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Best Small Business Credit Card 2020 [Bad Credit Ok]

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor

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Best Business Credit Cards: Overview

Credit Card Ideal For Editor’s Rating
Our Top Pick for 2020

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Cash Back for Small Businesses
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business Cash Back Rewards

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Editor’s Rating

Credit Score Required:

Good to Excellent

Our Review

The Ink Business Cash Credit Card has a lot to offer to small business owners. Easily earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend on various business purchases like office supplies and internet, phone, and cable services. There’s also 2% cash back on the first $25,000 from combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back for all other purchases. On top of that, you can also earn an extra $500 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of your membership.

What We Like

No annual fee

5% cash back on the first $25,000 for office supply stores, internet bills, along with phone and cable services

Get a $500 bonus after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Editor’s Rating

Credit Score Required:

Good to Excellent

Our Review

It’s hard to run a business – but the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card makes it a bit easier. This card offers great rates and cash back rewards, so you can keep your business running. The cash-back rewards are especially appealing for businesses that need to squeeze every penny.

What We Like

Get a $500 one-time bonus after spending $4,500 on the card in your first three months

Great cash back rate – 2% on all purchases

No annual fee for the first year, $95 per year after the first

Best Business Credit Card Features

Small Businesses have been steadily increasing their use of credit cards in recent years as the range of benefits associated with them increases. Many lenders have entered the business credit card market to help small businesses find payment and funding solutions for their companies.

If you own or operate a small business, you may be looking to get a business credit card to help you or your staff pay for company related items. It’s a great way to be able to keep track of costs without having to offer reimbursements to yourself or your staff. In addition, it doesn’t count against the credit report of you or your employees, so your business performance doesn’t risk leaking into your personal finances. Lenders have been increasingly offering competitive deals to entice small business owners into applying for their credit cards.

You should make sure to be fully aware of the best options available to you. Getting the most out of your business credit card will require you to choose one of the best cards on the market. There are a range of different options available to you as a small business owner.

In this article, we will overview what you should look for if you’re trying to find the best business credit card available. The article will also take a look at the various advantages and disadvantages of having a credit card for your business.

Best Small Business Credit Cards

What to Look For

When deciding on a business credit card you should look at the following factors before deciding which card suits your business best: personal liability protection, billing protection, interest rates, and additional benefits.

  • Personal Liability Protection – Unfortunately, some credit card providers will attempt to make you personally liable for the credit performance of the business card. This means that if you default on payments, or don’t pay certain bills on time, it could impact your personal liability. If you want to make sure the performance of your small business is separate from your personal life you will want to make sure that you don’t have a lender that will enforce you to tie your personal credit report to your business card.
  • Billing Protection – When you decide on which business credit card to opt for you should take a close look at the billing protections they afford you. Consumer credit cards often offer various services to those who may need to contest charges and other forms of billing, but business credit cards have less of a track record for this. Make sure the terms and conditions ensure you won’t be exposed to paying for fraudulent charges.
  • Interest Rates – Like any credit card, you want to make sure the business card you choose has the lowest interest rates possible. Since business cycles will end up meaning that you inevitably carry balances on your credit card, it is important you use a card with as low of a rate as possible. Business cards have notoriously high interest rates, make sure to research the lowest possible ones. So you won’t find any 0% credit cards in this category.
  • Additional Benefits – Like consumer credit cards, lenders often offer various sign up bonuses or rewards incentives for business credit cards. The best cash back credit cards can help your small business recoup some of its spending – make sure to check it out various offers before making a decision.

Advantages

Business credit cards are a great way to help bridge gaps in cash flow that your small business may have. In addition, they’re the perfect way to make sure that you and you employees don’t have to be reimbursed for business related costs. It can help you separate your personal financial situation from your business. You want to make sure that you don’t expose yourself to potential business related financial issues – and a business credit card is a great option. In addition, they’re relatively easy to apply for when compared to other forms of business credit.

Disadvantages

Business credit cards have higher interest rates than many other forms of credit – this is because they are unsecured and don’t require as long of an application process. This can prove to be costly for your business in the long term, especially if you carry a large balance. In addition, you open yourself up to potential fraudulent charges by staff. If you give a business card to an employee and they decide to rack up the bill, it can be hard to get the money back from the lender. Make sure that you trust yourself and your staff to use the card responsibly. Big purchases that will take time to pay off may be better for a different type of finance, such as a traditional small business loan.

Authorized Users

You shouldn’t sign up for a card that does not allow authorized users. This is one of the best parts about having a business credit card for your business. Having staff and other business directors with business credit cards can help improve your operations. Having an authorized user is a fairly normal function of a modern business credit card.

Lenders that don’t offer this type of usage should be avoided. Even if you don’t think that you need an authorized user now, there is a high chance that your small business might need one in the future. This is especially true if your business continues to expand. You don’t want to have the hassle of having to apply for a new credit card in the future because your current lender doesn’t provide you with the features that you need.

Keep in mind that you will in most cases be liable for what your staff use the credit card for, so make sure that you only provide them to members of your team that you feel you can trust.

Aim for a High Limit

If you do decide to get a business credit card, you should aim to get as high of a limit as possible. One of the primary reasons business credit cards are so useful is because they can help you pay for things during an emergency. Having a high limit means that you will never have to worry about paying for an expense or taking advantage of an opportunity at short notice.

The best business credit cards typically have high limits attached to them. Of course, this will depend on the amount of money that your business makes. As long as you are a responsible business owner, having a high limit should not be an issue for your business. Remember, you don’t have to pay interest on what you don’t borrow and you don’t have to pay a higher annual fee just because you have a higher limit.

Make Sure Your Small Business is Protected

Using a credit card for your small business can help you protect against fraud. The best credit cards on the market offer a range of different fraud protection functions. The most important of these features is the zero-liability clause that is often present in many credit cards. It means that should someone make a payment on your card that is not authorized, or should something fraudulent happen to your account, you will in no way be responsible.

If you use other forms of payment you could be opening yourself up to fraud. For example, if you have a debit card attached to your business card and someone is able to steal it and drain your business account, you might not have access to your funds for a prolonged period of time. For certain types of businesses, this can be completely devastating. You don’t want to put the health of your company at risk by opening it up to fraudulent activity.

Using Your Business Bank is No Longer as Important

Traditionally, small businesses have tried to keep all their financing and banking in the same location. It makes the entire process seem easier if it’s all situated under one roof. But with modern technology, this is no longer as true. You can use credit cards from separate banks or lenders without having to worry about overcomplicating your financial arrangements.

You can set up automatic payments and transfer funds within a day, you won’t have to worry about missing payments or damaging your businesses credit score. This is an awesome advancement as it means you don’t have to be restricted to your bank’s lending products. If you really like your bank and want to have your accounts with them, you can still access cards from other lenders with ease. This means that you can easily access all the best business credit cards no matter who you bank with.

Old Vs. New Business

The application process will differ depending on the type of small business that you have. If you are just starting a new business and you want to get a credit card to help you pay for your expenses, you might have to offer up your personal credit score to help the bank determine if you are a responsible borrower. This means that you should ensure that your personal credit score is up to scratch before you make an application. You don’t want your small business to have a rejected credit card application if it can be avoided.

For small businesses that have been operating for a while, the landscape is slightly different. Lenders will typically ask you for your business credit score – this is a combination of your payment information and reliability record. If you’re a business that hasn’t had any problems, you probably won’t have any issue getting a business credit card for your business. This is especially true if you have had one in the past. Expect lenders to ask you for income data and information about the health of your business – just because you have a good business credit score doesn’t mean that you are a viable borrower.

Application Process

As a small business owner, you’re probably extremely consumed with time commitments. Heading to the bank and applying for a new credit card may seem like something you don’t have the time or energy to do – especially because banks are only open in office hours. Fortunately, you can apply for a business credit card online just as easily as you can apply for a normal credit card. The application process will take you less than half an hour.

You can submit all your personal and business information directly through the lenders online portal. You can also upload earnings and income information directly through the internet. Many small businesses will be able to receive an instant decision. Those with more complex businesses may have to wait for their documents to be reviewed by the lender.

Either way, the process is much more streamlined and means that you won’t ever have to leave the comfort of your office to get the application sorted out.

Verdict

Business credit cards are used by millions of Americans every year to help bridge gaps in cash flow. They also take the head ache out of paying for various business related expenses. It is important to consider the four different factors we outlined in this article prior to making a decision on the best business card to opt for. It’s also important to make sure that you get the best possible business credit card for your small business. As with any decision in your business, making the right choices is crucial to the success of your firm. Negligent business owners don’t last long in the competitive world of modern commerce.

Considering you own and operate a small business, you’re probably very time poor. That’s why we’ve created a list of the best business credit cards currently available to business owners in the United States. Instead of spending hours researching yourself, check out some of our top picks for business cards. We take into consideration every factor that makes a credit card viable for a business. Choose the one that you find is most suitable for your company.

Make sure to have all the information you need for your application ready to go before you start the process. Each lender will require different business related documentation, so make sure that you’re able to provide required documents before you apply!

FAQs

These are the most asked questions about credit cards for small businesses. Topics include the basic concepts of business credit cards, how to use them, and how they differ from personal credit cards. This section will also shed a light on the process of getting a business credit card and how to take advantage of this powerful financial tool.

Getting Started with Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards are a lot like personal credit cards. Both offer the holder a line of credit that increases their purchasing power. But business credit cards have slight differences that make them more advantageous for individuals who have a business or plan on establishing one.

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What is the difference between a personal credit card and a business credit card?

Personal credit cards are intended to be used personal expenses. Business credit cards, on the other hand, are used for expenses that will keep a business running or help it expand. Business credit cards have higher credit limits than personal credit cards, but they also have higher interest rates.

What can I use my business credit card for?

It can be used by business owners and their employees to purchase equipment, supplies, subscriptions, or virtually anything that the business will need to operate. If you travel for business then look at the best credit card for car rental insurance.

How to use business credit card?

Like personal credit cards, a business credit card comes at a cost and should be used responsibly. Never spend over the credit limit and pay the dues on time or earlier.

Who can apply for business credit card?

Almost anyone who has a business can apply for a business credit card, even those who don’t have a traditional physical store. If you have any business-related and profit-making activity, like doing freelance work and selling goods online, you can sign up for one.

Can I apply for a business credit card?

If you have a business and have registered it legally, you can already apply for a business credit card. The bank will check your credit status if you are eligible. Take a look at credit cards no foreign transaction fee required if you will be traveling for business much.

Can you get a business credit card with bad credit?

Yes. There are business credit cards offered specifically for individuals with bad personal credit. But the options are limited. You’re more likely to find personal credit cards for bad credit.

How to get a business credit card with no credit history?

It can be very difficult. You can opt for a secured credit card, which would require a cash deposit to be used as collateral by the issuing bank. You can also ask a business partner with good credit history to get a business credit card and name you as an authorized user.

Is business credit and personal credit the same?

Both have the same concept, but business credit is separate from your personal credit. It has its own set of rules and reporting to different credit bureaus or agencies.

Can business debt affect personal credit?

Yes, it can. But if you incorporate your business by setting it up as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC), it will protect your personal assets if your business gets into financial trouble.

Do business credit cards show on personal credit report?

Generally, it will not. But there are some credit card issuers that will submit your business card activity to personal credit bureaus. Find out to which credit bureaus your business credit card issuer report to.

How does a business credit card affect personal credit?

If your business credit card issuer reports card activity to consumer credit bureau, it may reflect on your personal credit—good or bad.

How to get business credit card off personal credit score?

If your business is new, your personal credit score and history will most likely be the primary indicator of the chances of getting approved for a business credit card. Having a good personal credit score may make it easier to secure a business credit card. There are also credit cards for average credit.

What is the best credit card for business?

It depends. You should take into consideration the cost of owing one (interest rate, annual fee), the rewards you can get (travel perks, cash back, reward points) and how will those satisfy the needs of your business. Definitely compare credit cards before committing to the first one you find.

What is the best credit card for small business?

If your business is just starting, look for credit cards that offer 0% annual percentage rate (APR) or low interest rate. This will help if you will expect to carry balance from month to month. But if you can pay in full monthly, a card with a big sign-up bonus and rewards is better.

What is the easiest business credit card to get?

Generally, getting a business credit card is easy compared to personal credit cards, especially if you have an established business or have good personal credit score. If your scores are low or don’t have credit history, applying for a secured business credit card will be a safer option.

Applying for a Business Credit Card

Now that you know the basics about business credit cards, here are the things you need to know about applying for one. It may sound intimidating, but getting a business credit card is surprisingly easy.

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How to sign up for a business credit card?

Signing up for a business credit card is like applying for a personal credit card and can be done online. There are numerous choices out there, choose the one that will best serve your business.

How to open business credit card?

Once you have selected the business credit card that suits your business needs, you should submit an application. This can also be done online.

What do you need to apply for a business credit card?

The credit card issuers generally ask you to provide the following about your business: Its legal name, contact information, industry type, business entity or legal structure (Corporation, LLC, etc.), years in business, number of employees, annual business revenue and monthly estimated expenses, and the EIN or Federal Tax ID.

They will also ask for personal information like: Total annual income, legal name, contact information, and social security number. Also you will need a good credit score or else you need to look at poor credit cards instead.

How to qualify for a business credit card?

If you already own a legal business or starting a new one, you can qualify for a business credit card. If you are earning income from providing services, working as an independent contractor, or selling goods, you can also be eligible to apply for a business credit card. Take a look at the best credit card offers right now.

How to get approved for a business credit card?

Make sure to review your application to make sure everything is complete and correct, read and accept the terms and conditions, and submit your application. Approval is generally fast if you have all the requirements. You might want to check out the best signup bonus credit cards too.

How to get a business credit card for a new business?

First, you need to register your business or incorporate it (as a corporation, LLC, etc.) for banks to see it as a legal business entity and become eligible to apply for business credit cards.

How do I get business credit?

After incorporating your business, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the business equivalent of a Social Security Number. This will be used when opening business bank accounts and applying for business loans.

How to apply for business credit card for an LLC?

After incorporating your business to a limited liability company (LLC) you need to sign up to the business credit card issuer of your choice and submit all the requirements.

How do you build credit for an LLC?

You need to get an EIN for your LLC and apply for lines of credit under it. When you pay these lines regularly and on time, your business will eventually build good credit. Also check out the best card to build credit.

How do I build credit with an EIN?

Once you have established your business credit, improve your scores by applying for credit cards or loans and paying them in full and on time.

How can I build my business credit fast?

The following methods will help build business credit fast: use business credit cards that only report to business credit bureaus, utilize vendor lines of credit, acquire retail business card accounts, and obtain company gas cards.

How to get a business credit card with EIN only?

Getting a business credit card using your EIN only limits your choices to the following: corporate credit cards, gas cards, and prepaid business credit cards.

How do you check your business credit score?

Knowing your business credit scores is important in keeping your business healthy. Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax Business and Experian Business are the major business credit bureaus. But to get their full report on your credit, you may need to fork out some cash. 

How soon can I get a business credit card with a new corporation?

You may apply for a business credit cards as soon as you have all the requirements. But the probability of your application getting approved may differ. Compare the best credit card for travel benefits if you’re business involves a lot of travel.

Which business credit cards do not report personal credit?

Banks like Capital One, Discover, Chase, US Bank and American Express report your business credit card activity to personal credit bureaus. But the extent of their reporting and the conditions of when they report business card usage vary for each bank. 

How to get a business credit card with bad personal credit?

Your best bet would be to apply for a secured business credit card which are the best credit cards for first time borrowers. It will require a security deposit that serves as your credit line. Your secured credit card activity will be reported to business credit bureaus, which in turn will help build your business credit if you pay on time. 

How to apply for a business credit card without a business?

You can register as a sole proprietorship which doesn’t need an EIN when applying for a business credit card. You’ll use your Social Security Number instead. But be warned, sole proprietorship does not separate the business from the owner. At first your business won’t have credit history but you can still apply for unsecured credit cards for no credit.

How to get business credit card without personal guarantee?

If you have a good track record (solid payment history and low debt-to-credit ratio) with the bank you are applying to, they may waive the personal guarantee. Getting unsecured credit cards usually requires some credit history though.

How to fill out a business credit card application?

Filling out an application is very straightforward. Just make sure you have all the information about your business and yourself on hand. Also make sure that you already know what type of business card you are wanting when you apply for credit card online.

How to get a business credit card without using personal credit?

If you’re business already has a good credit history, banks will sometimes waive using your personal credit score as a requirement. For newer businesses, you can look for business credit cards that accept low personal credit scores or apply for a secured business credit card, which only requires a deposit. You can also take a look at the best credit card for fair credit if your personal score is lower.

How to get an unsecured business credit card?

Banks will more likely approve unsecured business credit card applicants if they have very good personal credit, spent a long time in the business, and have high revenue. If your credit is poor consider some of the best secured credit cards instead. Or look at the best unsecured credit cards to rebuild credit if credit score is an issue.

How long does it take to get approved for a business credit card?

These days, it’s almost instantaneous, especially if you apply online. Just make sure the information you submit is complete and correct. You can even get pre approval for credit cards if your score is good enough.

How to get a high limit business credit card?
Having exceptional credit score is the surefire way of securing a business credit card with higher credit limits. The higher credit score you have, the higher credit limit banks will be willing to give you.

Getting the Most Out of Your Business Credit Card

Now that you are a proud owner of a business credit card, learn the intricacies of using this tool to take full advantage of the rewards that comes with it.

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What are the benefits of a business credit card?

Business credit cards will help separate an individual’s personal expenses from business spending. Business credit cards also have higher credit limits, thus providing more financial flexibility to a business owner than personal credit cards.

How to choose a business credit card?

Choose a credit card that has benefits that is appropriate to the type of business you do. If your business requires you to buy supplies regularly, a card with cash back benefits will be worth it. IF your business involves a lot of traveling, credit cards with airline miles will be valuable. If you already have a card and are looking to move to a new one then consider zero balance transfer fee credit cards.

What is the best business credit card for cash back?

The more popular choices are Chase’s Ink Business Cash Credit Card and Capital One’s Spark Cash Select for Business. Both offer hefty welcome bonuses and 0% APR. You can also enjoy up to 5% cash back depending on where the purchase is made.

What is the best business credit card for airline miles?

Capital One’s Spark Miles credit card offers twice the miles that can be earned for every purchase, while Bank of America’s Business Advantage Travel Rewards offers an additional 1.5 points per dollar spent on other purchases. Take a look at current airline credit card deals. Also look at credit cards that have travel insurance if this is a perk that you will appreciate.

How to maximize the benefit of points on business credit card?

Signing up for new credit cards and meeting the minimum spending requirements are the easiest way to amass points. Using your credit card as much as possible for your business expenditures will also make it easier to hit the spending marks and earn those points.

What is the 5/24 rule?

It refers to the restriction on getting a new rewards-earning card if you have opened five or more credit card accounts from any bank in the past 24 months. This rule also applies to individuals with good credit scores. You can most likely still look at the easiest department store credit card to get if you’re finding it difficult to get other types of cards.

Can a corporate card improve your credit?

Yes, responsible usage of corporate credit cards can help improve an individual’s personal credit. Similarly, carelessly using a corporate card can negatively affect a person’s credit score.

How to link Paypal with business credit card?

You need to create a Paypal account first. After that, go to “Profile and Setting”, click “My Money” and select “+Link a new card”. Fill in the details needed and click save. You may be asked to confirm your business credit card first before it may be used with Paypal.

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks

Financial Advisor - Personalloan.co

Michelle is part of our expert team of financial advisors with a proven track record in the credit card industry. After graduating with an Economics Degree focusing on Personal Finance, she got involved with several credit and debt counseling startups.