How To: Apply for a Business Card

So you just got wind of an amazing credit card signup offer, but you’re bummed because it’s for a Business card and you don’t have a business. Don’t worry, you HAVE a business! Let’s spread some knowledge and get you that card!

What exactly constitutes a business?

In the eyes of the IRS, it doesn’t take much!

Now, if you actually have an official business, then you don’t have much to worry about. You will have all the information required to fill out this application.

However, if you’re like most of us and don’t have a Federal Tax ID, then this how-to guide is made for you.

I’ve applied for a few business cards over the years and my businesses have varied. My first business card was for this blog. Another one was for my buying & selling gig on eBay. Yet another was for being a freelance writer for online web sites. And my latest business card was, once again, for this blog.

The point is… ANYTHING and ANYONE can be a business! The key to this is a certain type of legal entity called the Sole Proprietorship. Basically, it’s a business entity owned and run by a single individual and it’s completely legit.

If you’re still stuck on what you can do as a business, just think for a little. I know a lot of people who have a talent or service that they can use as a business.

  • Designing  templates for like wedding invitations and selling them on Etsy
    • Note: you can sell anything you make on Etsy!
  • Selling on eBay, Craigslist, Internet forums, etc.
  • Teaching
  • Freelance anything – writing, website design, photographer, etc.

How to Fill Out the Application

For the most part, the business credit card application is the same as the personal one. You’ll be asked to provide the standard details – Name, Address, Social Security Number, Annual Income, etc.

Where the business application differs is (obviously) the part where you provide information about your business!

how to business card

Everything with a green arrow relates to your business

  • Legal Name of Business: You can make a name for your business or you can just use your own name. I’ve done both.
  • Business Street Address: I always use my home address.
  • Tax Identification Number: As you can see in the pic, use your own Social Security Number since you do not have a Tax ID.
  • Type of Business: Sole Proprietorship. DO NOT choose any other option!
  • Year in Business Under Current Owner: Self explanatory.
  • Number of Employees: I usually just put 1 (myself). You don’t have to put 2 if you want to get an additional card for an “employee”. I haven’t had any trouble.
  • Nature of Business: Self explanatory. I usually choose Other.
  • Annual Business Revenue/Sales: Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, even if it’s a small amount. Definitely don’t lie. It’s something they’ll ask you about later.
  • Authorizing Officer must be one of the following: Owner. I suppose you could pick other choices but this is the easiest to explain on the phone to an agent.

Fill out the rest of the required fields on the application and let it fly! I’ve never had a business card application instantly approved, but if you are… Congrats! You’re done.

If you’re not instantly approved, you’ll probably get a message telling you that your application needs further review and they will contact within 10 or so days regarding the decision.

Calling the Reconsideration Line

Instead of  waiting for the bank to get back to you, a better and faster way is to call what is known as the Reconsideration Line.

This is where you can speak to a live agent regarding your application. More often than not, they will review it while on the phone with you and collect any additional info they might need.

Before you call, you should be prepared with answers to common questions they might ask. Here is a transcript of the important parts of my last call with the Chase Reconsideration Line:

Chase: Let me take a look at your application and the credit report that came along with it.
Chase: Tell me about your business.
Me: It’s a blog where I discuss finding the best deals on things. It’s similar to the site slickdeals.net but with more focus on travel and airfare.
Chase: How long has this business been open?
Me: Only about 18 months.
Chase: What was the revenue of the business this year?
Me: About $200.
Chase: What were the expenses?
Me: About $100
Chase: So you’re looking at about $100 profit for the year.
Me: Yes.
Chase: Now tell me about your full time job.
Me: I’m an Application Developer Analyst for an energy company.
Chase: What’s your annual salary?
Me: More than you can afford pal! J/K I answered him 😉
Chase: How many years at your current job?
Me: Just over 5.
Chase: I see that we’ve extended you as much credit as we’re comfortable with so we wouldn’t want to extend more. What we can do is transfer some line of credit from one card to make room for this new card. The minimum is $3,000. Is that something you’d be interested in.
Me: Yes, please transfer $5,000 from my United Club card to this new Ink Plus card.

And that was that!

He made the credit line transfer and wrapped up the call. The card would go out that same day and I should expect it in 5-7 business days.

To some, it may seem a little daunting but review the conversation I had with the agent; it wasn’t a very pressing conversation at all.

Wrap-Up

So that about wraps up the entire process of applying for a business credit card. It’s not as bad as some people make it out to be.

If you have any more questions, feel free to post them in the comments below or ask on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+! I’m more than happy to talk about any of this stuff any time.

Now go out there, find your business calling, and get even more points and miles!

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Disclaimer: I am not a tax or legal professional. All the advice given is from my experience only. Please consult a tax/legal professional before making any business-related decisions.

Southwest: How to Book a Companion Pass Ticket

So you’ve got a Southwest Companion Pass… now what?

Now you can take a companion with you on any Southwest flight you book – with cash and even with points! No restrictions!

As long as there’s a seat for sale on the flight, you can book your companion with you for the price of… FREE! Technically, they’ll pay taxes, a maximum of $10.

Here’s how you book a Southwest Companion Pass

  1. Book a flight for yourself. This should be easy enough to handle 😉
  2. Go into My Travel and click on Add a Companion.
  3. Verify that the flight details are correct and Checkout from this screen.
  4. You now have a new confirmation number for your companion. Note the total is only the taxes we paid for this trip since it was booked with points.
  5. Go back into My Travel and notice your updated trip. It now has a Confirmation and Companion Confirmation.

And you’re done!

Enjoy your upcoming trip that’s effectively a Buy One Get One Free deal!

 

Related links:

Chase Southwest Credit Cards – 50K x 2 & Companion Pass
Update on Chase Southwest Credit Cards – 50,000 x 2 & Companion Pass
Success! We have Southwest Companion Pass!

The Basics of Business Travel – Part 1

So your job is sending you somewhere on business. Some of you may see it as a pain in the butt, but I get dollar signs in my eyes and start figuring out how many miles/points I’ll be racking up! Hopefully, your employer gives you the option to handle all of this yourself. I know my company has a travel department but I have the option to make all arrangements myself, pay with my own credit cards, and get reimbursed in a few short weeks.

Business travel consists of a few core expenses, and I’ll be breaking down the two most important ones in this first of two posts.

  • Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Dining
  • Transportation

How To: Vacation in Bora Bora – Part 2

Now that the air strategy is taken care of, it’s time to discuss the lodging options. This is where it gets more complicated (or interesting, if you’re me). Hotels are a totally different game. There are more options and more ways to get a good deal.

My friend and his wife want to stay in a luxury hotel for 5 nights in Bora Bora. They’ve already gone there before and stayed at the best Overwater Bungalow (OWB) at the InterContinental Thalasso so doing that again may not be a priority. With this information, I was able to put together a list of potential hotels along with ways of getting cheap/free nights.

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