There will be a lot of items on your “to do” list when you start a new business, including getting a business bank account and a business credit card. Finding a card that’s available to startups, and qualifying, can be confusing.
Here we’ll explain how new entrepreneurs can get and leverage small business credit cards.
Benefits of Business Credit Cards for New Businesses
There are many benefits to business credit cards. They can provide:
- Access to a line of credit that can be used to for startup financing
- Excellent record keeping for business expenses
- Separation of business and personal finances
- Perks such as cash back or travel rewards
- Superior protection in the event of fraudulent use
How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Your New Business
When you’re choosing a credit card for your business there are two key factors you’ll want to consider:
How Do I Plan to Use the Card?
If you want to use your credit card as a line of credit and pay for purchases over time, you’ll want to look for a card with a low interest rate. An introductory 0% APR offer for a year or more may be helpful in providing startup capital. Low-rate balance transfers can also be useful if you need access to a credit line for short-term cash flow financing.
On the other hand, if you want a card for business spending, you can look for a card with a rewards program such as cash back rewards, travel points or other perks. Many of these cards also offer sign-up bonuses that can be especially valuable for new businesses trying to make every dollar count.
What Do I Qualify For?
Unlike small business loans, most credit card issuers don’t require extensive time in business. Many cards will allow you to get a card just days after you have started your business. But in that case, they will check your personal credit, and will likely require you to have good to excellent personal credit scores.
They will also want to ensure you can afford to repay the balance by asking you questions about your income. For most cards, income can come from a variety of sources, not just the business. Your income may affect your credit limit.
What Credit Score is Needed to Get a Business Credit Card?
Most business credit cards check personal credit. While many don’t reveal their minimum credit score requirements specifically, you can expect most cards to require good credit scores (650 – 680+) or excellent credit (700+).
There are a few business credit cards that don’t check personal credit, but they will often require the business to be earning fairly significant revenues. These may be referred to as corporate cards.
8 Best Credit Cards for New Businesses
Every business has different needs, so there’s no single credit card that will fit every small business. The cards featured here are available to new businesses that meet qualification requirements. Some require excellent credit, others are a little more flexible.
This is a popular first business credit card for small businesses. It offersand the annual fee is . Note, though, it is not available to sole proprietorships.
For cardholders who want to pay for startup purchases over time, this card offers aalong with a solid welcome offer:
If you want a card with a generous welcome bonus, you can’t go wrong with this card:. And if your business takes you outside the US (or you have foreign suppliers) you’ll save money with a foreign transaction fee.
If you plan to make business purchases on Amazon, you may want to check out this card.
If you want a card to pay for startup expenses, you may want to consider this card.
Divvy is an expense management platform that is accessed with a business credit card. It’s a great way to manage business expenses. Get free employee cards with spending controls.
This Amex card is a popular cash back card and with a straightforward rewards structure, it doesn’t require keeping track of bonus cash back spending categories.
This card features a healthy welcome offer:
How Do Brand New Businesses Get Credit?
Most business credit cards report to business credit reporting agencies, making them a good choice for building business credit. If you maintain a good payment history, the card can help you build good business credit scores.
The decision as to whether or not you will qualify, however, will likely depend on your personal credit scores. As long as you have a good personal credit history (and meet other requirements such as income) you should be able to qualify for a business credit card. There are only a few business credit cards for bad credit.
Can You Use An Ein To Get A Credit Card?
You may be asked for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) when you apply. An EIN is your business identification number used for tax purposes. (It’s not required for all businesses.)
Again, though, most card issuers require a Social Security Number (SSN) to check your personal credit history. A few cards don’t require a personal credit check but those cards aren’t typically available to new businesses without revenues.
Similarly only a few cards don’t require a personal guarantee.
How Do I Get A Business Credit Card With A New LLC?
Many of these cards are available to new LLCs, as well as sole proprietors, provided you meet other qualifications such as income and the issuer’s requirement for creditworthiness.
Can I Get A Business Credit Card With No Business Income?
Yes, many of these cards are available to small business owners as long as you meet minimum income requirements, which do not always have to come from the business. Unless the application specifies business income you may include personal and/or other income.
This article was originally written on April 14, 2022 and updated on June 30, 2022.