Business cards are a great way to earn points while not contributing to your Chase 5/24 number (with the exception being Capital One and Discover). Additionally, many times you can get a sign-up bonus multiple times by applying for one card as a sole proprietor using your social security number and one using an Employer Identification Number, which you can easily apply for online.
You do not need a large amount of “business income” to be approved for a business credit card. For most cards, $2,000-5,000 in revenue will get your approved. Income can also be estimated income for the upcoming year as long as it is realistic.
You might not realize that a large portion of your income can be considered “business income.” Think of any ways you make money besides your direct deposit such as:
- If you are a 1099 employee (independent contractor)
- Rental income
- Income from selling anything (eBay, Amazon, craigslist, flea market, etc.).
- Bartering (the fair market value of the services you exchange with someone else)
- Any side business you have (mowing lawns, babysitting, moving people, etc.)
Sole Proprietorship– Most people will probably consider themselves a sole proprietor since there are no legal steps to being one. All you need is one of the activities below such as a kid cutting a homeowner’s lawn is a sole proprietor.
- Use your name as the business name.
- On the federal tax ID, put your social security number
- The business address and phone number can be the same as your personal address and phone number.
- Choose Sole Proprietorship as company structure.
LLCs– If you want to form an LLC, here is a pretty good 50-state guide for a non-attorney to follow in setting up an LLC. Additionally, most states offer step-by-step guides on their website (e.g., Missouri’s LLC Guide). In some states, forming an LLC is very cheap and only a one-time fee (i.e. Missouri is $50 online and no annual fee). Whereas other states see LLCs are moneymakers (i.e. Tennessee costs $300-$3000 to create and the same amount per year depending on the number of LLC members).
- Disclaimer- I am an attorney, but I am not your attorney. Consult your attorney if you have any questions.
Top Business Cards
Chase Ink Preferred
Application Link (Target: 80,000; Current: 80,000) (subject to 5/24 Rule, but won’t count towards 5/24 rule)
If you have a legitimate business and a pre-existing relationship with one of Chase “business relationship manager” you may be able to get a 100,000 sign up bonus.
Annual Fee: $95
Earning: 3x on travel, shipping, advertising, and internet/cable/phone (up to $150,000), and 1x everywhere else.
UR travel value: 1.25 CPP (if you have Reserve, you can transfer for 1.5 CPP)
Benefits: Cell Phone Insurance (up to $600 per claim, $100 deductible, up to 3 times per year), 12-hour trip delay insurance, primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation insurance, 120-day purchase protection, and extended warranty.
Note: The cell phone insurance makes this card a keeper plus 3x on travel, cable, internet, phone.
American Express Business Platinum
Application Link (Target: 100,000; Current: 75,000) (very large spend requirement)
Annual Fee: $450
Earning: 5x on flights booked with AmexTravel.com and 1x everywhere else.
Benefits: This card’s great Benefits are detailed here. (Airport Lounge Access, Uber credits, Global Entry, Hotel Status, etc.)
Unique Features: 1.5x on eligible purchases above $5,000 and 35% bonus when you pay for an eligible flight on Amextravel.com
American Express Blue Business Plus
Application Link (Target: 20,000; Current: None)
Annual Fee: $0
Earning: 2x on all purchases up to $50,000, then 1x.
Benefits: Extended Warranty and 90-day price protection
Note: This is a great card due to the 2x Membership Rewards points.