Business credit cards with no personal guarantee do exist—if you can qualify for one. These cards reduce or eliminate an owner’s personal liability to repay card debt, but they typically are issued to businesses with at least $1 million to $5 million in annual revenues and one to two years or more of cash reserves.
For businesses that don’t meet these high thresholds, a business credit card that offers low rates and generous rewards is an ideal solution. A good option is the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. It offers the ability to earn 2% cash back on purchases up to $50,000, and 1% thereafter.
Business Credit Cards Without a Personal Guarantee: Costs
Corporate Credit Card
Corporate Gas Card
$4-$25+ million revenue
$1+ million revenue
Line of credit secured by cash
Company, employee, or shared liability
Company or shared liability
No APR with annual spend of $250,000 to $1 million
$25-$100 per card
$0-$25 per card
Companies with 15+ users
Companies with 2+ vehicles
Bad personal credit
How a Credit Card With No Personal Guarantee Works
With a small business credit card, a small business owner is responsible for providing a personal guarantee (or promise) they will pay the amount owed in the event the business or cardholder fails to do so. This protects the credit card issuer, but places additional risk on the owner.
Limit your risk by getting a business credit card with no guarantee, such as a corporate credit card, corporate gas card, or prepaid card. Card providers are willing to issue business credit cards with no guarantee because they can offset the risk. They do this by restricting cards to large businesses with good business credit and by requiring the card be paid in full each month.
The three types of business credit cards with no personal guarantee are:
1. Corporate Credit Card
Corporate credit cards are typically issued to companies with $5 million or more in annual revenue and at least 15 card users. Liability may rest solely with the business or it may be held jointly between the business and individual cardholders. Most corporate credit cards must be fully repaid monthly, meaning you’ll pay no interest.
Corporate credit cards do charge higher annual fees than many standard business credit cards. Expect to pay between $25 and $100 per card or more. You may be required to spend $250,000 to $1 million or more per year on your corporate card.
How Corporate Credit Cards Work
Corporate cards are issued with either full corporate liability or combined liability between the company and the employee cardholders. Monthly payment responsibility falls to either the company or the individual cardholders.
The two types of liability for corporate credit cards with no personal guarantees are:
- Full corporate liability: The company is billed directly for all account charges and is responsible for paying them. Since employees are not responsible for paying their individual charges, they don’t have to wait to be reimbursed, which can streamline a business’ accounting practices.
- Joint corporate and cardholder liability: The employee cardholder typically pays the monthly bill and is then reimbursed by the company. American Express in this scenario says the employee is liable for any charges “… that are personal in nature and which do not benefit the (company) for legitimate business purposes …”
While corporate credit cards include a range of benefits, they may also offer reduced cash back or points rewards compared with the best small business credit cards. The One Card from Capital One, for example, pays 1.5x points on all spending if you choose a 14-day billing cycle or 1.25x points on all spending if you choose a 30-day billing cycle. In comparison, the issuer’s small business credit card, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, offers 2% cash back on all spending.
Who Corporate Credit Cards Are Right For
Businesses that use corporate cards typically have 15 or more cardholders, at least $4 million in annual revenue, and an existing corporate credit card policy agreement. Corporate cards are designed for businesses that make a minimum of $250,000 to $1 million annually in card transactions.
Such cards also may offer:
- Hotel and resort complimentary benefits
- Access to airport lounges
- Annual airline fee credits
- Reimbursement for enrollment into Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® airport screening programs
Corporate credit cards are right for you if you need the cards to pay for travel and entertainment expenses. Some cards offer built-in expense management systems, which is a nice feature if your business has many people who incur travel and entertainment expenditures.
2. Corporate Gas Card
Companies that qualify for a gas card without a personal guarantee typically have $1 million or more in annual revenue. Like corporate credit cards, a gas business credit card with no personal guarantee can either have company-only liability or card-specific liability. This means liability is either fully on the business or shared with the cardholder.
How Corporate Gas Cards Work
Corporate gas cards come in the form of either fuel cards or fleet cards, some of which don’t require a personal guarantee. Fuel cards typically are for businesses with no more than two vehicles, while a fleet card is used by businesses with two or more vehicles.
It’s not uncommon to find gas cards that require a personal guarantee. In these cases, liability is held jointly between the business owner and the business. Employees are not held responsible for transactions on their cards when a personal guarantee is required.
Small business gas cards may charge variable APRs as high as 25%, while most fleet cards charge APRs between 15% and 20%. Small business gas cards typically don’t charge a monthly fee, although you may be required to pay an annual fee of $25 to $99. However, fleet cards may carry a monthly charge of up to $10. Issuers may waive fees if your company meets a monthly gallon threshold.
Who Corporate Gas Cards Are Right For
To qualify for a corporate gas card with no personal guarantee, the owner will need to have at least fair credit, with many issuers requiring a personal credit score of 650 or higher. Fuel cards are best for businesses that use no more than two vehicles regularly. Fleet cards are best for businesses that operate two or more vehicles and use between 1,000 and 5,000 gallons of gas per month on average.
A corporate gas card might be the right business credit card with no personal guarantee if you want to:
- Restrict the types of purchases to gas and vehicle repairs: Some small business gas cards can be used to make purchases other than gas or maintenance, but fleet cards restrict payments to gas purchases, vehicle repairs, and maintenance at participating businesses.
- Receive discounts on fuel: Gas cards may offer discounts of as much as 4 cents per gallon, while fleet cards give users a discount of as much as 10 cents per gallon. Fleet cards may also offer discounts of between 10% and 15% off the purchase of tires, general maintenance, or vehicle repairs.
3. Business Prepaid Card
Business prepaid cards are backed by a business owner’s cash, which means there is no liability or personal guarantee. Prepaid cards are best for maintaining fiscal discipline or if you are unsure whether you’d qualify for a business credit card. Monthly fees range from no charge to $25 or more.
How Prepaid Business Credit Cards Work
Prepaid cards are purchased with cash. Once the cash is used, the card can no longer be used unless it’s reloaded. Business owners won’t be required to provide a personal guarantee, and your credit won’t be checked. Prepaid cards don’t build business credit the way unsecured and secured business credit cards do. They do mitigate a business owner’s risk because employees can only spend the funds available on the card, which can offer protection against theft.
Prepaid cards work on the same card networks as credit cards, including American Express, Mastercard, and Visa. That means you’ll be able to use them in all the same places you would normally use a credit card. But you won’t be able to earn cash or points like with a small business credit card, as prepaid business credit cards don’t offer introductory or ongoing rewards.
Who Prepaid Business Credit Cards Are Right For
A prepaid card might be the right business credit card with no personal guarantee if you want to:
- Limit your risk of theft: Many prepaid business credit cards offer zero liability protection. If your card gets lost or stolen, the issuer may ensure you lose no money. You can also set spending controls to protect against employee theft.
- Prevent overdrafts or overlimits: Unlike a traditional debit card tied to a bank account, prepaid business credit cards won’t let you spend more than what’s available in the card account. This means you’ll never face overdraft or overlimit fees.
- Avoid having your credit checked: Because issuers face less risk with prepaid business credit cards, they won’t check your credit when you apply. This makes a prepaid card ideal for a business owner with a credit score below 660.
Top Business Credit Cards With No Personal Guarantee
The top business credit cards with no personal guarantee include corporate gas cards, co-branded store cards, and prepaid cards. These cards allow businesses to cover expenses while tracking employee spending. Business credit cards without a personal guarantee hold the company, sometimes in combination with the employee, liable for the debt.
The best business credit cards with no personal guarantee include:
Brex Corporate Card for Startups
If your company doesn’t have enough revenue to qualify for a corporate credit card, Brex is a good alternative. This company offers startup business credit cards with no personal guarantee to early-stage technology companies. Approval and credit limits are based on your bank account balance ($100,000 minimum). The first five cards are free, and Brex charges no annual fee.
Unlike most corporate cards, this card also earns rewards. The Brex card offers up to 7x points on ride-share expenses and 4x points on Brex travel spending. Cardholders also get 3x points on restaurants and 2x on recurring software expenses. There’s no limit to the number of points you can earn, and they never expire. As a cardholder, you’ll also get 0% APR for the first 60 days. Unlike a secured card, it doesn’t require a security deposit for founders.
Shell Small Business Card
The Shell Small Business Card is best for firms that have been in business for at least three years and with a minimum of $1 million in annual revenue. We rate the Shell cards as the best small business fuel card. It is one of the few corporate gas cards that offers the possibility of no personal guarantee. The Shell gas card earns a rebate of 6 cents per gallon on Shell gas purchases and can be used at over 14,000 participating locations.
Owners also get discounts at Jiffy Lube and can track employee activity based on the driver’s ID. Businesses can also keep an eye on where they’re spending the most. The online management system will even highlight where owners can save money. Businesses that don’t meet the minimum revenue requirement can still qualify, but will be subject to a personal guarantee.
Sam’s Club Business Credit Card
The Sam’s Club Business Credit Card is great for companies that shop with Walmart and Sam’s Club regularly. This card earns top-rated rewards, up to 5% cash back on the first $6,000 spent on gas worldwide. Gas purchases made at Costco, BJ’s, HEB, Kroger, Meijer’s and Publix earn only 1% cash back. Although there’s no annual fee for this card, you’ll need to be a Sam’s Club Member to qualify.
This card earns second-tiered rewards as high as 3% on dining and travel. This includes airlines, rental cars, hotels, bus lines, cruise lines, timeshares, travel sites, and more. Businesses that want to qualify without a personal guarantee will need $5 million or more in annual revenue and must have been in business for at least two years. The business can’t be a proprietorship or partnership and must have more than 10 employees to qualify.
Bento for Business
If you want a prepaid business credit card that doesn’t require a personal credit check or personal guarantee, Bento for Business is a solid pick. With Bento, you can control where your employees spend their money, how much they spend, and when they can spend it. You can also issue cards to all of your employees and track their expenses in real-time. You can enroll online and you may be approved instantly.
SuperAmerica Fleet Card
The SuperAmerica Fleet Card is good for businesses in the upper Midwest. Cardholders earn rebates of 5 cents per gallon at more than 290 SuperAmerica and SA Express locations. This corporate fleet card is best for owners with two or more vehicles. Businesses must be established at least three years in order to qualify. Fleet cards typically require a minimum annual revenue of at least $1 million.
This card is accepted at over 45,000 major gas stations nationwide, although you won’t earn rewards at any locations outside of SuperAmerica and SA Express. Drivers fuel with their ID, so you can track gas spending even easier. Business can easily manage sales tax and track expenses online or on the mobile app.
Alternatives to Business Credit Cards With a Personal Guarantee
If you can’t qualify for a business credit card with no personal guarantee, there are plenty of good small business credit cards to choose from. You’ll be liable for repayment, but these cards are still a great way to separate company expenses, establish business credit, track business charges, and earn rewards.
Top Alternatives to Business Cards Without a Personal Guarantee
5% cash back and $500 sign-up bonus
Secured card for businesses with poor credit
Fixed-rate cash back and 0% APR
The best small business credit cards with a personal guarantee are:
Best For: Office-based businesses that want top cash back rewards
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
?0% APR for 12 months on purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
Good - Excellent
Best For: Office-based businesses that want top cash back rewards
The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ credit card has excellent ongoing rewards and an introductory bonus worth up to $500. This card earns its best rewards, up to 5%, on office supply stores, gas stations, and restaurants expenses. The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ card also ranks high on our list for its 0% APR for 12 months and additional features, like auto rental collision waiver, that are top-notch. Read more in our Chase Ink Business CashSM review.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
Best For: Business owners with poor credit
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Credit Needed|
|N/A||Prime + 11.90% on purchases||$25 per card||N/A|
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is best for owners with little to no credit. This card earns fixed-rate cash-back rewards of 1.5% on everyday expenses. However, unlike a credit card, this secured business card requires a cash deposit for collateral. The amount of funds you put down will be equal to your available credit limit. Read more in our Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card review.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Best For: Gaining access to unrivaled travel rewards and luxury travel perks like airport lounge access
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Credit Needed|
The American Express Business Platinum Card® is best for business owners who need high limits and top-rated rewards. With ongoing rewards a high as 5x points on travel and one of the largest introductory offers (up to 75,000 points), this card earns top ratings across the board. However, businesses must provide a personal guarantee and pay a $595 annual to own this card. Read more in our American Express Business Platinum Card® review.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Business Credit Cards Without a Personal Guarantee
If you still have questions about business credit cards with no personal guarantees, here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Some common questions about business credit cards with no guarantee are:
Do all business credit cards require a personal guarantee?
All small business credit cards require a personal guarantee to repay, but corporate credit cards, prepaid business credit cards, and some business gas credit cards waive the requirement. Your business must meet revenue and spending minimums to qualify for a corporate card or a gas card with no personal guarantee.
How do I qualify for a business credit card with no personal guarantee?
Businesses typically are eligible for a business credit card with no personal guarantee if they have $1 million to $4 million or more in annual revenue. They also must plan to charge a minimum of $250,000 to $1 million annually and have at least 15 cardholders. Sole proprietorships and businesses run from home typically won’t qualify.
What do business credit cards with no personal guarantee cost?
Corporate credit card annual fees typically range from $25 to $100 per card. Most corporate cards are charge cards and have no APR. Fleet cards may carry a monthly fee of up to $10, although fees may be waived for companies hitting a monthly gallon threshold. APRs range from 15% to 20% on unpaid balances.
A small business credit card without a personal guarantee limits a business owner’s liability, but other than corporate credit cards, prepaid cards like those offered by Bento, and some fleet cards, all small business credit cards require a personal guarantee.