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Compare business credit cards vs. business loans

Do you need funding for regular expenses, a one-time project — or both?

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Editor's choice: First Down Funding business loans

First Down Funding business loans logo
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Loans up to $300,000
  • Bad credit OK
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A business credit card and business loan generally serve two different purposes. One is designed to help you cover small costs as they come up, like ordering new coffee filters for the office. The other is meant to cover a large one-time expense. But both can be viable options in more unique situations, like when you can repay your debt in a year.

At a glance: Business loans vs. credit cards

Business credit cardBusiness term loan
Funding amountA specified limit, as high as $250,000, with flexible, ongoing access to fundsBusiness financing up to $5 million provided in one lump sum
RepaymentLow minimum monthly repaymentsA set repayment schedule with monthly payments and a payoff date
EligibilityLess requirements than a business loan, but typically requires good personal creditGenerally, you must be in business for at least a year and have annual revenue of $100,000 or more, good personal credit
Starting APRCan be as low as 11.99%, some cards offer 0% APR promotional periods for up to 12 monthsCan be as low as 6%
FeesAnnual fees, late repayment fees and more may applyApplication fees, origination fees, late repayment fees and more may apply
Other featuresTravel insurance, employee spending controls and monitoring, integration with accounting softwareAbility to sync to your online accounting software
RewardsYou can earn cash back on office supply purchases, shipping, advertising, gas and more, or you can earn travel milesNo rewards
PerksYou can get access to airport lounges, free checked bags, priority boarding, companion certificate and moreMay help you qualify for larger loan amounts with the same lender in the future
Application timingCredit card approval is often instantIt depends on the lender and the amount you borrow, often between one and 90 days
AdvantagesFlexible funding, continuously available money and bonus featuresMany different loan options, can be closely tailored to your borrowing needs
DisadvantagesLower funding amount, higher APRLess additional perks, stricter requirements

Should I get a business loan or credit card?

It depends on what you need to finance. Business loans are designed to cover a large one-time expense, while credit cards are designed to cover smaller expenses that are hard to predict, over a long period of time.

It also depends on your cash flow. If you have the cash flow to pay off your credit card balance each month, you won’t have to pay any interest. Some credit cards come with a 0% APR promotional period, which can last as long as 12 months. If you can pay off the balance before the period is up, you also won’t have to pay interest.

Want something in between? Consider a line of credit

A line of credit falls somewhere in between a loan and a credit card. It gives your business access to funds that you can withdraw from as needed, like a credit card. But your withdrawals are in cash, which you can use to cover ongoing expenses that credit cards can’t — like utilities or rent.

They also tend to have higher credit limits than credit cards, making them suitable for a large project with costs that are difficult to predict. Some business lines of credit come with minimum monthly payments, while others turn each draw into a short-term loan.

Compare lines of credit for your business

Compare business financing products

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
First Down Funding business loans
$5,000 – $300,000
Fee Based
At least 1 year in business, an annual revenue of $100,000+, and a minimum credit score of 400
Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
OnDeck small business loans
$5,000 – $250,000
As low as 9.99%
600+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
Rapid Finance small business loans
$5,000 – $1,000,000
Fee based
Steady flow of credit card sales, bad credit OK
Fundbox business loans
$1,000 – $100,000
You must have an established business.
Get flat rate, short-term financing based on the financial health of your business, not your credit score.
Kickpay e-commerce business loans
$20,000 – $1,000,000
Not applicable
At least $250,000 in the past 12 months of revenue, e-commerce business, use a 3rd party fulfillment center for storing and shipping inventory, at least one US location.
Get a loan for your e-commerce business based on your sales history.
LendingClub business loans
$5,000 – $500,000
12.15% to 29.97%
12+ months in business, $50,000+ in annual sales, no bankruptcies or tax liens, at least 20% ownership of the business, fair personal credit score or better
With loan terms that vary from 12 to 60 months, enjoy fixed monthly payments and no prepayment penalties through this award-winning lender.
Monevo business loans
$500 – $100,000
3.99% to 35.99%
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Use this connection service to get paired with a loan you can use for business.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
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
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®
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
5% at office supply stores, on Internet, cable and phone up to $25,000 combined annually (then 1%), 2% on gas and dining up to $25,000 combined annually then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
1.5% cash back on all purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
United℠ Business Card
2x miles on United, restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores, local transit and commuting, and 1x miles on all other purchases
16.49% to 23.49% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 75,000 miles once after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months.
Universal Premium Mastercard®
3 cents off per gallon when you buy 30,000 or more gallons in a month plus 3 cents off at the Retail Savings Network
27.24% variable
Up to $120
Earn 3 cents off per gallon when you buy 30,000 or more gallons in a month plus 3 cents off at the Retail Savings Network.

Compare up to 4 providers

Is a business credit card worth it?

Business credit cards offer a number of advantages in comparison to typical business loans, mostly in the form of extra features. How extensively you plan on using these features often answers the question of if a business credit card is worth it for you.


  • Track your business spending
  • Access various account management and financial analysis tools
  • Manage employee credit cards through one account
  • Earn a signup bonus and rewards on your purchases
  • You may get a 0% intro APR period on purchases, balance transfers or both
  • Build the company credit score


  • Potentially high APR
  • Some business credit cards charge an annual fee
  • Credit limit may not be enough for your needs
  • Most small business credit cards require a personal guarantee
  • Some card providers will report your business card activity to personal credit

Which is right for my business?

Compare business credit card if …Compare loans if …
  • You can pay off your balance over a year
  • You want to earn rewards on purchases
  • You want to track employee spending
  • You need revolving credit limit
  • You want a credit limit with lower approval requirements
  • You have poor credit score or no credit history
  • You want an ongoing low APR
  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee
  • You want loan flexibility
  • You need a high credit limit
  • You have excellent credit score
  • You have established a business credit
Our pick for a business credit card
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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