How to Fill Out an American Express Business Credit Card Application

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How to Fill Out an American Express Business Credit Card Application

Million Mile SecretsHow to Fill Out an American Express Business Credit Card ApplicationMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Update:   The Starwood Express and Business Gold Rewards card offers in this post are no longer available. Check Hot Deals for the latest offers!

 I’ve been getting questions on how to fill out the application for American Express business cards.

As always, please read The 5 Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards before applying for a new card.

Why Business Cards?

The American Express Starwood card is among my favorite business cards by American Express.

The credit line for American Express business cards does not show in my personal credit report and impact my credit utilization or credit aging, so it doesn’t impact my personal credit score in the long term.  However, the credit inquiry does show in my  personal credit report, but the effect drops off after 3 to 6 months (though the credit inquiry, as opposed to the business credit line, does stay on my personal credit report for 2 years).

Business cards are an easy way to get extra miles and points, and as I’ve written previously, many of us may qualify for businesses even though we don’t realize it.  However, business credit cards may not have all the consumer protections which personal cards have.

Top American Express Business Card Applications

These are the top American Express business cards in my opinion:

  • The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN – 25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
  • American Express Starwood Preferred Guest 

25,000 Membership Rewards points is ~$250 in gift cards, $250 towards travel when you use the “Pay with Points” feature, or potentially more when you transfer to airline or hotel partners such as British Airways, Singapore Airlines, etc.

That said, keep in mind that sudden increased spending on American Express business cards seem to trigger of Financial Reviews of all your credit cards by American Express.

American Express Business Card Application

The American Express Business Credit Card applications ask virtually the same questions whether you are applying for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN or the Starwood Preferred Guest business card.

Step 1 – Shortcut for American Express Customers

If you are an existing American Express customer, you can click the button which says “Are you already a Cardmember?”.  And then fill out your user ID and password to have the application enter in existing data for you.

Shortcut for AMEX Customers

I don’t have any rational basis to justify this, but I always fill out the information manually.

Step 2 – Enter Your Business Information.

Here’s how I fill out the form for a sole proprietor business.

  • Legal Business Name:  If you are a sole proprietor, your legal business name could be your own name, “John Smith” or the name of your business for example, “Custom Cookies.”
  • Business Name on Card:  This is the name of your business which you want printed on the credit card
  • Doing Business As: If you operate a business under a name which is different than your legal business name, enter it here.
  • Business Street Address:  This is your home address if you run the business from your home.
  • Industry Type: Select the type of business.
  • Company Structure:  Sole Proprietor (if the business is run by just one person).
  • Annual Business Revenue/Sales: Enter the total amount you receive annually for selling your products.  It can be zero, but don’t fib!
  • Years in Business: For example, if you have been thinking of selling homemade cookies for the last 18 months and have been buying ingredients to test different recipes enter “1-2 years
  • Number of Employees: You have at least 1 employee (yourself) if you are a sole proprietor, so select “1.″
  • Federal Tax ID:  This is your social security number (as a sole proprietor).  Note that the format of the text box in the application is for 9 digits, but in the format of 12-3456789.  Your Social Security number is also 9 digits, but is formatted as 123-45-6789.  As a sole proprietor,  your 9 digit social security number is your 9 digit Federal Tax ID!
Federal Tax ID = Social Security Number
  • Nature of Business:  Select the option which fits in best with your business. For example, if you sell crafts online, I’d choose “retail” or choose “other” if none of the categories describe your business.

It is very important to fill out all information in credit card applications truthfully.  It is much better to say that you have no annual sales than to enter a fictitious amount.  In her last business card application, Emily entered revenue of less than $100 and was still approved for the card.

Step 3 – Enter Your Personal Information

Role in Company:  As a sole proprietor, I select “owner.”

Estimated Monthly Spend:  You can leave this blank if you want.  Banks usually give you less credit for a business card and I don’t want to appear like I need a lot of new credit

Your Role in the Business

Step 4 – Enter Your Personal Information

Enter your personal information, social security number etc.

Enter Your Personal Information
Enter Your Personal Information

Step 5 – Go to Verify

Click the box which says “Go to Verify” to agree to the terms and conditions.

One of the terms says:


Agree to the Terms

I can’t tell you what to do – you’ve got to decide that for yourself and as always do what you’re comfortable with.  Emily and I have both used our business card for personal expenses and sometimes our personal cards for business expenses.  But we try not to make it a habit.

But know that American Express would like you to use the business card only for business expenses.  I suspect this is a way to protect consumers from the lower consumer protections which business cards have (compared to personal cards).

Then click “Submit Application

Submit Your Application

Step 6 – Wait For a Response

I usually wait for about a week before calling the American Express reconsideration department at 866-314-0237. (unlike with Chase), because I usually get approved without having to call the American Express reconsideration department.

I also check my application status online.

If you do call the reconsideration department, it helps to get a sense of whether the rep is willing to help you early in the call.  If the rep is unwilling to help or appears to be a stickler, politely hang up (dinner is ready!) and call back later.

Bottom Line

Business cards are a great way to get extra miles and points, and they have the added benefit of not decreasing the average age of your credit history because the business credit line doesn’t sit on your personal credit report.

You also don’t need an established business to get approved for a business card, and many of us have businesses without knowing it.  But it is important to be truthful on the application!

Also keep in mind that sudden increased spending on American Express business cards seem to trigger of Financial Reviews of all your credit cards by American Express.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Have a thriving business and im the sole proprietor. Recently i received an application but kind of hesitant as my credit is low. Im in the rebuilding stage. What are the chances of getting approved?

Eileen Kerrigan

Under the “Submit” graphic above, it says that the card is “not available to applicants who have had this product or any other Business Gold, Green or Platinum Card” …. so you can only ever have ONE Amex Business card (not counting co-branded cards)? Is that correct?

Please tell me if you guy are send me my cash card in the mail please tell me if you are I need to kwon for my safe please get me kwon if you guy are send me my credit card

I need to open business credit card

Thank you for this post, although a couple of years old it is still nice to get this information. I did read, in another article (that had no date), that a business needs a revenue of at least $4 million to be approved, as well as a D & B number and rating. So vastly differing information, I wonder why? Has that much changed in the last couple of years (if the other article was even written this year)?

I do appreciate the help, as business credit is somewhat of a mystery for small business owners.

Hi I recently applied for a amex Every day card and was denied. I called the reconsideration line and know the app is under review. I have a cap1 card 15 hundred limit. A bank of america rewards cards 2k limit. A chase freedom 1k limit along with a 4k credit union card. I worked to repair the mis haps on my credit from years and years ago. I pay before the due date and purchased a 28k car which I pay on time as well. Do u think they will approve the card? Also no bankruptcy

If you don’t already have an ongoing business (with real expenses) but, nevertheless, you state that you are a sole-proprietor in the application, then how would you spend $5K in 3 months given that Amex explicitly requires that you make a representation you will not use the business card for personal expenses.

And secondly, how do you file your IRS returns? Which form(s) do you use and what do you fill in ? Getting the help of a tax consultant would set you back a few hundred bucks, in which case the 50K rewards wouldn’t work out too well.

Thanks in advance for any insightful advise.

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