How to Apply for a Chase Business Credit Card
by Elizabeth Aldrich | Jan. 7, 2019
You want to get a new credit card, but the one you want is a business credit card from Chase, and you're unsure of how to apply.
Business credit cards function much in the same way as personal credit cards, and Chase offers some of the best business credit cards out there. However, there are some key differences when it comes to qualifying and applying. I'll touch on the specifics of business credit cards with Chase, how to qualify for a business credit card, and then walk you through the application process.
What you need to know about Chase business credit cards and the 5/24 rule
The Chase 5/24 rule means that you can't be approved for a Chase credit card if you've opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months. Even their business credit cards are subject to this rule, so if you do have more than four accounts opened within the past two years, you'll have to wait before you can apply.
The good news is that while Chase's business credit cards are subject to the 5/24 rule, they don't add to it. That is to say, if you open a business credit card with Chase, it won't count toward your 5/24 limit. That's because Chase reports business credit cards to commercial rather than consumer credit bureaus -- in other words, they don't show up on your personal credit report.
Can anyone apply for a business credit card with Chase?
While you do have to have an eligible business, the requirements are much less strict than you'd think. There's a good chance that you're already partaking in a profit-generating activity that could count as a business. Anything from hobbies to side hustles can qualify, such as the common gigs listed below.
- Driving for Uber or Lyft
- Selling things on Etsy
- Reselling on eBay
- Selling things at craft fairs, farmers' markets, or flea markets
- Airbnb rentals
- Doing nails or hair out of your home
- Flipping used furniture
- Babysitting and tutoring
In fact, you don't have to have actually started your profit-generating activity yet, as long as you genuinely intend to start soon. Getting a business credit card now is a great way to plan ahead. Just remember, never lie on a credit card application. You may be asked to verify any information you provide.
Why you should apply for a Chase business credit card
Business credit cards are a great way to separate out your finances, whether you're running a full-scale business with employees or simply selling stuff on eBay as a side gig. The fact that they don't show up on your personal credit history is a plus, and they can help you build your business credit, which is useful if you ever want to take out a small business loan or get business insurance.
Chase business credit cards are particularly desirable as rewards credit cards. First of all, they have business-related bonus spending categories that offer extra rewards. If your company or side gig means you spend a lot on expenses like transportation, dining out with clients, internet and phone bills, or printing and advertising services, you could accumulate rewards much faster with a business credit card from Chase. When compared to their personal credit cards, Chase's business credit cards also offer some of the most high-value sign-up bonuses for the same, or even no, annual fee.
How to apply for a Chase business credit card
Applications for business credit cards with Chase are pretty simple, but there are some areas where people get confused. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Chase business credit card.
The first page will ask for basic information about your business such as a name, mailing address, and annual revenue. If you are a freelancer or someone with a side gig with no employees, you are considered a sole proprietor, which is what you'll put under "Type of Business." You'd also put "1" under the "Number of Employees" field, which would be you.
You can use your own name as your business name and personal mailing address. You'll need to estimate your annual business revenue here, and this can be projected revenue for the upcoming year, so estimate on the high side. Don't worry if you're not making much. The bank will also consider your personal income.
Under "tax identification number," you can put your EIN (Employer Identification Number) if you have one, or you can simply use your own social security number.
The following page will ask for your personal information, much like a regular credit card application. As a sole proprietor, you'll identify as the "Owner" under the "Authorizing Officer" field. You'll need to provide your name, home address, and gross annual income. Your gross annual income can include income from your job, from your business, and from your spouse.
The following page will ask for your phone number (business and personal can be the same), your email address, date of birth, social security number, and mother's maiden name.
Finally, the fourth page will give you the option to add employee cards. You don't have to do this, but if you do have someone trustworthy who might purchase things for your business on occasion, they're a great way to help you meet your minimum spend for the sign-up bonus. Make sure you trust them, though, because you're on the hook for any charges they make.
Waiting for approval
Once you submit the final page, you'll receive a page that either tells you that you were approved, denied, or your application is being processed. The last option is the most likely. In this case, you will likely receive a decision within a week, although the stated wait period is 30 days. You might be contacted and asked to provide more information about your business during this time. You can also call Chase's automated status line at 1-800-432-3117 at any time to check on the status of your application.
How to get approved for a Chase business credit card
There's no way to guarantee approval, but there are some things you can do to improve your chances. Here are some tips.
Increase your credit score -- Your credit score should be at least 680 to receive approval for a Chase business credit card, but having a score of 720 or higher will give you the best chances.
Decrease your credit limit with Chase -- Chase doesn't like to extend too much credit to any one customer as compared to their income, and it's very common to be denied because you already have large credit limits. In general, your overall credit limit with Chase across all of your personal and business credit cards shouldn't exceed 50% of your income or $75,000. If you're coming close to either of those limits, ask for a credit limit decrease on one of your existing Chase credit cards.
Space out your credit card applications -- Chase doesn't like to see lots of recent inquiries. Aside from not going over 5/24, you also won't be approved if you've opened a Chase credit card in the past 30 days. If you've opened up four or five Chase credit cards in the past six months, your chances are also slim.
Apply in-branch -- People who apply for a Chase business credit card in-branch rather than online tend to have a better shot at approval, and they also tend to receive bigger sign-up offers. If you have a branch near you, it's worth going in and applying in person.
Wait until you've been in business longer -- While you don't have to have a 10-year old business generating six figures to be approved, rejection is common for people who have been in business for a short amount of time and have low revenue. People who have been in business for at least two years and generate at least $2,000 in revenue have a better chance of approval.
What to do if you're denied for a Chase business credit card
If you're denied for a Chase business credit card, there is still hope. You can call their reconsideration line at 1-888-270-2127 to speak with someone about your application. Often, they just need a little more information about your business or they want to verify something in order to approve you. Below are some common questions they may ask you.
- What type of business are you running?
- How many years has your business been in operation?
- Why do you want a business credit card?
- What type of expenses will you be putting on this credit card?
- How much revenue did your business generate last year?
- How do you market your business?
Upon answering these questions, you may find that they reverse their decision and approve you for a new Chase business credit card. They may also still deny you, but they'll give you a reason so that you can improve your chances of approval next time.
The best Chase business credit cards: Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ vs. Chase Ink Business Cash℠
Both of the Chase Ink cards are great options for business credit cards that offer high-value rewards. The Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ is more geared toward travel rewards, while the Chase Ink business Cash℠ is geared toward cash back. It's also worth noting that the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ has a $95 annual fee while the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ has no annual fee and a generous sign-up bonus.
That being said, the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ has the highest sign-up bonus of any Chase card: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards® points (100,000 if you apply in-branch) after spending $15,000 within the first three months. This is worth $1,250 in travel spending when you book through Chase's Ultimate Rewards® portal, and you can easily get more value out of it by transferring your Ultimate Rewards® points to other airlines or hotels within Chase's network.
Either way, these business credit cards offer great rewards and the ability to easily split up your personal and business expenses. Even if you can't qualify just yet, it's good to know what you can do to increase your future chances.
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