February 21, 2024

Futureality

Future Depends on What You Do

Best Business Credit Cards of July 2023

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers premium benefits for business travelers. 
  • The top features: Earn five points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels through the American Express Travel portal, and earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. The card earns 1.5 points per dollar in business-specific categories like software and cloud system providers and shipping providers. Get access to over $1,000 in annual statement credits to cover business purchases and a $200 annual airline fee credit.
  • Another card to consider: If you prefer a card with no annual fee, consider the U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard. You can earn 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cellphone service providers and restaurants. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

See our full review.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: This card offers cash back rewards on eligible purchases and has no annual fee, making it a great choice for those who want to maximize rewards on everyday business spending.
  • The top features: New cardholders will earn $750 in bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You’ll also 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; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on everything else. New cardholders will also get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months after an APR 18.24% to 24.24% variable applies.
  • Another card to consider: If you prefer a more simple rewards structure, the The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card earns 2% cash back on all eligible purchases for the first $50,000 spent annually, then 1%.

See our full review.

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: This card has no annual fee and offers a 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, it has a 18.24% to 26.24% variable APR.
  • The top features: This card earns 2% cash back on all eligible purchases for the first $50,000 spent annually, then 1% after that.  
  • Another card to consider: If you want to maximize your rewards, consider the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, which lets users earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants; and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

See our full review.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: With this card, cardholders earn two points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually. 
  • The top features: In addition to the points earned by using The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, enjoy 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening After that, it has a 18.24% to 26.24% variable APR, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening. APR will not exceed 29.99%, as well as pay no annual fee. 
  • Another card to consider: If you prefer to earn more points on higher spending limits, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year

See our full review.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: This card offers a solid rewards structure, a lucrative sign-up bonus and excellent perks.
  • The top features: With the Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on most purchases, and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars reserved with Capital One Travel. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Perks also include a credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The card charges an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
  • Another card to consider: If your budget doesn’t allow you to spend enough to earn the welcome bonus, consider the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa(R) or Mastercard(R) and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.  See our full review.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Why this is one of the best business credit cards: This card offers 12 Hilton Honors points per dollar for eligible Hilton purchases, making it attractive for business travelers who want to earn free nights at Hilton hotels. Complimentary Gold status in the Hilton Honors program is a card perk, and you can earn a weekend night award after charging $15,000 on your card in a calendar year. The card’s annual fee is $95 (See Rates & Fees). See our full review.

American Express® Business Gold Card

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: With this card, you’ll earn four points per dollar in the two qualifying categories where your business spends the most each month, up to $150,000 annually. 
  • The top features: The American Express® Business Gold Card is designed for small businesses and lets you choose between paying your balance in full every month or using the Pay Over Time feature. Cardholders will also earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*.
  • Another card to consider: If you want to earn rewards in more categories, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express earns two points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually.

See our full review.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: With this card, earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • The top features: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Plus, it offers purchase protection worth up to $10,000 per claim.
  • Another card to consider: If you’d prefer to pay no annual fee, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with every purchase.

See our full review.

Amazon Business Prime American Express Card

  • Why this is one of the best business credit cards: Get 5% cash back on the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year and 1% back thereafter, if you choose rewards. 
  • The top features: The card also offers 2% back at U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants and on wireless services purchased from U.S. providers, plus 1% back on all other eligible purchases. Choose between earning cash back rewards or applying payment terms at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, plus pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
  • Another card to consider: If you prefer a higher spending cap, the American Express® Business Gold Card earns four points per dollar in the two qualifying categories where your business spends the most each month, up to $150,000 annually.

See our full review.

Business credit cards can be a source of fast and convenient capital that can be used for any business need. Credit cards can bridge a gap between the need for a cash outlay and the receipt of payment by the customer. Business owners can use credit cards to pay for initial organization setup and expenses, such as signage, inventory and advertising. Businesses can use business credit cards to put capital assets, such as machinery, furniture or electrical equipment, in place. This gives your business time to generate income while paying off the balance over time.

Separation of business and personal assets

When used diligently, business credit cards can help you maintain a strict separation between your personal and business finances. If you are sued or go through bankruptcy, and your business records show that you have routinely mingled your personal and business accounts or used business assets for your personal benefit, you could endanger your limited liability protection. Without the limited liability protection you gain by operating your business as a corporation or a limited liability company, your personal assets are at risk.

Bookkeeping and accounting features

  • Viewing up-to-the-minute usage reports for each cardholder on the account.
  • Setting spending limits on individual cards.
  • Canceling or suspending credit cards.
  • Instantly retrieving historical activity for each card.
  • Setting up account alerts for individual cards.
  • Adjusting cash advance limits.
  • Reconciling transactions against statements.
  • Sending automatic data feeds to your bookkeeping/accounting software systems.
  • Automatically segregating expenses into categories to assist with expense management.
  • Providing access to account controls via mobile devices.

  • Maximizing tax deductions: Using business credit cards to purchase capital equipment may help you take advantage of tax-planning opportunities. For example, if you use a credit card to pay for equipment repair before the end of the year, you may be able to take a tax deduction in the current year while paying it off later.
  • Tax simplification: Many of today’s business credit cards come with souped-up reporting and accounting features that make it easy to download detailed reports of all expenses charged using the card. This information can be automatically migrated to some small-business accounting software programs.

Business credit cards differ from consumer credit cards in these important ways:

  • Business credit cards may have higher limits.
  • Business owners can distribute cards to employees, but the business owner retains responsibility for paying charges on each employee’s card.
  • Card-issuing banks may report credit usage and payment information to both personal and business credit bureaus.
  • Rewards and discounts cater to business owners, such as discounts on FedEx shipping or office supplies.

And as mentioned, mixing business and personal purchases on the same credit card could endanger your limited liability protection, putting your personal assets at risk in case of a lawsuit against your corporation or LLC.

Whether you operate under a corporation or just have a side hustle as a freelancer, you will likely qualify for most business credit cards as long as your personal credit history is good and you have enough income. Although personal credit cards are usually much easier for owners of small and newly established businesses to qualify for, those issuers don’t report to the business credit bureaus. Also, business credit cards can help keep the line between your personal and business assets separate, plus offer a plethora of tools and rewards that are specifically tailored to small-business owners.

The difference between a small-business credit card and a corporate credit card is its eligibility requirements, the most notable being the higher annual revenue generation. A corporate credit card is usually reserved for businesses that generate more than $4 million annually.

There are lots of different business types these days, and they don’t always resemble a traditional view of a business. You don’t need to have a storefront, a warehouse or any major facilities or hard assets to be issued a business credit card.

If you have good personal and business credit and otherwise meet the issuer’s criteria, you can get a business credit card issued in any industry. So don’t be discouraged if you’re self-employed or you fall into one of these nontraditional business categories:

  • Etsy, Amazon or eBay sellers.
  • Freelancers.
  • Independent contractors and consultants.
  • Self-published authors.

You also do not have to be profitable or have operated your business for a certain number of years. The approval process is usually based on your personal credit history and your income.
If you’re a new business owner and your personal credit is so bad that you can’t qualify for a consumer credit card, you probably won’t qualify for a business credit card, either. You may qualify for a secured business credit card, which could offer limited access to credit. But it is still a way to rebuild your personal credit history. In time, you’ll move up the credit ladder and qualify for better personal and business credit cards.

Although it’s a good idea to form a separate business entity before applying for a business credit card, it’s not necessary. It’s possible to obtain a business credit card even as a sole proprietor. Just be careful to maintain a way to track your business expenses and keep proper records.

  1. Decide on the right card for you.

    Take a close look at card rates and fees, possible rewards and whether the card company reports to business credit reporting agencies. You don’t want to apply for too many cards at once or your credit score will take a hit.

  2. Fill out an application.

    Most applications can be completed online, and will ask both personal and business information to determine your creditworthiness. Information such as tax identification number, Social Security number, business contact information, personal income, and business income and expenses will all be required. Note that most business credit cards require a personal credit score of at least 670.

  3. Wait for approval.

    Some companies may offer instant approval, while others may take several days. If you aren’t approved for an unsecured line of credit, perhaps consider a secured business credit card to start building your business credit.

Just as most of us have a personal FICO credit score, established businesses generally have one or more business credit scores that lenders use. Business credit scores generally range from 0 to 100, with higher scores going to more creditworthy companies. Scores vary from credit bureau to credit bureau.

Business credit bureaus collect your outstanding balance and payment history from the following types of sources:

  • Banks.
  • Business credit card issuers.
  • Trade associations and organizations.
  • Vendors.
  • Manufacturers that provide merchandise or inventory before payment.

Know your issuer’s credit-reporting policies

To establish a separate credit history for your business, select a credit card issuer that reports your credit activity specifically to the business credit bureaus: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, FICO SBSS and Experian each maintain a business-specific database and sell credit background screening to lenders of all types. All major business credit card issuers report information to at least one business credit bureau.

Improving your business credit score

Just as you should work to maintain and protect your personal credit score and ensure that the information in your credit report is accurate, you should do the same with your business credit score.

  • Pay all bills and invoices on time and preferably early. This is the single most important factor in most commercially marketed credit-scoring systems that lenders use.
  • Limit how much debt your business takes on.
  • Form a corporation or an LLC.
  • Check your business credit history for errors before applying for further credit.

Yes, all card applications ask for your employer identification number, or EIN. This is also known as your federal tax identification number. However, you may be approved using only your Social Security number, especially if you qualify as a sole proprietorship.

1. Evaluate the types of business credit card rewards.

Depending on the kind of business card you select, you can earn cash, trips and other rewards for regularly using your card for business purchases. Card issuers structure their rewards and incentive programs differently to attract different customer segments.

  • Cash back business credit cards: Cash back business card rewards are generally straightforward and easy to use. They allow your business to earn back a percentage of its spending, usually 1% to 5%, and often in popular spending categories such as office supplies, shipping and advertising.
  • Rewards business credit cards: Many business credit cards reward users with points or miles on purchases such as electronic devices and software and cloud systems. You can exchange these points or miles for goods and services, including airfare and travel accommodations and sometimes cash and gift cards through the card’s rewards program.
  • Co-branded or loyalty cards: Co-branded or loyalty credit cards offer bonuses for spending and redemption with a specific brand. These types of cards tend to offer deeper discounts and better perks as a reward for staying loyal to that business. Popular types of co-branded cards include airline and hotel cards.

2. Figure out what you can earn with each card.

To predict your potential rewards and discounts from having a business credit card, estimate your most likely future expenses, especially in the following areas:

  • Air travel.
  • Hotel stays.
  • General travel and entertainment.
  • Fuel.
  • Telecommunications, including mobile devices, cable and satellite, internet, landline phones and VoIP.
  • Shipping and mailing.
  • Computer hardware and software.
  • Office supplies.

If one of these categories is especially significant for your business, that will help you decide which business credit card might be the best fit for you.

To recruit new customers, credit card issuers offer lucrative sign-up bonuses designed to jump-start card usage.

4. Check out the annual fees.

Annual fees for business credit cards can be as high as $550, but many cards don’t charge an annual fee. Of those that do charge fees, some waive the fee for the first year. Some cards will issue a statement credit offsetting the annual fee or waive the fee if you use the card enough over the course of the year.

A high annual fee shouldn’t keep you from the card if you know the rewards are a good match for your expenses. Do a cost-benefit analysis, and you’ll get an idea of whether the cost of the card outweighs the rewards and benefits.

5. Ask about extra cards.

If your business has employees, you may want them to have access to the business line of credit so they can make business-related purchases. Some issuers don’t charge for additional cards for employees. But others do charge a fee for each card added to an account, so be aware of that and check the fine print.

6. Compare additional features.

  • Foreign transaction fees: Some credit card companies charge up to a 3% fee for transactions completed in a foreign currency.
  • Cardholder benefits: Most business travel cards come with a basic package of perks and benefits that may include emergency roadside assistance, extended warranties on purchases and travel insurance. Most business cards also offer snazzy management reports that help you organize your business, track costs and simplify tax reporting.

U.S. News has been helping consumers make money decisions for decades. The Best Business Credit Cards are selected based on annual fee, APR, balance transfer fee, foreign transaction fee, rewards earning rate, rewards redemption process and sign-up bonus value, as well as cardholder benefits. Cards are also scored based on issuer satisfaction ratings from U.S. News.

Best cards must be business credit cards. You can compare Best Business Credit Cards by evaluating the types of rewards they offer, determining what you can earn with each card, and looking at fees, bonuses and benefits.