Business credit cards are an amazing way to diversify for more category multipliers as well as really solid sign-up bonuses. Personal cards have multipliers in popular categories such as gas, restaurants, and grocery spend. Business credit cards have their own popular categories that can be a great addition to your regular personal spending. I will be focusing on Chase and American Express as I have experience applying for both.
American Express is known to be more accepting of new “businesses”. There are many data points on Reddit talking about how easy it is to apply for a business credit card from American Express. Most of their business credit cards have some annual fee, but they do have a few that do not including both the Blue Business Cash and Blue Business Plus and the entry Delta card. Below is what you can expect from the business part of the application.
The first thing they will ask is basic business information including the business name and address of the business. Many people applying qualify as sole proprietors and the legal business name would be your first and last name. In this case, certain states give American Express the ability to ask for more documentation. There are states where there should be no need for submitting any extra paper documents relating to the business. In my experience in California, I have yet to be asked for any documentation. In addition, the address could be your home address if you operate from your house.
The next set of questions include the company structure, such as sole proprietorship, years in business and money related information. In this part of the application, if you are a new business, you can select “Less than One Year”. There are many websites and videos talking about what amount to place in the business revenue section. I personally put down expected revenue as a beginning business on one of my American Express business cards and $0 on my application for my second business card, and I got accepted for both cards.
Personally, I have the Blue Business Plus card and the Amazon Business Prime American Express card. My favorite so far is the Blue Business Plus because it is my catch all card with 2x MR points on all my purchases. The Amazon Business Prime card is a card that I enjoy having because it gives 5% off (redeemable for Amazon points) or 90 days interest free with a Prime membership, either personal or business. I will likely be buying my iPad Pro later this summer using the Amazon Business Prime card for the extra 5% off.
Chase is known to be bit more difficult and strict than American Express in applying for a business card. Their cards are cheaper to own as compared to American Express with two of their three most popular business credit cards from the Ink Business lineup having a $0 annual fee. They also have higher sign up bonuses for the amount of minimum spend required when compared to American Express. Their cards also include travel protection for those who plan on traveling in any way, such as renting a car or through airlines, making the Chase business cards very valuable. I will be showing you what you can expect when applying for the Chase Business cards.
Similar to the application for American Express, the information needed includes the basic Business information such as name and address. Remember the “Tax Identification Number” can be your social security number if you are applying as a sole proprietor. However, unlike American Express, you have to put the years in business as a number. There isn’t a drop down menu for you to choose. Therefore, if you are a new business, you will have to put “0” in that field. That does not mean you will be denied. I personally put “0” in that field and was accepted for the card.
I got my American Express business cards first as I heard they were more accepting of newer businesses. When I applied for my Chase Ink Business Cash card, I was more anxious since I was given the pending message. A couple days later I was approved for the card, but this was one of those cards where I checked the status of my application every few hours. I will likely be using this card to supply my desk using the 5% category in office supply stores as well as putting my phone, internet and cable service monthly charge on the card. This would earn me a lot of points without thinking much about it. I am looking to apply for the other two Chase Ink Business cards in the near future to get another 130,000 UR points.
Chase or American Express?
This is really toss up. I believe both have their benefits and depending on what your business spends on, either could be beneficial. I really think that getting business credit cards from both issuers would be ideal. For example, my ideal business credit card set up would be:
- Chase Ink Business Cash (5x UR points on office supply stores & phone, cable, internet service)
- Chase Ink Business Preferred (3x UR points on travel & shipping & advertising purchases)
- Amazon Business Prime AMEX (5x Amazon Points on purchases from Amazon)
- American Express Blue Business Plus (2x MR points on everything else)
I will be updating my ideal business credit card setup if there are changes in point earning categories in the future. For now, my setup would cost me $95/year. This is a small cost to pay for a lot of earning potential. If your business does not include travel, shipping or advertisement costs, then the setup would be free for you to run after removing the Chase Ink Business Preferred card.
Business credit cards provide a ton of value on those categories that personal cards do not include such as office supply stores and advertisement spend. This gives you more ways to maximize your point earnings on many categories of spend. Let me know what business cards you are looking into applying for in the comment section below. But until next time…
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Checking out, Kenny