Posted by Chuck on February 24, 2016
Consumer Credit

Published on February 24th, 2016 | by Chuck

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All You Need to Know about Credit Reporting on Business Cards

In this post, we’ll discuss how business credit cards affect your credit report, and how banks will report the details of a business credit card on your credit report.

Background

When applying for a new credit card, the bank will check your credit report to determine credit worthiness. Even when applying for a business credit card using an EIN, your personal credit report is almost always used in making the decision, and this does result in a hard inquiry on the report.

Aside from the inquiry performed when applying for a credit card, the new account will soon show up on your credit report as an additional liability in your name. And, subsequently, the balances and payments of the card show up on the credit report as well.

  1. Inquiry hits your credit report
  2. New account appears on the report
  3. Monthly balances and payments appear on the report

A business credit card is associated with a business, and not fundamentally with the business owner personally. For that reason, some card issuers will not report the card as a liability on the business owner’s credit report, nor will any future balances and payments get reported there. A hard credit inquiry will take place with the initial application, but the account won’t appear on the credit report at all.

Below, we’ll break down which card issuers follow this practice of not reporting business cards.

It’s important to note that a delinquency from a business credit card will usually show up as a black mark on your personal credit report. The business card is tied to the business owner, and it’s his responsibility to pay off those debts.

Business Credit Report Vs. Personal Credit Report

Aside from the personal credit report of each individual, every business has a credit report that records the credit accounts connected with it. When applying for a business credit card, the business report is often referenced in the card approval process to augment information on the business. Things like size and age of the business can be gleaned from the report.

The business credit report is not typically used in the decision for approval since the data there is fuzzy and lacking. Even someone who doesn’t have any reporting on their business (e.g. a new business that’s applying for its first credit card) can get approved for a business credit card based on their personal credit worthiness. After getting a business card, most banks will report the new business and associated account to the business credit bureau, and a business credit report is thus established.

While most banks will report a business credit card on your business credit report, many will not report it on the all-important personal credit report (exact details below).

Even reporting on the business credit report is inconsistent, though. Some banks will report to all bureaus while others will only report to one. Amex officially says that they report business cards to the business, but from what I’ve heard, they don’t report at all to business bureaus (nor to personal bureaus as we’ll see below).

Why Reporting Matters

There are a few reasons it matters whether a business credit card is getting reported on your personal credit report.

  • A whopping 30% of your FICO score is based on your credit utilization. Only accounts and debts that are reported on the credit report will affect the score. (If you run up large balances, you may want to pay them down before the reporting date to help keep your credit score high, see Credit Utilization Reporting Dates For Each Card Issuer for exact dates when card issuers report your balance.) A business card won’t always get reported to the personal bureau and thus won’t affect the FICO score, no matter what balances you have, so long as you were never delinquent on a debt.
  • On a similar note, if you have large balances running through your credit cards, it could make a credit analyst nervous about extending credit. Whether it’s a loan, mortgage, or just a credit card that needs manual review, you’re better off keeping a ‘clean’ credit report, without high charges and payments readily apparent there. See also Can you REALLY Hide Manufactured Spend from your Credit Report?.
  • Lastly, many card issuers are hesitant to approve you for a new credit card if you’ve been gotten many new cards recently. Notably, Chase has a rule not to approve someone with more five new accounts that have been opened within the past 24-months. A business card won’t always get reported to the personal bureau and thus won’t affect your ability to sign up for new accounts. While business cards do result in a hard credit inquiry on your personal credit report, the credit account won’t appear, and a card issuer may be more willing to approve you for a new card.

Remember that each bank will always be able to see any business credit cards that they issued themselves, just they won’t see business cards issued by other banks on your personal report.

List by Card Issuer

Let’s take a look at the major U.S. credit card issuers, which banks report business cards to the personal credit bureaus and which don’t.

Amex

Amex does not report to the personal bureaus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). Both credit cards and charge cards do not get reported. (Canadian Amex does report.)

One report quotes Amex as saying they do report that information, but they’re probably just covering their bases with that, or else it was a miscommunication.

Bank of America

Bank of America does not report business cards to the personal bureaus (1, 2), and they are on record as saying this as well.

Barclay’s

Barclay’s does not report business cards to the personal bureaus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, a friend). [There are a couple reports of it showing (1, 2), but those are likely confusing hard pulls with the card history showing.]

Capital One

It’s known that Capital One DOES report business cards to the personal bureaus (1), and they are on record as saying this as well.

Chase

Chase does not report business cards to the personal bureaus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), and they are on record as saying this as well.

There have been reported cases of the business cards showing up, and you should be able to contact Chase and have them remove that. You can probably do this via secure message.

Citi

Citi does not report business cards to the personal bureaus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), and they are on record as saying this as well.

Discover

Discover does report business cards to the personal bureau (1, 2, 3). Not too many people have a Discover business card, though.

FNBO

Does not report your business cards to your personal bureau: 1

TD Bank

TD does report business cards to the personal bureau (1).

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank does not report business cards to the personal bureaus (1, 2), and they are on record saying this as well.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo says that they don’t report business cards to the personal bureau. (1)

Smaller Issuers

AmaZing Cards

There are a number of different banks that issue ‘AmaZing credit cards’. These do not report to your personal report.

Corporate Credit Cards

For the employer

A business that is a legal corporation can apply for a corporate card using their EIN, and this account won’t show up on the business owner’s personal credit report.

Typically, to be eligible for a corporate card, the business will have to show three years of financial statements and also meet minimum expected transaction volume.

Check out Amex’s corporate card program here, Citi’s here, Chase’s here, and Capital One’s here. Some of them have rewards programs, some come with other types of benefits, and others focus on streamlining and tracking business expenses.

For the employee

How does a corporate credit card affect the employee who joins on the company account?

When an employee gets a corporate card, liability for the card usage is principally that of the corporation. While some card issuers disclaim that there may be an inquiry for the employee, this doesn’t usually happen in practice. The monthly balance and payment information would not be reflected on the employee’s credit report either. Note, however, that a delinquency will sometimes show up and ding the employee’s credit.

For further reading on corporate card’s effect on the employee, see this foxbusiness article, this business insider article, and this reddit thread.

Final Thoughts

When most of us apply for business cards, Citi, Amex, and Chase are arguably the most important, and those banks are known not to report business cards on the personal report. Capital One and TD, on the other hand, do report business cards.

For those who charge up large balances on their credit cards, using a business credit card can be a way of keeping your FICO score high and your credit report clean. We do have to consider, however, the rewards potential of the business card versus a personal card.

See this post from Orensmoneysaver about how high balances due to reselling affected his credit score, and also this post from Moneymetagame about how churning, in general, affected his credit score.



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How can we monitor our business credit? For personal credit I subscribe to experian and review it from time to time as well as claim my annual free credit report.

There are 3 business credit bureaus: DNB, Business Experian, and Paynet. You would have to contact them to request a report. You are not entitled to it and it is not cheap. The bank cannot provide you with the business report due to privacy agreements and if they violate them they can lose their contract with the business credit bureaus.

This is an old info. Add Experian, Equifax and DNB as mayor credit reporting agencies. Transunion works with businesses but not as much as theses three.

Thanks so much! Do you know if any business card (specifically Chase ones) count in Chase’s 5/24 rule? Or authorized users on someone else’s business account?

flyertalk thread on this matter has indicated that the Chase business accounts do count in the 5/24 total.

Hi DoC. Can you create a post explaining how these business credit cards report to business credit? I’ve heard from an expert these business cards don’t really do anything for my business credit score unless I have like 10+ business credit cards. On top of that, if I PG when I applied for these cards, I’d have a clean slate if I wanted to use a new EIN for my business and my current business score can’t be transferred over. Can you talk a little more about how business credit works? Thanks!

I’ll try to research this a bit more.

Thank you DoC! 🙂

Business credit cards don’t do anything for your business credit if you pay on time but they will destroy your business credit if you default. What appears on your business credit are payment histories on business loans and leases; commercial supplier accounts on terms; some business services like advertising, shipping services, and telecom; and suits, liens, and judgments.

“Business credit cards don’t do anything for your business credit if you pay on time”

That is false. They most certainly do a great deal for your business credit – IF they report to the BUSINESS Credit bureaus. The issue is that some of them report and some of them don’t. Amex small business cards to NOT report, so you will not build business credit using them. Chase INK business cards DO report, so you will build business credit using them. Just to give an example of two that I am aware of.

Thanks for writing this post… I am currently working on increasing my personal credit score in order to apply for 2-3 business credit cards. It is important for them NOT to show up under my personal credit and this information has definitely been helpful. I’m currently searching for information on what bureau(s) do these banks use when qualifying applicants for business credit cards. Do they use 1, 2, or all 3? Have you written anything on this subject? You guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thank You

Will AUs on Cap1 biz accounts show up on THEIR personal CR?

How is there not more than a rumor on Barclays Biz accounts. Surely someone out there must have a Barclays Biz and have gotten their personal CR…

[…] to Doctor of Credit, other major banks do not report small business cards to your personal credit report.  This […]

[…] out this post from Doctor Of Credit on which card issuers do and don’t report business cards on credit […]

[…] This information is from a Doctor of Credit’s post: […]

Hi Doc,

Do you know about FNBO? I’m thinking about the Best Western Business card. Does FNBO report business cards to personal credit reports?

[…] fail to pay it off, of course), the ones that don’t will not apply towards your 5/24 count. Doctor of Credit has a thorough article listing which banks’ business cards show up on your c… Apparently American Express business cards […]

[…] Doctor of Credit has a thorough list of which banks’ business cards do not show up on your cre… and therefore wouldn’t be totaled into your 5/24 count. Here’s a summary of his summary. […]

[…] at 4/24, you’ll want to first open business cards which won’t push you to 5/24. Most issuers don’t report business credit card to the credit bureaus, and the cards won&#8217… (Capital One is an […]

[…] banks that do not currently report small business cards on your personal credit report […]

I was just approved for the Jetblue Business card and was wondering if you ever received confirmation whether it shows up on your credit report. It looks like it is still uncertain from your write up above.

Thanks,

You tell us! Check your report and let us know if it shows up or not.

Lol good point. I’ll follow-up once I can confirm. Also, business hard pulls drop after 6 months?

JetBlue business card just showed up in my TransUnion report yesterday. That’s crappy.

I take it back. It was not my jet blue business. It was my Hawaiian Personal credit card that popped up.

I believe it is same to assume that JetBlue business card does not show up since I applied to the Hawaiian Air card a week and half after the JetBlue business.

Unless business accounts take longer.

Hey, curious if the jetblue biz card ever showed up on your credit report.

Hey BY, any update on if JetBlue biz showed up on your personal CR?

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