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Earning bonuses on business cards is an excellent way to boost your miles and point balances and earn more free travel. There are lots of great business cards, and some of the best credit cards for travel are also business cards, like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card (our top pick for business owners).
Once you’ve determined whether you qualify for a small business credit card, you should take into account which business cards impact your personal credit report. Why? Because monitoring your credit score is imperative in the miles & points hobby.
Business Credit Cards that affect your personal credit
Here’s a look at each issuer and whether they report business credit cards to personal credit reports:
|Issuing bank||Reports activity to consumer credit bureaus?||Reports activity to business credit bureaus?|
|American Express||Yes -- if your account goes into default.||Yes|
|Bank of America||No||Yes|
|Capital One||Data points from cardholders indicate yes.||Reports indicate yes.|
|Chase||Maybe -- but based on reader reports, probably not.||Yes|
As you can see, a majority of issuers don’t report business cards to your personal credit report. But, for example, if you’re trying to stay below the Chase 5/24 restriction, you’ll want to steer clear of Capital One business cards. That’s because Capital One will report a business card application to your personal credit report, and that means you may be unable to qualify for Chase’s top credit cards.
What it means to report
If you apply for a business card from a bank that reports business card activity to your personal credit report, it will have the same impact on your personal credit that all of your other cards doo. And this isn’t just the initial inquiry — it’s the ongoing account activity as well.
A large portion of your credit score is determined by your payment history and what you owe. We always suggest paying your bill off on time and in full every month to keep a good payment history. But even if you pay your bill off every month, issuers may report your account activity to credit bureaus before your payment clears. In turn, your credit utilization ratio may be reported as higher than you actually think it is, which could negatively impact your credit score.
How to keep your credit in good standing
Many of the best credit cards for travel require good credit above 720, so it’s important to track your score and know where you stand. According to FICO, your credit score is based on five categories:
- Payment history – 35%
- Amount owed or credit utilization – 30%
- Length of credit history – 15%
- New credit – 10%
- Types of credit used (revolving credit vs. installment loans) – 10%
As you can see, payment history and credit card utilization are a big factor in your credit score, which is why paying your bills on time every month is so important. For more information on credit scores, check out our guide to building your credit score.
When you’re in the miles and points hobby, keeping a healthy credit score is of the utmost importance. We always suggest paying your bills on time and trying to stay well below your credit limits.
Knowing which issuers report business card activity to your personal credit report is one way to help you better manage your credit score. If you do decide to apply for a business card, pay attention to the issuer’s policies.