How to Get a Business Credit Card with Just Your EIN (No SSN)

CREDIT CARDS - BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS
Getting a business credit card without being personally liable isn’t impossible, but your options are limited.
Updated April 12, 2024
Fact checked
Business partners using business credit card with EIN

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Applying for a new business credit card often requires your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and your Social Security number (SSN). However, there are some types of business credit cards that you may be able to get using only an EIN.

These types include corporate business cards, corporate gas cards, and secured business cards. If you’re wondering how to get a business card using an EIN only, here’s what you need to know. 

In this article

Key takeaways

  • There’s a limited number of corporate and business credit cards that allow you to apply for them without providing a Social Security number (SSN).
  • Using an Employer Identification Number (EIN) when applying for a business credit card helps establish a credit history for the business. It also facilitates the separation of business and personal finances, which is beneficial for record-keeping and tax reporting.
  • To qualify for corporate credit cards, your business typically needs to meet the credit card issuer’s required revenue threshold. This requirement varies among different card issuers.
  • Having a good business credit score with bureaus such as Dun & Bradstreet or Experian Business can help your business qualify for business credit cards.

Can you get a business credit card with EIN only?

You can submit certain business credit card applications using just your Employer Identification Number (EIN). EIN-only cards can be beneficial for building your business credit and separating personal and business expenses.

However, most business credit cards require a Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in addition to an EIN.

That’s why you may find that EIN-only cards typically have stricter requirements around business sales, assets, history, and type. Corporate cards are one example of EIN-only cards, but they are usually only available for certain registered businesses with a certain profit margin and credit score. Secured business credit cards are an alternative option for new and small business owners who don’t want to provide an SSN.

Why would you want to get a business card only using your EIN?

Getting a business credit card using your EIN is advantageous in a few ways. For example, it allows you to build business credit and get the benefits of using a credit card, like greater purchasing flexibility and earning cashback rewards or travel rewards, without positioning yourself as a guarantor of the amount owed if your business is unable to pay.

Additionally, using an EIN helps you get access to a business credit card account if:

  • You have poor or no personal credit report. If you don’t have a strong personal credit history, it might be harder to get approved for a business credit card using your SSN.
  • You want to avoid personal liability. As noted above, by using an EIN for your business card, you’re not using yourself as a personal guarantor of the balance through your SSN, so you can’t be held accountable if the business goes under.
  • You don’t have an SSN. If you aren’t a U.S. resident and used an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to request an EIN through the IRS, a business credit card using an EIN can help open the doors to the benefits of a credit card.

What types of business credit cards can you get with only an EIN?

Although many credit card issuers require an SSN for a business card, there are some cards on the market that only require an EIN.

Corporate business credit cards

Corporate credit cards are available to large businesses that can demonstrate large annual revenues, typically ranging in millions of dollars. These cards offer corporate liability, meaning the business is solely responsible for payments and can reap the benefits of rewards and perks.

To apply for a corporate business credit card, your business needs to operate as a separate legal entity and have a good business credit score with bureaus such as Dun & Bradstreet or Experian Business.

These cards can help build a business’s credit history with business credit bureaus, which are different from personal credit bureaus. Some card issuers partner with companies to offer additional benefits and discounts. Corporate cards also typically come with robust business finance analytics and reporting tools for the accounting department to monitor usage and set spending limits on employee cards.

Corporate credit card Summary
Brex Credit Card

Brex Credit Card

Instead of requiring million-dollar revenue, the Brex Credit Card uses an algorithm to assess eligibility and credit limits by connecting to your company’s business bank account to analyze your cash flow, spending, and other details. Brex provides automated expense management and easy integration with accounting systems.
Ramp Card

Ramp Card

The Ramp Card is a corporate charge card that earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases and offers credit limits based on the company’s cash balance by connecting to its banking service provider. The card offers automated expense management and seamless integration with business tools.

Corporate gas credit cards

If your business requires frequent fuel fill-ups, a corporate gas card that only requires an EIN, like the Shell Small Business Card, might be useful. Corporate gas cards give you the advantage of issuing multiple cards to your employees as well as setting fuel limits (and sometimes even location limits).

Like regular corporate credit cards, corporate gas cards provide reporting on the card’s activity and require good business credit to get approved. On the downside, they can’t be used for just any type of business purchase.

Corporate gas cards are used specifically for fuel purchases at the pump and sometimes for vehicle maintenance purchases.

Secured business credit cards

Although there are a number of reasons you might be looking for an EIN-only business credit card, a secured credit card could be a good alternative if your main reason is a poor personal credit score or bad credit for your business.

Some secured credit cards for businesses may only require you to share your EIN, while other secured business cards may still require your SSN. This might make them a good fit for small startup businesses or partnerships, as well as sole proprietors. The benefit of a secured card is that it could help build your business credit history as you use the card responsibly.

One example of a secured business credit card is the First National Bank of Omaha Business Edition Secured Mastercard Credit Card. This business card enables you to choose a credit limit between $2,000 and $100,000 but requires you to secure it with a deposit totaling 110% of your credit limit.

The FNBO Business Edition Secured provides you with auto rental insurance coverage and certain Mastercard benefits, such as automatic rebates at 40,000 participating merchants. However, its downside is that it has a $39 annual fee.

Why you should consider applying for a business card with your SSN

Applying for a business card with your Social Security Number (SSN) helps you back up your application with a personal guarantee. This can give you access to more business card options.

Some business credit cards don’t report to consumer credit agencies, which can help separate your personal credit activity from your business credit activity, even if you use your SSN to apply. Keep in mind that this isn’t true for all business credit cards, though.

Here are some benefits of applying for a business card with your SSN:

  • More card options: With your SSN, you’ll have access to a wider range of business credit cards.
  • Easier access to a line of credit: Having a personal guarantee typically makes it easier to get access to a credit line without needing to prove business revenue or cash flow.
  • Earning rewards: Many business credit cards that require an SSN during the application process offer rewards programs for your business purchases.

Some of our recommended business credit cards that require entering an SSN during the application process include:

Credit card Rewards rate Annual fee
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

2% cash back on every purchase, every day; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel $0
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that $0 (Terms apply)
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

3X points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year; and 1X points per $1 on all other purchases $95
Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

2% cash back on every purchase, every day; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel $150
American Express® Business Gold Card

American Express® Business Gold Card

4X Membership Rewards Points on purchases in the two categories with the most spend each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories (up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, after that 1X), 3X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com, and 1 point per $1 spent on other eligible purchases $375 (Terms apply)

Why do business credit cards typically require your SSN?

During the business credit card application process, giving lenders, banks, or other card issuers your SSN gives them access to your personal credit profile. Credit card companies use your SSN to assess whether you’re a strong candidate for the card for a few reasons:

  • Your business hasn’t demonstrated its creditworthiness yet. If your business is new or has zero or minimal credit history, the issuer of the card will use your SSN to run a personal credit check and determine your risk level as a borrower.
  • You’ll be personally liable if the business fails. The reality of owning a business is that not all businesses make it. If your business folds but you’ve supplied your SSN, you can be held liable to repay the balance on the business credit card.

Getting a small business credit card with no personal guarantee might make sense if you’ll solely be using the account for business expenses. But card issuers may want to verify the creditworthiness of a primary individual who will ultimately be responsible for the charges.

Prepaid business cards: An alternative option to business credit cards

You can opt for a prepaid business card. Since prepaid cards are considered low risk, you won’t need to supply your SSN. This option gives you the flexibility and benefits of a credit card when cash payments aren’t feasible — for example if you need to book travel or order supplies online. It’s also safer than cash because in the event you lose your card, you might be able to get the funds back. However, keep in mind that these aren't credit cards.

Once you have the prepaid business card, simply fund it with a set amount and use the card as you would a typical debit card. For example, if you load the prepaid card with $500, you’d have access to $500 on the card. Once your card’s $500 balance is used, you’ll need to reload it with more funds.

This could be a good option if you don’t meet the revenue requirements that corporate cards expect. The main disadvantage of a prepaid business card is that isn't a credit card, so it doesn’t help your business credit score because issuers typically don't report activity to the credit bureaus.

FAQ about EIN-only business credit cards

What is an EIN?

An EIN is a unique number that the IRS assigns to your business as a tax ID, like on business tax returns. This nine-digit number is used by different types of businesses, including sole proprietorships, corporations, small businesses, private employers, nonprofit organizations, and other business entities.

Although your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security number (SSN) are also nine-digit numbers, they serve different purposes. An ITIN is used for tax purposes by people who can't get an SSN, while an SSN is issued by the Social Security Administration and it’s used to track your personal wages.

What is the easiest business credit card to get?

A secured business credit card will likely be the easiest business credit card to get. This is because secured credit cards don’t typically require good or excellent credit for approval. Secured business cards such as the First National Bank of Omaha Business Edition Secured Mastercard Credit Card don't require good credit because you have to make a minimum deposit to qualify for either card.

Can you get a business credit card with only an EIN?

Yes, it’s possible to get a business credit card with only an Employer Identification Number, but the choices are few and far between. For example, the Brex card doesn’t require you to provide your Social Security number when you apply. However, business credit cards from most card issuers will require you to provide your Social Security number at some point during the application process.

Do you need an EIN to get approved for a business credit card?

No, you don’t necessarily need an EIN to get approved for a business credit card. You may be able to get approved using your Social Security number without an EIN. In these cases, you’re typically applying for a business credit card as a sole proprietorship, which requires only your Social Security number.

What do you need to qualify for a business credit card?

To qualify for the best business credit cards, you’ll need to be a business owner. Owning a business doesn’t have to involve running a large corporation or even a brick-and-mortar location. If you do any number of side hustles that earn you income and aren’t part of your typical employment scenario, you could be considered a business owner. This may include consulting services, selling items online, or doing freelance design work on the side.

In addition, most business credit card applications will require you to provide information about your business, such as your annual business revenue, the number of employees at your business, how many years you’ve been in business, and more. You’ll also need to provide personal information, including your name, birthdate, address, total gross annual income, and Social Security number.

Can an EIN help you build your business credit?

Obtaining an EIN is a useful step for establishing your business credit as it’s used to identify business entities. However, simply having an EIN won’t build your business credit. You’ll need to use your EIN to apply for business credit and then use your business credit to make transactions. Your eligible credit transactions will be reported to business credit reporting agencies, which should help build your business credit report.

EIN-only business credit cards: bottom line

While an EIN-only business credit card can make sense in some cases, if you're open to using your SSN to apply for a business card, you'll likely have more options available to you. Since credit issuers often request both an EIN and SSN, consider shopping around for a new card if you've recently improved your credit score and you're willing to use your SSN on a business credit card application.

For business owners open to this option, here are more credit card options on top of our previous recommendations:

  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Enjoy a $0 annual fee and access to one of the most popular credit card rewards programs out there, the Amex Membership Rewards program. With this card, you earn 2X Membership Rewards points on everyday eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that. Terms apply.
  • U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard®: This card offers 5% cash back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Rewards Center; 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers, and restaurants; and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. 
  • Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: Cardholders 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; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases and enjoy a $0 annual fee. It also offers an introductory purchase APR of 0% for 12 months (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable).

If you'd like to explore even more options, check out our picks for the best business credit cards for your small business.

Up to 5% Cash Back

4.8

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

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; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Jennifer Calonia Jennifer Calonia is a native Los Angeles-based writer and editor with eight years of experience in personal finance. She's passionate about helping others pay off debt, navigate family finance, and use rewards credit cards, responsibly. She's been featured on Forbes, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Credit Karma, Nerdwallet, and more. To find more information about her work, visit JenniferCalonia.com.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt