How to Get a Small Business Credit Card

How to Get a Small Business Credit Card
  • Opening Intro -

    A small business credit card can come in handy especially when making larger purchases that require substantial money such as airline tickets or a car rental.

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Such cards are aimed at business owners and offer such features as online bill payment, expense categorization and loyalty points. Getting a small business credit card is a fairly easy and straight forward process, one that you can begin to undertake today.

1. Choose a card, but not any card. There are scores, if not hundreds of credit card offers out there. Some are directed toward personal accounts, others are for businesses. You will want to look among business credit cards only as the perks offered can be used by your business. Sift through your recent offers and visit the websites of large banks and financial companies to review their offers. Look among MasterCard, Visa and American Express for your offers.

2. Their cards, your needs. With countless offers out there, how should you choose a small business credit card? That’s easy: determine your needs first and then select the best card offer. Some card offers are more generous than others, offering rewards for regular use. For instance, if your sales team hits the road frequently, then a 5 percent cash reward for gasoline can add up. If you need to accumulate airline miles fast, then a card tied in with your favorite airline can provide that. Many business cards waive the annual fee for the first year and may give you a point’s bonus. Read the fine print too — this is especially important if you plan to spread your payments out over several months as interest rates can soar.

3. Fill out your application. Once you find a credit card that is right for your business, then fill out the application. Provide your business name, your name, a mailing address and use your federal employer identification number not your Social Security Number when signing up. You want to build business credit here, not personal credit. With your FEIN, your credit card company will report your transactions to business credit bureaus. This can make it easier to obtain new business credit later on.

4. Receive notification. When you apply for a credit card online, you may receive approval in as few as 60 seconds. Sometimes, a company will give you pending approval with follow up paperwork required. If your application is rejected, ask the credit card provider for the reason why. It could be that your business credit history is not complete. If turned down by one company, you can always apply elsewhere.

5. Receive your card. Once your credit card provider is satisfied with your application and has approved it, you may be able to use your account before your card arrives. Typically, credit cards take 7 to 10 days to ship — be on the look out for your card. If your card does not arrive on time, contact the credit card company. It could have been sent to the wrong address, even stolen. The company will likely cancel your card and issue you a new one.

Card Notes

If you need copies of your small business credit card for employees, request these when you make application. Typically, you will not pay extra for this service.

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Categories: Small Business

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".