Do you own a small business? No matter the size of your operation, you may want to open a business credit card account. In fact, you don’t even have to be incorporated as you can apply for business credit cards as a sole proprietor as well.
Having a business credit card allows you to separate your business from your personal expenses, making it much easier to file your taxes. Business credit cards also offer points, miles and cash-back rewards targeted at the expenses owners often encounter. Additional perks you’ll find with many business cards include purchase protection, travel insurance and access to airport business lounges.
How to Pick the Right Business Credit Card
There are many types of business credit cards to fit your unique business needs. If you are opening a business credit card account primarily to earn rewards, then you should look for the card offering the most valuable rewards for your type of spending.
While a dot-com startup might want to look at cards that offer bonus rewards for purchasing Internet services, the owner of a limousine company might be better off with a card that offers additional rewards at gas stations. Just as if you do a lot of business travel, you might be more interested in a travel rewards card that can offer frequent flier miles.
You will want to examine the rates and fees that a card has, to ensure that you are not overspending to receive these benefits.
In our recent ranking of the Best Business Credit Cards in America, we selected three cards that had the best overall rewards and perks for entrepreneurs on the go.
The Winner: Chase Ink Plus
Why it won: The Chase Ink Plus card (full review here) offers an amazing 5x points for the most common business purchases.
The benefits: Cardholders receive 5x points on office supplies and telecommunications services including payments to telephone, television and internet service providers, on up to $50,000 in combined spending each calendar year. You can earn twice the points at gas stations and hotels up to $50,000 a year, and one point per dollar on all other purchases, with no limit. Points earned in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program 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, and no foreign transaction fees.
1st Runner-Up: The Business Platinum Card From American Express OPEN
The benefits: This card offers airport lounge memberships in the Delta SkyClub and Priority Pass networks, as well as American Express’s 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.
The costs: There is a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
The benefits: Cardholders earn points in the Starwood Preferred Guest program, which is one of the best loyalty programs in the world. Points can be redeemed for free nights in any available unsold room and the fifth consecutive award night is free. This card also gives you free access to the Sheraton Club lounges and complimentary access to more than 1 million Boingo hotspots around the world. You can also earn Starwood Gold status when you spend $30,000 within a calendar year. Plus, if you have employees who need access to a card as well, there’s no annual fee for employee cards.
The costs: There is a $95 annual fee for this card (waived the first year), and no foreign transaction fees.
Before signing up for any credit card, it is a good idea to look at the terms and conditions so you understand what you’re agreeing to. Once you find the right card for you, it’s a good idea to track your credit score so you don’t harm the work you’ve done over the years. You can view two of your credit scores each month, for free, on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Business Platinum card from American Express OPEN and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for 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.