Which Business Credit Cards Report to Personal Credit Bureaus?

CREDIT CARDS - BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS
Some business credit cards report activity on your personal credit report while others don't — and this is important to know before you apply for a business credit card.
Updated April 16, 2024
Fact checked
Business Credit Cards Report to Personal Credit Bureaus

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Many business credit cards report to personal credit bureaus, but they generally don’t report everything. Some business credit cards report only negative information to personal credit bureaus, such as late payments. Still, there are some business card issuers out there that report all information to personal credit bureaus, which can either help or hurt your personal credit score depending on how you use your business card.

This guide will help you to understand what information, if any, different business card issuers will put on your personal credit report. It will also explain why this is important in terms of building and maintaining a good credit score.

In this article

What does it mean to report to a credit bureau?

Credit card companies (and other lenders) provide details to these agencies about the amount you borrow and whether you pay on time or are late in repaying your debts. The agencies use all of the information they collect to ultimately determine your credit score.

The three big credit bureaus are primarily known for collecting personal consumer credit information, but businesses have credit scores too. Some credit reporting agencies are dedicated to collecting information on businesses, such as Dun & Bradstreet. Others, such as Equifax, have both personal and business credit divisions.

Regardless of the agency, business credit reports are a separate thing from the personal credit reports of individual business owners.

Pros of a business credit card that shows up on your credit report

There are some benefits to having a business credit card show up on your personal credit report:

  • Your business card could help you develop a positive payment history: This is the most important factor that determines your credit score. If your company always pays on time, this will help you build credit.
  • Your business card could help with your credit utilization ratio:If your business card has a large line of credit and you don't charge much on it, then this could give you a lower utilization ratio (which is a good thing for your overall credit score). 

What is a credit utilization ratio?
This is the ratio of credit used versus credit available to you. For example, if you had $10,000 in available credit, but you’ve spent only $3,000, then you would have a utilization score of 30%.

Cons of a business credit card that shows up on your personal credit report

There are some potential downsides to business credit cards being reported on your personal credit history:

  • Late payments or a default could hurt your personal credit score: If you pay your business credit card late, this could be reported on your personal credit history and do serious damage to your score.
  • Your business debt could affect your debt-to-income ratio: When your company borrows on the card, the debt will show up as an obligation you're responsible for. A debt-to-income ratio that is too high can sometimes disqualify you from getting a loan. If you are looking to take out personal loans in the future, this could be a negative for you.
  • High credit utilization could reduce your credit score: When your credit utilization is above 30%, your credit score suffers. If you charge a lot on your business card and it’s reported on your personal credit history, this could drag down your score.
  • You'll get a hard inquiry on your credit report: When you apply for a business card and the card issuer checks your personal credit, you'll show a hard inquiry on your credit report.

How long do hard inquiries stay on your credit report?
Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years. While one credit check is not a big deal, too many inquiries can lower your credit score.

Which business credit cards do/don't report personal credit?

The table below shows which business credit card issuers will report information about your business card to your personal credit history.

Card issuer Reports activity to personal credit report Reports ALL info to personal credit report Reports only NEGATIVE info to personal credit report Reports activity to business credit bureaus
American Express Yes No Yes Yes
Bank of America Yes No Yes Yes
Barclays Yes Yes No Yes
Capital One Yes Yes No Yes
Chase Yes No Yes Yes
Citi No No No Yes
Discover Yes Yes No Yes
U.S. Bank No No No Yes
Wells Fargo No No No Yes

Even among the card issuers that report only negative information to your personal credit, there are different rules for when these reports are made:

  • Chase will report late payments on your personal credit report only if you are more than 60 days late in making a payment.
  • Amex reports any time your account is not in good standing.
  • Bank of America reports any time you are delinquent in paying.

All this could mean that while credit cards like the Capital One Spark Cash Plus and Chase Ink Business cards are all great options, they still may not be a good fit for your needs.

Our recommendations for business credit cards that do not report to personal credit 

If you're looking for business credit cards that don't report information to your personal credit history, here are a few great options — as well as why we recommend them.

Card Welcome offer Rewards rate Annual fee
U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card

4.1

Earn $750 in rewards when you spend $7,500 in eligible purchases on the account owner's card within the first 120 days of opening your account Earn 5% cash back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Rewards Center; 2% cash back in top two categories where you spend the most each month automatically; 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases $95 (waived first year)
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

4.6

Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening Earn 2X miles per dollar on all eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations; plus 1X miles on other purchases $99 (waived first year)

U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card is a good fit for business owners looking for a simple cashback rewards card. It offers 5% cash back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Rewards Center; 2% cash back in top two categories where you spend the most each month automatically; 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. The automatic cash back increase means you don’t have to worry about rotating categories.

The Business Leverage card also has a welcome offer that allows you to earn $750 in rewards when you spend $7,500 in eligible purchases on the account owner's card within the first 120 days of opening your account. You can also add employee cards for free and there are no foreign transaction fees.

The downsides to this card are that it has a $95 (waived first year) annual fee and a relatively low rewards rate compared to other cards.

Find out more in our full U.S. Bank Business Leverage card review.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a great choice for small business owners who routinely travel with American Airlines.

It provides cardholders with a 65000-mile bonus for new cardmembers who spend $4,000 or more on the card within the first 4 months of opening the account.

It also has a generous rewards program offering 2X miles for many different kinds of spending companies commonly do, including eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.

Frequent American Airlines travelers will also benefit from a free checked bag on American flights, preferred boarding, and 25% savings on in-flight food, beverages, or WiFi purchases. This card also charges no foreign transaction fees. These perks more than make up for the card's $99 (waived first year) annual fee. 

Check out our CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard review for more details.

Why some business credit cards check your personal credit report

If your business is just starting out and doesn’t have a credit history of its own yet (or at least not a solid one), then the business credit card issuer will likely approve or decline your application based on your own personal credit history and credit score.

Beyond the application stage, some business card issuers keep reporting to consumer credit bureaus for as long as your account is open. That’s important because it means all of your business credit card activity — such as how much you've borrowed relative to your available credit, and whether or not you pay your bills on time — could show up on your personal credit report and impact your own credit score.

For example, late payments tend to reduce your credit score, and so does borrowing too much on your business credit cards, which can give you a high credit utilization ratio.

What information do business credit cards report to personal bureaus?

Depending on the card issuer, business credit cards generally share data on payments and borrowing behavior with personal credit bureaus.

So, if you develop a positive history of on-time payments, this could help both you and your company build credit, which could make it easier to qualify for business loans in your company's name in the future (rather than relying on you and your personal credit report). But if you pay late or default, this could hurt both yours and your company's credit reports. 

Some business credit card issuers report only negative information to the personal credit bureaus, which means things like late payments could affect your personal credit score, but responsible card usage will not help build your personal score.

FAQs

How do I build up my business credit score without using my personal credit?

To build your business credit score without using your personal credit, you’ll need a business credit card that doesn’t report card activity to your personal credit report.

Business cards issued by Citi, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank will not show up on your personal credit report, but many other card issuers report at least some of your business card activity to the consumer bureaus. For that reason, the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard could be a great choice.

How do you separate business credit from personal credit?

To separate business credit from personal credit, use business credit cards for your business-related spending. These cards can help make it easier to track business expenses separate from personal expenses for tax purposes. 

In addition, certain business cards, such as Citi and Wells Fargo business credit cards, don’t report your card activity to the three consumer credit bureaus.

Can I get a business credit card with bad personal credit?

Yes, it’s possible to get a business credit card with bad personal credit. Certain secured business credit cards and other types of cards may offer higher approval odds. To learn more about business cards that could be easier to qualify for, check out our list of easy-to-get business credit cards.

Bottom line

Before you apply for a new business credit card, it's important to find out whether it will report your account activity to your personal credit report and impact your FICO score. Knowing which business credit cards do not report to your personal credit could help you decide which card is the right one for you.

Remember, though, that even if the card issuer doesn't generally share information with consumer credit reporting agencies, you could still be responsible for repaying credit card debt if you've given a personal guarantee. So make sure you pick the best business credit card to line up with your personal finance and small business goals.

Free checked bags & more

4.3

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Current Offer

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$99 (waived first year)

Rewards Rate

2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases; and 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.

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