I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.
This is the seventh post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go. Previously Bluebird.
Applying for business credit cards is a great way to double your credit card applications, and you probably have a business. In two days, I will recommend the best current credit card sign up bonuses. Some of them are business cards, so I want to convince you that you can get those too.
The last two days focused on figuring out how much your currently spend on credit cards and how to increase that number without increasing the total amount of money you spend.
Today I want to talk about something you may never have considered: opening a business credit card. Opening business credit cards is so awesome because a lot of the best credit card sign up bonuses are business cards.
If you have an IRS-issued EIN (Employer Identification Number), you are ahead of the game, and the magical world of business credit cards is open to you.
If not you can apply for business cards with your social security number as a sole proprietorship.
Applying for business credit and charge cards is a great way to earn more miles and points than you already do, but many people don’t apply for business cards because they incorrectly believe they don’t qualify.
Do you qualify for a business card?
Myth #1: A business must have employees.
Your business can be a sole proprietorship, meaning only you work on the business. That’s how MileValue started–just me–and I have received several business cards for MileValue.
Myth #2: A business must be profitable.
Businesses are set up to earn profit, but they aren’t profitable all the time. One time when almost no business is profitable is when it is just starting. That’s a time when you have to put money into the business before you can start making money from it.
A new business–even if it’s not making money yet–is still a business, and you can still get a business card.
Examples of Businesses You May Currently Be Running
Most people reading this site probably make most of their income from a job working for someone else, so they may not consider their side money-making activities as a business. But those side activities could very well be businesses. Activities like:
- Seller on eBay
- Seller on Amazon
- Seller on Etsy
- Seller at consignment shops
- Seller at yard sales
- Seller of baked goods
- Seller of souvenirs from your trips abroad
- Seller and collector of coins, stamps, or coins
(Hat tip to Daraius for some of these)
If you are currently involved in one of these activities or something similar, you may find a business card helpful for running your nascent business. After all, business cards are a convenient way to track all the expenses of the business in one place, making it easy to compare that to your revenues to see whether the business is profitable.
Getting a Business Card is as easy as 1-2-3.
- Select the right business card for you.
- Apply for the business card online.
- Call the bank to answer a few questions.
1. Select the right business card for you.
But more on the best current cards in a few days.
2. Apply for the business card online.
As soon as I fill out the application, I call the banks’ business reconsideration lines. My business applications never seem to get approved instantly online, but a five-minute call, and I’m in business.
When the agent answers, I say, “Hi! I just applied for the [card.] I wanted to call and see if you needed any more information.”
At this point, the agent will find the application and ask you a few questions about your business relating to what it is; how long you’ve run it; and what its revenues, profits, and costs are. Answer these questions truthfully and politely, and you should have a decision within a few minutes.
If the rep asks why you want the card, you should answer honestly about your reasons, which probably have to do with tracking expenses and earning rewards for business activities.
If you have a relationship with the bank, you may want to highlight it on the call. Having a checking count or mortgage with the bank may make them more likely to approve you since they want to continue their relationship with you.
If you don’t think the call is going well, Daraius recommends politely hanging up and calling back. I’ve never had to do that, but it does bring up the point that nothing limits you to one call to the reconsideration line.
Here are the numbers I use:
American Express 866-314-0237
Chase 800-453-9719Citi 800-695-5171
US Bank 800-947-1444
If you apply for a business card, there are a few things you should know. First, there is a personal credit pull on your credit report. But after the pull, the card does not sit on your credit report, but on a separate one for the business.
Second, many consumer protections like purchase protection and rental insurance don’t exist with business cards.
Third, many business cards are charge cards that need to be paid in full each month. This shouldn’t be a problem because you should be paying all your rewards cards in full each month since their interest rates will quickly cost more than their miles are worth.
If none of that has scared you off, you can now roughly double the possible credit cards you can apply for because many personal cards have an equivalent or comparable business card. With all the extra miles, I’ll see you at the front of the plane next month.
Continue to Best Practices for Your First App-o-Rama.