A common misconception out there is that business credit cards can only be held by “real” businesses. Guess what? That’s not the case at all.
Who can apply for business credit cards?
As it turns out, anyone can apply (and be approved) for one. You don’t have to have own an “official” business at all. When filling out the application, simply enter your own name for the business (or dream one up if you wish) and use your social security number as the tax ID number (if they ask for one).
Is this legit?
The short answer is “yes.” This is totally legit because any individual can operate as a sole proprietor. There’s no need to file any paperwork, pay any registration fees, etc. You’re a sole proprietor if you say you are.
Want more justification? Maybe you occasionally sell things on eBay. Or maybe you specialize in family accounting (your family’s accounting – you balance the checkbook, right?). Or lawncare — you mow the lawn, right? If so, then you can choose to view yourself a business.
Unless you go to the trouble of registering a business name (and there’s really no need), the name of your business is the same as your legal name. Similarly, if you don’t register for a tax ID number, then your TIN is the same as your SSN. In this case, there is no real distinction between you and your sole proprietorship.
Why would I want a business credit card?
The main reason that an individual might want to apply for a business credit card is to take advantage of special introductory offers. For example, many business credit cards come with a 0% balance transfer offer. Likewise, a number of the most generous credit card signup bonuses are associated with business credit cards.