This Epic 2-Step Guide Will Help You Apply for a Business Credit Card

Georgia McIntyre

Georgia McIntyre

Finance Writer at Fundera
Georgia McIntyre is the resident Finance Writer at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business finance, from lending to accounting. Questions for Georgia? Comment below!
Georgia McIntyre
Advertiser Disclosure

Editor’s Note: American Express is a partner of Fundera.

So, small business owner, you want to apply for a business credit card

Great idea! Whether you’re using one to back up your business financing or you’re getting one just to have in your pocket for a rainy day, you’ll benefit from building your business credit and bringing in valuable rewards. Plus, doing your business spending on a business credit card rather than a personal credit card is the first step to drawing a tidy line between your personal finances and your business finances. 

However, there’s a big difference between deciding you want a business credit card and actually taking the steps to getting one. And sometimes making the move to actually getting one can be daunting. But don’t worry—if you know that you want a business credit card but don’t know how to apply for a business credit card, we’re here to help.

Here’s your 2-step guide to how to apply for a business credit card.

TL;DR: The 2 Steps to Apply for a Business Credit Card

Getting a business credit card will seem way less daunting if you file it down into distinct steps. To streamline your application for a business credit card, you can break it down into 2 easy steps:

Step 1 is to shop your options—look into cash back, points rewards, and travel rewards cards to find your best fit.

Step 2 is to simply apply—whether you’re applying for a business credit card in person or online, this step will be quick and easy.

Easy as that!

If you follow this epic guide to getting a business credit card, you’ll be upgrading your business spending in no time.

Step 1: Shop Your Options

If you want to apply for a business credit card, first you need to know which business credit card to apply to—that’s a no-brainer.

But knowing which business credit card is right for your small business isn’t so simple. There are a lot of things you need to consider to find the right fit:

  • Do you want a business credit card or a business charge card?
  • How do you want to bring in your rewards?
  • What kind of purchases do you plan on using the card for?
  • Can you swallow paying an annual fee?

There are a lot of questions, we know, but these are all things you need to consider before you apply for a business credit card.

If you haven’t shopped your options yet, we’ll quickly run through some of the cards that we think are best for each consideration a small business owner might have in mind.

(If you’ve already browsed your options and are ready to apply for a business credit card, skip on to the next step.)

Best Business Credit Card for Cash Back


If you prefer to bring in your business credit card rewards as cash savings for your business, then using a cash back business credit card is a smart move.

There are a lot of great cash back business credit card options on the market, but here’s one of the best:

The SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

With the SimplyCash Plus, you’ll get 5% cash back on purchases at wireless telephone services and office supply stores (up to $50,000 spent per year), 3% cash back on purchase within a category that you’ll be able to choose from a list of 8 (up to $50,000 spent per year), and 1% cash back on everything else.

If you’re spending big in the 5% cash back or the 3% cash back category of your choice, then using this business credit card makes a lot of sense.

The best part?

Unlike many high-earning business credit cards, the SimplyCash Plus doesn’t carry an annual fee. As such, you won’t have to worry about dishing out your cash back savings to pay an annual fee.

Best Business Credit Card for Points Rewards


Some business credit cards will let you earn rewards points that you can redeem for purchases at eligible partners. If this sounds like your ideal way to earn rewards, then you have a lot of great business credit cards to consider.

The points rewards on Chase’s Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is pretty hard to beat.

In fact, the Ink Preferred offers one of the most generous welcome bonuses on the market. When you spend $5,000 during your first 3 months with the card, you’ll earn a staggering 80,000 bonus rewards points. If redeemed strategically, this welcome bonus could end up being worth upwards of $1,000. That’s a huge reward for simply investing in your business. 

And the sustained rewards this business credit card offer certainly aren’t bad either: when you spend with the Ink Preferred, you’ll get 3 points per dollar on your first $150,000 spent each year. After that cap, you’ll continue to earn 1 point per dollar you spend on your card, with no limit to how much you can earn at this rate. 

Unfortunately, rewards this good can’t from for free—the Chase Ink Preferred will come with an annual fee of $95. However, measured against the potential returns that the Ink Preferred could bring your business, this $95 can seem like small change.

Best Business Credit Card for Travel Rewards


If you’re always on-the-go for your small business, you should be earning rewards that you can redeem in the form of your travel expenses.

All small business owners that frequently travel should be using the Business Platinum Card from American Express.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best business credit cards on the market. With a great signup bonus, you can earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points in 3 months (if you spend a total of $20,000 in the first 3 months of Card Membership), and enjoy a much bigger points rewards rate on your regular spending.

But besides the welcome offer on the Business Platinum Card, here’s why it’s great for frequent travelers: You get a 35% Airline Bonus, meaning you’ll get half of your points back when you spend them on qualifying travel purchases and first and business class flights. Plus, you’ll have access to a number of travel perks like airport lounges, in-flight services, and more.

All that said, the Amex Business Platinum Card does come with one of the highest annual fees on the market. In order to access the Platinum’s luxury travel rewards, you’ll have to pay an annual fee of $450, and this can be a total deal breaker for some small business owners.

However, if you’re already planning on investing in the travel perks that the Amex Business Platinum offers, you’ll find that, added up, they’re worth far more than $450. It’s no question—the Amex Business Platinum is an amazing deal for business owners who know that they’ll need the perks it comes with.

Step 2: Apply for a Business Credit Card

When it comes to how to apply for a business credit card, there really are only 2 steps. That’s because once you know which business credit card to apply for, actually applying is so simple.

When it’s time to apply for a business credit card, you have 3 ways to do it: Apply online, at a local branch of a bank, or over the phone.

Why Apply for a Business Credit Card in Person

If you’re someone who likes to make your financial decisions in person and shake hands when the deal is done, you might prefer going into a local branch or calling a representative to apply for a business credit card.

You’ll have the comfort of talking to a real person who knows the business credit card like the back of their hands, so you can ask any last-minute questions if they come up.

Why Apply for a Business Credit Card Online

When it all comes down to it, the bank uses the same process whether or not you apply for a business credit card online or in person. All your information will be processed through their electronic system in the end. But the whole process will be faster if you choose to apply for a business credit card online.

All you have to do is go to the site that offers the business credit card and enter some basic personal and business information. Most credit card issuers will ask for your personal and business financials (like annual revenue, estimated monthly spend, personal outstanding debt, and so on) and general information (contact information, time in business, Federal Tax ID, and social security number).

Once you hit “submit,” you can hear back almost instantly. If you’re approved, activate it as soon as you get it, and you’re all set to start using it for your business!

And That’s How You Apply for a Business Credit Card!

With just a 2-step guide, you’re ready to apply for a business credit card.

Once you’ve shopped around and found the best business credit card for you, your next step is to apply. Whether you apply in person or online is a matter of convenience and personal preference. But if you want to keep the process as simple as possible, we recommend you apply online.

Ready to get the ball rolling?

 

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Georgia McIntyre

Georgia McIntyre

Finance Writer at Fundera
Georgia McIntyre is the resident Finance Writer at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business finance, from lending to accounting. Questions for Georgia? Comment below!
Georgia McIntyre

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