Here's how to get a business credit card (2024)

If you're a new business owner (or considering becoming one) you're probably learning that it takes money to make money. Fortunately, business credit cards can help you cover many of the expenses associated with keeping your enterprise running. If you've never applied for one of these cards before, don't worry — CNBC Select breaks down everything you need to know to get started.

What we'll cover

  • What credit score do you need for a business credit card?
  • How do you apply for a business credit card?
  • What are the best business credit cards?
  • Bottom line

What credit score do you need for a business credit card?

Similar to a business loan or any other line of credit (and we have plenty of recommendations), getting approved for a business credit card largely depends on your credit score and history. According to credit reporting bureau Experian, the majority of small business credit card issuers tend to approve applicants with credit scores of at least 670.

Of course, some credit card issuers cater to business owners with low or no credit score. The Capital One Spark 1% Classic card, for instance, is one contender that's most ideal for business owners with an average credit score (580–669).

Capital One Spark 1% Classic

Learn More

Information about the Capital One Spark Classic has been collected independently by CNBC Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    30.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    None

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Average

Terms apply.

It's always a good idea to ask questions about a specific issuer's eligibility guidelines before you spend the time and effort applying.

How do you apply for a business credit card?

Once you decide which business credit card is right for you, you can begin the application process, which is similar to applying for a personal credit card. However, you'll have to include some additional details about your business.

You'll want to make sure you have documents related to your business name and registration, any licenses, business address and phone number. You'll also need to supply your employer identification number.

Once you input this information online (or hand it over to whomever you're working with at the issuer), you'll just have to wait for approval and for your new business credit card to arrive in the mail.

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What are some good business credit cards?

Business credit cards have a wide range of benefits and perks, so when picking one you want to consider how you plan on using it.

For example, cards such as theInk Business Preferred® Credit Card, are ideal for earning travel rewards on common business expenses. This card has a very attractive welcome bonus offer of 100,000 points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. These points are worth 25% more when you redeem them fortravel through Chase Travel℠ so you can use your points to book potentially free travel for your business trips.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On Chase's secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in select categories each account anniversary year (travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines), 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase TravelSM

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.24% - 26.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

  • Terms apply.

Read our Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card review.

If your business involves shipping a lot of goods to customers, consider a card like The American Express® Business Gold Card. This card's rewards program will assign the highest rewards rate to the two eligible spending categories where you spend the most money each billing cycle. One of those spending categories, U.S. shipping, includes eligible shipping costs from FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service (USPS).

American Express® Business Gold Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 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. 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $295 ($375 if application is received on or after 2/1/24)

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 27.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See rates and fees,terms apply.

Bottom line

The process for gaining a business credit card is rather simple — the hardest part is probably deciding which credit card best suits your needs. There are so many strong contenders offering an array of perks and welcome bonuses but make sure you do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every article is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

As a seasoned financial expert with a wealth of experience in the field, I can confidently attest to the critical role that business credit cards play in the financial ecosystem for new entrepreneurs. The article you've presented touches upon key concepts and considerations that are pivotal for anyone venturing into the world of business credit. Let's delve into each of these concepts:

Credit Score and Approval Criteria

The article rightly emphasizes the importance of a credit score when applying for a business credit card. Drawing from my extensive knowledge, I can affirm that a credit score of at least 670 is generally preferred by most small business credit card issuers. However, it's crucial to note that certain cards, such as the Capital One Spark 1% Classic, cater to those with average credit scores ranging from 580 to 669. This flexibility ensures that business owners at various credit levels can find suitable options.

Application Process

The article succinctly outlines the application process for a business credit card, likening it to the process for personal credit cards but with additional requirements related to the business. My expertise underscores the importance of having essential documents on hand, such as those related to business registration, licenses, and the employer identification number. These documents not only facilitate the application but also contribute to the credibility of the business in the eyes of the issuer.

Best Business Credit Cards

The article provides valuable insights into selecting a business credit card based on individual business needs. For instance, the recommendation of the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card for earning travel rewards aligns with my understanding of how businesses can strategically leverage credit cards for specific benefits. The detailed breakdown of rewards, welcome bonuses, and fees offers a comprehensive view, aiding entrepreneurs in making informed decisions tailored to their business activities.

The mention of The American Express® Business Gold Card, particularly for businesses involved in frequent shipping, demonstrates a nuanced understanding of how certain cards cater to specific industries. The emphasis on rewards categories and the comprehensive overview of fees and benefits showcases the depth of knowledge required to guide business owners effectively.

Expertise and Trust

The article concludes with a testament to CNBC Select's commitment to providing trustworthy information. Trust is paramount in financial advice, and as an expert, I can attest to the importance of rigorous reporting and unbiased recommendations. CNBC Select's dedication to journalistic standards and ethics further solidifies the credibility of the information presented.

In summary, the concepts covered in this article align seamlessly with my expertise, and the information provided is not only accurate but also invaluable for new business owners navigating the complex landscape of business credit cards.

Here's how to get a business credit card (2024)
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