Do I need a credit card for my small business?

April 21, 2021

A business credit card is a big step for your small business. Before you start shopping, answering these four questions will help you decide if it’s time to apply.

 

Watching your small business grow is a great feeling. Watching its finances get more complicated? Not so much. As your business expands, you might have considered getting a small business credit card to help make operations smoother and simpler. A credit card is a great tool to use as you build your business, but making sure it’s the right option for you before applying can save you time and energy in the future. Ask yourself these four questions before you start shopping. 

 

1. Is my business growing?

As your business brings in more revenue and customers, your costs of operation might be increasing in turn. If you’ve been using your personal credit card for business expenses up to this point, you may find that its limit is no longer high enough to make the purchases your business needs, or isn’t offering rewards that are actually helpful to you. If sales have been steady and you’re not having trouble covering basic business or personal expenses, you’re probably in a good position to apply for a card. Just like you would with your personal card, make a habit of paying your balance on time and using it responsibly. If you’re planning to use a business credit card for one big expense that you’ll pay off over time, make a repayment plan and stick to it — it’ll help your business build its own credit score over time, making it easier to apply for loans in the future.

 

2. Could I benefit from the rewards a business credit card offers?

One big difference between personal credit cards and business credit cards is reward categories. Personal credit cards often offer cash back for restaurants, entertainment or grocery stores. These are great features, but they don’t help out much when you’re charging business expenses. Lots of business credit cards offer cash back rewards for things like office supplies and phone bills, which can save some business owners money in the long run. For example, the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card offers 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers and restaurants.1 Plus, you'll earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. If categories like these are big expenses for your business, a credit card with a good rewards program can help you save on them. Plus, all U.S. Bank’s business rewards credit cards offer access to Encore Rewards, an exclusive feature that lets you earn rewards when you spend and when you take payments, up to $2,880 cash back.

 

3. Do I qualify for a business credit card?

You need to have several bases covered to qualify for a business credit card. Your annual business revenue and average monthly spend are some of the biggest determinants. A bank wants to know that your business is in healthy financial standing, and you’re being wise with its finances. Generally, the larger your annual revenue, the more likely you are to have an application approved. You’ll also need a good personal credit score to get approved. A low one doesn’t make it impossible, but it is a deterrent for most banks. If your score is low, try to boost it before applying for a business credit card. It will open up more doors to a wider variety of cards that might fit your business more closely.

 

4. Do I have everything I need to apply?

Before applying for anything, take stock of your personal and professional financial standing and get all the correct documents in order. You’ll need these basics:

  • Business’s legal name
  • Contact information for your business
  • Contact information for you, including credit history and SSN
  • Industry type (ex: restaurant, salon, etc.)
  • Legal structure (ex: corporation, nonprofit, LLC, etc.)
  • Time in business
  • Number of employees
  • Federal Tax ID (or EIN)
  • Annual business revenue and average monthly spend
  • Total annual income
     

Once all of these are in order, you’re ready to apply. If you need guidance along the way, U.S. Bank business banking specialists and branch managers are always there to help you find the path that’s best for you and your small business.

 

Learn more about U.S. Bank credit card options and how we can help your business succeed.

Learn about U.S. Bank

Related content

5 tips to help you land a small business loan

Improving your credit score: Truth and myths revealed

Save time with mobile apps for business finances

3 ways to adapt to the new payments landscape

Money Moments: How to finance a home addition

Mapping out success for a small-business owner

Community behind Elsa’s House of Sleep

Managing the rising costs of payment acceptance with service fees

How Gentlemen Cuts helps its community shine

Credit score help: Repairing a bad credit score

How to build and maintain a solid credit history and score

Credit: Do you understand it?

The moment I knew I’d made it: The Cheesecakery

How to use credit cards wisely for a vacation budget

How to choose the right rewards credit card for you

Opening a business on a budget during COVID-19

How small businesses are growing sales with online ordering

How a bright idea became a successful business (in Charlotte, North Carolina)

Making the leap from employee to owner

Making a ‘workout’ work out as a business

What’s your financial IQ? Game-night edition

What types of credit scores qualify for a mortgage?

Webinar: Approaching international payment strategies in today’s unpredictable markets.

How to establish your business credit score

8 Ways for small business owners to manage their cash flow

Authenticating cardholder data reduce e-commerce fraud

Increase working capital with Commercial Card Optimization

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

Practical money skills and financial tips for college students

How to build credit as a student

5 steps to selecting your first credit card

7 steps to keep your personal and business finances separate

Dear Money Mentor: How do I begin paying off credit card debt?

How to spot a credit repair scam

5 unique ways to take your credit card benefits further

Myth vs. truth: What affects your credit score?

Test your loan savvy

Should you give your child a college credit card?

U.S. Bank asks: What do you know about credit?

6 essential credit report terms to know

What applying for store credit card on impulse could mean

What is a good credit score?

How to improve your credit score

Be careful when taking out student loans

Decoding credit: Understanding the 5 C’s

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

Webinar: Cash management strategies for higher education

In a digital world, Liberty Puzzles embraces true connection

Digital banking and cloud accounting software: How they work together

How running a business that aligns with core values is paying off

Meet the Milwaukee businessman behind Funky Fresh Spring Rolls

How to identify what technology is needed for your small business

What is needed to apply for an SBA loan

Planning for restaurant startup costs and when to expect them

How iPads can help increase efficiency in your salon

Tools that can streamline staffing and employee management

Using merchant technology manage limited staffing

Business credit card 101

Do I need a credit card for my small business?

How to apply for a business credit card

Prioritizing payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic

5 questions business owners need to consider before taking out a loan

How to establish your business credit score

How to accept credit cards online

How Lip Esteem is empowering women

When small business and community work together

How a family-owned newspaper is serving its community

Honey Luxury Beauté: growing a side project into an eye-catching beauty business

How tenacity brought Taste of Rondo to life

How a travel clothing retailer is staying true to its brand values

How community gave life to lifestyle boutique Les Sol

How Shampoo’ed is transforming hair and inspiring entrepreneurs

The San Francisco bridal shop that’s been making memories for 30 years

How Al’s Breakfast is bringing people together

Celebrity Cake Studio’s two decades of growth and success

How a group fitness studio made the most of online workouts

How Wenonah Canoe is making a boom in business last

How a bar trivia company went digital during COVID-19

The surprising truth about corporate cards

How this photography business persevered through tough times

Community and Coffee: How one small business owner is breaking down barriers

Business risk management for owners of small companies

For small business growth, consider the international market

Webinar: A closer look at U.S. Bank AP Optimizer

Tech tools to keep your restaurant operations running smoothly

How to accept credit card payments without transaction fees

1U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card members may earn three percent (3%) cash back on Net Purchases (purchases minus credit and returns) at restaurants/restaurant delivery, gas stations, office supply stores and cell phone service providers. All other Net Purchases may earn one percent (1%) cash back. Transactions qualify for cash back based on how merchants classify the transaction. U.S. Bank cannot control how merchants choose to classify their business and reserves the right to determine which Purchases will qualify. Purchases of gasoline greater than $200 will not be deemed to be a purchase of automotive gasoline and as such will earn a reward of 1%. Not all transactions are eligible for cash back, such as Advances, Balance Transfers and Convenience Checks. You may not redeem cash back, and you will immediately lose all of your earned cash back rewards, if your account is closed to future transactions (including, but not limited to, due to Program misuse, fraudulent activities, failure to pay, bankruptcy, or death). Cash back may be redeemed as a statement credit, U.S. Bank Rewards Card, or deposited to your U.S. Bank business checking, savings or money market account. The amount of Rewards that may accumulate for your Account is unlimited. Rewards accumulated are non-expiring, subject to conditions set for herein. Refer to your cardmember agreement for full details.

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.