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Being a freelancer gives your lifestyle an edge of flexibility your friends may not have. Because each freelance business has different spending and travel habits, you may need help maximizing your purchases. These credit cards for freelancers let you get the best perks for your business spending.

best credit cards for freelancers
The best credit cards for freelancers help you grow your online or local business. Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

Best Credit Cards for Freelancers

Here’s a preview of some of the best credit cards for freelancers:

Many of these credit cards are also some of the best small business credit cards you can own. Keep reading to learn why they are great for freelancers and how they may be beneficial to you.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

If you travel or run an online business, the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card can be your best option. Your earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on the first $150,000 in combined annual purchases for:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Social media and search engine advertising

All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1. You can pool your Ultimate Rewards with your other Chase credit cards. Charging your monthly cell phone bill to the Ink Business Preferred gives you up to $600 per claim protection.

Your points are worth 1.25 cents each when booking award travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to airlines and hotels including United, Southwest, and World of Hyatt. If you prefer cash rewards or gift cards, each point is worth 1 cent each.

This card is also one of the best credit cards with travel insurance benefits. They include primary rental car collision coverage and trip cancellation or interruption insurance up to $5,000 per trip.

Another reason to consider this card is for its hefty signup bonus. You can earn 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth $1,000 in award travel.

The annual fee is $95 but additional employee cards are free. And, there is no foreign transaction fee.

Learn more: Best Small Business Credit Cards

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

A better fit for local business purchases is the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. It doesn’t have an annual fee but has a 3% foreign transaction fee. All purchases either earn 5%, 2%, or 1% back:

  • 5% back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% back at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% back on everything else

You get 5% back on the first $25,000 in combined annual spending and 2% back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases for those categories.

Your points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash, gift cards, or award travel on Chase. The Ink Business Cash credit card doesn’t offer 1:1 point transfers to travel partners. However, you can transfer them to your Ink Business Preferred if you happen to own both cards.

The signup bonus is $500 bonus cash after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Learn more: Best Chase Business Credit Cards

Business Platinum Card from American Express

Maybe you’re a freelancer who is also a frequent flyer. Putting the Business Platinum® Card from American Express at the top of your list can be a wise choice.

This is one of the most feature-packed rewards credit cards (and one of the best metal credit cards):

  • $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Complimentary airport lounge access (Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and others)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Marriot Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold loyalty status
  • Earn 5x Membership Rewards on flights and hotels booked on AmexTravel
  • Earn 1.5x points on purchases larger than $5,000 (1x point for all other purchases)
  • Get 35% points back on select award flights on AmexTravel (up to 500,000 per year)
  • Transfer points to airlines at a 1:1 ratio
  • Up to $200 annual Dell Small Business statement credit
  • No foreign transaction fee

Your Membership Rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for award flights. Amex Business Platinum card airline transfer partners include Delta, Emirates, FlyingBlue, Singapore Airlines, and others. If booking flights on AmexTravel, each point is worth 1 cent. For all flights on your airline of choice and any premium cabin flights, you get 35% of your points back up to 500,000 points per year.

Learn more: How hard is it to Get the Business Platinum Card?

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

A no annual fee credit card that lets you transfer points to airline partners is a rarity. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express does just that (See Rates & Fees). Your Membership Rewards points are worth 1 cent each for award flights on Amex Travel. Or, you can transfer them to the various American Express airline transfer partners.

Your first $50,000 in annual purchases earns 2x Membership Rewards points. All remaining spending earns 1 point per $1.

Learn more: Review of the American Express Blue Business Credit Cards

American Express Blue Business Cash Card

The American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is one of the best cash rewards credit cards for freelancers. You get 2% back on the first $50,000 in annual purchases then 1% back. Amex automatically redeems your monthly awards as a cash statement credit. This card doesn’t have an annual fee (See Rates & Fees) but has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Learn more: Best Business Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is the most lavish Southwest Airlines business card. This card is worth checking out if you live near a Southwest hub.

Key benefits include:

  • Free in-flight WiFi credits (up to 365 per year)
  • 4 Upgraded Bookings per year (when available)
  • 9,000 Rapid Rewards points anniversary bonus
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • Earn 3x Rapid Rewards on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2x Rapid Rewards for online advertising plus Internet, cable, and phone services
  • All non-bonus purchases earn 1 point per $1

For a limited time, new cardholders can earn up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards points. New cardholders earn 70,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, they’ll earn an additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

Every point you earn from purchases and the signup bonus apply toward the annual Southwest Airlines Companion Pass point requirement. You will need 125,000 Rapid Rewards to earn the Pass.

Learn more: Best Southwest Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is one of the best hotel credit cards for business travel.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • First free night award each card anniversary (valid at properties costing 35,000 points or less)
  • Second free night after spending $60,000 in annual card purchases
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • 15 Elite Night credits per year
  • Premium on-property internet access
  • 5,000 bonus points when transferring 60,000 points to airline partners
  • 75,000 points signup bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (worth up to 10 free nights)

Your points are worth the most when redeemed for hotel nights within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio.

If you have a stack of points you need to unload, you can transfer them to over 40 airlines at a 3:1 ratio. While this isn’t the best ratio, transferring at least 60,000 Bonvoy points at a time gives a 5,000-airline mile transfer bonus.

Learn more: Best Hotel Credit Cards

Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Freelancers

The best credit cards for freelancers make it easy to earn bonus points for online and local purchases. If you like to travel, several cards offer redemption bonuses for booking award travel and other fringe travel benefits. As your business grows, these cards help make your efforts more rewarding.


Can I get a credit card if I’m self-employed?

Yes, it’s possible to get a credit card if you’re self-employed and earn taxable business income. Most small business credit cards are available to sole proprietors (i.e. freelancers) and incorporated businesses like an LLC.

When you apply, you will need to submit your business income and personal income details. This also means the bank does a hard pull on your personal credit report to make an application decision. If approved, the bank will require a personal guarantee to use your personal assets to repay any business credit card balance that’s charged off. The bureau may also report your payment history to your personal credit report as well.

To boost your approval odds, include as much annual income as possible. And also try to get your personal credit score as high as possible to qualify. Here are some of the best credit cards for self-employed professionals if you want to read more.

How many credit cards should a small business have?

It’s not a bad idea for a small business to have multiple credit cards if you have large monthly expenses. Another reason can be when the additional card benefits (like free checked bags for airlines) are worth more than the annual fee.

At first, you may start with one card that best matches your regular purchase habits. After earning the signup bonus or waiting at least 30 days (ideally at least 3 months), you can consider applying for another card.

You may first consider applying for another card that earns the same award currency to pool your points. For instance, owning the Chase Ink Business Preferred and Chase Ink Business Cash. Also, the Business Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Blue Business Plus are options.

Another option for owning multiple business credit cards are to get co-brand airline and hotel travel credit cards. The airline and hotel cards that charge an annual fee usually offer fringe benefits that can quite valuable if you use that carrier several times a year.

Does American Express have a grace period for payments?

Most American Express credit cards have a grace period. The average grace period is 25 days for most of their business credit cards with a preset spending limit.

The American Express business charge cards don’t have a grace period or a preset spending limit. Therefore, you will need to repay your balance in full on a monthly basis. Examples of charge cards include the Business Platinum Card from American Express and the Business Gold Card from American Express.

For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card, please click here

Josh Patoka

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

1 Comment On "Best Credit Cards for Freelancers"
  1. okra|

    It would be useful to know the annual fee charged for each card mentioned.

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