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The vast majority of business credit cards require a personal guarantee, which means a business owner has to go through a credit check and agree to be legally responsible for repayment. While this may not pose a problem for business owners with excellent credit, individuals with imperfect credit have fewer business cards to choose from overall. This includes business credit cards for bad credit, as well as business credit cards for fair credit.
The best fair credit business credit cards are geared toward business owners with FICO scores between 580 and 669, and they offer more perks and features than many realize. If you have fair credit and you need a business card, read on to find out the top cards you can choose from.
Capital One Spark 1% Classic: Best for an unsecured business card
Why we picked it: We picked the Capital One Spark 1% Classic* because it offers 1 percent cash back on all purchases with no annual fee required. This business credit card is also unsecured, and it’s available to people with fair credit who have made some credit mistakes in the past.
- No annual fee
- Earns 1 percent cash back on all purchases
- Earns 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- Free employee cards and virtual card numbers
- No foreign transaction fees
- High regular variable APR of 30.49 percent
- Starting credit limit may be as low as $300
Who should apply: Consider the Capital One Spark 1% Classic if you have fair credit and you want the chance to earn rewards on business spending and bills. Also consider this card if you travel abroad and you want to avoid foreign transaction fees.
Who should skip: Skip this card if your credit is in the good range and you can qualify for a business credit card with better rewards and perks.
BILL Divvy Corporate Card: Best for building credit
Why we picked it: The BILL Divvy Corporate Card is a corporate card that lets business owners qualify based on factors like their credit, their business income and their business history. This means it may be possible to qualify with fair credit.
- No annual fee
- Earns flexible rewards for spending
- Credit limits can be as high as $15 million (if available)
- Spending controls for business owners
- Complicated rewards structure
- As a charge card, balance must be paid in full each month
Who should apply: The BILL Divvy Corporate Card is best for profitable businesses who have the cash flow to pay their balance in full each month. This card also works well for businesses that want free employee cards and access to unlimited virtual cards.
Who should skip: Skip the BILL Divvy Corporate Card if you want the option to carry a balance from one month to the next. After all, this corporate charge card does not allow that option and requires the balance to be paid in full each month.
FNBO Business Edition Secured Mastercard Credit Card: Best for a secured business card with high credit limit potential
Why we picked it: The FNBO Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card*, which is a secured credit card for business, is relatively easy to qualify for, even when the primary applicant has fair credit or bad credit. However, a security deposit between $2,200 and $110,000 is required, and the security deposit is 110 percent of the credit limit amount (which ranges between $2,000 and $100,000). From there, cardholders can use their business card for purchases and work on building their credit along the way.
- Earn interest on your security deposit (see terms)
- Helps build credit
- Potential for a high credit limit
- Comes with cash flow management tools
- $39 annual fee required
- High regular variable APR of 25.74 percent
- No rewards
Who should apply: Consider the FNBO Business Edition Secured Mastercard if your credit isn’t great but you want a business credit card to use for purchases. You’ll have to put down a security deposit to get started, but this deposit is fully refundable when you close or upgrade your account in good standing.
Who should skip: Skip this card if your credit is good enough to qualify for an unsecured credit card for business.
Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard Secured credit card: Best for a secured business card that earns rewards
Why we picked it: If you’re a business owner who wants to earn rewards for spending and you can’t seem to qualify for an unsecured business credit card, check out the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® Secured credit card*. Not only does this card offer 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, but it doesn’t charge an annual fee. A minimum security deposit of at least $1,000 is required.
- No annual fee
- Earns 1.5 percent cash back with no limits or caps
- Comes with auto rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, travel accident insurance and other perks
- High regular variable APR of 28.49 percent
Who should skip: Skip this card if you can qualify for an unsecured business credit card that offers rewards, especially one with no annual fee.
How to choose a business credit card for fair credit
- Check your credit score. While fair credit includes FICO scores between 580 and 669, this is a fairly broad range and your ability to qualify for a credit card can depend on where your score falls on the spectrum. Make sure to check your credit score so you know for sure whether you have poor credit, fair credit or good credit.
- Compare fees and features. Compare cards based on the fees they charge as well as benefits for businesses. For example, you might want a card with travel insurance benefits, cash flow management tools, free employee cards or all of the above.
- Decide if you need a secured card for business. If your credit score is on the low side of fair credit, you may need to begin your credit journey with a secured credit card for business. This will require you to put down a cash deposit as collateral, but you’ll get the deposit back when you close your account in good standing or get the chance to upgrade your card.
- Determine your need for rewards. Some business owners want a credit card for convenience, whereas others want to earn rewards for spending. Decide what you really want and look for business cards that could suit your needs best.
The bottom line
The best business credit cards for fair credit give you the chance to improve your credit standing while using a card for convenience. Some also offer rewards for spending and other perks you can use.
That said, you’ll want to check your credit score so you know where you stand before you apply. Also, make sure you compare all business credit cards for your credit rating until you find the right fit for your business needs and goals.
*The information about the Capital One Spark 1% Classic, FNBO Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card and the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® Secured credit card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.