20 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison
Small business credit cards are increasingly popular business financing options, particularly for entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for traditional business loans and don’t have access to networks filled with deep-pocketed family members, friends, and colleagues. No matter what your business does, a credit card can probably help – as long as you use credit wisely and avoid making purchases your company can’t afford.
Small business credit cards typically have higher spending limits and more generous rewards programs than consumer cards. Some have additional benefits, such as low APRs, attractive balance transfer promotions, personalized concierge service, and fringe benefits. However, many also come with annual fees and require good or excellent credit to qualify.
Keep in mind that qualifying for business credit cards is a bit different from qualifying for consumer credit cards. Some issuers simply require you to submit a valid Social Security number and affirm in writing that you’ll use the card exclusively for business purposes. Such laid-back issuers welcome freelancers and solopreneurs – basically, anyone who files a Schedule C at tax time, including people who don’t really think of themselves as business owners.
Some issuers are more strict. They request a federal employer identification number (EIN), seek evidence of incorporation, or ask for financial statements. If you can’t prove that you actually own an incorporated business with legitimate cash flow, you won’t qualify.
Also, remember that business credit cards are exempt from some of the protections of the CARD Act, including the requirement that card issuers regularly notify cardholders of changes in terms and conditions. The following small business credit cards offer a favorable mix of advantages and drawbacks for business owners with strong credit.
$500 Sign-up Bonus; Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Eligible Purchases
Additional perks include a generous sign-up bonus – worth $500 after you spend $3,000 in purchases within 3 months – and a 12-month, 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers. The latter is a rarity among small business credit cards.
$500 Sign-up Bonus; 5% Cash Back on Communications & at Office Supply Stores; 2% Cash Back at Gas Stations & Restaurants
Ink Business Cash is a popular business credit card with a generous cash back rewards program, solid sign-up bonus, and reasonable APR. It holds down the Ink stable with the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card (see above), an even more generous business cash back card.
When you spend at least $3,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you get $500 bonus cash back. From day one, you earn 5% cash back for office supply store and communications purchases (including Internet, TV, landline, and cell phone services), up to $25,000 per year. You earn 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases, up to $25,000 per year. After reaching the $25,000 cap, you earn unlimited 1% cash back on these spending categories. All other purchases earn 1% unlimited cash back as well.
Redeem accumulated cash back for statement credits or direct deposits starting at $20, airfare booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal (which offers the opportunity to boost your cash back by 20%, turning $500 in cash back into $625 in travel purchases), gift cards, and Amazon purchases. Redemptions start at $20.
80,000-Point Sign-up Bonus; 3x Points on Travel, Shipping, Telecommunications & Advertising
Chase Ink Business Preferred is Chase’s flagship business credit card. Though it has a $95 annual fee that’s not waived in the first year, you get what you pay for: a generous rewards program that favors travel and everyday business purchases, an attractive points transfer feature that lets you swap your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for other companies’ loyalty currency at a 1-to-1 ratio, and (perhaps best of all) a massive sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000 in free travel.
When you spend at least $5,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you get 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points. That’s worth $800 when redeemed for cash, and $1,000 when redeemed for travel (thanks to Chase’s 25% bonus on all travel redemptions). If you travel a lot for business, that’s hard to resist.
This card’s regular rewards program is equally impressive. The 3x tier is unusually generous: cardholders get 3 points per $1 spent on travel, shipping purchases, telecommunications purchases (such as Internet, cable, mobile phone bills), and advertising, up to $150,000 in combined spending across those categories in each account anniversary year. All other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent.
Redemption options include cash, travel, gift cards, Amazon.com purchases, general merchandise, and much more. And cardholders can increase the value and flexibility of their earned points by transferring them at a 1-to-1 ratio to popular travel loyalty programs such as British Airways Executive Club, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Marriott Rewards, and IHG Rewards Club.
75,000-Point Welcome Offer When You Spend $20,000 on Qualifying Purchases in the First 3 Months; 5x Points on Airfare & Hotels Booked Through Amex Travel
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a popular business charge card. As a charge card, it requires full balance payment by the statement due date, but doesn’t have regular interest charges.
The Business Platinum Card comes with a generous welcome offer and lavish perks that compensate for a hefty annual fee of $450. These perks include complimentary access to more than 1,100 airport lounges worldwide through the American Express Global Lounge Collection; free WiFi at more than 1 million Boingo hotspots worldwide; reimbursement for TSA Precheck application fees (up to $100); a $200 annual statement credit for incidental purchases made with an airline of your choice; a 35% bonus when using points to book travel with your selected qualifying airline, up to 500,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points each calendar year; and 35% of your points back on all first and business class travel booked with any qualifying airline through the American Express Travel booking portal.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express has a points-based rewards system. There’s a welcome offer of up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points, good for up to $750 in travel booked through American Express’s portal (or even more when transferring to partner travel programs) when you spend at least $20,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months. Airfare and prepaid hotel purchases booked through American Express Travel earn unlimited 5 points per $1 spent. Purchases greater than $5,000 earn 1.5 points per $1 spent, up to a total of 1 million bonus Membership Rewards® each year. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1 point per $1.
Redeem accumulated points for gift cards, online shopping, travel purchases, statement credits, and more. Redemption minimums start at 1,000 points. Point values vary by redemption method, but rarely exceed $0.01 – for instance, statement credits value points at $0.006 apiece, while gift cards value points at $0.01 apiece. Terms and conditions apply – see the full list of rates and fees.
4x Points in Your 2 Top-Spending Categories Each Year; 25% Point Bonus on Airline Purchases Paid With Redeemed Points
For starters, you’ll earn 4 points per $1 on the first $150,000 in annual purchases in the 2 categories where your business spent the most that year. Categories include:
All other purchases, including purchases made in your 2 favored categories above the $150,000 annual spending cap, earn 1 point per $1 spent. Keep in mind that the categories account for U.S. purchases only, with the exception of airlines.
You can redeem your points for gift cards, travel purchases, online merchandise, and more through American Express’s Membership Rewards portal. Redemptions start at 1,000 points, and points are worth between $0.005 and $0.01 when redeemed.
There’s no preset spending limit on this card, though failure to pay your balance can lead to restrictions. Amex’s Pay Over Time option lets you carry a balance with interest on purchases of $100 or more.
See our American Express® Business Gold Card Review for more information.
5% Cash Back on Office Supplies & Cell Phone Purchases; 3% in an Additional Category
The SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card is a popular American Express credit card with a generous 0% APR introductory promotion (15 months), solid cash rewards program, and relatively low fees. However, you can’t make balance transfers with this card.
Office supply and cell phone purchases (in the U.S. only) earn 5% cash back, up to $50,000 per year. Purchases (also in the U.S. only) in one additional category of your choice earn 3% cash back, up to $50,000 per year. Available categories include hotels, airfare, car rentals, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, shipping, and computer hardware, software, or cloud computing. After the $50,000 limits, purchases in the 3% and 5% categories earn unlimited 1% cash back, as do all other purchases.
Cash back automatically comes as a statement credit on the second statement after it’s earned. Terms and conditions apply – see the full list of rates and fees.
See our American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
Early Spend Bonus Up to $2,000; 2% Cash Back on All Purchases
When you sign up for this card and spend at least $5,000 in eligible purchases within 3 months, you get $500 bonus cash back. When you spend a further $50,000 within the first 6 months, you get $1,500 bonus cash back, for a total potential bonus of $2,000. From the outset, all purchases earn unlimited 2% cash back, with no caps or restrictions. You can redeem accumulated cash back in any amount for checks or general statement credits.
Up to 200,000-Mile Early Spend Bonus; 2 Miles Per $1 Spent on All Purchases
When you spend at least $5,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months, you earn 50,000 bonus miles, good for statement credits of up to $500 on travel purchases. When you spend at least $50,000 in eligible purchases in the first 6 months, you earn 150,000 additional bonus miles, good for statement credits up to $1,500 on travel purchases. All told, that’s a total potential early spend bonus of 200,000 miles ($2,000 value) in the first 6 months.
Moving forward, all purchases earn an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent, with no spending caps or categories. Accumulated miles can be redeemed for statement credits or direct purchases (through Capital One) on a wide range of travel-related items, including airfare and hotel stays, at a rate of $0.01 per mile.
25,000 Point Sign-up Bonus; 3 Points Per $1 Spent on Eligible Travel Purchases
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card is a no-annual-fee business travel card with a solid sign-up bonus, a 9-billing cycle 0% APR promotion on purchases, and a generous rewards program that favors travel spending.
When you make eligible travel purchases with this card through the Bank of America® Travel Center – powered by Expedia®, you’ll earn unlimited 3 points per $1 spent. All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent. There’s no limit to your point earnings, no blackout dates when you redeem, and no point expiration, even if your account goes dormant.
When you enroll in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, you’ll earn even more points on everyday spending – up to 75% more, depending on your relationship level. That’s 2.62 points per $1 spent on every purchase, every day. The best way to redeem points is for statement credits to cover the cost of flights, hotels, vacation packages, and other travel purchases. You can also redeem for cash back and gift cards.
See our Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
$200 Statement Credit With $500 in Eligible Spending in the First 60 Days; Up to 3% Cash Back on Select Purchases
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is another no-annual-fee business rewards credit card from Bank of America®. This one earns up to 3% cash back on select purchases, has a great 0% APR promotion on purchases, and boasts an easy-to-attain sign-up bonus.
This card has a 3-tiered cash back rewards program. Eligible gas station and office supply store purchases earn 3% cash back, up to $250,000 in annual combined category spending. That’s up to $7,500 in cash back rewards in the 3% category alone.
All eligible restaurant purchases earn unlimited 2% cash back, with no caps or restrictions. All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back.
If you’re enrolled in the Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, you’ll earn up to 75% more cash back, depending on your relationship level. That’s up to 3.75% cash back at gas stations and office supply stores, 2.75% at restaurants, and 1.75% cash back on all other eligible spending.
See our Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
75,000 Point Welcome Offer; 6 Starpoints per $1 Spent at Starwood Properties
The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card is the business version of American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card. The two cards have similar fees, terms, rewards programs, and fringe benefits.
Eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marrriott hotels earn 6 points per $1 spent. Eligible purchases made at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, on wireless telecom purchases made directly with U.S. providers, and shipping purchases earn 4 points per $1 spent. All other eligible purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent.
You can redeem accumulated Starpoints for free nights at participating SPG Marriott hotels, at a value of up to $0.025 apiece, or transfer your Starpoints to 30 participating frequent flyer programs (covering 150 airlines). Transfers greater than 20,000 points earn a 5,000 Starpoint bonus.
All told, this is a great card for business owners who regularly travel. Terms and conditions apply – see rates and fees.
See our American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
Welcome Offer of 40,000 Bonus SkyMiles & 10,000 MQMs; Up to 30,000 Bonus MQMs Yearly
The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card is a super-premium business travel card designed for frequent Delta flyers who like to travel in style. It’s not any higher on this list due primarily to its hefty annual fee ($450) and its limited appeal outside the frequent Delta flyer club. But if your business travel habits, lifestyle, and budget allow, it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t want to have this card in your wallet.
Big spenders make out especially well with Delta Reserve for Business. Spend $30,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year and you’ll get 15,000 bonus SkyMiles and 15,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs); double that in the same calendar year and you’ll earn an additional 15,000 bonus SkyMiles and 15,000 bonus MQMs. And, when you spend at least $25,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year, you’ll qualify for the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) waiver, making it even easier to ascend the Medallion status ranks and earn coveted Delta perks.
Like American Express’s other Delta business cards, Delta Reserve for Business earns unlimited 2 SkyMiles per $1 spent on eligible Delta purchases and unlimited 1 SkyMile per $1 spent on all other eligible Delta purchases. But, given the Medallion status benefits and other generous perks, such as complimentary Delta Sky Club access and one complimentary companion certificate each year, the regular rewards rate is almost beside the point.
Medallion status is pretty complicated. If you’re new to the ranks of Delta frequent flyers, check out this primer on the Delta Medallion program.
Welcome Offer Worth 35,000 SkyMiles, 5,000 MQMs & $100 Statement Credit; 2 SkyMiles Per $1 Spent on Delta Airfare
This is is the grown-up cousin of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express . If you’re a seasoned Delta business traveler who likes to fly in comfort, this is the card for you. Its consumer counterpart is the American Platinum Delta SkyMiles.
This card’s rewards program is similar to Gold Delta SkyMiles Business’s. Eligible Delta purchases earn unlimited 2 SkyMiles per $1 spent, while all other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1 SkyMile per $1 spent. When you spend at least $25,000 in a calendar year, you get 10,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), which count toward Delta’s coveted Medallion status program. You need at least 25,000 MQMs to ascend to Silver Medallion status, Delta’s lowest status tier.
You can redeem your SkyMiles for Delta airfare purchases, starting at 10,000 miles per short-haul domestic one-way or 5,000 miles when you use the Pay With Miles feature, at a typical rate of $0.01 to $0.02 per mile (always $0.01 per mile with Pay With Miles). Terms and conditions apply – see rates and fees.
See our American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
Welcome Offer Up to 30,000 SkyMiles, Plus $50 Statement Credit; 2 SkyMiles Per $1 Spent on Delta Airfare
If you regularly fly with Delta for business, you need to take a closer look at this card. If your Delta travel is typically reserved for personal escapes, check out the consumer version of this card: Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express.
All eligible Delta airfare purchases, and select other eligible Delta purchases, earn 2 SkyMiles per $1 spent when you pay with this card. There’s no limit to how many SkyMiles you can earn. All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1 SkyMile per $1 spent.
You can redeem your SkyMiles for Delta airfare purchases. Check Delta’s award chart for updated redemption requirements. Miles are typically worth $0.01 to $0.02 apiece at redemption, depending on the route and underlying dollar cost of the award fare. If you don’t have enough miles to redeem in full for an award flight, Delta’s Pay With Miles feature lets you combine miles and cash for discounted airfare at a flat rate of $0.01 per mile. You need at least 5,000 SkyMiles to use Pay With Miles. Terms and conditions apply – see rates and fees.
See our American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
2X Points on up to $50,000 in Purchases per Year
This card rewards you for conducting business as usual. You earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. The 2X rate applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
Redeem accumulated points for gift cards, online merchandise purchases, travel purchases, and more through American Express’s Membership Rewards® portal. Points are typically worth $0.005 to $0.01 when redeemed, and redemption minimums start at 5,000 points. Terms and conditions apply – see the full list of rates and fees.
$200 Early Spend Bonus; 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases
When you sign up and spend at least $3,000 within the first 3 months of membership, you get $200 bonus cash. From day one, all purchases earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back, with no caps or restrictions. You can redeem accumulated cash back for general statement credits or mailed checks in any amount.
See our Capital One Spark Cash Select Business Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
20,000-Mile Early Spend Bonus; 1.5x Miles per $1 Spent
When you sign up and spend at least $3,000 within 3 months, you get 20,000 bonus miles. All purchases earn an unlimited 1.5 miles per $1 spent, with no caps or restrictions. You can redeem miles for travel-related purchases, such as airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals, either purchased directly through Capital One or via statement credit. Miles are always worth $0.01 apiece upon redemption.
See our Capital One Spark Miles Select Business Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
5,000-Point Welcome Offer; 2x Points on Travel
Your first purchase after account opening you 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points. Travel purchases booked through American Express Travel earn an unlimited 2 points per $1 spent. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, travel purchases, online merchandise, and other items, starting at a redemption minimum of 1,000. Point values typically range from $0.005 to $0.01 at redemption, depending on what they’re being redeemed for – gift cards are worth up to $0.01 per point, while entertainment purchases are generally worth $0.005. Terms and conditions apply – see the full list of rates and fees.
See our American Express Business Green Rewards Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
60-Day Interest-Free Payment Period; 1.5% Discount for Early Payment
The Plum Card is a business charge card with flexible payment terms (by charge card standards) and a bevy of other useful perks. However, its annual fee is on the high side, and it lacks a rewards program.
As a Plum Card member, you get an unlimited 1.5% discount when you pay your card balance in full within 10 days of your statement closing date, payable as a statement credit on the following billing statement. For instance, if you pay a $1,000 balance within 10 days of statement closing, your next statement includes a $15 credit.
As long as you make at least the minimum payment (typically 10% of new payment activity, plus any carried balance) by your statement due date, you can wait until the following statement’s due date to pay the remainder of your balance without incurring penalty fees. Most charge cards require you to pay in full at each statement due date. Terms and conditions apply – see the full list of rates and fees.
Unlimited 1% Cash Back on All Purchases; Looser Credit Requirements
From day one, all purchases with this card earn an unlimited 1% cash back. You can redeem accumulated cash back for general statement credits or checks.
The sharing economy is changing what it means to be in business for yourself. Being an entrepreneur today can be as simple as driving for a ridesharing app in your spare time, renting out an extra bedroom for short stays on Airbnb, or putting up a personal website touting your freelance skills. You don’t need thousands of dollars in startup capital, a dedicated office, or employees working under you.
If you’re a lean, modern “solopreneur,” you might not realize that you’re eligible to apply for business credit cards – but you probably are. And even if you aren’t in business for yourself at the moment, starting your own small business is likely to be simpler than you think. When the time comes to set out on your own, make sure you have a trusty spending ally in your wallet.
What’s your favorite credit card for business spending?
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
20 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison
Research & References of 20 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison|A&C Accounting And Tax Services