The 6 Best Business Credit Cards for Shipping Purchases [FedEx, UPS, and more]

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With more and more consumers turning to shopping online, the amount companies spend on shipping products has skyrocketed. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that companies spent a record of $1.5 trillion on shipping costs in 2017.[1]

If you run an e-commerce business of your own, chances are your business likely spends a great deal on shipping each year, and if so, savvy business owners will want to make sure they’re receiving the highest return possible on these expenses.

When it comes to maximizing your return on shipping purchases, small business owners are in luck. There are many great options that fit a large variety of needs. Here’s all the information dissecting what those cards are and how they can benefit the shipping needs of your business.

Best Overall Credit Cards for Shipping Purchases

American Express® Business Gold Card

How to Earn on Shipping Purchases

The reward earnings on the Amex Business Gold Card are incredibly flexible. So much so that every single bonus category is eligible for 4x earnings, but your actual spending determines which 2 categories receive the bonus each statement period.

Sound simple enough? That’s because it is! This benefit ensures your greatest expenses receive the greatest rewards. If shipping is consistently one of your biggest expense categories, you’ll receive 4X earnings for those purchases.

If your business spends a significant amount on shipping purchases, the Amex Business Gold Card could be very lucrative for you. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from the select categories, but those whose business needs meet that cap can earn a whopping 600,000 Membership Rewards points every year!

Here’s how the Amex Business Gold Card rewards shipping purchases:

Best ForExamples of Bonus Earning MerchantsRewards
Purchases made in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight shipping services
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • United States Postal Service

*You will NOT earn additional rewards on shipping costs added to retail purchases.

4 Membership Rewards points/$1 spent on 2 categories.

4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.

Why We Like Earning Membership Rewards Points

Simply put, Membership Rewards points are one of the most valuable rewards currencies due to their numerous redemption options. As a transferable points currency, you can receive huge value for your points by transferring them to one of the various airline or hotel partners.

Or, you could opt to use your points through the Amex Travel portal, redeem your points for gift cards, even statement credits and receive between 0.6 and 1 cent per point in value.

While there are several redemption options available to you, using your points with one of the various airline transfer partners will give you the best return in value.

Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

How to Earn on Shipping Purchases

With the Ink Business Preferred, business owners will earn 3x Ultimate Reward points per $1 spent on purchases made within all 4 of the bonus categories – including shipping purchases.

Similar to the Business Gold card, there is a $150,000 annual cap on total 3X category earnings, after which you will earn 1 point per dollar spent. If you’re reaching this level of spending on your shipping purchases, or any other 3x categories, that’s a total of 450,000 Ultimate Rewards Points per year.

In addition to the 3x points you earn on shipping purchases, you’ll also earn 3x points on travel, advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines, internet, cable, and phone services.

Here’s how the Ink Business Preferred rewards shipping purchases:

Best ForExample of Bonus Earning MerchantsRewards
Shipping merchants include couriers, postal and freight shipping companies, express shipping services and mailbox stores
  • FedEx
  • United State Postal Service
  • UPS

*You will NOT earn additional rewards on shipping costs added to retail purchases.

3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent (on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases; then 1pt/$1)

Why We Like Earning Ultimate Rewards Points

Ultimate Rewards points are not only valuable but flexible. You can use your Ultimate Reward points through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, where you’ll receive a 25% bonus, or redeem points for cash back, gift cards, and other experiences.

If you want to maximize your Chase Ultimate Reward points, make the most of them by using one of their airline or hotel transfer partners. Transferring Ultimate Reward points can help you book business class flights and 5-star hotel stays for just a fraction of the retail value.

Hot Tip: If your business spends a lot on shipping purchases or any of the other bonus categories, the Ink Business Preferred may be an excellent choice for you. Maximizing the $150,000 purchase limit for 3x categories will generate 450,000 Ultimate Reward points. These would be worth $5,625 in travel when redeemed via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, or potentially even more when used with transfer partners!

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

How to Earn on Shipping Purchases

If your business has frequent shipping expenses, you can earn 2% cash-back on all purchases, including shipping, with the Amex Blue Business Cash Card. Bonus earnings are limited to $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, amounting to a potential $1,000 in cash-back.

For Amex Blue Business Cash cardholders the savings don’t stop there, after the first $50,000 in spend the card will continue to earn 1% cash-back on all of your business spend. There is no limit to the amount of cash-back you can earn with the card, so you can use the card without fear of your cash-back capping out!

Here’s how the Amex Blue Business Cash Card earns cash-back on shipping:

Best ForExamples of Bonus Earning MerchantsRewards
Purchases made in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight shipping services
  • UPS
  • FedEx
  • United States Postal Service
2% cash-back

Why We Like Earning Cash-Back

You know the saying, “cash is king”. When you’re running a business, your bottom line matters and every little bit you can save adds up.

If you don’t have any desire to fuss with point earning or transferable rewards, naturally cash-back is the best option for you. Cash-back earned on your Amex Blue Business Cash Card is applied automatically to your monthly statements, allowing you to offset expenses as you make them.

Hot Tip: Don’t forget about your other business expenses. Check out these great business credit cards for office supply purchases.

Additional Credit Card Options for Shipping Purchases

Image Credit: G-Stock Studio via Shutterstock

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Are you a business owner who not only spends a lot of time at their local shipping center but also travels often? If so, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card could be perfect for you. With the Bonvoy Business, cardholders earn 6x points both at Marriott Rewards hotels as well as 4x on U.S. purchases for shipping.

Marriott Bonvoy loyalists will love the additional card perks like complimentary Silver Elite status, and an annual free night award.

The Blue Business® Plus Card from American Express

Business owners that hold the Blue Business Plus earn 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on the card on all business purchases, including all shipping purchases.

The 2x Membership Rewards earnings are capped at $50,000 in purchases, but maximize that limit will earn you 100,000 Membership Rewards points. Afterward, all purchases will earn 1x point per dollar spent.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

With an uncapped 1.5x  Ultimate Reward points on every purchase your business makes, including shipping, the Ink Business Unlimited is a great no-annual-fee credit card is worthy of consideration.

Cardholders can redeem their Ultimate Reward points for cash-back; however, transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to premium Chase credit cards such as the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® will give cardholders outsized value for their hard earned points.

Bottom Line: If the shipping needs of your business exceeds the earnings cap on a certain card, holding 2 cards could be optimal for you. For example, you could place your first $150,000 in shipping purchases to earn 4x with the Amex Business Gold, and an additional $50,000 to earn 2x with the Blue Business Plus. This method would net you a total of 700,000 Membership Rewards points.

Final Thoughts

If you have a business that spends a significant amount on shipping purchases each year, then having a strong credit card that rewards you for that spend is a sound financial decision. When deciding which of these card options is best for you, it will be helpful to consider both your amount of shipping expenses and your amount spent on other relevant bonus categories.

If your business spend varies greatly from month to month, the Amex Business Gold could help you ensure you’re always maximizing your 2 highest categories. Whereas, a card like the Ink Business Preferred allows you to earn a fixed 3x points on purchases in all bonus categories.

Rest assured, there is no one size fits all credit card, so be certain to do your research to determine which would be best for the needs of your business. By doing so, you could be earning thousands of dollars in valuable reward points or cash-back for your business year after year.


FAQ

Which credit card is best for shipping purchases?

The credit card that is best for you is heavily dependent on your business needs and can vary from person to person. However, just based on potential point earnings, the Amex Business Gold card can offer up to 4x points on all shipping purchases, which could amount up to 600,000 in point earnings per year.

Do I qualify for a business credit card?

If you operate any enterprise that produces an income, you may be eligible for a business credit card. Even something as simple as selling items on eBay could qualify as a business.

If you’re unsure if you’re eligible for a business credit card, consider consulting with a customer service representative of the company whose card you’re considering applying for.

What type of shipping purchases qualify for rewards?

To earn rewards on shipping purchases, the expense needs to be considered a shipping merchants which include couriers, postal and freight shipping companies, express shipping services and mailbox stores. You will not earn any rewards on shipping costs added to retail purchases.

Is there a no annual fee card that earns rewards for shipping purchases?

Both the Amex Blue Business Cash Card, which earns 3% cash-back on shipping purchases, and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited℠, which earns 1.5x Ultimate Reward points on shipping purchases have no annual fee.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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