You can apply for a business credit card with an EIN only, but it’s very rare. Two of the only business credit cards you can get with just an EIN, and no SSN required, are the Office Depot and Shell Gas business cards. Most business credit cards require an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, which the IRS assigns every U.S.-based company that applies for one. But most business cards also require a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
The EIN shows that you’re legitimately a business owner. The SSN, or ITIN, allows the credit card company to review your personal credit history when evaluating your application and hold you personally accountable for paying the bill if you’re approved. Almost all business credit cards require personal liability. But there are a few exceptions.
Business credit cards you can apply for with EIN only:
Office Depot Office Max Business Credit Card: You can apply with without an SSN if your company makes over $5 million per year and has been in business for at least three years. Or, if you are a government entity (including schools) or a nonprofit, you can apply without personal liability also. This card only works for OfficeMax and Office Depot purchases. This card requires good business or personal credit.
Sam’s Club Mastercard Business: You can apply without an SSN if your company makes $5+ million per year, is more than 2 years old and has more than 10 employees. You can only get this card if you’re a Sam’s Club member, and you need good business or personal credit to be approved. You can use the card anywhere that accepts Mastercard.
SuperAmerica Fleet Credit Cards: You can apply for these cards without an SSN if you’ve been in business for at least three years. You can use it at all SuperAmerica gas stations and 45,000 partner stations nationwide. Both cards require good business or personal credit.
Shell Small Business Card: You can get this card without any personal liability if you’re applying on behalf of a government entity or non-profit, or if your business has been open for at least three years and does $1+ million in yearly sales. This card requires fair business or personal credit, and you can use it at any of the 14,000 Shell gas stations nationwide.
If you want to apply for a business card with only an EIN, the choices are slim. But your options become far greater when you consider the full range of cards that require personal liability.
If you’re worried that your personal credit isn’t good enough to qualify for a business credit card, remember that you don’t have to use a business card for business expenses. So consider personal options such as the Discover it Secured Card as well as the likes of the Wells Fargo Business Secured Card. Both are available to people with bad credit.