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Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2017

Jennifer Blocker
Updated on: 07/04/2017

Not only are business credit cards great for extra money when you need it, but they can also be used as a tool to manage your business. Not to mention that they open up a whole new line of sign-up bonuses for travelers to take advantage of. You don’t even have to have a large business or a storefront to get one. You can apply by using your Social Security number. Having an EIN (Employer Identification Number) is not necessary, although it does help separate you financially from your business. So, whether you drive for Uber, one of your hobbies is starting to turn a profit or you are opening the restaurant you always dreamed of, a small business credit card can help you build a great foundation in so many ways.

Top Rated Credit Cards for Small Business

When it comes to small business credit cards, they are more than just a line of credit. They can be a lifeline. Many small business owners use their cards to keep their businesses afloat during slow periods. If you have a small business, it is imperative to have a small business credit card. One needs to build their business credit in a similar fashion to their personal credit. Just as an individual may want to build or improve their credit for loftier goals like obtaining a mortgage, a business should do the same to be afforded more lines of credit and access to loans to build and grow their business.

Spark® Cash Select for Business
Spark® Cash Select for Business
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • %1.5% on Travel
  • %1.5% on Dining
  • %1.5% on Gas
  • %1.5% on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0
Capital One® Cash Back Rewards
Rating
98
  • $200 once you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
    • Free Employee Cards
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Travel Benefits

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

You can use this card while traveling abroad and you won’t be charged any additional fees.

Visa Concierge:

Need help with dinner reservations, event tickets or travel planning? Call Visa concierge any time of day.

Travel and Emergency Assistance

Cardholders get access to a wide range of emergency services, including ticket replacement, legal or medical referrals and more. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Why should you get this card?

  • Sign-Up Bonus: You’ll get a quick 0 just for getting the card and meeting the minimum spend. That’s not bad for a card without an annual fee.
  • Bonus Earning on Every Purchase: You’ll get a solid 0 return on every purchase you make, and there’s no limit on the cash back you can earn.
  • No Annual Fee: There’s no cost to hold this card, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t add it to your wallet.

Our Expert's Conclusion

While it’s not the most rewarding card on the market, the Spark Cash Select for Business earns a solid 1.5 percent return on every purchase and has no annual fee. That makes it a great card for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of special bonus categories for purchases or complicated award redemptions from airlines.

That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s only good for those who are new to credit card rewards. Since this card has no cost and earns a bonus on all purchases, it’s a great backup to have in case your other rewards cards aren’t going to earn more than a 1 percent return on a particular purchase.

Another reason to consider this card is if you have a lot of expenses coming up soon and you’re going to have to carry a balance for a few months. Grab this card and take advantage of some interest-free financing. All new purchases get 0% APR for the first nine months you have the card. Just be sure to pay off your balance before the special rate runs out. Paying interest can quickly eat away all the rewards you earn.

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • Annual Fee $0.
  • Free Employee Cards.
  • Fraud Coverage and Alerts.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Quarterly and year-end summary.
  • Rewards don't expire, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount, anytime.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver.
  • Purchase security and extended protection.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services.
Business Gold Rewards Card
Business Gold Rewards Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3xPoints on one of the following: Gas, Shipping, Advertising, Hardware and Software
  • 2xPoints on the remaining four categories
  • 2xPoints on Travel
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $175
Membership Rewards®
Rating
95
  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Travel Benefits

No Foreing Transaction Fee:

You’ll never have to pay extra to use your card while travelling abroad.

Preferred Seating:

Get access to preferred seating at major concert venues with your Amex card.

Why should you get this card?

  • Choose Your Own Bonus Category: This card lets you choose the most rewarding category from five options optimized for businesses: airfare, shipping, advertising, gas and computer hardware/software. You get to control the rewards you earn.
  • Generous Earning Structure: You earn bonus points in five different categories, which is generous for a business rewards card. If you max out every category, you’d earn more than a million bonus points annually.
  • Sign-Up Bonus: The card’s generous sign-up bonus is worth at least $500, which is enough to justify getting this card. Plus the points are transferrable, which can increase their value substantially.
  • Travel Protection: Simply using this card to pay for travel offers certain benefits. The card comes with coverage for rental cars; lost, damaged or delayed bags; and travel accidents.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Business Gold Rewards Card offers plenty of value to small business owners and independent contractors who spend quite a bit on expenses. You’ll receive 50,000 Membership Rewards points just for signing up and spending $5,000, and you can earn a lot more points quickly, thanks to this card’s generous bonus categories.

It is a great business card for those that spend a lot on airfare, shipping, advertising, fuel and computing services. The rewards rate of two to three percent on up to $100,000 is hard to beat.

Membership Rewards points can be transferred to partners or used as cash through the travel center, which gives you a way to purchase a ticket with points when award seats aren’t available directly from the airline. Flexibility in both earning and redeeming is one of the strongest features of this card.

  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 3X points on one category of your choice from: Airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers.
  • 2X points on the 4 remaining categories.
  • 1X points on other purchases.
  • Terms and limitations apply. 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter.
  • No Preset Spending Limit.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2xMiles on American Airlines Purchases
  • 2xMiles on Gas
  • 2xMiles on Car Rental
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
AAdvantage®
Rating
80
  • 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
    • Earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate each year of cardmembership
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • %25% savings on purchases on American Airlines flights

Travel Benefits

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

Whether using your card at home or overseas, you don’t have to worry about incurring foreign transaction fees.

In-Flight Savings:

Feeling a little peckish or parched? With your card, you’ll receive a 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines.

Companion Pass

Each year you spend $30,000 or more on the card, you can earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate for a free companion ticket. You only have to pay the taxes and fees, but the airfareis free!

Why should you get this card?

  • Big Sign-Up Bonus: The standard bonus is 30,000 miles, which is good. But American often offers up 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months, and that’s great!
  • Free Checked Bag: Without this card, you’d have to pay at least $25 per bag per person on each flight you take. But with this card, you and four companions get your first bag checked for free. Even if you just travel with one business colleague, that’s savings of $100 for one roundtrip if both of you check a bag. That savings can really add up!
  • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get one mile per dollar spent on every purchase plus double miles on purchases with American Airlines and for telecommunications, rental cars and gas.

Our Expert's Conclusion

If you’re a business owner looking to earn AA miles on credit card purchases, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select is definitely right for you. Not only does the card come with a great sign-up bonus to boost your mileage account balance, but it also earns double miles for common business purchases, including rental cars, gas and telecommunications, and with American Airlines.

For the first year, you won’t pay the $95 annual fee, but the card is definitely worth keeping year after year due to the speed at which you can rack up AA miles. Furthermore, the annual fee isn’t so high that you need to put a lot of spend on the card to get your money’s worth. So even if you are a small business or don’t put a lot of expenses on credit, it’s still a great card to get.

  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases and on purchases at telecommunications, car rental merchants and at gas stations.
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases on your card as well as other employee cards.
  • Fly to great destinations on American Airlines operated flights for up to 7,500 fewer AAdvantage® miles! So you'll save your AAdvantage® miles for another trip. Visit aa.com/reducedmileageawards for more information.
  • Receive a 25% savings on eligible in–flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights.
  • Receive employee cards at no additional cost plus, earn AAdvantage® miles for purchases made on employee cards and set a unique credit limit for each employee.
  • Quarterly & Annual Account Summaries.
  • First checked bag is free.
  • Group 1 Boarding on American Airlines domestic flights.
  • Earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate each year of cardmembership in which you spend $30,000 or more in purchases and renew your cardmembership.

Compare Small Business Credit Cards

Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.

Credit Card
Bonuses & Rewards
First Year Rewards
FEES
RE® value
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 Starpoints® sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 Starpoints® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$941
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$941
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Business Preferred World MasterCard®

Business Preferred World MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 10,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$453
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$453
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Bank of America

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$892
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$892
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®

Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 36,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$813
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$813
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Bank of America

Spark® Cash Select for Business

Spark® Cash Select for Business

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $200 sign-up bonus.
  • $360 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$560
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$560
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card

United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,249
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$1,249
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

More Details
Business Platinum Card®

Business Platinum Card®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,539
FEES
-$450
RE® value
$1,089
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 60,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,387
FEES
-$99
RE® value
$1,288
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

Spark® Miles Business Credit Card

Spark® Miles Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$980
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$980
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard®

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $0 sign-up bonus.
  • $240 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$240
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$240
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
U.S. Bank

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 10,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$560
FEES
-$450
RE® value
$110
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $0 sign-up bonus.
  • $240 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$240
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$240
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard®

Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $200 sign-up bonus.
  • $240 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$440
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$440
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Bank of America

FlexPerks® Business Edge™ Travel Rewards Card

FlexPerks® Business Edge™ Travel Rewards Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 20,000 FlexPoints® sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 FlexPoints® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$930
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$930
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
U.S. Bank

Spark® Cash for Business

Spark® Cash for Business

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $500 sign-up bonus.
  • $480 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$980
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$980
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

The Plum Card®

The Plum Card®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $0 sign-up bonus.
  • $0 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$0
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$0
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $0 sign-up bonus.
  • $240 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$240
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$240
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Spark® Miles Select Business Credit Card

Spark® Miles Select Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 20,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$560
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$560
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

More Details
Ink Business Preferred℠credit card

Ink Business Preferred℠credit card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 80,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,872
FEES
-$95
RE® value
$1,777
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

More Details
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$910
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$910
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 30,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$860
FEES
-$75
RE® value
$785
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Bank of America

More Details
U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 10,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$299
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$299
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
U.S. Bank

Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 80,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$957
FEES
-$99
RE® value
$858
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

More Details
Business Gold Rewards Card

Business Gold Rewards Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,339
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$1,339
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Spark® Classic for Business

Spark® Classic for Business

Bonuses & Rewards
  • $0 sign-up bonus.
  • $240 for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$240
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$240
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 35,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,035
FEES
-$195
RE® value
$840
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard® for Business Credit Card

Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard® for Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 15,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$864
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$864
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Bank of America

Top 10 Reasons to Get a Small Business Credit Card

Believe it or not, there are more reasons to get a business credit card than not to. The only reason not to get one is if you are afraid you might be irresponsible with it. In that case, you shouldn’t get one. Business credit cards come with higher spending limits than consumer cards and tools that can aid in accounting. Business credit cards can be a first line of financing options for those entrepreneurs that don’t qualify for a business loan.

  • Simplify Your Accounting

    Having credit cards that are dedicated to your business can help you keep track of business expenses. They can help you see when and where you spend your money. There’s no need to sift through receipts and calculate what you use your business card for, it will already be totaled for you at the end of the year. Your credit card statements serve as an additional consolidated set of receipts for all your business purchases.

    You can also get additional cards for employees to help monitor and control their spending. Not to mention, many business credit cards come with tools that can help you see where the money goes with visually aids, like pie charts.

  • Access Working Capital

    Many businesses have peak and slow seasons. Small business credit cards are great for survival during slow times. There may be a change in the market or the economy that can slow business, and during these times your credit cards can give you the working capital to stay afloat.

  • Separate Business and Personal Expenses

    Be sure to use your business accounts strictly for business. This can help with accounting, so any personal expenses are not mucking up your business statements. Once your business credit is established, it can keep your debt to credit ratio from being affected in your personal accounts if you need to carry a balance for business expenses.

  • Build Your Business Credit

    Getting a small business credit card is one of the best ways to begin to establish the financial health of your business in the eyes of creditors. You need to establish your business credit before you can think of applying for a business loan. Obtaining a business loan or having several significant lines of credit can be vital in helping to maintain and grow your business.

  • Higher Credit Limit

    Traditionally business credit cards will afford higher limits than personal cards. Banks know businesses have more spending needs than average consumers. The better your business credit is, the more lines of credit your business can gain access to. Also, you’re business will get better payment terms and interest rates. To grow your business, you will need to reinvest in it. The more you put into your business, the more you will get out of it.

  • Sign-Up Bonuses

    Sign-up and welcome bonuses are just icing on the cake. These are rewards you get when you open a new credit card account. When establishing your business credit, it is optimal to have several cards. This means you’ll be eligible for quite a few bonuses as well. Use these to reinvest in your business or help cover some of your travel needs.

  • Category Spending Bonuses

    Small business cards usually have category spending bonuses in areas that are business friendly, such as office supplies. Some cards offer spending bonuses as high as 10 percent. Different cards may have different bonus categories, like shipping, advertising, internet/cable and phone services.

  • Business Travel Perks

    Business credit cards can offer a lot more than just higher credit limits and easy-to-use budgeting apps. Many of them have great benefits that cater to business travelers, including complimentary airport lounge access. You won’t have to waste time at the airport anymore with all the business-related amenities offered in these lounges, such as quite work spaces, printers, fax machines and free high-speed internet. And if you need a break, there are always plenty of complimentary snacks and beverages.

    You can even get elite status with hotel loyal programs if you have the right card. Not only can status make your trips more comfortable, but it can also make them more productive. Elite perks vary by hotel and status level, but they can include free nights, early check-in and late check out, access to hotel lounges and business centers and more.

  • Rewards

    Business owners spend a lot more on their credit cards than consumers. That is also means there are more rewards to be had. Although most business owners have more important reasons for obtaining credit cards, the rewards can be extremely significant. That’s especially true when you compare what the average business person spends compared to the average consumer. When starting your business, every penny counts. Earning points, miles or cash back for business expenses is a good way to get some immediate return on investment.

  • Security

    Many business credit cards have increased protections in several areas which can offer a new business owner some much needed peace of mind. Credit cards can offer insurance, price protection, extended warranties and even protection against losses due to theft or damage.

    For instance, if you use the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card to pay your cell phone bill you can get up to $600 dollars in coverage in case of the loss or theft of your cell phone. This benefit has a $100 deductible but is good for up to 3 claims per year. When you are dealing with commercial equipment or supplies with high price tags, having these additional security measures in place can help ease the stress.

Nine Tips for Building Business Credit

Building your business credit is extremely important for the long term health of your business. Not to mention that the better the credit, the better the rates and rewards. The more you get back, the more you will have to put in. Don’t let the growth of your business be limited. Reinvesting in your business is vital to its growth. The better your personal and business credit, the more lending options you’ll have, and you’ll get better interest rates.

  • Incorporate or Form an LLC

    To truly make a business separate from your personal life, you should incorporate or form an LLC. If you are working as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, your business credit will be more closely tied to your personal credit. An LLC or corporation will give you more separation from your personal life and less liability as well. Not to mention, it is the only way to get a business loan, otherwise you will get a personal loan if you need one.

  • Obtain an EIN

    Getting an EIN (Employer Identification Number) is imperative. This is basically a Social Security number for your business. You can obtain this directly from the IRS website. You will need this for several reasons. You will need an EIN to open a business bank account in the name of your business. You will also use the EIN for IRS purposes. Some larger businesses may require their suppliers to have an EIN for their tax purposes. It also helps keep your personal Social Security number from over exposure.

  • Open a Business Bank Account

    Once you have an EIN you can then open a business bank account in the legal name of your business. Be sure to use this account or your small business credit card for all your business transactions to keep your personal and business finances separate. This also helps to ease the accounting burden.

  • Set Up a Dedicated Business Phone Numbe

    Even if you don’t think you need it, having a dedicated business line legitimizes your business in the eyes of creditors. It can be a landline, cell phone or a VoIP as long as it is in the legal name of the business. Also, be sure to list this number so it can be found by others.

  • Open a Business Credit File

    The most well-known business credit reporting agency is Dun and Bradstreet, but there are also other credit bureaus that may be more familiar to you that provide credit reports for businesses, such as Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Starting a business credit profile is easier than you think, once you have completed the steps above, just call or visit their website and provide the required information. When you open a Dun and Bradstreet credit file your company will be assigned a nine-character number. This number may be requested by financial institutions when requesting a loan for your business.

  • File Your Taxes

    If you don’t, that will mean you are not in compliance with the IRS, which can leave a negative impact on your credit score. You will also need your taxes to prove your income. If you owe taxes but cannot yet afford to pay them, set up a payment plan with the IRS to avoid them placing a lien on your business. This can negatively affect your credit score. It is simple to do and you can make small payments, in some cases as low as $34 a month.

  • Get Business Charge Cards

    Unlike credit cards, charge cards require you to pay off the balance every month. For business owners, there are a lot of advantages to having charge cards in addition to credit cards. With a charge card, you can essentially carry a balance for one billing cycle without interest. This gives you extra time to collect payments from your clients while still being able to pay your bills on time.

    Business charge cards also typically have much higher credit limits than credit cards. That’s because charge cards aren’t as big of a risk for a bank. While you can’t carry a balance over several months, it does give you a billing cycle to gather the cash needed to pay off your bill.

    The more lines of credit you have in good standing, the higher your credit limits will go. This also improves your business’s standing with the banks and allows you to get higher limits on your credit cards. American Express has cornered the market on business charge cards, so look for that issuer if you’re interested in going this route.

  • Establish Credit with Vendors and Suppliers

    If possible, set up lines of credit with vendors or suppliers. Not all of them report to the credit bureaus. You can request that they report your payment history to the credit bureaus. You can also provide the credit bureaus their information directly via a trade reference sheet. This basically just lists the names, contact information and credit limits of vendors and suppliers.

  • Pay Your Bills on Time

    Be sure to pay your bills in a timely manner. While it is more likely for a business to carry a balance on credit cards than an individual, be sure to meet your minimum payments and pay bills in their entity when possible. Late payments have the same negative affect on business credit as personal credit.

FAQs

If you need some more information or have some questions swirling in your head, check out Frequently Asked Question or ask your own.

  • Getting a business credit card is easy. Find the business credit card you like best and apply online for it just as you would a personal credit card. An EIN (Employee Identification Number) is not necessary. You can apply for a small business credit card with a Social Security number.

    Getting a business credit card approval is usually as easy as one for a consumer credit card. Of course, the eligibility will be based on your personal credit history. It is not necessary to have a big business or a storefront. In most cases you will not even be asked for any proof of your business. So, if your small starter business has humble beginnings, getting a business credit card isn’t just an option, it is a necessity.

  • When doing a business credit card reward comparison, there are many things that are subjective to you and your business. Like what the needs of your business are and how you want to use your rewards. I recommend having several cards that you may use for different purposes in order to maximize rewards.

    Having several business credit cards also helps build the business’s credit while extending your credit line. And while paying an annual fee can be well worth it when it comes to business perks and rewards, I recommend having at least two no annual fee business credit cards to start because they will be easy to maintain long term. That will bode well for your credit age which is responsible for 10 percent of your credit score.

    Let’s face it, you may have to carry balances from time to time and some may be significant. Extending your credit limits will be good for your credit utilization which can be responsible for determining your credit score.

    You may need to have a card that focuses on frequent flyer points or airmiles to use for things related to travel. If you are purchasing office supplies, you should use a card with a category spending bonus in that area. If you are buying expensive equipment, you should probably use a card that offers the best purchase protection. And so forth and so on. You get the points, no pun intended.

    On the other hand, you will probably want to keep any balances confined to your business credit card with the highest limit or lowest APR. Keep in mind that paying interest easily takes away from the value of rewards. You also don’t want to carry a balance of more than 30 percent of the limit on any card as that would not be in the best interest of your credit score

    Consider skipping rewards and looking for low interest or 0% introductory interest instead. Many business cards with the best rewards may not have the best interest rates, so if you will be carrying a significant balance, it may be something to consider.

  • While you can probably get a business card without actually owning a business, I wouldn’t recommend it. However, I would say it is worth having a small side business just to get access to these cards. Maybe you already buy and sell stuff on ebay or sell crafts on Etsy? You do not have to have a large business to qualify. You can apply with just your Social Security number.

    Considering business cards opens up a whole new line of sign-up bonuses, especially if you are an avid traveler or reward seeker and have already run through most other reward card bonuses. Having your own business can help get around some bank restrictions. Amex only allows four personal cards, but you can get an unlimited amount of business and charge cards.

    Just as with consumer credit cards, there are all types of business credit cards as well. There are general spending cards, and then there are also co-branded hotel and airline cards. There are different cards that will reward you for different things. If you have a reward strategy for your personal spending, you should have a similar strategy for maximizing credit card rewards for your business as well.

  • If you are considering opening a business, it is a good idea to have your personal credit in order first. Your score should be good or better. For the success of your business, it is really important to have access to credit. You may need start-up help, capital for slow seasons or monies to make investments to grow your business.

    If you have fair or bad credit, you should take steps to improve your credit immediately. Although business and personal credit can be separated, during the initial phases of building your business’s credit, you will be judged by your personal credit score. Even if you establish a credit file strictly for your business, in some circumstances, like when applying for a business loan, you may be asked to sign a personal guarantee.

    Unlike consumer credit cards, business credit cards are not covered under the Credit Card Act of 2009. This makes some practices that they changed in the consumer credit card arena still possible with business credit cards. However, it is possible to get credit cards with almost any type of credit. If you have not yet established your business credit, you won’t be eligible for the best small business credit cards unless you have good personal credit.

  • In this aspect, business cards do not differ much from personal credit cards. When opening a new business credit card account you may see offers for 0% introductory APR or ongoing low interest rates. Some cards also offer 0% APR for balance transfers. There are also many good sign-up bonuses to be had, some are as high as 80,000 points. You may also find cards with better rewards, but they may also come with higher interest rates.

    Although you should have at least one or two no annual fee business cards, paying the fee can be worth it for the increased benefits. There are many business credit cards that have travel rewards that outshine some consumer airline miles cards. If you go overseas or use foreign suppliers often, be sure to get a card with no foreign transaction fees and a chip. One of the major differences you will see between business and personal credit cards is that business cards will have higher spending limits as banks know business owners may have more spending needs.

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