As you’re searching through your options for small business credit cards with no credit—you’ll quickly realize that a lack of credit history can seriously get in your way.
Even if your business is swimming in revenue and has a good financial record, your personal credit history is one of the biggest factors in determining whether or not you qualify for a business credit card.
We know—this can be a frustrating reality for many small business owners.
However, if you have limited or no personal credit history, you’ve still got options when it comes to getting business credit cards with no credit. Plus, when you spend responsibly on one of these small business credit cards, no credit history will be a worry of the past—even though small business credit cards are meant for business spending, they’ll report your activity to personal credit bureaus.
All in all, though most small business credit cards will require personal credit history, there are ways of getting small business credit cards with no credit.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting small business credit cards with no credit.
TL;DR: Getting Small Business Credit Cards with No Credit
Generally speaking, if you’re a business owner with no personal credit, your business credit card options are pretty narrow.
Once you’ve started to build your credit, credit card issuers will be more inclined to issue you a more premium card, and lenders will be ready to lend to your business.
All in all, you’ve got options as a business owner, even if you have no credit.
Why You Need Credit to Get Most Small Business Credit Cards
First, let’s take a moment to address why exactly you need personal credit in order to secure a business credit card.
It seems a bit counterintuitive—getting a business credit card is supposed to be a step toward separating your business’s finances from your personal finances, right? This is a correct assumption, but unfortunately, credit card issuers look to a business owner’s personal credit as the primary indication of how they’ll spend on their business.
As such, if you don’t have any personal credit, credit card issuers will consider extending you a business credit card to be risky. Credit card issuers typically consider personal credit scores in four tiers:
- Excellent (above 660)
- Good (between 620 and 659)
- Average (between 550 and 619)
- Challenged (below 550)
Unfortunately, if you’re working with a credit score that falls in the average or challenged tiers because you have a limited credit history, then you might have a hard time finding a business credit card.
But fear not!
There a still a few options for business credit cards with no credit, and both of them make it very easy to build your personal credit while spending responsibly on your business.
Let’s take a look at the credit cards that business owners with limited or no credit history can qualify for:
Small Business Credit Cards, No Credit Required
The Capital One Spark Classic for Business
The first of the top two credit cards for business owners who need to build up a credit history is the Capital One Spark Classic for Business.
This business credit card is the very best bet for business owners who are working with a limited personal credit history. Not only does the Spark Classic extend an unsecured line of credit to business owners whose personal credit scores dip as low as 550, it also provides them with cash back rewards. Let’s take a look at the details on all the Spark Classic can offer small business owners with at least a 550 FICO score:
- An unlimited 1% cash back for every dollar spent
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- No balance transfer fee
Not to mention, Capital One will report all of your activity on your Spark Classic to personal credit bureaus. As such, responsible spending on your Spark Classic will build your credit history even more efficiently.
The Spark Classic stands out from the crowd—with this one, no-fee business credit card, you’ll get an unsecured credit line for your business, unlimited cash back rewards, and an opportunity to build your personal credit in order to reach even better credit card deals in the future.
Secured Credit Card for Small Business Owners with No Credit
But what if even the Spark Classic is out of reach for you?
If you really don’t have a bit of credit history, then you need to build up your credit history first. And the easiest, most straightforward way to do this is with a secured credit card. What’s a secured credit card, you ask?
Well, when you note that most credit cards are technically unsecured credit cards, it all starts to make a little more sense. Whereas your everyday unsecured credit card extends you a monthly credit limit that you’ll just have to repay every month, a secured credit card requires that you put down a security deposit for your credit line. Most of the time, secured credit cards require that you put down a security deposit that covers—at the very least—90% of your credit line’s worth.
This might be complicated to wrap your head around if you’ve never heard of a secured credit card before—you’re probably asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t I just use a debit card?”
Well, secured credit cards are meant for building credit quickly and efficiently. If you spend responsibly on a secured credit card, you’ll soon be able to access an unsecured business credit card.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard
One of the top secured cards for business owners who need to build their credit history is the Capital One Secured Mastercard.
This secured credit card offers the most flexibility and the lowest fees of any secured card on the market. If you sign on to build credit with the Capital One Secured Mastercard, you’ll be able to access the following features:
- A security deposit of as low as 25% of your credit line, depending on your creditworthiness
- No annual fee
- No hidden charges
- A credit limit of up to $3,000
- The choice to pay the security deposit in installments within 80 days
All in all, though the Capital One Secured Mastercard offers a valuable service to business owners who need a way to accumulate credit history, this secured card won’t saddle you hidden charges or undo inconveniences.
Why Getting One of These Small Business Credit Cards Is a Good Idea
Put simply, though these credit cards might offer other perks like cash back rewards and credit lines, the best thing these two credit cards can do for you and your business is to build your personal credit score.
With responsible spending over, you’ll be able to scale your personal credit score and eventually reach that “good”—or even “excellent”—personal credit score tier. As a result, you’ll not only be able to access more premium business credit card deals, but you’ll be able to qualify for more affordable small business funding as well.
Getting a small business credit card with no credit isn’t easy, but it’s definitely a one-way ticket to building your personal credit and accessing better deals for your business in the future.
Prepaid Business Card for Small Business Owners with No Credit
For business owners without credit history, another alternative to a traditional credit card is a prepaid business card. Prepaid business cards allow you to load a specific amount of money from your own account onto the card for you (or your employees) to use. Prepaid cards are not credit cards, so you can’t use one to build your credit history. But these cards can be a great way to manage your business’s spending before “graduating” to a credit card.
Bento for Business Visa® Debit Card
If that sounds interesting, then the Bento for Business Debit Card could be a great fit. The Bento card is a prepaid card, not a credit card, although you can use it like one. You simply load money onto the card from your business bank account, and spend with it as needed. When you put all of your business expenses on a prepaid card, you can get a view into your spending patterns and identify ways to save money. And there’s no risk, of course, of spending into territory you can’t pay for.
It takes fewer than than five minutes to apply for Bento online—no credit check and no credit history required. You can apply for as many Bento cards as you need, so you can be comfortable getting just one for yourself or one for each of your employees. Bento cards can be used as gas cards, project cards, employee cards, expense cards, or petty cash cards.
Other things you can do with Bento that make it feel like way more than a debit-esque card:
- Set a budget and controls for every card you order—and you can turn cards on and off as you want
- Set employee spending limits by day, week, and month
- Control card usage by time, day, or category
- Receive real-time unauthorized spending alerts
- No personal liability for fraudulent purchases
- Integration into bookkeeping software (great, especially if you’re tracking spending patterns)
There’s no interest rate on a Bento card since it’s not a credit card. Instead, you pay a monthly fee depending on how many cards you need.
Next Steps After Building Credit with a Small Business Credit Card
So, let’s say you’ve built your credit history with one of the two best business credit cards for no credit. What’s next?
Well, once you reach the next tier of personal credit scores, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for even more premium credit card deals. Let’s take a look at some of the best business credit cards that require “good” personal credit:
The Blue Business Plus from American Express
Great For: Making purchases with a 0% intro APR periodRead Full Review
- 12 month 0% intro APR period on purchases from the date of account opening
- 2X points for the first $50K spent
- No annual fee
|Intro apron purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening||Regular apr||Annual fee||Minimum credit|
|0%||13.24% – 19.24%||$0||700|
One of the top business credit cards that you can access once you’ve built up your personal credit history is the Blue Business Plus from American Express. Along with an unsecured line of credit, this card offers the longest 0% intro APR period on the market.
Not to mention, you’ll gain access to 2x rewards point for the first $50,000 you spend on your card every year. After that cap, you’ll continue to earn 1x rewards for your spending.
Here are the details on all the Blue Business Plus has to offer business owners with a personal credit score of at least 620:
- A 15-month 0% intro APR period
- 2x rewards on the first $50,000 you spend annually
- 1x rewards after that cap
- No annual fee
The SimplyCash Plus from American Express
Great For: Earning cash back and a long 0% intro APR periodRead Full Review
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening
- 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%
- No annual fee
|Intro apron purchases for 12 months from date of account opening||Regular apr||Annual fee||Minimum credit|
|0%||13.24% – 19.24%||$0||660|
However, once you build your credit history, you might want to vy for a business credit card that will put cash right back into your business’s pockets.
The SimplyCash Plus is the perfect credit for business owners with good personal credit who want to earn cash back for their business spending. Whereas many business credit cards make you choose between flexibility or high rewards, the SimplyCash let’s you have both. With the SimplyCash Plus, you’ll gain access to the following features:
- 5% cash back on up to $50,000 worth of purchases from phone service providers and supply stores annually
- 3% cash back on up to $50,000 annually worth of purchases within your category of choice from a list of 8
- 1% cash back on all other purchases outside those categories and beyond those caps
- A 15-month, 0% intro APR period
- No annual fee
Moving Forward with Small Business Credit Cards
So, now that you have your goals laid out for you, what are your immediate next steps for building your personal credit history?
First thing’s first, decide which small business credit card for no credit is the best fit for you. After you secure this card, you’ll just need to spend responsibly in order to improve your personal credit score. After that, you’ll have access to even sweet business credit card deals.
At the end of the day, if you spend responsibly with a small business credit card, no credit will be a worry of the past.
Brayden is a credit card expert and the former vice president, new markets at Fundera. He’s passionate about helping businesses take advantage of the best credit card offers on the market, from the longest 0% intro APR periods to the richest cash back and travel rewards bonuses.