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A reader who asked not to be named emailed me the following question:
“Do you have advice on how I can get the Citibank VISA business card?”
I’ve received a few other emails asking the virtually the same question, so I thought I’d make it the subject of today and tomorrow’s posts.
3 ways which may qualify you for a business credit card:
1) Existing Business
You own an existing business. For example, you are John Smith and you own Acme Plumbing.
Well, that’s easy then, isn’t it? Just fill out the application form with your business information and hit submit!
2) Business Start-Up
In my experience, you can have a new business and apply for a business credit card as a business start-up.
You could be starting a business venture and are applying for a business credit card to help keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses.
Starting up a business is a very legitimate reason to want a business credit card!
I updated the post to mention that I learned about this method of getting a business credit card by talking to a Chase telephone representative. I was explaining to the representative that Emily applied for the business credit card in order to to buy crafts and make paper bookmarks to sell on Etsy.com.
“Oh!” said the representative. “You’re in a business start-up venture. Here’s what we can do…”
Here are some potential start-up situations which you may have experienced:
- Have you started buying and selling collectible items for profit?
- Do you sell books or other items for profit on e-bay or Amazon.com?
- Do you get paid to coach, teach lessons, provide childcare, or do household repairs for others?
- Do you sell homemade goods like baking or crafts for profit?
So take a few minutes to think about your situation.
Now start-up business are very risky to lenders (only 1 in 2 survive more than 5 years), so banks are usually stricter in approving business credit cards for start-up businesses. Also, the banks will usually assign a very low credit line to business credit cards which are for start-ups.
3) You’re already in business!
I’ve observed that many of us may be involved in business activities already, although they aren’t yet profitable.
- If you buy and sell goods (books, CDs, etc) online for profit
- If you regularly sell items from your home (yard sales, Craigslist, etc.) or have a booth at a flea market and regularly do this.
Remember, you don’t need to be an incorporated company to engage in business activities. You can apply as a sole proprietor using your Social Security Number.
And of course be truthful on your application!
In tomorrow’s post we’ll walk through how to fill up an application form for a business credit card.
What types of business activities have you been involved in, but have not considered to be a true business? Tell us about them in the comments!