the lowdown
How do you get a business credit card?

We’ve gone over the benefits of using a business credit card and its primary purpose but it can be difficult to know exactly how do you get a business credit card. The easiest way for you to do it is to sign up to Cape and get one in the post. But even then, there are some universal pieces of information you need to have to hand.

Who’s eligible to get a business credit card?

For most business credit cards you’ll need to have five pieces of information to hand:
• Business name
• Business address
• Years in operation
• Annual revenue
• Personal credit history

All of this is so that the bank can decide whether or not your business is worth lending credit to. Some business credit card providers demand a minimum annual revenue and a minimum number of years of operation. This is because a business needs to prove its creditworthiness to the bank before it can lend money.

At Cape, we’re able to lend to businesses less than a year old and we can determine your expenses by analysing your data rather than needing you to fill in awkward and endless forms. We’re also able to process your application faster than other providers who can take days to come back to you with a decision on whether or not you get a business credit card.

There are also some personal criteria that need to be met before you can get your business credit card. However, these are generally easy to meet for most business owners. You need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, an adult over 18 years of age, and have a good strong credit history with no marks of bad credit or defaulting on payments. If you have had some credit issues in the past, remember that repayment history information lasts two years on your credit history, and payment defaults last five years. So, if you’re concerned about your personal credit interfering with how to get a business credit card, then you should plan accordingly.

Getting approval for a business credit card

Many parts of banking can feel frustrating and confusing for a business owner. None are probably more confusing than how business credit cards are approved. The truth is every lender will have slightly different criteria to issue a credit card and they’re not always transparent about that criteria. It can vary based on any of the information you present to the bank and it is rarely clear which reason prevented approval.

But, one thing is well known, personal credit information is often the single most important element in how you get a business credit card. While the bank is evaluating your business, they’re aware that the person running the account is going to be you. So if you lack creditworthiness or have a poor credit history, it’s often better to wait or build your personal credit file up to a healthy level before you apply for a business credit card.

Almost every bank offers a business credit card and there are many lenders who want to create a relationship with businesses. But that doesn’t mean they’re all equal. There are varying rates of interest repayment and bonuses that need to be considered before you apply.

Once you’ve found the right business credit card, you have to go through an approval process. The actual application process should only take a few minutes, but there are many issues that can affect whether or not your business credit card is approved.

In addition to the five pieces of information you submit, other common reasons to be rejected for a business credit card include:
• Your business type
• Personal guarantees from you or any business partners
• Your industry

And this is not an exhaustive list by any means. Having a difficult address that doesn’t immediately connect to a real building during a check can be enough to deter a lender from dealing with your business.

But if your personal credit is healthy, your business is the right type, you have been in operation long enough, you or a business partner grant a personal guarantee, you’re in the right industry for the lender, have a business name the lender likes, have an address that shows up without hassle, and have enough revenue then you might be able to get a business credit card.

Or you could sign-up for Cape, where none of our decisions hinge on unreasonable demands.

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