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Having trouble qualifying for the business credit cards you want? Maybe you haven’t been building up your credit very long, or have made some mistakes in the past. With bad credit comes fewer options, sometimes making it tough to find payment and funding options that work for you.
But before you think “Oh no, now I’ll be scraping the bottom of the barrel” — wait a moment. The cards here actually aren’t too bad at all.
Depending on the card issuer, you may or may not be able to use the business cards on this page to improve your personal credit (because the issuer may or may not report regular card activity to the consumer credit bureaus). You may be able to use them to build up your business credit, if the issuer reports to business credit bureaus.
Bad credit doesn’t mean you have to settle for cards without valuable features — three of our top picks offer points or cash back for your purchases. If you’re looking at a lot of business spending every year, those rewards could add up to quite a bit. Following the business cards, you’ll see a selection of personal cards you may find useful for business expenses.
|Best For||Business Card|
|Fair or Average Credit||Capital One Spark Classic for Business (Review)|
|Flat-Rate Rewards||Wells Fargo® Business Secured Credit Card|
|Bonus Categories||BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa Credit Card|
|High Credit Limit||Business Edition® Secured Visa® Card|
All of the business and personal cards on this page rely on your personal credit for approval, and you’ll be legally responsible for any credit card debts. If you need a corporate card that doesn’t rely on your personal credit, and requires no personal guarantee, take a look at Brex corporate credit cards and American Express corporate credit cards.
So, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business (Review) is technically designed for “fair or average” credit, which is a step above “poor” or “bad.” But maybe your scores aren’t quite as bad as you thought — maybe they’re on the edge, and some card issuers might be a little more accepting than you expected.
And, keep in mind that credit approval relies on more factors than just credit scores, including income. So you may still qualify with low scores, if your finances are looking good.
This is an unsecured card, so you won’t need to put down a security deposit to fund your credit line. This can free up some cash that would otherwise get put down for the deposit, leaving you with more money to put toward your business.
Unlike most issuers of business cards, Capital One will report your positive business card activity to the consumer credit bureaus, along with several business credit bureaus. That means this card can help you build your personal credit, along with your business credit (and it can hurt both types of credit, too).
Wondering how to improve your personal credit? See our favorite cards for building your credit scores.
With poor credit you typically have to look to secured credit cards, which require a refundable security deposit upon approval.
The Wells Fargo® Business Secured Credit Card may be a good option if you can’t qualify for the Spark Classic above. It takes a security deposit of $500 to $25,000, and your credit line will be equal to the deposit.
This Mastercard allows you to choose the rewards program that will work best for your business — either cash back or points. You can get up to 10 copies of the card to distribute to employees, and each will have a $0 annual fee.
Wells Fargo reports positive card activity to Small Business Financial Exchange, while negative activity is reported to the regular consumer credit bureaus. So this card can only help build business credit; it can’t help you build up your personal credit scores, but it could bring them down with irresponsible behavior.
|Spending Rewards (Choose One)|
Wells Fargo will periodically review your card account and recent credit history to see if you qualify for an upgrade to an unsecured business card. See other Wells Fargo cards here.
Up next is a card from a smaller bank, with some restrictions. The BBVA Compass Business Secured Visa Credit Card could be good for some business owners, though it has some features that could make it off limits for others.
You’ll need to provide a security deposit of at least $500; unlike most other secured cards, in this case your credit limit will be equal to 90% of your security deposit. If you make a $5,000 deposit, for example, your credit line will be $4,500. But you can get as many free employee cards as you need (also unlike some other secured business cards).
Unfortunately, BBVA’s secured business card is only available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. You’ll need to visit a branch in person to apply; you can’t apply online.
With big business comes big spending. If your company has high monthly expenses you’ll need a credit card that can keep up, but that can be a challenge when some secured cards have fairly low credit limits.
The Business Edition® Secured Visa® Card from the First National Bank of Omaha doesn’t have that problem, although there are some strings attached.
Your credit line can range from $2,000 to $100,000, although the limit you’re approved for will depend on your creditworthiness. You must provide a security deposit of 110% of the credit limit you’d like: If you want a $50,000 credit limit, for instance, you’d have to deposit $55,000. So you can get a high credit limit, but like the BBVA card, your deposit will be bigger than your limit.
Here’s another thing that sets this card apart: The security deposit you provide will actually earn interest, compounded quarterly, unlike most secured cards. But don’t get too excited. At the time of publication, the interest rate was only 0.05%. It’s subject to change at FNBO’s discretion.
Like the BBVA card, FNBO only has regional availability: You’ll need to be located in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Texas.
Yes, you can. Even if your credit isn’t in the best shape, there are some business cards designed for you — but not many.
“Bad credit,” also known as “poor credit,” usually refers to a FICO Credit Score range of 300–579, or a VantageScore range of 300–649.
Your credit scores are an indicator of your likelihood to pay back your debts on time — the lower the score, the less likely a person is to pay on time. And the lower the score, the greater the risk for the credit card issuer.
Credit cards and other financial products designed for bad credit typically have high interest rates, and in some cases extra fees. People with lower credit scores typically have a harder time qualifying, get lower credit limits, and have to make larger down payments.
That’s why it’s important to understand and cultivate good credit scores; bad credit can be expensive, and good credit can do more than just provide access to fancy credit cards.
The three secured business cards we’ve highlighted are probably the easiest business cards to get:
Bad credit indicates that a person is less likely to pay his or her bills on time. These cards require a security deposit to fund their credit limits, to help mitigate the risk assumed by the card issuer. That’s why secured cards are typically easier to qualify for than unsecured cards.
Did you know that you can use personal credit cards for business expenses?
Business cards typically come with higher credit lines than personal or consumer credit cards, along with business-specific perks and services. But if you have poor credit and are having a tough time qualifying for business cards, you may want to go for a personal card instead.
Here are some of our favorite personal secured cards, with the highest maximum credit limits. We recommend putting down as large a security deposit as you can manage to get a bigger line of credit, to give yourself more spending power and to help keep your credit utilization on the low side.
|Discover it® Secured (Review)||$200–$2,500|
|U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card||$300–$5,000|
|BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card||$300–$4,900|
There aren’t many business credit cards designed for bad credit, but our top picks include both unsecured and secured cards. Unsecured cards typically have higher standards; secured cards require an initial deposit but tend to be easier to get. You’ll also find a selection of personal cards you can use to help run your business.
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