If you’re a business owner, you’re in good company. According to the Small Business Administration, there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States, employing nearly 50% of the country’s workforce.
If you’re looking to grow your business, finding access to financing is key. But if you have poor credit or no credit history at all, qualifying for a business credit card can be difficult.
We scoured dozens of credit card offers to find the easiest business credit card to get for every situation. Here’s what you need to know before submitting your business credit card application.
How a business credit card can help your business
If you’re a business owner, getting a business credit card is an essential part of managing your finances. It’s important to keep your personal and business expenses separate for tax purposes and having a business credit card makes doing so easier.
And while business loans can be helpful, they’re limited in their use. Business loans are one-time sources of funding; once you spend that money, you’ll have to take out another loan if you have another purchase. Credit cards offer more flexibility. You’ll get access to a revolving line of credit, so you can take advantage of business deals as they come up.
Types of business credits available if you have bad credit
When it comes to business credit cards, there are three main types available to you:
- Unsecured: Unsecured cards are the most common but are the toughest to qualify for if you have less-than-stellar credit. Unsecured cards don’t require security deposits or collateral; the credit card company issues your business a line of credit solely based on your business’ revenue and credit history.
- Secured: If you can’t qualify for an unsecured card, a secured card can be a smart solution. With this approach, you put down a deposit on the card that acts as your credit limit. Although secured cards do require a credit check, they tend to have lower requirements than unsecured cards.
- Prepaid: Prepaid cards are perfect for those with very bad credit or no credit at all. With a prepaid card, there’s no credit check. Instead, you pay a certain amount and that acts as your credit limit.
3 easiest business credit cards to get
If you’re looking for the easiest business credit card to get, check out these three options.
1. Capital One Spark Classic for Business
If you’re looking for a traditional business credit card, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business is a great place to start. According to Capital One, the card is available to those with a limited credit history, such as those who have had a personal credit card for less than three years or who have defaulted on a loan in the past five years.
The card has a $0 annual fee, and you’ll get 1% unlimited cash back on every purchase for your business, plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. That’s a lower rewards rate than you’ll find with some other business cards. However, the rewards rate is actually pretty generous for a card that’s so easy to get.
The card also offers useful benefits like extended warranty protection, primary car rental insurance, and travel and emergency assistance services. There are no foreign transaction fees, making it a smart choice if you’re traveling outside the country.
2. Staples Business Credit Card
If you have only fair credit but are looking for a card to improve your credit history, the Staples Business Credit Card might be one of the best business credit cards to get you started. As a store card, it has less-stringent requirements than most business cards. It can only be used at Staples stores and online at Staples.com, but the rewards may be beneficial to your business.
You’ll get $50 off your first purchase of $150 or more. And you’ll get 5% back in Staples Rewards on every in-store or online purchase. You’ll also qualify for free next-day delivery on orders over $49.99. Even better, there’s no annual fee.
Additionally, if you keep up with your payments, your credit score will rise, helping you qualify for a traditional business credit card later on.
3. Netspend Small Business Prepaid Mastercard
If you don’t want to worry about carrying around cash or want to limit employee spending, consider signing up for a prepaid option like the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Mastercard.
Prepaid cards are the easiest cards to get. With the Netspend Small Business Prepaid Mastercard, there’s no credit check at all. Just load the card with an amount of money and that amount acts as the spending limit on the card.
The card has advantages over using cash. You’ll get access to perks like primary car rental insurance and extended warranty coverage on eligible purchases.
However, prepaid cards come with hefty fees. You’ll pay a monthly master account fee, a fee for ATM withdrawals, and even fees for customer support inquiries, like asking about your account balance.
Comparison of the easiest business credit cards to get
|Card name||Type of card||Annual Fee||Special Features|
|Capital One Spark Classic for Business||Unsecured||$0||
|Staples Business Credit Card||Unsecured||No annual fee||
|Netspend Small Business Prepaid Mastercard||Prepaid||Monthly master account fee||
How long does it take to be approved for a business credit card?
In most cases, you can apply for a business credit card online. However, some companies do require you to apply in person.
When you apply, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation)
- Business name
- Business mailing address
- Years in business
- Business revenue
- Personal information, such as your Social Security number
Typically, you’ll receive a decision right away. However, there are some cases where the credit card company will need additional information. If that’s the case, it will request that information from you before a decision is made.
If you’re not approved, you’ll receive a notification in the mail detailing why you were denied. You’ll usually get that notification within two weeks of applying.
Qualifying for a business credit card
If you’re a business owner, signing up for a business credit card is a wise decision. Not only will you build your business’ credit, but you’ll also make your life (and your accountant’s!) much easier at tax time.