The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses
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Business cards are intended for small businesses, sole proprietors, or any consumer who wishes to divide his or her company’s spending with a separate card. For example, when I was a business traveler, I used a business card to charge my reimbursable expenses. I still had to apply for the card using my own credit, and I alone was responsible for payment. Using a business card allowed me to segregate my personal expenses from those my company was reimbursing me for. Today, I hold a variety of business and personal cards to maximize the features of each. (See also: 250+ Tips for Small Business Owners)
The Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses
Like personal cards, the market for business cards has been characterized by ever-increasing rewards and perks. Therefore, the selection criteria for the top business cards have been weighted heavily towards the rewards offered.
Chase Ink Plus® Business Card
Chase offers a dedicated line of business products called Ink. Their top-of-the-line product is the Ink Plus® Business Card. While it is not a simple knock off of a consumer card, it bears a close resemblance to Chase’s excellent Sapphire Preferred product.
Like its consumer cousin, Ink Plus card members earn points in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program. New applicants will receive 50,000 bonus points as a sign up bonus, after spending $5,000 in the first three months from opening the account. Thereafter, cardholders will earn five points per dollar spent (up to $50,000 combined each year) at office supply stores, cellular phone, landline, internet and cable services. Two points per dollar are earned (up to $50,000 combined each year) at gas stations and hotel rooms, with one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Cardholders can also transfer points to the programs of many airline and hotel partners. Finally, always get 20% off travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (50,000 points can be redeemed for $625 worth of travel). There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year.
Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
American Express offers a line of business credit and charge cards, but the The Business Gold Rewards Card is optimal for business owners looking for flexible travel rewards and can pay the balance in full each month. Earn 3x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines, 2x points on US purchases for advertising in select media, shipping, at gas stations, and made directly from select computer hardware, software, and cloud computing providers. Earn 1x points on other purchases.
Sign up offer: Get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. The annual fee of $175 is waived for the first year.
- Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
- Built with business-sized purchasing power and fast rewards
- 3X points on airfare purchased directly from airlines
- 2X points on US purchases for advertising in select media, shipping, at gas stations, and made directly from select computer hardware, software, and cloud computing providers
- Up to $100,000 in each category per year, then 1 point
- Use points to entertain clients, reward employees, reduce travel costs, or just offset the everyday expenses of moving your business forward
- Terms and limitations apply
SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express
If you want the quality and service of an American Express card for your business but don't want to commit to a charge card, try the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express. Get 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers, 3% on the category of your choice and 1% on other purchases. There's currently a limited time offer where you can get a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You also get a 0% APR on purchases for the first 9 months (then 12.24%-19.24 variable). The best thing about this card? There's no annual fee!
- With no annual membership fee, it's a smart choice for your business
- Reinvest in your business with automatic cash back
- 5% at U.S. office supply stores & on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- 3% on the category of your choice and 1% on other purchases
- On purchases up to $25,000 at 5% and 3% per rebate year, then 1%
- Limited Time Offer: You can get a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
- To be eligible for this offer, your application must be received by February 24, 2015
- Terms and limitations apply
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
Designed for businesses with an established credit history, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® offers great travel rewards for business owners who frequently need to travel. While this card earns miles for American Airlines specifically, it's a great program and airline popular among business travelers. There is a bonus sign-up offer of 30,000 American Airline AAdvantage® and two Admiral's Club® lounge One-Day Passes after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership. Additionally, earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases at certain office supply, telecommunications and car rental merchants; earn 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else. Receive a 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights, as well as first checked bag free for you and up to 4 travel companions and Group 1 Boarding. The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
The Spark® Miles for Business offers unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, every day. There is a bonus offer right now to get a one-time 25,000 miles after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. You can also earn an additional 5,000 bonus miles when you sign up for one or more employee cards within the first 60 days. That's $300 worth of travel costs. This card is also versatile in rewards redemptions. If you don't want to spend your miles on travel, you can redeem them for merchandise, gift cards, and even cash. There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year. Note: There is a no fee version of this card (Spark® Miles Select for Business) that offers unlimited 1.5x miles on every purchase and a 10,000 miles bonus offer.
U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards Card
The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards Card offers 3% cash back on cellular, gas and office supply stores and 1% on all other purchases. You'll also receive an annual bonus equal to 25% of your prior year's cash rewards, up to $250. There are no caps on rewards and you can redeem your cash rewards as soon as you hit $25. As long as you make one purchase per year, there is no annual fee. This is a great card for businesses that spend in those business categories, want easy cash rewards, and no annual fees.
By carefully considering the best business cards on the market, you can choose the product that best meets your needs.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.