How to apply for a personal or business credit card is fairly simple.
But there are still some things to be aware of. First, let's take stock of where we are. By now you are a member of multiple frequent-flyer programs and have a strong credit score. So from here earning points and miles while maintaining your credit score is your top priority.
While I constantly update my credit cards page, what card(s) you decide to apply for is entirely up to you. It depends on your financial situation and where in the world you’d like to go. But any card I recommend will fall into two categories: personal cards or business cards. Below are helpful hints for applying to each of them.
Personal Credit Cards
A personal credit card application will look something like the below:
As you can see a personal card is, well, personal. Besides the basic information (name, address, etc.) you will be asked questions specific to your financial situation. This is to determine the risk associated with lending you credit and it is important not to lie on your application – a small income will by no means prohibit you from being accepted.
To reiterate that point, I should mention that the primary focus of a personal credit card application is income. So let me be clear: you should not lie, but you also should include all sources of income before taxes, unless otherwise noted on the application. Do your parents/others pay your rent? Do you receive other funds outside a traditional paycheck? Return from investments? All of this should be included.
Business Credit Cards
A business credit card application will look similar, but include something similar to the below:
Business card applications will have a slightly different look than personal cards. There will be a similar section asking about basic information, your financial situation, etc. Then there will be the section about your business. Whether your business is a restaurant chain with hundreds of employees or you swap items on eBay alone at home, you are eligible to receive a business credit card.
As an example, I write about earning points and miles and, since I am a "sole proprietorship," my business is my own name. Since I operate mostly out of my home/plane/hotel room, the business address is also my home address. You can see where this is going – my business phone number is my own cell, and so on and so forth.
I should note again that it is important not to lie on an application. There are thousands of reports of people being accepted for business credit cards with $1,000 or less in business revenue. So think hard and long about how you can create your own small business (or if one already exists, right under your nose). My first business credit card was for a business I had reselling tickets on eBay. That really put the "small" in small business.
Because every situation is unique, feel free to comment below if you are still unsure. But once you have a credit card in hand - and have activated it - the fun begins.
It is time to start earning points and miles.