Updated on October 21, 2015
Whether you have a new startup business or existing business, it seems you're always paying for something. You should get rewarded for all your spending.
There are credit cards out there with big sign up bonuses that can be used for free travel and many other things (travel is often the most valuable). Many cards offer tiny or no rewards and I would not recommend these. These bonus miles and points have helped me travel all over the world for free and are very very valuable.
Some cards will even offer extra bonuses in certain categories on top of the sign up bonuses. Add up all of these bonus points and miles and it should become obvious that you should get a credit card for your business.
Think about it, you may be spending money on these:
- office supplies
- equipment, machines, display cases
- signs, promotional materials
- professional services (lawyers, accountants, consultants)
- graphics design
- technology, computers, software, website, internet
- licenses, taxes, fees
- education, training
- travel: flights, hotels, meals, gas, vehicle rentals
Questions and Answers (click here to send me a question if you need help)
I am a sole proprietor and dont have an EIN (Employer ID Number) – can I still apply?
Yes, you will enter your social security number instead. Otherwise you will need to obtain an EIN # from the IRS.
Can I apply if I don't have an established business?
Yes. There are actually no formal requirements to setup a sole proprietorship. Via the SBA, “In fact, you may already own [a business] without knowing it. If you are a freelance writer, for example, you are a sole proprietor.”
I have a new startup. Is there a minimum income level required for my business?
They don't specify minimum income levels but you will be personally liable for the card so they will be looking at your personal credit. You will have to list your income and you may need to call in and speak with a rep if you're not immediately approved. Be ready to provide them some information about your business and income even if its close to zero. Zero – that's where a start up starts.
Do I need to get a business card for my business or can I get a regular card?
Since your approval will likely be based on your personal credit, you can get either one. Just find the card that best suits your needs for example the maximum travel rewards. Your accountant or lawyer may advise you to keep the expenses separate from personal expenses but you can do that on any card. Just don't put your personal expenses on there. If you're not sure, check with your accountant or lawyer.
What if I have several personal credit cards with a specific issuer?
A specific issuer may not approve you if you have lots of cards and lots available credit with them. One option if you get a pending/denial notification is that you can ask the agent to move some credit limit from an existing account to the new account or offer to close an account that you no longer use. Or look for a card from another issuer as there are many options out there.