The best small business credit cards can offer an alternative means of financing your business expenses and can earn 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 for a business credit card.
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.
The Best Small Business Credit Cards:
Chase Ink Business Preferred: High Rewards
The Chase Ink Business Preferred 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 offer 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. The Ink Preferred is a great compliment to the personal Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Chase Ink Business Cash: Low APR’s
The Ink Business Cash 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, and need to take advantage of an intro APR to finance large purchases.
The Business Cash carries no annual fee and offers a $300 sign-up bonus when you spend $3,000 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
You can also take advantage of the card’s APR offers to pay off large purchases while accruing no (or minimal) interest:
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months
- Variable APR of 14.24% – 20.24%
The Business Cash 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.
SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express: Flexible Rewards
The SimplyCash Plus Business from AMEX offers a unique flexibility that you won’t see with its competitors. It carries no annual fee, earns extra cash back in two categories, and comes with the option to spend above your credit limit– though you’ll have to pay off that extra spending in full at the end of the month.
With the SimplyCash Plus, your first $50,000 in combined purchases can earn extra cash back in select bonus categories. Here’s how those bonus spending categories break down:
- 5% cash back on spending at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- 3% cash back in the category of your choice. You can choose between:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
- Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Each year, you can select that 3% cash back spending category based on your specific spending needs. For example, if you know you’ll buy new computers or extra advertising, you can easily set yourself up to earn extra cash back for that spending.
On the downside, this card does carry a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, so it’s not ideal for international travel. If that’s your priority, you might get more out of the Chase Ink Business Preferred.
Capital One Spark Classic for Business: Average Credit
Most of these cards require that applicants have good or excellent credit. That can be quite a roadblock if you’re a sole proprietor with less-than-great credit. The Spark Classic for Business is alone on this list as the only card to accept applicants with fair credit. This card is specifically geared toward improving your credit and comes with the added bonus of carrying no annual fee. However, there are a couple downsides. For one, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on all purchases. You’ll also want to pay your card in full each month, as it has a variable APR of 23.99%.
Which Small Business Credit Card Is for You?
Deciding on a new credit card always comes down to multiple factors. Luckily, each of these cards caters to unique needs.
The Ink Business Preferred 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 SimplyCash Plus.
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 Spark Classic to get your credit where it needs to be without having to pay an annual fee.
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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.