If you run a small business, you’ll want something more than a personal card, but you probably don’t qualify for a corporate card. This niche is filled with small business credit cards.
Small business credit cards are available to businesses, be they sole proprietorships or smaller corporate entities. These cards offer you several benefits, including higher credit limits, the ability to separate personal and business purchases for accounting purposes, and business perks on things like travel and shopping.
The downside, especially when compared to corporate cards, is that you can be held personally liable for any debt incurred on behalf of your business.
Credit Cards for Small Business Owners
There are a variety of small business credit card options available on the market, and that’s because one size does not fit all. The best option for you depends on the nature of your business and its financial situation above all.
What Is The Best Credit Card for Small Business Owners?
When choosing a card, be sure to compare:
- Proffered interest rates
- Grace periods and billing cycle adjustments
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
- Rewards and reward programs
- Additional fees and charges like annual membership fees or foreign transaction fees
- Application fees
- Bonuses offered by the credit card company
Finally, consider your limitations. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, but retailers who accept American Express (AmEx) can be harder to find.
Getting a Business Credit Card
You don’t need an incorporated business to you can apply for a business credit card; some providers allow sole proprietors as well.
To get a card, you’ll need to apply for one. The process is similar to applying for a personal credit card, but you’ll need to provide additional information related to your business, such as:
- Your business name
- A tax ID, if it’s separate from your personal social security number
- Your business type and the industry in which you are operating
- Business address, phone number, and other contact details
- Length of time in business
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue and estimated monthly spending
Can I Get A Business Credit Card With Bad Personal Credit?
Approval for your first small business card is likely dependent on your credit score, especially if you’re starting out or have minimal business credit history. As with all credit cards, the better your FICO credit score, the better the terms you’ll get.
However, there are cards available to you even if you have bad personal credit.
You’ll probably be asked to personally guarantee your debt, which means that you’re responsible for payments in the event the business fails.
7 Popular Providers of Business Credit Cards
There are many business credit card providers available today, but we’ve curated some of the most popular & widely advertised towards small business owners.
American Express Business Credit Cards
American Express offers a line of business credit cards with a variety of benefits. They currently offer 14 cards, with varying benefits like:
- Travel rewards for flights, hotels, and access to airport lounges
- Cash back
- Membership rewards that convert to cash back, flights, hotel accommodations, and more
- No annual fees
- 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
Bank Of America Business Credit Cards
Bank of America offers a range of Visa and Mastercard credit cards specifically toward small business owners. This line is further divided into cash reward cards, travel reward cards, and lower interest cards. Depending on the option you choose, you can expect:
- Points redeemable for cash back
- Credit for travel-related purchases like airfare and accommodations
- A competitive APR and 0% introductory APR on purchases (but not balance transfers) for the first seven billing cycles
United Business Credit Cards
United offers two business cards: the Explorer Business Card and the Club Business Card. The Explorer Business Card terms include:
- A $95 annual fee
- A business credit card welcome offer of up to 100,000 bonus airfare miles
- Cash back on most purchases
- Two one-time access passes to United Clubs, one free checked bag, and priority boarding
If you’re interested in the Club Business Card, you’ll get up to 50,000 bonus miles, cash back on purchases, United Club membership, two free checked bags, and premier travel services.
Both cards come with no foreign transaction fees as well as purchase and travel protection.
Southwest Business Credit Cards
Offered in conjunction with Chase Bank, Southwest offers two different credit cards. The specific terms you receive depends on the option you choose, but both offer:
- Reward points on your purchases and balance transfers (redeemable for flights)
- Upgraded boarding
- In-flight WiFi credits
- Credit for TSA (Transport Security Administration) Global Entry or Pre-Check
- No foreign transaction fees
Capital One Spark Business Credit Cards
Capital One’s Spark Business Credit Cards allow you to earn unlimited rewards. The form of the rewards depends on the choice you make when signing up:
- Spark Cash Back Rewards gets you a one-time cash bonus, plus 2% cash back on all future purchases
- Spark Miles Rewards gets you a one-time mileage bonus, plus double reward miles
Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll also get:
- A year-end summary to making accounting/tax time easier
- Easy integration with some of the major accounting suites
- No foreign transaction fees
Wells Fargo Business Credit Cards
Wells Fargo offers three different credit cards geared toward small businesses from which you can choose:
- The Platinum Visa comes with a welcome offer of cash or points redeemable for rewards, as well as future cash back or points on all purchases and a 0% introductory rate for the first nine months on purchases. Balance transfers don’t qualify for the introductory rate.
- The Secured Mastercard features either cash back or reward points on all purchases, no annual fees, and zero-liability protection against fraudulent charges.
- The Elite Visa Signature Card offers a sign-on bonus of cash or reward points, cash back or points on all future purchases, reimbursement for travel fees up to $100, and no annual fee for the first year.
Citi Small Business Credit Cards
Citi offers two business credit cards through airline or retail partnerships:
- CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard: Earn up to 60,000 bonus miles within 3 months of signup, and additional points on future purchases redeemable for airfare and other travel benefits. There is no annual fee for the first year.
- Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card By Citi: Earn cash back for all purchases with no annual fee; you only have to pay for a Costco membership.
Neither card incurs foreign transaction fees.
As an overview, here is a comparison of several business credit cards from each of the providers we detail below:
|Initial 0% APR Offer||Variable APR*||Annual Fee|
|American Express Blue Business Plus||12 months||15.24% to 21.24%||None|
|Bank of America Platinum||7 billing cycles (1 cycle is typically 1 month)||11.49% to 22.49%||None|
|United Club Business||None||17.99% to 24.99%||$450|
|Southwest Rapid Premiere||None||17.99% to 24.99%||$99|
|Spark Cash Select||9 months||15.24% to 23.24%||None|
|Wells Fargo Business Platinum||9 months||7.99% to 17.99%||None|
|Citi Business Platinum Select AAdvantage||None||17.74% to 25.74%||$99 (after first 12 months)|
*Variable APRs on purchases and balance transfers at the time of publication.
Disclaimer: We do not explicitly recommend any of the above credit cards – the information presented is for the sake of comparison.
Is It Worth Getting A Small Business Credit Card?
Business credit cards fill the niche between personal and corporate cards. If you own a small business, obtaining one of these cards can help you fund your day-to-day business operations, earn rewards, and build your business’ credit history.
There are many business-oriented credit cards available, but in this article, we covered seven of the most popular providers to help you narrow down the choices to determine the one that’s best for you.
Choosing a Business Credit Card Wisely
Remember, such cards aren’t one-size-fits-all, so before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to consider what the credit card company offers in terms of interest rates and financial perks.