Having a business credit card is crucial. It is essential for making purchases, and your business can save money with rewards like cashback. But startups with no credit have a tougher time getting approved. We've gathered the best options for startups without credit.
Startups with no credit can sometimes get credit cards based on the owner's credit score. There are also secured business credit cards, or startup owners can build their credit before applying for a startup business card. Some great choices include Chase, American Express, Capital One, Brex, and others.
Take a closer look at how you can get a business credit card for your startup, even if it doesn't have credit. Then learn more about some of the best cards to choose from.
The Best Credit Cards for New Businesses With No Credit History
When deciding whether to approve a person or business for a credit card, credit history and score are crucial factors. This can be a problem for startups, as most don't have any credit. Luckily, there are still some great options available.
How to Get Business Credit Cards for LLC With No Credit: With Your Personal Credit
Many credit card issuers place more importance on the personal credit history of the startup owner than that of the business itself. This is good news for anyone whose startup doesn't have credit yet but has a well-established credit score.
Not only does this mean you can use your personal credit score to get a startup business card. But it also means you may be eligible for a card with great money-saving perks, from cashback to travel perks or even long periods with a low introductory APR.
What About Business Owners With Poor or No Credit?
While the news that your personal credit score is enough is good for those with good credit, it can be disheartening if you have no or poor credit. In this case, the best thing to do is to start boosting your score before you apply for the business credit card.
One great choice is to look for a secured credit card. These require you to make an initial deposit, and that deposit becomes your spending limit. Your on-time payments get reported to the credit bureaus, boosting your score and history.
It is worth noting that there are also some secured business credit cards. These work the same way. But a secured business card typically only helps your business build credit. As such, it makes more sense to go with a secured personal credit card. This will let you build your credit, allowing you to open a regular business credit card and help with your financial future.
On the other hand, a secured business card has one notable potential advantage. This is because you may be able to upgrade it to a regular business card easily. This upgrading process could be quicker than applying for a new business card.
What to Consider When Choosing a Startup Business Card
There are a few things to think about when choosing your startup business card. Most of these considerations will be the same as when looking for a personal card. They include:
- Annual fee
- Perks, rewards, and other benefits
- Application requirements
Don't overlook the importance of the annual fee. Once your business is well-established and has better credit, getting a card with a higher annual fee and more rewards may make sense. As a startup, however, you want to keep costs low. As such, it's best to stick to cards with minimal or no annual fees, even if this means worse perks.
Startup Business Credit Cards With No Credit Check – The Top Options
When you are ready to decide which startup business credit card to choose, the following are all great starting points. Any of the following cards would be a good choice for most startups.
American Express Blue Business Cash Card
This credit card lets you keep costs low with no annual fee and a 12-month introductory APR of 0%. After that, the APR is 13.99 to 21.99% and variable.
This card lets you earn 2% cashback on eligible purchases. That 2% rate is up to $50,000 each year. After that, it drops to 1%. You also get a $250 statement credit as a new cardholder. This applies when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Most of the credit cards on this list require you to have good or excellent personal credit. The Brex Card is unique in that it doesn't require a personal credit check. This is great for business owners who are still working on their credit scores. Just keep in mind that some professional investors may need to have a bank balance of at least $50,000.
There is no annual fee or APR. The lack of APR comes from the fact that this credit card does not have revolving credit. Instead, you must pay off the balance every 30 days.
Other highlights include the lack of foreign transaction fees and the new cardholder bonus. This comes in the form of 10,000 points after spending $1,000 on the card. You get another 10,000 after spending $3,000 in the first three months. If you connect payroll with your Brex account, you get another 20,000 points.
In addition to this, Brex makes it easy to earn points. Every dollar earns you a point, and there are numerous multipliers, including:
- 2x on software subscriptions
- 3x on restaurants
- 3x on eligible Apple products bought via the link
- 4x on Brex Travel
- 7x on rideshare
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
If your startup has you traveling a lot, then this card from Capital One is a good option to consider. Keep in mind that the annual fee is $0 for the first year but $95 after this. Additionally, there is no low introductory APR. Instead, you get a 21.24% variable APR.
This card is an example of how spending a little more on the card, between annual fees and interest, can lead to better rewards. You get a one-time 50,000-mile bonus after spending $4,500 in the first three months. This is the equivalent of $500 in travel.
When using the card, you get unlimited double miles on each dollar you spend. This business credit card also lets you give your employees free cards, accumulating unlimited 2x miles on every purchase.
The miles don't expire as long as you keep your credit account, and you can transfer the miles to over 15 loyalty programs. The miles can also apply to other travel-related purchases, such as ride-sharing services and hotels.
The card also gives you a statement credit for $100 off your Global Entry application or $85 for TSA PreCheck. Either of those credits can essentially pay for the annual fee.
First National Bank Business Edition Secured Visa Card
If you decide that a secured business card is the best option for building your business credit, then this is a great choice. It has an annual fee of $39 and a variable APR of 20.24%. Importantly, there are no rewards.
When you apply, you can request a credit limit of $2,000 to $100,000. You will have to make a security deposit, but you earn interest on it.
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card From Chase
One of the highlights of this credit card is that it has no annual fee. On top of that, it has an introductory APR of 0% for a full 12 months. After that, the APR is variable at 13.49% to 19.49%.
This card lets you earn 1.5% cashback on every purchase without any limit. There is also a $750 bonus cashback offer when you spend $7,500 in the first three months. This card also lets you create employee cards without an extra cost, complete with the ability to set spending limits.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Card
This is another great choice for a secured business card. There is no annual fee, and the APR is prime + 11.9%. You can get a credit line of between $500 and $25,000.
This is a secured card that lets you earn rewards. You earn a point on every dollar you spend. Spending $1,000 or more in a single billing period gives you 1,000 bonus points. If you prefer, you can also opt for fixed-rate cashback rewards.
While this is a great choice for those with poor credit, there are two important caveats. First, you need to have a Wells Fargo business checking account to get this card. Secondly, Wells Fargo doesn't report your on-time payments to the credit bureaus. Instead, it will occasionally check to see if you qualify for an unsecured card. This means it will not necessarily boost your credit score.
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Startup businesses without credit can still get credit cards based on the owner's personal credit score. If your personal credit score isn't great, you can improve it with a personal secured card or opt for a secured business card.
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Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.