Every business needs additional funding from time-to-time, but it may be difficult to qualify for a business loan if you haven’t established good credit history. Where do you begin? A good option to help build your business credit is taking out a secured business credit card. Secured business credit cards are different from common credit cards in that they require a deposit to get started. The amount you are required to deposit usually determines the available credit limit and serves as collateral for the lender to limit their risk.
Showing that you can responsibly manage revolving credit is a part of the method for showing that your business is creditworthy. Most lenders look for common characteristics known as the 5 C’s when deciding creditworthiness. Even if you don’t need it right away, you should have at least one business credit card for unplanned expenses. In fact, most small business owners have more than one business credit card, so they can use their funds in the most efficient way possible.
Gain Perks and Rewards
In addition to building up your business credit rating, a lot of business credit cards today come with attractive perks and rewards. If you are going to be spending money on operating costs, either way, you might as well reap the benefits you can earn by using credit instead. You can earn cashback rewards, flight tickets, and credit towards your outstanding balance, just to name a few. As long as you pay down your balances each month, you would be silly to pass up on all the benefits these cards have to offer.
Let’s take a look at the three best-secured business credit cards on the market.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card has won people over as the best overall secured business credit card available. It is a go-to option for small business owners that need to show they are creditworthy and one of the only cards to offer no annual fees. It also has no foreign transaction fees, so it is perfect for international travelers.
Cardholders can enroll in the Wells Fargo Business Card Rewards® Program and select the Cash Back Program to get 1.5% cashback per every $1 spent on eligible purchases. Best of all, no limit on the cash back you can earn!
If that doesn’t excite you, there is also a Points Program where you can earn one point per $1 spent on all purchases, with a potential monthly bonus of 1,000 points when your business spends $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.
- Credit lines from $500 to $25,000
- Interest rate on purchases is the current prime rate + 11.90%
- You Can have up to 10 employee cards
BBVA Secured Visa Business Credit Card
Another great card for growing businesses is the BBVA Secured Visa Business Credit Card. With extra online services, it is ideal for new business owners that need to streamline their business expenses. If you have been in business for at least one year, you know just how important it is to track where your money is going.
We should note, this card is only available in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, California, and New Mexico. Before you can apply, you must open a Secured Credit Card Savings Account with a minimum opening deposit of $500. Your available credit will be 90% of your savings account balance, but you can add funds at any time.
This card does more than give you spending power, it’s like an administrative assistant with online services that allow you to track employee spending, pay bills, and if you’re tech-savvy, you can integrate expenses, data, and reports with accounting software packages. It also has other business rewards such as travel and emergency assistance.
You are automatically enrolled in the rewards program and earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on qualified purchases!
- Interest rate for purchases is 16.24% (varies with prime rate)
- No annual fee for the first year and then $40 each year after
- No cost for additional employee cards
Business Edition Secured Visa Card
The First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) Business Edition Secured Visa Card is high on our list because it provides a return on your security deposit and offers one of the biggest secured credit lines out there. It also comes with free management reports to track expenses and automatically signs you up for discounts on qualifying purchases as well.
We should note, there is a $39 annual fee, and the security deposit is equal to 110% of your credit limit and subject to credit approval. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone because it’s only offered in the midwest; Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas.
If you don’t like the idea that you have to put up a security deposit in advance for a secured business credit card, this perk might make you happy. This card allows you to make money off your security deposit, and you can set your own credit limit according to how much you deposit. Having choices and making money makes all business owners happy!
- Interest rate for purchases and balance transfers is 20.24% (varies with prime rate)
- Set your own credit limit (subject to credit approval) between $2,000 and $100,000
- Earn interest on your security deposit
Other Card Options
The options for secured business credit cards are somewhat limited because secured credit cards are typically reserved for individuals trying to build personal credit rather than business credit. So we’ve included a couple of other options below:
Capital One Secured Mastercard
Even though it’s not specifically a business credit card, the Capital One Secured Mastercard can be a good option for freelancers and solopreneurs who own sole proprietorships and need to build a credit profile. This card still has perks like travel assistance, and if you make your first five payments on time, you may have access to a higher credit limit without an additional deposit.
- No annual fee
- Low initial deposit
- Interest rate on purchases is 26.99% (varies with prime rate)
Bento for Business Prepaid Card
As the name suggests, the Bento for Business Visa Debit card is not a credit card, but we think it’s worth mentioning because it’s a great tool to manage employee expenses and does not require a credit check for approval. It’s similar to a secured credit card in that your limit is determined by how much you deposit, but it will not help your business build credit as they do not report to the credit bureaus. Even still, it can be a very helpful tool if you have employees that need to make daily purchases on the fly.
- Unlimited cards (first two cards are free/ monthly fee starts at $29 for three cards)
- Monthly fee is waived if you spend more than $20,000 per month
- No transaction fees, setup, or load fees
All in all, there are a lot of card options available to new business owners that are still establishing credit. A secured business credit card will require that you supply money upfront as collateral, so you’ll need some cash to get started.
That can be bothersome when dealing with the other expenses associated with starting a new business, but it will be worth it in the end when you are able to qualify for traditional business loans. Rest assured, the security deposit is not lost since you’re able to use it as credit with the business card.
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is the most universal fit for most small businesses with a variety of perks and rewards. Boasting no annual fee, 1.5% cashback rewards, and the option to upgrade to an unsecured business credit card, there is not much that could go wrong with adding it to your wallet. Most importantly, it’s not limited to certain areas. Some secured business credit cards are not offered in all areas, so be sure to check if your state made the list.
If not, there are other options available such as regular secured credit cards for consumers and/or prepaid cards. Of course, if your goal is to build credit, you’ll need to stick with a secured business credit card that actually reports to the credit bureaus. You should be able to find all of that information on each lender’s website.
If you are a small business owner looking to obtain financing, we can certainly help you get through the application process, and we can provide a wide variety of credit types and reward programs.