Here’s how to fill out a business credit card application for American Express – this step-by-step guide explains how sole proprietors, the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers can apply for the AMEX Blue Business Plus credit card in order to help grow their business.
“TeachingMillionaires.com has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. TeachingMillionaires.com and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.”
What many people don’t realize is that business credit cards work differently than personal credit cards. For example, many banks do not report these balances, transactions, or even the credit lines to your personal credit report.
This can be extremely beneficial when you’re trying to get a small business or side hustle off the ground.
The other day I was doing a one-on-one consultation call with an artist who had a question about how she could pay for a larger purchase order for her new apparel business. Her plan was to take some of her designs and put them on clothing. She had pre-orders that needed to be fulfilled.
After opening a business credit card with 0% interest for 12 months, she was able to fulfill those purchase orders, make her deliveries, and earn a substantial profit.
She paid no interest, no annual fee, and earned a nice signup bonus from American Express. In the future, she can continue to earn rewards for her business spending and purchases.
How Do You Fill Out a Business Credit Card Application?
Now that we’ve talked about some of the reasons you might want to consider opening a small business credit card, let’s dive into the application for American Express.
Here’s a link to the application for the American Express Blue Business Plus credit card so you can follow along.
After you click a few links, it’s going to take you to a landing page that looks like this:
Go ahead and click “Apply Now.” There might be a pop up asking you if you’re already an AMEX card member. If so, feel free to login with your user ID and password, and it’s going to give you an answer in as little as 30 seconds.
Start with your email address and put whatever email you actually use. What I mean is that it doesn’t have to be a business email address. It can be your personal email.
The next part asks for basic business information. This is the part that trips people up the most! If you’re a sole proprietor, independent contractor, gig worker, or self-employed then your legal business name is going to be your first and last name. Go ahead and type that in … you’re going to notice that it automatically fills in your first and last name as the business name on the card.
That’s exactly how it should be. I know some of us have different branding and logos, but just put your first and last name in both of these spots.
Next, check the box that says “Company does not have a DBA.” You’re going to know if you have a DBA, so if you don’t then check this box.
They’re asking for your business address, and it’s okay to fill in your home address if you work from home. For your business phone number, put your cell phone number. Again, if you have a business address or phone, you can put that instead.
Remember, they’re looking to get in touch with you for verification purposes, so put the contact information you use most often. Next, they are asking for your industry type. Don’t feel intimidated about putting the wrong answer – just look at the choices:
For example, I’m going to select “Other” because none of these fit my business. Feel free to choose whatever you think most appropriately fits your type of business.
When they ask about company structure, put “Sole Proprietorship” if you work for yourself. Like we talked about before, this includes self-employed, side hustlers, gig workers, and independent contractors with no employees.
For these next few boxes, it’s important to remember how long you’ve been in business and how much money you’ve earned. Sometimes, those two things don’t go hand-in-hand. For example, when it’s asking for years in business, sometimes you start planning a business, you buy the website, and you experiment to get feedback.
Even though you’re not making any money during that time, those years count. If you’ve been planning, launching, and/or pivoting for a year or two but haven’t made any money yet then be honest and write down the truth.
Where it asks about number of employees put down one. You’re going to be considered the only employee. Of course, just like the other areas, if you have W2 employees on the books, then count them. You don’t count people you send 1099s. Those are not your employees.
This next number is going to determine what sort of credit limit they give you. They want to know your “Annual Business Revenue” so put down the amount of money you earned the past year. If you’re a newer business and only bring in a couple hundred dollars a month, then simply be honest and accurate.
They also want to know your estimated monthly spend. Be careful here because they’re not asking for an annual number. Instead, they want you to estimate how much you plan spend each month.
Again, be honest. If you know you have larger purchases planned, then put down what you think you’ll spend on average each month.
This dropdown menu is going to ask for your role in the company. Typically, I choose “Owner” but it’s up to you to decide your title. Keep in mind, if you’re the only person working in your business, then you own the company … it’s okay to select “Owner.”
Now they need some personal information about you. Fill in your first and last name. There is a box you can check that says your home address is the same as your business address.
Of course, if for some reason this is different than you’ll know. Next, add your cell phone number again.
Now, they ask for your social security number. They do this to verify your identity and do a hard credit pull. Even though you’re applying for a business credit card, they still verify who you are and check your personal credit.
American Express recommends having a personal credit score between 670-850 to be approved for this card.
So long as you stay in good standing, this business account won’t show up on your personal credit report. They simply use your social security number to verify identify and perform a hard credit pull during the application process.
Next, put your date of birth.
Here they ask for your “Total Annual Income.” Essentially, they’re asking for all the income you have access to in your household. Someone who is married can include their spouse’s income, or if you work a few different jobs, you should include all that income too.
Remember, even if your business is brand new, they want you to include all income sources.
They also ask about nontaxable income, which probably doesn’t apply to most.
We are almost to the promised land. Hang in there!
There’s one part of the terms and conditions that I wanted to point out here:
You can see that it says “…all cards issued on the account will only be used for commercial or business purposes.” The reason I point this out is because business cards are a great way to separate your personal spending from your business spending.
Many find those lines can get a little blurred. Maybe you’re taking someone out to lunch and that’s a business expense? …maybe not? Either way, they’re asking you to keep this as separate as possible, and that falls on your shoulders.
Alright, the last thing to do is hit “Submit Application.”
Okay, let’s recap. Congrats, you just applied for a small business credit card through American Express.
I forgot to mention this earlier, but American Express is more likely to approve your first business credit card compared to other larger banks.
If you’ve never applied for a business credit card before, American Express is usually open to allowing first-time small business owners to get a line of credit. It also helps if you have good to excellent personal credit.
The AMEX Blue Business Plus credit card is a great first business credit card to open and keep for years to come. It has no annual fee, you earn 2x points on all your spending, and the first 12 months has 0% interest for all your purchases.
When used wisely, I look at business credit cards as a smart option to help catapult your business to a new level of momentum.
Listen to Teacher Millionaires Podcast
As always, I’m Rich and until next time.
“TeachingMillionaires.com has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. TeachingMillionaires.com and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. I am not a financial advisor. The information I share is for educational purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as certified financial or legal advice. It is imperative you conduct your own research. I am sharing my opinion only.”