Free First Class Next Month: Business Credit Cards


Hey there, you’re reading an outdated post! The updated series from April 2015 can be found here.

This is the sixteenth post in a monthlong series. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

Applying for business credit cards is a great way to double your credit card applications, and you probably have a business.

If you have an IRS-issued EIN (Employer Identification Number), you are ahead of the game, and the magical world of business credit cards is open to you.

If you don’t have an EIN, don’t worry, you can still get a business card from most major issuers except Citi. Simply put your Social Security Number in place of the EIN on the application. There’s nothing wrong with it since many small businesses are sole proprietorships with no EIN.

The main question is do you do anything that can legitimately be described as a business or that you’re planning on turning into a business. It can be as simple as being an ebay seller or running a blog that may add advertisements in the future.

If you can answer yes, apply for the cards with a clear conscience. If you ever need to speak to a representative for approval, answer his questions truthfully that your business is small and new, but you want a card to keep its finances separate. Of course, with the card you can charge any expenses, not just business expenses, to clear its minimum spending requirement to unlock its sign up bonus.

If you apply for a business card, there are a few things you should know. First, there is a personal credit pull on your credit report. But after the pull, the card does not sit on your credit report, but on a separate one for the business.

Second, many consumer protections like purchase protection and and rental insurance don’t exist with business cards.

Third, many business cards are charge cards that need to be paid in full each month (which isn’t a problem because you should be paying all your rewards cards in full each month.)

If none of that has scared you off, you can now roughly double the possible credit cards you can apply for because many personal cards have an equivalent or comparable business card. With all the extra miles, I’ll see you at the front of the plane next month.

This is the last post about earning miles in this beginners’ series. The rest of the series will focus on using these miles and finding cheap paid hotels and flights.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is 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 questions are answered.

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  1. I applied for the Citi AAdvantage Biz card last week ( I already have the personal cards) and even though I don’t have an EIN I got approved instantly. This surprised me because everybody says Citi requires an EIN. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a Citi customer for the last 10 years? I don’t know. The truth is that I really am a sole proprietor having worked on my own for the last decade, but I doubt they would really know that.

  2. On the AMEX business application (SPG card) there’s a place where you click that you represent you will use the card only for business and professional purposes. With my limited business activity (a small sideline), I could never meet the minimum spend without really stretching the idea of business and professional purposes. Is this an issue? I wouldn’t want AMEX coming back later and saying, “You lied on your application,” and have them possibly close my accounts and take back points. What insight do you have on that issue?

    • DaveS, I would not worry about it. I also have the SPG biz card and 5 other personal Amex cards. There is no way they can prove what’s for business and what isn’t. Every spend qualifies as a biz expense in my book (which is not to say that every spend is tax deductible).

      • I agree with Michael that they won’t know, won’t care, and can’t prove something is not business related. But you are correct that this is a rule.

  3. Glad to know those who applied for the citi biz cards were approved. I was scared off by the original post.

  4. One more for the Citi Biz apps. I have been churning Citi AA biz cards for a while using my SSN and listing myself as sole prop. Haven’t even had to deal with reconsideration line so far

  5. Applied for United MileagePlus business card a few weeks back, and was told my account needed further reviewing. I’ve since received no notification one way or the other on its approval. Should I follow up on this, and how would I do so?

  6. @Kristin Yes it’s time to call their reconsideration line to see what’s going on. If they are not approving you because you already have a bunch of chase cards and they don’t want to give you more credit offer to move some of the existing credit line or to close a card.

    • I just spoke with someone, and got approved! Very nice guy. He was the one that brought up the offer to transfer a portion of a high credit line to fund this new one, which was convenient. Should see the card in about a week. Now if I can just remember the mileage activation terms…was it after the first use? Or $1000 within the first 3 months….? I definitely didn’t want to ask them as it might have looked like a Mile Fishing red flag. It’s the United MileagePlus business. It was the 25,000 bonus that was offered within the last month.


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