Getting a business credit card with bad credit may be challenging but it’s not impossible. There are several business credit cards for bad credit you may qualify for that will help you steadily build credit.
As a revolving credit product, a credit card can make it easier to keep your business running by allowing you to charge things and pay them off over time. You might even be able to earn some valuable rewards in the process. But what if you have bad credit or no credit at all?
Don’t despair just yet. If you have bad credit, you’re not shut out of getting approved for a business credit card. But you may need to spend some time researching your options to find one you can qualify for. To make it easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best business credit cards for bad credit for you to consider.
Capital One Spark 1% Classic: Best for average credit
Why we picked it: The Capital One Spark 1% Classic Card* is designed for people who have fair credit scores and want to work their way up to the good or excellent credit score range. This card allows you to build credit while earning unlimited 1 percent cash back on purchases. There are no rewards tiers or rotating bonus categories to worry about and rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. In addition to cash back rewards, the card offers some business features, such as year-end summaries and downloadable purchase records.
- 5 percent cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel
- No annual fee
- No limit or category restrictions on cash back you can earn
- Quick, 10-minute application process
- High purchase APR (29.99 percent variable)
- Cannot transfer rewards to other loyalty programs
Who should apply: If you’re a business owner with a less-than-stellar credit history looking for a card that will help you build credit as well as give you rewards and extra perks, the Capital One Spark Classic might be a good fit. Because of its access to Capital One Travel, it’s also a good card for when you must go on the occasional business trip.
Who should skip: If you prefer to transfer your rewards to other loyalty programs, another card could be a better choice for you. Anyone who thinks the flat 1 percent is too low for your tastes should keep shopping.
First National Bank Business Edition Secured Mastercard Credit Card: Best secured card option
Why we picked it: Though the First National Bank Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card* is a secured card, it allows a credit limit from $2,000 to $100,000 (a high credit limit for a secured card). However, your credit limit depends on your creditworthiness and security deposit, which must be 110 percent of your credit limit. For example, if you qualify for the $100,000 credit limit, you must deposit $110,000.
Other card perks that may benefit your business include free business management reports and up to 50 percent select QuickBooks subscriptions. And because the FNBO Secured Business Credit Card is a secured card, you’re likely to be approved if you have bad credit or no credit at all.
- May request your credit limit between $2,000 to $100,000 when you apply (depending on your creditworthiness)
- Automatic rebates on more than 40,000 participating merchants
- Up to $20 off on TurboTax federal products
- Up to 50 percent off select QuickBooks subscriptions
- $39 annual fee
- Must deposit 110 percent of your credit limit
- High purchase and balance transfer APR (25.49 percent variable)
Who should apply: The FNBO Secured Business Card doesn’t have strict credit requirements, so it’s a good option for business owners with limited or bad credit. New cardholders seeking a business card with a potentially high credit limit should also apply.
Who should skip: If you’re looking to earn rewards on your business transactions, this card won’t appeal to you.
Brex Card: Best for businesses with good cash flow
Why we picked it: To properly compare it with other credit cards, we’ll discuss the monthly version of the Brex 30 Card. This card only requires an Employer Identification Number and at least $50,000, from investors in a U.S.-based bank account.
Unlike other issuers, Brex only considers your spending habits and regular cash flow to determine your credit limit. Your personal credit score won’t be affected. This means that if you have a bad credit score, from previous hiccups, personal or professional, but your cash flow remains healthy you could qualify for a good credit limit.
- 7X points on rideshare, 3X points on restaurants and 2X points on software
- Built-in expense tracking software
- Integrate with business tools like QuickBooks, Slack, Netsuite and more
- Discounts on some software brands (for example: Salesforce Essentials membership costs $9.99 per user every month for first year)
- Need a lot in the bank to qualify
Who should apply: If your business has solid capital but a bad credit score, you may qualify for the Brex Card. Business owners who are also foreigners and don’t have a Social Security Number should also apply.
Who should skip: If your company has little cash in the bank, you should probably opt for a different card. Also, if your business doesn’t spend much in the Brex Card’s bonus categories (rideshare services, travel, restaurants, Apple products and software subscriptions), you should choose a flat-rate card instead.
Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured: Best for no credit history
Why we picked it: The Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card* determines your credit limit based on your security deposit. This card’s minimum deposit is a bit higher at $1,000, but in return you earn 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. If you show healthy credit habits over time, you’ll be upgraded to the unsecured version. Though it lacks fancy bells and whistles, it doesn’t appear to require a specific credit score, so it should be great for business credit beginners.
- Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases
- No expiration on rewards if account stays open
- No annual fee
- Limited redemption options
- High regular APR (26.99 percent variable)
Who should apply: Cardholders who have little to no credit history may appreciate this card’s straightforward structure. Business owners who want to start a strong relationship with a major issuer should also apply, since Business of America will monitor the account to see if it’s eligible to be upgraded.
Who should skip: Anyone with a higher credit score than poor may qualify for a slightly better card.
Compare business cards for bad credit
Here’s a comparison of the best business credit cards for bad credit:
|Capital One Spark 1% Classic Card
|1% cash back on all purchases
|First National Bank Business Edition Secured Mastercard Credit Card
|Brex 30 Card
|N/A (charge card)
|Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card
|1.5% cash back on all purchases
|26.99 % variable
How to choose a business card for bad credit
If you’re in the market for a business credit card and your credit isn’t stellar, there are a few things to think over while shopping for a business card:
- Should you get a business credit card? In short, yes. While you could use a personal credit card to fund your business, it can become tricky when reporting deductible expenses. If all your personal and business spending is combined on the same card, it could also complicate tax filing. However, getting a business card may not make sense if your business is still nascent and doesn’t have that many expenses yet.
- Does the card’s rewards program fit your spending? Business credit cards can reward you for the things your business spends the most on, so picking the right card will make earning rewards easy. However, you should only spend on things you’d normally buy, rather than let your thirst for rewards lead your spending.
- Do you know all your card’s fees? Be sure to read the fine print. You should know what you’ll pay for the regular APR and fees as well as what rewards or benefits you’ll get. That way, if you ever miss a payment, you’ll know exactly what the penalty APR or late payment fee is.
- Should you get a secured credit card? Secured cards are good for helping you build up a good credit history of consistent, on-time payments. Their usually lower credit limits, lack of annual fees and relatively low rewards potential keep you focused on improving your credit score, rather than encouraging you to spend exorbitantly to earn cash back.
Bad credit doesn’t have to prevent you from opening a business credit card account. These business credit cards are designed to offer the best business features and necessary guardrails to help you focus on improving your credit score. Like for personal cards, your bad credit score does not have to spell the end of your business or credit journey.
When used responsibly, a business credit card could help you improve your score over time. That can make it easier to qualify for premium business cards, which may offer better rewards or perks, in the future.
*All information about the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card, Capital One Spark 1% Classic Card and First National Bank Business Edition Secured Mastercard Credit Card has been collected independently CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.