Questions When Applying for Business Credit Cards

From Ask Tagging Miles from Mark,which is a very relevant question:

Hi Trevor,

I haven’t really seen comprehensive coverage on applying for business credit cards. Say, I have a business (which I do, though it’s a DBA and not a corporation). When applying for a business credit card for this business, I must tie it to my personal credit file.

So, can more than one person apply for the same or different business credit card for the same business? Myself and my wife, for instance, both applying for Ink Plus for the same business. I’m guessing no, but haven’t been able to find a definite answer.

Or how about me applying for a Chase business card and my wife for an AMEX, but for the same business?

How do banks verify that the business you put down an application is real? Is there a national registry they check with?

Can a bank I’m applying to see how many other business credit cards the business already has, like with personal credit cards?

If this stuff has already been covered, my apologies — if you could just point me in the right direction, I’d be very grateful.

So, the first part of the question: I have to clarify my assumption, that if Mark has a business that is a DBA (Doing Business As), and not a corporation, that it is likely a sole-proprietorship.

Going on that assumption, in my experience, I see no reason why more than one person cannot apply for the same or different business card. But you must remember, that without a Tax Identification Number (TIN), each person applying is essentially putting their Social Security Number (SSN) in for the reference, and thus somewhat linking the business to their own personal identity. Now, I know for a fact that if you do have a TIN, multiple folks can apply for the same credit card for the same business. How do I know this? Because my wife and I both have Ink Plus credit cards, that were applied for, using the same TIN and business name.

As far as Mark’s question about applying for a Chase Business Card, and his wife applying for an American Express? I see no issue with that, however, I’d recommend that based on Chase’s more recent changes, that whoever is applying for Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, they do so first, since the 5 credit card applications in 25 months (5/24) seems to result in many folks being decline. Of course, the real question may be, are Chase Ultimate Rewards cards worth foregoing other credit cards? I’d say no. Mark or his wife could still get a United Business card from Chase, and there are tons of opportunities from Citi and American Express.

As far as whether a bank you’re applying for see other business cards? From a casual search (on a casual Saturday night), I cannot see anything definitive. I would suspect that banks would be able to see that you are applying for credit from other banks, so I’d say yes. But, is that a problem? Other than Chase, I’d say no.

Overall though, I think Mark raises very reasonable questions, and I’m appreciative that he asked them. Hopefully this post answers those questions.

6 thoughts on “Questions When Applying for Business Credit Cards

    • The wife and I both have an Ink Bold (well, old Bold) and Ink Plus, each, that we used the same TIN for, so yeah, you very well may be slacking, boss…

  1. My wife and I each have an Ink with the same business name. She applied with her SS# and I with mine. Have done with Amex and others as well.

    It was a real business (sole proprietor) but hasn’t had activity in 8+ years. Nobody checks.

  2. This is interesting. I am currently thinking about applying for an small business account at bofa and I am going to give my social s# ad the TIN (self propiatior). In Philadelphia you have to pay for a business privilege license to do any freelance work, so I am assuming it’s the same.

    • So, when my I opened my bofa small business account this past week, I needed to show my TIN… so yeah, that’s probably sufficient.

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