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As I’ve mentioned many times before, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express are two of my favorite cards for everyday spend.
Both cards are worth it for the fantastic sign-up bonus, return on everyday spend, and bonus elite qualifying stays & nights towards status annually. But between the two cards, the SPG Business Amex is the most compelling, given that it offers Sheraton club lounge access, which is a huge perk.
Club lounge at the Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow
One question I’ve received over and over is whether you can be approved for the SPG Business Amex without having a corporation? If you’ve tried applying for a Chase business credit card lately, you’re probably well aware that they ask an endless number of questions and aren’t especially open to those just starting their business. Unless you’ve been incorporated for years, you’re unlikely to get approved.
I figured I’d share a firsthand experience from today. Ford is in the process of starting his own business, though hasn’t yet incorporated. He has a business plan and has started slowly, and he eventually plans on forming an S-Corp. Since he’s racking up some expenses, I recommended the SPG Business Amex, given the excellent return on everyday spend and biggest ever sign-up bonus.
I wasn’t sure if he’d be approved, given that the company is new and has limited income, and is presently operating as a sole proprietorship. When it comes to applying for a business credit card, he doesn’t have much history to go off of.
He answered everything on the application honestly (as one always should), including:
- Industry Type (Other)
- Company Structure (Sole Proprietorship)
- Years In Business (0-1)
- Number of Employees (1)
- Company Name (just his name for now)
- Federal Tax ID (his Social Security Number)
After submitting the application the page said to call in to verify some information. He called up and the agent informed him there was a glitch in pulling up his credit score. Within a minute he was approved for the card, without being asked any further verification questions.
This matches many other reports I’ve received from readers, who have been approved for the card as a sole proprietorship.
The point is, anecdotally the SPG Business Amex is fairly easy to be approved for, even if you’re in the early stages of forming your business. It’s great to see Amex wanting to grow with customers, as opposed to only approving customers for business cards if they have a long history of incorporation.
People always ask me what it takes to get approved for the SPG Business Amex, especially those who are operating sole proprietorships. The good news is that American Express seems much more willing than Chase to approve people for business cards while in start-up mode.
Even when applying for a card with limited business income, 0-1 years in business, and a sole proprietorship, Ford got approved, which is awesome.
Hopefully that’s a useful data point for those of you considering applying.
What has been your experience with getting approved for the SPG Business Amex?