If you have any questions about business credit cards: how they work, how to use them, what makes them unique – you’re in the right place.
Building business credit can benefit a business the same way building personal credit benefits an individual: Responsible use proves to potential future lenders that they can trust you. Getting a business credit card is a recommended next step for any business owner planning on growth.
Get answers to common questions below:
What is a business credit card?
A business credit card is a line of credit that's been issued specifically for supporting a business. Business credit cards can still earn rewards and accrue interest as personal credit cards do, but applying for and using them involves slightly different processes.
How do business credit cards work?
Business credit cards work by offering small businesses access to credit without the commitment of more serious non-revolving business loans.
There are a number of features to look for when choosing which institution to get a business credit card from in order to make sure it works for you. What matters most to you will depend on your business, but we recommend looking for:
- Access to free online expense reporting tools
- Mobile-friendly design so you can take and make payments on the go
- Zero-fraud liability that protects your business in case your card is lost or stolen
- No fees for additional employee cards
How do I get a business credit card?
You apply for a business credit card much in the same way you apply for a personal one. Applicants aren't required to have an employer identification number (EIN) to apply for most business credit cards, making them more accessible to independent and small business owners. Your lending institution will determine their underwriting – and approval or denial of your application – on all the information included in the application.
Can I use my business credit card for personal items?
It is not illegal to put personal expenses on a business credit card, but you should still never do it. Why? Because in most cases, putting personal expenses on a business card will void the terms and conditions you agreed to when applying for the card.
This could lead to your account being closed, personal and business credit scores being affected, and immediate personal liability for the associated debts. It's just not worth the potential headache.
What are the main differences between business and personal credit cards?
There are a few major differences worth noting between the use of business and personal credit cards:
- Business cards typically have higher interest rates than traditional loans. When choosing one, check with your lender about whether or not the business credit cards they offer are secured or unsecured.
- Consumer protection laws like the Credit Card Act of 2009 don't apply to business cards. This doesn't mean you're more at risk, it just means that it's important to talk to your issuer about the policies they have in place regarding changing APRs or fees.
- Business credit cards typically have different rewards categories than personal ones. For personal use, you might see rewards categories for travel, restaurants or grocery. For business cards, you're more likely to receive rewards on office supplies, ad spend or internet and phone bills.
- Personal credit cards report card activity to the three major consumer credit bureaus, which impacts personal credit scores. Business credit cards report to different bureaus than the well-known Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. That means that business credit card use is far less likely to impact your personal credit score.
Interested in a business credit card for your business? Get in touch with the team at Sunrise Banks and we’ll help connect you with the credit needed to grow and thrive.