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Opening a business credit card for your small business, side hustle or freelance gig can have a host of benefits, including helping you cover startup costs and save on typical business expenses, like internet service or office supplies. And the good news is you don’t necessarily have to set up a limited liability company or corporation to qualify. If you’ve been waiting to apply for a business credit or weren’t sure if you should, here are six ways a business card can help you launch or grow your small business.

1. Sole Proprietors and Gig Workers Can Open Business Credit Cards

woman on zoom call at home

If you haven’t opened a business credit card because you don’t have a big, fancy business established, you could be holding yourself back. In most cases, sole proprietors can open a business credit card—you don’t always need an employer identification number or special business designation.

It’s always good to check the fine print for cards or bank accounts, and when in doubt, give customer service a call to make sure you qualify. But if you’ve got a weekend side hustle or evening gig, you could likely benefit from a business credit card.

Compare Chase Ink Business Credit Cards

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

$750Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

$0 1.5%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business. The advertised rewards type is cash back, but it’s important to note that you’re technically earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which can then be converted to cash back).

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

$750Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

$0 1% - 5%Cashback More Info

Earn 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. 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.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

120,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 120,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $2,760 (120,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 More info

This fee includes extra cards for authorized users, such as employees, at no additional charge.

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined spending in a number of key business categories

Ink Business Premier® Credit Card

$1,000Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $1,000 bonus cash back after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

$195 Up to 2.5%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 2.5% total cash back on purchases of $5,000 or more and unlimited 2% cash back on all other business purchases.

2. Credit Can Help Cash Flow

Depending on your side hustle, you may have a lot of upfront costs or next to none, but having access to credit when you’re building your business can give you peace of mind and help you cover early startup costs. Business credit cards often come with higher credit limits than personal cards, though a lot of factors, like credit history, determine what limit you get approved for.

Credit can be super useful when you’re getting started because it gives you some wiggle room financially before you’ve lined up a lot of clients or started getting regular payments. That said, be mindful that it’s still a credit card, and you are on the hook for the bill. Keep an eye on how much you’re charging and always aim to pay what you owe each month to keep interest charges at bay.

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3. Sign-Up Bonuses Can Pay Off

When shopping around for the best business credit card for your situation, check out the sign-up bonus each card is promoting. These typically offer cash back or other rewards in exchange for spending a certain amount during a designated time frame. For example, a card could offer a $600 statement credit for spending $4,000 in the first three months of having the card. 

Compare offers and see which one best fits your spending habits. If you already plan to spend enough to earn a bonus and know you can easily pay it off, a bonus is extra money you can put back into your business.

See Which Credit Cards Offer Bonuses

Best Credit Card Bonuses

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4. Purchases Protections Are an Added Perk

Many business credit cards offer significant perks that can give you peace of mind, especially when you’re first launching your business. For example, say you need some expensive equipment, like a high-quality camera. Some cards include a solid purchase protection plan, which replaces, repairs or reimburses the cardholder up to a certain limit in a given time frame. 

If you plan to buy equipment for your business, it’s worth digging into the benefits of business credit cards to find one that could save you some money, help you replace a damaged phone or extend a warranty when you’re watching your bottom line.

5. Rewards Are Designed for Business Owners

woman driving rental car

Business credit cards are designed for business owners, so the rewards and perks are tailored to professional needs. Rewards could include cash back on office supply purchases, business travel, internet costs and more. Some cards also offer other discounts on things like accounting software, budgeting tools, car rentals and more. Review all the perks as you compare cards to find those that fit your business needs.

6. Many Business Cards Have No Annual Fee

Some business credit cards have no annual fee and still offer a decent suite of rewards and other perks, so if you want to get started without adding costs, it is possible. As your business grows, you might decide to invest in a card with an annual fee, though. 

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to make sure the card’s benefits can offset the cost of the annual fee through your regular spending. If you find that’s possible—maybe you can easily take advantage of a card’s statement credit or travel perk, for example—an annual fee may pay for itself in no time.

Is a Business Credit Card Worth It for My Side Hustle?

If you’re running a small part-time business, a business credit card could be worth it to help you keep your business expenses separate from your personal accounts. This can be a big help at tax time and just for budgeting and tracking throughout the year. Many freelancers use business credit cards, including those who do things like copywriting, consulting, ride share driving, craft fairs, baking and playing in a band on the weekends. 

That said, if your side hustle is more of a hobby and you don’t intend to monetize it or grow it into a business, you might not qualify for a business credit card. But if you’re already running a business of our own or are considering starting a side hustle, it’s worth exploring the benefits of business credit cards.


Slickdeals Money Staff

The Slickdeals Money editorial team is dedicated to helping readers navigate the personal finance space. We’re passionate about educating our readers on the very best financial tools & products on the market today.