Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2019

Small business credit cards offer easy access to credit along with excellent rewards. The top offers come with significant signup bonuses and fraud protection. Here are the best business credit cards of 2019

Since launching my own small business in 2007, I’ve used a business credit card. While some entrepreneurs choose not to use a business card, I’ve always found it a good choice for several reasons.

For one thing, using a separate business credit card makes keeping my business expenses separate from my personal expenses a snap. Whether your business has loads of expenses or only a few, good bookkeeping is essential. Getting into the habit of charging all business-related expenses to a separate business credit card early on streamlines bookkeeping and makes tax time easier.

There’s an argument to be made, of course, for simply using a separate personal credit card for business expenses. And some solopreneurs go this route. The one major advantage to using a business credit card, however, is that it allows you to build your business’s credit. If there comes a point when you need a small business loan to expand, you’ll need this credit ready and waiting.

One final reason to consider using a business card is that it’s easier to share expenses safely. You can quickly give your partner or employees access to the company’s money through the card. And individual card-level expense tracking means you know who is spending money on what at any given time.

Business credit cards do have some caveats, which we’ll talk about below. But, first, let’s discuss our top business credit card picks for 2019.

Best Business Credit Cards for 2019

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

The Chase Ink line has been very popular among business owners, and with good reason. These cards are easy to use and offer great rewards. The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card is a great card for smaller businesses looking for excellent rewards with a simple cash back structure. You can also scale it up as you start spending more for your business. It offers flexible rewards, and rewards can be redeemed in a myriad of ways.

It offers the following benefits:

  • Signup Bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5% Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • 2% Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Intro APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No Annual Fee

With all Chase Ink options, you can redeem rewards in several different ways. You can use cash to offset spending right away, or you can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards program to buy travel tickets, hotel stays, gift cards, or other items.

The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card is an excellent card for business owners with good credit who won’t spend enough to outstrip the annual fee of the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card (see below). It offers great cash back on spending categories typically used by business owners, as well.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

As you can see, we like the Chase Ink line here at allCards. The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a bit different from the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card above, but offers some excellent rewards. This can be a good card if you’re a big spender for your business, especially in certain categories. This card does have an annual fee, but it makes up for that fee with great rewards, including the following:

  • Signup Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Bonus Points worth $1,000 toward travel redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3X Points Reward: Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • 1X Points Reward: Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

As with other Chase cards, this one gives you a variety of options for redeeming points, including travel, cash back, gift cards, and more.

If you have great credit and spend big for your business, this is a great card to consider. Although it has a $95 annual fee, the signup bonus alone is worth $1,000 in travel. That bonus makes the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card one of the most lucrative rewards cards available today.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

A low-fee card with good rewards, this is a great general-purpose credit card for your small business. It offers a flat 2% cash back across all spending categories, which makes it excellent for everyday use. If you spend a little here and a little there for your business, you won’t have to worry about which categories are earning you a bonus, or keep track of rotating categories.

Other benefits of the Capital One Spark Cash card include:

  • 2% Cash Back: Earn 2% cash back on all purchases. This is one of the few credit cards offering 2% in rewards
  • Welcome Bonus #1: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account
  • Welcome Bonus #2: Earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months. Limited Time Offer
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend

If you’re interested in using a business credit card for its overall benefits, but you don’t want to play the credit card game of netting the best cash back benefits on individual categories, this is a great option.

You’ll find more details on this and similar business cards on this page.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

The third Chase Ink card is the Chase Ink Business Unlimited. It’s the newest business credit card in the lineup. It offers a $500 signup bonus and 1.5% cash back, all with no annual fee.

It offers the following benefits:

  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No Annual Fee

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited is an excellent card for business owners looking for cash rewards without the annual fee.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,700 participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels worldwide.
  • Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary.
  • Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Terms Apply 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Annual Bonus: Earn 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2X Rewards: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1X Rewards: Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn points on employee spending
  • No blackout dates when you redeem points, no seat restrictions, bags fly free®, and no change fees
  • No foreign transaction fees

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card and similar credit cards.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 200,000 miles.
    • Earn a bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account
    • Earn 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months. Limited Time Offer
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • There’s no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • Redeem miles for travel, cash back, gift cards and more
  • No foreign transaction fees and fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earning unlimited 1.5% cash back
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months
  • No annual fee
  • Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • There’s no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Special offer: save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent at wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • Earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • With Expanded Buying Power you can spend beyond your credit limit* to make bigger purchases for your business plus earn cash back on those purchases too
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors
  • Terms apply

The Plum Card® from American Express

  • Early Payoff Discount: Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
  • Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest, if you pay your minimum due.
  • Additional Employee Cards at no annual fee – and an early pay discount on employee spending.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $250
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply.

American Express Business Gold Card

  • REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month (applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year).*
  • BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Get up to 1 year free on subscriptions to both G Suite Basic for up to 3 users and ZipRecruiter Standard, a combined value up to $3,188.*
  • A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • Connect to Quickbooks, access SpendManager?, receive a Year-End Summary, and more.*
  • Add EMPLOYEE CARDS with a no annual fee option. Earn rewards on employee purchases and track employee expenses with spending limits, alerts, and summary reports.*
  • *Terms Apply

Hilton Honors American Express Business Credit Card

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
  • Earn 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases
  • Earn 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
  • Enjoy complimentary Gold status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your card in the same calendar year.
  • Enjoy 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass(TM) Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
  • Terms apply.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
  • $100 Bonus: Earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Rewards:
    • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
    • Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag for free and save up to $50 on a round trip Delta flight.
  • Priority Boarding.
  • Get 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit with the American Express Delta Card.
  • Miles don’t expire.
  • Terms and limitations apply

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
    • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000
    • Earn 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of card membership.
  • Rewards:
    • Get 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
    • Get 50% more Membership Rewards points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.
  • 1 million additional points per year:
    • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
    • Get 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • Get access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply

Capital One Spark Classic for Business

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase
  • Build business credit with responsible use
  • Fraud coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Year-End Summaries and employee cards at no extra cost

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Limited Time Offer:  Earn 10,000 extra Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 9/26/2018.
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Special offer: save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent at wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • Earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • With Expanded Buying Power you can spend beyond your credit limit* to make bigger purchases for your business plus earn cash back on those purchases too
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors
  • Terms apply

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 15,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 15,000 bonus miles after you reach $30,000 in eligible purchases on your card in the calendar year.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club(R) Access.
  • Terms and limitations apply

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months.
  • $50 Bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
  • Rewards: Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Priority Boarding and enjoy 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit when you use your American Express Delta Card.
  • No foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and limitations apply

Choosing the Best Card for Your Business

These are just the top 20 business credit cards of 2019 as we see them. We’ve vetted most of the major players available right now, and these cards offer plenty of variety for different types of businesses. However, choosing between them can be difficult.

When you’re looking at this – or any – list of business credit card options, it’s important to consider your business’s actual spending and expected spending for the coming year. If you don’t spend enough to justify a high annual fee, cross those cards off the list. Also, if you’re looking to finance a big-ticket purchase, check out the cards with the 0% introductory APR option.

Each of these cards has unique perks and benefits. The key is to ensure that those benefits line up with your current and future business spending.

Business Credit Card FAQs

When it comes to business credit cards, you might have a few questions. Here are five that we get most frequently:

  • Does a business credit card offer federal consumer protections?

The short answer here is no. Business credit cards aren’t protected by federal laws like the Credit CARD Act of 2009, most of the time. This means that your APR can change without notice, and there are fewer limits on fees you can be charged. Fraud protection is also not as strong with business credit cards.

With that said, credit card companies want your business, so many have individual protections written into their business credit card contracts. It’s up to you to be informed about potential fees, fraud protection, and other issues with your business card. Look closely at the fine print before you sign up for a card, as protections vary from company to company.

  • What’s the difference between a business charge card and a business credit card?

There are two major differences between credit cards and charge cards. Charge cards, unlike credit cards, don’t have a credit limit. However, they also have to be paid in full at the end of the month, or you’ll incur a large penalty fee. With a charge card, you have to plan spending more carefully, and keep closer track of your cash flow.

Charge cards do offer some of the same cash back and travel benefits as credit cards, though many come with annual fees.

Sticking to settling all your debts on a monthly basis is a good habit for any business owner. But the inability to carry balances over from month to month at all can be prohibitive for some. If you ever suffer a tight month and can’t pay your balance in full, you’ll already have been hit with penalty fees, even if you catch up the next month.

For many business owners, it’s better to use a credit card, but simply get into the habit of paying off the balance in full each month.

  • Is a business EIN required to apply for a business card?

You can use your federal EIN – employer identification number – to apply for a business credit card, but you don’t have to. Many solopreneurs never get an EIN simply because they don’t need it. If you’re on your own and use your own social security number for other aspects of your business, you can just use that when applying for a business credit card.

Even if you do have an EIN, you may not be able to use it when first applying for a business card. The credit card company can only pull your business’s credit if your business has its own credit file as an entity separate from your personal credit file. If you’re just getting started, you’ll need time to build up your business’s credit file, which is part of the point of using a business credit card.

If you have an EIN but don’t have a credit file associated with it, the credit issuer will simply pull credit based on your social security number, which is linked with your EIN. Even if you don’t put your personal social security number on the application, the credit issuer can jump to your personal credit card file with ease.

  • Will they check my personal credit file when I apply?

The answer to the above FAQ should tell you this! The answer is yes, most of the time. This is especially true at first, when your business doesn’t have its own credit file, or doesn’t have a large enough history for a credit issuer to make a decision. Again, you can enter your EIN instead of your personal social security number. But if the business doesn’t have an adequate credit file for a decision to be made, you’ll see a hard inquiry on your personal credit file.

With that said, other business card owners have noticed that after the original inquiry, the business credit card may not be counted in your personal credit file, unless there’s a major negative to report. Once the account is up and running, most of the credit-building properties will be counted towards your business’s credit, rather than your personal credit.

With all this in mind, it’s important to take care in your business transactions, just as you would your personal interactions. Though you and your business are technically separate, there’s so much interlinking in the world of financial transactions that credit issues in either sphere can impact the other.

  • What’s my personal liability for the card’s balance?

Depending on the credit card issuer and the arrangement you sign, you may be 100% liable for the credit card’s balance. Most of the time, a credit card issuer will insist that you sign a personal guarantee. This is an agreement you make with your creditor to pay for your business’s debts if your company doesn’t. It’s almost like cosigning for yourself. If your business can’t keep up with the debts, you’ll have to pay them back personally – even if you are the sole owner and operator of the entire business.

Due to personal guarantees, creditors could go after your personal assets if you default on the loan. Even if your company is an S-corporation or Limited Liability Company, you could be on the hook personally for business credit card debts. LLC and corporation classifications shield your personal assets from certain liability situations. But when you willingly enter into a credit card arrangement and willingly make spending choices, you’re still personally liable for the debt.

Again, though, different credit card companies treat personal liability differently. It’s important to look into the fine print of your credit card contract before you sign, just to ensure you know what’s at stake.

If you get to the point where your business is more established and has deep pockets and a long credit history, you may be able to get business loans and credit cards with commercial liability. Then, the creditor couldn’t pursue your personal assets in case of failure to pay. However, most small businesses don’t have this option, and especially not when they’re just beginning to apply for business credit.

Managing Business Expenses with a Credit Card

Managing business expenses with a credit card is similar to managing personal expenses using a credit card. But there are a few additional rules. Here are my personal rules for using a business credit card, which are easy to apply to any business model:

Rule 1: Pay the balance in full each month

To get the most out of your business credit card and keep your expenses in check, pay off the full balance of your business credit card each month. This means keeping careful track of your expenses and your cash flow, to ensure you’re not overspending your ability to pay.

One potential exception to this rule is to use a 0% introductory APR deal to make a large, one-off purchase for your business. Only do this if it’s necessary, and if taking the time to save up for the one-off purchase would cost your business more in the long run. Then, budget carefully to ensure you can pay off the balance in full before your APR goes up.

Rule 2: Link the card to your accounting software

One of the key reasons I use a business credit card is to make tracking business expenses easier. Yes, you can do this by just looking over your credit card statements monthly. But you can also automate the process by simply linking your credit card to your favorite accounting software.

Rule 3: Use the card only for business expenses

This is an essential rule: don’t ever use this credit card for personal expenses. This will only get you into trouble, especially if this turns into a habit. It’s much easier to keep your expenses separate and easy-to-track by using your business card only ever for business expenses.

Rule 4: Keep your receipts

Even if you have your credit card log, keeping your receipts is essential. The IRS says to keep business receipts for purchases and expenses for at least four years. Keep a file – both digital and hard copy – to keep your receipts organized by date. And if some of your receipts are for expenses that could potentially be questioned, like restaurant expenses, jot down a note on the receipt or in its digital file about the business occasion that led to the expense.

Basics of Business Credit Card Rewards

As you can see from our top 20 list above, business credit cards come with a variety of rewards program styles. The most popular options, however, are cash back and miles rewards. You can also net purchase rewards, too, though, which give you access to gift cards and other useful items. Understanding rewards and how to use them is a key piece of choosing the best credit card for your business.

Rewards

One mistake business owners often make is choosing a business card that has a great rewards system, but they’re awarded in a way that they won’t use. So as you consider different credit card options for your business, take the time to understand how rewards are earned, and think through how you’d redeem those rewards.

We’ll discuss the most common options, and the best ways to use those rewards:

  • Travel Rewards: Travel rewards come in various flavors. Some travel cards let you rack up points to use for any travel-related purchase–from hotel stays to airline tickets to rental cars. Others only allow you to redeem points with certain providers. If you travel often for business and don’t mind always booking with one airline or hotel chain, a brand-specific card might work for you. But if you’d rather get the best possible deal on hotel and airline stays by shopping around each time you travel, look for a card with more flexible redemption policies.
  • Purchase Rewards: Some business rewards cards offer purchase rewards options. For instance, with the Chase cards listed above, you can choose to redeem your rewards in several ways. For instance, you can purchase gift cards to various retailers, shop on Amazon.com directly with your points, or redeem rewards for special experiences. Purchase rewards can be more limited, but can be a way to buy customer and employee appreciation gifts, or to order necessary office supplies using gift cards or Amazon.com points.
  • Cash Back Rewards: Cash back rewards are perhaps the easiest to use. Most major credit card companies will allow you to put cash back rewards directly towards your credit card balance. Most card companies will also allow you to get your cash back rewards transferred directly to your bank account, where you can use it for anything.
  • Sign-Up Bonuses: When considering signing up for a new credit card, be sure you check out the sign-up bonuses that are available. These bonuses can give you some extra spending power or even airline tickets right after you sign up for the new card. While you don’t want to choose a credit card based solely on a one-time bonus, it’s certainly something to take into consideration when choosing a credit card.

Interest Rates

You will, of course, want to consider a business credit card’s interest rate, even though we don’t recommend carrying a balance. Should you ever need to carry a balance for a month or two, the lower your interest rate, the better off you’ll be. When choosing a credit card for your business, here are three types of interest rates to consider:

  • 0% Balance Transfers: Are you already trying to pay down some business debt you’ve let pile up? Look for a card with a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers. This is a way to save money while you pay down the debt as quickly as you can. Just be sure you don’t use a balance transfer offer to put personal debt onto your business credit card. To pay off personal debt more quickly, check out this list of 0% APR balance transfer credit cards.
  • 0% on Purchases: Again, we don’t recommend regularly carrying a balance on your business credit card. However, if you need to make a one-time purchase of a big-ticket item, a 0% introductory APR may be the way to go. As long as you can pay down the balance before the 0% APR runs out, you can pay no interest on your large purchase. Just be sure you read the card’s fine print, as many will end the deal and hike up your interest rate if you’re even a day late on a single payment.
  • Regular APR: You’ll find a credit card’s regular APR in the fine print. These APRs are often listed as variable. The better your credit score, the lower your APR will be. If you don’t ever carry a balance, the regular APR won’t matter much in your budget. But it’s still important to know your APR before signing up for a credit card.

How to Apply for a Small Business Credit Card

Applying for a business credit card is similar to applying for a personal credit card, with a few differences. Here’s how to get started:

  • Decide whether to apply for an EIN. If you don’t already have an employer identification number (EIN), consider whether you should apply for one. It’s free to do, and is fairly simple to do online at the IRS website. If at any point you’re likely to hire employees, go ahead and apply. If you plan to keep your business to just yourself and, perhaps, your spouse, you can apply for business credit under your social security number.
  • Check your business credit file. If your business has been around for a while, it may already have a credit file. You can check on that here. If your business has a credit file, skip to step four. If not, take step three first.
  • Apply for a D-U-N-S number. This is a unique business identification number, separate from your EIN. You can actually apply for this number, and then add or change information in it on the Dun & Bradstreet site, linked above. When you first establish your business credit file, creditors will still pull your personal credit file first to check for creditworthiness.
  • Apply for a small business credit card. Business credit card applications are similar to personal credit card applications. You’ll just need to fill out all the requested information. Even if you provide an EIN, most creditors will ask for your social security number as part of your personal guarantee. Remember, this makes you personally liable for your business’s debts, which gives you even more reason to be cautious with your credit card spending.
  • Build your business’s credit. As when applying for a personal credit card, you may start off with a relatively low credit limit. You can build up your business’s credit by paying bills on time, keeping your credit card balance low, and keeping a long credit history. You can continue to visit the Dun & Bradstreet website to see your progress with your business’s credit.
  • Ask for a credit limit increase, eventually. If you may need to apply for a large business loan in the future, you would do well to continue building your credit by eventually asking for a credit limit increase. Remember, a large portion of your business’s credit rating comes down to debt vs. credit. The more credit you have available, the higher your rating. Once you’ve used a credit card wisely, you can ask for a credit limit increase.