

  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open

  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Read full review

Our pick for

Business card with no personal credit check

Apply now

on Brex's website

Brex Card

3.3

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Brex's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

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

  • No Intro APR

  • No revolving balances

  • Get 10,000 points when you spend your first $1,000 on your Brex card, another 10,000 when you spend $3,000 in 3 months on your card, and 20,000 more when you link payroll to your Brex account.

  • No personal guarantee needed – Brex does not ask for a personal credit check or security deposit during the application.

  • Credit limits 10-20x higher than traditional small business corporate cards.

  • Minimum bank balance of $50,000 from professional investors may be required to qualify for Brex.

  • Exclusive signup offers from the best products and tools for your business (e.g. AWS, Google Ads, WeWork, Salesforce) worth up to $150,000 in value.

  • Earn points on every dollar spent with industry-leading multipliers: 7x on rideshare, 4x on Brex Travel, 3x on restaurants, 2x on software subscriptions and 1x on all other transactions.

  • Earn 3x Brex Rewards points on all eligible Apple purchases through the link or your Brex dashboard.

  • Miles transfer program to 7 airlines (including Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Air France, and more) and their loyalty programs, giving Brex customers access to book travel across all of the major global airline alliances - Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam.

  • 30-day charge card running on the Mastercard network. Enjoy global acceptance with no foreign transaction fees.

  • Build business credit: Brex partners with Dun & Bradstreet and Experian to report your on-time payments.

  • Make employee expenses seamless - automated receipt-capture and expense matching and reconciliation via text, email, and mobile app. Instantly add new users and set spending limits.

  • Contactless pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

  • Simplify reconciliation with built-in integrations with QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, and more.

Read full review

Our pick for

Secured card (personal)

Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Regular APR

23.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit

  • Earns rewards

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Requires minimum deposit

  • High APR

  • No credit score required to apply.*

  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.

  • Using your secured credit card helps build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.

  • Establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.

  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.*

  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

  • View Rates & Fees
Read full review

Our pick for

Secured card (personal) with no security deposit

Apply now

on Chime's website

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chime's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • No credit check

  • No APR

  • Adjustable credit limit

Cons

  • Must open a Chime account

  • No rewards

  • No upgrade path

  • Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.

  • No credit check to apply, no annual fees or interest, and no minimum security deposit required. No stress! Additional terms apply.

  • Use your secured Credit Builder card everywhere VISA is accepted, including on everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries.

  • Help build your credit history with your own money. The money you move into the Credit Builder secured account is the amount you can spend on your card (no minimum deposit required!). Turn on Safer Credit Building and have your monthly balance automatically paid on time. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®.

  • Increase your credit score by an average of 30 points, with regular, on-time payments.¹

  • Turn on transaction notifications to receive real-time transaction alerts. Then, use Chime’s instant in-app disable card feature to help prevent unauthorized activities.

  • Live support 24/7 to assist you around the clock.

  • Now you can use your Credit Builder card fee-free at over 60K+ in-network ATMs at retailers like Walgreens, CVS, and more! Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at Moneypass ATMs in 7-Eleven locations, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.

  • Apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card once you sign up for a Chime Spending Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. See www.chime.com to learn more.

Read full review

Our pick for

Secured card to build business credit history

Annual fee

$39

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

20.24% Variable

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • Qualify with limited / bad credit

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • No rewards

  • High APR

  • Request your own credit limit between $2,000 and $100,000 (multiples of $50), when you apply, subject to credit approval.

  • Earn interest on your security deposit.

  • Variable 20.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers based on the Prime Rate.

Read full review

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS:

BEST BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS FOR STARTUPS WITH NO CREDIT

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Our pick for: Cash-back rewards

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card earns a simple, flat cash-back rate on every purchase, with no limit on how much you can earn. The sign-up bonus is outstanding for a cash-back card, particularly one with no annual fee, and there's an intro APR period for purchases. Read our review. 

Our pick for: Cash-back rewards + intro APR

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card boasts one of the better introductory APR offers among business credit cards. Beyond that, you earn a solid cash-back rate (at least for a while — the rate drops after you hit a spending threshold). There's also no annual fee. Read our review.

Our pick for: Travel rewards

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is basically a business version of the popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and miles can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent apiece for any travel purchase, without the blackout dates and other restrictions of branded hotel and airline cards. The card offers a great sign-up bonus, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Travel rewards + big welcome bonus

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card starts you off with one of the biggest sign-up bonuses of any credit card anywhere (assuming you spend enough to earn it), then gives you bonus rewards in common business spending categories. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, or you can transfer them to about a dozen airline and hotel partners. Read our review.

Our pick for: Business card with no personal credit check

Unlike most cards designed for entrepreneurs, the Brex Card doesn't require the cardholder to personally guarantee the debt on the card. Instead, Brex determines creditworthiness by evaluating a company's cash balance, spending patterns and investors. It's a good option when a business owner has a thin credit file but is well capitalized. The card earns rewards, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Fair credit

The rewards rate on the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business isn't going to wow anyone; there's no sign-up bonus and the APR is high. What makes this card valuable is that it's available to business operators with fair credit (a FICO score between 630-689), who don't have a lot of options in business credit cards — and it has no annual fee. Read our review.

Our pick for: Secured card to build personal credit

Like other secured credit cards for people building or rebuilding credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires a cash security deposit. Unlike most others, it offers rewards. But what really makes it stand out from the competition is its upgrade possibilities. The issuer has a process in place for automatically reviewing accounts for possible transition to an unsecured card. Read our review. 

Our pick for: Secured card (personal) with no security deposit

You'll need a Chime Spending Account — a free bank account that allows you to receive direct deposits — and at least $200 in direct deposits to it within the past 365 days to get this card. The money you move from the Chime Spending Account to the Credit Builder secured account determines your credit limit. There's no option to carry a balance from month to month, but this card doesn't require an upfront security deposit as many secured credit cards do. Read our review.

Our pick for: Secured card to build business credit history

If you can afford to put a lot of money down, the First National Bank Business Edition® Secured® Visa Card may be a good choice for bad-credit borrowers. Your security deposit will earn interest, and First National Bank lets you choose your own credit limit between $2,000 and $100,000 (in multiples of $50) when you apply. Card activity is reported to Dun & Bradstreet, one of the three main business credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your business credit score. This card charges a $39 annual fee. Read our review.

How startups can build business credit

Your business credit score tells potential suppliers and lenders how likely your company is to repay its debts. A better score equals more favorable terms and improves your chances of securing a small-business loan.

Startups with no credit can establish and build their business credit history by establishing lines of credit via business credit cards and trade lines with suppliers, and making payments on time (or early). Late payments, high balances on credit cards, tax liens and legal judgments against your business can all hurt your business credit score.

Do business credit cards check personal credit?

Yes, nearly all business credit cards check your personal credit when you apply. Why? Because most business cards require a personal guarantee, which means you’re personally liable for the debt if your business fails to pay.

Can you get a business credit card with bad personal credit?

Business owners with bad credit or no personal credit will have a hard time qualifying for most business credit cards. You can, however, get a secured card to build your credit score before upgrading to a business credit card with better rewards.

Secured cards require an upfront deposit, which determines your credit limit, and a few even offer rewards. Most secured cards still require a personal credit check, though some are available with no credit check. A secured personal card will help build your personal credit score, but not your business score. Likewise, most secured business cards will only help build business credit.

Last updated on May 17, 2022