What’s the Income Requirement for AMEX Business Cards?

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What’s the Income Requirement for AMEX Business Cards?

Million Mile SecretsWhat’s the Income Requirement for AMEX Business Cards?Million Mile Secrets Team

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I’ve written about how to fill out an American Express small business credit card application.  But you might be wondering, is there a minimum business income requirement to be approved for AMEX small business cards?

In short, no.  And that’s good news for lots of folks, because AMEX small business cards will NOT hurt your chances of being approved for Chase cards.

American Express Small Business
Emily Was Recently Approved for the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card. She’s Happy Because It Won’t Hurt Her Chances of Being Approved for Chase Cards!

I’ll show you how you might qualify for an American Express small business card.

American Express Small Business

Link:   How to Fill Out an American Express Business Card Application

American Express has a number of great small business cards, like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, and Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.

And because of Chase’s stricter approval rules, many readers are even more interested in AMEX business cards because they do NOT show up on your personal credit report.  And therefore do NOT count against Chase’s 5/24 rule.

Also, qualifying for a small business card might be easier than you think.  Because if you earn income for performing a service, or selling goods, you could have a small business.

American Express Small Business
Some Folks Love Selling Antiques at Flea Markets. And That May Be Enough to Qualify You for an AMEX Small Business Card.

To qualify as a small business, you must be for-profit.  And often times AMEX will approve folks who haven’t yet earned anything with their business.

Just remember, American Express only allows folks to get the welcome bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.

Income Requirements for AMEX Business Cards

An AMEX representative told me there are no strict income requirements to be approved for American Express small business cards.  And that AMEX is oftentimes more concerned with your personal income, because even though it’s a business card, you’ll be personally responsible for any debt you accrue.

This makes sense, because on any AMEX small business card application you’ll be asked to enter your business income AND your personal income.  And folks with sole proprietorships can use their social security number instead of an EIN (Employer Identification Number).

Your small business card application will be evaluated based not only on how much (or little!) money your business makes, but on your personal credit score and income too.

What If It’s a New Business or Didn’t Make Any Money Last Year?

You should always be honest when you apply for a credit card. 

So, if your business is new or hasn’t made any income, put that on the application.

And you should use your actual business income, not your projected income.  Even if it’s $0.  Because AMEX can do a financial review and check your application information against your tax returns.

American Express Small Business
Always Tell the Truth When You’re Filling Out a Credit Card Application!

Plus, not having any business income might not hurt your chances of being approved anyway!  Because your personal credit score and income are taken into account when AMEX decides whether to approve your application.

A commenter on FlyerTalk reported being approved for several American Express small business cards with no current business income.  And they did NOT lie on their applications.  They used their own name for the business’ name, reported $0 in business income and 0 years in business, and used their social security number instead of an EIN.

So if your business is brand new and you haven’t earned any income yet, it’s still possible to be approved.  And it’s better to tell the truth and be denied than to lie and go through a financial review with a bank.

Filling Out an AMEX Small Business Card Application

Here’s what an AMEX small business card application looks like:

American Express Small Business
You’ll Be Able to Select Your Number of Years in Business and Annual Business Revenue Range From Drop-Down Menus on the Application

On the first page of the application, you’ll be asked to enter your business information, including the number of years in business and your annual business revenue. 

If you’re applying as a sole proprietor, you won’t be asked for an EIN (Employer Identification Number).

You’ll then be asked to add your personal information, like name, address, and social security number.

American Express Small Business
AMEX Will Need Your Social Security Number and Personal Income for Your Business Card Application
The application is pretty straightforward!  And the approval process only takes ~1 minute.

If you’re considering applying for an AMEX small business card, here are the best AMEX business cards from our Hot Deals page:

Bottom Line

American Express small business cards are often relatively easy to get.  As long as you’re operating a for-profit business, you have a good chance at qualifying for a small business card.

Plus, there are no strict income requirements to be approved.  So if you decide to apply for any AMEX small business card, you should be completely honest on your application.  Even if your business hasn’t made any money yet!

That’s because American Express will also use your personal credit score and income when making their decision about your business card application.

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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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I’ve been waiting for an accurate place to post this. I have a great relationship w/Amex, having their cards for 30 years. I just applied for the Business Platinum card, had just received my first 50K points… when I received an offer in the mail – for my daughter who had just turned 18 a few days prior. She started a jewelry company and it was in that company’s name. How Amex got her info I have no idea (she does place orders off wholesale companies but has no EIN # or business license). The offer was for 150K points after spending $20K! I was livid. I called Amex furious and told them I would happily spend an extra $5K for another 50K points. After speaking with a manager and getting the code from the mailer, they added 50K points to my account that minute.

So… firstly… do you have to have income? NO! My daughter makes a few bucks here and there from friends but has nothing documented anywhere in terms of income. And secondly… check your mail! Instead of throwing away these mailers for my kids, I’m now looking at them very closely. And lastly, right now Amex doesn’t have it very well together – Scott may be correct, last night I received a pop-up on my Amex account offering me the Amex Business card for 100K points. Again!

Million Mile Secrets

That’s a very good offer – especially as you point out the additional 50K points for $5K in spending – compared to the publicly available offer for the Business Platinum. Thanks for sharing your daughter’s experience. I’ve heard lots of similar situations where AMEX approves applications with low or no income, as long as the application is honestly filled out!

Upon asking a second representative, you are corect (not that I was expecting anything different.) The first representative was working off a year old information, the second one said once in a lifetime ANY PRODUCT < business or platinum…..

However, I would think if they once had after not having a business product for a year, it's possible that they will go back to that if they want to get their billings and new accounts up. They are probably going to lose SPG to Chase as Marriott is the surviving company, no? And with the loss of Costco and Jetblue, they need some new products!

Million Mile Secrets

Thanks for circling back. I suspect that they will change their policy sometime. But I don’t know when.

I was recently told by an AMEX representative that while Personal cards are eligible for the bonus once per lifetime, that the business cards, as long as you have not had the product within one year, you can reapply and get the bonus. Which is it? You clearly state “Just remember, American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.”

Thank you kindly for clarifying this for me, Darius. Great service you provide, as always.

It is indeed once per lifetime on ALL of their cards, although business cards used to be excluded from this rule. So maybe that’s what the representative was remembering. And the application terms usually state this.