Businesses of all sizes can apply for a business credit card. Even if your business is only part-time or freelance, a business credit card can be an extremely valuable financial tool. No matter which business credit card you pick, it’s important to remember that it will come with all the same responsibilities as any other credit card.
Our picks for
Good Business Credit Cards
- Good no fee business credit card: Chase Ink Business Unlimited
- Good small business credit card: Chase Ink Business Cash
- Good business credit card sign-up bonus: Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Good cash back business credit card: Capital One Spark Cash
- Good business credit card for travel: Capital One Spark Miles
- Good rewards business credit card: American Express Business Gold Card
Good no fee business credit card
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
Chase Ink Business Unlimited review
Chase Ink Business Unlimited a good choice for growing businesses, because there are no annual fees and cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on everyday business expenses without having to keep up with rotating categories. Plus, pay 0% APR on new purchases for the first year of opening the account.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited benefits
Rewards can be redeemed for cash, statement credits, gift cards, travel and more through the Chase Unlimited Rewards program. If you already have another Chase card, you might be able to transfer business credit card points in for a better return rate.
- Introductory 0% APR
Don’t pay interest on new purchases for a full year after opening the account.
- No spending categories
You’ll always get a flat rewards rate of 1.5% every time you use your Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card, no matter what category the purchase falls into.
- Additional cards
You can order cards for your employees for no extra cost. Employees earn rewards when they use their business credit cards too.
What to know about the Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card
We like that there’s no annual fee to pay, but keep in mind that a 3% foreign transaction fee will be charged for each transaction you make outside of the U.S. Cash advance fees are also 5% or $5, whichever is greater.
Is the Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card worth it?
With the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card, every purchase gets 1.5% cash back, so you can earn unlimited hassle-free rewards without paying an annual fee. Other business credit cards have higher reward rates for specific categories, but the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is worth it if you can take advantage of the 0% APR period to make larger purchases needed to grow your business.
Good small business credit card
Chase Ink Business Cash
Chase Ink Business Cash review
For businesses anticipating expenses related to office supplies and internet, cable or phone service bills, the Chase Ink Business Cash card automatically earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on those categories each year. Purchases at gas stations and restaurants earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year, and all other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back.
Chase Ink Business Cash benefits
In addition to substantial cash back rewards on everyday business purchases, Chase Ink Business Cash also comes with an introductory APR period, free employee cards and more:
- Flexible rewards
Redeem rewards and bonuses for cash back, plus gift cards and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
- 0% introductory APR
Pay 0% APR on new purchases over the first year of your account.
- Employee cards
Get additional cards for your employees to use at no extra cost. Employees earn rewards at the same rate, and you can easily set spending limits on individual employees.
What to know about the Chase Ink Business Cash card
We like that there’s no annual fee, but keep in mind there is a 5% or $15 fee if you take out a cash advance. A 3% foreign transaction fee will be charged if you use your business overseas or outside the U.S.
Is the Chase Ink Business Cash card worth it?
The Chase Ink Business Cash card has a generous rewards program without an annual fee, which makes it an excellent credit card for growing businesses that need access to funds. The highest rewards are in office supply and internet, cable and phone categories, so small businesses can get the biggest return when they spend on those items.
Good business credit card sign-up bonus
Chase Ink Business Preferred
Chase Ink Business Preferred review
If you already make purchases related to travel and business categories like internet, shipping costs and advertising, this card makes it easy to accumulate bonus points quickly. In addition to the bonus offer, Chase Ink Business Preferred earns 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 you spend on travel and select business categories each year. All other purchases are worth 1 point per $1.
Chase Ink Business Preferred benefits
All rewards points will transfer to Chase airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio and that additional cards for your employees don’t cost extra. More Chase Ink Business Preferred card highlights include:
- Travel and purchase coverage
Chase provides trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, plus roadside dispatch and an auto rental collision damage waiver. You’ll also be covered on new purchases for 120 days against theft and damage up to $10,000.
- Cell phone protection
If you pay your company’s monthly phone bill with a Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you and your employees get cell phone protection against damage or theft up to $600 per claim.
- Multiple ways to redeem rewards
As part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer points you earn to a range of airlines and hotels across the globe. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
What to know about the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card
The annual fee for Chase Ink Business Preferred credit cards is lower than many competitors, and we like that there’s no foreign transaction fee. There is a 5% or $15 fee for cash advances, whichever is greater, per transaction.
Is the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card worth it?
It's easy to spend $5,000 on business expenses in 3 months, and it will earn you 80,000 bonus points, which can be redeemed for $1,000 toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Even after the welcome bonus period expires, the Chase Ink Business Preferred card is worth it for the ongoing 3X rewards categories and reasonable annual fee.
Good cash back business credit card
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Capital One Spark Cash for Business review
If you want a flat percentage rate back on every purchase, Capital One Spark Cash business card is a great option. Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every business purchase made with a Capital One Spark Cash for Business card. Plus, rewards never expire and can be redeemed at any amount.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business benefits
In addition to unlimited cash back rewards, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card comes with business credit card perks like emergency card replacement, fraud coverage and purchase protection.
- Fraud coverage and interactive alerts
Capital One’s $0 fraud liability policy kicks in if your Spark Cash for Business card is ever lost or stolen.
- Purchase security
Eligible items will be replaced, repaired or reimbursed in the event of damage or theft within 90 days of purchase when made with a Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card.
- Free employee cards
Add cards for your employees at no additional cost. Employees’ cards also earn rewards on purchases they make.
- Accounting assistance
Get itemized reports of all of your spending to help with future planning and budgets. Easily keep track of your purchase records by securely downloading them on to Quicken, QuickBooks or Excel.
What to know about the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card
Remember that you’ll have to pay the annual fee each year after the first. There’s no foreign transaction fee, but if you need a cash advance, Capital One will charge a fee of $10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. Your credit limit will largely be determined by your credit history, but the minimum credit line you’ll receive is $2,000.
Is the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card worth it?
Capital One Spark Cash is great for an entrepreneur who doesn’t want to keep track of different categories or other restrictions on rewards. Capital One Spark Cash has fewer hotel and airline perks than some competitors, but it’s worth it if your business doesn’t require much travel.
Good business credit card for travel
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Capital One Spark Miles for Business review
Perfect for business owners who are always on the go, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card earns 2 miles for every $1 spent on every purchase. You can accumulate unlimited miles to fly on any airline without worrying about seat restrictions or blackout dates.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business benefits
This business card comes with features and perks that almost any business can benefit from, like extra cards for employees at no additional cost (employee cards also earn 2 miles per $1 spent on their cards). Other advantages that come with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card include:
- Travel emergency assistance
A range of 24/7 emergency services, including ticket replacement and legal or medical referrals, are available when you travel for business. Plus, when you rent a car with a Capital One Spark Business card, you’ll be covered for theft or damage caused by an accident under the auto rental collision damage waiver.
- $0 fraud liability
If your Capital One Spark Miles for Business card is lost or stolen, you won’t be liable for the charges.
- Accounting and records
Capital One Spark Miles cardholders get custom, itemized spending reports to help with future planning and budgeting. Purchase records can be securely downloaded for Quicken, QuickBooks or Excel for easier accounting too.
What to know about the Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card
The first year’s annual fee is waived and there aren’t foreign transaction fees, but keep in mind that you will have to pay a fee for cash advances. Cash advance fees are either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. Minimum credit lines start at $2,000 for approved applicants.
Is the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card worth it?
The Capital One Spark Miles card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on every new purchase. This business card makes it easy to rack up miles for travel, so the annual fee is worth it if you travel frequently.
Good rewards business credit card
American Express Business Gold Card
American Express Business Gold Card review
For those looking for a business card with a generous welcome bonus and rewards program, premium benefits and flexibility, the American Express Business Gold Card is well worth the annual fee. Cardholders select two categories to earn 4 rewards points per $1 spent in those combined categories for the first $150,000 each year. Like all revolving credit cards, every month you’ll have the option to pay your American Express Business Gold Card balance in full each month, or you can pay over time with interest.
American Express Business Gold Card benefits
The American Express Business Gold Card comes with additional benefits that can make running your business easier than before. Enjoy a range of expense management tools and flexible solutions for managing cash flow:
- Maximize rewards categories
It’s simple to earn rewards for purchases made in select categories. Category options are airfare (purchased directly from an airline), advertising (internet, television and radio), gas stations, restaurants, shipping and purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud services. Terms apply.
- Business perks
American Express Business Gold Card comes with several expense management tools that can make it even easier to track and organize your business expenses and employee card options. Plus, get up to one free year of G Suite Basic by Google Cloud, which comes with video conferencing, cloud storage, file sharing and more, as well as up to a year of ZipRecruiter Standard in the form of statement credits.
- Pay with Points
Get 25% points back when you book a first or business class flight through the American Express Pay with Points program for up to 250,000 points back per year.
What to know about the American Express Business Gold Card
The annual fee for the American Express Business Gold Card is higher than some of its competitors, and it’s not waived the first year. On the plus side, you won’t be charged a foreign transaction fee if you make a purchase with a vendor outside the U.S. There’s no pre-set spending limit, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of purchasing power.
Is the American Express Business Gold Card worth it?
Cardholders get the most out of American Express’s Membership Rewards program when they spend in specific categories, so the American Express Business Gold Card is only worth it if you maximize the rewards program. If most of your purchases are in categories that don’t earn the most rewards, consider a business credit card without an annual fee.
What is a good business credit card?
Any business credit card can help you manage expenses and improve your business’s credit score. When you’re comparing business credit cards against each other, it’s important to pay attention to the annual fee. Plenty of business credit cards don’t have an annual fee, but the ones that do usually come with rewards programs and other benefits to make the fee worth it. Often, business credit cards come with generous sign-up bonuses — consider these a perk, but don’t apply for a credit card just for the sign-up bonus.
What distinguishes a lot of these cards from one another is their rewards programs. Which one is best for you will depend on your financial situation and business needs over the short and long term.
Compare business credit cards
|Chase Ink Business Unlimited||1.5% cash back on all purchases|
|Chase Ink Business Cash||5% cash back on select categories|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||3X rewards on select categories|
|Capital One Spark Cash||2% cash back on all purchases|
|Capital One Spark Miles||2 miles per $1 spent on all purchase|
|American Express Gold Business Card||4X rewards points on select categories|
What is a business credit card?
Much like a personal credit card, a business credit card is a financial tool that can help a company build a credit profile, organize funds and earn rewards for purchases. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a business credit card. An employer identification number isn’t required to apply for a business credit card, though having one will make the application process easier.
Business credit cards provide what’s known as a revolving line of credit, which means that your access to funds is renewed every time you pay off the balance. Interest rates on business credit cards are typically a little higher than interest rates on personal credit cards, but it can be worth it for the expense planning tool and rewards programs.
How do business credit cards work?
Business credit cards give entrepreneurs access to convenient capital. Additional business credit card benefits include free accounting features, extra cards for employees and rewards accumulation. Just like with a personal credit card, you can earn cash back rewards and bonuses when you use the card on purchases that you make all the time. Business credit card issuers often have additional reward programs for business accounts, like rebates and discounts with affiliate partners.
There are three general types of business credit cards:
- Revolving business credit cards
With revolving business credit cards you have the option to pay your balance each month or pay your balances over time with interest. The most common type of business credit card, revolving cards come with a pre-set credit limit based on your personal or business credit and finance history.
- Business charge cards
Business charge cards are similar to revolving business credit cards, except you must pay your balance off each month and there is not a pre-set spending limit. Like revolving business credit cards, business charge cards also earn rewards and bonuses.
- Secured business credit cards
Similar to a secured loan, a secured business credit card requires you put down a deposit or some other collateral, which largely determines your spending limit.
Even if you’re not running a traditional start-up or mom-and-pop shop, you could still benefit from some type of business credit card if you have a side hustle. For example, freelance photographers can use a business credit card to develop film or pay for lighting equipment. Put simply, a business credit card can make it easier to separate your business and personal funds.
Earn up to 80,000 bonus points and 3X rewards with a business card
How do you build business credit?
The three business credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Dun & Bradstreet, calculate business credit scores similar to consumer credit bureaus, except on a scale of 0–100 instead of 300–850. Just like with personal credit, business credit can be improved by keeping credit utilization ratios low and paying off the balance every month. Keep in mind that more than one late payment can trigger a high penalty APR, which makes it even tougher to get back on track.
Most credit experts suggest keeping credit utilization below 30 percent. If you need to tap into funds for an expense that exceeds 30 percent of your credit utilization ratio, consider applying for a business loan instead of a business credit card. Alternatively, if you find yourself coming close to your credit limit every month, ask your issuer about raising your limit, or explore business cards without pre-set spending limits.
Do business credit cards affect personal credit?
While your credit score factors into whether or not you can qualify for a business credit card, once you have one the issuer will rarely report you to the personal credit bureaus unless you are habitually missing payments. If your issuer does report business credit card activity to consumer credit reports, keeping up with business debts can improve your individual credit score over time.
Unless your business has already been successful for long enough to establish its own creditworthiness, you’ll have to apply for a business credit card with your personal financial information. Card issuers will pull a hard credit inquiry when you apply for a business credit card, which will appear on your credit report. When the business credit card is backed by a personal guarantee, failure to settle debts will negatively impact the cardholder’s credit score. Most small business owners will be required to sign a personal guarantee to be approved for a business credit card.
How to get a business credit card
Business credit cards are often easier to qualify for than other types of credit cards and business loans. If approved, your business has access to a line of credit for expenses, and you can earn extra rewards on the purchases your business needs to make anyway. Luckily, it’s relatively simple to apply for a business credit card.
- Determine your eligibility
It might surprise you what card issuers consider to be a business. You aren’t required to have an LLC or corporation to apply for a business credit card. Even if you’re a freelance or part-time contract worker, you should consider applying for a business credit card. For example, you could use a business credit card to purchase materials for wares you intend to peddle on sites like Etsy or to fill up your gas tank if you are a Lyft driver.
- Check your credit score
Getting a business credit card with bad personal credit is tough. Knowing your credit score will help determine which business credit cards you can qualify for. Most issuers like to see a personal credit score above 640, and you’ll need a personal credit score of around 750 to get the best rates and reward benefits.
- Compare business credit cards
Your credit score will help you narrow down your options before you start comparing the fine print. Look at rewards factors and fees to see which one is the best fit for you. For example, some business credit cards earn more rewards on a particular category, like office supplies. If you don’t make many purchases in that category, then you won’t be getting the most out of that card.
- Fill out the application
Card issuers must evaluate your personal financial history plus your business’s revenue and monthly expenses. The card issuer will want to understand your business, your role and responsibilities within the company, how long your business has existed, how many employees you have, annual revenue and estimated monthly expenses. You must include your business’ legal name, which will appear on the card if your application is approved, and contact information. If you have an LLC or corporation, you can apply with the business name that you registered with the state and include your nine-digit Employer Identification Number. If not, you can apply for a business credit card with your Social Security number. You will also provide personal details. Depending on if your business has established a credit history and score or not, credit card issuers may consider your personal financial history to determine if you qualify for a business credit card.
- Sign a personal guarantee
It’s possible to get a credit card for a new business without having built up any business credit. Most new business owners will have to sign a personal guarantee to get approved for commercial credit. A personal guarantee is a legally binding contract stating you will be personally responsible for repaying debts if your business is unable to.
- Get your new business credit card in the mail
Depending on the issuer, you should receive your new business credit card through the mail in 2–12 days if you’re approved.
ConsumerAffairs has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. ConsumerAffairs and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
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