Question: how do I apply for a (miles) business credit card if I don't have a business?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by codeck, Mar 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. codeck
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    codeck Active Member

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    Subject says it all. I hear a lot about people applying for business cards. Do they all have businesses? If I don't really have a business how do I do it? What are the gotchas? (I have tried searching for the answer, but I can't find anything.) Thanks.
     
  2. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    There are various extremes in having a business. It can be a large corporation with hundreds of people. It can be a sole proprietorship that only has one person and sells some items on Ebay. A sole proprietorship uses the "owner's" social security number instead of an EIN.

    Some banks / credit card companies have, at times, asked for some documentation on the business. This can be utility bills or any other documentation on the business. Some people that do not have the documentation (because the business is run out of their home etc.) tell the credit card company that everything is in the "owner's" name and reiterating that the company is a sole proprietorship.
     
  3. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    One reason you probably haven't found much on this topic is because it varies from company to company and it varies over time. I've had very good luck in recent months getting a business debit and two business credit cards as a sole proprietor, but others trying the same have hit all sorts of obstacles. So, it's definitely a YMMV (your mileage may vary) situation. It's best to zero in on a specific card with a specific credit card company and find out what their requirements are.
    Speaking personally, I would not recommend applying for a business card unless you can show that have some sort of separate business income/activity.
     
  4. vbroucek
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    vbroucek Silver Member

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    And it also depends on country that you are in.
     
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  5. codeck
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    codeck Active Member

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    Thanks. So, would the name of a sole proprietorship simply be my name? or am I being too needy and specific.
     
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  6. Mileage Junky
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    Mileage Junky Silver Member

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    I haven't actually applied for one myself. The info I have been able to find indicates using your own name and being honest about the actual income you made (or didn't make).
     
  7. Lyssa
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    Lyssa Silver Member

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    I really do have a home based business selling Longaberger baskets. I tried to apply for a Citi business card for the 75,000 AA miles and it has been a nightmare. They want all of this documentation, I did send them a bank statement because I have a bank account, but didn't have any seperate utility bills or a lease or anything. I told them it was a home based business but they did not care and I got denied. I think I will try again if they ever do another bonus and just use my name as the business name.
     
  8. UNHBuzzard
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    UNHBuzzard Silver Member

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    I used my own name, actually, I used my company's name, but the credit card came with my name as both the card holder & company name fields. If you do go for a biz card on top of a personal card, it normally counts as one credit pull if you do it in the same day. I did mine on 2 separate occasions and received the same limit on both personal & business cards, but as always... YMMV
     
  9. Kohoutek
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    Kohoutek Silver Member

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    For those looking for "consumer protection", you won't find it with a "business" (however loosely defined) card.
     
  10. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    You can use another name, but then you'll need to register the name. Most US states call them "fictitious business names" and the registration is a simple process to give a sort of trademark/copyright protection and link that name to you for tax and other legal purposes. Credit cards will count in that.

    In all non-US countries there are specific rules. In some there are small business registrations that allow non-incorporated status; in others it is essentially reported as a partnership, albeit with one partner; in some there must be a simplified corporate structure.

    So, YMMV rules!
     
  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    BTW, banks like to issue business cards because their interchange income is higher on business cards than it is on consumer ones and the consumer protections are vastly reduced or eliminated entirely, depending on the situation. That, and only that, is why business cards are booming in several countries.
     
  12. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    With the mega bonus' that Citi has been giving they have been getting very particular on issuing the Business card. Too many people just applying for the card with "name and associates" as the business name and not really having a business.

    I think you will find other banks more willing to accept the business name without a ton of documentation.
     

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