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The Best Business Credit Cards…

The 30-Second Review

We analyzed 30 of the best business credit cards to find which ones offer at least 3x points or 3% cash back, and did the math to see which have the biggest potential payout. Picking the right one for you comes down to matching the biggest rewards to your biggest business expenses — and taking advantage of built-in extras like receipt trackers and cash-flow management.

Best for Freelancers and Small Businesses

Best for Businesses with Major Office Supply Expenses

  • January 23, 2018 – We’ve updated this page to reflect new perks and terms of our top picks. We’ll be doing a complete overhaul of this review in the coming months to delve deeper into how to find the best business credit card for your business.

The Best Business Credit Cards

It’s an entrepreneur’s rite of passage: the moment you open your first business credit card account. Some people start their business lines of credit before they even launch their businesses, while others start with a few freelance side gigs and then realize that their business has grown to the point at which a separate business credit card would be a valuable asset. Either way, if you’re running a business — no matter how big or how small — you can benefit from a business credit card.

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card are good options for lots of people, but especially for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card rewards business trips with 3x points per dollar spent on travel — as well as on shipping costs, internet/cable/phone bills, and even advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines — for up to $150,000 per year. An 80,000-point bonus for spending $5,000 in the first three months offsets the $95 annual fee. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is better for those who don’t travel as much: You get 5% back on office supply store purchases and internet/cable/phone bills on up to $25,000 a year, plus 2% back on gas and restaurants on up to another $25,000 per year. Better still: This card has no annual fee.

For businesses with larger expenses, there’s the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express and the Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard® Credit Card. Both have no annual fees and emphasize office supplies. With the American Express, you get 5% back on up to $50,000 in office supply store purchases; the Bank of America card gives only 3% back, but its annual cap is much higher at $250,000, which would net you way more if you maxed it out.

If your big business has big expenses for travel, advertising, or office supplies (or all of the above) consider The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. It’s a charge card, meaning you have no credit limit but have to make sure the balance is paid in full each billing cycle. You get 3x points on your choice of one of the above categories, and 2x points on the others. The rewards are designed to be put back into your business and can be redeemed for restaurants or entertainment, or gift cards, or actual cash deposits in your account.

Our Top Picks for the Best Business Credit Cards

Best for Freelancers and Small Businesses

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card works well for small businesses whose primary expenses are online advertising, shipping, and travel. If your business involves getting your products — and yourself — in front of people, this is a great card for you. With the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you get 3x points per dollar spent on travel expenses, shipping costs, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, for up to $150,000 in purchases per year.

You also get 1x point per dollar on all other purchases, plus 80,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account. One point is worth roughly one cent, which means those 80,000 bonus points are worth $800. Points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, and more — but you get a 25% point boost if you redeem your points for travel purchases, like hotels and airfares, through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. (This card is definitely designed to benefit travelers; it even comes with trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance.) It also comes with a $95 annual fee, but you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad. This cards also get you access to the Ink app, which lets you “snap and save” receipts, add categories, and keep your business organized.

How much cash back can you earn if you max out your limits?

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
3x points on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and online advertising* 450,000 points ($4,500, or $5,625 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®)
1x points on all other purchases 10 points per $1,000 spent ($10, or $12.50 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®)
Bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months 80,000 points ($800, or $1,000 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®)

*for up to $150,000 in purchases per year

Runner Up

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card5% cash back on office supplies and internet, phone, & cable, plus 2% cash back on gas and restaurants, on up to $25,000/year each.

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, on the other hand, has no annual fee and is perfect for smaller spenders (think: freelancers) and those who aren’t jetsetting quite as much. This card gets you 5% cash back on internet, cable, and phone services (so go ahead and get the fastest internet package available) and on purchases at office supply stores. Plus, you get 2% cash back on gas and restaurant purchases. Your 5% and 2% cash back both tap out after $25,000 in purchases per year, but you get 1% cash back on everything else.
Like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card also comes with a (smaller) bonus option: 30,000 bonus points, i.e. $300 bonus cash back, after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Like with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you also get access to the Ink app to keep your receipts and business organized.

How much cash back can you earn if you max out your limits?

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
5% cash back on internet, cable, phone, and office supplies* $1,250
2% cash back on restaurant and gas purchases* $500
1% cash back on all other purchases $10 per $1,000 spent
Bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months $300

*for up to $25,000 in purchases per year

Best for Businesses with Major Office Supply Expenses

If you’re the kind of small-business owner who is always restocking the supply closet, it’s time to look into the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. With this no-annual fee card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on office supply store purchases and wireless telephone services, up to your first $50,000 in purchases.

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express also lets you earn 3% cash back on a category of your choice, up to your first $50,000 in purchases. Categories include:

  • Airfares
  • Hotel rooms
  • Car rentals from select car rental companies
  • US gas station purchases
  • US restaurant purchases
  • US purchases for advertising in select media
  • US shipping purchases
  • US computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases from select providers

That choose-your-own 3% category makes this card hugely flexible — it’s able to meet the expenses of lots of different business types. Plus, you earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

One extra thing to note: The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express lets you spend over your credit limit with no penalty as long as you pay that overlimit balance off in full before your credit cycle ends, which makes the card a bit more flexible for major purchases. And while you’re making those purchases, don’t forget to use American Express OPEN’s ReceiptMatch℠ to add receipts, notes, and tags to each purchase. Keep all of your important business expense info in one place, and you’ll stay organized and be better prepared come tax time.

How much cash back can you earn if you max out your limits?

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
5% cash back on office supply store purchases and wireless telephone services* $2,500
3% cash back on a category of your choice* $1,500
1% cash back on all other purchases $10 per $1,000 spent

*for up to $50,000 in purchases per year

Runner Up

If you know that your office supplies are going to top $50,000 (maybe you’re setting up a brand-new office space), we suggest the Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard® Credit Card. With this no-annual fee card, you only get 3% back on office supply and gas station purchases, but your limit is $250,000 per year, which will net you much more cash back than the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express if you reach it. In addition, you get 2% back at restaurants, and 1% back on everything else.

How much cash back can you earn if you max out your limits?

nk of America® Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard® Credit Card
3% cash back at gas stations and office supply stores* $7,500
2% cash back on restaurants* $20 per $1,000 spent
1% cash back on all other purchases $10 per $1,000 spent

*for up to $250,000 in purchases per year

Best for Big Businesses

If you want to run a lot of purchases through a high-powered, high-rewards card, consider The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. This is a charge card, not a credit card, which means you must pay your balance off in full at the end of every billing cycle. It also means you don’t have a credit limit — which is great if you plan to put a lot of big expenses on your card.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has a $175 annual fee (which is waived during your first year as a cardmember), but it comes with some serious rewards. First, you get 3x points on your choice of one of five categories:

  • Airfares purchased directly from airlines
  • US gas station purchases
  • US purchases for advertising in select media
  • US shipping purchases
  • US computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases from select providers

Second, you get 2x points on all four remaining categories — and your points don’t top out until you’ve spent $100,000 on each of the five categories. You could spend $100,000 on advertising, $100,000 on airfare, and $100,000 on gas and earn either 2x or 3x points on all of those purchases.
You get 1x points on all other purchases, as well as 75,000 bonus points if you spend $10,000 in the first three months of opening your account. This all adds up to some serious points.
Once you’ve earned your points, it’s time to put them to use. The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is designed so you put your rewards back into your business, by redeeming points for restaurants or entertainment with clients or gift cards for hard-working employees — as opposed to straight cash in your bank account. You also get access to American Express OPEN’s ReceiptMatch℠ to help you track your many expenses.

How many points can you earn if you max out your limits?

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
3x points on your choice of category* 300,000 points ($3,000)
2x points on four remaining categories* 800,000 points ($8,000)
1x points on all other purchases 10 points ($10) per $1,000 spent
Bonus points after spending $10,000 in the first three months 75,000 points ($750)

*for up to $100,000 in purchases per year

Other Business Credit Cards to Consider

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
This charge card didn’t make our final cut because it doesn’t offer at least 3% cash back, but it does offer a gob of travel benefits that might be more important to you than cash back, including a 50% bonus if you use American Express Membership Rewards® Pay With Points to book airfare — that is, you’ll get 50% of your points back — and complimentary access to more than 1,000 travel lounges. If you’re a frequent business traveler who can pay off a charge card in full every month and you want serious travel rewards, check it out.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, you can earn up to 5 Starpoints® per dollar spent at participating Starwood Preferred Guest hotels, as well as 2 Starpoints® per dollar at participating Marriott Rewards® hotels. Starpoints® can be redeemed for free nights at hotels or transferred to participating frequent flyer programs. You also get additional perks like free Boingo WiFi and access to the Sheraton® Club Lounge. This is another card that only gets you travel perks, so you’re giving up the opportunity to earn higher rewards on office supplies, telecommunications, or advertising — although you will earn at least 1 Starpoint® on all purchases, so it’s not like you’re going completely reward-less.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
If your small business involves a lot of Costco runs, you might benefit from the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi. This card gets you 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases, 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel expenses, and 2% cash back on spending at Costco and Costco.com — as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Did You Know?

We reached out to two experts: Jonathan Medows, CPA and managing member of MEDOWS CPA, and Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, to discuss some of the biggest benefits of having a business credit card.

Your business credit card can help with accounting, especially if you’re a freelancer.

“Some freelancers don’t use a formal accounting system,” Medows explains. “A business credit card can help you track expenses by category.” Both Chase and American Express provide organizational tools to help you manage your business expenses and keep track of your receipts.

You can use a business credit card to keep track of your tax-deductible business expenses.

If you’re a freelancer or small-business owner, you are probably very aware that many of your business expenses are tax-deductible. You’re probably also aware that you need to keep track of those tax-deductible expenses. Putting all of your business expenses on a business credit card — and paying your card off every month — will get you a record of every dollar you’re spending on your business, which can come in very handy when it’s time to pay taxes.

Yes, you can put business expenses on a dedicated consumer credit card — but that’s not a great long-term strategy.

You might be wondering if you can just get a personal credit card — like one of our top cash back credit cards — and put all of your business expenses on that card. While this is technically possible, it’s not advisable. As Medows explains, you want to start preparing for your business’ growth. Both freelancers and small-business owners will want to build up a business credit history with the credit bureaus, especially if they want to increase their lines of credit and extend credit to employees. Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet all track business credit histories, so treat your business’ credit like you would treat your own: Don’t max out your cards; make all your payments on time; pay off your balances as soon as possible; and be a good borrower. The credit bureaus want to see this kind of behavior, especially if your business needs more credit in the future.

However, your business credit card won’t give you the same protections as a consumer credit card.

“Business credit cards are not generally covered by the Credit CARD Act,” Schulz says. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 protects consumers from certain types of credit card fees and rate increases — such as bumping up your APR after one late payment — but business credit cards do not come with the same protections. “If you make a mistake with a business card,” he adds, “you can get hit very quickly with fee and rate increases.”
Read the fine print. In the case of the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, for example, you get a 0% intro APR for 12 months followed by a variable APR of 13.49% – 19.49% — unless you make a late payment, at which point your APR can jump as high as 29.99%. Know what you’re getting into before you sign up for a business credit card, and make sure you follow all of the rules.

You can use your business credit card to manage cash flow.

If you’re a freelancer or a small-business owner, you probably also know that it sometimes takes a while for clients to pay you. That’s where a business credit card can come in handy. If you know you’ll be getting a $5,000 check in 30 days, use your business credit card to pay for business expenses until the check arrives — and then use the check to pay down your balance. Think of your business credit card as a way of ensuring you always have cash even if your checks haven’t arrived yet. Be careful to only spend money that you’ve already earned; otherwise, you might find yourself paying interest on a balance that you can’t pay off.

Choosing the Right Business Credit Card for You

Business credit cards can be a great financial resource for organizations of all sizes. For small businesses, finding the right card is particularly important. The lists featured below identify the best business credit cards for small businesses, and highlight the top business charge cards on the market today.
The 3 Best Small Business Credits Cards
The 3 Best Business Charge Cards

The Best Business Credit Cards: Summed Up


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