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Most business credit card providers ask for your Social Security number (SSN) in the application process.

However, some card issuers will approve you for a credit card using only your Employer Identification Number (EIN), a number that credit bureaus and the IRS use to identify businesses in much the same way that they use SSNs to identify people. Those card issuers won't look at your personal credit report when determining whether to approve your application.

Read on to learn about how EIN-only cards work and how to apply for a business credit card with just your EIN number.

EIN-only business credit cards

Corporate cards are the only type of business credit cards that only require an EIN. They're intended for established companies and usually come with high revenue and cash-on-hand requirements.

Major financial institutions like Capital One, Chase, and American Express offer corporate cards, but they’re generally designed for large corporations generating millions in revenue. For small to mid-sized businesses and startups, online corporate card providers are a more suitable option.

The following corporate cards only require an EIN:

Ramp Card

Capital requirements: $75,000

Ramp is an all-in-one corporate card and spend management platform with features like custom spend limits, automated receipt matching, and accounts payable software. Ramp’s mission is to save businesses money by automating your expense policy, identifying savings opportunities, and helping you negotiate lower SaaS costs. Businesses save an average of 5% using a Ramp card.

Brex Card

Capital requirements: $400,000 for mid-market companies or $50,000 for funded startups

Brex is another corporate card and expense management platform with more of a focus on global payments. Brex caters to venture-backed and mid-sized companies and doesn’t accept small businesses. Its global cards are accepted in over 210 countries, making it a good choice if your business does most of its operations outside of the United States.

BILL Divvy Corporate Card

Capital requirements: $20,000

The BILL Divvy Corporate Card, previously just Divvy, does require an SSN along with an EIN. However, only a soft credit check is performed on your SSN, so there’s no negative impact on your personal credit score. The card has lower revenue requirements than other cards, but it does require a good to very good credit score. BILL Divvy also comes with expense management software, available for free if you spend at least $5000 using your cards each month.

Stripe Corporate Card

Capital requirements: Individual to each application

Stripe’s corporate card is currently available on an invite-only basis to U.S. companies. You can request access to the application on their website, though it requires an existing Stripe account to complete. Stripe cards charge transaction fees rather than a monthly or annual fee model. Each card transaction costs between 1% and 2.9% plus an additional fee of between 0.30 and 0.80 cents.

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Secured business credit cards

If you have poor credit or don’t meet the requirements for a corporate card, secured cards are another good option. With these cards, you put down a cash deposit that will act as your credit limit. Secured credit cards report to the business credit bureaus, so you can use them to build your credit score.

Although secured credit cards don’t come with credit score or capital requirements, you’ll have to provide your SSN to qualify. This is necessary for the personal guarantee you agree to with these cards.

Here are a few secured business credit cards:

Bank Of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

This secured credit card from Bank of America has no annual fee and requires a minimum $1000 cash deposit. When you’re approved, your cash deposit will act as your line of credit. The card offers 1.5% cash back rewards with no annual cap, making it a good option for funding business expenses while improving your credit score.

The First National Bank Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

The First National Bank Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card requires a cash deposit between $2,200 and $110,000 which acts as its credit limit. The card reports to Dun & Bradstreet so you can build your business credit score with that bureau. It also comes with some expense management features, like receipt capture for recordkeeping. The card has a $39 annual fee.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card requires a security deposit between $500 to $25,000, which determines its credit limit. The card offers a choice between cash back or reward points; you can earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent or 1 point on every dollar spent, plus 1,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 or more in any billing period. There’s a $25 annual fee per card.

Small business EIN-only credit cards

Corporate cards are the only business cards that require just an EIN, but they're typically designed for larger, more established companies bringing in substantial annual revenue. If you're a small business owner, it's unlikely you'll meet those capital requirements.

In that case, you might want to consider a card from a financial technology company that caters to smaller businesses. One example is the Expensify corporate card, which offers free and paid plans for companies with 1 to 10 employees. Another option is Shopify's business card, designed for shopowners who use their platform. If you own a small e-commerce store, their no-credit-check card might work well for you.

Business gas cards, or fleet cards, are one more type of card to consider. These cards are useful if your business manages over five vehicles and you need to track driver expenses. The rewards on gas are usually less than business gas credit cards, but they come with better expense management tools, and often have no credit check or personal guarantee.

Can you get a business credit card with just your EIN number?

Even though it is technically possible to get a business credit card with only an EIN, it isn't a practical choice for most small business owners due to the strict eligibility criteria and difficulty of doing so. The vast majority of business credit card companies require either an SSN, an EIN, or both from applicants. If your business doesn't have established credit, you may need to meet additional requirements to get approved for a card using just your EIN. Those requirements might involve meeting a certain monthly revenue threshold or having a certain amount of capital in the bank.

While sole proprietors can get an EIN, they're typically not eligible for small business credit cards using only their EIN. If you have a large, established business, you can usually get a corporate card without using an individual SSN or an EIN. 

Can you get a business credit card without an SSN?

Yes, but you’ll need to provide an EIN or a tax ID. Usually, new businesses won’t meet the requirements for a business credit card without an SSN. Most small business credit cards require a personal guarantee, leaving you liable for any credit card debt your business is unable to pay. This is why most credit card providers perform a personal credit check before they approve your business credit card—and for that, they'll need your SSN. If you don’t have an SSN (e.g. you recently immigrated), you may be able to use your individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), or tax ID, in the application process.

Why some issuers don’t approve applications with only an EIN

Many card issuers prefer an SSN over an EIN—and many may ask you to provide both—because they require business owners to provide a personal guarantee. That’s because lending money to startups is extremely risky, and most credit cards don’t require collateral. Lenders want to protect themselves from losses by requiring individuals to promise to repay their debts if their business can’t.

Business credit card issuers that require a personal guarantee will look at your personal credit when deciding whether to approve your credit card application. In those cases, your personal credit will also factor into the size of the credit limit you receive and the interest rate, if applicable.

Some, but not all, business credit card issuers that require an SSN will report payments on the card to personal credit bureaus.

Why would a small business need a business credit card with EIN and not an SSN?

If you’re a small business owner, you might prefer a credit card with an EIN rather than an SSN for several reasons. For starters, using an EIN instead of an SSN helps separate your personal finances from those of your business.

That way, you can avoid taking on personal liability for your business’s debts, should you become unable to repay them. Cards that use only an EIN are also one of the few types of business credit cards that will not affect personal credit.

Using an EIN can help your business establish a credit history over time, as long as the card issuer ‌is reporting payments to business credit-rating agencies.

Your business credit reflects how well you manage your finances and pay off your debt. Building your business credit score can give your company access to extra sources of capital in the future, and make it more affordable for you to borrow money. 

Another reason you might want a credit card with just an EIN as a business owner is if you have bad credit. In that case, you wouldn’t have to worry about being denied based on your personal credit history.

Pros and cons of credit cards with EIN only

EIN-only credit cards are a great option if you want a card with no credit check, but they have their drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons of credit cards with EIN only:

How to apply for a business credit card with EIN

1. Get your EIN

Before you can apply for a business credit card using your EIN, you’ll need to get an EIN for your business. You typically get an EIN when you register your business with the state, but if you don’t have one, you can request an EIN from the IRS using this online form.‍

2. Find EIN-only business credit cards that work for you

Once you have an EIN, you’ll need to look for card issuers that will approve you with just an EIN—we’ve listed a few options below. Usually, your business will need to be registered as a limited-liability corporation (LLC), a partnership, or a corporation. Then, apply for a business credit card as you would any other credit card. If there’s a box asking for your SSN, just skip it and fill out the section requesting an EIN instead.

3. Apply for a business card with EIN

You'll also need to include other information about your business, like its name and corporate structure, its contact information, the size of your business, its current and projected revenues, and its date of registration. Once you’ve filled out the application, the card issuer will review and verify the information and then let you know whether you’ve been approved. Some card issuers will complete the verification process instantly, while others might take a few days.

Types of business credit cards using an EIN

There are different types of EIN-only business credit cards to consider based on your business's needs. Here are the card options to look at:

Corporate business credit cards

When using a corporate business credit card, your business is responsible for any credit card debt, eliminating the need for a personal guarantee. An SNN isn’t necessary for corporate credit cards, so you can get a business credit card with just your EIN number.

To qualify for most corporate business credit cards, you'll also need a U.S. business bank account with a certain minimum balance. For the Ramp Card, you need a balance of at least $75,000. The Brex Card requires a minimum balance of $50,000 if you own a funded startup business, or higher if you haven't fundraised. BILL Divvy's minimum balance requirement is only $20,000, but they do run a soft credit check. Eligibility for Stripe's corporate card is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Store credit cards

Store credit cards are meant to be used at one specific store. While you’ll be more limited in where you can use them, they may make sense if the bulk of your business purchases come from a single vendor. As a bonus, store credit cards don’t come with a personal liability requirement. Best Buy’s credit card and Amazon’s Secured Store Card are examples of this type of card.

While store credit cards often offer rewards that can benefit your business, these are only redeemable at the store where you use the card. You’re better off with a more flexible corporate card that lets you set permissions on which stores employees can shop from, with a wider range of rewards.

Corporate gas credit cards

Much like a corporate store card, gas credit cards offer perks like discounts at the pump and other travel rewards. Many companies opt to use corporate gas cards instead of gas reimbursement programs.

As with store cards, corporate gas credit cards have limited use since they only work at gas stations within a specific network. That said, if gas is a significant expense for your company, a corporate credit card for gas might make sense. For a more flexible option, consider a corporate credit card that works anywhere, while offering category controls to limit where employees can spend.

Prepaid business cards

Business card issuers typically require an SSN as part of a personal credit check for businesses without an established credit history. Since prepaid business cards reduce the risk to lenders (since there’s no possibility for losses), they don’t require an SSN or a personal credit check.

Prepaid business credit cards are one type of secured business credit cards. While these can be a useful tool to help you build business credit, an unsecured card offers much more flexibility.

Consider a corporate card using your EIN

Ramp’s corporate cards offer more flexibility than other types of cards, as well as a range of additional perks. You can use Ramp at all different types of stores while building your business credit score. Plus, Ramp helps you save more with its rewards and has credit limits up to 20 times higher than traditional banks.

We also make it easy to start an employee card program by allowing you to issue unlimited virtual credit cards. You can place spending limits or restrictions on where your employees can use the cards, empowering your company to spend as necessary while controlling for unnecessary expenses.

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Former Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Ramp
Prior to Ramp, Stefanie worked as a finance reporter at Institutional Investor, where she covered everything from options to pension funds. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in English and a concentration in journalism and later earned an MA in education from NYU. When she isn't immersed in content and thought leadership, Stefanie loves to play any and all racquet sports.
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