Best business credit cards for startups for 2021
How do I get a business credit card for my startup?
The first thing to determine is whether you need a regular small business credit card or a business card. In general, only large companies with millions of annual revenues will be eligible for a corporate card. Unless your startup has significant venture capital, you’re likely going to need a small business credit card.
Applying for a small business credit card is very similar to applying for a personal credit card. All you need to do is choose a credit card, go to the issuer’s website and click “Apply”. Fill out the application, submit it and wait. In most cases, you should get an online decision from the card issuer within minutes. In rare cases, you may have to wait up to a week for a decision to be mailed to you.
Information needed for a business credit card application
You will need to provide information about yourself and your business when you apply. Typical requirements for a business card application include:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- Company structure (LLC, S Corp, etc.)
- Legal name of the company
- Business address
- Business phone number
- Date of creation of your company
- Business category (manufacturing, retail, etc.)
- Tax identification number (ETIN for LLC / corporations, SSN for sole proprietors)
- Your average annual turnover
- Estimated monthly credit card spending
As a startup, you might not have a lot of income to report. It’s OK! Banks understand that starting a small business is a long-term endeavor. You can still get some of the best business credit cards for startups if your income is up. The important thing is to avoid filling in your numbers. If the bank asks for additional documents, you could be in real trouble if you were to lie on the request.
Rules for credit card issuers
Some credit card issuers have specific rules about who can apply that has little to do with your business. Most are limitations on how many cards you can have and how often you can open them.
For example, American Express has limits on the number of Amex cards you can have at one time. Specifically, you are limited to four Amex credit cards and up to 10 payment cards. This includes both personal cards and business cards. You can also only earn one welcome bonus per Amex card product per life.
Chase is another credit card company with application restrictions. In particular, Chase has what’s known as the 5/24 rule. This rule means that you will usually be rejected for a new card if you have opened five or more cards in the last 24 months. This rule applies to both consumer and business credit cards.
READ MORE: How to Apply for a Chase Commercial Credit Card
How to choose the best business credit card for your startup
There is no one-size-fits-all credit card for every startup. Choosing the best card for your new business will depend on several factors. When comparing credit card types, consider rewards, cardholder benefits, and applicable card fees (including annual fees).
Credit card rewards
Shopping rewards are one of the best benefits of credit cards. But the type of rewards you choose can influence how you use your card.
- Cash back: Cash Back is the simplest type of credit card rewards. You earn it at a fixed rate and trade it in at a fixed rate. Most cash back cards allow you to redeem a credit on your statement to help pay off your credit card balance. Some also offer gift card purchases.
- Points: Reward points are ideal for people who want flexibility in the use of their rewards. Many points programs let you redeem for everything from cash back rewards to travel. The best points programs also allow you to transfer your rewards to an airline or hotel loyalty account.
- Kilometers: The nature of the mileage rewards varies by card. With regular bank cards, miles work the same way as points. You can redeem for statement credit, gift cards, or sometimes a money transfer to a hotel or airline account. However, if you have a co-branded airline credit card, you will earn loyalty miles for the airline associated with your card.
READ MORE: How do credit card points work?
Choose the type of rewards
The type of rewards you choose can have a huge impact on their value. This is due to the different ways you can redeem them. The cash back is usually pretty straightforward. If you earn $ 5 in cash back, it is exchanged for $ 5 in statement credit.
Points and miles can have varying values. Redeeming points / miles for a credit on the statement can earn $ 0.005 to $ 0.01 per point. But if you transfer your rewards to an airline or hotel account, you can earn $ 0.01 to $ 0.04 or more by redeeming for certain types of travel.