Choosing the Best Credit Card for Your LLC

Now that you’ve gotten things going, it’s time to obtain yet another key inclusion in your LLC’s financial toolkit: a credit card for the sole usage of your LLC. By getting a separate credit card, you can start purchasing business-only items and services strictly for your LLC. Similarly to how you’ll want a separate checking account for your business, this credit card is another necessary step toward partitioning your business and personal finances.

What’s the Best Credit Card for a Small Business?

Truthfully speaking, there isn’t one. Just like how you chose your own personal debit or credit card, you’ll want to look for a card that has no annual fees (keeping in mind that you’ll want to minimize your annual expenses). Many credit card companies offer incentives for cardholders, including cash-back rewards, points, and frequent flyer miles. Choosing which of these benefits is entirely up to you.

Make Sure the Credit Card is Widely Accepted

One thing you’ll need to make sure of is that your credit card is accepted in most places of business — both domestically and internationally. This is why I always stick with Visa: it’s the most widely accepted card in the world, followed by MasterCard. I have never gone for American Express, as it is not as worldly as the two aforementioned credit cards, and it does require an annual fee. While this annual fee is minimum, it’s never shameful to admit that you pinch pennies as a new business owner. Those saved bucks can be used toward buying more domain names, or something else that might help make more money or improve your business in some way. Like Ben Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Know Your Bank Account Before You Get A Credit Card

This is an important tip: the business bank account you opened most likely has several measures you’ll have to fulfill in order to avoid a monthly charge, such as minimum balances. Another is to own a business credit card. Since you most likely won’t want to spend an average of $15-20+ per month to simply own a business checking account, it’s in your best interest to apply for a credit card for your LLC as soon as possible. Your bank will most likely require you to get a credit card sponsored by them (for instance, I opened a Chase account for my LLC, and had to get a Chase Visa card in order to avoid the monthly fees). Be sure you are aware of your bank’s rules and regulations for opening a business bank account, as they typically have monthly fees unless you fulfill at least one requirement.

As you may already be aware of, these three main credit cards come available in multiple bank brands: CitiBank, Chase, Bank of America, Capital One and many others. Each of these banks offer their own perks and rewards, and they are usually outlined in black and white on the credit card’s website. When it comes to selecting a sponsored card, minimize frustration and go for a bank that won’t be running into the ground in this bad economy: typically, banks that have not been loaning money are your best bet.

What the Bank Will Need to Process Your Business Credit Card

When you visit a bank representative, be prepared with your EIN, social security number and driver’s license plus one other form of ID just to be safe (it doens’t have to be a birth certificate, but usually is in the form of a recent bank statement or existing credit card). If you’ve registered your LLC with a company like LegalZoom or, simply bring in the entire LLC kit you’ve received in the mail.

Your business card should always include the name of your company above your own name. As the founder and president of your LLC, you’re the official card holder since you directly act on behalf of the company, and have the authorization to sign the back of the card.

What Should My Desired Credit Limit Be?

This is entirely up to you. Think ahead about what expenses your company will occur in the short-run and within a year. Will you be purchasing a server? New computers? An office space? Make sure that your credit limit is more than sufficient for these costs. I typically like to start off low: my LLC’s credit card started off with a $5,000 limit. From there, you’ll build a positive credit history and will be rewarded with higher credit limits. I’ve found that this is good component in your strategy to getting a credit score in the upper 700’s to low 800’s.

You Will Probably Get Rejected After You Apply!

Don’t worry, though – it’s completely normal. Keep in mind that new LLCs are a brand new business entity with no credit history. It’s most likely that your credit card application for the LLC will be rejected, and the letter of rejection will state that it’s due to this fact. In this case, the bank teller may ask you to get a credit report on yourself (if you’re in the USA, you are entitled to get this for free each year) and will manually apply for the card with his or her supervisor’s signature. The likelihood of your approval for the card is high with their personal re-submission.

Where to Go Next: LLC Banking