So a semi-little known fact is that anyone can open business credit cards – even if you don’t ‘technically’ happen to have a business. This is great, since business credit cards are among some of the best for solid ongoing rewards as well as high signup bonuses – the Chase Ink Plus with 60,000-70,000 points, the AMEX Business Gold with 70,000 points…and currently, two of the best cards are the Chase United Business for 50,000 United points: https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/united-business-credit-card.aspx?B7C3=Y538C4&CELL=6247
And the Citibank AA Business card for 50,000 AA points: http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/earnMiles/beyondTravel/creditDebit/citi-business.jsp?anchorLocation=DirectURL&title=citibusiness
The best of both worlds! No reason not to open both :).
So how, exactly, do you go about opening this without a business? Simple – use your own SSN and list your business as a sole proprietorship. In my experience, you can list revenue for the business as really anything you’d like – they’ve never verified for me, but also people get by with just stating very little revenue, like <$1000. You can be a consultant or freelancer for just about any profession – say, software, writing, whatever you’d like. Maybe this will even inspire you to finally start that business you’ve always wanted :).
So yeah, there’s that. And remember – what’s the harm in trying? People tend to have hesitation about these things, but the worst case scenario is really nothing – you end up exactly where you would have been if you hadn’t tried, no harm done. Maybe like 2 insignificant points off your credit score for a year or so – big deal. So go give it a shot!