Whether you have a small business with just one employee or over 100, it’s critical to track your your business expenses and keep them separate from your personal finances. Business credit cards help you do that, along with other perks like giving you some additional float time to pay off the balance, easy expense accounting and categorization, employee cards, business discounts, and my favorite: rewards and/or cash back. Here are the best small business charge and credit cards out there, I’ve included a few options depending on what best suits your needs.
The Chase Ink Cash® Business Card is a nice combination of upfront bonus and ongoing rewards utility. The sign-up bonus is up to $200 cash back after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months. No annual fee. It’s a credit card with a 0% Introductory APR offer for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers. Here’s the cash back rewards:
- 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants
- 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
The Chase Ink Bold® Business Card is a premium card with an improved upfront bonus and better rewards, but comes with an annual fee (waived the first year). The sign-up bonus is worth $500 cash or $625 towards travel – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. You get that extra 25% towards any travel booked at their Ultimate Rewards travel portal with no blackouts or restrictions, and their prices aren’t any more expensive than at an Expedia or Travelocity-type site.
You also get 5X points per dollar in select business categories, and you have the improved travel redemption option and you can transfer points 1:1 to programs like United Airlines and Hyatt hotels. This is a charge card, so there is not interest and the spending limit is more flexible. The annual fee is %0 the first year, $95 after that. My recommendation would be to try it out for the first year, and see if the premium benefits are worth it for you. If not, you can downgrade to a no annual fee version.
The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN is a charge card for small businesses where you must pay off the balance each month and you get the famous AMEX perks like purchase price protection, extended product return protection, and AMEX extended warranty. Review here, below are the highlights:
- 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership.
- Triple points on airfare. What makes this card different is that you can now earn 3X points on airfare as well as 2X points on advertising, shipping, and gas purchases on the first $100,000 of eligible purchases in each category each calendar year. Everything else earns 1 point per dollar spent.
- The annual fee is $0 the first year, and $175 thereafter. This way you can try out the card for a year for free. Get unlimited Additional Gold Cards for an additional annual fee of $50 but this fee is also waived for the first year.
- Terms and restrictions apply
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is the small business version of one of my favorite personal credit cards. The sign-up bonus is up to 25,000 Starpoints: 10,000 bonus Starpoints after your first purchase, and an additional 15,000 bonus Starpoints after you spend $5,000 in the first 6 months. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65. Starpoints from the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program are very flexible with multiple redemption options towards free hotel stays, frequent flier miles, and Amazon.com gift cards. I use them primarily for free hotel stays or topping up my miles accounts for awards, and actually value them at 2 cents a point or more.
The Capital One® SparkSM Cash Select earns 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 50% bonus on the cash back you earn every year with no annual fee. As long as your card is still open at the end of the year, that’s a total of 1.5% cash back. You can request the cash back as a credit on your account, or in the form of a check. In addition, it offers $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen, as well as a year-end Summary to help you track business expenses.
The Capital One® SparkSM Cash earns a whopping 2% cash back on ALL purchases. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, and $59 after that. This card is ideal for those business that make a large amount of purchases. You can request the cash back as a credit on your account, or in the form of a check. In addition, it offers an $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen, as well as a year-end Summary to help you track business expenses.
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