What's the Easiest Business Credit Card to Get?
From easy approval to nice rewards, these cards have it all
Business credit cards can be more than just a convenience. They increase your purchasing power, allow you to withdraw cash in an emergency, and give you the flexibility to carry a balance. All these factors make business credit cards an extremely powerful financial tool.
Of course, some cards might be more appropriate for the needs of your particular business than others. Maybe your creditworthiness is a bit of an issue because you're just starting out—your business doesn't yet have a solid, sustained track record—and in this case, you'll need easy approval.
All these considerations can factor into determining the easiest path to getting a business credit card and which you should apply for.
Considerations When Applying for a Business Credit Card
You've probably received a fair share of credit card offers in the mail as a business owner. You might even have considered applying but felt a little overwhelmed by all the options. Many types of business credit cards come with various functions, features, and benefits.
Similar to a personal credit card, a business credit card applies interest charges, which you'll incur if you carry a balance after each billing cycle. You'll obviously want to secure the lowest rate possible.
Some cards charge annual fees and even monthly fees. Of course, you don't want to pay these, but you might have to in exchange for other perks, such as easy approval.
Credit limits are often based on the strength of both your personal credit score and your business's credit ratings, but a major advantage of business credit cards is that you might be able to qualify for much larger credit limits compared to what you might get on a personal card. This can be particularly important if your company needs to make large purchases initially or periodically for such things such as equipment or inventory.
Business credit cards provide a wide array of rewards and incentives, too, such as discount rates, travel rewards, car rental discounts, and more. Some cards offer cash-back awards based on a percentage of the company’s purchases. All those credit card lenders want new business and they must compete against each other for yours and that of other consumers. This is why they offer these perks...but perks are only worthwhile if you'll use them. What good are airline miles if no one in your company is ever going to fly?
Start by making an honest assessment of your needs, your means for repayment, and your credit scores—both yours and that of your business. The information you gather should guide you as you prepare to apply for a business credit card or cards.
Credit Cards vs. Other Loans
It can be easier for a business owner to get approved for unsecured business credit cards than traditional bank lines of credit or small business loans.
As an added bonus, business credit cards offer much greater flexibility than term loans. A business owner has several options for payment during each billing cycle. He's not limited to fixed monthly payments. A credit card for your business can provide you with a much-needed economic "pillow" in a crisis when amounts you owe are falling behind and your business is short on cash money or sales are slow.
Most business owners find that they have to make purchases or pay invoices online with vendors, suppliers, and other professionals. A business credit card allows your company to effortlessly handle online payments and purchase transactions.
Most company credit cards provide cardholders with online tools to manage their accounts, as well as year-end account recaps that can help you or your accountant track and categorize your expenditures for tax and other purposes. This can also provide a simple way to keep track of employee spending.
If the card issuer reports to the business credit agencies, this can be an excellent way to start establishing a favorable credit file for your business and in turn get an additional credit line and possibly reduced rates of interest.
Types of Cards
There are basically two types of business credit cards: secured and unsecured. Your company is guaranteed approval with a secured card because you pledge collateral, typically a cash deposit, that secures the account.
With an unsecured card, your approval is based primarily on the strength of your credit as the personal guarantor and your company’s credit ratings. The typical credit score range for approval is in the 680-plus range for unsecured business credit cards.
The Best, Easy-Approval Business Credit Cards
Now that you have a handle on what you need and what you're likely to qualify for, here are a few suggestions.
Capital One Spark Classic for Business
This card is suited to small businesses. Approval is at least somewhat tailored to those that have just opened their doors and probably don't have an extensive business credit history yet. As for your own scores, Capital One says it will work with business owners with "average" credit. This card offers year-end summaries and other customized spending reports, and you can get cards for your employees at no extra cost. You'll get 1 percent cash back on every purchase, and there's no annual fee.
Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card
Bank of America's business card comes with a nice bonus: If you charge at least $500 in the first 60 days, Bank of America will credit your statement by $200. Think about it—you're effectively getting $200 in supplies or services for free. This makes it a good card for startups. You'll still get 1 percent cash back on many purchases after the 60-day introductory period, as well as 3 percent at office supply stores and gas stations and 2 percent at restaurants. The APR doesn't kick in until after the first nine billing cycles.
Total Visa Card
Total Visa offers an application process that you could almost do in your sleep, and it's forgiving of less-than-good credit. Of course, you'll pay a little for this. There's a one-time initial processing fee as well as an annual fee on top of a monthly fee that begins after the first year. Your credit limit will be skimpy at first, just $300 or possibly even less, until you establish yourself, but Total Visa does report to all three credit reporting agencies so that you can begin building your credit and your company's credit to better standing.
Your business must have a checking account to qualify.
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
If you and your business have excellent credit profiles, Ink may be the way to go. The application process and qualifying can be a bit stringent, so you may not get easy approval, but Chase offers a lot of cash back rewards when you get beyond this hurdle. If you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months, you'll get $300 cash back, and you'll get $1,250 back on the first $25,000 you spend on office supplies, Internet, and cellphone services—not just one time but every year. You'll get 2 percent cash back on the same amount spent at restaurants and gas stations, and 1 percent on all other purchases.
There's no APR in the first 12 months and no charge for additional cards for your employees.
Milestone Mastercard also has a reputation for forgiving prior credit problems or nonexistent credit histories and approving you and your business anyway. This card is similar to the business card offered by Total Visa, but it has a few interesting differences. Instead of a flat, ongoing annual fee, Milestone will assess your credit standing each year and adjust the fee accordingly. If your creditworthiness improves, you can expect the fee to drop correspondingly. Annual fees range from $35 to $99.
This card also reports to the credit bureaus, and it offers fraud protection.
The Bottom Line
Check your personal and business credit ratings before applying for a business credit card, and if your scores are low, consider opening an account with one of these less-than-great-credit lenders or get a secured business credit card to start establishing positive business credit history.