[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Own a small business? No matter the size of your operation, you may want to open a business credit card. In fact, you don’t even have to be incorporated, as you can apply for personal business credit cards as a sole proprietor.
Having a business credit card allows you to separate your business from your personal expenses, making it much easier to file your taxes. Small business credit cards also offer points, miles and cash-back rewards targeted at the expenses owners often encounter. Here are our picks for the best business credit cards based on overall rewards, perks and terms.
Cut to the Cards
Here, we give it to you straight. For the full print, see card agreements.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Solid base rewards, a lucrative signup bonus and an affordable annual fee, waived the first year. A solid deal.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Business owners can take advantage of promotional financing and earn big rewards on business purchases. Plus, there’s a sweet signup bonus.
Capital One Spark Classic for Business: A great option for any business owner with so-so credit, this card doesn’t carry an annual fee and offers rewards.
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard: An option for any business owner who flies frequently, this co-branded credit card will help you rack up miles. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Expert Intel: Business credit cards are exempt from the CARD Act. That means certain protections — like 45 days of advance notice that your annual percentage rate (APR) is going up — do not apply. It’s even more important when considering business credit cards to read the fine print so you know what you’re getting.
Here are more details on our picks for business credit cards.
Annual Fee: $59, waived the first year
Purchase APR: Variable 17.99%
Balance Transfer APR: Variable 17.99% (no transfer fee)
Signup Bonus: New cardholders are eligible for a one-time $500 cash bonus if they spend $4,500 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Base Rewards: Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all purchases.
Why We Picked It: Two percent cash back is pretty hard to beat for a low-maintenance business credit card. This card’s cash back is unlimited, never expires and has no minimum redemption requirement. The signup bonus and affordable APR help sweeten the deal.
Extras: You won’t pay a fee for employee cards or foreign transactions. Plus, you’ll get Visa Business Benefits, which includes an auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection, an extended warranty and travel and emergency assistance.
Annual Fee: $0
Purchase APR: Variable 14.24% to 20.24% after the 12-month 0% introductory APR ends
Balance Transfer APR: Variable 14.24% to 20.24% after the 12-month 0% introductory APR expires
Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Signup Bonus: New cardholders are eligible for $300 in cash back after they spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.
Base Rewards: Cardholders will 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 all other purchases.
Why We Picked It: Getting 5% cash back on select business expenses is pretty top-notch, even when considering the $25,000 maximum, and the signup bonus makes the card even more alluring. There’s also promotional financing, so if you need to revolve some business expenses, this card will let you do so interest-free for 12 months (variable 13.99% to 19.99% thereafter).
Extras: There’s no fee for employee cards and you’ll get certain travel and purchase coverage, including roadside dispatch, an auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection and an extended warranty.
Annual Fee: $0
Purchase APR: Variable 23.99%
Balance Transfer APR: Variable 23.99%
Signup Bonus: None
Base Rewards: Cardholders earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases.
Why We Picked It: The Capital One Spark Classic is a decent option for business owners with fair credit. It has no annual fee and you can still earn rewards — unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase. Rewards don’t expire and there’s no minimum to redeem.
Extras: This card offers benefits similar to those of the Capital One Spark Cash. You’ll get free employee cards, skip foreign transaction fees and gain access to Visa Business Benefits, which includes an auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection, an extended warranty and travel and emergency assistance.
Annual Fee: $95, waived the first 12 months
Purchase APR: Variable 16.74% to 24.74%
Balance Transfer APR: Variable 16.74% to 24.74%
Signup Bonus: Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Base Rewards: Cardholders earn two AAdvantage miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines purchases and two AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on telecommunications, car rentals and gas. They earn one mile per dollar on all other purchases.
Why We Picked It: This card is a good option for business owners who do a lot of domestic travel given its perks, miles-earning potential and relatively low annual fee.
Extras: This card offers some nice airline benefits, including a free first checked bag, domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four travel companions and preferred boarding on domestic flights.
How to Pick the Right Business Credit Card
Many types of business credit cards can 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 that offers the most valuable perks 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. If you do a lot of traveling for business, you might be more interested in a travel rewards card that offers frequent flier miles. Just remember to examine a card’s rates and fees to ensure you are not overspending to earn the benefits.
At publishing time, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, Capital One Spark Class for Business and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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.
Jeanine Skowronski contributed additional reporting. This article was previously updated on June 6, 2017.