Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2014

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.

Ink Cash Business CardInk Cash® Business Card is a nice combination of upfront bonus and ongoing rewards utility. The sign-up bonus offer is $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 12 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

Ink Bold Business CardInk Bold® Business Charge 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.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card is the small business version of one of my favorite personal credit cards. The sign-up bonus is up to 25,000 Starpoints: Earn 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase on the Card and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. $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.

Capital One Spark CardCapital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. Plus, a one-time $100 bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. 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. Save with 0% intro APR on all purchases until February 2015.

Capital One Spark CardCapital One® Spark® Cash for Business earns a whopping 2% cash back on ALL purchases. Get a $250 cash bonus – just spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. $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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Comments

  1. Johnathan, please correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that business cards should be avoided if possible since they don’t give the same consumer protections as personal credit cards, therefore making them riskier. From my understanding, if you will be the only one using the credit card, you are better off using a dedicated personal credit card from a consumer protection standpoint

  2. @rick – It is true that there are more protections required by law for all consumer credit cards. However, in many cases these business cards already either meet or exceed those requirements on their own. (The same is true for consumer debit cards.) However, less well-known issuers may not.

    For example, by law on a consumer credit card, one of the main protections is that your liability for unauthorized charges is limited to $50. However, most consumer and business credit cards actually give you $0 fraud liability, as mentioned in the Capital One Spark cards above. Indeed, I looked and all the cards above from Chase, American Express, and Capital One have zero fraud liability.

  3. Wasn’t there an Amex or other card that gave 5% back on “professional services”? IS that still available?

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