Has Chase Started Approving Sole Proprietor Applications Again?

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using the new chase offers system

Has Chase Started Approving Sole Proprietor Applications Again?

Early on in the pandemic, when there was so much uncertainty with the economy and how everything would play out, Chase made some changes to their business application approval process. In an effort to alleviate risk they were auto denying pretty much all sole proprietor business card applications. My guess is that they saw sole proprietor businesses as a more risky endeavor and didn’t want to extend credit to them. They were also targeting certain business industries and denying those with more impunity, more at risk areas.  That seemed to lesson a bit late in the summer before shutting back down again this fall.  With the increased offers for the Chase Ink Cash and Chase Ink Unlimited people have been wondering where things currently stand. Has Chase started approving sole proprietor applications agian?

Details of the Chase Ink Increased Offers (All Time High)

First I thought we should review the currently increased offers for the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited cards.  These offers are as high as we have seen them. Both offers are essentially the same:

Chase Ink Cash Earning Structure

  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at: Office Supply Stores and on Internet, phone, and cable services.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Learn More

Chase Ink Unlimited Earning Structure

  • Earn 1.5% (or 1.5X Ultimate Rewards) per dollar on every transaction.
  • Learn More

Recent Application Data Points

I have collected around 10 data points since these offers have been launched.  It isn’t a huge sample size but it gives us something at least.  The denials still outweigh the approvals, at 6 to 4, but approvals are happening.  Chase is still more cautious than they have been in the past.  In the past if you were under Chase 5/24 then you had a high chance of approval.  Now it sits at less than a 50% shot it appears, although it is better than the 0% it was a few months back.

A New Requirement?

The interesting thing I have noticed across the denials is Chase talks about the current credit extended to the applicants.  The people denied have often been told that they already have adequate credit extended to them from Chase.  And they have even gone on to include the personal cards when talking about this.

That means that people with a lot of Chase personal, or business cards, are going to have a tougher time.  If you are sitting on a few cards that you no longer use and had planned on closing in the near future I would do so before applying. It should improve your chances but it is not a guarantee.  Because of that only do it if you had planned on closing the accounts anyway.

Chase seems to be less willing to let you close accounts to make room for a new one than they have in the past.  At least on the business side, the personal side it still has been offered.  Even though they mention personal cards when discussing credit limits they will never offer closing one of those to free up space for a business card.  Essentially, personal cards are used against you but it can not help you during a business recon call.

Final Thoughts

Has Chase Started Approving Sole Proprietor Applications Again? It appears that they have but they are still being more restrictive than they have in the past.  If you have multiple business cards with Chase already, or a lot of personal credit with them, then your application chances are greatly diminished. Consider cleaning up your account before applying to increase your chances. Non sole proprietor applications seem to have better chances as well.  If you have two or more businesses, and one is not a sole proprietor, I would apply for that one to improve your chances.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I was just approved for Ink Unlimited at its minimum of $5,000. Already have Ink Cash with $14,000 limit. On personal side, I have Sapphire Reserve, old Freedom, IHG, and Hyatt. I am a sole proprietor but also have EIN I used for apps on both Inks.

  2. While I am not a sole sole proprietor but rather the owner of a multi location company, I had an experience which tells me that Chase might be getting a little more lenient with business as well as personal cards. My status was going to change from 5/24 to to 4/24 on November 11th. In anticipation of this I lowered 4 of my credit cards with various credit limits ranging from $15 to $21K to a $5K credit limit and my Chase Preferred from $23K to $15K. I did this over the last month.
    I wanted to get back into the United mile business since I drained some miles off and Chase had an excellent offer on the UAL Business Card that was going to expire on the 11th. I like experimenting so I decided to fill out the credit application on the 7th rather than take the chance on being ineligible when #5 dropped off my records. I was instantly approved for a new card and a $50K credit line. I now have 6 Chase cards. On the same day I also applied for the Jet Blue 100K offer and was approved for both Business and Personal Cards.
    My wife had 2 cards drop off and she was approved for the personal Chase Sapphire Preferred and United Explorer cards. She also was approved for the Jet Blue personal card.
    I have another 3 cards dropping off in December and January and will try my luck for one of the INK cards.

  3. I have a Sole Proprietor business, House/Pet Sitting and was auto-approved for the Ink Cash about three weeks ago. I reduced all of my credit limits, personal (3), business (1), by $10,000 or so, about two weeks prior to applying. I was approved with a $3,000 limit. They let me move some credit from my Ink Preferred after approval. Also, I applied before the new 75,000 point offer. Via SM, was told that if I complete the $7,500 spend within the bonus period, they will give me the 75k. I was very surprised at the auto-approval as that hasn’t happened in awhile with any Chase applications.

  4. Just got approved for Chase Ink Business Unlimited. Already have several business cards with Chase. Didn’t have to close any cards or jump through any hoops. Have a small EBay business as a sole proprietor. Under 5/24

  5. I have Ink Biz + already and was just approved for Ink Cash, and I’m the owner/operator of my one-account janitorial business. I didn’t even know sole proprietors weren’t getting approved.

  6. Got approved for Ink Business Preferred in May (took a trip to the branch) and Business Cash 1 week ago without a problem.

  7. I’ll check them out on December 9 when I fall under Chase 5/24. I’ll close my Hyatt credit card before applying though. Then I’ll look at a business credit card.
    Wish me luck

  8. Very YMMV. I am a sole prop and didn’t approved. The rep cited overall industry risk. I am online seller of toys…things have been booming. But they don’t care.

  9. Declined two days ago w reason “business structure”. Talked to recon for 45 mins, they agreed to replace existing business card with a new card, but said no to a credit limit transfer instead.

    Good credit, 2 years business history w chase, under 5/24.


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