Get A Business Credit Card That Won’t Affect Your Personal Credit

If you’re a business owner of any type, then you should have a business credit card. It’s a great tool to help with day to day operations, manage cash flow, and even to expand your business at some point in the future.

How To Get a Business Credit Card

If you are wondering how to get business credit, it’s pretty simple. Just apply online. It’s actually one of the easiest forms of business credit to qualify for. That said, you will need to have a business entity established and a federal tax ID number as well.

But beware, not all business credit cards are created equal, and most “Best Business Credit Card” lists don’t take personal credit reporting into account. For shame! 

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Do Business Credit Cards Affect Your Personal Credit Score?

The best business credit cards include this awesome feature: they do not report your card information to your personal credit report. That means you can carry a huge balance (not that you should, but you could) and it won’t affect your personal credit score. Nice.

Unfortunately, most banks do not advertise their credit reporting policies as a “feature” of their business credit cards. So I’ve put together a list for you, of the bigger banks and their policies…

Why Should You Care So Much About Your Personal Credit Score?

Basically, your credit score is the gateway to, well, everything….

Want to buy your home with a loan? Hope to lock in the best interest rates…or rent an apartment..or buy a car with a loan..or get the best credit card deals…or even the lowest cell phone rates? Credit Score!

You get the picture. And if you don’t, eventually you will. It’s as sure as death and taxes. So, obviously, you don’t want A-NY-THING messing up your credit score!

Take my credit score above as an example. It shows a total credit card balance of $835. In reality, I currently have a Business Card with a 40K balance (I know, don’t worry, it will be paid off promptly after a real estate refinance). 

Now if I was carrying that balance on a visible card, my score would be much much lower, which could increase the rate I would be getting on the refinance right now…or worse make it harder to get.

That’s why a business credit card is such a great friend. It will save your precious score when you’re racking up thousands of dollars as you expand your business (or some other really good reason to carry a large balance).

Plus many cards come with pretty nice signing bonuses to boot!

My Main Criteria for the Best Business Credit Cards

1) It should NOT report to your personal credit.

2) At least 1.5% cash back (I prefer the same cash back % for everything, but perhaps the tiered version could benefit the right person)

3) No annual fee if possible

4) A good initial reward for signing up

5) The lower the interest rate the better, but I don’t believe you should be carrying a balance for a significant period of time (on a credit card), so this is not a huge factor.

A General Point About Credit Card Rewards

Credit cards, on average, offer you 1-2% of “value” back for each dollar spent. That reward will come as either cash or points for travel or merchandise. So, I just go with cash back cards because I like to keep it simple.

I feel, for the most part, you should just take the cash back (instead of points)…and then use it for travel if you decide to later.

I will say, however, that after talking with my new friend Dave Grossman of Your Best Credit Cards, if you are willing to put some time and effort into “playing the card points game”, you can actually generate much more significant value out or your card’s points.

I learned from Dave that it’s not only the points value you get when “redeeming” that matters, but you have to pay attention to how many points you can “acquire” at purchase as well. For example, if you combine the Chase Ink Business Cash Card and the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card, you can get a premium return.

Additionally, if you travel a lot, for example, the American Express Business Platinum Card offers a very valuable travel rewards program if used correctly, but it comes with a $550 annual fee. So, you would have to travel frequently enough to take advantage of the extra value, in order to exceed the actual cost of having the card.

But you can also use the AMEX Business Gold Card in combination with the Platinum to get 4x points at purchase, and then cash them in for travel at an effective value rate of 1.5-2% if done correctly, thereby improving the return to 6-7%+. But being that requires “work”, and both cards have higher annual fees, I have put them on the “Other” List.

Drumroll….Here Are My Top Five Business Cash Back Credit Cards for 2021…That Don’t Report to Your Personal Credit Score…

Chase Ink Business Cash

A Chase Business Card Won’t Report to Your Personal Credit

BONUS
$750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.

CASH BACK
Earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your business.

ANNUAL FEE
$0

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. After that, 14.74%–20.74% variable APR.

EMPLOYEE CARDS
Employee cards at no additional cost. They let you set individual spending limits and help you earn rewards even faster.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
High

Capital One Spark Cash Business Card

BONUS
Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

CASH BACK
Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, every day.

ANNUAL FEE
$0 intro for the first year, $95 after that.

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
None. 20.99% variable APR

EMPLOYEE CARDS
Employee cards at no additional cost.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
Medium-High

American Express Blue Business Cash Card

An American Express Card doesn't report to Your Personal Credit

BONUS
None currently.

CASH BACK
Earn 2% cash back on every purchase made for your business, up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back applies after that. 

ANNUAL FEE
$0

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
0.0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable rate, 13.24% – 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
Medium-High

Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card

BONUS
Get a one-time $300 cash back bonus or 30,000 bonus points when you enroll in the Business Card Rewards Program and spend $3,000 in the first three months of account open date.

CASH BACK
Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent.

ANNUAL FEE
$0

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
0% introductory rate for first nine months. After that, you will be assigned a variable interest rate between Wells Fargo Prime + 7.99% and Wells Fargo Prime + 17.99%, depending on your personal and business credit evaluation.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
Medium

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards 

A Bank of America Business Card Won’t Affect Your Personal Credit

BONUS
Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening.

CASH BACK
Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year), and unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

ANNUAL FEE
$0

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
0% Introductory APR for the first 9 billing cycles following the opening of your account. After that, your APR will be 13.74% to 23.74%, based on your personal or your business’s creditworthiness when you open your account. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
Medium

U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite

A US Bank Business Card Card Won’t Affect Your Personal Credit

BONUS
Earn $500 cash back. Just spend $3000 in the first 90 days of opening your account. 

CASH BACK
Earn 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations, office supply stores, and cell phone/service providers. Plus you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

25% ANNUAL BONUS
Get 25% of your prior year’s cash rewards, up to $250, on the anniversary of opening your account.

LIMITED TIME OFFER (as of May 2021)
Earn an additional $500 in cash back when you spend $3000 in the first 90 days of opening your account.1

ANNUAL FEE
$0

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
Your 0% APR introductory rate applies to purchases and balance transfers. After 12 billing cycles, it adjusts to a variable APR, currently ranging from 13.99% to 22.99%, see full Cash Rewards terms and conditions.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
Unknown, as I haven’t applied lately.

Other Cards You Might Consider…

American Express Platinum Business Card

BONUS
100,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within 3 months.

POINTS
-5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked via AmexTravel
-1.5X Membership Rewards points on any single purchase that is over $5,000
-1X Membership Rewards points on everything else

OTHER BENEFITS
Get a suite of benefits that include Gold Hilton status, Gold Marriott status, the American Express Global Lounge Collection which includes Centurion, Delta, and Priority Pass Lounge access, Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits, and a $200 annual incidental airfare credit.

Also, when you redeem your points for travel through the American Express Travel portal, you will get 35% of your points rebated on one airline of your choice for economy tickets and on all airlines for Business Class and First Class tickets.

ANNUAL FEE
$595

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
Generally, you are supposed to pay back your AMEX in full every month. Though they do have some extended payment options as well.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
There is no preset spending limit. It is based on your average monthly usage.

American Express Gold Business Card

BONUS
Get 70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 within first 3 months.

POINTS
You will earn 4 points per dollar on any 2 out of 6 categories, automatically selected each calendar month based on which ones you spent the most on, up to $150,000 per year. Everything else will earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent.

OTHER BENEFITS
You’ll get a 25% Membership Rewards points rebate on airfare paid on points with your card. Applies to economy flights with your chosen airline and First and Business Class flights with all airlines.

ANNUAL FEE
$295

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
Generally, you are supposed to pay back your AMEX in full every month. Though they do have some extended payment options as well.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
There is no preset spending limit. It is based on your average monthly usage.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

BONUS
Get 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points as a bonus when you spend $15,000 in your first 3 months.

POINTS
The Chase Ink Preferred card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all travel, advertising, and shipping, as well on Internet, cable and phone services, up to $150,000 a year, meaning that if your business spends a lot in any of these categories, you can earn a ton of points. 5X Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft. 1X Ultimate Rewards points on everything else

OTHER BENEFITS
If you have no annual fee Chase cards, such as the Ink UnlimitedInk CashFreedom, or Freedom Unlimited, which do not allow you to transfer or use the points for more than a penny a point in value, having this card will allow you to combine points from the no annual fee cards into this one, where you can transfer to airline/hotel partners or redeem in the travel portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point. 

ANNUAL FEE
$95

INTRO APR / ONGOING APR
None. 15.99% – 20.99% variable.

AMOUNT OF CREDIT OFFERED (PER MY OWN EXPERIENCE)
Medium-High

Why is the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card My #1 Choice? 

First of all, it meets all of my requirements, including at least 1.5% cash back, no annual fee, a good initial reward ($750), and it doesn’t report to your personal credit.

Secondly, although many of the other cards on my list are somewhat similar, in my experience this card offers the MOST CREDIT, which makes it a superior card for any business owner. 

Finally, it also offers 0% interest for purchases up to 12 months. So, if you do need to utilize it to get your business off the ground in that 1st year, you will save a bunch of money! 3 of the other 4 cards only offer 0% for 9 months.

So there you have it! Now you just have to get it going!

If you want more information on incorporating yourself and establishing a federal tax id, check out this article… 

Independent Contractor Taxes & How to Incorporate (So You Can Pay Less Tax)

Or even some of these…

Choosing Payroll Software: Square Payroll vs Gusto Payroll vs ADP

The 4 Most Popular Bookkeeping Programs for Your Business

Best Business Checking Accounts Comparison

The 4 Best LLC Formation and Incorporation Services

Solo 401k vs SEP IRA: A Comparing For the Self-Employed

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