Updated on Apr 21, 2018

Best Business Credit Cards for 2018

Streamline your expenses and earn rewards with the right business credit card.
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The best business credit cards help you earn extra rewards without adjusting your professional spending habits. That can make all the difference in the world when it comes to purchasing a big ticket item and reaping the rewards necessary for a free hotel stay or business trip. We’ve put together a list of the our top picks for best business credit cards for 2018. Take a look and apply online in minutes for the one that matches your needs.

The Simple Dollar's top picks for the best business credit cards

  • The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for big businesses The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card APPLY NOW
    Best business card signup bonus Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
    Apply Now on Chase's secure website
  • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card APPLY NOW
    Best for big expenses Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
    Apply Now on Chase's secure website
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best hotel card for business owners Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Choose your own rewards category The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for small businesses SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • Discover it® Miles APPLY NOW
    See Rates & Fees
    Best no-fee travel card Discover it® Miles
    Apply Now on Discover's secure website
Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best for big businesses

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
See Rates & Fees
Reward details 1.5x points on qualifying purchases of $5,000 or more; You can get up to 1 million additional points per year (Terms apply)
Redeem for... Flights; hotel and resort stays; rewards from many of your favorite brands, restaurants, and retailers at membershiprewards.com

Current Offer 50,000 points
Annual Fee $450
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 6/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Current Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450 See Details
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: N/A
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: N/A
  • Penalty APR: N/A

Our two cents

Who should get it

Larger businesses tend to have significantly larger expenditures, which is where The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN could really make a difference. Within the first 3 months of owning this card, big spenders can earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points by spending $10,000 on qualifying purchases. An additional $10,000 spent within that window earns cardholders an extra 25,000 points. If your business is large enough to take advantage of this intro bonus, then the annual fee of $450 shouldn’t be that much of a deal breaker. Not when the rewards potential of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is so high.

How to use it
  • Use this card for purchases over $5,000 to earn 1.5X points.
  • Book all your business trips through the American Express Travel site and pay with points to get 35% points back. (Terms apply.)
  • Take advantage of valuable travel perks including car rental upgrades, airline fee credits, complimentary Wi-Fi, American Express Global Lounge Collection access, and more.
Consider this

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is great for the business that typically spends in excess of $5,000, especially on big-ticket items. Smaller businesses, however, might not be able to make the most of this and the steep annual fee of $450 can be a real deal breaker. For small businesses and freelancers, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN might be a better fit. The annual fee is smaller ($175, waived the first year) and it grants you the ability to choose your top-earning rewards categories so you can earn the most back on purchases relevant to your business.

Why you'll love it

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN features incredible rewards potential if you’re in the business of traveling and purchasing big-ticket items. You can use this card to maximize your rewards in these categories and never have to worry about traveling in style.

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Best business card signup bonus

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Reward details Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
Redeem for... Travel, cash back, gift cards, and more

Current Offer 80,000 points
Annual Fee $95
Highlights Provided by Chase Show Highlights
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Current Offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 17.49% - 22.49% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

Anyone who loves a good signup bonus should definitely consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. We’re talking about 80,000 bonus points right after spending $5,000 within the first three months. Not a terribly difficult threshold to reach if you’re using this card for all your business needs. You could also earn 3 points per every dollar spent in travel and select business categories each account anniversary year (up to $150,000).

How to use it
  • Planning any large purchases? Make them upfront to grab that huge welcome offer. (Of our favorite business cards, this one offers the most generous signup bonus!)
  • Charge your core business expenses to this card.
  • Bring this card when you travel overseas to skip foreign transaction fees.
  • Redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® to get a 25% bonus.
Consider this

You might not be able to make the most of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card if you don’t make a lot of business-related purchases. Be sure to review your particular needs to determine if you will be making purchases in any of the card’s eligible categories. The hefty signup bonus is hard to pass up as well as the 3X points you could earn. It’s definitely a business credit card worth a second look.

Why you'll love it

If the 80,000 bonus points you get after spending $5,000 within the first three months weren’t enough, you could also get a bonus of 25% when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This business credit card also features a points rewards categories that can appeal to businesses of all sizes.

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Best for big expenses

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Reward details 5% cash back on select business expenses and 2% on gas and restaurants
Redeem for... Cash back, gift cards, and travel

Current Offer $500 cash back
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by Chase Show Highlights
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Named "Best Rewards Card for Small Business Owners" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2017
  • 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
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Rewards Details: 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. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Current Offer: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 12 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 14.74% - 20.74% Variable
  • Penalty APR: See Terms

Our two cents

Who should get it

Smaller businesses can find something to appreciate in the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It boasts a generous year-long window of 0% intro APR, allowing for some big spending and just enough time to pay it off. The card’s $25,000 spending cap should prove more than enough for smaller businesses to enjoy 5% cash back on select business expenses as well as 2% on gas and restaurants.

How to use it
  • Use this card for all costs that fall into your bonus reward categories.
  • Anticipate big business expenses and take care of them in the first three months. Then collect your $500 cash back bonus.
  • Planning a large purchase? Pay it off during your first 12 months to take advantage of 0% intro APR.
Consider this

You’ll want to make sure you take your everyday spending habits into consideration when looking at the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. If you find yourself hitting the $25,000 rewards cap more often than not, you may need to adjust your spending. That way, you can make the most of this credit card without fear of exceeding the limits.

Why you'll love it

For any small businesses, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is an attractive option. It’s a substantial, no frills, low maintenance solution with high-rate rewards and no annual fee.

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Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best hotel card for business owners

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
See Rates & Fees
Reward details Earn 2 Starpoints® for purchases at SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels; Earn 1 Starpoint® for all other purchases.
Redeem for... Stays at 1,300+ hotels and resorts; flights with 150+ airlines

Current Offer Earn $100 statement credit
Annual Fee $95 (Waived first year)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after your first purchase on the Card at a participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel within your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • From now through July 31, 2018: Earn 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other eligible purchases.
  • Note: On August 1, 2018, SPG will convert every one Starpoint in a loyalty member account to three points. In general, corresponding redemption changes will occur. Visit members.marriott.com for details.
  • Effective August 1, 2018: Earn 6 points for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.
  • Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95 See Details
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.74% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 16.74% - 20.74% Variable See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you’re in the traveling business and prefer to sleep in comfort, we recommend the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. There are no foreign transaction fees to worry about. Furthermore, you can earn a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months.

How to use it
  • Book with at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels to earn 2X Starpoints®. Earn 1 Starpoint® for all other purchases. Limited time offer expires on July 31, 2018.
  • Redeem points for airfare via SPG Flights.
  • Take advantage of travel perks like free Boingo Wi-Fi at airports and in-room internet access.
  • Bring this card when traveling abroad to avoid foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months.
Consider this

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is best used for earning free travel. While it does not offer the option for cash back, it does offer free Boingo Wi-Fi at airports and in-room internet access.

Why you'll love it

Affordability and flexibility – what’s not to love about the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. If you’re a business traveler, this is definitely the ideal travel companion for your wallet. And, with over 1,300 hotels and resorts in over 100 countries, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to redeem those points.

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Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Choose your own rewards category

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
See Rates & Fees
Reward details 3x and 2x points on select categories; 1x points on everything else (Terms apply)
Redeem for... Travel, merchandise, entertainment, gift cards

Current Offer 50,000 points
Annual Fee $175 (Waived first year)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Rewards Details: 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
  • Current Offer: Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $175 See Details
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A*
  • Cash Advance APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: See Details
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A*
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A*
  • Ongoing APR: N/A
  • Penalty APR: N/A

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is most ideal for business owners who do a lot of spending and, most importantly, want the power to choose their own rewards categories. This card’s hefty welcome offer comes with 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. Cardholders can also select the rewards categories that fall in line with their professional spending in order to earn 3x points in one category and 2X points in the remaining four categories. When used properly, it’s easy to earn points and rewards with The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN without having to adjust your everyday business purchases. One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that this is a charge card. That means that you must pay off your statement in full every month.

How to use it
  • Spend $5,000 in the first 3 months to claim your big intro bonus.
  • Choose your rewards categories wisely. Then spend as much as you can (up to the $100,000 limit) on your 3x and 2x points categories to collect rewards on types of purchases you make most.
  • Take advantage of cardmember perks like Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, and Premium Roadside Assistance. (Terms apply; see Offer Terms for details.)
Consider this

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a charge card. This means that you’ll have to pay off your statement every month; something to consider along with the no pre-set spending limit. This card also comes with an annual fee of $175. While the annual fee is waived for the first year, you’ll need to factor in that expenditure when you’re paying your bills. In fact, if your business costs are not high enough to warrant these expenses, you might benefit from a card geared more toward smaller businesses like the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. You’ll get higher-rate rewards including 5% on up to $25,000 per year spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Also, there’s no annual fee.

Why you'll love it

If you run a large business, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a strong choice. It offers high-rate rewards on big-ticket purchases like travel expenses, hardware, and software. We’re talking 3x points on purchases in a variety of categories and a generous intro bonus to boot. Furthermore, you can actually choose which types of purchases will yield the greatest rewards. The ability to choose your own 3X points category will help you maximize rewards potential on the types of purchases you make most.

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Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best for small businesses

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
See Rates & Fees
Reward details 5% cash back on wireless phone service and 3% on the category of your choice. This applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. (Terms apply)
Redeem for... Statement credit

Current Offer $500 cash back
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Special Offer: Earn up to $500 cash back
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $250 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back. Get cash back on business purchases, even those above your credit limit.
  • 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Rewards Details: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee: $0 See Details
  • Cash Advance APR: See Rates & Fees
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 9 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 13.74% - 20.74% Variable See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

We can’t recommend the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express enough to freelancers and smaller businesses. This low-maintenance, no-frills business credit card comes with a simple and flexible rewards program that anyone can appreciate. Not only can you earn 3% cash back on relevant business expenses, you can actually choose the rewards categories that align with your professional expenditures. These spending categories can include filling up at a U.S. gas station or paying for airfare. The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express also comes with a intro bonus of up to $500 cash back when you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases.

How to use it
  • Spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases to cash in on the $500 intro bonus.
  • Pay for your all your company’s internet and wireless phone services with this card.
  • Analyze upcoming expenses and choose your rewards category carefully. You can earn 3% cash back in the spending category that best fits your business plan: U.S. gas stations, U.S. shipping, airfare, U.S. software, and more.
Consider this

Consider your yearly expenses when looking into the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. The ability to earn 5% and 3% cash back on select categories can be a boon, but it only applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year with a 1% rate thereafter. If you find that your business spending regularly exceeds this cap (to the point of even being double), then you might not get the most out of this card’s rewards program. In that case, you could turn your attention to the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This card lets you earn 3x points on travel and select business categories and the cap is much higher at $150,000 each account anniversary year.

Why you'll love it

Few business cards offer rewards this generous without an annual fee. SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express is a great cash back card for small businesses looking for low-maintenance rewards.

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Best no-fee travel card

Discover it® Miles
Reward details Unlimited 1.5x miles on every purchase
Redeem for... Statement credits towards travel purchases

Current Offer First year mile-for-mile match
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by Discover Show Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Issuer: Discover
  • Rewards Details: 1.5 Miles per dollar on all purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.49% Variable
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 14 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 10.99%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 14 months
  • Ongoing APR: 13.49% - 24.49% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

While the Discover it® Miles card is not technically a business credit card, it can be a tremendous boon for those freelancers and digital nomads who travel for a living. There are no annual fees with this card and business travelers can appreciate the freedom that comes with no foreign transaction fees, as well. This card also rewards spending in categories that fall within the realm of travel. This means that you could earn 1.5x miles for every dollar you spend on gas, car rentals, and more. Miles that can be redeemed for eligible travel purchases including airfare. Whether you’re representing a large business overseas or a freelancer traveling the world, the Discover it® Miles card makes a wonderful addition to any business owner’s wallet.

How to use it
  • Buy everything with this card (unless you have a specific airline or hotel card that offers more than 1.5x miles). The more you spend in the first year, the more you’ll get with your first year rewards match.
  • Traveling overseas? Bring this card! Rest assured that you won’t be charged a foreign transaction fee.
  • Book travel through your favorite discount travel site or during a sale, then reimburse yourself with a travel statement credit.
Consider this

Understanding the limits of the Discover it® Miles card when it comes to rewards and miles redemption benefits is an important factor to take into consideration. One thing to point out is that you cannot transfer your miles into travel loyalty programs. That right there is often enough of a deal breaker for those who would prefer a specific airline or would want to combine rewards redemption with airline sales. Another thing to factor into the equation is that the Discover it® Miles card does not let you receive your bonus miles for its hefty rewards match until the end of the first year. For those who want more flexibility, we recommend the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This card grants a 1:1 points transfer rate to Chase airline partners in addition to a signup bonus worth $1,000 in travel (through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).

Why you'll love it

The Discover it® Miles makes earning free travel effortless. There’s no need to track spending in select categories; simply use the card for every purchase you make, and watch the rewards stack up. Automatic mile-for-mile match at the end of your first year makes this $0-annual-fee card an even sweeter deal for business and leisure travelers alike.

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What are business credit cards?

The term “business credit cards” refers to cards offering rewards and bonuses that appeal to business owners and employees. For the road warrior, a good business credit card would be the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This is because it offers 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants (each account anniversary year). Then, those rewards can be redeemed for business travel purposes at most major airlines.

Why get a business credit card?

If you can get a business credit card that rewards your professional spending, why shouldn’t you get a business credit card? Business credit cards are one of the best ways for employees and business owners to earn money while spending money. An employee can put all their professional expenditures on a business credit card and, in some cases, put those rewards toward free travel (for business).

Simply put, business credit cards can help your business grow. You make the purchases you need to operate, and at the same time earn something extra.

Other reasons include:

  • An easy means of divorcing personal and professional spending
  • Financial flexibility on big ticket purchases
  • Earning rewards you can often put toward business interests

Which business credit card is easiest to get?

The answer to this question can vary depending on the size of your business and the card provider you’re looking at. In general, small business credit cards tend to have a comparatively easier approval process. It’s important to shop around and consider all possible options to ensure you’re getting the best possible business credit card for your needs.

What is the best small business credit card?

The best small business credit card is the one that meets your professional financial goals. For instance, are you a small business owner? Then you might consider the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. On the other hand, big businesses may consider The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. If you travel a lot, you may want a no-fee travel card, like the Discover it® Miles. Take a moment to think about your professional goals for the next few years and compare the best business credit cards on our list to find the right one for you.

What is a micro business credit card?

While not applicable in the United States (as of the writing of this piece), you might have heard about a micro business credit card. The term “micro business credit card” refers to a business credit card issued by the West Bengal Government of India. It is described as a card that facilitates small and medium business entrepreneurs. In some respects, it is similar to the small business credit card you can obtain in the United States.

Can I use a business credit card for personal expenses?

While it is possible for you to charge your personal expenses to a business credit card, you shouldn’t. Mainly for tax purposes, it’s best to keep your personal and professional expenses separate. This is especially true in the event that your business is audited. In that situation, it’s much easier to organize the relevant professional expenses when you limit them to a business credit card.

Can I apply for a business credit card?

The requirements for each card may vary, but in general, if you’re a business owner — large or small — then you qualify to apply for a business credit card. If you’re a small business owner, they may look into your credit profile and you may be asked to share your personal income information as well. Be honest on your application, though, because if you’re caught in a lie, you may be subject to a financial review.

Who are small business credit cards good for?

Small business credit cards are often best suited to self-employed individuals as well as freelancers and consultants. These can include doctors and dentists who run their own practices, business owners who spend heavily on office supplies, sales associates who travel frequently, and even consultants who need to entertain their clientele.

Do business credit cards affect your personal credit score?

The short answer: Maybe. Signing up for one of the best business credit cards is a great way to separate personal and business finances; however, it depends on the card whether or not it will affect your personal credit score. Almost all business credit cards require personal guarantees, but, some will only report activity to commercial credit bureaus, not consumer credit bureaus that handle your personal credit score. You may need to call your card’s customer service representative to find out which bureaus they report to.

How can I check my business credit?

Similar to how you check your personal credit report, you can request a business credit report from the three major commercial credit bureaus — Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian. A fourth credit bureau, FICO® Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS), specializes in small businesses. With your business credit report, you’ll be able to easily check and monitor your business credit score, background information, risk factors, banking, trade and collection history, liens and bankruptcies, and more. Unlike your personal credit report, you may be charged a fee to access your business credit report.

As mentioned above, some credit card companies will report your business credit card information to the consumer credit bureaus as well, meaning it’s still important to check your personal credit report once a year (or more often) as a small business owner. With both reports, you’ll want to check for any discrepancies and, if found, take steps to dispute them.

How to use a business credit card to manage cash flow

Managing cash flow is crucial to the longevity of your business, big or small. Whether you sit at the head of a large corporation or freelance, it pays to keep track of your cash flow. A business credit card can help, and we’ve put together a handy list of real-life examples that illustrate the impact the right business credit card can have.

Real life example #1

Sometimes a self-employed freelancer will find themselves in that awkward interval waiting to receive payments from various clients. During this period, everyday expenses on office supplies, internet service, and more can pile up. Normally, this freelancer might be out of luck until those payments arrive. However, with a business credit card, those necessary business purchases could be charged temporarily and then paid off once client payments trickle in.

Real life example #2

An owner of a small business (10-12 employees) wraps up a huge project for a client, but payment is forthcoming. Payroll sends an email saying that there are not enough funds in the current budget to maintain business operations and pay the employees. With a business card, all the day-to-day business expenses could be temporarily charged, while freeing up funds to pay the employees on time. And after the client’s payment is received, the company owner could pay off the balance before it accrues interest.

Real life example #3

The CEO of a large business has determined that a purchase of $50,000 worth of equipment is necessary. However, he wants to be able to pay this off over several months without taking out a large loan. In lieu of a loan, the business could utilize a high-limit business credit card. Many cards offer 0% intro APR on purchases, which would function like an interest-free loan if paid in full before the end of the intro period. Plus, the business could earn cash back through the card’s rewards program!

Are business credit cards really worth it?

That all depends on the size of your business and your professional spending habits. Feasibly, there’s enough variety in business credit cards and the perks offered to warrant a card for enterprises of all sizes and types. We’ve profiled a several business credit cards that would be worth getting for businesses both large and small.

If your business makes a lot of purchases, it might be worth getting a business credit card so you can earn some rewards on those expenses. As we have covered, with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, it’s easy to turn your everyday spending into rewards redeemed for free travel. Since a lot of successful business requires the occasional trip, it would certainly be worth looking into a business credit card that pays for your travels while you pay for your professional costs.

The following list outlines a few other reasons why business credit cards are worth it:

  • They can make recordkeeping much easier come tax season
  • They help build business credit, which can impact your business insurance
  • Some offer business-specific perks like deals on advertising

The bottom line

As a business owner, you could be making a sound investment by choosing one of the best business credit cards on our list. The rewards you could earn on business-related charges can more than make up for any annual fee. Additionally, having a business credit card helps you to draw a line between personal and professional when it comes to expenses and tax returns. If one of these cards sounds right for your business, apply online today to start earning valuable rewards!

Research the 25 best business credit cards

We’ve put together an objective comparison of business credit cards to help you find the right one. This analysis includes annual fees, foreign transaction fees, rewards, signup bonuses, perks, and other characteristics you might find of interest.

Take a moment to sort, filter, or search for what matters most to you in a business credit card.

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Best business credit cards for 2018

  • The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN : Best for big businesses
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card : Best overall
  • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card : Best for small business
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express : Best hotel card for business owners
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN : Choose your own rewards category
  • SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express : Best for low maintenance rewards
  • Discover it® Miles : Best no-fee travel card

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