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A business credit card gives you the convenience of a credit card for business expenses. This can keep your small business transactions separate from personal spending. If a bank denies your business credit card application, a secured business card is another option. But there aren't many — if you don't find a card that fits, check out personal secured cards as well.
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There are only a few secured cards designed for small business owners, so we’ve listed them all.
For a wider selection of similar offers, see the best secured personal credit cards. You can use them for business purposes if necessary; just be careful to separate your business and personal expenses.
Is a Secured Business Card Right for You?
With poor credit, you may not qualify for typical unsecured business credit cards. Instead, you might need to go for a secured card — that means you have to put down a security deposit to fund your credit limit, which lowers the risk for the card issuer.
If your credit scores are in the bad/poor range, or if you’ve been repeatedly denied for unsecured cards, it might be time to try a secured card. They function just like any other credit card, except for the security deposit. (If your credit isn’t too bad, consider the Capital One Spark Classic for Business (Review).)
In some cases, with good credit behavior, the card issuer may return the deposit and allow you to continue using the card. Or, it may return the deposit and upgrade you to a better card.
If you’re eligible, you’ll also have to work with a credit limit that’s smaller than your security deposit. This card requires a minimum deposit of $500 in a savings account, and your available credit will be 90% of your deposit. So if you deposit $5,000, you’ll get a $4,500 credit limit.
But if you can manage that, and the low annual fee after the first year, you’ll get access to a decent reward program.
3X points per dollar spent at Office supply stores
Need a lot of spending power? The Business Edition® Secured Visa® Card gives you a potential credit line up to $100,000, although you’ll need to offer up a security deposit of 110% of the credit line you want.
So, if you want that full $100,000 credit line, for example, you’ll need to deposit $110,000. A deposit of $10,000 will give you a limit of $9,090. But, the maximum amount you can deposit is subject to credit approval, so you may not be able to deposit as much as you want.
Unlike most secured cards, however, your security deposit will actually earn interest. It probably won’t be much, but if you make a big deposit it could be a nice treat whenever you close the card and get your deposit back.
Banks design business credit cards to provide business owners with a credit line. A secured card requires a security deposit when you’re approved. Usually, the credit limit is equal to the amount of the deposit. This deposit reduces a financial institution’s risk when lending to people with limited or bad credit history.
As long as you use the card responsibly you should be able to qualify for unsecured business cards with better rewards and perks in the future. Some banks will convert your account to an unsecured card once you’ve developed a record of responsible use, which typically includes consistent on-time payments and properly managed balance. Depending on whether you’ve built credit for your business, you may even be able to get a card without a personal guarantee. Many unsecured business credit cards earn rewards points, miles, or cash back for business spending. You can multiply these business rewards by adding employee cards.
For example, Chase business cards report positive activity to several business credit bureaus, including Dun & Bradstreet and Equifax Business, but not the regular consumer credit bureaus. But negative activity will be reported to the consumer credit bureaus as well.
Personal credit reports are different from business credit reports. If you have a business card, your business may have a credit report at one or more business credit bureaus. But not all business credit cards report to business credit bureaus.
To find out if a business credit card reports to business credit bureaus, see our table (linked above) or ask the issuer before you apply.
Many business credit cards only report negative items on your personal credit reports. Regular account activity may not show up on your personal credit reports. In those cases, the card will not help you build personal credit. If you miss a payment on your business card, though, that negative item will likely show up on your personal credit reports.