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A small business credit card can offer more than just a way to pay for everyday purchases. Lots of business owners use these cards as an alternative way to secure financing if they don’t qualify for a small business loan.
That’s because business credit cards usually have higher spending limits compared to traditional consumer credit cards.
In many instances, you don’t even need a formal business structure to apply for a small business credit card. If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur without a registered LLC, you can still apply for cards using your social security number as opposed to a tax ID or EIN.
The best business credit cards offer exceptional rewards, from cash back to airline miles and other money-saving benefits.
This guide is perfect for anyone interested in a small business credit card. I’ll show you the top options and explain how to find the best business credit card for your situation.
Top 8 Best Business Credit Cards for 2020
There are hundreds of business credit cards on the market today. It seems like they all claim to be “the best” for something. But with that said, there are only eight business credit cards that I would confidently recommend.
- Chase Ink Business Cash
- Capital One Spark Cash
- Blue Business Cash Amex
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Capital One Spark Miles
- CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum
- American Express Business Gold
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited
I’ll highlight the top features, benefits, costs, and any other considerations for each one below.
The Best Business Credit Card Reviews
Chase Ink Business Cash
Chase Ink Business Cash is the best overall business credit card. It ranks first on our list because of its benefits and flexibility for a wide range of business purposes.
That’s because Chase offers outstanding rewards on this card for things you’re already spending money on.
- 5% cash back on first $25,000 in combined purchases for Internet, cable, business phone services per year
- 2% cash back on first $25,000 spent at restaurants and gas stations
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
You’ll get up to $1,750 cash back each year if you max out those first two categories.
Chase offers built-in protection for instances using your Ink Business Cash card. You can decline collision insurance offered by rental companies when you’re renting a car; Chase Ink Business Cash has you covered.
The card also provides purchase protection against theft or damage to items for 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. It also extends qualified manufacturer’s warranties on purchases for an additional year.
You can get extra cards for your employees at no cost, and set individual spending limits for each cardholder.
Chase is currently offering a $500 bonus cash back bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening a new account. There is 0% APR for the first 12 months using the card. After that, there is a 14.74% – 20.74% variable APR.
The Ink Business Cash card does not have an annual fee.
Capital One Spark Cash
Capital One Spark Cash offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. The offer for new cardmembers is a $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of opening an account.
There is a $95 annual fee for this card, but it’s waived for the first year.
Some of the top features and benefits for Capital One Spark Cash include:
- Free employee cards
- Fraud alerts and protection
- No foreign transaction fees
- $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Rental car collision coverage
I like the fact that you can immediately lock a card from the mobile app if it’s lost or stolen.
You’ll also benefit from a detailed year-end summary report that’s perfect for budgeting and tax preparation. It’s easy to integrate your purchase records with Quickbooks to simplify your accounting tasks.
There is an 18.49% variable APR with this card.
Capital One provides emergency card replacement, as well as emergency cash 24/7 at locations throughout the world.
Not everyone will be eligible for this card. To apply, you’ll need an excellent credit score and a business registered in the US.
Blue Business Cash Card From American Express
If you want all of the benefits associated with American Express, without paying an annual fee, the Blue Business Cash Card will be your best option.
You’ll earn 2% cash back on purchases up to $50,000 in a calendar year. After that, you’ll receive 1% cash back on your purchases. Rewards will automatically be credited to your statement, so you don’t have to worry about manual redemption.
One unique feature of this card is the spending capacity terms. You have the ability to spend above your credit limit with Amex’s expanded buying power.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have unlimited spending freedom. The amount available above your limit varies based on things like your payment history, usage, and other factors.
American Express offers outstanding travel and transportation benefits with this card. In addition to car rental loss and damage insurance, you’ll also have access to 24/7 services with global hotline assist whenever you’re more than 100 miles from home.
This program gives you access to legal, financial, medical, and other emergency services coordination, such as helping you travel with a lost passport.
Other Blue Business Card highlights include:
- No charge for employee cards
- Detailed year-end summary with spending category and expense reports
- Account alerts and monitoring
- Integration with Vendor Pay by Bill.com
- Extend manufacturer’s warranty on purchases
- Purchase protection
American Express has a long history of providing exceptional service to its cardholders. Their dispute resolution services are second to none.
You can apply online for the Blue Business Cash Card from American Express and get a decision in 30 seconds.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card has better benefits and rewards than the Ink Business Cash card that we previously reviewed. However, this card does have a $95 annual fee. It’s a better option for business owners who spend more money and prefer rewards points as opposed to cash back.
Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on the first $150,000 in combined purchases on:
- Car rentals, train tickets, and taxis
- Advertising purchases on social media and search engines
- Internet, cable, and phone bill
In short, you can earn up to 450,000 points per year if you spend money in those categories. You’ll get 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases, unlimited.
If you redeem your travel points with Chase Ultimate Rewards, the points are worth up to 25% more. For example, 80,000 points will get you roughly $1,000 toward travel.
You can even transfer qualified points to your favorite frequent travel programs at a 1:1 value.
Chase Ink Business Preferred gives you protection for auto rental collision, cell phone protection, as well as trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance. If you miss a business trip or need to cut it short due to sickness, weather, or other situations, Chase will reimburse you up to $5,000 for prepaid, non-refundable expenses. This includes hotels, airfare, and tours.
If you refer other business owners to an Ink Business Preferred card, you can earn up to 100,000 bonus points per year (20,000 per approved referral).
Capital One Spark Miles For Business
If you’re a frequent business traveler, the Capital One Spark Miles cards will reward you with miles instead of cash or points.
There are actually two options to choose here. One card is free with decent perks, and the other has a $95 annual fee with better rewards. Beyond that, the two cards are basically identical. Here’s an overview of each one:
Capital One Spark Miles
- $95 annual fee (waived the first year)
- Unlimited 2x miles per $1 dollar spent on all purchases
- Unlimited 5x miles per $1 dollar spent on hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One
- 18.49% variable APR
- Earn a 50,000 mile bonus ($500 in travel) when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of opening an account
Capital One Spark Miles Select
- $0 annual fee
- Unlimited 1.5x miles per $1 dollar spent on all purchases
- Unlimited 5x miles per $1 dollar spent on hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One
- 0% intro APR for first 9 months, 14.49% – 22.49% variable APR after
- Earn a 20,000 mile bonus ($200 in travel) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening an account
The Spark Miles Select card will best for those of you who don’t want to pay the annual fee. But if you travel often enough, the $95 is justifiable for Spark Miles card.
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard is the best business credit card for frequent American Airlines travelers. If you or your employees frequently fly with American, you definitely need to consider this card.
- First checked bag free for you and up to four people on your itinerary
- Preferred boarding
- 25% off in-flight food and beverages
- 25% off in-flight Wi-Fi
- 2x miles per $1 spent on cable, telecommunications, gas, and car rentals
- 2x miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
You’ll also earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate for domestic travel after spending $30,000 per year. The certificate is worth a free round-trip domestic flight for someone else on your itinerary. You’ll just have to pay taxes and fees.
New card members can earn 65,000 bonus miles after they spend $4,000 in the first four months of opening an account. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
It’s easy to justify the annual fee is you travel with American Airlines often enough. Assuming you check a bag when flying, two round-trip tickets would normally cost $100 in bag fees. The card pays for itself right there.
American Express Business Gold
American Express Business Gold is one of the most premier business credit cards on the market today.
The card allows you to earn 4x membership points on the top two categories where your business spends the most money each billing cycle. Those categories are:
- Advertising purchases
- Computer hardware, software, and cloud technology
- Gas Stations
The 4x points are valid for the first $150,000 spent per year combined on your top two categories. You’ll earn unlimited one point for every $1 spent after that.
American Express has an outstanding membership rewards program for redemption. Your points will transfer to the majority of popular loyalty programs.
If you book a flight using American Express Travel and pay with your points, you’ll get 25% of those points back to your account.
You also get all of the exceptional American Express travel perks like no foreign transaction fees, car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, and the global assist hotline.
Furthermore, the Amex Business Gold card offers room upgrades and a $100 hotel credit for dining, spa, and other resort activities when you stay at a participating property for at least two consecutive nights.
Amex offers a 50,000 sign-up bonus to cardmembers who spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening an account.
The American Express Business Gold card has a $295 annual fee.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card is very similar to the Ink Business cash card that we reviewed earlier. The most significant difference between the two cards is the way rewards get earned.
With the Ink Business Cash card, you’ll get a different percentage of cash back based on your spending category with certain limits and restrictions for how much can be earned in a year.
The Ink Business Unlimited card is much more straightforward. You earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases; no limit.
All of the other features and benefits are the same as the Ink Business Cash card.
You’ll get a $500 cash back bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months using the card. There is no annual fee for the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card.
How to Choose The Best Business Credit Card
Now that you’ve had the chance to review the top business credit cards, you’ll need to choose one for yourself. But the best business card for me might not be the best for you. Everyone’s situation is different.
This is the methodology that we used to come up with the cards on this list. You can use the same process to evaluate the best option for your business.
One of the first things you should look at is how much the card will cost you. The cards we reviewed ranged from $0 to $295 in annual fees.
An annual fee is easy to justify if you’re going to be spending enough to get the most out of the perks and rewards. But if you’re a single-member sole-proprietor working out of your home office, you probably don’t need a card with an annual fee.
Beyond that, look for APR, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees, transfer fees, and late payment fees. Personally, I always pay my cards in-full each month, so the late fees and APR aren’t really relevant to me. But things like foreign transaction fees can add up quickly during international travel.
What type of rewards do you want?
Some cards offer cash back, while others offer points or miles. Cash back will likely be the best option for most of you. If you travel often for business, cards that reward you with miles should definitely be taken into consideration.
Just make sure you understand how rewards get earned and if there are any stipulations. Some cards will limit the number of rewards you can earn in a year.
Some cards require you and your business to have excellent credit. You won’t get approved for certain cards if your credit score is below 700.
You’ll also need to have an incorporated business to be eligible for certain cards. Other cards allow you to apply using just your name and social security number.
There are certain business credit cards that are tied to a specific loyalty partner. For example, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard is an American Airlines card.
In most cases, it’s best to stay away from those airline or hotel-specific cards because you won’t be rewarded as much for purchases with another company. So you’re better off with general miles, cash back, or points that can be used with any airline or hotel.
With that said, if you know that you’ll be flying a specific airline often, these types of loyalty programs will give you the most rewarding benefits.
So if you fly from Chicago to Dallas once a month (both American Airlines hubs), it makes perfect sense to get a card tied to AAdvantage.
A business spending $10,000 per year shouldn’t have the same credit card as a company charging $100,000 per year.
Your spending categories can also influence your decision when choosing a card. Certain cards offer better rewards for purchases at restaurants or gas stations. Others will give you extra benefits for money spent on advertising or your phone bill.
There are dozens and dozens of potential perks that could sway you to choose one card over another. Some of these include:
- Sign up bonus
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranties
- Free cards for employees
- Insurance protection (travel, car rental, baggage)
- Priority boarding
- Free checked bags
- Hotel credits
The list goes on and on. Find a card with perks that align with your business and spending habits.
For example, the American Express Business Gold card has a 50,000 point sign up bonus if you spend $5,000 in the first three months using the card. But if you don’t normally spend $5,000 in three months, this card isn’t for you. The $295 annual fee won’t be worth it.
Every business owner needs a credit card. Fortunately, the credit card companies have created cards with a wide range of benefits, rewards, and perks to accommodate your needs.
Here’s a quick recap of the best business credit cards on our list:
- Chase Ink Business Cash – Best overall business credit card.
- Capital One Spark Cash – Unlimited 2% cash back with a $95 annual fee.
- Blue Business Cash Amex – $0 annual fee and 2% cash back on $50,000 per year.
- Chase Ink Business Preferred – Best Chase card for travel and rewards points.
- Capital One Spark Miles – Earn miles with or without an annual fee.
- CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum – Best American Airlines loyalty business card.
- American Express Business Gold – Earn 4x rewards points with a $295 annual fee.
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited – Unlimited 1.5% cash back with no annual fee.
Whether you want cash back, miles, or points, I made sure to include something for everyone on this list. Some of these cards are best for larger businesses that travel frequently, while others are suitable for small business owners and sole proprietors.