Business credit cards are vital to the operation of many small companies. These products allow business owners to track their expenses, manage their cash flow and earn valuable perks and benefits.
Choosing the Right Business Credit Card for You
Like consumer credit cards, there are business credit cards that cater to all segments of the market, including those who are seeking cash-back rewards, cardholders looking for travel benefits, and simple cards that just get the job done. If you are looking for rewards, then you may want to consider the options of earning points, miles or cash back. Points can be earned in credit card reward programs, or in the programs of hotels and some airlines. The best credit card reward points are those that can be redeemed not just for gift cards or merchandise, but transferred to the programs of airlines and hotels. Airline miles have declined in popularity as carriers have made their programs more complex, and severely restricted the availability of award seats at the lowest mileage levels. However, cash back remains universally popular as a way for business cardholders to earn rewards.
Applicants should also consider interest rates and other fees. Those who will be using their credit cards to carry a balance will want to focus on finding a card with the lowest interest rate. And since many business cards charge an annual fee, applicants will want to make sure that any rewards and benefits offered are well worth those fees. Finally, cardholders who travel internationally, or just do business with companies based overseas, may want to look for a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. Thankfully, many business cards no longer have this fee, in contrast to other cards that still charge a 3% fee on all transactions processed outside of the United States.
Finally, when you go to apply for a business credit card, your personal credit is still a very important part of the qualifying process. Before you apply, it can be helpful to know where you stand with your credit so you apply for a card you’re more likely to qualify for. You can get two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com, updated monthly, to track your credit standing.
The Winner: Chase Ink Plus
Why It Won: This card leads the pack by offering 5x rewards on office supplies and telecommunications services, and double points at gas stations and hotels.
The Benefits: Cardholders earn five points per dollar on their $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, Internet and cable TV services each accountholder year. Cardholders also earn double points per dollar on their first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations each account year, with one point per dollar earned on all other purchases, with no limit. Points are earned in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program with can be redeemed for cash back, merchandise and gift cards, or transferred to several different airline and hotel programs.
The Costs: There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.
1st Runner-Up: American Express Business Platinum
Why It Won: This card continues to deliver an impressive array of rewards, features and benefits.
The Benefits: This card offers numerous benefits including airport lounge memberships in the Delta SkyClub and Priority Pass networks, as well as American Express’s new network of Centurion lounges. In addition, cardholders receive a $200 annual airline fee credit, and a one-time fee credit of $100 toward an application to the Global Entry program. For each dollar spent, cardholders earn one point in the American Express Membership Rewards program, which can be redeemed for travel reservations and gift cards, or transferred to miles with several different airline programs. Other benefits include access to Boingo WiFi hotspots and 10 annual passses to the Gogo inflight WiFi service. Cardholders also receive access to numerous travel insurance and purchase protection policies.
The Costs: There is a $450 annual fee for the primary cardholder, a $175 charge for up to three additional cardholders, and no foreign transaction fees.
2nd Runner-Up: Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Why It Won: This card offers simple value, an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
The Benefits: Cardholders receive 2% cash back on all purchases with no limits and no minimum to redeem. Other than that, this is a fairly simple card for those who just want to maximize the amount of cash back they earn from their business expenses. Currently, new applicants can receive a $250 bonus by spending $5,000 within the first three months and another $50 by signing up for one or more employee cards in the first 60 days
The Costs: There is a $59 annual fee that is waived the first year, no charge for employee cards, and no foreign transaction fees.
You can compare these cards with other business credit card offers on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Chase Ink Plus, American Express Business Platinum, Capital One Spark Cash for Business are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
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