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Best credit cards for consultants

Travel credit cards can offer top-notch rewards for consultants.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Our pick for consultants: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® logo

50,000-point

Signup bonus after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

  • Not just for travel: Get DoorDash perks,10x points on Lyft and 3x on dining
  • Signup bonus worth $750 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • $300 annual travel credit
Apply now

For many consultants, it’s easy to rack up big bills on travel and dining. But a credit card that offers rewards in such categories can help with savings. Many cards also offer solid flat-rate rewards on all purchases, which can benefit consultants with varied spend categories.

We looked for cards with market-leading rewards in typical consultant spend categories. We also gave weight to cards that included extra travel benefits.

Best credit cards for consultants

If you’re a consultant, your typical expenses likely include travel and dining. For this reason, travel credit cards are often the best options. Consider where you spend most and see whether a card’s bonus categories are a fit. Also, consider whether you want premium travel benefits like airport lounge access or credits for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.

Best for travel within the US
Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠ logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
This card can give you one of the highest rewards rates on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, on Lyft rides and dining. But because it has foreign transaction fees, it's best used for travel within the US.
  • Signup bonus. Earn $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months when you open your account. Also, earn 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year of card membership.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories on up to $1,500 every quarter, and 1% back after that. Earn 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022, and 5% back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards. Purchases made at drugstores and restaurants, including takeout and delivery earns 3% back. All other purchases earn 1% cash back
  • Intro APR. Get 0% intro APR period on purchases for the first 15 months. After that, a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74% applies.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
Rewards 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

Best overall credit card for consultants
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$550
Annual fee
Up to 10x
Points
50,000
Points welcome offer
Travel is a fact of life for most consultants, but you can do it in style with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®'s premium benefits. These include an annual $300 travel credit, airport lounge access and special perks at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties. After you use your annual credit, you'll earn strong rewards on travel and dining.
  • Rewards. Earn 3x points on travel and dining after you use your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 1x points on all other purchases. Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Premium travel benefits. Get a $300 travel credit each card year. Enjoy a credit for your Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee as well as complimentary airport lounge access. Access special benefits such as early check-in, late checkout and complimentary room upgrades when you book at properties in The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make $4,000 in purchases on your card within the first 3 months of opening your account. These are worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Annual Fee $550
Purchase APR 16.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 16.99% to 23.99% variable
Welcome offer 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases

Best for Hyatt hotel perks
The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
Up to 9x
Points
25,000
Points welcome offer
The World of Hyatt Credit Card is a reliable option if hotels are like a second home and you prefer the Hyatt brand. The earning rate and signup bonus are solid and the perks available are more generous than you'd expect from a card with a $95 annual fee.
  • Rewards. Earn 4x bonus points at all Hyatt hotels. Earn 2x points on fitness club and gym memberships, local transit and commuting purchases, at restaurants and on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Signup bonus. Spend $3,000 on purchases in the 3 months of account opening and get 25,000 bonus points. Spend an additional $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months to earn another 25,000 bonus points .
  • Reward nights. Earn a free award night on category 1 through 4 hotels each card anniversary. You can also earn a free night for every $15,000 you spend each year
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Welcome offer 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months
Rewards 4x total points at Hyatt hotels as a World of Hyatt member, 2x on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines and 1x on all other purchases

Best for flat-rate rewards
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
5x
Miles
50,000
Miles welcome offer
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a reliable option if you don't want to deal with tiered rewards, or you spend heavily in categories other than travel or dining. You'll get unlimited 2x miles on all purchases and credit for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. This can save you from getting stuck in security lanes.
  • Rewards. Get unlimited 2x miles on all purchases.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Earn an additional 50,000 points after you spend $20,000 or more in your first 12 months.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit. Receive up to a $100 credit every four years for your application fee.
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 17.24%, 21.99% or 24.49% variable
Balance transfer APR 17.24%, 21.99% or 24.49% variable
Welcome offer 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

Earn an additional 50,000 miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months
Rewards 5x miles on Uber Eats and 2x miles on all purchases

Best business credit card
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2x
Points

Welcome offer
If you're a freelance consultant or you own your own business, it could be wise to get a business credit card. The no-annual-fee The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is an especially good choice, offering solid flat-rate rewards on all spending on up to $50,000 annually. Watch out for its foreign transaction fee, which makes the card a poor choice if you typically travel out of the country.
  • Rewards. Earn 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1x.
  • No annual fee. Your rewards become more valuable without an annual fee to worry about.
  • Intro APR. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening, then 13.24% to 19.24% variable.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer
Rewards Earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2x applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.

Best for no annual fee
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Points
20,000
Points welcome offer
If you don't need premium benefits but want strong rewards, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card is an ace in the hole. You'll earn 3x points in such categories as dining, fuel, rideshares, flights, hotels and car rentals — a superb combination for most consultants.
  • Rewards. Earn 3x points on: dining out and ordering in, fuel, transit and rideshares, flights, hotels, car rentals and homestays, select streaming services, 1x points on all other purchases
  • Signup bonus. Earn 20,000 bonus points after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Intro APR. Get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening, then 14.49% to 24.99% variable.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.49% to 24.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.49% to 24.99% variable)
Welcome offer 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 3x points on dining, gas, transit, travel and streaming and 1x points on all other purchases

What’s changed in 2020?

Capital One ended its Hotels.com rewards rates on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. However, it remains a solid travel card for unlimited flat-rate earning.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has some big changes, including an increased annual fee, bonus Lyft rewards, DoorDash credits and complimentary Lyft Pink and DashPass memberships. The World of Hyatt Credit Card is added as best in Hyatt Hotel cards where you can earn up to 10 free nights at category 1 Hyatt hotels.

We also added the Chase Freedom Flex℠ as soon as it became available.

How to choose the best credit cards for consultants

Some credit cards can be an excellent addition to any consultant’s wallet. But to choose the right one for your financial situation, consider the following:

  • Rewards.
    For a consultant, this is one of the first factors to consider when picking a credit card. Travel and dining are probably among your biggest spend categories, in which case you’ll want to look for cards with bonus rewards for those purchases. If you spend evenly across many categories, you may get more out of a flat-rate rewards card.
  • Annual fee.
    Whether a fee is worth paying depends on the rewards you’ll earn. It might also be worth paying an annual fee if you’ll get lots of value from a card’s travel benefits.
  • Benefits.
    Some cards have extra features such as airport lounge access or a credit for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • Signup bonus.
    A signup bonus can give you a quick and valuable burst of rewards. While this shouldn’t be the primary factor you use to evaluate cards, it can tip the scales when the decision is close. Keep in mind while points and miles are usually worth 1 cent each, they may be worth more when you transfer them to airline or hotel programs.
  • Intro APR.
    Some credit cards have intro APRs that can save you from interest on purchases and balance transfers for a certain time. Keep track of how long your intro APR lasts and avoid spending more than you can pay off before your special interest rate expires.
  • Foreign transaction fees.
    Most travel cards don’t have foreign transaction fees. However, other cards might, so consider this if you often travel internationally.

Do I really need a credit card for consultants?

Any card that can help you save money or earn rewards for your expenses could be worth having in your pocket. That said, should you find a card from our best list useful, consider applying for one. But if the card you currently own does its job well, you may not need another card for the time being.

Should I pick the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express?

For many consultants, both cards represent the pinnacle of the luxury travel market. Here are the biggest advantages each product offers.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Bonus rewards on travel after you use your annual travel credit
  • Bonus rewards on dining
  • More versatile travel credit
  • Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Stellar rewards on Lyft rides and a free year of Lyft Pink
  • Annual DoorDash credits through 2021 and DashPass for at least a year
  • Flagship airline transfer partner in the US is United Airlines
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Stronger rewards on flights and hotels
  • Annual Uber credit
  • Annual airline credit
  • Access to the Amex Centurion Lounges
  • Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors
  • Flagship airline transfer partner in the US is Delta Airlines

Consider this business-card alternative

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a good alternative for a business credit card. It doesn’t offer accelerated rewards on dining, which may be a significant disadvantage for a consultant. However, it offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined categories such as travel and advertising purchases each card year, then 1x points.

Bottom line

Given typical expenses for consultants, travel credit cards tend to be the best options. Consider your own expenses and look for a card that offers bonus rewards for that spending.

We’ve included a few travel credit cards on our list, but you can compare other travel credit cards before you make your decision.

Compare credit cards for consultants

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
16.99% to 23.99% variable
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
3x points on the first $150,000 on travel and select business categories annually, then 1x after and on all other purchases
15.99% to 20.99% variable
$95
100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards&reg
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
$0
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.Rates & fees
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