Best Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards are useful tools for saving thousands every year. You can get more out of your business expenses by using a credit card with rewards like hotel stays, cash back, and valuable discounts. We analyzed 368 business credit cards to find you the best offers – here are the best business credit cards from our partners.

Business credit cards are useful tools for saving thousands every year. You can get more out of your business expenses by using a credit card with rewards like hotel stays, cash back, and valuable discounts. We analyzed 368 business credit cards to find you the best offers – here are the best business credit cards from our partners.

Editor: Laura Mohammad | Writer: Mariah Ackary


July 24, 2020’s Best Business Credit Cards

  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi : Best for everyday cash back
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® : Best for business travel
  • Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Best for flat-rate cash back
  • Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business: Best for no expiration on rewards
  • Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card: Best for boosted rewards
  • Ink Business CashSM Credit Card: Best for cash back on office supplies
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for sign-up bonus
  • American Express® Blue Business Cash Card: Best for no annual fee
  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for long 0% APR period
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850) credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

12X at hotels & resorts in the Hilton portfolio
6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases
3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
125,000 points

Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee
Regular APR
15.74% - 24.74% variable
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850) credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
1% cash back on all eligible purchases after spending $50,000 per calendar year.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
No annual fee
Regular APR
13.24% - 19.24% variable
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850) credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Rewards Rate

Earn 2X Membership Rewards® 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.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
No annual fee
Regular APR
13.24% - 19.24% variable

No Credit History

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

This card doesn't offer cash back, miles, or points

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
$4-12/month per card (First 6 months waived).
Regular APR

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.

All information about CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, Ink Business CashSM Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, and The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express, US Bank Credit Cards, have been collected independently by and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Comparing Business Credit Card Offers

For most businesses – from brick and mortar storefronts to “side-hustles” – a business credit card can be a great tool to track spending, save money on interest, and earn rewards.

Before applying, you should understand the application requirements and credit implications. Though business credit cards are very similar to personal credit cards, there are a few key differences to know about. Finally, it’s a good idea to decide what’s important to you – are you hoping to spread out payments for several large purchases? Or do you simply want to start earning cash back on the purchases you’re already making?

Once you’ve decided what you’re looking for, it’s time to start comparing credit cards. At this point, you’ll be ready to make an informed decision with your business’s unique needs in mind.

best business credit cards of 2020

Best Business Credit Cards

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi: Best for everyday cash back

Our review

Business owners who are already Costco members will love this card’s rewards: 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (for the first $7,000 in purchases annually, then 1% after that), 3% on restaurants and eligible travel, 2% on Costco purchases, and 1% on general purchases. However, be aware that the cash back rewards are only issued once a year in February and are only redeemable at Costco. Read our full review.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Best for business travel

Our review

Some may find that the annual fee and American Airlines exclusivity cut into the overall value of this card, but it’s likely the most lucrative option for those who fly American Airlines often. It’s packed with travel rewards, including 2x AAdvantage® miles on eligible purchases at American Airlines, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and gas stations. Plus, the welcome bonus is one of the largest among business credit cards: Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles when you spend $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. Read our full review.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Best for flat-rate cash back

Our review

For the busy business owner, this is a great combination of value and simplicity. You’ll earn unlimited 2% back on all purchases without tracking spending, transferring rewards or juggling bonus categories. You’ll also enjoy a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. However, don’t overlook the $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.: Just to break even in year two and beyond, you’d have to spend $4,750 in order to earn $95 in cash back.Read our full review.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business: Best for no expiration on rewards

Our review

This card offers a competitive 1.5% cash back on all purchases, plus no annual fee. Also, the cash back is unlimited, unlike some cards, which have maximum cash back limits. Your rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can set up automatic redemption or redeem cash back in any amount, at any time. The one area that falls short is the sign-up bonus – a meager $200 after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months. Read our full review.

Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card: Best for boosted rewards

Our review

Not only will you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, but you can also transfer your rewards to a qualifying Chase Ultimate Rewards card and boost their value by 25% when you redeem for travel. It also comes with no annual fee and a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases – it’s 13.24%–19.24% variable after that. On the flip side, some business credit cards offer a higher rewards rate, such as the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Read our full review.

Ink Business CashSM Credit Card: Best for cash back on office supplies

Our review

It’s one of the only cards that includes a bonus on office supply spending, offering 5% cash back on your first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores, as well as internet, cable and phone services each anniversary year (1% thereafter). If you’re working from home for the foreseeable future, this cash back reward can be a great benefit for providing your employees the services they need to stay productive online. Read our full review.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for sign-up bonus

Our review

A hefty sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after a $15,000 spend within the first 3 months makes this a stellar business card. And those 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward future travel when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The rewards rates are pretty great, too: 3X points on all travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services and advertising purchases with social media and search engines on your first $150,000 in combined purchases each year (1 point per dollar thereafter). On the other hand, this isn’t the best credit card for those who want to do a balance transfer or finance a large purchase since it doesn’t offer a 0% introductory APR. There’s also a $95 annual fee. Read our full review.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card: Best for no annual fee

Our review

A cash back rate of 2% isn’t uncommon among business credit cards, but it is special when paired with no annual fee. Keep in mind, though, the 2% cash back applies only to your first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year (then 1%). This flat-rate cash back card offers some unique features, such as the possibility of spending beyond your credit limit and even earning cash back in those cases. One thing you’ll miss out on with this card, though, is an introductory bonus. Read our full review.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for long intro APR period on purchases

Our review

The card offers a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 months (13.24% - 19.24% Variable thereafter), making it useful if you need to finance a large purchase. You’ll also earn 2X points for up to $50,000 a year on business expenses like office supplies and client dinners, and 1 point per dollar thereafter. One negative with this card is the lack of an introductory bonus, something many business credit cards offer. Read our full review.

Managing business finances during a crisis

If you’re a small-business owner, you’ve likely experienced some strain in recent months. According to a June 2020 poll by the United States Census Bureau, 82.7% of small businesses have experienced moderate or large negative effects as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those negative effects may be decreased revenue stream, leading to less cash on hand, missed payments, or the need to borrow money. If you’re looking for ways to stay afloat financially, you have options.

  • Explore balance transfer and 0% APR credit cards. Whether you’ve already borrowed money or you plan to, a card with a 0% intro APR can save you money on interest, while breaking up the sum into manageable payments.
  • Apply for an SBA disaster loan. Not all businesses are eligible, but the low interest rates make SBA disaster loans worth looking into.
  • Apply for a small business grant. Outside of the federal government, private companies and organizations are providing grants to various types of businesses, from freelancers to Facebook advertisers.
  • Check what kind of relief your credit card issuer is offering. Some issuers are allowing lower minimum payments and interest rates, waived fees, and even payment deferral. To learn more, browse our guide to credit card issuer COVID-19 assistance.

Comparing the best business credit cards offers:

Business Credit Card Best For: Rewards Rate Annual Fee Rating
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi Everyday cash back 1% unlimited $0 2.6 / 5
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Business travel 2 AAdvantage® mile on eligible American Airlines purchases $99, waived for first 12 months 3.8 / 5
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business Flat-rate cash back 2% unlimited $0 intro for first year; $95 after that 4.1 / 5
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business No expiration on rewards 1.5% unlimited $0 3.5 / 5
Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card Boosted rewards 1.5% unlimited $0 3.5 / 5
Ink Business CashSM Credit Card Cash back with high rewards rate on office supplies 5% on office supplies, internet 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 $0 3.3 / 5
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card Sign-up bonus and high rewards on select business categories 3X on travel, select business categories Up to $150,000 annually, then 1 point per dollar $95 3.8 / 5
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card No annual fee 2% (up to $50k in annual spend, then 1%) $0 3.9 / 5
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express Long intro APR period 2X (up to $50k in annual spend, then 1X) $0 4.2 / 5

Research methodology: how we picked the best cards

One of the factors we weighed most heavily when selecting the best business credit cards is rewards categories and rates. Ideally, a business credit card should reward you for the purchases your business makes frequently, whether that’s travel, office supplies, or another category. Introductory period and regular APR were also key factors in our decisions, since many business owners use credit cards to finance larger purchases.

Business credit cards analyzed: 368

Criteria used: Rewards categories, rewards rates, redemption options and flexibility, sign-up bonus, customer service, small business perks, annual fee, other rates and fees, security, credit needed, ease of application

How to choose the best credit card for your business

Credit cards are among the most popular forms of credit for business owners – in fact, it is the most popular among those not applying for a line of credit. Some 47% say they regularly use cards (up from 44%), with the second most common being a loan or line of credit at 42%, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Small Business Credit Survey.

There’s no one-size-fits-all business credit card. Businesses’ credit needs can vary greatly, and business credit cards vary along with those needs. “Choosing the right business credit card depends on what you’re looking for (cash back, free travel, low interest, etc.),” says Ted Rossman, our industry analyst. “There are lucrative sign-up bonuses to be had, and rewards on spending categories tailored for businesses (such as travel, technology, internet, phone, shipping and online advertising purchases).” Here’s what you need to consider in choosing the best card for your needs:

What types of rewards are you interested in?

The next step is to figure out your preference for rewards. With fiscal year 2020 underway, you should think about what the year holds in terms of business spending. Will you be furnishing your home office? What about jumping into online advertising?

  • Did you or your employees travel often for business, and were you loyal to a particular airline or hotel? You might consider signing up for a co-branded airline or hotel card, which can be extremely rewarding for dedicated customers.
  • Or, if you want more flexible redemption options, you might consider a flexible points card, such as the Chase Ink Business Preferred card.
  • If you’re looking for simplicity, a cash back card is probably your best bet – you can redeem your cash back as a statement credit or have it deposited into a bank account without having to worry about how to use rewards points.

Rewards flexibility

It’s important to understand how to earn and redeem rewards with each option you’re considering. You’ll want to know what limitations are in place for redeeming your rewards – while some cards offer the freedom of simple cash back, some cards only offer more rigid redemption options, like gift cards. Cash back is usually the most flexible way to redeem, but gift cards, travel, points and experiences may be just as helpful to some business owners.

Other questions to ask about rewards:

  • Do rewards expire?
  • Are there limits on how much cash back you can earn?
  • What is the minimum redemption amount?

What types of spending do you do?

Once you’ve settled on the type of rewards that you prefer, you should look at how your business allocates its spending, to decide which card will be most rewarding for you:

  • If you spend a lot at office supply stores, you might look at Ink Business Cash , which offers 5% on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and internet.
  • If you were a frequent traveler and you’re thinking ahead to your future plans, you should look at a card like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express which offers 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on
  • Or, you may earn a higher rewards rate by choosing a flat-rate card that offers the same rewards rate on every purchase.

Your business credit score

Whether your business is just getting started or it’s been operating for years, applying for a business credit card can be an immensely helpful tool in growing your business. When applying, don’t be surprised if your bank or issuer asks to view your personal credit score or your business’s income. Whether or not you get approved for a business card in general can be widely based on your creditworthiness — so before you apply, it’s a good idea to conduct a personal audit of your financial health. Most issuers will require a good credit score (670 and above), while others may even require an excellent score (740 and above). Although there are a small number of cards that require fair credit (580-669), just like a personal card, you may increase your chances of getting approved for a business card with a higher credit score.

Spending limits

Unlike personal credit cards, many business credit cards carry a much higher spending limit. Running a business can, at times, be a costly endeavor and business owners can charge more to their card than consumers with a personal credit line. In fact, the average monthly payments for business owners sits around $2,000, while the average consumer is less than half of that.

Interest rates

The variable interest rate of your business credit card is based on your creditworthiness, just as your personal credit card is. If you have good credit, your interest rate will reflect that. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate could be. Similar to personal cards, the interest rates will fall and rise with the Federal Reserve’s prime rate. Due to the current state of our nation’s economy, rate reductions have lowered, which can be welcome news to those who tend to carry a balance from month to month. However, interest is still interest, and the if left to accrue, could become difficult to pay down and could be potentially harmful to your business credit score.

Introductory APR

Investing in your business, though necessary, can be costly. Whether you have a large purchase planned or you want to pay off debt, a business credit card with a 0% introductory APR could help you spread out payments without incurring interest. Some cards have incredibly long introductory periods, such as the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, offering 12 months of 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers (it’s 13.24% - 19.24% Variablethereafter).

Additional benefits

While some benefits can save you money, others are aimed at saving time or headache in an unideal scenario. If you or your employees travel frequently, having no foreign transaction fees or lost luggage insurance may be the most helpful. If you have several employees that will be authorized users, having no fee for employee cards may save the most money.

Some common business credit card benefits you may want to hunt for include:

  • Travel benefits: no foreign transaction fees, car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside assistance, and travel and emergency assistance
  • Business management tools: quarterly and year-end summaries, QuickBooks integration ability, no fee for employee cards, ability to set individual spend limits for employee cards
  • Purchase safeguards: price protection, purchase protection, extended warranty

How to apply for a business credit card

Once you’ve found the best credit card for your business, it’s time to apply. You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and your business.

What you’ll be asked when you apply for a business credit card

  • An EIN or SSN. You’ll need to supply your EIN – the number issued by the IRS to people who have a business located in the United States or U.S. territories. If you’re a sole proprietor without an EIN, you can use your Social Security number instead to apply.
  • Your business information. You’ll need to supply some basic information about your business: The name of your business (or your personal name, if you’re a freelancer), the type of business (partnership, corporation or sole proprietorship), your role in the business, your business address and phone number, how long you’ve been in business, your number of employees, your annual business revenue, and your estimated monthly spend.
  • Your personal information. You’ll need to include your personal details on the application as well, including name, address, contact information, Social Security number, birthdate, mother’s maiden name and household income.

Pro tip: Boost your odds of being approved

Having a well-established business, of course, helps your odds, but you may be able to qualify by just supplying the above information. Here are a few other things you can do to boost your chances of qualifying:

  1. Pay down debt
    Pay down your existing card debt about 30 days before applying for a new card.
  2. List all of your income
    When applying, be sure to list income before taxes, and include income such as pension, alimony and rental income.
  3. Build up your personal credit score first
    Having a good personal credit history is the main factor for getting accepted for a business credit card. If your credit score isn’t good, you need to work on building your personal credit before you apply.
  4. Be honest on your application
    Don’t make up fake revenue for your business hoping to push your application through. If the bank double checks on your application and finds your application isn’t accurate, you could get rejected.
  5. Start a relationship with the bank
    If you already have a relationship with the bank, you have a greater chance of getting accepted for one of their business cards. Start a checking account for your business with the bank and then try applying for one of their cards.

How to get the most out of a business credit card

A business credit card can be a powerful tool for increasing your purchasing power and building your business credit history, but it can also come with serious liabilities. Here are some tips to help you avoid the pitfalls:

Read your card’s terms and conditions

Since business cards aren’t regulated by the CARD Act, you should take a close look at your card’s terms and conditions and monitor any changes to terms and conditions that come in your email. Keep an eye out for changes in interest rates, due dates or fees.

Only use your card for business expenses

Don’t put your personal spending on your business credit card, in part because card issuers discourage it. Also, mingling your expenses makes it harder to track your business spending. Plus, it can make you personally liable if someone sues your company. Finally, if you do happen to incur interest from carrying a balance on a business credit card, be sure to note it on your tax form – it counts as a business expense.

Track your spending carefully

Make 2020 the year to get a handle on business expenses. Use your credit card’s expense reporting features to keep close tabs on your spending. Look for opportunities to cut expenses. Keep in mind that business cards come with high credit limits – usually of $50,000 or higher – which makes them ideal for making large purchases. Some cards, such as the American Express Blue Business Cash Card, even allow you to exceed your credit limit when you need to make a large purchase.

Plan how you’ll pay

Figure out ahead of time what your cash flow is going to be through the month. See if you can negotiate your due date with your credit card issuer so that it falls on a date where you will have funds to pay off your balance. Make large purchases right after your statement closes so you have plenty of time to repay the balance.

Make sure you have a plan in place to repay the amount that you borrow against your credit line, so you can pay it off quickly and avoid high interest fees, penalties or possibly incurring a debt you can’t afford to repay. Avoid carrying a balance past the due date if you can, since the interest can be very costly.

Find new ways to earn and save

Many business credit cards include programs such as VisaSavings Edge, Mastercard Easy Savings and American Express that give you a small discount with a select list of merchants. The number and variety of merchants vary greatly by program. You can get significant savings if you happen to shop frequently with a merchant.

Also, you can use online shopping portals such as Ebates and Swagbucks to earn extra cash back on top of your card rewards. You can also earn bonus rewards through an issuer’s shopping portal, such as the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall.

Manage employees’ cards

Business credit frequently allows you to issue cards from your account to your employees – usually for free, but sometimes for a fee – and to set up individual limits for each card along with account alerts to help you keep a close eye on your employees’ card use. If you or your employees traveled a lot for your business and you’re thinking about future travel plans, you may be able to make good future use of the travel protections that frequently come on business credit cards. Travel protections often include trip cancellation insurance, travel accident trip delay insurance, insurance for lost and delayed baggage and car rental insurance. Once we’re able to start taking business trips again, these perks are worth considering to give you and your employees peace of mind while traveling.

Use your account management features

Take advantage of all the features your issuer offers to simplify your account management. Set up automatic alerts for your card and your employees’ cards, set up autopay to make sure you meet your payment due date and link your account to your accounting software so you can easily download all your expenses. Most business credit cards come with expense-tracking features, such as apps that allow you to snap photos of your receipts and file them on the go, spending reports, yearly summaries and the ability to designate an account manager to manage it all for you.

Financing business purchases: credit card or loan?

So your business is in need of some capital and you’re wondering whether you should choose a business loan or a business credit card. To make the right call, you’ll want to know the differences between the two. And perhaps it makes sense to strategically make use of both. According to the 2019 Federal Small Business Credit Survey, 55% of small businesses used a loan or line of credit, while 52% used a credit card. This suggests that a portion of business owners use both. To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled some of the main advantages and drawbacks of each option.

Small business credit cards


Credit cards are usually easier to qualify for. You don’t need a huge amount of revenue or excellent credit to be approved for a business credit card. You might not earn rewards with some options for bad credit, but there are options for nearly every type of business.
You can earn rewards. Who doesn’t love to earn cash back or travel points on the purchases they already make? Businesses can earn significant credit card rewards, especially when using a card with a strategic bonus category, such as travel or office supplies.
You can take advantage of sign-up bonuses and 0% interest periods. Say you have a large business purchase planned, such as new equipment or materials. Not only can you benefit from an introductory 0% interest period as you pay it off, but you can also easily earn a sign-up bonus.


Credit cards usually come with higher interest rates. Since credit cards are easier than most loans to get approved for, issuers mitigate risk by making interest rates higher. If you pay in full each month, this isn’t important. But if you plan to carry a balance, you’ll need to determine whether it may make more sense to get a small business loan.

You may have to pay some fees. Make sure you understand the fine print before applying for a credit card. There are plenty of business credit cards with no annual fee, but that’s not all you need to watch out for. If you’re not able to make the minimum payments on time, late payment fees and penalty APRs may cost you.

Credit cards usually have lower borrowing limits. While there are many business credit cards with high limits, the maximum limits may not be as high as that of business loans. If you need to borrow a significant amount of money, like $100,000 or more, it will be tough to find a credit card with a limit that high.

Bottom line: Credit cards are a great option for ongoing business expenses, especially if you’re able to pay in full each month. They can also be useful for financing a one-time large purchase.

Small business loans


You can typically borrow more money with a business loan. While business credit card limits are usually higher than that of general credit cards, a loan will usually yield the highest borrowing amount. The U.S. Small Business Administration caps loans at a maximum of $5 million, much greater than what you’ll be able to get from a credit card.

Interest rates are generally lower. The average business credit card APR is 13.91% as of June 6, 2020, according to’s Weekly Rate Report. With a common (7a) SBA loan, you’ll probably have an interest rate between 5.5% and 8%. For full SBA loan interest rate information, check out the SBA’s loan guaranty programs.


It’s harder for new businesses to qualify for small business loans. Many lenders require significant revenue or collateral assets from applicants. The Federal Reserve found that of businesses that applied for a loan in 2019, 21% received less financing than they asked for or none at all.

It can take longer to receive your funds. If you need credit quickly, pursuing a business loan may not be the best choice. It can take several weeks for the funds to be dispersed to you. On the other hand, some credit cards offer instant use upon approval, such as all American Express consumer cards.

Bottom line: If you have significant revenue and need access to a very large sum of cash at once, a business loan may be the best option.

Understanding and building business credit

There are some differences between personal and business credit, which we go into on this page. Here are some tips on how to build business, understanding what is a good rating, and more.

How to build business credit

To build a credit history for your business, you need to establish that your business is a separate entity from yourself and take steps to make sure that your business’s spending activity is being tracked by business credit bureaus. Here are some steps you can take to create a credit history for your business:

  • A business checking account will help you establish your business as a financial entity.
  • Register for a DUN number through Dun and Bradstreet to establish a credit history with them. For Experian and Equifax, establish an LLC so you can get an EIN and set up a phone line with a listed number.
  • If some of your vendor accounts are not making it onto your credit report, you can use D&B’s Credit Builder service to provide positive payment information to your credit report. You can provide D&B with your vendors’ contact information, then D&B will contact them to verify your payment history.
  • Building your personal credit score is one of the first steps to building a credit history for your business. A good personal credit score can help you acquire your first lines of business credit.
  • Apply for a small-business credit card.
  • So that you make your own payments on time (and minimize your need for cash flow), make sure your own customers are paying you in a timely manner.
  • Request credit line increases on your existing accounts – this will improve your credit-to-debt ratio and thus your overall credit score.

Check your business credit

Credit scoring for businesses is a bit different (and more complicated) than scoring for consumers. Personal FICO scores range from 300 to 850 while business credit scores use different scales. There are three primary business credit score bureaus and they all structure their ratings differently.

You can find your business credit score by visiting the Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian websites. Each bureau offers different features.

Checking your business credit with each bureau

Credit Bureau Credit score range Notable features Price
Dun & Bradstreet 1 to 100
  • D&B PAYDEX Score®
  • Financial Stress Score
  • Delinquency Predictor Score
$149 monthly for full access; $0 for limited access
Equifax 101 to 992
  • Your business credit score or that of another tracked business
  • Payment trend and payment index: compares selected business to others in the same industry
  • Equifax Busines Credit Risk Score™ and Equifax Business Failure Score™
$99.99 for a one-time pull or 5 for $399.95
Experian 1 to 100
  • Business credit report and background information
  • Identity protection alerts
  • Intelliscore Plus℠ and Financial Stability Risk
$39.95 for a one-time pull, or $179 for a year of access

Can you get a business credit card with fair or bad credit?

Though most business credit cards require good to excellent credit, there are a few business cards available for people with fair credit. These cards usually lack the hefty sign-up bonuses and travel perks of other business cards, but they can be useful as stepping stones to better credit and more lucrative business rewards cards down the line.

Currently, one of the easiest business credit cards to get is the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, a flat-rate cash back card offering 1% cash back on every purchase. While the card has its shortcomings, including a variable APR of 26.99%, which is much higher than that of the average business card, it comes with a number of useful business perks.

You may also consider paying for business expenses with a consumer card designed for people with fair credit or bad credit.

If you’d rather avoid a personal guarantee, one option is the Brex Corporate Card for Startups. Not only is no personal guarantee required to be approved for the card, you don’t even need to go through a personal credit check. Instead, you supply your EIN and link your corporate bank account to the card as a security deposit (you’ll need at least $100,000 in your corporate account to qualify for the card). Brex then sets credit limits dynamically based on the amount of capital you’ve raised, equity in your company and your company’s spending patterns. Poll: Over one-third of small businesses relying on personal funds during the COVID-19 pandemic

Our July 2020 Small Business Poll uncovered a worrisome fact – 35% of American small-business decision-makers have tapped into personal funds to finance their businesses since the Coronavirus pandemic struck. That includes those who have dipped into a personal savings account (21%), used a personal credit card (24%) or both (10%).

“It’s commendable how far these dedicated business owners are willing to go in search of their dreams,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at “I worry, however, about the debt they’re taking on, and how they’re potentially putting their personal finances at risk.”

Also notably, 38% of business leaders have turned to either business or personal credit cards during this time, with 20% of those polled leaning on business cards.

Paying off credit card debt can be stressful, but there’s a way to do so efficiently. Negotiating interest rates and paying more than the minimum are two ways to reduce the total time and amount of money repaid. “Many of the normal debt reduction tools are in shorter supply these days — for instance, 0% balance transfer offers have dried up due to worries about the economy. That’s why it’s so important to be creative and ask for a break,” Rossman added. Another good strategy: If you have multiple cards with balances and are able to put some money toward your debt, prioritize the highest interest rates in order to reduce the total interest expense.

Meanwhile, the single most popular form of funding was Paycheck Protection Program loans from the Small Business Administration, used by 30% of small businesses.

Small business funding sources amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

  • PPP loan(s)
  • 29.6%
  • Personal credit card(s)
  • 24.4%
  • Business savings account(s)
  • 24.4%
  • Personal savings account(s)
  • 20.7%
  • Business credit card(s)
  • 20.1%
  • Other types of loan(s)
  • 29.6%

Unfortunately, the negative effects of the pandemic are ongoing for many small-business owners, many of whom see trouble on the horizon. The majority of small-business leaders (53%) agree that they will need either an increase in sales or some type of assistance just to stay in business this year.

To stay afloat until 2021, small business decision-makers say they will need:

  • An increase in sales (32%)
  • Government assistance, such as stimulus funding (19%)
  • Any type of loan (13%)

“I’m encouraged by the spirit behind these findings. Even in an incredibly difficult year, small businesses remain resilient and optimistic – they’re taking matters into their own hands. They’re important parts of our communities and our economy, and we’re rooting for them,” says Rossman.

Methodology commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 499 small-business decision-makers. Fieldwork was undertaken from July 14-20, 2020. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.

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