A business credit card can help you keep personal and business spending separate, but you can also access some valuable perks. The top business credit cards even dole out rewards for each dollar your business spends, which you may be able to redeem for travel, statement credits or gift cards, to name a few options.
With that being said, you typically need very good or excellent credit to qualify for the top business credit cards; everyone else will need to start with a business card geared toward individuals with poor credit or a limited credit history.
If your credit is considered poor, you may even have to get a business secured credit card at first. While secured credit cards require a cash deposit as collateral, you do get the chance to build credit with responsible payments over time.
Bankrate’s picks: Best business credit cards for bad credit
Here’s a look at the best business credit cards based on the ease at which you can get approved, each one’s cardholder benefits and whether the card can help you build credit over time.
Capital One Spark Classic for Business: Best for fair credit
If you have “fair credit,” or a FICO score between 580 and 669, you may be able to qualify for the Capital One Spark Classic for Business. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, yet you’ll earn a flat 1 percent cash back on all purchases you make. You can qualify for free employee cards, and this card reports your credit movements to all three credit bureaus.
You’ll also get a handful of notable benefits including no foreign transaction fees, extended warranties on eligible items with a manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card: Best secured credit card with high credit limits
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card requires a cash deposit as collateral since it’s a secured credit card for business, yet you get many of the benefits you would get with a traditional business credit card. First off, you’ll earn 1.5 percent cash back or 1 point on every $1 spent and 1,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period. There’s no annual fee, and you can get up to 10 employee cards.
You also get the chance to create a line of credit worth up to $25,000 based on your security deposit, which can be important if you have large expenses you plan to pay with plastic each month.
BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card: Best secured credit card with rewards
The BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card is another secured card option for business, which makes it a solid choice among business cards for bad credit. This card lets you earn 1.5X points for each dollar you spend, which can be redeemed for statement credits or gift cards. You also pay no annual fee the first year ($40 per year thereafter), and you get free employee cards.
Business owners who apply can also benefit from generous cardholder protections such as auto rental collision damage waiver protection, purchase security, extended warranties, travel accident insurance and more.
How to choose the right business card for bad credit
Business credit cards for bad credit may not be ideal, but they can help you improve your credit score so you can qualify for better credit cards and loan options down the road. The following tips can help you choose the right business card for your needs.
Check your credit score
When it comes to startup business credit cards for bad credit, some options are secured cards that require collateral. However, you may find your credit score is better than you realized, in which case you could apply for a credit card geared to “fair” credit instead.
Before you apply for a business credit card, you should check your credit score to see where you stand. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to get a free credit score online without too much hassle involved.
Compare cards in terms of rates and fees
Look at business credit cards you’re considering and compare them based on how much they would cost you. Is an annual fee charged? Are there any fees involved in getting employee cards? What interest rate will you pay if you carry a balance? Comparing bad credit business credit cards based on these factors may help you decide.
Check for perks and the rewards you want
Check to see which cards have the perks you expect from a credit card. Benefits to look for include purchase protection, extended warranties on eligible items, travel insurance, free employee cards and more.
If the business credit cards you’re considering offer rewards, you should also make sure you like the redemption options available to you. For example, can you cash in your points for statement credits and gift cards, or do you have other options to choose from?
Business cards for bad credit FAQ
Business credit cards for poor credit do come with their share of advantages and disadvantages. These questions and answers can help you learn more and prepare to apply.
What do I need to qualify for a business credit card?
Bad credit business credit cards come with easier requirements than traditional credit cards. For example, you may be able to qualify with a poor credit score, or a credit score below 580, whereas the best business credit cards on the market today typically require good or excellent credit. In addition to your personal credit score, other factors considered by card issuers include your debt-to-income ratio and current income.
How do I apply for a business card for bad credit?
If you want to apply for a business credit card for bad credit, you can find a card and fill out an application online. If you don’t have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business, you can apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor using your Social Security number, instead. Other details you’ll need to share in your application include your name, address and information on your business and business revenue.
If you’re applying for a secured business credit card, be prepared to put down a cash deposit as collateral. Fortunately, you can complete this step online by sharing your banking information in your application.
Are there business cards that don’t require a personal credit check?
There aren’t any business credit cards that don’t require a personal credit check, but there are personal credit cards you can apply for with no credit check required. Read over Bankrate’s guide to the best credit cards for bad credit to learn more.
The bottom line
Picking up a business credit card can be incredibly smart, but card options are limited if your personal credit score is on the low side. The bad credit business credit cards on this list may not offer every perk you want, but they do give the benefit of helping you build credit over time.
All information about the Capital One Spark Classic for Business, Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card, and BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.