How to get a business credit card with an EIN

When you apply for a business credit card, the issuer will request a social security number during the application process. Your SSN helps issuers check your personal credit to determine your creditworthiness for a small-business credit card.

When filling out a credit application for your business, you can also include an employer identification number. An EIN is a number credit bureaus and the IRS use to identify businesses, the same way an SSN identifies individuals and is unique to each person. Based on your business legal structure, you may have an EIN or not need one at all. But if you want to separate your personal and business finances, you may not want to include your SSN and be subject to a personal credit check.

This article covers the basics of an EIN and explains how to open a business credit card with an EIN only.

How to get an EIN

Businesses of all sizes use an EIN to file taxes. A business must obtain an EIN if it has an employee other than the business owner, is a corporation or partnership, or files a certain type of tax return. If you don’t have an EIN, your first step is to obtain one.


Luckily, the process of getting an EIN is simple. Businesses can request an EIN from the IRS at no cost. The IRS’ online application is the best way to get an EIN. The information you provide is validated in real-time, and an EIN is issued immediately at the end of the application.

While the online request form is the quickest way to obtain an EIN, you can also request it by mail. If you work with a business formation company, they may include or offer this service.

Can I get a business credit card using an EIN only?

You can open a business credit card with an EIN only; however, your choices will be limited. This is because most small-business credit card issuers require either an SSN, EIN, or both during the application process.

Note that while sole proprietors can get an EIN, it isn’t necessary, as they must use their SSN to be eligible for a business credit card. I have applied for and been approved for both the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card using my SSN without the need for an EIN due to my business structure as a sole proprietor.

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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For new businesses without an established credit history, getting approved for a card using just an EIN is difficult. Additional requirements may include meeting specific criteria for monthly revenue or holding a specific amount of money in your business checking accounts. Businesses with established credit have a much better chance of being approved for a card, specifically a corporate card, with an EIN only.

Related: Best business credit cards

Types of EIN business credit cards

There are several types of EIN-only credit cards available to businesses, including corporate credit cards, fuel cards, and secured business credit cards.

Corporate credit cards are linked to the corporate account rather than an individual. Generally speaking, corporate credit cards are available to businesses with an annual revenue of $4 million or more and have an established business credit history.

A popular choice is the Brex Corporate Card for startups, thanks to its bonus-earning categories for large businesses. However, card eligibility requires applicants to have at least $100,000 in a business bank account to qualify. A corporate credit card is the right choice for LLCs, S-Corps, or C-Corps, as there is almost no reason why a sole proprietor would need a corporate credit card.

The information for the Brex Corporate Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.


Fuel companies issue fuel credit cards to help businesses manage their gasoline purchases. Fuel cards are unique because they can only be used to fill at a specific company’s gas stations and cannot be used for other types of purchases. If you find a fuel card too restrictive in terms of use, consider a corporate card to charge fuel expenses to.

A secured business credit card may be the right choice for businesses with a limited credit history when looking for an EIN-only card. A secured card requires a deposit with the issuer and is held as collateral if the cardholder does not pay their statement for purchases they’ve made.

Out of all the types of EIN-only cards, secured business credit cards are easier to obtain due to the added security the collateral provides. The credit limit on secured business credit cards equals the security deposit amount, and the issuer reports payments to business credit reporting agencies.

Benefits of an EIN-only credit card

The benefit of using a credit card only associated with an EIN is that it helps differentiate your personal finances from your company’s. An EIN-only credit card helps establish your business credit score, strengthening your company’s creditworthiness and making it easier for you to access additional lines of credit in the future.

A benefit of separating your personal and business finances when opening business credit cards with an EIN is that it protects your personal assets if your business fails or faces a lawsuit. This includes derogatory marks on your personal credit history, such as late payments.

Cons of an EIN-only credit card

Although opening a business credit card with an EIN may appeal to some, there are several drawbacks.


The biggest downside of applying for a credit card with only an EIN is that there aren’t that many to choose from, and they may be more difficult to qualify for. This places EIN credit cards out of reach for many small and medium-sized businesses.

Another drawback to EIN-only credit cards is that your business’ good credit history will not be reflected on your personal credit report. Factors such as length of credit, credit limit and timely payments will not be displayed on your personal credit report. You could miss out on potentially strengthing your FICO score and overall credit profile.

Bottom line

It is entirely possible to obtain a business credit card with an EIN only, but be aware of the caveats. EIN-only credit cards are limited in their offerings and often include additional requirements that may be hard to meet. Despite being able to get an EIN quickly and easily from the IRS, there may be little benefit to your personal credit and FICO score should you choose to open a business credit card with an EIN.

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