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If you haven’t given much thought to what credit card you use to pay for your freelance expenses you aren’t alone. Freelancers are busy drumming up new work and meeting deadlines. When you are self-employed, you are the IT and accounting department too.
Here’s why you need to upgrade to a new credit card with features that matter to your freelance business:
There’s a good chance you can get a much better deal.
The top business credit cards for freelancers offer rich cash sign-up bonuses and sizable cash-back on spending at office supply stores and on cellular phone and internet services. If you have a client who pays late, choose a card with 0% intro interest to help you cover cash flow lags.
How business cards help
As a self-employed individual, you can use your Social Security number instead of a federal Tax ID (EIN number) when you apply for a business credit card.
- Separate your freelance and personal spending. Once tax time rolls around, easily spot tax deductions so you can get what you are due from Uncle Sam.
- Protect your personal credit score. Pay for your freelance expenses on a business credit card and that could keep your credit utilization lower on your personal cards.
We’ve done the research, these are the best no-annual fee credit cards for freelancers. Read our reviews below. Choose the features you want and apply for a new credit card today.
Top No-Annual Fee Cards for Freelancers
Best for: One of the highest cash-back rates available at office supply stores and on cellular phone and internet, plus a hefty sign-up bonus with $0 annual fee.
Sign-up bonus: Earn $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Key benefits: The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card comes chock-full of features that benefit freelancers. Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV 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.
If you need a new laptop or plan to make a big purchase, take advantage of intro APR 0% for 12 months. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card was named "A Great Card for Small Businesses" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. It’s simplicity and high-rate of cash-back rewards make it an easy choice for freelancers.
Who should apply: Freelancers who spend at office supply stores and on cellular phone and internet services will earn one of the highest rates of cash-back available in those categories.
Best for: Generous sign-up bonus with a low spend requirement and sizeable cash-back at office supply stores, gas stations and restaurants.
Sign-up bonus: Start with a $200 statement credit when you make at least $500 in net purchases within 60 days of your account opening., which is a relatively low spend requirement to get the sign-up bonus.
Key benefits: If you spend at office supply stores, gas stations, and restaurants, this $0 annual fee card can generate significant cash rewards. The 3% cash back on purchases at gas stations and office supply stores (up to $250,000 each calendar year, 1% after that), 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants, 1% cash back on all other purchases can add up fast.
If you face a short-term cash crunch, this card comes with intro APR 0% for 9 billing cycles, then 12.24% - 22.24% variable apr. Easily track your business expenses and download transactions into QuickBooks with cash flow management tools on this card.
Who should apply: Freelancers who spend in these categories and want a generous sign-up bonus, without pressure to spend beyond their budget in the first couple of months.
Best for: Freelancers who want to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
Sign-up bonus: You can earn a One-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Key benefits: This is a streamlined and easy-to-use cash-back card that can generate on-going cash back you can pile back into your business. There is intro APR of 0% on purchases for 9 months with $0 annual fee.
Who should apply: Freelancers who want cash-back on everything they buy can generate substantial rewards with this card.
The business card edge
Some freelancers mix personal and business finances. That could be a mistake, especially when it comes to reconciling with Uncle Sam. Using one account for business and personal purposes could lead to more scrutiny from the IRS regarding deductions, according to H&R Block.
Using a business credit card is an easy way to treat your business like a business. For freelancers who aren’t ready to take the leap to a business credit card, these two personal cards below are good options.
Best for: Potential for one of the biggest cash sign-up bonuses available.
Sign-up bonus: If you thought year-end bonuses only go to employees at big corporations, think again. As a freelancer, you can get an unlimited cash rewards bonus your first year with this card. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.*
You control the amount of your sign-up bonus. Turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™ or even more depending on your spending. With your sign-up bonus in the first year, you will take home an incredible 10% cash back.
Key benefits: This is a consumer card, so freelancers can use it for both business and personal spending. You will earn an extremely high 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases..
Log into your Discover account each quarter to activate the 5% cash-back bonus. Then pull out this card to pay for popular categories including wholesale clubs, home improvement stores and retailers including Amazon.com and Target.
Who should apply: Freelancers who want to maximize cash-back on all their spending, with potential for a super-sized year-end bonus.
Best for: One of the longest 0% intro interest period available on purchases and balance transfers.
Sign-up bonus: None.
Key benefits: In a crowded market, this $0* annual fee card towers above its competition with one of the longest 0% intro interest periods available. With the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever freelancers will benefit from ultra-long intro APR 0%* for 21 months on purchases* and 0%* for 21 months on balance transfers*. That’s almost two years. For freelancers who want wiggle room on paying down a balance over time with no interest piling up, this is a perfect match.
True to its name, this consumer card keeps it simple. You won’t get hit with late fees or penalty APR increases if you miss a payment on this card. That compares to other cards that have late fee charges that can run up to $35 and penalty rates as high as 29.99%.
Who should apply: Freelancers who face uneven payment flows can benefit from the 0% intro interest. If you don’t need as long a 0% intro interest period and want cash-back rewards consider the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.
It’s time to cash in on your freelance business spending. Apply for one of these top no-annual fee credit cards today.