While running up credit card debt to start your business is a bad idea, it is wise to have a business credit card.
Not only will it start to build your business’s credit profile, but it can provide you a needed line of credit.
Many of these cards have generous rewards programs and other perks. Just be careful not to get caught carrying too much debt on your card.
As with personal credit cards, the interest on business cards can eat into your profits.
Below is our take on some of the best small business credit cards on the market today.
The American Express Business Platinum credit card is one of the best-known options for small businesses, and for good reason. For an annual fee of $595, you get a card that provides a wide range of benefits and perks while still offering a very competitive interest rate between 14.24% and 22.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. If you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months, you will earn 85,000 membership rewards points as a welcome offer. Additionally, you get 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels from amextravel.com, along with 1.5x points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more, and 1x points for every dollar your spend on purchases less than that.
There are few credit card reward programs that can rival the range of ways you can earn Amex points, and if you travel a lot, you can leverage the airline bonuses and the global lounges available at airports across the world. This isn’t even to mention the hotels, trip delay insurance, and trip cancellation support that comes with it as a package. For small business owners who are constantly traveling, you really can turn this offering into something that works for you.
The Ink Business Preferred credit card from Chase does pack a lot into its $95 annual membership fee to give small businesses everything they need from a credit card. The interest rate ranges from 15.99% – 20.99% depending on creditworthiness. And their penalties for late payment are some of the most competitive in the industry. New cardmembers can receive 100,000 bonus loyalty points (the equivalent of $1,000) if they spend more than $15,000 in the first three months after opening the account.
The reward program is vast and flexible, but some of the main highlights include 3x points on the first $150,000 per year spent on shipping purchases, online advertising purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and travel. All of which are crucial small business expenses and the card rewards that in a big way. When you join Chase Ultimate Rewards as well, you access many more cashback rewards on gift cards, travel experiences, and more.
The card comes with fraud protection, purchase protection, and personalized account alerts, as well as allowing individual spending limits on additional employee cards at no extra cost. It’s everything you could want under one roof.
The Blue Business Cash credit card is a more affordable option from American Express that gives all the functionality you need without the bells and whistles. There is no annual fee for this card, making it a competitive option. You will also receive a 0% introductory offer on purchases up to your credit limit for the first 12 months from when you open the account. After that, you’re looking at a rate of between 13.24% and 19.24% depending on your financial situation.
From a rewards perspective, you earn 2% cashback on all eligible purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year before that drops down to 1%. This is automatically added to your statement so that it’s clear and transparent throughout the process.
What’s useful for small business owners is the suite of expense management tools that come along for the ride. You can add employee cards quickly and efficiently, view online statements whenever you need, and set specific account alerts. You also get a detailed year-end summary to help visualize your spending and help you plan for the following year. It’s a powerful combination of features, riding on the vast acceptance network for Amex cards worldwide. It’s a great option, every way you look at it.
The Spark Business Cash credit card from Capital One has excellent customer reviews that all talk to how competitive the offering is. The annual fee is $0 for the first year (to sweeten the deal) and then $95 per year after that. Also, you can earn a one-time $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 or more in the first three months after opening the account. The interest rate is in the range of 20.99% but will vary depending on the Prime rate and your specific financial credit score.
The rewards that Capital One offers are nothing to sneeze at either. You’ll get unlimited 2% cashback which you can redeem at any time with no minimums whatsoever. When it comes to business features, you get excellent fraud coverage tools, free additional employee cards, no forex fees paid on international transactions, and payment flexibility, to name a few. Few other options offer this sort of full-featured service at such a low price. It’s right up there as one of the best small business credit cards out there.
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express credit card is one that you’ll notice immediately because of its vibrant purple color. But behind the card is a range of services and rewards that should tickle the fancy of any small business owner. The annual fee is $550, and you’ll be looking at an interest rate of between 15.74% and 24.74% on your purchases. There is currently an opening offer of 80,000 bonus miles, 20,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, and a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on your card within three months.
After that, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounges at airports, 1.5 miles per dollar after the first $150,000, 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, and Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit, making your travel experience a breeze. If you’re doing a lot of flying, then the Delta option provides incredible value for the money. You’ll also get the American Express online banking tie-in, vendor payments from bill.com, and additional employee cards that can earn you even more miles.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card does a fantastic job at pulling together a range of different rewards and functionality while still keeping the annual fee very low at $125 for the year. When you first open your account, you’ll earn 75,000 bonus points assuming you make $3,000 worth of eligible purchases within the first three months. You’ll also earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases – putting money back into your pocket immediately.
Then you get to the extensive rewards. You’ll earn 6 points for every dollar of purchases at Marriot Bonvoy hotels, 4 points for each dollar spent at US restaurants, gas stations, and wireless telephone services, and then 2 points on all other eligible purchases. You get a free night award every year after your card account anniversary and 15 elite night credits every calendar year. All in all, if you’re typically spending a lot of time in hotels as you run your business, this can be a great credit card for you.
Brex has a unique solution that stands out from the rest because it is more of a FinTech player than a traditional bank. And their credit cards reflect that as they are targeted towards technology start-ups and life-science start-ups specifically. You can sign up in minutes at high limits, with a range of tools and features in the back end to help you manage your business from anywhere. There is no charge for the card, as Brex earns its revenue from merchants.
Their rewards are also very heavily geared for small businesses. You earn points on all card spending which you can then redeem for cash back, gift cards, or miles – whatever is most useful at the time. You’ll receive 8x points on ridesharing spend, 5x on flights and hotels through Brex Travel, 4x on restaurants and dining, 3x on business software like Salesforce, Zendesk, Twilio, and the like, as well as 3x on eligible Apple hardware products. On top of that, Brex has gone above and beyond to secure partner perks of up to $150,000 in value. These include AWS and Google Ads credits and substantial discounts on Slack, Zoom, QuickBooks, and so much more.
It’s a fascinating look at the credit card of the future. It is one of the best small business credit card offerings out there for technology-focused companies who want to make the most of cloud-based SaaS products to run their business.
The Ink Business Cash credit card brings the wealth of Chase experience to small businesses without any of the fluff. The card has no annual fee and boasts very competitive interest rates of between 13.24% – 19.24% depending on your creditworthiness. But the exciting thing is that you won’t feel any of that for the first year because of the 0% introductory offer. This makes it one of the most affordable small business credit cards on the market.
Let’s talk about the rewards. You’ll earn 5% cashback on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and internet, cable or phone services. You’ll earn 2% cashback on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants. And then you’ll earn 1% cashback on all other purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for a wide variety of perks through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. It’s a simple offering backed by a stellar Chase track record and a very reliable merchant network. It’s a great option if you care about the brand name and the stability it brings with it. This can be incredibly valuable for a new business trying to get off the ground.
The Spark Miles credit card from Capital One is another great option if you’re looking for small business credit cards. They waive the annual fee for the first year and then charge $95 a year after that. Your interest rate is variable but will be somewhere in the region of 20.99%. As a new cardholder, you’ll earn 50,000 miles after spending at least $4,500 in the first three months from the account opening date.
The Spark Miles card gets you unlimited 2x rewards on every purchase with no restrictions so that you can redeem it your way on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more from a wide range of travel partners. You’ll get Global Entry or TSA Pre Credit which makes moving through airports a breeze, and you can leverage the additional employee cards to empower your staff, according to set limits. All in all, it’s a well-balanced offering that gives you everything you need and a nifty rewards setup that is perfect for business owners running around to make the magic happen.
The Business Platinum credit card from US Bank is a great credit card solution for small businesses because of its introductory 0% interest rate offer on purchases for the first 15 billing cycles, followed by a rate between 11.99% and 20.99% after that. There is no annual fee on the card for you or on any additional cards, which gives you the flexibility to structure your purchases however you wish across your staff complement. You’ll also have access to 24/7 dedicated customer service right here in the USA – so you are never left high and dry.
Their mobile payments allow you to pay conveniently with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and the like. You also have a sophisticated spending tool that analyses where your money is going to optimize your business processes and catch any potential habits that you can improve on. Couple this with world-class fraud protection, and you’ve got a great small business credit card option backed by the brand that US Bank has built over the years. This card is for those who want to save money on the interest payments, rather than playing the rewards game, which can be convoluted and administratively tedious when trying to optimize it. It’s simple yet effective.
Having access to credit is critical for many businesses, especially startups.
Since you may not have all the capital needed to make upfront purchases a business credit card comes in handy.
Just make sure not to spend so heavily that you can’t pay down most of the debt quickly—no need for any more of your profits to go towards interest than necessary.
If you manage your small business credit cards appropriately, many offer generous rewards that can offset any other costs.
Having one of these cards in your pocket can make life easier as you start and operate your small business.