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Chapter
5

Apply for the card so you can start getting those perks

After educating yourself on what it means to be a business credit card holder—and researching and evaluating cards—it’s time for some action. 

In this step, you’re going to apply for the winner of your business credit card evaluation. While reading this won’t take long, accomplishing each of the tasks will take some time—so we’re going to break it down for you.

Here’s a timeline to consider as you prepare for your application:

  • How long it takes to get organized: ~ 1 hour.

  • How long the application will take: ~ 15 minutes (digital) or 1 hour (with an in-person appointment).

  • How long your application takes to get approved: Immediately or within a few business days (credit card companies are legally required to respond within 30 days).

  • How long it takes for the card to reach your mailbox: ~ 10-14 days (potentially sooner for rush delivery or longer for custom designs).

Consider this timeline as you prepare for your freelancing endeavors. If you have a big purchase coming up—like building yourself a podcast studio—you’ll want to build extra time into your planning for approval and card arrival. After approval, find out if you can spend with the card number before receiving the physical card.

Note: This is a repeatable process, so bookmark it! If you want a second card in the near future or way down the line, you’ll have this step’s checklist to refer to. Just remember to consider how additional applications impact your credit.

Applying for a credit card

Yasmin ultimately decides to go with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card because she can carry a balance (meaning she isn’t required to pay off what she spends each month but can carry it over month-to-month—though it costs interest). Her credit score is in the good range, and she knows she’s responsible enough to pay off her card anyway because she practiced the Step 3 exercise on cash flow management!

To prepare for the application, she collects her business information, personal tax identification number, and last year’s income. The digital application is quick and painless and she’s accepted almost immediately.

Complete the application process checklist

Go through the application process checklist task by task. This will keep it from feeling overwhelming. 

1. Gather important personal information

  • Your business address.

  • Social security number (SSN) and/or employer identification number (EIN, a useful number self-employed folks can use in lieu of an SSN. You can apply for an EIN through the Internal Revenue Service if you haven’t already).

  • Business name, if applicable (your official LLC or S-Corp name).

2. Identify or estimate annual earnings

  • This will help inform the credit card company’s decision on your overall approval and spending limit—read more about what determines your credit limit here.

3. Complete the application process

  • For cards at non-local institutions, complete the digital application process.

    • Complete the steps the financial institution provides.

  • For cards at local institutions, complete the in-person or digital application process as instructed.

    • Connect with your contact person or support representative and complete the steps the local bank or credit union provides.

You completed your own application by following our checklist. That’s a huge milestone under your belt! Remember that it can take up to a few weeks to hear back. Don’t worry if you don’t hear back immediately or within a week.

Recap

  • Readied for the time it takes to prepare and complete your business credit card application—which, it turns out, can be quite quick when done correctly!

  • Bookmarked the application process checklist so you can refer back to it if or when you’re ready to secure an additional credit card for your freelancing empire. As Suga Free sang in his 1997 song, “If you stay ready, you ain't got to get ready.” What can we say—it’s catchy. 

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