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Whether you’re just starting a business or have had an operation in the works for years, getting the right business card can be an exciting step in your professional life. The needs of your business are unique, and the right credit card can meet those needs.
Finder’s credit card team spends hundreds of hours researching credit cards to create helpful guides on business credit cards and to rank the top cards in the industry.
Best business credit cards
To speed up your search for the right card, we’ve assembled the best business-focused contenders on the market. If one of these don’t catch your eye, see the table below to compare options based on rewards, annual fee, APR and more.
Businesses that prefer to travel with American Airlines will find a lot to love with this card, including a diverse selection of business-related earning categories, an excellent signup bonus, the ability to earn a companion certificate, and other valuable travel perks.
Earn rewards. You'll earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, cable and satellite providers, gas stations, telecommunications merchants, and car rentals, and 1x miles on everything else.
Welcome offer. Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
American Airlines perks. Earn a companion pass after spending $30,000 in purchases each cardmembership year. Also enjoy free checked bags, preferred boarding, and 25% savings on inflight Wi-Fi, food and beverage with American Airlines.
Annual fee. Although the annual fee is waived the first year, you'll pay $99 each year after.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
15.99% to 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR
70,000 miles after spending $4,000 in first 4 months
2x miles on American Airlines, gas stations and select business categories and 1x miles on all other purchases
Businesses that want a credit card with no risk to their personal credit score and assets, should consider this card. You also get a generous signup bonus and you get to earn rewards on your purchases.
No personal liability. This card doesn’t require personal liability, a credit score, social security number or security deposits. In case your company fails, your personal assets won’t be touched to pay off the card’s debt.
Earn rewards. Earn 1x points on all of your purchases. Boost your rewards when you make Brex your exclusive company card. This will make you earn 7x points on rideshares, 4x points on travel booked through Brex Travel, 3x on dining, 2x on recurring software and software as a service and 1x points on everything else you buy.
Signup bonus. With this card, you don’t earn the standard credit card bonus when you meet the spend requirements. Instead, you get up to $25,000 worth of services right off the bat, including $5,000 in credit for Amazon Web Services, a 25% subscription discount of up to $375 for Salesforce, $436 credits per month for 12 months for Zendesk and more.
Can’t carry a balance. You must pay your full balance before your due date, which is 30 days after the close of your statement period.
Balance transfer APR
Up to $25,000 worth of credits for business services like Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Zendesk and more
7x points on rideshares, 4x on Brex Travel, 3x at restaurants, 2x on software subscriptions and 1x points on all other purchases
Best for rewards on office supplies, internet and phone
This card offers a massive cashback rate on office supplies, Internet and phone services for your first $25,000 spent annually. You also earn cash back on gas and dining.
Earn $500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months of card membership.
Earn 5% cash back on office supply stores and on Internet, cable and phone services on up to $25,000 annually in combined purchases, 1% after that. Also, earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $25,000 in combined purchases, 1% after that. 1% cash back is the rate you earn on all other purchases.
Get 12 months of 0% intro APR on purchases. A variable APR of 13.24% to 19.24% applies thereafter.
No 0% intro APR period on balance transfers.
Incur a 3% transaction fee on all purchases made abroad or online with foreign merchants.
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
Balance transfer APR
13.24% to 19.24% variable
$500 cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
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
This card could be an excellent choice for your business if you want flexibility on your rewards categories. Some of the categories include gas stations, office supply stores, travel and business consulting services.
Get a $300 statement credit bonus after you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days of account opening.
Earn 3% cash back on a category of your choice: gas, office supplies, travel, telecom and wireless services, computer services and business consulting services. Earn 2% cash back on dining and 1% back on everything else you buy. However, there's a cap of $50,000 in combined purchases in the 3% and 2% categories each year, after that you'll earn 1% back.
Get up to 75% bonus cash back on all purchases if you're a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum member.
No 0% intro APR period on balance transfers.
Incur a 3% foreign transaction fee for purchases made abroad of with foriegn merchants.
0% intro for the first 9 billing cycles (then 12.24% to 22.24% variable)
Balance transfer APR
12.24% to 22.24% variable
$300 after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
3% cash back on a chosen business category and 2% on dining on up to $50,000 combined each year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Business owners who spend thousands of dollars a month on air travel could use the card's benefits, which include access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, hotel benefits at select brands and more.
Welcome offer. Spend $15,000 on purchases in your first 3 months of card membership and get 75,000 bonus points.
Membership rewards. Get 5x points on prepaid hotels and flights through Amex Travel and 1x points on everything else you buy. For purchases of 5,000 and more, you’ll get 1.5x points — up to 1 million points per year.
Global Lounge Collection. Get access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, including the Centurion Lounge, International American Express lounges and Delta Sky Club when flying Delta. To get access to Priority Pass Select, Airspace and Escape lounges, you’ll need to enroll first.
High annual fee. This is one of the more expensive business cards with a $595 annual fee.
Balance transfer APR
75,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months
5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel, 1.5x points if you spend $5,000 on a single eligible purchase on up to 1 million additional points per year and 1x points on all other purchases
Businesses with poor credit or with no credit history should consider this card; You can deposit between $500 and $25,000 to act as your credit line, and you can earn rewards on your purchases.
Build your business credit and graduate to an unsecured card with responsible card use.
Deposit between $500 and $25,000 to act as your credit line.
Get 1.5% cash back on all purchases or 1x points plus 1,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 or more per billing cycle.
Pay an annual fee of $25 per card.
Balance transfer APR
1.5% cash back on all purchases
How we selected our top cards
We picked our top cards by comparing several factors across available business cards, including credit requirements, annual and balance transfer fees, APRs, reward opportunities, points or cash back earned per dollar, signup bonuses and additional perks such as travel insurance. Our picks performed above and beyond the others, earning spots on our list.
What’s changed in 2020
This year, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum landed on our list because of its long intro APR period on balance transfers. Also, the Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card took over the spot for best signup bonus because it offers the highest bonus reward compared to other business cards.
Why trust us? Our credit card experts spend hundreds of hours each week researching and writing about the latest in credit card activity. Thanks to this research, we know what makes a credit card stand out among the competition. Our biggest goal? To help our readers find the best credit card for their personal or business needs. Our editorial guidelines keep our content unbiased and as accurate as possible.
A business credit card is just like a regular credit card, but with tools specifically designed to help you streamline and manage your business spending. These tools can range from rewards or cash back for business expenses like office supplies or travel perks for employees on the move.
In addition, you can set spending controls for each employee and you can monitor their card activity. This can help you streamline your finances and avoid card misuse.
Here’s how to get started with a business card:
1. Compare & apply for a card
Look for a card that fits your needs, whether that’s a high rewards rate, an intro APR or a balance transfer offer.
2. Start earning rewards
If you opened a business card with rewards, use it on business expenses to start earning rewards.
3. Build business credit
As you pay your card off in full and on time, you’re starting to build credit for your business.
When is a business credit card worth it?
Business credit cards act similarly to rewards credit cards and can be used in a similar fashion. The main reason you might find a business credit card worth it, however, comes down to your business needs and your spending capacity.
Business cards generally have much higher spending caps on rewards or offer earning categories specifically tailored to business needs. For example, you might find a business credit card that offers rewards on office supplies or phone and internet services. Many business cards also offer free additional cards for employees, which can help you rack up rewards even faster. Generally, if your business is growing, it can pay to have a business credit card.
Here’s a look at what you stand to make in rewards each month using the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The Ink Business Preferred earns 3x points on travel, cable and phone, advertising, internet and shopping, on up to $150,000 each year. After and on all other purchases you’ll earn 1x points.
Category rewards: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Phone and internet
Two travel trips
How to compare credit cards for small business
Think about your business spending and cash flow when weighing business card factors that include:
Consider how much you’re willing to pay to use a business credit card each year, and determine if any perks are worth the price.
Choose a business credit card that can earn rewards on what you buy most. Look for cash back, miles or points in categories that fit your needs.
Foreign transaction fees
A card that waives foreign transaction fees can be a great travel card option for businesses that require international trips. Many providers charge 2% or more for each purchase made outside the States.
The business card market is fierce, with many providers offering generous bonuses to entice you to choose theirs over competitors. Most come with spending requirements that are easy to meet with regular use.
Rewards aren’t the only perks. You could get access to priority airline boarding, waived bag fees and other luxury travel extras. Just make sure your business can take advantage of what your card offers.
How do I choose a business credit card?
In many ways, choosing a business credit card is similar to choosing a personal credit card. Here are some things to consider:
Figure out the reason you need a business credit card. This includes the need for a new line of credit to invest in your business; an interest-free period to pay off your current debt; an interest-free period to make a large purchase of inventories or supplies and pay it off in the next months; luxury perks during frequent travel or the option to earn rewards on your business expenditures.
Determine what kind of rewards suit you best. Depending on your business needs, you can earn rewards on office supplies, gas, dining or travel purchases. Some credit cards offer flat rewards on all purchases while others have no rewards at all. Calculate which of these options would best complement your business wallet and apply for the card that offers the best value for your needs.
Figure out if you need to carry a balance. If part of your business card needs involve an early investment, look for a card with an intro APR on purchases or balance transfers. This can help you save on interest while you wait for your business investment to pay off. And if you need to carry a balance from time to time thereafter, look for a business card with a low ongoing purchase APR.
Determine the number of employee cards you need. Some business cards, but not all, offer free additional cards for employees. Such cards can let you earn additional rewards on purchases made by your employees with the employee business card. But if you don’t have as many employees and the benefits you get from the cards outweigh a potential annual fee, you could consider a more expensive credit card option.
You asked, we listened: Top 5 common questions
Business cards aren’t so different from standard cards, though as you’d expect from a business card there’s a bit of fine print involved. Here are the five most common questions we receive on the subject.
What’s the difference between a business card and a personal card?Business cards differ from personal cards because they offer perks and rewards designed around business expenses. You’ll also need a business, or to show you’re generating revenue, in order to obtain a business credit card.
Can I apply for a business credit card as a freelancer? Yes. Freelancers and other individuals working “gigs” can apply for a business credit card so long as they can prove their income.
Hi, I’m Amy! When searching for the best business credit card for our small business, my husband and I had a lot of questions about how they differ from personal credit cards. Articles like these showed us how business credit scores work, what a personal guarantee is, and whether points or cashback would give our business the most value.
Can I get a business credit card if I am self-employed?
Yes, with the current shift in the labor markets towards a gig economy, credit card companies including Chase, Capital One, American Express, and many others issue business credit cards to the self-employed. I would like to caution that one should keep in mind that different credit card companies have different policies with regard to issuing business credit cards for the self-employed. Depending upon individual needs, one can find the best fit for his/her business and establish in-depth understanding of what she/he is signing up for.
My bank required that I submit a business tax ID number in order to get a business credit card. I believe this is typical and helps to validate that the business is legit. Even single-person businesses get tax ID numbers as they create a registration for the business and can help with sales tax exemptions and business income tax deductions. Because my consulting business is an LLC that is treated as a sole proprietorship, the creditworthiness of my business is based on my personal credit score.
Businesses of all sizes can get business credit cards. It’s pretty typical for employees of any size firms to have a business credit card to use for travel and what would otherwise be classified as reimbursable expenses.
What are the benefits of having a business credit card? The biggest benefit that a business credit card has versus a personal one has to do with the amount of credit offered. As you can imagine, one of the biggest and most-frequent business issues, especially in small to mid-size businesses, is cash flow. Some business credit cards offer credit up to $50,000 which allows for a great deal of flexibility for the business owner. Furthermore, if the business pays its credit card debt in a timely manner it boosts its credit rating which may result in them getting better terms (for example dating) from their suppliers.
How do you determine if an annual fee is worth paying? People hate annual fees. Since consumers have a huge choice of no-annual-fee cards, why would anyone pay for something that they can get for free? The answer is, it depends.
Premium business credit cards often have perks and benefits that regular cards don’t. You can get higher rewards (cashback) earning rate, sign-up or annual bonuses, travel, dining or entertaining perks, concierge services, additional insurance coverage, or discounts on various shopping categories.
Depending on your lifestyle and spending patterns, it might make perfect sense to pay for a credit card, if you can get more in perks and benefits from it than from a no-annual-fee card. As a business owner, you are more likely to charge higher expenses on your credit card, so, even with an annual fee, the rewards or cashback you reap can be significantly higher.
Why do I need a business credit score, and how is it different from a personal score? Just like loans to individuals, lenders want to know as much as possible about a borrower before approving a credit card application.
Business credit scores work similarly to personal scores in many ways but are monitored by some different companies. On-time payments and keeping revolving balances (credit cards, lines of credit) low is key.
However, when you are looking for a credit card for a small business, your personal credit score is likely a factor as well.
M. Nesij Huvaj
Assistant Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship
When is a business card a good idea? Business credit cards can help particularly small businesses keep track of how much they spend, on what, and when. They can also serve as a `cash flow buffer` for most firms that often have to spend now and collect from their customers later. This seemingly free additional spending power and flexibility comes at a high price, though: interest and the risk of unnecessary spending. When businesses cannot pay off their credit card balances in full every period, mounting credit card debt can become a problem itself, much like what consumers face.
Can small business owners use a regular credit card for their business? One needs to keep business and personal accounts separate. A small business owner can use a personal credit card for business purposes, but after evaluating the factors listed below:
Business credit cards may have a higher credit limit and more flexible payment options.
Having a business credit card would help build credit history for your business, which may be used for future financing as the business grows.
Having a separate card for business may allow you to claim costs such as missed payments and interests for your business
Personal credit cards have certain legal protections, such as from future increases in fees and costs.
Personal credit cards usually have more rewards and cashback options, but some business credit cards offer high perks.
Nora Ganim Barnes
h.D., Chancellor Professor of Marketing, Director, Center for Marketing Research
Can you get business credit with bad personal credit? The short answer is YES. It is more difficult and you will have fewer options. You will likely have a higher interest rate than someone with better personal credit. The amount/credit limit on some of the business cards you can get may be low. In the end, business cards are personally guaranteed so if there is default on a business card, you are liable for it.
What is the difference between a business and personal credit card? Business cards may have larger credit lines, better perks for travel and points, and are a good way to establish business credit. However, they may require an annual fee, have higher interest rates, and may require a personal guarantee of repayment. This means that your use of credit for your business could effect your personal credit score. Personal credit cards don’t usually have annual fees, have a smaller annual percentage rate, and may have a smaller initial credit line. Probably the most important thing to remember about the difference is that business cards can hurt your personal credit, but probably not improve it. Where personal credit cards and personal credit can help you establish business credit.
Does a consumer need a business to open a business credit card? No, a consumer doesn’t need to start or own a business of any size (large or small) to apply for and open a business credit card. Business credit card providers, while geared for small business owners, are typically open to providing access to business credit cards to small businesses and individuals. With a good credit score, an individual can be the proud owner of a business credit card.
Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.
We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.
Megan Horner is the credit cards publisher at Finder. She's passionate about helping you find the best credit cards to meet your financial needs — whether that's earning great rewards or improving your credit score. Previously, she edited and published educational articles on credit cards as an assigning editor at Credit Karma.
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