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Best Business Credit Cards for Those With Bad Credit: 5 Options

By Roy Rasmussen Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Roy Rasmussen
By Roy Rasmussen Reviewed By Mike Lucas

What are the best business credit cards for bad credit applicants? Here are 5 top options. 

We looked at qualification requirements as well as factors such as annual percentage rate (APR), annual fees and cash-back rewards. Our list includes unsecured cards, secured cards and cards that act as debit cards. Use our guide to help you find a credit card to cover your needs.

Our Picks for Best Business Credit Cards for Bad Credit Applicants

Leading options for small business credit cards for bad credit business owners include (in no particular order):

  1. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
  2. Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
  3. First National Bank of Omaha Business Edition Secured Visa Card
  4. Capital One Platinum Secured
  5. Brex card

We selected these cards based on how easy it is to qualify as well as considerations such as APR, fees, cash-back rewards and other benefits to cardholders. Our selections also illustrate different methods of how to get a business credit card with bad personal credit. 

If you’re looking into getting a business credit card with bad credit, these are some candidates to consider.

One arm extends a credit card to another arm tagged as “Bad Credit.”

What Is a Bad Credit Score?

Before looking at individual business credit cards for poor credit applicants, it will be helpful to review what constitutes bad credit. Companies that issue business credit cards may consider both your personal credit score and your business credit score as well as your personal income and business revenue. The lower your business revenue and the less time you’ve been in business, the more weight financial providers tend to place on your personal finances and personal credit score, particularly if you’re the only owner of your company.

Your personal credit score is determined by factors such as your history of paying bills on time and how high your current credit card balances are. For personal credit scores, credit analytics data provider FICO uses a scoring system with a base range of 300 to 850. 

On this scale, FICO defines a good credit score as 670 to 739. Scores of 670 or higher will help you to qualify for credit cards with lower rates and higher limits. Scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair, which makes it more difficult to qualify and more likely you’ll get a higher interest rate. 

As for scores below 580, they are classified as poor and make it difficult to qualify for cards that are issued based on personal credit scores, although you may be able to qualify for cards secured by deposits or other collateral.

You can improve your personal credit score by taking steps such as paying bills on time and paying down balances you already owe. Paying vendors on time is crucial to improving your business credit score. Note that some card lenders may use criteria other than credit score to determine creditworthiness.

How to Get a Business Credit Card with Bad Credit

Can you get a business credit card with bad credit? The answer is yes. 

There are several main ways to do it, including:

  • Apply for an unsecured card with a low limit
  • Apply for a secured card
  • Get a credit card that acts as a debit card

We’ll review cards that illustrate each of these methods. What these methods have in common is that they reduce risk to your lender by capping the amount of money they potentially stand to lose. This makes them more inclined to extend you credit.

Most business credit cards for applicants with bad credit are secured. However, there are some unsecured business credit cards for bad credit applicants.

1. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa

A leading example of an unsecured card with a low limit is the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa card. While not specifically marketed for businesses, this card is designed to help rebuild credit, making it useful for business owners. The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa features:

  • Minimum credit line of $300
  • Credit line increase opportunities based on regular account reviews
  • 23.99% variable APR
  • Annual fees of $75 the first year and $99 after that, billed at $8.25 a month
  • Ability to choose your own payment date and change it
  • Up to 10% cash-back rewards from participating merchants
  • Free monthly credit score updates
  • Mobile app account management
  • Customized notifications
  • Online access to statements and documents
  • Fraud liability protection

Of Note

This card can be a good option to start building better credit. Its limitations include its low limit, high APR and high annual fee. However, you can increase your limit over time, making this a good starting point if you have bad credit.

2. Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card represents a good example of secured business credit cards for bad credit. 

This card features:

  • A credit line from $500 to $25,000, based on the amount you deposit as collateral
  • Interest rates of prime plus 11.9% on purchases and prime plus 20.74% on cash advances, with a grace period of up to 25 days on purchases
  • No annual fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cash advance and balance transfer fees may apply
  • 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Rewards point options of 1 point on every $1 spent and 1,000 points in each billing cycle for spending $1,000 on eligible purchases
  • Fraud liability protection
  • Online account management and spending reports
  • Direct bill payment options
  • Up to 10 cards for employees
  • Ability to upgrade to secured credit based on periodic reviews

Of Note

This card is a good option for businesses with past credit challenges, limited credit history or companies seeking to build credit. As with all secured cards, its limit depends on your available collateral.

3. First National Bank of Omaha Business Edition Secured Visa Card

The First National Bank of Omaha Business Edition Secured Visa Card is another secured card for businesses. 

It features:

  • Ability to request credit limits of $2,000 to $100,000 in multiples of $50
  • Security deposit of 110% of your limit required, with the amount over your limit not available for transactions
  • 20.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers at prime rate
  • $39 annual fee
  • Automatic discounts on qualifying purchases
  • Cash-flow management flexibility to cover the costs of expenses such as supplies, equipment and travel
  • Free 24/7 online account access
  • Free account management reports
  • Fraud protection liability
  • Identity theft protection

Of Note

This card requires more collateral than the Wells Fargo card, but it has a higher potential limit. Filling out a prequalifying application for the First National Bank of Omaha Business Edition Secured Visa Card won’t affect your credit score.

4. Capital One Platinum Secured

The Capital One Platinum Secured card isn’t specifically for businesses, but it’s designed to help cardholders build credit, making it a good option for small business owners with bad credit. 

It features:

  • A refundable minimum security deposit requirement of $49, $99 or $200, with no interest applied to the deposit
  • Ability to raise your credit line by depositing more than your limit, up to a total limit of $1,000
  • Automatic consideration for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • No annual fees
  • No fees for foreign transactions, card replacements or authorized users
  • Ability to choose due dates
  • Mobile app account management
  • Artificial intelligence assistance from Capital One’s Eno tool
  • Personalized email and text alerts
  • Automatic pay options for bills
  • Displays of monthly recurring transactions
  • Balance transfer options to other Capital One cards
  • Ability to add an authorized user and track spending
  • Assistance finding automated teller machine (ATM) locations while traveling
  • Emergency card replacements
  • Fraud liability protection
  • Virtual card numbers for security
  • Credit score monitoring

Of Note

This card can help business owners seeking to build credit in order to apply for an unsecured card. Filling out a prequalifying application for the Capital One Platinum Secured card won’t affect your credit score. (Note that the APR will vary with the market based on the prime rate.

5. Brex Card

A specialized type of secured card is a credit card that acts like a debit card, drawing from an available balance. Brex, which specializes in providing financing services for technology companies, offers a credit card product of this type. The card comes in 2 versions, one available to companies of all sizes and one restricted to companies that meet certain size and revenue qualifications. 

The card for smaller companies features:

  • No minimum balance
  • Limits based on corporate financial information rather than business owner’s personal financial data, determined by factors such as company’s available cash, credit history and spending patterns
  • Card balances paid off daily from the cardholder’s account
  • No interest
  • No annual fees
  • Rewards points multiplied by 8 for rideshare costs, 5 for qualified Brex travel expenses, 4 times for restaurant bills, 3 times for recurring software subscriptions and 1 time for other categories of expenses
  • Integration with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero
  • Expense tracking tools
  • Unlimited cards for all employees, with the ability to set limits for individual employees and tools which let you track team spending
  • Fraud protection coverage with no liability
  • Reporting to credit tracking providers, designed to build your business credit score

Of Note

For companies that fulfill size and revenue requirements, Brex’s other card allows cardholders to repay balances monthly instead of daily, with account limits 10-20 times higher than standard business credit cards and rewards points on all spending categories of up to 7 times the amount spent.

The Brex card stands out as an example of business credit cards with no credit check requirement. Brex bases qualifying decisions on information tied to your company’s employer identification number instead of your Social Security number. They don’t require personal guarantees. Applying won’t impact your personal credit score.

Brex cards can let companies with bad credit finance operations through debit withdrawals. This can help build your credit history to apply for unsecured business credit cards. Brex rewards for software subscription purchases can help companies save money on technology bills.

A glowing credit card hovers about an open palm of a hand.

Don’t Let Bad Credit Keep You from Finding Financing

If you have bad credit, you still may be able to obtain a business credit card by applying for a card with a low limit, a secured card or a card that acts as a debit card. 

The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa represents an example of a secured card with a low limit. Leading examples of secured business credit cards include the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card, the Capital One Platinum Secured card and the First National Bank of Omaha Business Edition Secured Visa Card. Another alternative is the Brex card, which acts like a debit card.

Secured cards are the most common type of business credit card for bad credit applicants. A secured personal credit card also can serve to build credit in order to apply for a secured or unsecured business credit card.

Credit cards are just one way to finance your business with bad credit. Business owners with bad credit also may be able to obtain forms of business financing which use collateral, such as invoice financing, merchant cash advances and equipment financing. Take a few minutes to fill out our free, no-obligation prequalifying form and see all your loan options.

Roy Rasmussen Contributing Writer for Fast Capital 360
Roy is a respected, published author on topics including business coaching, small business management and business automation as well as an expert business plan writer and strategist.
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