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The best business credit cards help you earn extra rewards without adjusting your professional spending habits. That can make all the difference in the world when it comes to purchasing a big ticket item and reaping the rewards necessary for a free hotel stay or business trip. We’ve put together a list of the our top picks for best business credit cards for 2018. Take a look and apply online in minutes for the one that matches your needs.
Money360’s top picks for the best business credit cards
Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.†
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
Larger businesses tend to have significantly larger expenditures, which is where The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN could really make a difference. Within the first 3 months of owning this card, big spenders can earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points by spending $10,000 on qualifying purchases. An additional $10,000 spent within that window earns cardholders an extra 25,000 points. If your business is large enough to take advantage of this intro bonus, then the annual fee of $450 shouldn’t be that much of a deal breaker. Not when the rewards potential of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is so high.
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is great for the business that typically spends in excess of $5,000, especially on big-ticket items. Smaller businesses, however, might not be able to make the most of this and the steep annual fee of $450 can be a real deal breaker. For small businesses and freelancers, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN might be a better fit. The annual fee is smaller ($175, waived the first year) and it grants you the ability to choose your top-earning rewards categories so you can earn the most back on purchases relevant to your business.
Why you'll love it
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN features incredible rewards potential if you’re in the business of traveling and purchasing big-ticket items. You can use this card to maximize your rewards in these categories and never have to worry about traveling in style.
Anyone who loves a good signup bonus should definitely consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. We’re talking about 80,000 bonus points right after spending $5,000 within the first three months. Not a terribly difficult threshold to reach if you’re using this card for all your business needs. You could also earn 3 points per every dollar spent in travel and select business categories each account anniversary year (up to $150,000).
You might not be able to make the most of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card if you don’t make a lot of business-related purchases. Be sure to review your particular needs to determine if you will be making purchases in any of the card’s eligible categories. The hefty signup bonus is hard to pass up as well as the 3X points you could earn. It’s definitely a business credit card worth a second look.
Why you'll love it
If the 80,000 bonus points you get after spending $5,000 within the first three months weren’t enough, you could also get a bonus of 25% when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This business credit card also features a points rewards categories that can appeal to businesses of all sizes.
Rewards Details:Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Current Offer:Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Balance Transfer Fee:Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR:26.74% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee:3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Smaller businesses can find something to appreciate in the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It boasts a generous year-long window of 0% intro APR, allowing for some big spending and just enough time to pay it off. The card’s $25,000 spending cap should prove more than enough for smaller businesses to enjoy 5% cash back on select business expenses as well as 2% on gas and restaurants.
You’ll want to make sure you take your everyday spending habits into consideration when looking at the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. If you find yourself hitting the $25,000 rewards cap more often than not, you may need to adjust your spending. That way, you can make the most of this credit card without fear of exceeding the limits.
Why you'll love it
For any small businesses, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is an attractive option. It’s a substantial, no frills, low maintenance solution with high-rate rewards and no annual fee.
Earn 100,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 10/31/2018.
Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,500 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 110 countries worldwide.
Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Select hotels have resort fees.
Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
Plus, spend $35,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and earn an upgrade to Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.
No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
If you’re in the traveling business and prefer to sleep in comfort, we recommend the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. There are no foreign transaction fees to worry about. Furthermore, 100,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 10/31/2018.
Book with at over 6,500 participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels to earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases. Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
Redeem points for airfare via SPG Flights.
Take advantage of travel perks like free Boingo Wi-Fi at airports and in-room internet access.
Bring this card when traveling abroad to avoid foreign transaction fees.
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is most ideal for business owners who do a lot of spending and, most importantly, want the power to choose their own rewards categories. This card’s hefty welcome offer comes with 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. Cardholders can also select the rewards categories that fall in line with their professional spending in order to earn 3x points in one category and 2X points in the remaining four categories. When used properly, it’s easy to earn points and rewards with The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN without having to adjust your everyday business purchases. One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that this is a charge card. That means that you must pay off your statement in full every month.
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a charge card. This means that you’ll have to pay off your statement every month; something to consider along with the no pre-set spending limit. This card also comes with an annual fee of $175. While the annual fee is waived for the first year, you’ll need to factor in that expenditure when you’re paying your bills. In fact, if your business costs are not high enough to warrant these expenses, you might benefit from a card geared more toward smaller businesses like the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. You’ll get higher-rate rewards including 5% on up to $25,000 per year spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Also, there’s no annual fee.
Why you'll love it
If you run a large business, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a strong choice. It offers high-rate rewards on big-ticket purchases like travel expenses, hardware, and software. We’re talking 3x points on purchases in a variety of categories and a generous intro bonus to boot. Furthermore, you can actually choose which types of purchases will yield the greatest rewards. The ability to choose your own 3X points category will help you maximize rewards potential on the types of purchases you make most.
Reward details5% cash back on U.S. wireless phone service and 3% on the category of your choice. This applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. (Terms apply)
We can’t recommend the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express enough to freelancers and smaller businesses. This low-maintenance, no-frills business credit card comes with a simple and flexible rewards program that anyone can appreciate. Not only can you earn 3% cash back on relevant business expenses, you can actually choose the rewards categories that align with your professional expenditures. These spending categories can include filling up at a U.S. gas station or paying for airfare.
Pay for your all your company’s internet and wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers with this card.
Analyze upcoming expenses and choose your rewards category carefully. You can earn 3% cash back in the spending category that best fits your business plan: U.S. gas stations, U.S. shipping, airfare, U.S. software, and more.
Consider your yearly expenses when looking into the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. The ability to earn 5% and 3% cash back on select categories can be a boon, but it only applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year with a 1% rate thereafter. If you find that your business spending regularly exceeds this cap (to the point of even being double), then you might not get the most out of this card’s rewards program. In that case, you could turn your attention to the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This card lets you earn 3x points on travel and select business categories and the cap is much higher at $150,000 each account anniversary year.
While the Discover it® Miles card is not technically a business credit card, it can be a tremendous boon for those freelancers and digital nomads who travel for a living. There are no annual fees with this card and business travelers can appreciate the freedom that comes with no foreign transaction fees, as well. This card also rewards spending in categories that fall within the realm of travel. This means that you could earn 1.5x miles for every dollar you spend on gas, car rentals, and more. Miles that can be redeemed for eligible travel purchases including airfare. Whether you’re representing a large business overseas or a freelancer traveling the world, the Discover it® Miles card makes a wonderful addition to any business owner’s wallet.
Buy everything with this card (unless you have a specific airline or hotel card that offers more than 1.5x miles). The more you spend in the first year, the more you’ll get with your first year rewards match.
Traveling overseas? Bring this card! Rest assured that you won’t be charged a foreign transaction fee.
Book travel through your favorite discount travel site or during a sale, then reimburse yourself with a travel statement credit.
Understanding the limits of the Discover it® Miles card when it comes to rewards and miles redemption benefits is an important factor to take into consideration. One thing to point out is that you cannot transfer your miles into travel loyalty programs. That right there is often enough of a deal breaker for those who would prefer a specific airline or would want to combine rewards redemption with airline sales. Another thing to factor into the equation is that the Discover it® Miles card does not let you receive your bonus miles for its hefty rewards match until the end of the first year. For those who want more flexibility, we recommend the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This card grants a 1:1 points transfer rate to Chase airline partners in addition to a signup bonus worth $1,000 in travel (through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
Why you'll love it
The Discover it® Miles makes earning free travel effortless. There’s no need to track spending in select categories; simply use the card for every purchase you make, and watch the rewards stack up. Automatic mile-for-mile match at the end of your first year makes this $0-annual-fee card an even sweeter deal for business and leisure travelers alike.
The term “business credit cards” refers to cards offering rewards and bonuses that appeal to business owners and employees. For the road warrior, a good business credit card would be the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This is because it offers 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants (each account anniversary year). Then, those rewards can be redeemed for business travel purposes at most major airlines.
Why get a business credit card?
If you can get a business credit card that rewards your professional spending, why shouldn’t you get a business credit card? Business credit cards are one of the best ways for employees and business owners to earn money while spending money. An employee can put all their professional expenditures on a business credit card and, in some cases, put those rewards toward free travel (for business).
Simply put, business credit cards can help your business grow. You make the purchases you need to operate, and at the same time earn something extra.
Other reasons include:
An easy means of divorcing personal and professional spending
Financial flexibility on big ticket purchases
Earning rewards you can often put toward business interests
Which business credit card is easiest to get?
The answer to this question can vary depending on the size of your business and the card provider you’re looking at. In general, small business credit cards tend to have a comparatively easier approval process. It’s important to shop around and consider all possible options to ensure you’re getting the best possible business credit card for your needs.
What is the best small business credit card?
The best small business credit card is the one that meets your professional financial goals. For instance, are you a small business owner? Then you might consider the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. On the other hand, big businesses may consider The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. If you travel a lot, you may want a no-fee travel card, like the Discover it® Miles. Take a moment to think about your professional goals for the next few years and compare the best business credit cards on our list to find the right one for you.
What is a micro business credit card?
While not applicable in the United States (as of the writing of this piece), you might have heard about a micro business credit card. The term “micro business credit card” refers to a business credit card issued by the West Bengal Government of India. It is described as a card that facilitates small and medium business entrepreneurs. In some respects, it is similar to the small business credit card you can obtain in the United States.
Can I use a business credit card for personal expenses?
While it is possible for you to charge your personal expenses to a business credit card, you shouldn’t. Mainly for tax purposes, it’s best to keep your personal and professional expenses separate. This is especially true in the event that your business is audited. In that situation, it’s much easier to organize the relevant professional expenses when you limit them to a business credit card.
Can I apply for a business credit card?
The requirements for each card may vary, but in general, if you’re a business owner — large or small — then you qualify to apply for a business credit card. If you’re a small business owner, they may look into your credit profile and you may be asked to share your personal income information as well. Be honest on your application, though, because if you’re caught in a lie, you may be subject to a financial review.
Who are small business credit cards good for?
Small business credit cards are often best suited to self-employed individuals as well as freelancers and consultants. These can include doctors and dentists who run their own practices, business owners who spend heavily on office supplies, sales associates who travel frequently, and even consultants who need to entertain their clientele.
Do business credit cards affect your personal credit score?
The short answer: Maybe. Signing up for one of the best business credit cards is a great way to separate personal and business finances; however, it depends on the card whether or not it will affect your personal credit score. Almost all business credit cards require personal guarantees, but, some will only report activity to commercial credit bureaus, not consumer credit bureaus that handle your personal credit score. You may need to call your card’s customer service representative to find out which bureaus they report to.
How can I check my business credit?
Similar to how you check your personal credit report, you can request a business credit report from the three major commercial credit bureaus — Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian. A fourth credit bureau, FICO® Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS), specializes in small businesses. With your business credit report, you’ll be able to easily check and monitor your business credit score, background information, risk factors, banking, trade and collection history, liens and bankruptcies, and more. Unlike your personal credit report, you may be charged a fee to access your business credit report.
As mentioned above, some credit card companies will report your business credit card information to the consumer credit bureaus as well, meaning it’s still important to check your personal credit report once a year (or more often) as a small business owner. With both reports, you’ll want to check for any discrepancies and, if found, take steps to dispute them.
How to use a business credit card to manage cash flow
Managing cash flow is crucial to the longevity of your business, big or small. Whether you sit at the head of a large corporation or freelance, it pays to keep track of your cash flow. A business credit card can help, and we’ve put together a handy list of real-life examples that illustrate the impact the right business credit card can have.
Real life example #1
Sometimes a self-employed freelancer will find themselves in that awkward interval waiting to receive payments from various clients. During this period, everyday expenses on office supplies, internet service, and more can pile up. Normally, this freelancer might be out of luck until those payments arrive. However, with a business credit card, those necessary business purchases could be charged temporarily and then paid off once client payments trickle in.
Real life example #2
An owner of a small business (10-12 employees) wraps up a huge project for a client, but payment is forthcoming. Payroll sends an email saying that there are not enough funds in the current budget to maintain business operations and pay the employees. With a business card, all the day-to-day business expenses could be temporarily charged, while freeing up funds to pay the employees on time. And after the client’s payment is received, the company owner could pay off the balance before it accrues interest.
Real life example #3
The CEO of a large business has determined that a purchase of $50,000 worth of equipment is necessary. However, he wants to be able to pay this off over several months without taking out a large loan. In lieu of a loan, the business could utilize a high-limit business credit card. Many cards offer 0% intro APR on purchases, which would function like an interest-free loan if paid in full before the end of the intro period. Plus, the business could earn cash back through the card’s rewards program!
Are business credit cards really worth it?
That all depends on the size of your business and your professional spending habits. Feasibly, there’s enough variety in business credit cards and the perks offered to warrant a card for enterprises of all sizes and types. We’ve profiled a several business credit cards that would be worth getting for businesses both large and small.
If your business makes a lot of purchases, it might be worth getting a business credit card so you can earn some rewards on those expenses. As we have covered, with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, it’s easy to turn your everyday spending into rewards redeemed for free travel. Since a lot of successful business requires the occasional trip, it would certainly be worth looking into a business credit card that pays for your travels while you pay for your professional costs.
The following list outlines a few other reasons why business credit cards are worth it:
They can make recordkeeping much easier come tax season
They help build business credit, which can impact your business insurance
Some offer business-specific perks like deals on advertising
The bottom line
As a business owner, you could be making a sound investment by choosing one of the best business credit cards on our list. The rewards you could earn on business-related charges can more than make up for any annual fee. Additionally, having a business credit card helps you to draw a line between personal and professional when it comes to expenses and tax returns. If one of these cards sounds right for your business, apply online today to start earning valuable rewards!
Research the 25 best business credit cards
We’ve put together an objective comparison of business credit cards to help you find the right one. This analysis includes annual fees, foreign transaction fees, rewards, signup bonuses, perks, and other characteristics you might find of interest.
Take a moment to sort, filter, or search for what matters most to you in a business credit card.
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