Editor’s note: This is a recurring post with regularly updated card details.
Having a personal credit score below 670 doesn’t mean you can’t access necessary business financing. Business owners with mediocre scores can apply for credit cards specifically designed for fair credit (580 to 669). While these aren’t the absolute best cards on the market, they can be the ideal support system until you improve your credit score and qualify for a traditional small business credit card.
The best small business credit cards for fair credit are:
- Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business: Best overall for building credit with an unsecured business card
- Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card: Best for firms that can’t qualify for an unsecured credit card
- BBVA Compass Visa® Business Rewards: Best for businesses in the Sun Belt region
- Bento for Business Prepaid Card: Best for issuing employee cards without a credit check
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business: Overall Best Business Credit Card for Fair Credit
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
Fair credit business owners (580 to 669)
- 1% cash back every time you swipe
- Build your business credit through responsible usage
- Issue employee cards for free
- Opportunity to build business credit
- Earn fixed-rate rewards even with fair credit scores
- Rewards never expire
- High APR
- No sign-up bonus
- Reports to personal credit bureaus
- Purchase protection: Capital One will replace, repair, or reimburse you for eligible items in the event of theft or damage within the first 90 days of purchase.
- Extended warranty protection: You’ll get additional warranty protection on eligible items that are purchased with your business card, up to 1 year past the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: You’re covered for damage due to collision or theft when you rent an eligible car with your Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business card.
Why we like it: Credit cards for fair credit that let you build both your personal and business credit simultaneously are few and far between. That’s why Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business stood out in my review of the market because it lets you do just that. It’s an ideal fit for business owners with personal credit scores below 670 who also want to cash in on unlimited fixed-rate rewards.
You won’t be charged any monthly or annual fees—a claim not all of the cards on this list can make. Any card that charges no annual fee while also letting you build your credit and earn rewards is truly a standout card if your personal credit score is below 670. Once your score improves, you can get a traditional business card.
While this easy approval credit card gives you access to excellent business features, it charges an ongoing annual percentage rate (APR) and penalty APR that are higher than average credit card interest rates. However, I recommend that you always pay your credit card bill on time to avoid getting hit with the high interest rates.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card: Best for Firms That Can’t Qualify for an Unsecured Card
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
Business owners with poor credit
- Cash Back option: Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent
- Reward Points option: Earn 1 point on every $1 spent and receive 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period
- $0 annual rewards program fee
- $500 to $25,000 credit line
- Zero liability protection
- Approval with credit scores below 580
- Your choice of fixed-rate cash back or points rewards
- Requires a security deposit of at least $500
- Has an annual fee
- Purchase Assurance: Wells Fargo will repair, replace, or reimburse you for items that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
- Design Studio: Include a personal image or business design on your credit card.
Why we like it: If you don’t make the cut for a traditional unsecured credit card, such as our top pick, a secured business credit card is your next best option. Secured cards, like this one from Wells Fargo, have credit limits equal to a cash deposit you make when you apply. For example, if you deposit $5,000, then your account’s limit will be $5,000. This card specifically offers credit limits up to $25,000.
Along with large limits, this card allows you to choose between cash back or points rewards. You can either earn 1.5% cash back or one point per $1 spent. However, this card has no sign-up bonus.
What’s more, Wells Fargo doesn’t report to consumer credit bureaus, which means this card will only help you build your business credit. Wells Fargo periodically reviews your credit history and, depending on different factors, may upgrade you to an unsecured Wells Fargo business card.
BBVA Compass Visa® Business Rewards: Best for Sun Belt Region Business Owners
BBVA Compass Visa® Business Rewards Credit Card
Business owners who live in the Sun Belt region
- No annual fee
- Earn 1 point for every $1 in purchases
- Earn 1 additional point for every $1 you spend on qualifying gas, office supply, telephone, and insurance purchases with Bonus CompassPoints
- Build Your Own Rewards® with CompassPoints® Online account services
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- Offers cheap introductory financing
- Pays excellent rewards you typically don’t see on cards for fair credit
- Eligibility is limited
- Reward redemption options are limited
- Free employee cards: Add employee cards to your account at no additional cost. You can set individual spending limits for each employee.
- Visa® SavingsEdge: Enroll with Visa SavingsEdge and save up to 15% at participating merchants.
- Car rental insurance: If you rent a car with your card, you’ll be covered with collision, damage, and loss insurance.
Why we like it: Business owners who live and operate their business out of the Sun Belt region are in for a real treat. The BBVA Compass Visa® Business Rewards card offers a simple rewards program, and you’ll earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent. A reward program like this is perfect for businesses that spend across a variety of categories. Instead of earning a high return rate in one spending category, you can earn a decent return rate across all categories.
The BBVA Compass Visa® Business Rewards card is not available nationally. Business owners in just seven states are eligible to apply: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. If you live outside of these states, consider our top pick, which is available nationally.
Bento for Business: Best for Employee Cards & No Credit Check
Bento For Business Visa® Debit Card
Managing employee expenses without a credit check to qualify
- Instant Decision
- No Credit Check Required
- One-click card controls & expense reports
- Get the first two cards for free
- Easily manage employee expenses
- Additional card features and purchase protections
- Large fees for more than two cards
- Deposited funds are required
- Won’t help build business or personal credit
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Use this card to pay for your entire auto rental transaction and get collision coverage for a damaged or stolen rental vehicle, up to the value of the vehicle.
- Purchase protection: Purchases are covered up to 90 days for damage and theft, up to $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per year.
Why we like it: Bento for Business is a prepaid credit card option that requires fewer qualifications than traditional small business credit cards. It’s a solid choice for owners who don’t need many cards. Bento offers a 60-day free trial for new users, then you’ll need to pay a monthly fee of at least $29, depending on the number of cards you need.
While Bento for Business has fewer requirements and offers key business features like employee cards, it’s missing a handful of perks found on many traditional business credit cards. Because it’s not an unsecured credit card, you can only spend up to the amount you load on the card. It also doesn’t report activity to the credit bureaus, so it won’t help you improve your credit score.
What Is a Business Credit Card for Fair Credit?
Small business credit cards for fair credit are designed for business owners with personal credit scores between 580 and 669. To qualify for most other business credit cards, you’ll need a score of at least 670. If your personal credit score is below 580, consider a secured business credit card. Secured cards have credit limits equal to a cash deposit held in a collateral account.
Small business credit cards for fair credit may charge higher fees than other credit cards, including APRs of 30% or more. They also offer lower rewards and fewer benefits like extended warranty protection. However, they provide owners a way to build credit with an unsecured business credit card.
How We Evaluated Small Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit
I looked at more than a dozen credit cards for fair credit. Most aren’t worth recommending because they charge excessive fees, including annual fees and charges to open a credit account. I specifically looked for cards that offer owners a relatively inexpensive way to improve their credit and eventually graduate to a better small business credit card. Ongoing reward programs were seen as an added benefit.
If your score is less than 670, you may be a good candidate for a small business credit card from this list, so you’ll want to know your credit score before you apply. Rewards will be less lucrative on this type of card, and your fees will likely be higher. However, this doesn’t have to be your go-to card forever. Use the card responsibly to improve your credit and gain access to better business cards.