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If you’re like most business owners, you’ll need to borrow money from time to time. The first option you may consider is a small business credit card. After all, it’s nice to have a revolving line of credit to fall back on when needed.

In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about getting a business credit card for your LLC.

Can I get a business credit card with an LLC?

Yes, you can get a business credit card with an LLC as long as you have good personal credit. While a business credit history isn't typically required to get a credit card, most credit card issuers will perform a personal credit check and ask you to sign a personal guarantee, making you as the business owner personally liable for any debt on your card.

If you don't have a good credit score or don't want to put up a personal guarantee, there are card options that don't require a credit check. Corporate cards generally only require that your LLC is a registered business with a certain amount of money in the bank, with no credit or personal guarantee requirements. 

How long do you have to be in business to get a business credit card?

Businesses with a credit history of three or more years can generally qualify for a business credit card using their business credit score. Usually, though, credit card issuers will ask for your personal Social Security number and check your personal credit score. So, in most cases, you can qualify for a credit card even if your business isn't registered yet.

6 best business credit cards for LLCs

Some of the best business credit cards for LLCs include:

  • Ramp Corporate Card
  • Brex Corporate Card
  • American Express Business Gold Card
  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
  • U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard®
  • Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business

Can I get a business credit card with my EIN number?

You can use your EIN number to get a business credit card, but you’ll have to meet the provider’s business revenue requirements. Without using your SSN, you’ll have to prove through other means that your business is bringing in monthly revenue and has funds available in the bank to make monthly payments.

Ramp’s corporate cards only require an EIN in addition to our other business requirements.

How to apply for a business credit card for your LLC

Before you apply for a business credit card, here are a few things to get to ensure that the application process goes as smoothly as possible.

Gather paperwork and documentation

To apply for a business credit card, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Your LLC’s articles of incorporation: Credit card companies use your articles of incorporation to validate the information you provide on your application, including how long you’ve been in business.
  • Business bank account statements: Lenders use your business bank statements to ensure your business has enough revenue and profitability to cover the cost of additional debt.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): Your EIN is your business’s tax identification number. Credit card companies use it for the same purposes they use Social Security numbers for personal credit cards.
  • Profit and loss statements: Profit and loss statements are another way banks determine if your business can afford to take on debt.
  • Business tax documents for the past three years: Most credit card companies require three years of business tax documents to verify your stated profitability. Some lenders may only require one or two years' worth of documents, but it’s best to be prepared in case you’re asked for three years.
  • Identification documents for all owners of the business: All business owners must agree to open a new credit card. You’ll also need identification information for all owners, including state-issued identification cards and social security numbers.  
  • Written business plan: This may not be a requirement for all lenders, but some lenders require your business plan for approval. If so, they’re likely looking into your plan to determine if your business is sustainable enough to manage long-term debt.

Your lender may ask for additional information that we didn’t cover here. To ensure that your application gets approved, be sure to provide these supplemental materials whenever necessary.

Obtaining a personal guarantee

The vast majority of business credit cards require a personal guarantee. Keep in mind that when you make a personal guarantee, you’re turning business liabilities into personal liabilities.

This could backfire in the long term; after all, when you turn business liabilities into personal liabilities, you’re responsible to make the payments if your business cannot. This will also affect your personal credit score.

But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. If your business credit score isn’t strong yet, it may be best to consider modern lending options, like those offered by Ramp. Ramp gives you access to the capital you need with no personal guarantee requirement.  

Understand your credit needs and wants as a business

Before you apply, carefully consider what your business needs and what you want from a credit card. For example:

  • Do you need multiple cardholders: If you plan on empowering your employees with spending accounts, you’ll need to make sure the account you choose offers employee cards.
  • Expense management tools: Some modern LLC cards (like Ramp) come with several tools to help you manage and optimize your business expenses.
  • Spend controls: If you plan on giving your employees access to your credit account, be sure the account you use offers spend controls that stop them from using your business assets in a wasteful way.
  • Rewards: The best business credit cards come with rewards programs. Think about the types of rewards you’d like to earn as you grow your business.  

There are countless things your business might need from its credit card account. Think about what those needs are before you compare your options.

Discover Ramp's corporate card for modern finance

What should LLCs look for in a business credit card?

Not all business credit cards are created equal. Different terms apply for each card, so it’s important to read the fine print before signing up.

As you do, consider the factors that are likely to have the largest impact on your business. For example, you should pay close attention to fees, rewards, interest rates, bonuses, and features that will help you grow your business.


Each credit card has its own fee structure, which may include annual fees, variable APR rates, and foreign transaction fees.

When choosing a business credit card for your LLC, consider your primary business needs and expenses and how much cash you may need access to at any given time. Even though each credit card issuer sets its own fee structure, there are annual fee-free options like Ramp that help start-ups and small businesses access the capital they need affordably.


When choosing a business credit card, consider its membership rewards program. These programs fall under two categories:

  1. Cashback rewards. These are credit cards that offer straightforward rewards via statement credits, checks, and gift cards. When you spend money on the card and you automatically know the value of the rewards.  
  2. Point-based rewards. These programs offer points on specific business purchases, or travel rewards. To get the most out of point-based rewards, you’ll need to make purchases from gas stations, phone service providers, office supply stores, or wherever else you can earn points.

It’s typically best to choose a cashback rewards credit card over the point-based options. In particular, look for a rewards program that offers a set cashback percentage that’s paid on all purchases to get the most out of your rewards program.

Interest rates

As you compare offers and providers, you’ll find that each card comes with its own interest rate. This is the interest you’ll pay if you carry a balance from month to month. If you plan to do so, compare these rates carefully and choose the lowest rate possible, as your interest will likely represent your largest fee.

Also, you may be enticed by a 0% introductory APR. Keep in mind that an intro APR typically only lasts for the first year before the standard rate kicks in. So, be sure you know the standard rate.

It’s also important to note that you’ll be charged different interest rates on different parts of your balance. Credit cards usually come with the following rates:

  • Standard interest rate: Your standard interest rate is the rate you’ll pay on the percentage of your balance you accumulate through standard purchases.
  • Balance transfer interest rate: Balance transfer interest rates are usually the same as standard interest rates unless you’re in a promotional period.
  • Cash advance interest rate: Cash advance interest rates are usually significantly higher than purchase interest rates. This is the rate you’ll pay when you get cash back at a merchant or use your credit card to otherwise access cash.
  • Default interest rate: The default interest rate is the highest rate of interest you’ll pay. This typically applies to your entire balance if you default on the terms of your account. For example, if you make late payments, you may be required to pay the default interest rate for a predetermined number of months after you make the late payment.

Credit card companies also apply your payments to different balances differently, typically paying the lowest interest portion of the balance first.

For example, if you owe $2,500 at the standard rate and $1,000 at the higher cash advance rate, your payment is typically applied to the standard balance first. Simultaneously, the lender earns more from the cash advance balance sitting until the standard rate is paid off, so be careful how you use your card.


Many cards also come with welcome bonuses that offer extra rewards points, but they’re only valuable to some small business owners. That’s because you’ll need to spend a predetermined amount of money (usually in the thousands of dollars) on eligible purchases within a predetermined number of billing cycles to access the bonus points.

As you compare bonus programs, look at the spending requirements to access your welcome bonus. Choose options with welcome bonuses you can access based on your company’s spending habits.


As you compare your options, look for business credit cards that offer accounting automation features. For example, you can integrate Ramp with your favorite HRIS, ERP, and productivity applications to close your books up to eight times faster.

Virtual cards

Virtual cards—like those Ramp provides—come in handy for online purchases, especially subscriptions. If you don’t know how to cancel a subscription or don’t want to go through the process, you can just close the virtual card without closing your account. Virtual credit cards are also a great way to reduce the risk of credit card fraud.

However, not all business credit cards offer this feature. Some may charge a fee for each virtual card you open, or limit the amount of virtual cards you can use. Look for offers that not only let you create virtual cards but do so on a fee-free and unlimited basis.

Unlimited employee cards

Employee cards give your team the buying power to spend on your company's behalf, eliminating the need for time-consuming reimbursement programs.

If you plan on giving your employees access to employee cards, you’ll need a credit card company that offers this feature. You’ll also want to ensure that you don’t have to pay any additional cost for each card.

Spend management software

The best business credit cards aren’t just credit cards. They come with additional perks, the most important being financial management features. Spend management tools typically include:

  • Automatic receipt reconciliation
  • Automatic purchase categorization
  • Integrations with your favorite accounting software
  • Detailed financial reports that help you find optimization opportunities

Moreover, you can simplify your global spending, intelligently manage all business vendor purchases, and make payments using card, check, ACH, or wire transfers.

These tools make it easier to handle your LLC business taxes, optimize spending, find opportunities to grow your business, and close your books eight times faster.

Challenges and things to avoid with a new credit card

Business credit cards are popular among established and new LLC owners alike, but the application process is far from straightforward. Here are a few challenges you might come across when applying for your first business credit card.

Qualifying with bad credit

As we mentioned earlier, many credit card companies require a personal guarantee if your business doesn’t have excellent credit. In some cases, you may even have to choose a secured option to build business credit. That means you’ll have to place a security deposit with the lender to use the credit card.

Lack of financial records

If your business is new, you may not be able to provide the financial records some lenders require to access a business credit card. For example, if you haven’t been in business for three years, you won’t be able to produce three years of business tax returns.

The good news is that not all options require you to have such extensive financial records. In fact, there are multiple business credit card offers that only require you to have an EIN.  

Ramp's all-in-one business card for LLCs

You can deal with the fees, difficulty getting approved, and complex rewards programs offered by typical business credit cards if you’d like, but you don’t have to. Instead, consider signing up for Ramp.

With Ramp, you can:

  • Access a higher credit limit: Ramp’s sales-based underwriting leads to higher credit limits and makes approval easier on new businesses, making it the perfect business credit card for new LLCs. In fact, credit limits are up to 20 times higher than average.
  • Empower your employees: Give your employees their own accounts with spending limits and empower them to access the tools they need faster.
  • Simplify your business spending: Manage all of your vendors and make automatic payments via check, ACH, and wire transfer globally.
  • Automate tedious accounting: Businesses that automate tedious tasks with Ramp close their books up to eight times faster.
  • Earn universal cashback: You’ll earn 1.5% cash back when you or an employee swipes a Ramp card. There are no limits to worry about and no spending categories to juggle.
Try Ramp for free
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Finance Writer, Ramp
Richard Moy has written extensively about procurement and vendor management topics for companies like BetterCloud, Stack Overflow, and Ramp. His writing has also appeared in The Muse, Business Insider, Fast Company, Mashable, Lifehacker, and more.
Ramp is dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes make informed decisions. We adhere to strict editorial guidelines to ensure that our content meets and maintains our high standards.


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