Most card issuers require you to provide your Social Security number when applying for a business credit card. Corporate cards are the exception. You can typically get these cards using just your business’s employer identification number, or EIN.
Learn more about who qualifies for these cards and how to get a business card with only an EIN.
EIN-only business credit cards
Corporate cards are among the only business credit cards available with an EIN only. These cards are only available to incorporated businesses and often have lofty revenue and cash-on-hand requirements.
You can apply for the following corporate cards with just an EIN:
Best for: EIN-only card for smaller businesses
Ramp earns unlimited
cash back on all purchases and includes perks like spending controls, forecasting tools and automatic receipt matching. You must have at least $75,000 in a business bank account to qualify, and you must link that account to your Ramp Card when you apply. Read full review.
Best for: Startup business card with an EIN only
Brex is geared toward professionally funded startups and requires a bank balance of $50,000 to qualify ($1 million if you’re self-funded). This card carries a decent welcome bonus and the opportunity for big rewards:
Earn points on every dollar spent with industry-leading multipliers: 7x on rideshare, 4x on Brex Travel, 3x on restaurants, 2x on software subscriptions and 1x on all other transactions. Earn 3x Brex Rewards points on all eligible Apple purchases through the link or your Brex dashboard.
As a small business owner, you may wonder what the difference is between a mobile credit card processor and a full-service one, and which one is the better fit for your business. Both types of processors can set you up to accept payments using a mobile device, but there are some key differences that can affect your costs, commitment length and overall satisfaction with your account.
The biggest difference between the two is that a full-service processor sets you up with your own merchant account, while a mobile processor sets you up as a submerchant under its master merchant account.
A submerchant account is faster to set up and has minimal application requirements. There’s usually not a contract, many don’t charge any monthly or annual fees, and the processor takes care of PCI compliance – which are all good things. The downside is that mobile processors have less risk tolerance . If there’s something abnormal about your account, such as a sudden spike in your monthly processing volume, or a transaction that’s much larger than average or otherwise looks suspicious, the processor may freeze your funds or suspend your account. There are also some industries that mobile processors consider high-risk and don’t work with, so you’ll want to read the user agreement before signing up to make sure your business type is supported.
Another difference is that some mobile credit card processors, such as PayPal and Square, allow individuals to sign up for accounts, which may be useful for solopreneurs, freelancers, and very new businesses that are still getting set up and may not yet qualify for an account with a full-service processor.
Generally, mobile processing is the most cost-effective payment processing solution for businesses that process less than $3,000 per month because, in most cases, you pay as you
Adding authorized users to your business credit card account can mean easier purchasing, earning more rewards and improved bookkeeping.
You can often set individual spending limits for your employee cards, which helps protect you from rogue spending.
It’s usually simple to add or remove authorized users from your small business credit card account as needed.
Nearly all credit card issuers offer the option to add authorized users to a credit card account. That means primary account holders can decide whether they want to entrust a person — or multiple people — with making purchases on the card. This opportunity also extends to small business cards and allows small business owners to determine if they want to make employees authorized users on those cards, which would then give them formal permission to use the credit card account. In turn, they’ll receive cards imprinted with their names and can use those cards to make charges.
While there are many advantages to adding employees as authorized users on your business credit card, there are some disadvantages as well. It’s important to understand both sides before making a decision on whether it’s the right move for you. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of adding authorized users to a business credit card
As the primary business credit card owner, you can provide your employees with a credit card that is attached to your account. The number of people you can add depends on the card. Some don’t have a preset limit. Others do, but the number of users can be quite high. The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, for example, limits authorized users to 99 per account.
With business credit cards, authorized user cards are sometimes referred to as employee cards. However, because you notify the issuer that you want
The best business credit cards on the market today typically require good to excellent credit, or a FICO score of 670 to 850
Business owners with bad personal credit might only be able to qualify for a secured business credit card, which requires putting down a security deposit
To qualify for an unsecured business credit card, business owners with bad credit will likely need to work on improving their credit first
Although an impressive credit history and a high credit score aren’t requirements to start a business, they are tools in your arsenal that can definitely help launch your success. After all, you may eventually want to borrow money from a financial institution to pay for the costs of a launch, manage ongoing operations and more. With a high credit score and a lengthy credit history in your profile, most lenders will like what they see.
To appeal to a lender, however, your past business credit history will be relevant. If your business has yet to start, you won’t have a business credit profile that can help you qualify for credit products. And lenders may assess your personal creditworthiness to determine qualifications and set terms. This is also where you’ll run into issues if you have bad personal credit due to mistakes you’ve made in the past.
Fortunately, you can overcome the problems associated with bad credit to qualify for a business credit card — and a business loan, since that might be necessary, too.
What credit score is required for a business credit card?
As you begin looking for ways to build business credit, you’ll notice that many business credit cards rely on your personal credit and require a personal guarantee. A personal guarantee ensures that, if your business doesn’t succeed, you are still legally responsible for
After you establish your business, you may need to purchase supplies or inventory on credit. While you can use your personal credit card, having a credit card in your business’s name has distinct advantages. A business credit card can simplify accounting and give your business a more professional appearance. In the long run, it can help establish business credit, which you’ll need for financing your company’s future growth.
Several factors go into choosing and applying for a business credit card. We’ll outline what qualifications you need to apply for a business credit card and how to obtain one.
According to a Hello Alice survey, only 20 percent of small business owners have a business credit card. Many use their cards to replace or repair business assets or to grow their business.
How to apply for a business credit card
Several types of business credit cards are available. Some are reserved for large corporations with dozens or even hundreds of cardholders, employee expense reimbursement policies, and complex security needs. Others are geared toward small businesses with five or fewer employees.
With so many business credit cards available, there’s one for just about any type of business. However, you may encounter the following qualification restrictions from card issuers:
Organization restrictions: Some card issuers will not issue business credit cards to nonprofits or unincorporated businesses like sole proprietorships.
Industry: Some institutions will not extend credit to businesses that operate in specific industries, such as multilevel marketers and cannabis- or firearm-related businesses.
Applicant qualifications: Every issuer has unique minimum qualifying criteria for card applicants, including income, time in business and credit score.
Unless you’re prohibited from getting a card due to these restrictions, getting a business credit card is often as easy as getting a personal card. Even if one issuer doesn’t give
Can you get a business credit card for your restaurant?
Yes, restaurant owners qualify for business credit cards. Restaurants are businesses. This applies to takeout joints as much as five-star sit-down affairs.
Any size of restaurant can qualify as a business. Have a small food truck you operate yourself? Even sole proprietors are eligible for business credit cards. You can get a business credit card as any of the follow business types:
You don’t need to qualify for an EIN (Employer Identification Number), either. If you don’t have employees, you can simply use your Social Security number (SSN) as your tax identification number when applying for a business credit card.
Small business credit cards vs. corporate credit cards
Another option some restaurant owners may want to consider is a corporate credit card. While the rewards won’t necessarily be any better suited to restaurant expenses than a small business card, it might be better for your credit.
Most small business credit cards require a personal credit check when you apply. This is because of the personal guarantee. Essentially, you agree to share liability for your business credit card with your business. If your business is unable to repay the balance on your card, you’ll be required to do it yourself.
LEARN MORE: Do Business Credit Cards Affect My Credit Score?
All this means that if you default on a business credit card, it can hurt your personal credit. Corporate credit cards, on the other hand, have nothing to do with your personal credit.
Should restaurant owners get a business credit card?
Many restaurant owners are more reliant on vendor accounts than credit card accounts. For example, most restaurants get their food through specialist vendors that offer larger quantities and greater
Building new connections with prospective clients is not just a necessary activity, but it can be pivotal for the success and longevity of a small business. Traditionally, handing out physical business cards during networking events has been an effective strategy. However, in today’s digital era, the trend is shifting towards using digital business cards, which are proving to be an even more effective and versatile tool for networking and client engagement.
After rigorous research and meticulous comparisons, we’ve compiled a list of the best digital business card apps. These resources can assist you in crafting a unique and representative digital electronic card that encapsulates the essence of your business and presents it in a compelling manner.
What is a Digital Business Card?
A digital business card, also known as a virtual business card, is a modern take on the traditional business card. It’s essentially a digital file, usually a cloud-based record, that houses crucial contact details, a direct link to your business website, and social media accounts, serving as a one-stop access point for your business’s digital presence.
The content of a electronic business card is highly customizable according to the business’s needs and owner’s preference. Some opt for a simple layout with basic contact details, while others prefer a more comprehensive approach, incorporating elements like user biographies, professional photographs, geo-location, and other relevant information. This flexibility allows the business card to provide a broader view of the business.
Sharing a virtual business card offers flexibility with several easy-to-use options. You can integrate it in your email through attachments or signatures. Another option is to share the URL of your digital business card via text messages for easy access. You can also generate a QR code for your card that allows prospects to save it directly to their devices with
An American Express business card application is a touch more complicated than what you’ll find with Amex’s consumer cards. But once you understand the terminology and how easy it can be to qualify for a business card, you unlock access to more credit card rewards. And the rewards you earn from American Express business cards and personal cards are automatically pooled together, which makes booking your next vacation with Amex points much easier.
Below, CNBC Select details how to complete an Amex business card application.
How to apply for an American Express business card
Many Amex business cards also have benefits and perks tailored to small business owners. The American Express® Business Gold Card is a perfect example of this, earning a stellar 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap. These bonus spending categories include many common business expenses, such as U.S. shipping and select U.S. advertising purchases.
This column is the second in a series of articles that offer insights into personal experiences with the products and services that you read about on Investopedia every day.
I write about financial products and rewards travel for a living, which makes me the de facto advisor whenever my family has questions about money. It also means that whenever a new or exciting product debuts, I pester them to take a look at the details. It’s how they’ve been able to earn top-tier American Airlines elite status, redeem American Express points for valuable flights, and maximize their online purchases with shopping portals.
So when the Capital One Venture X Business travel rewards credit card launched in September 2023, I raced to tell my parents to apply. My stepmom and dad own a small business that remodels hotels, which means they have a significant amount of monthly business spending. This includes purchases for materials, rent, travel, payroll, and more. So a credit card that offers more rewards and a smaller annual fee was perfect for them.
My Parents Have an American Express Card, But Capital One Offers Them Better Rewards
Switching credit cards meant we first had to compare my parents’ current business credit card to this new one from Capital One.
For years, the Business Platinum Card from American Express has been my parents’ go-to business credit card. It makes sense: The card earns 1.5 American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on eligible construction purchases (among other specific categories) and on any charges of $5,000 or more on the first $2,000,000 spent on those purchases each year.
The Amex Business Platinum also earns 5 points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels via Amex Travel and 1 point per dollar on rental cars. This means
Getting a business credit card can provide small-business owners with a great asset. You can earn rewards, net big-time sign-up bonuses and even finance large purchases interest free by opening the right business credit card.
Applying for a business credit card may seem overwhelming, especially as a new business owner. But you can get a card in three steps with just a little preparation. Here’s how.