American Express offers both small business credit cards and corporate cards. Unlike small business credit cards which are based on the owner's credit and personal guarantee, American Express issues the corporate card to companies in the company's name based on the company's business credit. The payment liability wholly resides with the company, or as a combination of the company and the individual authorized to use the card.
Assess your company's business credit and eligibility. To qualify for a corporate American Express card your company must have an established good credit record and minimum revenues of $4 million. In addition you need a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet, a Paydex score of 80 indicating prompt payment, and supplier or vendor references.
Video of the Day
Decide who will submit the initial application. Although the corporate card relies primarily on the company's credit, it does a credit check on each user. With small companies, an officer or owner must submit the application. If there are several owners, using the owner who has the best credit score increases the likelihood of approval.
Determine which corporate card is the best fit. American Express offers several options, so you need to look at what is important to your company when it comes to spending limits, travel accident insurance, and cash back and reward programs.
Complete the brief online information request to have a representative call. Unlike a business credit card, the corporate card does not allow you to complete an online or written application. When you receive the call, be prepared with basic information, because the representative will ask you applicable, qualifying questions including business revenue and length of time in business. You may be approved over the phone but often a full verification takes a few days.
Submit any additional supporting information American Express requests. This may include office leases, bank statements or financial statements. Providing the documentation will help American Express approve your application. Failure to submit the documentation will result in rejection.
If your company's revenues are close to the $4 million minimum, you may wish to submit your financial statements to D&B to support your assertion.
American Express may deny users who defaulted on a personal American Express account in the recent past and may severely restrict users who have had a personal bankruptcy. If this applies to you as a sole owner, your application may be denied. The company is responsible for all payments except for personal charges by the user and those charges for which the company reimbursed the user. If a user accrues significant charges that remain unpaid, American Express could pursue the company for payment alleging poor oversight. You must therefore monitor card usage to ensure proper usage and full payment of all bills. Client and the Cardmember are jointly liable for all charges incurred by the Cardmember (except cash advances which are Full Corporate Liability). The client is responsible for reimbursing Cardmembers for business expenses. The client will not be liable for charges incurred by the Cardmember that are personal in nature and which do not benefit the client for legitimate business purposes, or for which company as reimbursed the Cardmember. 2. Full Corporate Liability: Available only for central billing and/or cash advance programs. With Full Corporate Liability, the client is liable for payment of all charges. American Express will bill the client directly for charges.]