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The best small business credit cards 2019 can offer an alternative means of financing your business expenses and can earn small business travel rewards that help you save in the long-run. Whether you’re running an incorporated business or a sole proprietorship, you might benefit from signing up and applying for a business credit card.

American Express® Business Gold Card

The Best Small Business Credit Cards 2019

In this article, we’re comparing some of the most popular small business credit cards on the market. We’ll look at options for new businesses, self-proprietor businesses, businesses working with average credit, businesses looking to finance upcoming purchases, and businesses wanting to earn rewards on their regular spending.

Best Small Business Credit Cards Travel Rewards

Chase Ink Business Preferred: High Rewards

The Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is widely hailed as one of the best overall business credit cards and best Chase business credit card. Its sign-up bonus and rewards structure offers great value, but it also carries some handy perks, protections, and redemption options.

To start, here’s what you stand to earn (and spend) with the card:

  • $95 annual fee
  • 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 3x points on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (for the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each anniversary year)
  • 1x points on all other purchases

That sign-up bonus can be worth as much as $1,000 if you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Otherwise, you’ll have the option to transfer your points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel transfer partners, or to another Chase account held by you, your spouse, or your domestic partner.

If your spending regularly falls within this card’s bonus spending categories, those high rewards and flexibility might be enough to justify the card’s annual fee. Beyond that, you’ll be able to take advantage of the card’s perks and protections, including cell phone protection, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Travel and Emergency Assistance Services, and more. All of these perks make it one of the best Chase credit cards and one of the best rewards credit cards 2019.

The Ink Preferred is a great compliment to the personal Chase Sapphire Preferred®.

Chase Ink Business Cash: Best No Annual Fee Small Business Credit Card

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card doesn’t offer all of the perks and protections of the Ink Business Preferred, but it’s a solid choice for small businesses that spend less than $50,000 in the card’s bonus spending categories.

The Ink Business Cash carries no annual fee and offers a $500 sign-up bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. For businesses with relatively low expenditures, that’s already a nice offer. Outside of that sign-up bonus, here’s what you can earn:

  • 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each anniversary year)
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each anniversary year)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card does tag on some nice perks and protections, though not nearly as many as the Business Preferred. Still, this card can be a great deal if your business needs to finance upcoming purchases.

However, if you spend more than $50,000 annually in its bonus categories, you might be better off with the Business Preferred. Still, this is one of the best business credit cards for office supplies and other business purchases.

American Express Blue Business Cash Card: Ease Use, No Annual Fee

If you prefer a business credit card without an annual fee (See Rates & Fees) that earns cash back, the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (formerly known as the American Express SimplyCash Plus Business) earns 2% cash back on all eligible purchases, up to $50,000 per calendar year. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back. All of the cash back you earn is credited to your statement automatically.

It also comes with Expanded Buying Power which gives cardholders the ability to spend beyond their credit limit. This means you can purchase those high-price items while still earning rewards. While the amount you are able to spend is not unlimited, it can be improved should you need it.

The amount will adjust with your usage of the card, your history regarding payments, your credit record, and your financial resources that American Express is able to review. Amex may have other factors that they consider, depending on the application.

The American Express® Blue Business Cash Card might be a better option if you want simplicity. You don’t have to worry about activating categories or try to figure out what rewards your purchases earn. Since you won’t have to pay an annual fee, this makes this card an easy addition to your wallet, even if you only use it for the 2% cash back.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business Credit Card Rewards

  • $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • $0 intro annual fee (then $95/year)

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is also largely similar to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, with 2% cash back and no annual fee for the first year (followed by a $95/year fee). However, instead of travel perks, it comes with business perks like free employee cards and an itemized business expense breakdown at the end of the year.

On top of that, you’ll be able to earn a $500 bonus when you meet the $4,500 spending minimum within 3 months of account opening. Considering you’ll receive that bonus as cash back, that’s really as flexible as it gets. These perks also make the Spark Cash one of the best business credit cards for shipping purchases.

Finally, like the Venture Rewards card, there’s no redemption minimum for the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. You might be able to earn higher rewards with higher-end business cards from Chase and AMEX, but Capital One knows where it excels: simple, straightforward, valuable rewards cards.

Which Small Business Credit Card Is for You?

Deciding on a new small business credit card always comes down to multiple factors. Luckily, each of these cards caters to unique needs.

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card caters to businesses that fully pay their statement each month and want to earn valuable rewards. However, the Preferred is also geared toward specific spending habits and needs. If the Preferred’s spending categories don’t align with your needs, you might have more luck with the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card.

On the other hand, you might not be concerned with earning rewards. If building credit or financing purchases is your priority, you might want to go in a different direction. The Ink Business Cash is specifically geared toward businesses that need to finance upcoming purchases.

Otherwise, if your credit isn’t quite there yet, you can turn to the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business to get your credit where it needs to be without having to pay an annual fee.

The Best Business Rewards Credit Card Perks

Regardless of industry or size, businesses need an infusion of capital every now and again. There are a number of ways business owners and managers can access cash when it is needed, including loans, lines of credit and credit cards. For some companies, having revolving access to credit in the form of a business credit card is the best solution for ongoing cash flow needs.

Fortunately, business credit cards come in all shapes and sizes, with a wide variety of benefits to boot.

Whether you are looking for some of the best business credit cards for consultants who travel often, for a freelancer who has various gigs, or for an entrepreneur working on the latest and greatest product or service, finding the right business credit card is no small feat.

Understanding the benefits that come with each type of business credit card is an important first step in selecting the right account. Here we’ve broken down some of the best advantages specific to business credit cards that help protect – and increase – your company’s bottom line.

Here’s our post on the best business rewards credit card perks.

Employee Cards

Authorized users are not a new concept in the credit card world. In fact, the majority of credit card issuers allow the primary cardmember an option to add one (or two) authorized users to an account at any time during the lifetime of the card. They may even help your credit score!

Authorized users have access to the available credit limit for making purchases at any time. Any purchases made apply toward active rewards programs. With business credit cards, the ability to add employees as authorized users comes with substantial benefits.

Spending is easily tracked when employee cards are used consistently. Want to see what Bill in accounting or Megan in HR is buying each month with company dollars? Simply add each as an authorized user to the credit account and track your heart out. Plus, most employee cards come with set limits so the company’s budget is protected from overspending.

Adding employees as authorized users to the company credit card may be most beneficial in rewards accumulation, though. Instead of using petty cash or other forms of payment for business-related expenses, employees have options. They can use their respective credit cards and earn points toward statement credits, travel discounts or purchases, cash back, or online shopping.

For most business credit card issuers, employee cards can be added at no additional cost.

Best Small Business Credit Card Travel Rewards Potential

By far the aspect of business credit cards that makes the financing option stand out more than loans or traditional lines of credit is the rewards potential. As with individual consumer credit cards, such as the best rewards credit cards, business owners have the ability to earn points (or miles) that equate to a variety of handsome rewards.

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card – $500 Cash 

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, offered by Chase, gives business owners the ability to earn 5% cash back rewards on all purchases made at office supply stores, and phone, cable, and internet services. While the bonus rewards categories are limited to the first $25,000 in spending each year, spending in these categories has the potential to result in substantial rewards over time.

In addition, Ink Business Cash Credit Card members earn 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases, up to the same $25,000 limit each year. All other purchases receive 1% cash back with no limit. Note that this is also one of the best metal credit cards available.

American Express Blue Business Cash Card

With the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (formerly known as the American Express SimplyCash Plus Business), account owners earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases, up to $50,000 per calendar year. They don’t have to worry about activating categories or calculate where their cash back is going (it is automatically applied to your statement). They also don’t have to worry about an annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Additionally, the Blue Business Cash Card, one of the best business credit cards for office supplies, comes with Expanded Buying Power. This gives cardholders the ability to spend beyond their credit limit. While the amount you are able to spend is not unlimited, it can be improved should you need it. The amount will adjust with your usage of the card, your history regarding payments, your credit record, and your financial resources that American Express is able to review, among other things.

Alternative Options

Chase and American Express are not the only business credit card issues. Discover, Citi, Bank of America and Capital One (like the Capital One Spark Business cards) all offer business credit cards with rewards programs. However, each differs slightly from the next. Generally, though, earning rewards can result in substantial savings for the business.

Redemption Flexibility

The thought of earning rewards on everyday spending is appealing. However, the redemption of those rewards must make sense for the business in real life. Some business credit cards allow account holders to redeem accumulated rewards as cash back (like the Chase and American Express options listed above). Other rewards programs are redeemable for statement credits, airfare and hotel purchases, gift cards or purchases made through partner retailers.

The best business credit cards have a strong mix of redemption possibilities with few or no restrictions.

The Fine Print on Best Business Card Perks

Business credit cards are a smart way to manage money flowing out of a company. But, it is necessary to understand not only the rewards programs and redemption options available but also the applicable fees. Some business credit cards carry an annual fee, ranging from $89 up to $450.

Your business should spend enough in specific categories to earn enough rewards to cover the annual fee. If it doesn’t, finding a card without a charge each year is your best bet. You can see some examples in our best travel credit cards with no annual fees post. Business credit cards may also charge interest on any balances carried over from month to month.

In some cases, business credit cards are actually charge cards. This means they require the full balance to be paid at the end of each billing cycle. It is important to understand these aspects of the credit card of your choice. This will help you to avoid spending unnecessarily on fees or large balances each month.

Bottom Line on Best Small Business Credit Card Rewards 2019

Utilizing a small business credit card is a sound method to spread out cash flow needs over time while maintaining a record of purchases for the company. Rewards programs linked to business credit cards make the financing solution even more attractive. But, that is only when those rewards are in line with how your business spends on a regular basis.

Be aware of the fees associated with business credit cards. You want to be able to get the most out of your cards. It doesn’t make sense to pay for perks you aren’t able to use. Spend wisely to reduce costs and earn rewards for your business.

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

Geoff Whitmore

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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.

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