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There are many ways you can use a small business credit card to help your business’s bottom line. You can use it to turn everyday expenses into travel by earning miles, use it to manage employee expenses, or even just use it to get into an airport lounge and relax.
Before selecting a small business credit card, you need to figure out how a card will align with your expenses and what you are aiming to get out of the card. If there’s no one card that answers all of your needs, you may find it beneficial to have multiple cards. We’ve organized our recommendations listed on our site by category — so here are our top picks.
- Best travel rewards business credit cards
- Best cash back business credit cards
- Best luxury business credit card
- Best business credit card for borrowing
- Small business credit card FAQ
- The bottom line
Best travel rewards business credit cards
Our top choice
If your primary objective is to turn your small business spending into travel, then a general travel rewards card should be on your radar. However, if your business travel is loyal to a particular airline, you might want to consider an airline-branded travel rewards card. But if you’re not tied to one airline and want flexibility, consider our top travel rewards choice — the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. It earns 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere.
Plus, earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
This card’s annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
Best for transferring rewards
If you’re looking for a hotel rewards card that allows you to redeem rewards you can also use on multiple airlines, you may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. With this card you can transfer your points to numerous frequent flyer programs (more than 40 participating airlines).
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card earns 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases. The welcome offer is 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
There’s a $125 annual fee for this card.
To see rates & fees for Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card please click here.
If you’re loyal to an airline
Maybe you do most of your traveling on a specific airline. In that case, you could get value from a card that earns miles or points in that airline’s frequent flyer program, and which might offer benefits such as a free checked bag or priority boarding.
Here are some airline business cards worth considering:
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
First checked bag free on domestic itineraries & preferred boarding
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
See additional details for Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
For those who love to fly American, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® offers rewards and benefits that can make your travel a little easier.
- First checked bag free for up to four travel companions on domestic flights.
- Preferred boarding.
- 25% savings on in-flight food, beverage and WiFi purchases.
- Earn a Companion Certificate after spending $30,000 and account renewal.
The card’s annual fee is $99, waived for first 12 months. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases. And for the sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card offers the ability to earn rewards miles in a variety of categories tailored to business owners. Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, eligible U.S. shipping purchases, and every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants. Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
There’s a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Travel benefits include:
- Your first checked bag free.
- Main cabin 1 priority boarding.
- 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases.
- A baggage insurance plan.
- Delta Flight Voucher of $100 after you spend $10,000 in a calendar year.
- Car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage).
For the welcome offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
For business owners willing to pay a $250 annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card offers valuable benefits and a chance to earn Medallion Qualification Miles — which help you reach Medallion Status with Delta.
Travel benefits include:
- Free first checked bag.
- Main cabin priority boarding.
- 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases.
- Trip delay insurance.
- A fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
- Discounted access to Delta Sky Club airport lounges.
- A companion certificate each year upon account renewal.
For ongoing rewards, cardholders earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
And for the welcome offer: Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
- Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
- 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Earn points on employee spending
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- No blackout dates when you redeem points, no seat restrictions, bags fly free®, and no change fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- See additional Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card details
See additional details for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
With a reasonable annual fee of $99, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card offers useful travel benefits for loyal Southwest business travelers.
- Lost luggage reimbursement.
- Baggage delay insurance.
- Extended warranty protection.
- Purchase protection.
- Opportunity to earn a Companion Pass when you make 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year.
Cardholders earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases, and for the sign-up bonus you can earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
United℠ Business Card
The All-New United Business Card with limited-time offer: 100,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases.
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United, local transit and commuting and at gas stations, office supply stores and restaurants. Plus, earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
$100 annual United travel credit after 7 flight purchases of $100 or more
- All-New United Business Card with limited-time offer: 100,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases
- New benefit: Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on local transit and commuting- including train tickets, taxi cabs, mass transit, tolls and ride share services
- New benefit: $100 annual United travel credit after 7 flight purchases of $100 or more
- New benefit: annual "better together" bonus - 5,000 miles when you have United℠ Business Card and a personal Chase United credit card
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United, at gas stations, restaurants and office supply stores. Plus, earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. No foreign Transaction Fees.
- Free checked bag (terms apply), 2 United Club℠ one-time passes and 25% back on United inflight purchases
- Priority boarding for you and companions on the same reservation on United-operated flights
- Employee cards at no additional cost - miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account. Plus, you can set individual spending limits for each card.
See additional details for United℠ Business Card
For business owners who fly United frequently, the United℠ Business Card offers good value for a reasonable annual fee of $99. And the sign-up bonus is generous — The All-New United Business Card with limited-time offer: 100,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases.
Travel benefits include:
- First checked bag free.
- Priority boarding.
- 25% back on in-flight purchases.
- $100 United travel credit each account anniversary year that you use your card to make seven United flight travel-related purchases (each totaling $100 or more).
- Two United Club one-time passes.
For ongoing rewards: Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United, local transit and commuting and at gas stations, office supply stores and restaurants. Plus, earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Best cashback business credit cards
If travel rewards aren’t a priority, a cashback credit card can help offset the cost of regular business expense items. Here are a few good business cards that can put some money back toward your bottom line. Deciding which one is best for you will depend on what types of expenses your business spends the most on, or if you just need a flat-rate, cashback card.
Best for gas
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is a great cashback card for small businesses that consider themselves “road warriors.”
This card offers 3% cash back on your choice of one of the following six categories: gas stations, office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services, and 2% cash back on dining (on the first $50,000 each calendar year, then 1%. Earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
If your business is a big gas spender, it will benefit from the high cashback rate for this category. For example, if you spend $25,000 a year on gas station purchases eligible for the 3% rate, that’s $750 in cash back. This card has a $0 annual fee, allowing you to enjoy the cash back you earn at no yearly cost.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card also gives business customers cash flow management tools that allow you to monitor spending and travel and emergency services that add a layer of protection when traveling. Take note that this card is not a good choice for business personnel who travel abroad as they’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee of 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction on all spending.
Best for office supplies
If your business spends a lot at office supply stores, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card provides an extremely generous cashback rate. 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.
You can redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more.
In addition to the great rewards rate, there is a sign-up bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The annual fee for the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is $0.
If you’re looking for a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points rather than cash back and you don’t mind paying an annual fee, consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card instead. But be aware the annual fee for this card is $95.
Best for flat-rate cash back
As a small business owner, you may not have the time to keep up with various different cashback rates and caps for special categories that some cards utilize. That’s when a flat-rate cashback card may be your best bet, such as the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. It earns 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.
You are able to redeem cash back for any amount at any time, and cash back rewards won't expire for the life of the account.
Take note that there is an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that. If your business spends at least $4,750 on this card each year (after year one), you will earn enough cash back to recoup the cost of the annual fee.
Best if you don’t want to worry about predetermined rewards categories
Does your business spend a lot in certain categories during some months, then spend a lot in different categories during others? If so, the American Express® Business Gold Card has you covered. This card allows cardholders to get 4x membership rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month*.
The rewards categories for this card are as follows:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines.
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio).
- U.S. purchases at gas stations.
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions.
- U.S. purchases made at restaurants.
- U.S. purchases for shipping.
The 4X reward rate applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from your top two spending categories each year. After you hit the maximum yearly spend, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent.
This card carries an annual fee of $295.
To see rates & fees for American Express® Business Gold Card please click here.
Best luxury business credit card
Luxury credit cards are a great way for your business to enjoy the high-value rewards and benefits. They typically come with a high annual fee, but the benefits your business will receive are often worth it. Luxury credit cards provide first-rate benefits, such as lounge access, travel and purchase protections, travel credits, versatile rewards and more. Whether your business wants to enjoy airline credits, acquire travel insurance, or simply access an airport lounge — a luxury credit card is a great choice that will allow you to travel comfortably.
Our top pick in this category is The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the most prestigious luxury business credit card on the market. Although it comes with one of the highest annual fees of any card at $595, the rewards and benefits are top-notch.
You’ll earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.
And the welcome offer is generous as well, as long as you can meet the spending requirement: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
One of the biggest benfits of carrying this card is its wide-ranging lounge access. It comes with access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries. That includes lounges in Amex networks — such as The Centurion Lounge and The International American Express lounges — and also partner lounge networks such as Delta Sky Club.
Additional benefits to this card include:
- An annual airline fee statement credit of up to $200.
- An annual statement credit of up to $200 for U.S. purchases with Dell.
- 35% of points back when you use points for flights (up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year).
Taking advantage of these benefits can significantly reduce the annual fee. For example, if you use the full $200 airline fee statement credit each year, that essentially brings the card’s annual fee down from $595 to $395.
To see rates & fees for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.
Best business credit card for borrowing
Many small businesses may need to carry a balance from time to time. This isn’t ideal, but a card with an introductory 0% APR can provide a window of time to pay off debt without accruing interest charges. Our top pick when you need to pay off a large purchase over time is The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
With this card, you will receive intro 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After, a 13.24% - 19.24% variable applies. This is a solid amount of time to pay down your card’s balance.
The card also offers rewards. Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter. There is no annual fee.
To see rates & fees for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express please click here.
Small business credit cards FAQ
What makes a good business credit card for you?
A good business credit card should have a variety of features that set it apart from personal credit cards and business loans. Business credit cards are a good way for your business to build credit, track spending and earn rewards. When searching for a business credit card you should choose a card with the following benefits:
- Free employee cards
- Generous sign-up bonus/welcome offer
- Intro 0% APR period
- Rewards program
- Business spending reports
- Free credit score and credit monitoring tools
- Business credit reporting
- No foreign transaction fee
Are there credit cards specifically geared toward small businesses?
Yes, there are numerous credit cards that are geared toward small businesses. The cards in this post are all designed for small businesses, unlike standard personal credit cards. Most small business credit cards offer features that allow you to earn high rewards on business purchases, may offer travel benefits, and often offer tools to let you monitor spending.
What credit level and spending is required for a business card?
Although this is a small business card, both your personal and business credit score will be considered. Business cards typically require an average or better credit score. If you are new to credit or have bad/fair credit, you most likely will not qualify for a business card. Business cards approve applicants for higher credit limits than personal cards. This is due in part to the large volume of purchases businesses make. There is no minimum spending required annually for a business card.
How does this affect my personal credit score and history?
Business credit cards are a personal liability for business owners. Any unpaid balance on your business card will appear on your personal credit history and lower your personal credit score. This means you are liable for all purchases on your business card, including employee spending. To prevent issues, frequently monitor your account, limit employee spending and set up autopay.
Should you have more than one business card?
If your business is new to credit, it’s best to start with one business credit card so spending doesn’t get out of hand. This is important since you, as the business owner, are personally liable for all purchases made on the business card. As you build credit and your business’s needs grow, you may want to have multiple credit cards to maximize your rewards and benefits. You may want a travel rewards card to pair with an airline’s frequent flyer program, a cashback card for high-spending categories like office supplies and gas, a low-interest card if you have an existing balance or plan on making a large purchase, and a luxury card if you want to travel with ease. Keep in mind taking out an additional card will add to your personal risk and if you don’t want more liability, it is best to stick with one business card.
Are there benefits to a credit card over a business loan?
Yes, there are benefits that come with business credit cards that business loans do not provide. If you are looking to make ongoing purchases, a credit card could be a better choice than a loan. Read about the benefits business loans can provide and see below for the unique benefits of a business credit card:
- Rewards that can earn you points on everyday business purchases
- Sign-up bonus/welcome offers
- 0% intro rates — allowing you to pay a large purchase interest-free or pay off a balance on another card
- Easier tax filing by having all business purchases on one card
- No collateral required
- Revolving line of credit helps easily manage recurring payments
- Ability to build business credit
- Automate recurring expenses
- Monitor employee spending
The bottom line
The right business credit card can be a big help to your business, whether that be through earning miles you can redeem for travel, earning cash back or providing benefits that make your job easier. But before you apply, do your homework. There are numerous business cards on the market, and some will be a better fit for your business’s needs than others.
And remember — your business card can affect your personal credit if you fall behind on payments. Make sure to practice good credit habits, and if you issue business cards to your employees, educate them on responsible credit card usage too.
The information related to the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card,Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, American Express® Business Gold Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have been independently collected by CompareCards and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.