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Biggest Business Credit Card Bonuses in October 2021: Earn $750, 130,000 Bonus Points and More

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Card IssuerBusiness Credit Card Bonus OfferAnnual Fee
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit CardEarn $750 when you make $7,500 worth of purchases within the first 3 months of account opening$0
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit CardEarn $750 when you make $7,500 worth of purchases within the first 3 months of account opening$0
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardEarn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months of account opening$95
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit CardEarn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.$199
United℠ Business CardEarn a 75,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening$99‡
Spark® Miles from Capital One®Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening$95‡
Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressEarn up to $300 in statement credits after making eligible purchases with your card in the first 3 months Card Membership†$0
Blue Business Cash™ Card from American ExpressEarn up to $300 in statement credits after making eligible purchases with your card in the first 3 months Card Membership†$0
Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressEarn 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership$595
Hilton Honors American Express Business CardEarn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership$95

† You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at the each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx.
‡Annual fee waived for the first year.

*Read about the methodology our credit card experts use to decide on the top cards in each category.

*Jump to the most frequently asked questions about business credit cards.

Best Business Credit Card Bonuses in October 2021

There are a lot of choices out there, which is why we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are some of the best credit cards for business purposes you can apply for today.

You don’t need to be a multimillion dollar entity to qualify for some of the best business credit cards around. There are a myriad of options for organizations all the way from sole proprietors (aka you’re a one-person operation) to ones with multiple employees. Credit cards for businesses can offer you a bunch of perks, including the ability to track your expenses in a much easier way and earning rewards to maximize your purchases.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $750
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New accounts enjoy an introductory 0% APR for purchases during the first 12 months.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: You earn an amazing 5% cash back on your first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. That can add up to 125,000 points per account year. It also offers you 2% cash back on your first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.

Sign-Up Bonus: This card offers you $750 in cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening. The $750 bonus comes in the form of 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed for cash, gift cards or travel.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Small business owners and sole proprietors who want flexibility in their credit card rewards

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash is legendary for its offer of 5% cash back for purchases at office supply stores and on many telecommunications services, with no annual fee. And while 5% cash back sounds great, these rewards can be much more valuable when paired with another Chase credit card that allows transfers to airline miles or hotel points. In addition to earning excellent cash-back rewards, it also includes competitive introductory offers and provides cards for employees at no additional charge.

This an incredibly valuable card for anyone who owns a small business and makes frequent purchases at office supply stores, which can include furniture, electronics, school supplies, gift cards and printing services. The Ink Business Cash is also a great card to use when paying for your internet service, phone bill or television service. It might not seem like much, but earning 5x rewards on these bills every month will add up to serious rewards very quickly. You earn one point per dollar spent elsewhere.

Arguably the best business card for cash back, the Ink Business Cash℠ Card is a great option for entrepreneurs of all types. Earn an impressive 5% cash back on select business purchases. These include the first $25,000 you spend each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on phone, cable and internet services. The card also offers 2% cash back on up to $25,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on virtually everything else you buy.

As a new cardholder, get $750 in bonus cash back when you make $7,500 worth of purchases within the first three months your account is open. Read our full review of the Ink Business Cash Card.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
Office Supply Stores and Phone, Cable and Internet Services5% backUp to $25,000 spent each year combined
Restaurants and Gas Stations2% backUp to $25,000 spent each year combined
Other Purchases1% backNo limit

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $750
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New accounts enjoy an introductory 0% APR for purchases during the first 12 months.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card offers 1.5 cents (as 1.5 Ultimate Rewards® points) per dollar spent on all purchases, with no limits.

Sign-Up Bonus: This card offers you $750 in cash back in the form of 75,000 Ultimate Rewards® points after you spend $7,500 on new purchases within three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? This is a valuable card for those who aren’t interested in bonus categories, or for those who are, but want a separate card just for purchases that don’t qualify for a bonus.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Here’s a card that you can use to earn a strong rate of return on all of your business purchases, with no annual fee. The Ink Business Unlimited is technically a cash-back card, but the rewards can be transferred to travel partners when you have another qualifying Chase card that offers this feature. If you want cash back that you can drive back into your business or use for personal expenses, this card could be a great option.

The card has no annual fee but offers an incredible $750 cash bonus after you spend $7,500 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make.

Additionally, if you have some purchases coming up and need some time to pay them off, the card’s 0% APR on purchases for 12 months can help you save a lot on interest. And, if you need employee cards, you can get them at no additional charge.

Here’s a flat-rate card that you can use to earn a strong rate of return on all of your business purchases. The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card has no annual fee but offers an incredible $750 cash bonus after you spend $7,500 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The Ink Business Unlimited also doesn’t allow point transfers by itself, but the points can be combined with rewards from other Chase accounts that do allow transfers. It also has travel benefits including an auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance and roadside dispatch. Read our full review of the Ink Business Unlimited Card.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
All Purchases1.5% backNo limit

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 100,000 Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1-3X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: You can earn 3x points on your first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines on each account’s anniversary year. Plus, 1x point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: Here’s your chance to earn a whopping 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on your card within three months of account opening. This bonus can be redeemed for $1,250 worth of travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who own internet-based businesses and spend heavily on advertising are the ones who can really earn the most rewards from this card.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

If you’re a business owner who travels a lot for work or pleasure, this card is an ideal choice. It offers a whopping 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months — with the card’s 25% bonus on travel booked through Chase, that’s worth $1,250. But you could potentially get more through one of the bank’s transfer partners. The rewards you earn from the Ink Business Preferred Card can be transferred to 10 different airline partners including United, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore and British Airways, as well as hotel partners Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott.

Unlike the other two Ink Business cards, you can use this card to transfer your rewards directly to airline miles and hotel points. Travelers may also like this card’s cell phone protection policy that will cover up to $600 per claim.

If you’re a business owner who travels a lot for work or pleasure, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is an ideal choice. It offers a whopping 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months. Additionally, with the card’s 25% bonus on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, that’s worth $1,250. The Ink Business Preferred awards 3x points on your first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines on each account’s anniversary year. Plus, 1x point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Read our full review of the Ink Business Preferred Card.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
Travel, Shipping and Internet, Cable and Phone Services and Social Media and Search Engine Advertising3x pointsUp to $150,000 spent each year combined
Other Purchases1x pointsNo limit

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $199
Bonus: 80,000 Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-4X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $199

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: Earn 4 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases. Earn 3 points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners. Earn 2 points on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing. Earn 2 points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services. Earn 1 point on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New account holders can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 during the first three months.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Small business owners and freelancers who enjoy flying with Southwest.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

It’s perfect for small business owners who have employees who travel. This Southwest business card offers employee cards at no additional cost and provides perks like inflight WiFi credits, a TSA Pre✓® fee credit and complimentary upgraded boardings. The business airline credit card also offers the most generous point rewards structure of any of the Southwest cards: 4x points per dollar spent with Southwest.

This credit card’s annual fee is expensive, but the perks you get outweigh its cost. We like that points earned can qualify towards Southwest’s A-List status, the airline’s rewards program. Let’s not forget the sign-up bonus and the 9,000 cardmember anniversary points you can receive. Plus, you’ll get other benefits like four upgraded boardings per year, free inflight WiFi credits and credit toward a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application. In other words, these can help you have a much smoother flight, which is helpful if you’re on an important business trip.

If you’re looking for an airline business card packed with travel benefits, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is a great deal. Not only does it earn 4X points per dollar for Southwest purchases, but it also features elevated rewards for select business expenses, local transit and spending with Rapid Rewards hotel and car-rental partners.

What we really love about this Chase co-branded card is the added travel perks like inflight WiFi credits, upgraded boarding passes annually and the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit. Frequent business travelers will find more than enough value with the Performance Business card.


United℠ Business Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $99 (fee waived first year)
Bonus: 75,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $99 (annual fee is waived for the first year)

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card earns 2X miles for every dollar spent at United, gas stations, restaurants, office supply stores and transit including train tickets, taxis, rideshares and tolls. You can earn 1X miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 75,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Freelancers and business owners who regularly fly with United Airlines.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United℠ Business Card

This card offers a hefty sign-up bonus, which has our attention for sure. We also like the laundry list of travel perks, which include a $100 annual United travel credit after seven United flight purchases over $100, two United Club passes, a free first checked bag each flight, 25% back on inflight purchases and priority boarding.

There are other benefits when flying United, like travel and purchase protections. For example, the card features no foreign transaction fees for international purchases and 5,000 bonus miles awarded on each anniversary year when you own both the United Business Card and a personal United credit card. If you’re serious about getting awarded for travel and find United convenient or simply prefer it, you can maximize your United miles earned every year. Plus, business owners can also provide employees with cards, at no additional cost, to maximize rewards earning potential.

The United℠ Business Card comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 75,000 MileagePlus Miles. New cardholders will earn 75,000 miles after spending $5,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Beyond the generous bonus, cardmembers will also receive a $100 annual United travel credit after seven United flight purchases of $100 or more. Earning this extra bonus will make up for the $99 annual fee attached to the card. However, this annual fee is waived for the first year to give you time to decide if the card aligns with your spending and traveling needs. Another perk to highlight is a 5,000 bonus miles each anniversary if you have both this new United Business Card and a personal United card. These travel benefits, along with a list of other valuable travel perks, make the United Business Card a near-perfect business credit card for those who travel regularly on United. Read our full review of the United Business Card.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
United Airlines Purchases2 milesNo limit
Restaurants Including Eligible Delivery Services Such as GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless and DoorDash2 milesNo limit
Gas Stations, Office Supply Stores and Local Transit2 milesNo limit
Other Purchases1 milesNo limit

Spark® Miles from Capital One®

Annual Fee$95 (waived the first year)
Sign-Up BonusEarn 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
ApplySecure Website

It’s easy to see why the Spark Miles® from Capital One® is generally considered the best overall small business credit cards. It packs in a lot of benefits for a business card with a small annual fee, including no foreign transaction fees, free employee cards and a credit (up to $100) for Global Entry and TSA Pre✓® enrollment fees. In addition to offering travel benefits and decent rewards earnings, the Spark Miles earns 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rentals cars booked through Capital One Travel and unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

The limited time sign-up bonus offer is pretty enticing, plus there’s the fact that you can earn 2 miles per dollar spent. Business travelers (especially those who need to drive a lot) will love that you can earn 5 miles per dollar on rental car and hotel purchases booked through Capital One Travel rewards program. Plus, miles can be transferred to 15 airline partners, and there’s the ability to offset any travel purchases, making it a great flexible rewards card. While other cards offer higher earnings rates, the Spark Miles card offers a great all around earnings potential, since bonus categories from other credit cards can be limiting.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
Hotels and Rental Cars Booked Through Capital One Travel5 milesNo limit
Other Purchases2 milesNo limit

Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express

Annual Fee$0
Welcome BonusEarn up to $300 in statement credits after making eligible purchases with your card in the first 3 months Card Membership
Foreign Transaction FeesYes
ApplySecure Website

While many credit card enthusiasts are in love with its non-business cousin — the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — many small business owners are also excited about the Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express for its flexible rewards redemptions and no annual fee. Receive 2% cash back on qualifying purchases per calendar year, up to $50,000. Earn 1% cash back on qualifying purchases after $50,000. Cash-back earnings are automatically credited to your account as a statement credit.

With a 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a great choice if you’re looking to finance a large purchase and want to earn some significant cash-back reward — though it’s only up to $50,000 each year. We also like that it’s a simple flat-rate, cash-back card for those who are too busy or don’t want to keep track of earnings categories.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
All Eligible Purchases2% backUp to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Annual Fee$0
Welcome BonusEarn up to $300 in statement credits after making eligible purchases with your card in the first 3 months Card Membership
Foreign Transaction FeesYes
ApplySecure Website

If you like what American Express offers with Blue Business Cash, but you’d prefer a card with a sign-up bonus, then the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express may be perfect for your small business. Earn two points per dollar on purchases, up to $50,000, then one point per dollar afterwards. New customers also get an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases during the first 12 months.

Another great no annual fee choice from American Express, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express offers a 0% introductory APR for both balance transfers and purchases, which is rare.

Much like Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, American Express’ Membership Rewards Program offers a myriad of redemption options, including transferring points to airline and hotel partners. It’s also similar to the Blue Business Cash Card in that you can spend above your credit limit, except that rewards can go toward more than just cash back on your statements. Plus, its ability to help you keep track of employee purchases makes the Blue Business Plus Card a solid choice.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
All Eligible Purchases2x pointsUp to $50,000 a year, then 1X points

The Business Platinum Card®

Annual Fee$595
Welcome BonusEarn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
ApplySecure Website

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a luxury business card with a high annual fee that is best suited for people who travel frequently and in style. While the card offers a suite of premium perks, the Business Platinum Card does come at a high cost that many businesses may not see the value from immediately. The Business Platinum card offers premium business travel benefits including an annual airline fee credit of up to $200 at one qualifying airline you select, elite status with some hotel rewards programs, such as Marriott Bonvoy, and a credit every four years for up to $100 for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. Technically, the Business Platinum Card is a charge card, so plan on paying your balances down every month in full.

Bonus CategoriesMembership Rewards RateAnnual Limit
Flights and Prepaid Hotels on Amextravel.com5x Membership Rewards PointsNo limit
Each Eligible Purchase of $5,000 or More1.5x Membership Rewards PointsUp to 1 million additional points per calendar year
Other Eligible Purchases1x Membership Rewards PointsNo limit

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Annual Fee$95
Welcome BonusEarn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership
Foreign Transaction FeesNone
ApplySecure Website

If you’re ready to travel in style, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card can help you live your dream. Not only can do you get 10 free vouchers for Priority Pass airport lounge access, you’ll also receive automatic Gold Status at eligible Hilton properties. Earn 12x points per dollar on purchases made directly with resorts and hotels within the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6x points per dollar on purchases in select categories such as U.S. gas stations and flights booked directly with Amex Travel or directly with airlines. Earn 3x points per dollar on all other purchases.

Business travelers who tend to stick with Hilton properties will especially love the automatic Gold Status, since it offers you the opportunity to receive a 25% point bonus on qualifying purchases and other perks like room upgrades. The sign-up bonus isn’t to shabby considering you can book a room for as little as 5,000 points a night. With more than 5,700 Hilton properties in 130 countries and territories, there are plenty of places you can redeem points. Don’t forget the Priority Pass lounge access, which is perfect for those times when you want to relax before a long haul flight.

Bonus CategoriesRewards RateAnnual Limit
Hilton Resorts and Hotels12x pointsNo limit
U.S. Gas Stations6x pointsNo limit
U.S. Restaurants6x pointsNo limit
U.S. purchases for shipping6x pointsNo limit
Wireless telephone services purchases directly from U.S. service providers6x pointsNo limit
Flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel6x pointsNo limit
Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies6x pointsNo limit
Other Purchases3x pointsNo limit

Methodology

We used a certain set of criteria in order to compare similar business credit cards to see which fared better.

These include:

  • Redemption options (the more flexible the better)
  • Sign-up bonuses (if any)
  • Rewards and earnings categories
  • Benefits specific to small businesses
  • Annual fees
  • Type of credit needed

Most cards we narrowed it down to mostly offered travel and cash-back rewards. From there, we looked at other factors such as the value small business owners would receive based on the lowest spending requirements. That way, cards we chose will most likely be more accessible to small business owners, even if their expenses are lower.

Frequently Asked Questions About Business Credit Cards

How Do Business Credit Cards Work?

A small business credit card is one that’s specifically used for business purposes instead of personal ones such as paying for business-related expenses like telephone service or office supplies. These types of credit cards work pretty much like personal credit cards — you get access to revolving business credit and other perks like rewards earnings — but there are some differences between the two.

First, some business credit card issuers will report your credit activity to both commercial and consumer credit bureaus. Don’t think that just because it’s a business-specific card you’re off the hook for missed payments — most issuers require that the business owner personally guarantees the debt. In other words, if you’re late or miss a payment, you, the business owner, could be liable.

When it comes to your business credit, it’s very much like your personal credit history except that it’s a credit profile for your business. Having an established credit score — especially a higher one — might mean your business can qualify for loans with competitive interest rates. It could even mean lower insurance premiums. To check your business credit score, you can sign up for a free credit-scoring service called CreditSignal (offered by Dun & Bradstreet), which provides alerts when your credit report changes.

What Is the Difference Between a Personal and Business Credit Card?

Small business credit cards don’t come with as many protections compared to personal credit cards. They’re unfortunately not as heavily monitored and regulated compared to consumer ones. This means business credit cards don’t fall under the Credit CARD Act of 2009. So things like your APR can change at any time and you lose protection against high transaction fees. However, some major credit card issuers are choosing to voluntarily adhere to the CARD act in order to provide business owners more transparency in their policies.

You may also get higher limits with business credit cards considering your business expenses can be much higher than the ones you’ll incur in your personal life. Plus, these cards tend to offer point-earning bonuses in categories more suited for businesses, such as internet charges, office supplies, advertising and, of course, travel.

Aside from this, there aren’t any major differences between personal credit cards. Both of these types of cards allow authorized users. In the case of business cards, authorized users are considered employee cards. The business owner (the primary cardholder) is on the hook for the repayment of all charges, including ones from employees. If you have a rewards credit card, points earned go to you, even if employees rack them up.

Do You Have to Have a Business to Get a Business Credit Card?

The short answer is yes, you need to have a business to be able to open a business credit card. Before assuming you don’t qualify, let’s define what a business is (you may already have one without your knowledge).

First, according to the IRS, you don’t necessarily have to a registered business entity such as an LLC or corporation to count as one. There are different types of businesses, such as sole proprietorships and single member LLCs. So, if you sell items on eBay or Etsy, or work as a freelance writer, you may be able to qualify for a business credit card.

The myth is that you need to have a federal tax ID (or EIN) to be able to apply for a business credit card. For some issuers or credit cards, you may be able to use your Social Security number instead if you put down that you’re a sole proprietor. Given that, you may not have access to higher credit lines unless you’ve been in business for a while and can prove you have a certain amount of income, but you can increase that over time.

In the meanwhile, you can still take advantage of the many benefits of a small business credit card.

What Are The Benefits of Business Credit Cards?

As a business owner, you no doubt have to juggle a lot of responsibilities, so a business credit card can be a major help.

Here are some to many benefits of opening one:

  • Fast and convenient capital: Free up some cash flow and increase your working capital by using your credit card to purchase what you need to grow or maintain your business. If you’re in the growth stages, having access to capital can give you the ability to fulfill business orders, especially if you qualify for a 0% APR offer.
  • Separation of business and personal assets: Using a dedicated business credit card can help make it easier to separate business and personal finances. Not only will it be easier when it comes time to do your taxes, but it can also protect your personal finances from any legal trouble that can arise with your business.
  • Tax benefits: Certain expenses on a business credit card can be tax deductible. First, all qualifying business expenses can be deducted. This includes any annual fees, interest and any late fees. To find out for certain, it’s best to consult a tax professional.
  • Streamline employee expenses: Instead of reimbursing employees, give them employee credit cards so you can manage expenses much more easily. You can also limit the amount your employees spend, giving you more control.
  • Access bookkeeping and accounting tools: Many business credit cards offer year-end summaries, and you can download statements and purchase records for accounting programs. This can help you simplify your bookkeeping and track spending much easier.

How to Pick the Right Small Business Credit Card?

Picking the right card can seem overwhelming, but with the right mindset you can find one suited for your business credit needs.

This includes:

  • Looking at your business credit score. Find out what your credit score is so that you’re able to see what you might qualify for. It could help narrow down your choices.
  • Figure out your priorities. For those who are only interested in a payment method for covering business expenses, most cards will do. However, if you’re after interest-free offers or features like receipt-capture capability, then you’ll need to do some digging to find features for your needs.
  • Avoiding credit cards that require excellent credit scores. If you have limited or fair credit history, you most likely won’t qualify for credit cards that typically require excellent credit scores. Save yourself the heartache and find one that gives you better odds. You can always apply for another card down the line.
  • Don’t discount a secured credit card. In some cases you may not qualify for an unsecured credit card (where you don’t need to put down collateral to access a credit line). Many issuers offer cardholders the opportunity to upgrade to an unsecured card once they meet certain requirements.

How to Apply for a Business Credit Card

Before applying for a small business credit card, check your credit situation. Then you’ll be able to assess whether you can qualify for certain credit cards. Use free tools to check your personal and business credit score. Then you can use that to shop around and research your options to see which cards you can be matched with, offering you the highest chances of approval.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are a few tips for the application process:

  • Gather all supporting documents. You won’t need many documents, but here are a few common things business credit card applications will ask for: A Federal tax ID number, annual business revenue, specific details about a business and a Social Security number.
  • Don’t lie. If you don’t have a business, don’t apply for a card. The same goes for lying about other information just to get a larger credit limit or other perks, because issuers may ask for supporting documents to prove you have a business.
  • Understand you’ll need to sign a personal guarantee. Before submitting your application, be aware that the issuer will take your personal credit history into consideration and that you’re on the hook personally for any charges incurred if your business can’t pay for it.
  • Make sure you can meet the spending requirements for a sign-up bonus. Check the fine print to see what you need to do to earn sign-up bonuses or take advantage of other benefits like travel credits.

What Is the Easiest Small Business Credit Card to Get?

Qualifying for a card will depend on your credit history — both personal and commercial. Not everyone is going to qualify for the Platinum Business Card. If you have never applied for a business credit card before, you can qualify for one using your personal credit score. The higher your credit score, the better your chances.

That being said, you can still qualify for a business credit card even with fair credit, but you may be able to get ones that offer benefits such as travel credits and 0% introductory APR offers. You can always build your business credit and consider another credit card down the line once you’re able to raise your credit score.

For business owners who have bad (or no) credit, there are secured business credit cards. These ones require you to put down a deposit, which serves as your credit line. Some even offer free employee cards. For example, the Wells Fargo Secured Business Credit Card offers a credit line from $500 to $25,000 and offers a decent 1.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases.

Then, monitor your credit carefully and shop around for unsecured credit cards that suit your needs before applying or trying to upgrade to another one. To see what you can qualify for, check online comparison websites or credit card issuers for pre-approved offers.

What Is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

A foreign transaction fee is what your credit card issuer — such as Chase or American Express — charges when a transaction you make with your card processes in a foreign currency or passes through a foreign bank. To process these foreign transactions, your card issuer charges you a percentage of the amount of this transaction, typically 3%. You’ll commonly see foreign transaction fees listed on your card statement as a separate charge.

What Is a Statement Credit?

A statement credit is money paid to your account by your card issuer. It essentially works the same as a cash payment to your account. Some rewards card issuers like American Express often offer statement credits as a payout for cash rewards or other Membership Rewards Point redemptions. Statement credit can be used to pay down your card balance or they can remain on your statement as a positive account balance for future purchases.

What Does ‘Other Purchases’ Mean?

With rewards cards, the term “other purchases” typically refers to purchases made outside of bonus categories or spending categories. As an example, the Platinum Business Card from American Express earns 1.5 Membership Rewards Points for each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more and 1x Membership Rewards Points on other purchases. Cash and point-earning rewards rates are usually lowest on spending categorized as “other purchases.”

What Are Bonus Categories?

The terms “bonus categories” and “spending categories” are often used interchangeably. But with cash rewards cards, bonus categories refer to any spending category that offers a cardholder accelerated earnings.

While some card issuers offer permanent bonus categories, others feature rotating bonus categories that often change every quarter. As an example, the the Spark Miles earns 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rentals cars booked through Capital One Travel and unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

What Is a Flat Rate Card?

Flat-rate cards have a set rate, usually 1%, 1.5% or 2%. You earn this flat-rate on virtually all of your purchases, from groceries to gas to airline tickets. This type of rewards card earning simplifies the process, but it also leaves a lot of rewards on the table when compared to other cards.

What Are Annual Fees?

An annual fee is a set charge that occurs yearly. For cards with annual fees, the charge is applied to your account as soon as you are approved. You will see that same charge on your card anniversary. If you do not pay the annual fee in the billing statement you receive it, you will start to pay interest on it.

Since your annual fee is applied to your charge account automatically, that will affect your credit limit. For example, if you applied for a card with a $5,000 credit limit and the annual fee is $95, your new credit limit will be $4,905 until you pay your bill. Keep this in mind if you are hoping to use your new card for a big purchase right after sign-up.

Annual fees do not count for sign-up bonuses and they do not earn points or cash back. Occasionally, some card issuers refer to no annual fee cards as no-fee cards. However, this isn’t entirely correct as even a no annual fee card will still have fees for late payments and cash advances.

Annual fees vary by card, with most fees starting at $95. Some cards, like the Business Platinum Card from American Express, charge a larger annual fee, but the card also comes with more rewards like annual travel credits.

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While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Michelle Black
Michelle Black is founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com. Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.