• Aditya Bagaria

Reader question: can I apply for a business card if I don’t own a business?

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

Yes! A business can constitute anything. Even selling items on eBay can constitute a business. Even side-hustles like AirBnB or Turo count as a “business.” Yet you may wonder what does EIN/Federal Tax ID mean. That number is the unique identifier obtained by every business by the IRS. Don’t fret! Just put in your social security number in that field. See a few pictures below:


Example with American Express:

In the “Legal Business Name” section, put in your first and last name. In the address field, put in your current mailing address. American Express makes it easy when you choose “other” in the industry type. Be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” in the “Company Structure” field.


The most important field is the one below.


Enter your Social Security number here! Banks like American Express will use your personal credit history to make an application decision.


Example from Chase:



Chase makes it easy as when entering business information, you can select a Social Security Number as identification.


Citi isn’t extremely big on business cards, so we have left them out for this post’s sake!


Bottom line:

You CAN apply for business credit cards!