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It’s a common belief that business credit cards usually don’t affect your personal credit score. Capital One is a rare exception because Capital One reports business credit activity. Your personal credit report will include your Capital One business credit card traits including your payment history and credit utilization.

Capital One Reports Business Credit Activity
Your Capital One business credit activity can be a good way to earn bonus miles on every business purchase. Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

Capital One Reports Business Credit Activity

Because they can, Capital One reports your business credit activity to your personal credit report. Discover is the only other national bank to have a similar reporting policy. Banks including Chase, American Express, Citi, and Bank of America don’t report your business activity to the personal bureaus.

These Capital One business credit cards report to your personal credit reports:

  • Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
  • The Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
  • Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
  • The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
  • Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

If you’re thinking about applying for a Capital One Spark business credit card, it’s worth weighing the pros and cons to avoid a potential credit surprise. Also, knowing the Spark business card approval odds can help you determine if the time is right or if you want to work on your credit score or look at another option.

At first glance, this extra reporting may not seem like a problem if you pay your monthly statement in full. However, you might experience these unintended consequences.

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

The information for the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The information for the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The information for the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The information for the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Missed Payments

Most of the banks only report negative events from your business cards to your personal credit reports. One example can be missing payments or defaulting on the count. One reason for this is that most small business credit cards require a personal guarantee, even if you’re an LLC or corporation. Banks can use the personal guarantee to use your non-business assets to collect payment.

One business credit card that doesn’t require a personal guarantee is the Brex for Startups Credit Card. Although you must be an incorporated business (i.e., LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp) to qualify for a Brex Card.

High Credit Utilization Ratio

Some months are more expensive than others. Having to use most of your business credit limit can cause a large drop in your personal credit score. Repaying your balance will restore your score.

Another unintended consequence is that you may strive to maintain a maximum 30% credit utilization ratio for your business credit card to avoid a personal score drop. This can be a nuisance even when you pay your balance in full each month.

Too Many New Credit Cards

Each bank has different credit card application rules. Chase has some of the most restrictive thanks to their 5/24 rule. Adding 5 or more new credit cards to your personal credit report in 24 months jeopardizes your approval odds for a new Chase credit card.

To be fair, any small business credit card with a preset spending limit counts toward the 5/24 limitation. You need an American Express charge card like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express with an open-ended credit limit to avoid the 5/24 rule. (You can compare the American Express Business Platinum vs Capital One Spark for more info.)

Getting a new Capital One business credit card may also temporarily penalize your personal credit card because it’s a brand-new account. As you establish a payment history and responsible credit usage, any temporary penalty will disappear.

Benefits of Capital One Business Credit Cards

The reporting of your business credit activity shouldn’t discourage you from getting a Capital One business credit card. These can be some of the best flat-rate rewards credit cards for earning business rewards.

Earn Unlimited Double Miles

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business earns unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent. Hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel earn 5x miles per $1 spent. Getting double miles on every purchase can help you accumulate more miles than a tiered rewards card with bonus categories you rarely use.

Flexible Redemption Options

In addition to easily earning bonus miles on every purchase, you can easily redeem your miles for rewards. The Spark Miles credit cards let you redeem your miles for travel statement credits without a redemption minimum. Two other options including booking upcoming travel and transferring to airline partners.

The Capital One airline transfer partners include over a dozen frequent flyer programs. Some of the best are Avianca, Flying Blue, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines.

For instance, booking first-class flights with Star Alliance carriers lets you waive the fuel surcharge. You can also transfer to Singapore Airlines to book low-cost award flights on Alaska Airlines to Hawaii or fly Singapore Suites.

No Foreign Transaction Fee

All of the Capital One business credit cards have no foreign transaction fees. This is unique as most business credit cards without an annual fee still charge a foreign transaction fee. That’s not the case with the Capital One Spark Miles Select, Spark Cash Select, or Spark Classic.

Related article: Best Business Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Build Business Credit

Having a business credit card lets you build business credit. Capital One can report your business credit card activity to the business credit bureaus. This can make it easier to qualify for future business credit applications.

Free Global Entry

Having the Capital One Spark Miles for Business gives you one additional travel benefit. You get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit for the primary card user. It’s also one of the best Capital One credit cards for travel.

Visa Signature Benefits

The Spark Miles, Spark Miles Select, Spark Cash, and Spark Cash Select are all Visa Signature products. This is the second-highest Visa credit card tier.

Some of the complimentary Visa-provided benefits you may enjoy include:

  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000
  • Price protection on select purchases
  • On-site benefits and discounts at Visa Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
  • Special shopping, entertainment, and travel discounts

Although you may not use these additional benefits often, it’s worth hanging onto your benefits guide. You may never know how these perks can save you money.

Summary of Capital One Reports Business Credit Activity

Capital One reporting your business credit activity to your personal credit reports can temporarily penalize your credit situation. You will need to be smart with how you use your Capital One business credit card and time your future credit card applications. Having another best small business credit card can give you more flexibility in building business credit with minimum effect on your personal credit.

FAQs

Does my business credit card show up on my personal credit report?

Most business credit card activity won’t appear on your personal credit report. Two exceptions are Capital One and Discover small business credit cards. These two banks report your monthly activity including your payment activity and monthly balance. A high credit limit usage on your business credit card can penalize your personal credit score with Capital One or Discover.

Other banks may only report delinquencies to your personal credit report. This is when the bank must use the personal guarantee and use non-business assets to cover a business credit card balance that’s in bad standing.

With the exception of American Express charge cards without a preset spending limit, the hard inquiry for a new credit card may appear on your personal credit report. This can temporarily influence your approval odds for new personal credit card cards. However, it shouldn’t have an ongoing impact.

Does Capital One Spark Business report to the personal credit bureaus?

Yes, Capital One states they may report your card activity to the personal and business credit bureaus. Your business credit card activity will appear as a small business credit card. Any negative events (like a missed payment or high credit utilization ratio) can reduce your personal credit score for the near future.

Which business credit cards do not report to personal credit?

Most national banks including Chase, American Express, Bank of America, and Citi don’t report your business credit card activity on a normal basis. But, both Chase and US Bank may report to the personal bureaus if your account becomes delinquent. This will cause your personal score to drop.

Capital One and Discover do report your monthly business credit activity to the personal bureaus.

However, all small business credit cards that require a personal guarantee have the ability to report your activity as often they desire. Thankfully, only Capital One and Discover are the most frequent reporting.

The best way to avoid having your business activity land on your personal file is to have a Brex credit card, one of the best credit cards for startups. You must be an organized business like an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp to qualify. And you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to apply. The Brex for Startups Card doesn’t require a personal guarantee and applying doesn’t impact your personal credit score. Everything only reports to the business credit bureaus.

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Josh Patoka
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