How You Can Apply for a Business Rewards Credit Card

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Sometimes people want to get not only personal credit cards, but also business credit cards.  Of course with business cards, so the application process is a little different as it is based on your business.  This scares some people off immediately as they don’t think they run big enough businesses, but it really shouldn’t.  We live in a country of entrepreneurs, and odds are that many of you do have side businesses with expenses and income.  Just in my own circle of friends I can think of several with side businesses that include Etsy shops, Ebay reselling, blogs, after-school tutoring, pet sitting, photography, and much, much, more.  Heck, this blog scored me my first business card back when it was still very much a small side job.

Now several business card approvals later, I want to offer up some tips I have learned along the way in case you want in on some of these very lucrative business cards.  Note that I do not recommend fabricating any information on the application or pretending you have a business that you don’t really have. 

On the application you will need to answer questions both about you personally as well as about the business itself.  Most of the personal questions are self-explanatory, so I will focus primarily on the business questions.

  • Legal Name of Business: This might just be your own name, or the name of your business.
  • Business Street Address: If you work from home this might be the same as your home address, but they want a real address and not a P.O. Box.
  • Tax ID Number: If you have one then you provide it here, but if you don’t then just put your Social Security Number.
  • Company Structure/Type of Business: For many of the smaller side-businesses this will likely be a sole proprietorship.
  • Years in business/number of employees: This is pretty straightforward.
  • Industry Type/Nature of Business: There will be some drop-down options like retail, professional service, agriculture, and other.  Just choose the one that applies to your business or select other if none of them apply.
  • Annual business revenue: This will either be a drop-down box that starts with 0 – 49,999 or a box that you enter your annual business revenue.
  • Role in company/Authorizing Officer: Pick the one from the drop-down box that most closely applies, but owner may be the best selection.

If this is your first business card, it is likely you will have to call in to give them some more info after you apply.  They asked me the following questions (many of which were also asked on the application):

  • How long had I been in business?
  • What does my business do?
  • How many employees did I have?
  • What is my annual revenue?
  • How much of that is profit?
  • How many liquid assets did I have (personal assets count)?
  • What do I do for my “day job” (not what the business the card is used for)?
  • How long have I worked at my “day job”?
  • What is my personal yearly income including my “day job”?

I’ll admit I was a little nervous on my first business application, but it was well worth it both for the sign-up bonus, and the earning potential in the some of the business card bonus categories.  Of course this isn’t for everyone, but it is probably for many of us.  After your first one, it does get easier.  In the meantime, if you have questions, just ask as many of us have been there before!

Comments

  1. We just cancelled my hubby’s Chase Ink Bold about a month ago after spending around 62K on it in the first year. The annual fee was charged in march and I tried to get them to waive it or atleast offer up some miles as a retention. No luck after a few calls and secure messages so I cancelled it. I have the Ink Plus and Sapphire (plus many other Chase cards). He has the freedom, united explorer, and PC. How soon is too soon to apply for the Ink Plus for him again? Excellent credit, solid business. I am itching to get another jump start on those UR points. Actually, I have about 200,000 but I would love for him to have that card.

  2. I have mixed feelings about this post. I’d rather not give non-business owners confidence in applying for this, even if it’s allowed– because it will soon not be.

  3. Why are bloggers not talking about the huge loss of Star Aliance international saver award availability this summer? Try finding flights from EU or Asia to the US. You can get out but you can’t get home.

  4. I am wondering if the sharp decline in award availability that occurred late March is a result of too may credit card miles in circulation. The award flights available are between countries that are less accessible to the typical US consumer. Fine perhaps for the high milage flyer who can make changes at last minute for free but for the average Joe this is a real problem.

  5. Note that for Chase business applications, you will have to click a check box certifying the following statement (among others):

    “CERTIFICATION

    I certify that I have read and agree to all terms, conditions, authorizations and disclosures provided with this credit application and that all information provided is true and correct.
    I agree this is a business account and shall only be used for business purposes and not for personal, family or household use.”

    Could make things tricky when it comes time to load up on gift cards at office supply stores.

  6. Kathy, if I am reading you correctly, you say he had the Bold and you have the Plus. If that is the case, then I like to wait 3-6 months between Chase applications (though I know others do them more frequently). All things being equal, if he hasn’t had the Plus he should go for it whenever it makes sense for him. Good luck!
    Nun, I also would not recommend non-business owners to apply, but I do think that some folks (especially lots of moms I know) discount what they do for side income. Often times it really is a business when you step back and look (such as the examples I gave above), so I see no reason not to use that business to get rewards credit cards if they so desire.
    Unhappy Flyer, I’m not sure exactly what you are referencing, but summer is a peak travel time and often it is much harder to get saver awards to popular destinations during popular travel times – especially since summer is now almost upon us. I think there are still saver seats out there, but I’m sure there is limited availability at this point.
    George, my best advice there is to read the forums to see how this has been handled. I can speak personally that I have had no issues – though do keep in mind that business cards typically offer fewer protections on purchases than personal cards so that is a reason to watch what you charge on a business card.

  7. Take a look through the year MP. I fly a out 200k miles per year and book a lot of reward flights for my family. I watch inventory on a daily basis for flights in and out of US as well as routes from EU to Asia. Prior to around March 29 there was excellent saver availability – that is now sharply reigned in. Check out thread in flyer talk. – united section on Saver Award Availability. UA is not responding.

  8. if the online application is not approved instantly, how long do you suggest to call in the recon line?

  9. Unhappy, I’m assuming you mean this thread http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-mileageplus-consolidated/1247233-saver-award-inventory-not-released-far-out-merged-61.html – I had no issues for a few searches I did a week or two ago, but haven’t had the need to search since. I will pay attention to the thread and do some more searches though. I’m not immediately alarmed as I suspect if it was reigned in, it will be reigned back out if the seats don’t sell as expected, but again I may be missing something as this is the first I have heard of any issue.

  10. Jonathan, with Chase as soon as you want. With Amex, you might get an approval after a few days so it can pay to wait. Chase I usually call same day or next day on biz apps.

  11. Mommypoints, if you don’t get instant approval on your business apps, do you ever communicate by secure message or try to negotiate credit line this way. My hubby hates to deal with the cc companies. I was very proud of him when I applied (for him) for the priority club visa a few months ago and he had to call the reconsideration line answer a few questions. He loves the travel, just doesn’t like to talk to the cc companies. Thanks for the info.

    • Kathy, I have never heard of that working for recon. You can have him authorize you to do the recon call though. He would just start it and give you the authorization to have the rest of the call if you want.

  12. Thank you for the lovely post MP! I have a few friends who are moms with side businesses who may benefit from reading this post.
    Does Chase publish a reconsideration line phone number?

  13. What if I have several side businesses that I operate as a sole proprietorship? My main business is my day job that I also own but I already have an Ink card and enttered my name/social since it’s a sole-prop too. I guess just apply and lower the revenues and then call to explain the 2nd and 3rd businesses.

  14. Ok, I just applied for the ink plus for my husband and got a “pending decision” message. Guess I will either wait a day or so or get him to call. Ugh! That is not what I was hoping for. If they approve the card, will it automatically show up in his online account with the other accts. He still uses the same log on that he did when he had the ink bold. Guess I should have expected that though. Just cancelled the ink bold a couple of weeks ago when they wouldn’t budge on the annual fee. We had alot of spending on that card and I expect we will on alot of spending on the plus if they approve him for this too. We charge alot for our business. Going on vacation in about 10 days and flight and room is paid for thanks to Ultimate Rewards!

  15. Joey, you are most welcome. I also know many moms with legit side businesses that could get a little extra bonus perk from getting a business card. 😉 Thanks for sharing the post with the ones you know! Also, the recon number for both Chase and Amex is in the post.
    Ken, could give it a shot. I know folks have more than one Ink for more than one business.
    Kathy, yeah that’s a bummer, but not too much of a surprise. Mine didn’t auto show with my other Ink the way my personal cards do. My third Chase biz card is when I finally got instant approval, maybe it will be that way for you as well. Good luck with recon!

  16. If Chase/Amex/Citi are dumb enough to give away miles/bonuses to any business card application then it is their loss. Anywhere else in the world you would have to present bank statements, corp papers, even some bankers have to recommend you for approval. No I am not recommending you commit fraud or lie. I am just saying dont feel bad when you apply.

  17. What do you think the minimum amount of income would be for consideration? I’m guessing if you only generate (legitimately)only a couple thousand a year, for instance, they’d deny?

    • eco mama, I’m sure it varies, but I have heard approvals for that type of business income. It is a YMMV situation for sure, but some do absolutely get approved like that.

  18. Just had to update you on the Ink Plus application for hubby. Decided to wait until today, had not called yet because I haven’t been able to slow him down. Well, I pulled up his online acct and the card is already in his online profile with a nice credit limit. Yay, didn’t have to make the reconsideration phone call after all! Gotta love that! Thanks again for all you help. By the way, I used your link, of course.

  19. I do have a business (a LLC), renting out my apartment on occasion when I travel, but it really has limited expenses. I just opened an Ink Classic Card for the business and will probably open a Bold at some point, but my plans for the spend on the cards, and the recurring charges (phone, internet, etc) will not be charges for my business. Given I won’t be declaring these as part of my business when I file my business taxes, it shouldn’t be a problem, right? I’m basically opening business cards in my business name and then charging personal expenses on them. It feels like it should be against the rules, but is it?

    • Lauren, there are many different questions in your comment, but the best way to answer it I think is to say that many have done exactly what you describe without problem.

  20. Re Lauren’s question in comment 22 — per the quote from the Chase certification in comment 5, “I agree this is a business account and shall only be used for business purposes and not for personal, family or household use”” paying for personal expenses with a business card is clearly against the credit card rules. I really don’t understand how one can read the certification that someone signs when applying for a Chase business card as saying something other than that the business credit card is only supposed to be used for business expenses. People may be choosing to disregard this rule, and not be suffering any consequences (yet), but it doesn’t mean that the rule doesn’t exist.

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