You can get business credit cards without a Social Security number, but it’s not easy and will limit your options. Approval for nearly all business credit cards is heavily reliant on the state of a small business owner’s personal finances, which is why your SSN is important for card approval. It’s also important because you are personally liable for all business card balances. If you don’t have a Social Security number and aren’t able to get one, you could apply for a business credit card with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) instead of an SSN. But there are some steps you must take first.
First, if you don’t already have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), you must apply for one. You can then use your ITIN to apply for an EIN. Then, compare offers from credit card companies that will accept an EIN in place of a Social Security number. Some credit card issuers – like American Express, Bank of America, and Citibank – will accept ITINs, foreign passports, or other government-issued IDs in place of a Social Security number. Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank will allow you to apply with an ITIN in place of an SSN, but only for their secured cards.
Still, there are only certain cards you can apply for without an SSN, and issuers usually exclude business cards.
Easiest Business Credit Cards to Get Without a Social Security Number:
Shell Small Business Credit Card: $0 annual fee. No rewards. Can apply with an EIN in place of an SSN.
Office Depot Business Credit Card: $0 annual fee. $50 statement credit after making your first purchase of $150 within 60 days. 2% back in rewards on Office Depot purchases. Can apply with an EIN in place of an SSN.
Sam's Club® Business Credit Card: $0 annual fee. 5% cash back on gas (up to $6,000 spent per year), 3% cash back on dining, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Must be a Sam’s Club member to apply. Can apply with an EIN in place of an SSN.
Finding a suitable business credit card that will let you apply with an EIN and not an SSN is difficult. This is largely because applying with an EIN means the issuer isn’t able to run a personal credit check on you. For the best chances of approval without an SSN, you’ll want your business finances to be in excellent shape and very established.
Another business credit card option that doesn’t require an SSN is a corporate card. Corporate cards are business credit cards that are issued to a corporation as opposed to an individual. Corporations generally need at least $10 million in annual revenue to qualify for a corporate card, however. Issuers will review the company’s financial track record and use company assets like CDs and bank accounts as collateral.
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