Can I get a business credit card sans business?
January 19, 2007 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Do you have to have a business to get a business credit card?

One of the big finance companies has been regularly sending me letters via mail and email congratulating me for qualifying for their platinum business credit card. The perks of the card are better than my current card and it offers a nice no-fee 0% APR on transfers, so I am considering transferring my (small) balance to the new card. My existing card is with the same company that is offering the new card.

However, I don't have a business of any kind. Will they still give me the card? If not, why would they send me this offer, since ostensibly they should know if I own a business or not? (I'm generally pretty credit savvy, so no need for the typical beware-of-credit-card-small-print advice.)
posted by jtfowl0 to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They don't really care.
posted by kindall at 11:28 AM on January 19, 2007

They don't care. I got a business credit card from AMEX once for the same reason (good rates and perks). For business name I just put the name of my website at the time.
posted by mikepop at 11:31 AM on January 19, 2007

No, you don't really have to have a business, usually, although some issuers are harder about that than others. If they are, you can easily register a dba (or start an LLC, it's cheap in most states) One advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your perspective) of a business credit card is that they only show up on your personal report if you fail to pay your bill on time.

The only problem is that a rare few of the issuers actually check your business' credit through Dun & Bradstreet or one of the other business CR issuers.

CreditBoards has a business credit section that can answer any questions you have about getting credit as a business rather than individually.
posted by wierdo at 11:33 AM on January 19, 2007

posted by Astro Zombie at 11:38 AM on January 19, 2007

Nah. Consider yourself an out-of-work freelancer or consultant.
posted by desuetude at 11:45 AM on January 19, 2007

You can be a sole proprietor of a business that does nothing. The business name and tax id are your name and SSN.
posted by jimmy0x52 at 11:47 AM on January 19, 2007

Careful. They may not allow you to do a balance transfer between two cards from their company. Discover doesn't allow that, for example.
posted by textilephile at 12:12 PM on January 19, 2007

AmEx sent me a business card (unsolicited, but appreciated) just for having a website. At the time I didn't have a business.
posted by o2b at 12:21 PM on January 19, 2007

I agree with textilephile that you probably won't be able to transfer your balance. Sorry.
posted by stopgap at 12:32 PM on January 19, 2007

just get another card from a different company, transfer the balance over there, then transfer it to the business card.
posted by mikepop at 12:41 PM on January 19, 2007

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