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Business travel credit cards – why you won’t see them on your credit report

by on Thu January 30, 2014 • 1 Comment

Business credit cards on your credit report


Business credit cards for travel rewards are one of the fastest ways to earn miles. If you own a business or are starting a business, they are worth considering to take care of the everyday expenses you plan to pay off each month and earn hundreds or thousands of dollars in travel rewards each year.

Nearly all business credit cards that offer travel rewards require you to personally guarantee  them with your own credit history.

That means if your business can’t pay the balances off on time, then you’ll have to find a way to pay the bill yourself or face negative consequences on your own credit history.

But if you look at your credit report when you hold a business credit card you may be in for a surprise.

There will be an initial inquiry that shows up on your personal report when you apply for a card.

After that, you may see nothing on your report.

That’s because many business credit cards do not report account data to personal credit bureaus.

Chase, American Express, and others will only report business credit card data on your personal report if you are delinquent on your account, about 45 – 60 days past due. They don’t put on-time balances on your personal report because business cards are for business expenses, and those expenses shouldn’t count against your overall personal debt utilization if paid on time.

Your business credit card might also show up on your personal report if you tend to leave large balances unpaid which revolve month to month, which are effectively debt you aren’t paying off.

For your business, Chase among others will report your business credit card history to business credit bureaus on a regular basis.

That will help you build your business’ credit history, and could make it easier to get more traditional means of financing should you need a loan or other form of credit for your business.

You can check your business credit history online

There are three major bureaus that track business credit history:

They factor things like public judgements, how you do with making trade payments (think office supply vendors) and how you do with outstanding lines of credit like credit cards in the business name.

However there is no central score like the FICO that you see used for decision making with personal credit reports. That’s because business credit decisions are usually based on a combination of personal and business factors. Your own personal credit history is almost always considered when asking for small business credit, while the business’ history will be used as a secondary factor.

As your business builds and uses more credit business-specific factors will become more common. At the highest end of the spectrum the very largest corporations end up paying to get rated from agencies like Moody’s and S&P before they raise debt from investors.  But for small business owners, expect to rely on a mysterious blend of your personal credit history and business history, and one way to help bridge that is with business credit cards that report to business bureaus.

If you’re interested in applying for a business travel credit card, consider these tips for getting a business credit card for the first time. You’ll learn about what it takes to get approved, how big of a business you’ll need, and whether you can hold both a business and personal version of a card.

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One thought on “Business travel credit cards – why you won’t see them on your credit report

  1. John

    Interesting. I heard that business credit cards don’t fall under the Card act. Should I worry about that? What are the implications?


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