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Whether you’ve just gotten started or you’ve applied for your First Five Credit Cards, it would be wise to consider “business” credit cards.

If you’ve ever thought about applying for one only to deem yourself ineligible, it’s time to rethink your approach and take a closer look at these powerful pieces of plastic. You may be eligible for more rewards than you thought!

What is a Business Credit Card?

Simply, it is a credit card that is intended to be used by business owners for company-related expenses rather than personal use. They are available to large and small businesses alike, and can be a useful tool for separating expenses, providing employees with charging capabilities, and building a business’ credit portfolio for future lending needs.

Why Are Business Credit Cards Useful?

Other than the aforementioned reasons of building a business credit profile, the advantages of utilizing business credit cards are that they offer similar award bonuses as personal cards–sometimes even better. For example, here are current offers for the personal and business versions of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred cards:

Learn more about this card.

Learn more about this card.

Clearly, the business card is offering more points (with a bit of extra spend) and can be a great way to earn points. What’s more, there is nothing preventing you from getting both the personal and business version of this card and earning 180,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Even better, your spouse can do the same and the two of you can earn 360,000 Ultimate Rewards points for $38,000 spend (plus an additional 38,000 points, for a total of 398,000, due to earning 1 mile/point on those $38,000 spent – more if spending in a bonused category). That’s enough for two round-trip award tickets from the U.S. to anywhere in the world with points to spare. Although the Business Preferred has a high spend threshold, you could also do the same with the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited as well with similar results.

You, too, could fly in masked luxury with points earned from business credit cards!

Other advantages of business credit cards are that they tend to have larger credit limits (in expectation of large business purchases) as well as the occasional unique bonus category. The Chase Ink Business Preferred, as mentioned previously, is one such card that offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent (up to $150,000) on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites.

A final advantage of business credit cards is that they generally do not count towards Chase’s “5/24” rule. This means that if you have opened four personal cards and two business cards in the last 24 months, you are most likely still considered to be under Chase’s threshold and should be able to open another personal card with them.

Am I Eligible For a Business Credit Card?

While it’s true that you need to have a business in order to apply for a business credit card, the definition of what constitutes a business is extremely broad. It does not need to be an LLC or Corporation (Inc.) in order to qualify – most people operate some kind of a business as a Sole Proprietor without even realizing it. Here are some examples of odd jobs and side hustles that constitute a business:

  • Freelance writing
  • Selling stuff on eBay
  • Consulting (ever help your parents’ friends set up a computer?)
  • Rental properties
  • Babysitting
  • Tutoring
  • Yard work – mowing lawns, shoveling snow, etc.
  • Blogging ->

These are just a few of many examples that could substantiate the need for a business credit card. Again, almost any time you’re exchanging goods or services for money you’re making a business transaction.

Filling out a Business Credit Card Application

The first thing you notice when filling out a business card application is that it asks for specific information pertaining to the business. In general, card issuers will ask for the type of business entity, the business’ mailing address is, the business’ annual revenue, and a Tax ID number. If you are not an established LLC or Corporation (most businesses are not), then you are a Sole Proprietor and will answer all these queries with your personal information. For example:

  • Business Type: Sole Proprietor
  • Business Mailing Address: Your address
  • Legal Business Name: Your Name
  • Tax ID Number: Your Social Security Number
  • Business Revenue/Sales: $0 (not all businesses make money their first year, but if you have positive revenue put it here!)

Other fields will be required as well but are self-explanatory. After completing the “Business Information” section, you will be asked about your personal information. Fill this out exactly as you would on a personal credit card application, then click submit.

Our Favorite Business Credit Cards

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Features:

  • Welcome Bonus: 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $15,000 spend in 3 months
  • 3x UR points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites (1 UR/$ otherwise).
  • Cell phone protection (up to $600 per claim). You must pay the bill with your card to be eligible.
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • $95 Annual Fee

Why it’s great:

If you’re under “5/24”, then this is a card you should have in your wallet. With its generous welcome bonus, fantastic 3x earning categories, and the ability to pool Ultimate Rewards points with other Chase cards (Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, etc.), this card is a no-brainer. It’s also one of the few credit cards that offers cell phone insurance – especially for only having a $95 annual fee.  Learn More.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Features:

  • Welcome Bonus: 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after $15k spend in first 3 months
  • 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels at AmexTravel.com
  • 1.5x Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more
  • $200 yearly statement credit for airline incidental fees
  • Up to $200 a year in statement credits for Dell purchases
  • $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement
  • Lounge membership (Priority Pass, Amex Centurion, Delta Skyclub, Airspace)
  • $595 Annual Fee

Why it’s great:

The Business Platinum is in the realm of “ultra premium” cards that come with a hefty annual fee. However, the combination of a nice welcome bonus plus lounge membership, statement credits, and other benefits usually outweigh the cost – at least for the first year. This is a powerful card to have in your wallet which can pad your pile of Membership Rewards points while not adding to your “5/24” total. Learn More.

Capital One(R) Spark(R) Cash for Business

Features:

  • Welcome Bonus: $500 cash back after $4,500 spend in 3 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Annual Fee $0 first year, then $95

Why it’s great:

For a straight cash-back business credit card, this is as simple as it gets. Although there are other business cards that offer this kind of return (such as the Amex Blue Business Cash), they generally do not come with a welcome bonus, rental car insurance, and other benefits. With a waived annual fee the first year, this is an excellent card to pick up. Learn More.

Final Thoughts

If you ever thought you weren’t eligible to open business credit cards, think again. The definition of a business is generous and nearly anything you do to provide goods or services is likely qualified. You’d be remiss to pass up the opportunities these cards provide.

Not only are they useful for separating expenses and building credit, they provide another avenue to earn massive amounts of points and benefits. Similar to personal cards, the options are expansive and cover every level from no-fee to ultra-premium. What’s more, business cards generally do not count towards your “5/24” status with Chase so you can more easily stay below the threshold to take advantage of their offerings.  Time to dust off that old eBay account and get selling!

Brandon Chase is a financially independent writer, endurance athlete, and travel hacking enthusiast originally from Maine. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and spent nearly a decade overseas serving at embassies in Cairo, Egypt, and Nicosia, Cyprus, and Islamabad, Pakistan. Since getting hooked on “the hobby” in 2013, he and his wife have accumulated and redeemed millions of points and miles for luxury travel, including a $35,000 trip around the world for 97% off retail which he wrote about on his blog Fit For Miles. In addition to travel, he loves to be outdoors and has summited Mr. Kilimanjaro, thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, and completed ultramarathons at the 50k and 50-mile distances. Brandon is thrilled to share his knowledge of credit cards, award travel, and optimization with the Go Curry Cracker readers and hopes to help people travel more and better than they ever thought possible.

Top offers from our partners

Chase Sapphire Preferred(R) Card -
Intro bonus worth $1000+ plus double points on all travel ($4k min spend in 3 mo.)
$50 grocery store statement credit
$95 annual fee.
This is a great card for beginning travel hackers!
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. -
Intro bonus worth $500 in travel credit or more via point transfers. (Possible $1,000 with higher spend.)
2X points on every purchase.
Learn more here.
The Platinum Card(R) from American Express
Welcome bonus of 75,000 points after spending $5k in 6 months.
Up to $200 Uber credit. $200 airline fee credit.
$550 annual fee.
Ink Business Preferred(SM) Credit Card
Small Business card.
Intro bonus of 100,000 points worth $1,250+ after spending $15k in 3 months.
3x points on travel.
$95 annual fee.

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Editorial Note – Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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