Best Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit 2024

Woman with credit card and words Best Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit.

A fair credit rating may not get you the best cards available, but it is your first step to building excellent credit. The types of cards available for fair credit will have limited perks and benefits but will help report your good behavior to major credit bureaus.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best business credit cards for those with fair credit. We will also provide tips on improving your credit rating so you can get the most out of your business spending.

Recommended: Find the best bank for your startup's needs by reading our guide to the best banks for startups and entrepreneurs.

What is ‘Fair Credit’?

Credit scores can range anywhere from 300–850 and are broken up into five categories: very poor, poor, fair, good, and excellent. A fair credit rating is generally anywhere between 670 and 739. There are three major credit bureaus that each use their own system to determine a credit rating. Depending on which service you use, your credit rating might change slightly. 

Fair credit is generally viewed by financial institutions as being an average credit risk. This means that if you have fair credit, you will likely be approved for a loan or credit card, but you will also likely pay higher interest rates than someone with good or excellent. 

Generally speaking, credit cards with a higher reward structure will require a higher credit rating to be approved. Fair credit cards will offer lower rewards but have a lower barrier to entry as well. They also have higher interest rates since you are considered a higher risk. 

If you were to apply to cards with a good or excellent rating requirement, you are likely to be denied and receive a hard inquiry on your credit score, which will have a negative impact on your overall credit score. 

Below are the best fair credit cards your business can get to start building up your credit for better opportunities in the future.

1. Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card - 4/5 Stars

The Bank of America Business Advantage requires an upfront deposit but has a significant rewards structure that makes it one of the better secured cards available. 

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 1.5% cash back on all purchases at any location with no annual cap
  • Option to upgrade to an unsecured card in the future

The downside to the Bank of America Business Advantage card is the high $1,000 minimum deposit required before being able to use the card. The upside is it has one of the highest reward structures of any secured card, along with benefits like lost luggage assistance and emergency ticket replacement.

Recommended: Read our full review of the Bank of America Business Advantage card

2. Capital One Spark Classic for Business - 3.9/5 Stars

Fair credit entrepreneurs looking for a simple card will likely find the Capital One Spark Classic’s lack of annual fee and flat-rate cash back rewards enticing.

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 1% cash back on every purchase in any location with no limits or category restrictions
  • No foreign transaction fees

The high APR of 26.99% is to be expected from fair credit cards. Fortunately, the cash back rewards, no annual fee, and free additional cards for employees make this a solid option for companies looking to earn on their spending.

Recommended: Read our full review of the Capital One Spark Classic for Business card

3. Ramp Corporate Card - 4/5 Stars

Ramp offers a secured card that you can still earn cash back with on all purchases. To make the card more attractive to businesses, you'll gain access to a number of financial tools that should help your business better manage its resources.

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Auto-generated insights on savings 

No fees of any kind

You can manage daily, monthly, or one-time spending limits, get unlimited physical and virtual cards, and get auto-generated savings insights to improve your business spending habits with the Ramp card. The lack of fees and 1.5% cash back make this a great option for a business trying to build its credit. 

Recommended: Read our full review of the Ramp Corporate Card

4. Capital One Secured Mastercard - 3.7/5 Stars

The Capital One Secured Mastercard offers an excellent option for business owners that need a higher credit limit than what they can afford while building their credit with the three major bureaus.

  • Access to a higher credit limit than the security deposit a company puts down
  • Automatic consideration for higher credit line within six months
  • Security deposit is refundable with responsible payments

You won't earn any rewards on your purchases with the Captial One Secured Mastercard, but you do get access to a $200 credit line with only a $49 security deposit. You'll also have your actions reported to the credit bureaus to rebuild your credit, and you'll be considered for a higher credit line within six months.

How to Improve Your Business Credit

Qualifying for a fair credit card is just the first step on your credit-building journey. The cards available for fair credit ratings won't offer as many perks, but they are great opportunities to start getting in the good graces of credit card companies.

Below are the most important actions to take to build your credit so you can take advantage of better perks and benefits.

Make Consistent Payments

Making consistent payments is one of the most influential metrics concerning your overall credit score. Any late payments will damage your credit score and make it harder to qualify for cards with more benefits.

If you continue to not pay off your balance, you will eventually go into default. A default can stay on your credit history for up to seven years and will have a major impact on your ability to get future credit cards, loans, and other lines of credit.

When you're trying to improve your business credit, make sure you set up auto payments for all of your bills, so you never have to worry about a late payment again.

Keep Low Utilization Amounts

If you can't pay off your full balance every month, then you will at least want to keep your balance as low as possible. Utilization is the percentage of your credit limit that you're using and is another significant metric for credit scores.

For example, if your credit limit is $1,000 and you're using $500 of that every month, your utilization would be 50%. Credit bureaus recommend that you keep your utilization percentage under 30%.

As you continue to prove to credit companies you can make payments on time and keep balances low, you'll have an opportunity to increase your credit limits.

The higher the limit, the more utilization room you have to work with. Let's say, in the above example, your credit limit increases to $2,000. Spending $500 means you'll only use 25% of your credit limit, thereby increasing your overall credit score.

Keep Applications Low

Every time you apply for a credit card, the company must perform a background credit check to determine if you are eligible. This leaves what is known as a hard inquiry on your credit history.

A hard inquiry is different than a soft inquiry, which is when you or someone else checks your credit score. For example, if you check your own credit score, it will perform a soft inquiry. While hard inquiries don't have as large of an impact on your overall credit score, too many in a short period of time can look bad to future lenders.

When looking over fair credit cards, you want to pick the ones you feel have the best opportunity for approval. You don't want to start with cards that offer the most perks because those are often the hardest to get approval. Instead, apply to one or two cards where you have a high probability to get approved, so you don't put multiple hard inquiries on your credit history.

Which Business Credit Card Should You Use?

With absolutely no fees of any kind and a generous 1.5% cash back on all purchases, the Bank of America Business Advantage is the best secured credit card your business can apply for. 

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