Q: Is it possible to apply without a personal guarantee?
A: Unfortunately not if you're a newer business. Advanta was the only major issuer which offered business credit cards without personal guarantee, but they went bankrupt during the recession. At this time all major issuers require your Social Security number as a personal guarantee. In order to qualify under a federal tax ID alone, typically the company must already have a strong credit history, annual cash flow in the millions, and 3+ years in operation.
Best Business Credit Cards With Rewards 2013 (reviews are constantly updated with the best sponsored offers)
Top Pick For Rewards = Chase Ink Plus®
With this version of Ink, you will have to pay an annual fee after the first year, so it won't be appropriate for everyone. Earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores and on cell phone, landline, internet and cable TV on the first $50,000 spent annually. 2 points per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations on the first $50,000 spent annually. You get 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Redeem for cash back (100 pts = $1.00) or transfer points to participating airline and hotel frequent travel programs on a 1 for 1 basis. This includes United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, Marriott Rewards, Priority Club Rewards, Amtrak Guest Rewards + more.
There is a $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, after that it's $95. Right now this card has the most lucrative bonus, but also a larger spend requirement to earn it: 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. That's worth $500 cash back or redeem for travel and get even more value. To get this offer use the link below or call 1-888-653-0471.
Chase Ink Cash® – Earn $200 Bonus
As the founder of this site, I can personally attest to caliber of this card since I've been using it myself for over 2 years now. There's no no annual fee and with the link below, you will get a $200 bonus after spending $3k within the first 3 months (when I applied the bonus was much smaller, so get this offer while its avail).
You will earn an impressive 5% cash back at office supply stores, cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services on the first $25,000 spent annually at those places. 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $25,000 spent annually at those places. 1% cash back on all other purchases. With this promotion you will also get 0% intro APR for the first 6 months on purchases and balance transfers (and after that it's only 13.24% Variable).
To get this offer you will need to use the link below or call 1-888-673-5271 to apply over the phone.
Capital One® Spark℠ Cash for Business
Previously, the AmEx Plum (below) was the top business credit card for cash back because it gave 1.5%. But that crown was lost to Capital One's Spark Cash; it's the king since it gives you an unlimited 2% cash back and has a significantly lower annual fee of only $59 ($0 intro for first year) compared to the $250 for Plum. Best of all with the following promotion, you have the opportunity to get a $100 cash bonus - just spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Plus get a $50 bonus for adding one or more employee cards (at no additional cost). Combined, that's $150 in bonuses!
Capital One® Spark℠ Miles for Business
This card is similar to the Spark Cash mentioned above, except you will be earning travel rewards. Unlike airline frequent flyer miles, with this program your miles have a straight value of 1 cent each (good towards any travel purchase). You earn 2 miles per dollar which essentially means your spending is earning rewards worth 2%. Right now the Spark Miles has a $0 intro annual fee for the 1st year & $59 after that. For spending $1k on purchases in the first 3 months you get 10,000 bonus miles. Add one or more employee cards & get 5,000 bonus miles.
The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN
Year after year this remains to be AmEx's most popular business charge card. You can rack up rewards quickly:
3X points on airfare purchased from airlines and 2X points on US purchases for advertising in select media, shipping and at gas stations. As if that wasn't good enough, something NEW they just added is that you now earn
2X points on US purchases made directly from select computer hardware and software providers. Up to $100,000 spent in each category per year qualifies for the higher rewards. After that, and on all other eligible purchases, you earn 1X point per dollar spent. Terms and limitations apply.
But these just aren't your typical card points, they're Membership Rewards® points and those have the potential to be quite valuable. For example, you can transfer points to frequent flyer miles on nearly a dozen airlines, usually on a 1 point = 1 mile conversion.
If you're going to apply, now is definitely the time to do it because they're running a promotion at the moment where you can earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first 3 months following approval. Plus, get a statement credit for your initial Amazon Prime membership fee after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. Terms and Restrictions Apply.
Chase Ink Bold®
This version is identical to the Ink Plus featured above, except this one is a charge card. That means you are required to pay your balance in full every month. Except for that, it's the same card as above. You get the same great 5x points in select business categories, 1:1 transfer of points to hotel and frequent flyer programs, and the same ridiculously generous signup offer of 50,000 bonus points for spending $5k within the first 3 months. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, after that it's $95. If you want the Ink Plus and/or Ink Bold, I would strongly urge you to apply now (just as I have) because historically the bonus hasn't always been this big. To get the offer use the link below or call 1-877-578-2140.
What is the best choice for you?
There is no “one size” fits all answer. Which of these qualities are most important to you?
- Rewards: Did you know that the rewards offered on business cards are actually more generous than regular cards? They typically give you more cash back, points, and miles.
- Low Interest: If you anticipate carrying a balance, then of course low interest cards are what you want. Unfortunately, low rates disappeared during “The Great Recession” and have yet to return. However, some still offer good introductory rates.
- Annual Fee: There are plenty of no annual fee cards to apply for. However those which are affiliated with an airline or hotel, as well as the premium charge cards, usually have an annual fee.
- Benefits: Many business credit cards include perks such as extra travel benefits, discounts programs, and detailed billing (which can be a lifesaver for accounting and taxes).
- Customer Service: Being a business owner is stressful enough as it is, so the last thing you want is the stress of a customer service rep in India! Issuers like AmEx and Chase almost always use American based call centers for their business cardholders.
A: Assuming you have qualifying personal credit, any of the above can be candidates for you. However it’s important to remember that you will be personally responsible for any debts incurred (just like you would with a normal credit card). So please keep that in mind.
Q: How about newer small business with more than one employee?
A:Unfortunately a personal guarantee will still be required, so your options remain the same. However, you will probably want one that offers additional cards for free (to give to authorized users). Most include this as a free option, with the exception of the premium cards that have annual fees.
Q: What kind of information will the application ask for?
A: If you’ve never filled out a business credit card application before, you may be surprised to see the information they ask is not much different than a personal card. In addition to your personal information, you will be asked for your business name and phone number. If you are a well-established, profitable company applying under the business federal tax ID alone, then you will need to supply that on the application.
Q: How long do the applications take to process?
A: If applying normally under your Social Security number, the time it takes to process your application is similar to what it would be for a normal credit card. When you submit application using only a business tax ID, the processing time will likely be longer (with how conservative banks are these days, expect them to go over everything with a fine-tooth comb).
Q: Which business credit cards have the best customer service?
A: The offers listed in the sponsored rankings and reviews above are known for delivering exceptional customer service (and if your experience differs, please let us know on our message board). That being said, American Express and Chase are two which are known to especially stand out from the crowd.