Can you get a business credit card with no personal guarantee?

Woman sitting in her studio running her business from the laptopImage: Woman sitting in her studio running her business from the laptop

In a Nutshell

There are almost no business credit cards with no personal guarantee on the market — we could only find one. But there are other ways to reduce the impact that a business credit card can have on your personal credit, like applying for cards from issuers that don’t report all of your info to the major consumer credit bureaus.
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Getting a business credit card with no personal guarantee is virtually impossible.

Of all the credit cards we reviewed, only one, the Bremer Bank Visa Signature Business Company Card, doesn’t require a personal guarantee. That said, the card is designed for medium and large businesses only, which excludes many small-business owners.

While you’ll be hard-pressed to find a business credit card with no personal guarantee, it’s possible to find an issuer that says it won’t report to the consumer credit bureaus as long as your account meets certain requirements. Read on to learn more about how personal guarantees work.

What is a personal guarantee?

A personal guarantee effectively means that you are personally responsible for paying your credit card bill if your business can’t.

Since many small-business credit cards don’t require a security deposit, a personal guarantee is one way the card issuer can protect itself if your business ends up unable to pay.

If your business defaults on a loan you signed a personal guarantee for, it could show up on your personal credit reports just like any other delinquent account.

Other ways a business credit card can affect your personal credit

Even if you never default on your payments, your business credit card could affect your consumer credit history in other ways.

For starters, the business credit card issuer may pull your personal credit reports when you apply for the card. Depending on your credit history, a hard inquiry could knock a few points off your personal credit scores.

Also, some business credit card issuers could report your ongoing account activity to the consumer credit bureaus. This means that if you rack up a high balance on your business credit card, it could increase your overall credit utilization and damage your personal credit.

Every credit card issuer has its own policy for how and when it reports your business account activity to the consumer credit bureaus, but there are some out there that say they typically don’t — as long as you pay on time.

Learn more about business credit cards and your personal credit.

Business credit cards to consider

These business cards may still report to the major consumer credit bureaus — particularly if you’re delinquent on your account — but when we reached out to credit card issuers Chase (on Feb. 16, 2021) and American Express (on Feb. 17, 2021), their customer service reps told us that regular card activity like monthly payments and balances aren’t typically reported to the consumer credit bureaus.

American Express says it’ll report to your personal credit if your account isn’t in good standing, and Chase says it’ll report if the account is more than 60 days delinquent.

But you should know that an issuer’s policies could change at any time. Before you apply for a business credit card, we recommend calling the card issuer to ask how it could affect your personal credit.

Best forCard
Best for travel rewardsInk Business Preferred® Credit Card
Best for a flat rewards rateThe Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Best for cash backInk Business Cash® Credit Card

Bottom line

The idea of signing a personal guarantee can be daunting, especially if you don’t know if your business is going to survive. But it’s hard to escape when it comes to business credit cards.

If you choose to get a business credit card to fund your business anyway, check with the card issuer before you apply so you understand what, if any, information gets reported on your personal credit reports.

Getting a card that doesn’t report all of your business account activity to the major consumer credit bureaus is ideal for your personal credit. But if your preferred card does, pay your bill on time and in full each month to lower your risk of running into any negative consequences.

About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.