Who qualifies for business credit cards?

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Business credit cards are very similar to the normal, personal credit cards that you use daily. They offer an opportunity to earn reward points for every dollar spent and often come with big sign-up bonuses. But who qualifies for these cards?

Who qualifies for business credit cards?

What many people don’t know is that what qualifies as a business in this context is less formal than you might think. You don’t need to have a tax EIN number or have an LLC. Many people who run small businesses as their main job will get a business credit card. This is a great way to earn a ton of reward points for necessary business expenses.

It’s equally important to note that many people also get business cards for businesses that are not their primary occupation. In basic terms, as long as you participate in (or even plan to participate in) business activities that you want to keep separate from your personal finances, you may well qualify for a business credit card.

Here are some examples:

  • Planning to start a cupcake selling business
  • Selling used goods on eBay, Etsy or Amazon
  • Doing freelance or consulting work
  • Writing a book that you plan to sell

If you do any of those things, congratulations – you might be a business! In most of these cases, you might not have any formal registrations for your business. It’s just something you occasionally do that you want to keep separate from your personal finances (the primary legitimate justification for getting a business credit card). Typically people use their social security number as the business taxpayer ID in these cases and that’s totally appropriate. This is how sole proprietorships work, and by the way you can have multiple ‘sole proprietorship’ businesses simultaneously.

Business credit card application

Just like with personal applications, it’s never perfectly clear why some people will get approved for business cards and others don’t with similar applications. We’ve seen fully fleshed out, operating businesses that are formally incorporated with investors, employees and lawyers that didn’t get approved for business credit cards, while hobby businesses selling home-made trinkets and expected revenue under $500 have been instantly approved.

It’s important to keep in mind that you must be truthful in your applications. Plenty of people have been approved for businesses that they just started, or were even just planning to start, with an expected income of $0 – $500 per year. You’ll want to make sure your expected costs are less than the expected revenue. A lender wants to lend to a sound business, after all!

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