Major credit card issuers all offer a wide span of credit cards. When searching for a new account, you may wonder if you should stick with the same company for both your personal and business borrowing needs.
While there are no hard and fast rules, there are certainly advantages to keeping your accounts in the family. You wouldn’t be merging expenses by charging personal costs to the business card (or vice versa) but enjoying the benefits of working with a single company’s suite of credit products.
Here are seven perks of having your personal and business credit cards with the same issuer.
Better chance of qualifying for a business card
The best business credit cards tend to require especially high credit scores, which can make eligibility a challenge if you’re just starting out. According to Markia Brown, a Certified Financial Education Instructor at Money Plug, LLCA, in addition to your credit score and income, a personal relationship with a lender is used to determine approval odds for new accounts.
“If a consumer has established a mutually beneficial relationship with a bank or credit union,” says Brown, “then they can leverage that personal relationship to apply for business credit accounts they usually would not have access to if the decision was based solely on the business.”
So if you’re eying the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card because it comes with the $200 cash back intro bonus (after charging $15,000 in the first three months of opening the account), but you haven’t established a credit history yet you may want to begin with a Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card. With such a starter card, you can form a great relationship with the issuer, then move up to one with excellent rewards.
Seamless transfer of rewards and credits
When you have two cards with one issuer you can easily pool your rewards. This can be particularly beneficial when you’re earning them strategically, by concentrating your charging on the card that has the highest rewards rate by category. Then, when you’re ready to redeem, you can simply transfer your rewards balance to the card with the best redemption rate.
For example, if you have the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Card, you will get a value of 1.25 cents per point when you redeem the points via Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. However, if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, you will get 1.5 cents per point, so transferring them makes sense.
This feature also comes in handy when you want to close one of the cards. You can just shift the rewards and any credits to the card that you have kept.
Protect your credit score
Every time you apply for a credit card, a hard inquiry will be noted on your credit file, and potentially lower your score. However, if your credit card issuer offers you the opportunity to open one of its business cards after having a personal card for a while (or the reverse), you may be able to avoid that hard inquiry from appearing. This will be helpful when you’re trying to preserve every scoring point possible.
Contact your credit card issuer and ask if they will conduct a hard credit check, or if the new account will be granted based on your history with them.
Establish a strong relationship with the company
As a general rule, banks tend to like it when you have many types of accounts with them, from deposit accounts (like savings and checking accounts) to car and home loans and a variety of credit cards.
When you have both a business credit card and a personal card with the same issuer (and manage them well), it can strengthen your reputation as a valued customer. That may put you in a position to qualify for higher credit lines, lower interest rates on other credit products, and even free banking services.
Streamline account management
If you are a busy person — as most business owners are — saving time on account management by having one issuer can be an attractive advantage. Lori Greymont, real estate investor and host of the new reality TV series “Funding Faceoff,” is always on the go. That’s why she doesn’t fuss around with different banks. She has her personal and business cards with Wells Fargo. “With the one app on my phone, I can do everything,” says Greymont. “It saves me time, and that makes my life easier.”
You don’t have to learn a new system
Sometimes you just want to deal with one bank rather than two or more, says Brown. “The consumer is already familiar with the bank and some of its policies, so they’ll be extremely comfortable doing business with that bank,” says Brown.
Every credit card issuer has a different customer service system, phone number, website, chat function and app. As a business owner, you may not want to bother with multiple companies.
Yet another advantage of having both business and personal credit cards with the same bank is that it can entitle you to extra special services.
“I have my personal banker at Wells Fargo,” says Greymont. “I don’t have to go online. I just make a call to my banker who can see all of my accounts at once. If you have more than one card with a bank, they want to keep your business.”
And that means they’re motivated to keep you happy by treating you with kid gloves.
The bottom line
Forming a positive relationship with a credit card issuer by having both a personal credit card and a business card with them can come in handy when times get tough. Greymont points out that having multiple accounts with the bank can be helpful during an economic downturn when you need assistance.
There may come a time when you suddenly need a higher credit limit, for example, or can’t make your payment as agreed. If you show a long and positive pattern of handling different types of cards, your card issuer may be willing to give you a break.
In the end, though, you shouldn’t keep yourself tied to a single credit card issuer. While having a couple of cards with one definitely has its advantages, there are plenty of other cards worth checking out as well.