EIN-Only Business Credit Cards Without a Personal Guarantee or an SSN

Business credit cards can be a great way to safely pay for business expense, earn rewards, manage cash flow and even an option for short-term business financing. When shopping for a business credit card, you may come across an intriguing idea: business credit cards that can be obtained with just an EIN: no Social Security number or personal guarantee required. 

No EIN business credit cards may be appealing for several reasons:

  1. Your personal credit profile isn’t great and you want to find a credit card issuer that won’t check personal credit
  2. You don’t want to use a business credit card that will report your account to your personal credit reports and impact your personal credit scores, and/or
  3. You want to avoid personal liability in the event your business does not succeed. 

Unless your business is large and well-established, however, it can be hard to qualify for a business credit card without using personal credit. But it’s not impossible.

Here’s what you should know when looking for EIN-only business credit cards.

What’s An EIN?

The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit tax identification number, similar to a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), but mostly used by businesses. 

EINs are used by businesses, ranging from large companies to sole proprietorships, to file taxes. Your business must obtain an EIN if it has employees, is a corporation or partnership, files certain types of tax returns, or if it has certain types of retirement plans. (Find out if your business needs an EIN here.)

But you may also request an EIN if you operate a business or work as an independent contractor and want to use a tax id number separate from your SSN.

How to Get An EIN

Getting an EIN is simple and straightforward. You can request an EIN for free from the IRS. It’s easiest and fastest to use their online request form but you can also request it by mail. If you work with a business formation company, they may include or offer this service.

Can I Use EIN Instead of SSN for a Credit Card?

Most small business credit cards require a personal credit check, and many providers require personal credit scores in the good to excellent credit range. Major issuers that do require a personal credit check and a personal guarantee for their small business credit cards include:

  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Discover
  • Divvy
  • Wells Fargo

A personal credit check isn’t always a bad thing. Businesses without strong business credit or high annual revenues— including new businesses— can often qualify based on their personal credit scores and income from all sources, not just the business.

Some business credit card issuers and lenders will extend credit without a personal credit check or personal guarantee. To qualify for an EIN-only credit card without a personal credit check, the business must typically demonstrate the ability to repay the debt out of revenues. Business bank account statements may be required to verify business revenues. 

Younger businesses, those with modest revenues, or who have little (or poor) business credit won’t likely qualify for cards without an EIN. If you are looking for an EIN-only credit card as your solution to bad credit, but your business is not making much money, you’ll have fewer choices. But they do exist, as we’ll explain shortly.

However, small business credit cards are often available to individuals with good personal credit. 

Types of EIN-Only Business Credit Cards

If you still want to find an EIN-only card, there are three types of cards to consider:

Corporate Credit Cards

Credit cards that don’t require a personal credit check often fall into the category of “corporate cards.” Corporate cards offered by major card issuers are often available to well-established businesses with high revenues— often in the $1—4 million range or higher— and multiple employees. At that stage, the business often has strong business credit and financial data to show it is capable of repaying its debts. 

In recent years, new credit card companies have offered corporate cards aimed at more of a middle market. They still typically target businesses with solid revenue, but they may not require the high revenues that corporate cards have traditionally required. 

The most well-known examples are Ramp, BILL Divvy Corporate Card and Brex. (Brex has changed its offering to target funded businesses.) 

Note that there is a soft credit check for the BILL Divvy Corporate Card but there are multiple paths to approval.

These cards are also often structured as “charge cards”, which means they require payment in full upon receipt of the billing statement. These cards generally do not require a personal guarantee and don’t report to the owner’s personal guarantee or report to the owner’s (or employee’s) personal credit reports. 

Fuel Cards

As the name implies, gas cards are usually issued by fuel companies to fill up your business or fleet vehicles with gas. Because purchases are limited to fuel, and the company wants you to fill up at their stations, they may use your business profile to qualify, rather than personal credit. This is also called “company only liability” and is a perk offered for those businesses with high revenues – such as a million dollars in annual revenue or more. These cards give you the chance to earn rewards with every gallon you pump. 

Secured Business Credit Cards

A business owner  with bad credit may qualify for a business secured credit card, or prepaid business credit card.

With a secured card you must place a security deposit with the issuer. That money is held in reserve in case you don’t pay for purchases. The security deposit reduces the risk to the lender, so these cards are easier to get than traditional unsecured cards.

Your credit limit is usually equal to your deposit, so unless you place a large deposit with the issuer, your credit limit will be very low. However, if the card reports to business and/or consumer credit reporting agencies, an on-time payment history can help you build credit. 

Prepaid cards require you to load an account with funds to pay for purchases. As you spend, you’ll need to reload the account (or permit the issuer to do that automatically). 

Best Business Cards: No Credit Check or Soft Credit Check

The following cards either do not check credit or will only use a soft credit check, which does not impact personal credit scores.

BILL Divvy Corporate Card

The BILL Divvy Corporate Card uses a soft pull credit check, which will not impact your credit scores. It is available to sole proprietors as well as businesses operating under other structures such as a corporation or LLC. There are multiple paths to approval. 
It also offers rewards: Up to 7% points, based on payment settings. Up to 7% points, based on payment settings. All charges made on this charge card are due and payable when you receive your periodic statement All charges made on this charge card are due and payable when you receive your periodic statement.

Capital on Tap Business Credit Card Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

Applying for the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card will not affect your credit score. There will only be a soft credit check on personal credit and business credit. (You can still be turned down for credit reasons.) To qualify, you must:

  • Be an active director of the company or majority shareholder of 25%+ ownership. 
  • Be based in the US (you and the business)
  • Earn annual business revenue of at least $30,000.

This cash back rewards credit card offers 1.5% unlimited cashback with no annual fee. 1.5% unlimited cashback with no annual fee. There is also a welcome offer. Spend $15,000 in the first 3 months for $200 cashback Spend $15,000 in the first 3 months for $200 cashback.

How Do Business Credit Cards Work?

Business credit cards work very much the same as personal credit cards. The credit card application process is a bit more involved, as you’ll have to answer some questions about your business as well as provide some personal information. 

As mentioned, many credit card issuers rely on personal creditworthiness as an important part of the application process. Once you’re approved, you can use your small business credit card in the same way you would a personal credit card. This can include making purchases, getting cash advances, and even using balance transfers. Some card offers feature 0% intro APRs, which can be helpful for short-term financing. 

Rewards credit cards let you earn cash back rewards and/or travel rewards for eligible purchases. Use them for as many business purchases as possible to maximize rewards, provided you don’t run up debt you can’t repay. 

Employee cards allow you to earn even more rewards, and small business owners can use them to manage employee spending with customized reporting, alerts, or spending limits. 

Alternatives to Using An EIN

Don’t dismiss the option of applying using your personal credit, especially if you have a startup business or a business without significant revenues or a large number of employees.

It may still be the best way to get the card you need. Some of these cards don’t report to personal credit (here’s a list of how small business cards report to personal credit) so if your goal is to protect your personal credit, you may still accomplish that goal. 

All major small business credit cards require a personal guarantee, so make sure you are careful not to run up balances you can’t repay. If you default on one of these cards, it may appear on your personal credit reports and the lender may try to collect from your personal assets. 

EIN Only Business Loans

A number of different types of business loans or business financing don’t check personal credit or that don’t require good personal credit. (In some cases there is a soft credit pull.) Here are several examples:

Merchant cash advances

Here, past sales are evaluated to determine how much to advance against future sales. Weekly or daily payments are common. Business cash advances work in a similar fashion. 

Invoice factoring or financing

B2B businesses that sell goods or services to another business on net-terms can get paid faster by factoring the invoice to another business that provides upfront funding, then typically collects on behalf of the business. The client’s credit history is more important than that of the business seeking financing. 

Supplier credit/Vendor terms

Vendors or suppliers often offer credit so your business can buy goods or services now and pay later. Terms may be as short as net-10 or as long as net-180. With net-30 terms the invoice is due 30 days from the invoice date.)

Here’s a list of net-30 vendor accounts that don’t require a personal credit check and don’t report to personal credit. They report to business credit, which makes them an excellent way to help build business credit. 


Raise money from people or investors interested in your product or service through crowdfunding platforms. There are several types of crowdfunding, including loan-based crowdfunding, rewards-based crowdfunding and investment-based crowdfunding. 

What Else Do You Need an EIN For?

The IRS spells out when a business needs an EIN in this interactive guide. The most common reasons small businesses need EINs are:

  • Hiring employees
  • Operating as a corporation or partnership
  • Offering a KEOGH plan

It may also be required if you want to:

  • Open a business bank account
  • Get a small business loan
  • Get certain business licenses or permits
  • Qualify for certain types of insurance
  • Build business credit in the name of your business

Building Credit With an EIN

How does your EIN tie into your credit history? If a lender requests an EIN on a credit application but does not request a Social Security number, it’s possible the lender will not check your personal credit. 

Using your EIN to apply for credit is one way to separate your business and personal finances. However, keep in mind that a lender may require a personal guarantee even if you don’t supply a SSN, and there is no personal credit check. Read the application and cardholder agreement carefully to understand your responsibility.

One common misconception is that an EIN is used to match business credit report data to a business, similar to the way a Social Security number is used to help match consumer credit information in personal credit reports.

Commercial credit reporting agencies typically use their own proprietary identifiers to track business credit history; Dun & Bradstreet uses the DUNS number, Experian uses the Business Identification Number and Equifax uses an Equifax ID. While lenders may request an EIN on a credit application, it’s not required to report an account to business credit bureaus. 

Most small business credit cards and some of the small business financing options mentioned in this article can help you build business credit, provided you make your payments on time. 

With business financing, not all companies report to all business credit bureaus. Some report only negative information. If you want to build business credit, make sure the company reports positive information to at least one of the major business credit reporting agencies, or the Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE). 

Nav’s Verdict on EIN Only Business Credit Cards

Small business owners will often find it difficult to qualify for EIN only business credit cards, at least until their business is well-established, makes significant money and has employees.

However, you can still effectively separate your business and personal finances, as well as business and personal credit histories, by using a dedicated business credit card that doesn’t report to personal credit as long as you pay back what you borrow.

If you’re unable to qualify for a business credit card, keep working on both your personal credit and business credit scores