Most issuers of business credit cards ask for your SSN or Social Security Number during the application process. This also implies that when you apply for a business credit card, it will lead to in-depth inquiry on your overall personal credit report. In some cases, you might not want this to happen.
Thankfully, if you wish to get access to a reliable business credit card without giving into too much personal information, there is a way that enables you to apply for your desired business credit card with only your EIN or Employer Identification Number. You can apply for the corporate credit card rather than the small business credit card. Corporate credit cards -even though featuring strict requirements for application, will mostly enable applicants to apply with the help of the EIN or Employer identification Number rather than the SSN.
Unfortunately, if you are only starting your business, the concept of acquiring corporate credit card might not be that useful for you. It is because corporate credit cards usually require good business credit and higher revenues. In this case, your other option could be to apply for a business credit card that will not require your personal guarantee.
Can You Apply for the Business Credit Card Without the SSN?
In every possible case, it is difficult to apply for a business credit card without possessing a SSN. Credit cards for small businesses will require a personal guarantee. This implies that you are personally responsible for all types of debts that you will incur as a business owner. This is why issuers of credit cards usually go through the personal credit before issuing a business credit card. Towards performing an in-depth credit inquiry on the personal credit, they would require your SSN or Social Security Number.
Applying for a business credit card without having access to the SSN can be a difficult process. If you do not have access to a Social Security Number, you are expected to go through a greater deal of documentation or paperwork while also going through some type of bureaucracy. Even after all these procedures, you might still face difficulty in coming across the desired business credit card provider to offer approval for a card without access to a SSN.
You can get access to a business credit card without the SSN when you will apply for a corporate credit card. In this case, you are not expected to provide information about personal guarantee. However, it is important to understand that corporate credit cards differ significantly from small business credit cards. In some cases, corporate credit cards might not even be the right fit for your business.
To be eligible for applying for the corporate credit card, you are expected to present annual revenues in larger values. Moreover, your business should also depict 15 or more users of the respective account within the organization. Specific business structures might also be required for organizations looking forward to becoming eligible for the corporate credit card. Therefore, small businesses and sole proprietors are rarely successful in obtaining corporate credit cards.
Benefits of Applying for a Business Credit Cards with Only an EIN
Several business owners would want to apply only with their EIN rather than their SSN. It is because they would not want their personal credit score to affect the overall eligibility of their company. There are other business owners who would like to keep business and personal finances separate towards keeping all business-centric financial issues from adversely affecting the business credit.
Why would the financial situation of your business affect your personal credit? There are two reasons for it. Firstly, when you wish to apply for the business credit card requiring a personal guarantee, it will imply that you will be personally responsible for all balances that are added to the card. This will include credit card debts that your organization might not be able to pay off in full amounts.
The second reason can be slightly complicated. Businesses have access to credit cards -just like people. In some cases, the lenders or issuers might report activities related to small business credit cards to both the personal credit bureaus and business credit bureaus. This implies that your business credit card can appear on the personal credit card report as well. If you would end up missing a payment on the business card or running up higher balances during months of reduced cash flows, the activity related to your business credit card might damage your overall personal credit score as well.
Therefore, as far as the overall benefits of applying for the business credit card with only the EIN is concerned, it will make sure that you are not mixing your business and personal finances.
Types of Business Credit Cards with Only the EIN
Some issuers of business credit cards will enable you to apply for the business cards with an EIN rather than the SSN. Still, options tend to be limited. Some of the EIN-based business credit cards are you should consider are:
Corporate Business Credit Cards
These cards for businesses enable you to take on liability across your entire business. You can get access to the corporate credit card for your business without any personal guarantee. This implies that your business will be liable for all the debts on the respective credit cards. In some cases, these cards might not require your SSN. Therefore, you can apply for these cards only with only your Employer Identification Number.
Corporate credit cards for businesses have strict rules for application and approval. In a wide range of cases, only specific types of businesses tend to be eligible. Therefore, your business is expected to earn a particular amount of profit margin almost every year. A number of lenders will extend the business credit with only the EIN. However, only LLPs, LLCs, S-Corps, and C-Corps registered within the United States of America are considered eligible to apply. If you happen to be a small business owner or a sole proprietor, you will have to work harder towards coming across the right corporate credit card provider for your business.
Corporate Gas Cards
Another leading option is to apply for the corporate gas cards or the fleet fuel card. This will enable your organization to apply for the business credit card without any personal guarantee. For instance, you can apply for the Shell Small Business Card with an EIN if the business will earn $1 million in terms of annual revenues while having at least 1 year of business operation history.
It is important to note that fleet fuel card or the corporate gas card will only function purchases across the brand of gas stores and stations that it allows. Therefore, the overall utility of these types of cards tend to be limited.
Corporate Store Credit Cards
There is an option to apply for the corporate store credit cards to the stores you tend to visit frequently. There are some corporate store credit cards that are not available with the requirement of a personal liability. This makes them excellent for applying only with the EIN. Corporate store credit cards are known to deliver access to particular benefits like cash back points, rewards, points, and discount on purchases.
Business Credit Cards Having No Personal Guarantee
Business credit cards usually require access to personal guarantees that state that the cardholder -not the organization, will be responsible for the debt on the respective account. Due to this reason, banks would usually require the applicant to provide the SSN.
However, there are different business credit cards that will not require a personal guarantee. You might be able to utilize the EIN instead of the SSN while applying for these cards. However, all applications tend to be different. It will be up to the individual institution.
How to Keep Your Business Separate?
To keep your business finances distinguished from the personal finances, it will make ample sense. Eventually, when you maintain separate accounts for the business, it can help you in staying organized for the purpose of taxation. Moreover, it can also help in preventing merging business expenses accidentally with your personal expenses or vice versa.
When you have access to a separate business credit card, it also helps you to earn special rewards on particular business expenses along with other spending. There are some business credit cards offering benefits targeted specifically to business enterprises.
If the primary reason for getting access to the business credit card with the EIN is your wish to minimize the overall impact on the personal credit, you can also think of applying for the conventional business cards that will not report to the respective consumer credit bureaus. You are expected to list the SSN on the respective application. However, credit cards that will be under this category will not report your payments, balances, or other information to the bureaus.