9 side hustles that can help you qualify for a business card

May 27, 2020

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Business credit cards are an excellent tool for business owners of operations both big and small. From helping with cash flow to rewarding you for regular business expenses and more, there are plenty of reasons to get a business credit card.

You certainly don’t have to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to apply for a business credit card, but issuers require you to have some sort of business in order to qualify. Because business credit cards don’t offer the same protections as consumer cards, it isn’t advisable to put personal expenses on a business credit line.

Fortunately, starting a qualifying business isn’t an overly complicated process. Today I’m walking you through some businesses you can easily start in your free time that will qualify you for a business credit card.

In This Post

Etsy or RedBubble Shop

Do you paint in your spare time? Are you learning to crochet or knit? Use your skills to earn money by setting up an Etsy shop online. It is a simple process: choose a shop name, list your inventory and choose your preferred payment method. Etsy charges a fee for each transaction (5% on the sale price, 5% of the shipping cost, plus a 20-cent fee per published listing). If you’re already creating art or sellable goods as a hobby, this is an easy way to earn extra cash.

Artists and designers can alternatively offer up products on a site like RedBubble, a marketplace for artists to sell their goods. RedBubble handles all shipping, printing and customer service in exchange for a cut of the sales.

Which business card should you get?

Your costs are going to depend on what you are selling. I would suggest getting a flat-rate card like the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, which earns an unlimited 2% cash back.

The information for the Capital One Spark Cash has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Sell used clothes online

If you’re like me, you probably have at least one bag of clothes you intend to get rid of — eventually. Jeans that no longer fit, shirts you rarely wear, a dress you bought last year but never wore, shoes that rub your pinky toe the wrong way. There are dozens of online marketplaces, where you can sell those clothes for extra cash, including Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Poshmark, ThredUp and Mercari. You won’t get back the original purchase price, but it’s better than letting them occupy space in the back of your closet.

Which business card should you get?

Depending on which service you use, shipping costs may be your biggest expense — even if the platform you use reimburses those fees. Those who are hoping to use rewards on flights could use the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card. For a $99 annual fee that’s waived the first year (see rates & fees), you’ll get 2x on Delta purchases, restaurants worldwide, U.S. shipping and advertising in select media.

If you plan to turn this into a considerable business, you could also use the American Express® Business Gold Card, which charges a $295 annual fee (see rates & fees) and earns 4x on your top two business expenses each month, including U.S. shipping ($150,000 in combined bonus purchases annually; then 1x).

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Tutoring or teaching

This type of business isn’t limited to tutoring high schoolers struggling with math. Do you play guitar in your spare time? Offer to teach lessons. Do you know another language? Tutor students and adults who are trying to learn. Similar to house sitting, this is an easy business to grow through word-of-mouth. You can also use online services such as Upwork or ZipRecruiter to find clients.

Which business card should you get?

If you teach online, internet services will likely be your biggest business expense. The Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers 5% back on certain business expenses, including internet, cable and phone services (though keep in mind that Chase is currently requiring new customers to have an existing account to apply for business credit cards).

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Consulting

Are you an SEO or digital marketing expert? There is a large market for consultants who can help businesses across multiple industries and job functions. This business is more time consuming than others on this list, but it’s also more lucrative. It might even include travel, something which may appeal to you.

Which business card should you get?

You’ll want a flexible card that will earn bonus rewards on travel, internet, phone services and advertising. The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card lists all of these as 3x bonus categories and you’ll earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Freelance writer

It’s not hard to find freelance writing jobs if you like to write and are good with deadlines. Many of our TPG staffers started as freelancers while working other jobs. LinkedIn and job boards like Indeed and Upwork are easy to use.

Which business card should you get?

Your main expense will likely be internet access so that you can research, write and send in stories. The Ink Business Preferred offers 3x on internet services, but you could also take advantage of a no-annual-fee option like the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, which offers a flat 1.5% back on every purchase.

The information for the Capital one Spark Cash Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Dog walker

You can pick up some easy money by registering as a dog walker with a service like Rover or Care.com. You’ll need to have experience handling dogs and brush up on what you should do in certain situations (say, if a dog escapes its collar). But the main qualification for starting a business like this is a love for spending time with dogs. Get paid for playing with pups and getting in your daily step count. Count me in.

Which business card should you get?

Similar to house sitting, your main expense will be spending for gas if you drive to pick up the dog(s) you’re walking. Any flat-rate card like the Ink Business Unlimited or Capital One Spark Cash Select will work. You can also consider a card like the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, which offers 3% on the category of your choice (one of which is gas).

The information for the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Blogger

If you love to write and have a target audience in mind, you can try your hand at blogging. Ramping up enough online traffic to monetize a blog can be time-consuming, but if it’s something you are dedicated to doing, it’s certainly possible. There are plenty of tools to help you build your blog and tailor content to your target audience. Blogging can also introduce you to new friends while you build your community and connect to other bloggers.

Which business card should you get?

You’ll want a card that can earn rewards on internet services, online advertising, computer hardware and more. The American Express® Business Gold Card and the Ink Business Preferred both offer a good mix of rewards categories.

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.)

Virtual assistant

You can set your own hours and pay rate as a virtual assistant. Virtual assistant jobs vary from bookkeeping, data entry or customer support to more creative work such as editing videos or managing social media. When marketing yourself, be clear on what services you are willing to perform as a virtual assistant.

Which business card should you get?

This really depends on the type of job you take, but generally speaking, you need a card that earns rewards on internet and phone services, as well as office supplies. The Ink Business Cash card offers 5% at office supply stores (which includes any computer or phone hardware you purchase there) and internet and cable services.

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Social media influencer

Do you have a large following on social media? If so, you could potentially monetize your popularity. Brands are constantly looking for ways to connect with their target audiences, and social media influencers have proven to be effective at this in recent years. The higher the number of followers, the more money you can reasonably charge. Typically, being a social media influencer goes hand in hand with a successful blog or podcast.

Which business card should you get?

If your business hinges on your social media presence, you need a phone that takes great photos and you need to be able to protect it. The Ink Business Preferred offers cell phone protection, on top of solid earning categories like travel and select business purchases.

If you’re typically a frequent traveler, you should consider the excellent perks and benefits of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Amex also gives you exclusive access to events, which can help you network and continue to build your online community.

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.)

Bottom line

We’ve labeled these jobs as “easy to start” because of the lack of capital that it takes to get it up and running. However, like any business, it takes work to be successful. If you’re starting a business only to qualify for a business credit card, it may not be worth it in the long run.

If you’re looking at starting a new business or getting into a side hustle, this is a good list to get you started. Select your first business credit card based on the primary expenses you incur on your new gig.

Featured image by Hero Images/Getty Images.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, click here.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.