Credit Cards Guides

Who can apply for Small Business Credit Cards? Probably you.

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Who can apply for Small Business Credit Cards?

More than likely…YOU CAN.

Yes, that’s right. The odds are in your favor that you qualify for a small business credit card, and you probably had no idea. I’d guess you’re probably thinking, why on earth do I even care?

Well…small business credit cards are a great way to earn a lot of points, improve your credit score, segregate expenses, and enjoy additional benefits…which means you can fly like this a whole lot easier.

What are your favorite Small Business Credit Cards?

Right now, I would focus my energy on these three if you don’t have them:

They all have all time high public offers ( some people have gotten targeted offers from business bankers ), but otherwise, you won’t find better. They all work in the same Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem, and the points earned from the Unlimited and Cash can be transferred into a Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Chase Ink Business Preferred® Ultimate Rewards account and become fully transferrable.

Capital One:

Capital One Venture X Business $395 150k after $30k spend in 3 months

Bank of America

Alaska Airlines Business $50 65k after $4k in 3 months + $122 BOGO

Chase:

Chase Ink Business Preferred® $95 100k after $8k spend in 3 months
Chase Ink Business Cash® $0 90k ( $900 ) after $6k in 3 months
Chase Ink Business Unlimited® $0 90k ( $900 ) after $6k in 3 months
Chase Ink Business Premier(SM) $195 $1000 after $10k spend in 3 months
World of Hyatt Business $199 60k after $5k spend in 3 months
Chase IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card $99 140k after $3k spend in 3 months
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card $199 80k: after $5k spend in 3 months

Amex:

The American Express® Business Gold Card $295 70k to 130k after $10k spend in 3 months
*Some are getting targeted ( upon login ) 150k offers after $10k spend in 3 mos
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express $695 190k after $15k spend in 3 months ( extra 10k with Auth User )
Referral up to $150k after $15k spend
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card $0 Targerted 50k after $15k in 12 months
Note – 75k highly targeted link here

The American Express Blue Business Cash™

$0 $500 ( $250 after $5k/3mos and $250 after $10k/12mos )
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card $95 130k after $4k spend in 3 months
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card $125 3 free night award certs after $6k in 6 months – up to 50k per night

Small Business Credit Cards make it much easier go to dream destinations like the Maldives and stay at the St Regis Maldives

a building on stilts in water
St Regis Maldives Overwater Villa

First off…why do I think you could qualify for a small business credit card?

If you have a side hustle, earn money from the gig economy, or even now what people are referring to as the creator economy…the odds are strongly in your favor that you qualify for a small business credit card.   So many people earn money that isn’t W2 income, but they haven’t established formal LLCs or S-corps that have EIN ( Employer Identification Number), and they aren’t taking advantage of what that income opens the door to….but they can still apply and get approved for small business credit cards.

If you’re earning income on a 1099, you’re good to go. Some examples of those are…

  • Online Coaches, tutors, etc
  • Uber and Lyft drivers (assuming they still get 1099s whenever you’re reading this).
  • DoorDash, GrubHub and Postmates
  • Social Media income ( TikTok, Instagram, YouTube )
  • Cater Waiters
  • Personal Trainers
  • Dog Walkers
  • Freelance graphic designers and web designers
  • Singers, artists, dancers, models, etc
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Ebay, Amazon and Facebook resellers

Have you done this, Zach?

Yes… in fact, I not only have multiple EINs, I have had multiple Sole Proprietorships over the years. When I first started Monkey Miles I got a credit card as a sole proprietor to segregate the expenses. Then, when I started doing award bookings, I got another one for that specific business. I’ve applied for, and held, a dozen or two small business credit cards over the past several years.

In fact, I currently carry the following small business credit cards – you can find their current best offers here:

a stuffed monkey holding a credit card

Ok, but what are the benefits of a small business credit card?

  • More opportunities for welcome offers and sign up bonuses
  • Improve your credit score since utilization drops
  • Segregate expenses to help come tax season
  • Get multiple versions of the same card

Small business credit cards have incredible welcome offers. Let’s say you’re an Uber driver. You spend money on insurance, gas, new phones, cleaning, repairs, wear and tear, etc, etc. All of those expenses could be put toward a sign up bonus, but they also needed to be accounted to help with write offs.  A small business credit card helps keep those expenses separate. If you’re an uber driver and an aspiring content creator, you could have two small business credit cards.

But have you considered all of those expenses are adding to your credit utilization as well?

30% of your score is how much of your debt is used every month. For the most part, small business credit card purchases aren’t reported to your personal credit report ( I list the exceptions below ).

By using a small business credit card to pay for your side hustle expenses, advertising for your foodie blog, or the monthly fee for your blog’s email list, you’re reducing that utilization rate. Let’s say you spend $1500 a month on your side hustle, and you’re putting that on a card with a $10000 limit. If you don’t have any other cards, you’re adding 15% utilization and lowering your score. Adding a small business credit card could quickly boost your score by lowering this percentage.

a pie chart with text and numbers with Crust in the background

How do I go about applying for a small business credit card without an EIN?

That’s super easy. You apply as a Sole Proprietor and, depending on the bank, in the section on the application that asks for your EIN ( Employment Indentification Number ) you either enter your social security number, or leave it blank.

What credit do they pull for small business credit cards?

Your credit.

a screenshot of a credit score

Who is liable for the debt on a small business credit card?

You are.

These aren’t corporate credit cards and if you hold any balance or unpaid debt, you are personally liable for that balance. This is why it’s possible to acquire small business credit cards as a sole proprietor because you’re on the hook for the debt.

Does a small business credit card show up on my credit report?

For the most part, the answer is no which is one of the greatest attributes of a small business credit card.  You can not only get a welcome offer or sign up bonus, but the spend your put on the card doesn’t affect your credit utiliziation.

Banks that do not report the account or balance to your personal credit report

  • Amex
  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Barclay
  • Bank of America 

Banks that do report the card to your personal credit report and the expenses that are put on it.

  • Capital One does report to your personal with the exception of the following cards
    • Spark Cash Plus ( if you open now…prior to 2020 these did report )
    • Spark Miles Elite
  • Discover does report the new card and the balance to personal report
  • Wells Fargo has been known to report on occasion

Do small business credit cards affect my Chase 5/24 number?

If you’re unfamiliar with 5/24, Chase has a rule that they will not approve you for any new accounts if you have opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months. Specifically they count the number of new accounts added to your personal credit report.

The answer is Yes and no. If the account is added to your personal credit report, then yes, it would affect that number. Otherwise, no, this is an effective strategy of adding another card to your wallet, enjoying the welcome offer, added benefits, etc all the while keeping your 5/24 number the same.

As you can see… I have 10 American Express cards, but only 2 of them show up on my credit report. The other 8 are small business credit cards whose monthly spend stays off my personal report helping to keep my utilization lower, and don’t count against my 5/24 number.

a screenshot of a computer

How do I fill out the income section on a small business credit card?

There are two sections for income: Personal and Business. Answer both truthfully.

Let’s say you just started selling a course on Teachable or Kajabi and you’re going to spend money marketing it and want to segregate those expenses. You aren’t really sure if it’ll be successful so you haven’t incorporated it just quite yet. You think you’ll earn a couple grand a month and also spend that trying to push sales. I’d probably fill out the application like this.

a screenshot of a computer screen

Jump to Our Current Favorite Business Cards

Miles Credit Cards

Recap

Small Business Credit Cards are a great way to lower your utilization to get your score higher, enjoy more benefits and bonuses, and they help segregate expenses to help you come tax time.

Any questions? Feel free to drop one in the comment section!

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Learn More

 Affiliate link 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • 2x on all other travel
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

20 Comments

  • Lucy December 26, 2023

    Excellent insights on small business credit cards! The financial strategies discussed are crucial. For added impact, consider the use of digital business cards to effortlessly expand your network. A modern touch for growing your business naturally.
    https://www.mobilocard.com/

  • Will December 18, 2023

    American Express Blue Business Plus: Earn 15k after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

    https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/WILLINTrJu?xl=cp19

    Good Luck! Thank You So Much!

  • Joy November 12, 2023

    Please consider using my link on any of the four following Chase Business Ink Cards:
    Enjoy the NO ANNUAL FEE and WELCOME OFFER OF 90,000 CHASE UR POINTS OR $900 CASH BACK FOR THE CHASE INK BUSINESS UNLIMITED OR INK BUSINESS CASH.
    Earn 100,000 bonus points with the Ink Business Preferred® card or up to $1,000 bonus cash back with the Ink Business Premier® card.
    I can be rewarded if you apply here and are approved for the card.
    https://www.referyourchasecard.com/21o/TFLD5DG57A

  • David November 6, 2023

    You can use my link on any of the four following Chase Business Ink Cards: Earn 100,000 bonus points with the Ink Business Preferred® card or up to $1,000 bonus cash back with the Ink Business Premier® card, Ink Business Unlimited® card or Ink Business Cash® card. Enjoy the NO ANNUAL FEE and WELCOME OFFER OF 90,000 CHASE UR POINTS OR $900 CASH BACK FOR THE CHASE INK BUSINESS UNLIMITED OR INK BUSINESS CASH.

    I can be rewarded if you apply here and are approved for the card.
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  • […] The public offers on the Chase Ink Business Cash® and Chase Ink Business Unlimited® are at all time high public levels. If you don’t have a Chase business card I would seriously consider looking at whether you qualify…many people do and don’t realize it. […]

  • David October 7, 2023

    Interested in the AMEX Business cards? Apply for any of the AMEX business cards by clicking on the “View all Cards with a Referral Offer” button in the upper left corner of my link and then scroll down to any of the 17 business cards that interest you.

    https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/DAVIdC5y0u?xl=cp01

    My name is David. Thank you in advance for using my link to help me acquire enough points to take all my children on an international vacation!! Please help me meet my referral goal. Open incognito mode in Chrome for best results! Also try multiple browsers, as I have noticed that different browsers will give different welcome bonuses. Try Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Duck Duck Go, and Brave.

  • […] You can read all about Small Business Credit Cards here […]

  • […] You can read all about Small Business Credit Cards here […]

  • […] You can read all about Small Business Credit Cards here […]

  • Shay September 17, 2023

    Here is a link that you can use to choose any one of the four available Chase Business Ink Credit cards that will work best for your business. The welcome offers range from 75,000 – 100,000 chase points. Worth up to $750 – $1000 or $937 or $1250 in travel money through the chase travel portal. Potentially more if you transfer the points. So many wonderful options for free or cheap travel. I am also providing Chase sapphire personal CC referral link.
    Much appreciated for using my links.
    Enjoy

    Business link:
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    Personal Chase Sapphire link option:
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  • Dan September 3, 2023

    Great post!
    What is the annual fee for the Amex Business Platinum card?
    And does it come with benefits, such as airline credits, Uber credits, etc.?
    Thanks!

  • […] If this applies to you…the odds are very high you qualify for a small business credit card. Read this post for all of the details relating to the application process and how it can improve you… […]

  • Will March 31, 2023

    American Express Blue Business Plus Card: Earn 15k points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

    https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/WILLINe4RV?XLINK=MYCP

    Good Luck! Thank You So Much!

  • […] If you want more information on this, read our full small business guide here […]

  • Damacio Ramirez Jr March 7, 2023

    Can I apply for a business credit card with my SSN, even if I don’t have a business of any sort?

  • Todd March 6, 2023

    Thank you Zach or the Monkey Miles bot. 🤓 Can you explain how credit utilization %’s work best? I have a dormant LLC but all my 1099 and W-2 pay goes to my business. My credit score sucks at 695. Can you recco a method or something for me to study to improve my credit score with a small biz card(s)? Love your stuff dude.

  • LA March 4, 2023

    If I have an LLC for a small business that I’m just starting, with zero business credit, how do I eventually qualify for the amex platinum card?

    • Miles March 5, 2023

      Are you referring to the Amex Business Platinum? With small business credit cards you’re personally liable for the purchases you make, so while the business income is definitely important, they ultimately take your personal income into account. So, you could put what you believe to be your projected income for the year… if it’s $10k, put $10k, don’t inflate, and then report your actual income in the section that asks for it. When it asks for an EIN, put in the business EIN. Since you have an EIN, you may be required to provide additional paperwork such as Articles of Incorporation paperwork, authorizing officer paperwork, etc, but that has never happened to me – other banks have required it tho. hope this helps!

  • […] If you want more information on this, read our full small business guide here […]

  • William September 14, 2022

    Amex Blue Business Plus Card: Earn 15K points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

    https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/WILLINNfxr?XLINK=MYCP

    Good Luck! Thank You!

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