Less-than-stellar credit may not stop you from getting a great product.
If you have a FICO credit score in the fair range — between 580 and 669 — you may have a tough time getting approved for most business credit cards.
Fortunately, some commercial lenders have credit card products tailored specifically to business owners who are working on building or rebuilding their personal credit histories. Here are our top choices.
The Best Small Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit
- Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business: Best for building personal credit
- : Best for established startups
- Kabbage Card: Best for a large credit limit
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is an excellent option for business owners who are looking to improve their personal credit. Unlike most business credit card issuers, Capital One reports your card activity to both the commercial and personal credit bureaus.
Of course, this also means that if you rack up a high balance or your business can’t make the payments, it could negatively affect your personal credit.
The card offers unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase you make and doesn’t charge an annual fee. It also doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees, making it a worthy option for business owners who regularly travel abroad. Other features include:
- Free employee cards
- Transaction downloads to Quicken, Quickbooks, or Excel
- Rental car insurance
- Purchase and extended warranty protection
- Travel and emergency assistance
If you’re looking to make a big purchase or your cash flow is irregular, an introductory 0% APR promotion can help you get the funds you need and give you time to pay them back interest-free.
Theis available for all types of credit because the card issuer doesn’t run a credit check at all. What’s more, you don’t need to provide a personal guarantee on the account, which is a common requirement for other business credit cards.
The card also has no annual or foreign transaction fees. It also comes with the following rewards structure if you make Brex your exclusive corporate card:
If you’re not part of the Brex Exclusive program, you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar on everything. That said, you’ll still get access to discounts and credits on various services, including Amazon Web Services, Google Ads, WeWork, and more.
The Brex Card is a charge card, which means you’ll need to pay your balance in full each month. And while there’s no annual fee, you will pay a fee of $5 per card after your first five cards.
Not just anyone can get the card, though. To qualify, you typically need to have $100,000 in a corporate bank account and be backed by a venture capital firm at the time of your application. Brex also requires that you have at least $50,000 in a corporate bank account at all times.
The Kabbage Card isn’t technically a credit card. Instead, it’s a card tied to a Kabbage line of credit, giving you more options to use your funds.
Depending on your situation, you may qualify for a line of credit of up to $250,000. But instead of allowing you to revolve debts over and over again as long as you want, Kabbage has repayment terms of six or 12 months, making this a short-term solution rather than an ongoing source of capital.
While there’s no annual fee or interest involved, you’ll pay a monthly fee of 1.5% to 10%, depending on your business performance. With those numbers in mind, Nav estimates your APR could range from 20% to 90%.
Getting a Kabbage line of credit won’t be easy for new business owners. The lender requires that you be in business for at least 12 months with $50,000 in annual revenue or $4,200 per month in the last three months.
How to pick the best credit card for your business
No business credit card is perfect, and if you have fair credit, your options are limited anyway. As you compare these and other top business credit cards, it’s important to take several factors into consideration, including:
- Approval requirements: All of these cards are targeted to business owners with fair credit, but some of them have additional requirements, such as time in business, annual revenue, or liquid assets. Make sure you know a card issuer’s criteria before you apply to avoid an unnecessary denial.
- Spending habits: Many small business credit cards for fair credit offer rewards programs, and some of them include bonus rewards on certain spending categories. If your business has a lot of expenses in one or two categories, it may make sense to get a card that will reward you more for those purchase.
- Preferences: Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what you want in a business credit card. Whether you want cash-back or travel rewards, a 0% APR promotion, or other features, pick a card that best suits your needs.
Can you get a business credit card with bad credit?
Yes, it is possible to get a business credit card if you have bad credit. However, your options may be limited to secured credit cards, which require a security deposit equal to your credit limit. While this can be inconvenient, using the card can help you build your business credit history to give you more options later on when you’re ready to expand your business.
The bottom line
If you have fair credit, you don’t need to worry about missing out on great rewards and perks. The small business credit cards for fair credit have excellent features you can take advantage of while you improve your credit.
Once your personal credit is in the good or excellent range, compare your card with other top business credit cards to make sure you’re still getting the most bang for your buck. If not, you can always apply for a new one that better fits your business.