If you’re an entrepreneur looking to separate your personal and business expenses, opening a business credit card help with that — and more.
In case you don’t know what a business credit card is, it’s simply a credit card you open specifically for your business. Doing this lets you enjoy several advantages that personal credit cards don’t have.
Business credit cards keep your personal and business expenses separate so they’re easier to keep track of come tax season and let you pay your bills easier. Since you can get multiple cards under one account, you can get cards for your employees and set spending limits as well as track each employee’s expenses. Business credit cards also tend to have lower annual fees than personal credit cards.
You’ll get better customer service from credit card companies since businesses typically spend more on their cards.
With all that said:
Choosing the right business credit card can be confusing. There is no one card to rule them all since every business faces unique challenges that credit card companies simply can’t predict.
To help YOU find the best credit card for your business, check out the list below of our picks for the top 7 best business credit cards.
What to Look for in a Business Credit Card
Don’t get confused between a charge card and a credit card. While they may seem interchangeable, they’re really wholly different.
A credit card:
- Lets you carry a balance from month to month
- Only require minimum monthly payments which are usually a small percentage of your total balance
- A fixed or variable interest rate (APR) charged on the card balance
- Flexible payment options
- Usually no annual fee
A charge card is the exact opposite.
We looked for several factors while compiling this list. They’re the following:
- Regular APR/Interest Rate: This is the single most important factor if you plan to keep a monthly balance. The lower this rate is, the better.
- Rewards: If you don’t plan on keeping a monthly balance, you may be more interested in the rewards a business card offers. These can include cashback, vendor-specific rewards, airline miles, other travel rewards (Hotels, Car Rentals, etc.)
- Annual Fees: Some business credit cards charge an annual fee. This usually lowers your interest or increases the number of rewards you get.
- Welcome Bonus: While not the most important factor when looking for a business card, a welcome bonus is still a plus.
Apart from those factors, we’ll also list down each card’s pros and cons to help you weigh your options.
So, without further ado:
1. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Intro APR + Flexible Rewards
The Blue Business Plus is great for entrepreneurs looking to earn lucrative Membership Rewards points for everyday business spending. Sole proprietorships and start-ups with limited revenue will love this card’s introductory interest rate and expanded buying power.
This card is perfect if your business spends less than $50,000 a year. If you go over that, spend up to the maximum of $50,000 then use another card for the rest of the year’s purchases.
- Regular APR: 13.24% – 19.24% variable
- Rewards: 2x Membership Rewards® points for everyday business purchases (like office supplies or client dinners). Applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year. 1 point per dollar thereafter.
- Annual Fees: No annual fee
- Welcome Bonus: No welcome bonus
The Blue Business Plus Pros
- No annual fee
- Various airline partners to choose from
- Earn Membership Rewards points; transfer those points to 22 travel partners
- High rewards rate on the first $50,000 spent per year
- Offers extended warranties
- Purchase protection, baggage insurance, and secondary car rental insurance
The Blue Business Plus Cons
- 2.7% foreign transaction fee
- No welcome bonus
- 2 points per dollar rewards rate falls to 1 point per dollar after $50,000 in annual spending
- No higher bonus categories for business spending
2. Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Flat-rate Rewards
“Less is more” applies perfectly to Capital One Spark Cash for Business. While transferable points can provide more value, extracting that extra value can be complicated and time-consuming.
A simple cash-back credit card like this can provide the extra cash for expenses that you otherwise couldn’t earn using another type of card, like a travel rewards card. This is because cards like the latter only give you rewards that you can use for travel and not much else.
Where this cash-back card shines is its unlimited 2% cashback on every purchase. Just swipe the card and get a return on every purchase. No more juggling multiple cards to get the optimum specific bonus categories.
- Regular APR: 20.99% variable
- Rewards: Unlimited 2% cash-back for your business on every purchase anywhere with no limits or category restrictions.
- Annual Fees: $0 intro for the first year then $95 thereafter
- Welcome Bonus: $500
Capital One Spark Cash for Business Pros
- No foreign transaction fees so you can use this card anywhere
- Simple rewards program
- Free employee cards that also earn unlimited 2% cash-back
- Rewards never expire
- Redeem cash-back for any amount
Capital One Spark Cash for Business Cons
- The 2% reward is small when compared to some cards offering 5x bonuses on some categories
- $95 annual fee
3. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: No Annual Fee + Office Supplies Card
Ink Business Cash is a great choice if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card that rewards you for business-related spending.
You earn 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores as well as eligible phone, cable, & internet services per year. Earn 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined gas station and restaurant purchases per year. Earn 1% cash-back on all other purchases with no limit cap.
Along with these rewards, this card also offers protections that you rarely see on a no annual fee card. This includes primary car rental insurance for your business and purchase protection.
You’ll also get a $750 cash-back bonus after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
- Regular APR: 13.24% – 19.24% variable
- Rewards: Earn 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores as well as eligible phone, cable, & internet services per year. Earn 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined gas station and restaurant purchases per year. Earn 1% cash-back on all other purchases with no limit cap.
- Annual Fees: $0
- Welcome Bonus: $750
Ink Business Cash Pros
- $750 bonus cash-back after spending $7,500 on purchases in the first three months
- Great cash-back rewards structure
- No annual fee
Ink Business Cash Cons
- 5% cash-back reward is limited to the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases per year.
- Low rewards rates for purchases outside of bonus categories
4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business: Travel Rewards
If you’re looking for a business card with great travel rewards, Capital One Spark Miles is a good choice. This card offers a simple way to earn miles as a reward through business spending anywhere and no matter the purchase category. You’ll also earn a 50,000 miles bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months.
What’s more, these miles rewards never expire during the lifetime of your account. You can also transfer your miles to 15+ leading travel loyalty programs like Air Canada, JetBlue™, and Emirates™.
You can instantly redeem the miles you earned for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services. This card also offers a $0 intro annual fee for the first year then $95 after that. The free employee cards you can get with your account also earn unlimited 2X miles from their purchases, making this a great card if your business involves frequent traveling.
- Regular APR: 20.99% variable
- Rewards: Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won’t expire for the life of the account.
- Annual Fees: $0 intro for the first year then $95 after that
- Welcome Bonus: 50,000 miles
Capital One Spark Miles Pros
- Earn 2x on every purchase anywhere and for whatever category.
- Free employee cards also earn 2x on all spending
- Affordable with $0 annual fee for the first year then only $95 in annual fees thereafter
Capital One Spark Miles Cons.
- Minimal perks if you want additional benefits for when you travel.
5. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Lounge Access
Getting miles as rewards for purchases is great but perhaps you want more premium travel perks. This is where the Business Platinum Card comes in handy.
The Business Platinum Card lets you earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. You can also use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year. Eligible fares include First and Business Class tickets with all airlines available through American Express Travel, as well as any fare class with your selected qualifying airline.
You can also move through security faster with CLEAR® at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. You can get back the $179 you pay per year on your membership when you use your Card.
Additionally, you can enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell.
You can then relax and unwind through Fine Hotels + Resorts®. When you book with American Express Travel, you’ll get an average total value of $550 in perks at over 1,100 properties. These perks include things like daily breakfast for two, 4 pm check-out, and more.
- Regular APR: 14.24% – 22.24% variable
- Rewards: Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Earn 1.5X points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar). Earn 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Annual Fees: $595
- Welcome Bonus: 120,000 points
Business Platinum Card Pros
- Airport lounge access
- No foreign transaction fee
- Luxurious travel perks
Business Platinum Card Cons
- High spending is needed to earn the welcome bonus
- Annual fee and additional cardholder fees are quite steep
- The base rewards rate is only 1 point per $1 spent outside of travel
6. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Hotel Card
If you’re a Hilton loyalist, or just looking for a great hotel card for your business, then the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is for you.
This card’s $95 annual fee belies its true value. As of the time of writing this list, this card offers a limited-time offer that lets you earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership. You’ll also earn Up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made at any of the Hilton family of hotels in the first 12 months of Card Membership (offer expires 08/25/2021).
This card also gets you a free Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases per year. You can earn a second Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases per year.
You’ll also get 10 complimentary priority pass visits to a selection of over 1,200 airport lounges each year once you’ve enrolled in Priority Pass™ Select Membership.
- Regular APR: 15.74% – 24.74% variable
- Rewards: Earn 12X points per dollar for purchases made directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6X points per dollar on select business purchases at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchases directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 6X points per dollar on select travel purchases at U.S. restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, and on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies. Earn 3X points per dollar on all other purchases.
- Annual Fees: $95
- Welcome Bonus: 130,000 points
Hilton Honors American Express Pros
- No foreign transaction fee
- Automatic Hilton Gold status (enrollment required)
- Free Weekend Night Passes
- 10 complimentary priority pass visits
- Generous welcome bonus
Hilton Honors American Express Cons
- High standard APR
- No intro APR offer
- You can only redeem at Hilton properties
7. The Plum Card® from American Express: Flexible Financing
If your business needs a high working capital but often has an inconsistent cash flow, then the Plum Card is the one for you.
The Plum Card gives your business flexible capital by not having a preset spending limit. You get to adjust your purchasing power by using this card and other factors. This does not, however, mean there’s no limit to your spending. No Preset Spending Limit simply means your purchasing power adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record, and financial resources known to the company, as well as other factors.
This card also lets you earn an unlimited 1.5% cash-back on the portion of your balance you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. There’s no cap limit on how much you can earn and this applies to all purchase categories, just savings applies to your next statement.
If you need more time, the company gives you up to 60 days to pay without interest. You just need to pay your minimum payment due by your payment due date.
This card does come with a few setbacks. It offers no rewards, has a hefty $250 annual fee after your first year. This card is also fit mostly for bigger businesses that spend big and who can afford to pay the entire balance each month.
- Regular APR: None. Pay in full each month or carry your balance for up to 60 days with no interest.
- Rewards: None
- Annual Fees: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $250 thereafter
- Welcome Bonus: $500
The Plum Card Pros
- Earn a 1.5% discount for paying on time
- No preset spending limit
- Annual fee is $0 for the first year
The Plum Card Cons
- Hefty annual fee after the first year
- Still a charge card that makes your balance payable in full each month. You can’t spread it across several months.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a business credit card?
A business credit card is like a personal credit card but, instead of personal use, it’s designed for the needs of small businesses such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, or LLCs. They let entrepreneurs leverage business spending to earn valuable rewards in the form of cash-back, points, or miles. Other business-friendly features also include offering a separate credit line to help fund business operations as well as tools to easily separate business expenses from personal ones.
What do I need to open a business credit card?
To open a business credit card you first need the following:
- An EIN
- A business bank account
For personal information, you’ll need to prepare the following:
- Your Name
- Your Personal Address
- Phone Number
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Total Household Income
For business information, you’ll need to prepare the following:
- Legal Business Name
- Business Name (to be printed on your card)
- Business Address
- Email Address
- Industry Type
- Company Structure
- Annual Business Revenue
- Years in Business
- Number of Employees
- Federal Tax ID
What’s a business credit score? Is it like a personal credit score?
While a business credit score may seem like your personal credit score, they’re entirely different from each other. Your personal credit score is usually a three-digit figure determined by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Business credit scores are calculated by Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the best.
Why does my business credit score matter?
Like having a strong persona credit score, having a strong business credit score lets you qualify for better rates on your loans and can also signal lenders that you qualify for financing on purchases or other loans.
How do I check my business credit score?
Dun and Bradstreet’s CreditSignal program lets you access some of your scores through a 14-day free trial. You can also get your scores through Nav’s business credit reports, which summarize your business scores from the three main business credit reporting agencies: Experian, Dun & Bradstreet, and Equifax.
Neither of these gives you full access to your business scores, though. You’ll have to pay if you want full access to them. Services such as Equifax, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet all offer various types of paid access to your business credit history.
Can I apply for a small-business credit card without a business?
You usually need to operate a business to qualify for a small-business credit card. It doesn’t matter if your business isn’t incorporated or if it doesn’t have a formal structure (like an LLC). You can apply for a small-business card even if you’re a freelancer or a sole proprietor.
Can I use my business cards for personal expenses?
Card terms usually require that only legitimate business expenses can be charged to business credit cards. Also, we wouldn’t suggest you intermingle your business and personal charges to make accounting easier and keep your business liability protections.
What is the best business credit card?
Unfortunately, there’s no one clear answer.
The best business credit card depends on your specific circumstances. This is based on a combination of your business spending patterns, your personal credit history, and your goals in owning a particular business card (like regular APR or rewards).