Can you get American Express business credit cards?

Yes, you can get the business credit cards from Amex even if you aren't a small business owner in the traditional sense. In general you do this by signing up as a sole proprietorship, the type of business entity that refers to a business being operated solely within your name.

There’s several fantastic signup offers out there on American Express business credit cards, like the Business Gold Card or the Business Platinum Card. Most often what I hear from newbies is, "But I don't have a business. Can I still get these cards?"

The answer is most likely YES. That's because Amex allows you to apply as a sole proprietorship, which means that on the application form, when prompted for your "Legal Business Name", you just put your own name.

You don't need to have registered a business or anything, since a sole proprietorship is not a legal entity of any kind. Instead, it merely refers to a situation in which one person (you) owns the business and is personally responsible for its debts.

Indeed, whether or not you're approved for the card depends solely on your personal credit score. No business credit information of any kind is required.

More on Amex Business Credit Cards

First, even if you don't think you're a business owner, most people have conducted some business-like activities. Ever provided babysitting, tutoring, dog-walking, or lawn-mowing services? Ever sold anything on Craigslist or eBay? Perhaps you run a website or a popular blog in your spare time? Or perhaps you like to trade coins or stamps?

Any transaction in which you provide a good or service in exchange for compensation, however minimal it might be, can be viewed as business activity. And since sole proprietorships aren't legal entities, you can legitimately claim those activities as your business if Amex were to ever ask.

That brings me to the next point: Amex doesn't care if you're the kind of business with big suppliers, lots of inventory, and a sizeable client base (i.e., what most people think of when they hear the word "business"), or the kind that operates out of a personal residence and earned $5 in revenue last year.

In fact, when applying for American Express business credit cards, there are no terms and conditions for what sort of business you need to have. It's more of the case that these cards are geared towards small business owners, rather than there being a specific requirement that only business owners can apply.

The cards are certainly best suited for those operating a business – for example, both the Business Gold and Business Platinum have rather high minimum spending requirements ($5,000 in three months), and the Business Gold allows you to pick three "suppliers" from a list of over 40 merchants where you can earn 2 MR per dollar spent. But there's nothing barring you from applying if you aren't a business owner in the traditional sense. So go ahead and apply – after all, those gigantic bonuses aren't going to earn themselves.

Last updated 17 November 2018. Any questions?
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