Best secured business credit cards

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In a Nutshell

Getting a business loan or a business credit card can be tough if you don’t have great business credit scores. One option to help you build your business credit is a secured business credit card. Check out our picks for the best secured business credit cards, with credit limits as high as $25,000.

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Getting a business loan or a business credit card can be tough if you don’t have great business credit scores.

One option to help you build your business credit is a secured business credit card. Using secured business credit cards responsibly and paying your bills on time can help improve your business credit scores and potentially open up more funding options down the line.

Secured credit cards require a deposit to get started. The deposit typically sets the credit limit and acts as collateral for the lender. As you use the card, you can work on building your credit history by making on-time payments and demonstrating responsible credit use over time.

Here are our picks for some of the best secured credit cards around for business.



Best overall secured business card: Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Who’s it for?

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card may be a good option for small-business owners who have several employees and are looking for a card that earns rewards with a low annual fee of $25. It may also be a good option for business owners who travel internationally and want to score with no foreign transaction fees.

Why we like it

We like this card because it offers a wide-ranging credit limit based on the amount you deposit — $500 to $25,000 — plus perks, like no foreign transaction fee and a rewards program. New cardholders can enroll in the Wells Fargo Business Card Rewards® Program and select the Cash Back Program option to get 1.5% cash back per $1 spent on eligible purchases, with no limit to the cash back you can earn.

Or you can select the Points Program and earn one point per $1 spent on purchases, with a potential monthly bonus of 1,000 points when your business spends $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.

Watch out for

While this card gets our vote for best overall secured business credit card because of its versatility and rewards, it’s important to note that there is a $25 annual fee per authorized card.

And heads-up: Any rewards points you earn expire within three years, and the cash back rewards are credited once per quarter and put into either your credit card account or an eligible designated business checking or savings account.

How to use it

Once you’re approved for this card, your credit limit will be based on the security deposit that you put down. Using the card for your business expenses and making your payments on time could help build your business credit.

Wells Fargo will review your account from time to time to assess if you can upgrade to an unsecured business credit card.

Best secured credit card for freelancers: Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Who’s it for?

Even though it’s not specifically a business credit card, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® can be a good fit for freelancers and solopreneurs who are sole proprietors. Sole proprietorship means an unincorporated business is held and managed by one person. You may consider using this card to help build your personal credit while supporting your business.

Why we like it

This card could be a great fit for freelancers and solopreneurs because of its low initial deposit and its $0 annual fee. That means the startup costs to building your personal credit could potentially be minimal. The amount you’ll need to put down for the security deposit may be as low as $49, $99 or $200 to get a starting credit limit of $200. The low deposit amount and low limit may be a good fit for sole proprietors who have fewer expenses.

From our partner

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

From cardholders in the last year

Watch out for

Though this card has a $0 annual fee and a low initial deposit, it does have a high variable APR of 26.99% for purchases.

How to use it

If you make your first five monthly payments on time, you may get access to a higher credit limit without an additional deposit. In the meantime, you can take advantage of perks like travel assistance and auto rental collision damage waiver.

Best secured business card for new business owners: BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card

Who’s it for?

If you just started your business, the BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card is a good option.

Why we like it

We like this card for new business owners because it has no annual fee for the first year (then $40 each year) and offers online services to help streamline your business expenses. If you have employees, you can get additional employee cards at no extra cost. You can also earn rewards through the BBVA Rewards – Business Rewards program, earning one point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases, two points for every $1 spent on gas station and restaurant purchases, and three points for every $1 spent on purchases at office supply stores.

Watch out for

You’ll need to open a Secured Credit Card Savings Account with BBVA in order to qualify for this card, with a minimum opening deposit of $500. On top of that, be aware that the card has a variable APR of 16.24% for purchases and balance transfers and a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

How to use it

In order to get this card, you’ll need to apply in person — unfortunately, BBVA only has branches in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas.


How do business credit cards work?

There are both secured and unsecured business credit cards. “Traditional” business credit cards are unsecured, meaning they’re not backed by any collateral. In contrast, a secured business credit card is backed by a security deposit. In general, the dollar amount you deposit, or part of it, serves as your credit line with secured cards.

Secured credit cards are designed for people with poor credit or very little credit history. The deposit protects the card issuer in case of default and responsible use of the card can help the cardholder establish and build their credit history.

Business credit cards are designed for business expenses. In other words, you wouldn’t pay for groceries with a business credit card, but you might pay for dinner with a client or new software to help run your business.

When applying for a business credit card, your business credit will play a role. Your personal credit may also be a factor. If your overall credit history doesn’t meet the requirements for an unsecured business credit card, then applying for a secured business credit card may be a good option.

Pros and cons of secured business credit cards

Secured business credit cards are designed for business owners who may need to build or establish their business credit before they can qualify for other funding options. It may be a good option for small-business owners who are ineligible for an unsecured card, but it’s a good idea to keep some pros and cons of secured business credit cards in mind.

Pros

  • May help you establish or build your credit
  • May help you track your business expenses in one place
  • May have credit card perks or rewards

Cons

  • You must have money upfront to pay for the security deposit
  • May have lower credit limits than traditional unsecured cards
  • As with unsecured cards, may have an annual fee

Bottom line

Getting a secured business credit card could be a great step as you work on building your business credit or personal credit. To get the most out of it, make sure you get the right card for you and your business. Be sure to read the terms and conditions. Look for annual fees and deposit minimums.

If you’re approved for a secured business credit card, start using it and make all of your payments on time and in full to help build your credit history. On top of that, strive to keep your credit utilization ratio — or how much of your available credit you’re using at any one time — less than 30%.

Picking the right card and using it responsibly may help you get on the path to better credit, which can open more doors for your business.


About the author: Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and editor currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy and empowering people to take control of thei… Read more.