Best credit cards to start a business

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Summary

Here's the thing about business credit cards: neither the age of your business nor its credit standing plays much of a role. It’s your own personal credit standing that really matters. Having a long 0% APR rate could be an ideal fit for a startup that might need some time to ramp up and generate cash flow. A cash back business credit card could help a small business that has large expenditures early on in their development.

As the founder of a exciting new business, there are plenty of good reasons for you to consider using a business credit card. It can help you keep personal and business finances separate, cover cash flow, build your credit history, and save money through various perks and rewards. 

INSIDER TIP: Credit cards for new businesses are actually a bit misleading. The age of your business doesn’t really matter. Your odds of approval mostly depend on your personal credit standing. That’s why issuers request your Social Security Number, and it’s why you can’t get a new business credit card without a credit check.

So what is the best credit card for my small business?

The best overall credit card that’s been consistently rated in the top 3 credit cards for small and new businesses has been the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business.

Here’s the thing about business credit cards: neither the age of your business nor its credit standing plays much of a role. It’s your own personal credit standing that really matters. Because its minimum personal credit score rounds in at 580, the Spark Classic is one of, if not the most, accessible unsecured business credit card on the market. That’s what makes the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is a great business credit card to start out with. Its minimum personal credit score rounds in at 580, so it’s one of, if not the most, accessible unsecured business credit card on the market.

Best credit cards for new (and small) businesses


There are other great options, depending on what you value most. Having a long 0% APR rate could be an ideal fit for a startup that might need some time to ramp up and generate cash flow. A cash back business credit card could help a small business that has large expenditures early on in their development.

Here’s a list of the best credit cards for startups by category:

  • Cash Back: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
  • Travel Rewards: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • Building Credit: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
  • Rebuilding Credit: BBVA Compass Business Secured Credit Card
  • Big-Ticket Purchases: HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Balance Transfers: Chase Slate®

Cash Back: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Is the Capital One Spark card good?

There’s a reason the Capital One Spark Cash credit card is the best business rewards credit card for startups. For applicants who need to do a lot of travelling, they’d probably prefer the cash back and travel rewards this card offers. The Spark Cash Card’s rewards are simple, yet highly lucrative, as all cardholders earn 2% cash back on all purchases.

What credit score do you need to get the Capital One Spark Cash for Business?

You’ll need to have excellent credit to qualify for this credit card. An excellent credit score is a score of 800 or above. Most credit scores fall between 600 and 750.

Travel Rewards: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Is Chase Ink Business Preferred hard to get?

It’s highly recommended you have excellent personal credit to get the Chase Ink Business Preferred. Having a personal credit score in the mid-700s or higher means you are most likely to receive an instant approval decision. However, it’s possible to get approved with a score below 740, but it’s not guaranteed.

How do you qualify for Chase Ink business preferred?

If you want the best odds of being approved for the Chase Ink Business Preferred, make sure you:

  1. Have a credit score above 700, but preferably 740 or higher
  2. Operate a for-profit venture, like consulting or any small business (LLC, Sole Proprietorship, Class C, or Class S corporations)
  3. Wait long enough between Chase card applications.
  4. Make sure not to apply for five or more credit cards within the past 24 months from any bank (if you do, you will not be approved for any Chase card)

Building Credit: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

What credit score do you need for Capital One Spark?

The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is designed for companies with lower credit or limited credit history. You can apply with a fair credit score of 630 or higher

Rebuilding Credit: BBVA Compass Business Secured Credit Card

Does BBVA Compass offer secured credit cards?

The short answer is yes. It’s in the name. The BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa Credit Card is designed to help businesses and business owners rebuild their credit. Before you apply, you’ll need to open a secured credit card savings account. The minimum opening deposit is $500 and you can make deposits in increments of $100.

Big-Ticket Purchases: HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card

Is HSBC Gold Mastercard a good credit card?

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is a good pick if you’re eyeing a large purchase and need a long interest-free runway to pay it off, or if you’re looking to transfer a high-interest balance and need a lot of time to whittle it down sans interest. It can also save you money on fees in general.

Balance Transfers: Chase Slate®

How does Chase Slate balance transfer work?

The Chase Slate® credit card has a new card member offer for a low intro balance transfer. The balance transfer includes an introductory fee of $0 during the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5. So it’s best to utilize this card quickly once you’ve been approved.

Is Chase Slate a good card for balance transfers?

All in all, considering the 15-month 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers and its $0 annual fee, Chase Slate is one of the best credit cards on the market for balance transfers. Few balance transfer cards offer a lengthy introductory rate and a $0 balance transfer fee.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I get a first business credit card?

The most important business credit card requirements are a good credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio. These are the requirements weighed most heavily by business credit card issuers. Your personal credit score lets them know how you’ve handled your finances in the past, and your personal debt-to-income ratio lets them know how able you’ll be to pay off what you borrow each month.

So step 1 in getting your first business card is: have fair – to – good credit. Step 2 is understanding what benefits you’ll need most when running your business (cash back? 0% APR?). Step 3 is finding a card that matches your requirements and your credit score. Then finally, step 4 is applying via their website.

Should I get a credit card for my small business?

One of the most important reasons to get a small business credit card is that it keeps your business and personal expenses separate and allows you to track your business spending. This makes record-keeping a lot easier come tax time. Some cards even offer special functionality and tools to assist with expense tracking, so it’s worth exploring.

What credit score is needed for a business credit card?

Although there are secured business credit cards for those with poor or bad credit, business credit cards for fair credit are best for small business owners. So that means a small business owner should look to have credit scores between 640 to 699 if they hope to get approved. Obviously, the higher your credit score, the more credit cards you can be approved for. Many business credit cards require good credit or excellent credit for approval, so if you hope to get a small business credit card, .

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