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One Of Our ToP Questions: Am I Eligible for Business Cards?
Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like Cardratings.com. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.
Am I Eligible For Business Credit Cards?
One of the most popular questions in the ToP Facebook Group is, am I eligible for business credit cards? With absolute certainty, we answer this question “probably.” Sure, anyone and everyone can fill out a bank application and write down half-truths, broad embellishments or outright lies. For us at ToP, none of these are acceptable in day-to-day life, much less when requesting accounts from financial institutions. We will go through how to know if you are eligible for business cards, what to expect with an application and the best cards available if you're starting out. Let's get into it!
Is It Difficult To Get Approved For Business Credit Cards?
The weird thing about business credit cards is that the requirements for approval are often more lenient than personal cards. If you think about it, this makes sense. You can't get a high-end personal card without income, or an established credit history. This is especially true for a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and its $10,000 minimum credit limit.
On the other hand, as for businesses, banks are willing to lend them money even without a proven income stream. They understand capital is needed initially to get the business up and running. That means you can be approved with minimal or no income yet from your side business. The banks will look at your personal credit profile when deciding if they are willing to do that though.
What Counts As An Eligible Business For Business Credit Cards?
With this in mind, almost anyone can apply for a business card. Here are some examples of side businesses that ToP Facebook Group members have that make them eligible for business cards:
Uber / Lyft driver
Teach music / dance lessons
Sell on Ebay / Etsy / Pinterest
Own rental properties
Have a buying or reselling interest
Landscaping / lawn mowing
Most anything that earns you income, however big or small, that is not included on the W-2 from your employer will count. It should be noted that does not include 1099 earnings. This is exactly the type of small business that banks want! You do not need to have an established LLC, LLP, Partnership, DBA, etc. either. You can simply apply as a sole proprietorship without any recognized business status.
How Do I Apply For A Small Business Credit Card?
The simplest, most hassle-free way to apply for any business credit card is to apply as a sole proprietor and use your legal name as the business name.
Business Name: John Doe.
Business Income: List Current or Expected annual business income.
Tax ID: Enter John Doe's SSN. It is important to note that for Business name, you use ONLY your legal name. In our scenario, do not list John Doe's Doughnuts, John Doe, LLC, John Doe d/b/a anything.
Your Name and nothing else.
Your Personal Social Security Number: Enter this again when asked about your personal information
Personal Income: This will likely be asked about too. The banks use it in their calculations for approvals.
It is important to be truthful when they ask about your business income, however big or small it is. Know that anything you put on an application may need verification if you ever undergo a financial review. If you haven't even begun your business activities, you can estimate your income. There is no harm in starting very small (as low as $500 or $1,000).
Which Business Cards Are The Best?
Now that we know that many people are eligible for business cards even if they don't initially realize it, where do you begin and what are the best business cards? Like everything in life, “best” is subjective and is in the eye of the beholder.As you have seen in ourToP Cards under 5/24 for this month, Chase offers numerous business cards that offer incredible value. If you are eligible for a business card, and areunder 5/24, the Chase Ink cards are where we advise people to start their journey. Here are the three Chase Ink cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, which are the first business cards you should consider.
Chase Ink Preferred
TheChase Ink Preferred is probably the best business credit card to grab while under 5/24. That is because it earns transferrable Ultimate Rewards and it unlocks the rewards earned with the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited (discussed in more depth below).
Here is the current welcome offer for the Ink Preferred:
Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This is the best offer we have seen on the card because of the reduced spending requirement.
The annual fee for this card is $95 and it is not waived.
3x Chase Ultimate Rewards on the first $150,000 spent annually in combined purchases among these categories:
Travel (includes flights, hotels, taxis, rideshare services, public transportation, parking)
Cable, internet, and telephone services
Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
1X Ultimate Rewards points on all other eligible purchases.
The Ink Preferred offers the largest welcome offer of the bunch and a compelling earning structure. Throw in the fact that it unlocks the no fee Ink card's earning makes this a great starting point. That is especially true if you don't already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve to unlock those Ultimate Rewards points.
Earn 1.5% / 1.5x back on all eligible purchases with no earning cap
That is it, as simple as it gets!
Cash Back or Ultimate Rewards?
While you can earn cash back with the Ink Business Unlimited, you can also use your points for travel, just like the Ink Cash above. This is even more valuable if you have one of the following premium Chase cards:
General Tips For Chase & All Business Card Applications
There are some rules and practices you should be aware of with Chase and all banks when applying for business cards.
Mind Your 5/24 Count & Get Started On The Right Foot
First, those under 5/24 should typically apply for the Chase Inks in the order presented above, unless the Ink Preferred's $8,000 minimum spend is too much for you. There is no guarantee that Chase will approve you for one business card, much less all three. That is why we suggest going for the larger 100K offer first.
Remember that you can always downgrade to a no-annual fee card later. That is if you aren't approved for one or both of the others or if you want more 5x earning cap on the Ink Business Cash. However, with the increased 90,000 point offers on the Ink Cash and Ink Business Unlimited, you can grab those first if they work better for you right now.
Chase 2/30 & 1/30 Rules
Second, while Chase has a 2/30 rule, meaning you can only be approved for 2 Chase cards in a 30-day period, Chase has a 0/30 rule for business cards. Unless it has been more than 30 days since your last Chase application, your application is denied automatically (at least most of the time). For your best approval odds make sure you are 0/30 before applying for a Chase business card.
Be Honest, Always
Third, and most important, be honest. So many people out there toe the line on being devious. Don't do that! Be honest about your business, the income you expect and your current sales. Nothing is worth the trouble you could get into trying to get around the rules.
Am I Eligible For Business Credit Cards: ToP Thoughts
Hopefully we have now answered the question, am I eligible for business credit cards, once and for all. You should now know if you qualify for a business card, what to expect during the application and which cards are best to start with.
As always, please give us your feedback and share any questions you have in the in the ToP Facebook group.
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