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The best small business credit cards for travel in 2021 are the ones that maximize both travel and common business purchases. Your business may benefit from a business credit card, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A card that offers an alternative means of financing your business expenses but also earns rewards or cash back on everyday business expenses is ideal. Fortunately, there are several options to choose from, including no annual fee cards.

Additionally, several banks have enhanced bonuses on their cards. For instance, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card comes with the ability to earn 100,000 points after you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Here are some of the other perks that you might look forward to.

I’ve used some of the best small business credit cards for travel rewards 2021 to earn valuable travel rewards and get access to lounges like this United Club Terrace at LAX. Photo by United

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The Best Small Business Credit Cards for Travel in 2021

In this article, we’re comparing some of the most popular credit cards for businesses 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.

So whether you’re renting an RV and working while traveling along the road, working from home, or just want to earn some miles and points now to have for the future, there is likely an option for you below.

Here are the best business credit cards in 2021

 

Credit CardAnnual FeeRecommended Credit ScoreMore Information
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card$95700+More info
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express$595 (See Rates & Fees)740More info
Ink Business Cash® Credit CardNone!700+More info
American Express Blue Business Cash™ CardNone! (See Rates & Fees)700+More info
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business$0 intro annual fee (then $95/year)630+

 

Best Sign Up Bonus: Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is widely hailed as one of the top overall business credit cards for travel and the 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
  • 100,000 points after you spend $15,000 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 Ink Preferred’s sign-up bonus can be worth as much as $1,250 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 2021.

Cardholders can redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more (points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards). Points don’t expire as long as the account is open. Additionally, cardholders get fraud protection and zero liability. Purchase protection covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. 

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

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card: No Annual Fee

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card doesn’t offer all of the perks and protections of the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, 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 $750 sign-up bonus when you spend $7,500 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.

Additionally, cardholders may redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Fraud protection is also included with the card as well as zero fraud liability. Cardholders won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with their card or with their account information.

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 cards for office supplies and other business purchases.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express – 100,000 Welcome Bonus

Now can be one of the best times to try for the Amex Business Platinum Card.

New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have the opportunity to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards as part of the welcome offer. To earn the 100,000 bonus points, they need to spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on their card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

But the Amex Platinum business card isn’t hard to get has a lot of benefits.

Other benefits include 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com and 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more, up to one million points annually. If you use your points to book a flight, you’ll get 35% of your points back, up to 500,000 points.

You also get up to $200 airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits—enrollment required) at one qualifying airline annually for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your Business Platinum Card. Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is also included, as well as the ability to get up to $200 in statement credits annually for U.S. Dell purchases (get up to $100 semi-annually; terms apply).

The annual fee is $595 (See Rates & Fees). 

Additional Limited Time Offers

Eligible Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can now earn 5x Membership Rewards points on U.S. purchases made across wireless, shipping, advertising, gas, and office supplies categories, through June 30, 2021, after they enroll in these Amex Offers. That’s four additional points on top of the one already earned per dollar spent in these select categories, up to 80,000 points per category.

Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can be a great addition to your business wallet.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

  • 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 (which also earn 2% back) and an itemized business expense breakdown at the end of the year. These perks also make 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.

New cardholders can earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Learn more: Business Credit Cards

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

If you prefer no annual fees (See Rates & Fees) and earning cash back, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card 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.

Bonus Work While Traveling Business Promotions

Several banks and hotels have issued promotions to help encourage and support people who are looking for a change of scenery while they work from home. Also, depending on the card you have, you might get access to elite status, which offers more perks in itself.

Marriott

For instance, Marriott’s Work Anywhere package allows travelers to book hotel rooms for the day, for a night with late checkout the following day, or for an extended stay with access to semi-private workspaces and meeting rooms.

Cardholders can also enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. They can earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on their card in a calendar year.

New Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after using their new card to make $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, they can earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on their new Card within the first 3 months of card membership. Terms apply. 

Other card benefits for Marriott stays include:

  • 6x Bonvoy points on Marriott purchases at participating properties
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Premium on-property internet access
  • 1 free night award each card anniversary (participating properties at 35,000 points or less)

Cardholders can earn an additional free night award (redemption level up to 35,000 points) after spending $60,000 in purchases in a calendar year. However, note that certain hotels have resort fees. The annual fee for this card is $125 (See Rates & Fees).

Hyatt

Hyatt has also introduced a Work From Hyatt program that offers the chance to work and relax in a private space while still being budget-friendly. Available in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, each package is a minimum seven-night stay and starts at $139 per night for stays between August 25, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

While this isn’t a business card, if you have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you have automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year, as long as your account is open. Plus, you also earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status each time you spend $5,000 on your card.

Cardholders receive 1 free night at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your cardmember anniversary. If you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year, you’ll earn an extra free night at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel.

Cardholders earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays (4 points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 points per $1 as a World of Hyatt member) and 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

You also have the opportunity to earn up to 60,000 bonus points as a signup bonus. Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 Bonus Point, up to $15,000, in the first 6 months of account opening.

Free nights start at 5,000 points. You can also use your World of Hyatt points to redeem a Work from Hyatt package.

Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

What is the Best Credit Card for Business Expenses?

Deciding on a new credit card for your business 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® Credit Card is specifically geared toward businesses that need to finance upcoming purchases.

You can chill by the poolside while working at one of the many Marriott hotel locations. Some of the best business credit cards for travel earn more rewards for hotel stays. Credit: Marriott

Business Credit Cards Application Guidelines

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.

Can I Get a Business Credit Card With My EIN?

Yes, you can apply for a business with your EIN. If you don’t have an EIN, no worries. You can apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor by inserting your social security number into the EIN spot.

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

Whether you are looking to apply for a credit card as a consultant who travels 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 Business 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 Credit Cards for Small Business Owners

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 travel credit cards, business owners have the ability to earn points (or miles) that equate to a variety of handsome rewards.

What Is the Easiest Business Credit Card to Get

Let’s take a look at a few examples of the easiest business credit cards to get:

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

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, there is the potential for substantial rewards over time.

In addition, Ink Business Cash Credit Cardmembers 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, account owners earn 2% cash back (in the form of a statement credit) 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. 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 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.

Bottom Line on Business Travel Rewards

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.

Best Business Credit Cards Travel Rewards

FAQs

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

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

And for rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, please click here.

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