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TIPS FROM THE MONEY COACH
A Credit Card Perks Column
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®, is a personal finance expert, speaker, and the author of more than a dozen books. She now works as a financial educator, helping Americans to better handle their money - especially managing credit and debt.

Top business credit cards you should consider

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers from our partners. How we make money.

Updated, October 18, 2017

After owning a successful small business for more than a dozen years, I’ve learned that it’s a good idea to keep a tight rein on expenses – especially charges put on a business credit card.

But I also realize that having a business credit card can actually help save money, amass financial perks and run a more profitable enterprise, too.

Whether it’s getting cash back from business spending, scoring discounts on office supplies or nabbing free travel rewards tied to the plastic in your wallet, using a business credit card wisely can become a key part of managing your firm’s cash flow.

Carrying a business credit card also gives you an opportunity to keep you personal and business expenses separate. That may not sound like a big deal, but when it comes time to file your taxes or otherwise understand your business spending, you'll appreciate having all your business expenses collected on a credit card apart from your personal account. In addition, if the IRS comes calling for an audit, you'll be glad you have credit card statements to show.

In addition, many small business credit card issuers provide their cardholders with tools and functionality to help keep track of their business expenses.

>> Related content: Compare small business credit cards side by side

Here are some of the best business credit cards from CardRatings partners to help savvy entrepreneurs stay in the black. They’re grouped into two categories based on the various perks they offer.

When you want a small business cash-back credit card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Issued by: JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A

Type of Credit Needed: Excellent

Summary: If you know you have a large purchase to make, or your business routinely charges a lot of things and you’re seeking healthy cash-back incentives for your spending, this may be the ideal card for you. It offers the opportunity to earn 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year – all items that entrepreneurs frequently shell out money for. With this card, you can also earn 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Lastly, earn 1 percent cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn. The card’s 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months and $0 annual fee are sweeteners for this deal.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

If your business spending is typically a bit more than the caps above support or you like the idea of various options when it comes to rewards redemption, you might consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. While the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card does have a $95 annual fee, it also has higher caps when it comes to earning rewards. You'll earn three points per dollar spent on the the first $150,000 in purchases in select categories, including online advertising, shipping, travel ad more each account anniversary year, and one point per $1 on all other purchases. Those points can then be redeemed for cash back, travel and much more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program. In fact, if you redeem them for travel, you'll receive 25 percent more value. One standout feature of this card is that it offers cellular telephone protection. You can receive up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Learn more about the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Cardor Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.


Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Issued by: Capital One Financial

Type of Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

Summary: If you want to carry just one business card and put all your business-related spending on it, this card would be a great choice. It awards you 2 percent cash back across the board for all your purchases. This flat 2 percent cash-back deal means you don’t have to worry about tracking purchases in various categories or about which purchases may or may not qualify for cash back in a given month or quarter. Another perk: If you spend $4,500 on this card within the first three months, you get a $500 cash-back bonus. Small business owners will also appreciate the reasonable annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year.

If your business takes you on the road often, perhaps a miles rewards card is a better bet. You might consider Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business instead of the cash-back version of the card. Take a look below for more on this card.

Learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business.


SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

Issued by: American Express

Type of Credit Needed: Good

(American Express is a Cardratings.com advertiser)

Summary: This is another really good cash-back card with no rotating categories and a lucrative cash-back offer worthy of some serious consideration. You get 5 percent cash back at office supply stores and on wireless phone services from U.S. service providers; 3 percent cash back on the category of your choice from a list of select categories; and 1 percent cash back on other purchases. The 5 percent and 3 percent cash back awards are for qualifying purchases you make up to $50,000 per rebate year and then qualify for 1 percent cash back thereafter. The cash back you generate is automatically credited to your credit card statement.

One downside with this card is that is does have a foreign transaction fee, something to keep in mind if your business travels take you abroad. The card also doesn’t accept balance transfers. It makes up for those drawbacks with other perks, like giving you access to the OPEN Savings network, which allows you to save money on everything from FedEx shipments and Marriott Hotel stays to restaurant meals and at other participating business retailers.

Learn more about the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

When you want travel rewards or business discounts

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Issued be: American Express

Type of credit needed: Good

Summary: This is a card that offers a ton of reward redemption flexibility to go along with a wide array of opportunities to accumulate rewards. You earn bonus rewards points in categories that are common business expenses and you have the opportunity to decide where you want to earn the most rewards. You'll earn 3 points per $1 spent in a category of your choosing from among a list of five options:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

Then, you earn two points per dollar back on purchases in the remaining four categories and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. After $100,000 in spending in the 3-times and 2-times categories each year, your earning rate drops to 1 point per dollar. Your points can be redeemed for travel rewards, gift cards or even dinners to reward employees. 

Learn more about The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.


Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Issued by: Capital One Financial

Type of Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

Summary: If you’ve ever been frustrated because you couldn’t use your travel miles on a given flight, take note – this card could put an end to those headaches. The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card gives you lots of travel flexibility and peace of mind in two important ways: First, it lets you amass rewards across all spending categories. Additionally, with the two miles you’ll earn for every $1 you spend, you can take full advantage of your miles – all without facing blackout dates, seat restrictions or any fuss over minimum miles for redemption. Spend just $4,500 in the first three months of having the card – something very doable for entrepreneurs who regularly travel for business – and you’ll also reap 50,000 bonus miles. Plus, the $95 annual fee, waived the first year, is likely one you'll be easily able to offset.

Learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card.


CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Issued by: CitiBank

Type of Credit Needed: Excellent/Good

(Citi is a Cardratings.com advertiser)

Summary: This card is geared toward higher-end customers and more seasoned business travelers – and the perks reflect that. It’s also a good option if you frequently travel via American Airlines and use its AAdvantage® program. With this card, get two AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. You’ll also amass two AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on rental cars and telecommunications services and at gas stations. All other purchases accrue one AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent.

For a limited time, spend $3,000 within the first three months of usage, and you’ll earn 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles – enough for a couple of round-trip domestic flights. Also worth noting: Your first checked bag will be complimentary on domestic itineraries, as will the first checked bags of up to four companions traveling on the same itinerary.

This card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, but it does have a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. Still, if you travel often for business, you’ll appreciate the comfort and ease of knowing that when you have this card, you’ll always get priority boarding on American Airlines flights. No fighting for overhead bin space!

Learn more about the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.

Other business credit card considerations

Before choosing the card that’s right for you, bear in mind that business credit cards have key differences from consumer credit cards.

For starters, credit cards for businesses aren’t subject to all of the same protections as consumer cards, so business card issuers may be free, for example, to change your APR (with written notice). Be sure to check the fine print prior to selecting a card.

Many credit card companies will check both your business and personal credit histories before issuing a new business card and may require that you sign a personal guarantee in order to obtain that business card. Afterward, if you miss payments for your business account, your personal score may take a hit as well.

On the positive side, business cards tend to have higher credit limits than personal cards. This can come in handy when you need to finance costly equipment or fund ongoing operations. Also, as mentioned earlier, business cards often have juicier rewards, travel perks and other bonuses than consumer cards.

It’s certainly great to get the extra rewards tied to business spending that you were going to do anyway. Just be sure that you’re staying on top of your payments at all times, not over-extending yourself and not racking up unnecessary business debt just to score those business credit card perks.

Keep looking for the right card for your situation; compare small business credit cards side by side.

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Reviews By Issuer

American Express
Bank of America
Barclaycard
Capital One
Chase
Citi
Credit One
Discover
HSBC
Pentagon Federal
Simmons
U.S. Bank
USAA
Wells Fargo