10 businesses you can easily start to get a business credit card
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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 smart 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 10 businesses you can easily start in your free time that will qualify you for a business credit card.
Ask your friends and family members if they need a house sitter the next time they go on vacation, especially if they have pets. Generally speaking, you can turn a few hours a day spent checking on a house and feeding the pets into a business. You can grow this side hustle through word of mouth. One of my good friends makes an extra couple hundred dollars per month this way during summer.
Which business card should you get? Your biggest expenses for this kind of business will be the gas money to get to and from each client’s house and any groceries or takeout you buy while on the job, so you should look at cards that earn bonus points at gas stations and for dining. The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers 3% cash back on a category of your choice (one of which is gas stations) and 2% back on dining for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.
Craft shop on Etsy
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: label the items with your price, shipping cost and your preferred method of payment. Etsy charges a fee for each transaction (5% transaction fee on the sale price including shipping, 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.
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 Chase Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, which offers 1.5% cash back. If you know you’ll spend enough to offset a $95 annual fee, you can also get the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, which earns unlimited 2% cash back.
The Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5% back on all business purchases.
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 highest expense — even if the platform you use reimburses those fees. The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card fits the bill, earning 3x on eligible business purchases, including shipping.
Card review: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
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 be your biggest business expense. The Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers 5% back on certain business expenses, including internet, cable and phone services.
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 lists all of these as 3x bonus categories, and you’ll earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points. Alternatively, if you frequently travel with the same airline, a cobranded card such as the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express can help you upgrade your travel experiences while you rack up miles.
Card review: Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
It’s not hard to find freelance writing jobs if you like to write and are good on deadline. Many of our TPG staffers started as freelancers for TPG 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-fee option like the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, which offers a flat 1.5% back on every purchase.
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 to love spending time walking 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 Cash Business Advantage card, which offers 3% on the category of your choice (one of which is gas).
Card Review: Ink Business Unlimited Review
If you love to write and have a target audience, 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.
Card review: Amex Business Gold Card
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 money 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.
Card review: Ink Business Cash
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 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.
Card review: Amex Business Platinum
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.
Earn $500 after $3,000 spent within the first three months. That's equivalent to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have another rewards earning card like the Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve. Similar to the Freedom Unlimited, this card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee - a no-brainer for small business owners!
- Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- No Annual Fee