The Best Citi Business Credit Cards for Cash-Back and Rewards [2019]

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The right business credit card serves as a tool to help you keep track of your business purchases, manage your finances, and even fund major purchases.

Having a business card that earns rewards can also help offset business travel expenses or add revenue to your bottom line.

Credit card issuer Citibank does not issue a lot of business credit cards, but there are 2 that could potentially add value to specific businesses.

If your business shops a lot at Costco warehouse stores (and Costco.com) or if American Airlines is your choice of air carriers, your business might benefit from one of the cards we’re going to discuss today.

Let’s look more closely at Citi’s business card offerings and see if your business could find value in either of these cards.

Best Citi Business Card for Cash-Back Rewards

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

If you find yourself making a lot of business purchases at Costco, you may benefit from the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi.

The card supports your Costco membership by allowing you to stack rewards, take advantage of special offers, and deliver cash-back that can help your business’s bottom line.

Top Reasons to Get the Card

  • 4% cash-back at gas stations worldwide, including Costco (up to $7,000 in purchases/year).
  • 3% cash-back on travel purchases and at restaurants.
  • 2% cash-back at Costco and Costco.com.
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee for Costco members.

Why We Like the Card for Businesses

We like that the Costco Anywhere Business card earns rewards on every purchase your business makes, including non-Costco purchases.

If your business has a Business Executive Membership with Costco ($120/year), you can receive 2% rewards on eligible purchases in addition to the 2% cash-back on purchases made with your Costco Anywhere Business card. That’s a total of 4% of your purchases in rewards.

You can use your cash-back annual rewards certificate towards additional purchases at Costco or receive cash.

The Costco Anywhere Business card can be used to leverage your Costco business membership to get the best deals possible on your purchases and also get cash-back.

Additional Benefits

  • Damage and Theft Purchase Protection — If the eligible purchase made with your Costco Anywhere Business card is stolen or damaged, you could receive up to $10,000 per incident/$50,000 maximum per calendar year. Coverage is good for 120 days (90 days for New York residents) from the date of purchase.
  • Extended Warranty — Extends the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by 24 months for a total warranty period of no more than 7 years. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Use your card anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide with no foreign transaction fees.

For complete terms and conditions, please access the Citi Guide to Benefits.

Downsides

  • Costco membership is required
  • No welcome bonus
  • Rewards are distributed once a year in certificate form and expire the same year
  • Lack of travel-related card benefits
  • Penalty APR for late payments is 29.99% (variable)

Bottom Line: If your business has a Costco membership and spends at the warehouse store or Costco online, the Costco Anywhere Business card makes a perfect companion to your membership with no additional cost to your business. However, you may need to supplement the card with a travel rewards credit card to secure any desired travel-related benefits. 

American Airlines Final Thoughts
If your business travels frequently on American Airlines, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® could offer benefits you can use and cost-saving perks. Image Credit: American Airlines

Best Citi Business Card for Earning Miles Rewards

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Top Reasons to Get the Card

  • Generous welcome bonus of AAdvantage redeemable miles
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on American Airlines, telecommunications, satellite and cable providers, car rentals, and at gas stations
  • Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • free checked bag for the cardholder and up to 4 traveling companions
  • 25% statement credit for in-flight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases
  • Annual fee waived the first year

Why We Like the Card for Businesses

Although the card is designed to reward loyal American Airlines flyers, the card also earns elevated rewards on common business expenses such as telecommunication and cable. Additionally, if your business spends a lot on gas and car rentals, you’ll find those purchases will earn double miles.

Redeeming American Airlines frequent flyer miles for award flights can also offset the cost of business travel. There is no charge to add authorized users, including employees, to the card.

Additional Benefits

  • Damage and Theft Purchase Protection — Make an eligible purchase with your AAdvantage Business Platinum Select World and receive up to $10,000 for damage or theft per incident, $50,000 maximum per year. Coverage is good for 120 days (90 days for New York residents) from the date of purchase.
  • Extended Warranty — U.S. manufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less will be extended for an additional 24 months. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Use anywhere Mastercard is accepted without foreign transaction fees.

Downsides

Bottom Line: There may be value for your business in one of the aforementioned cards if your business shops frequently at Costco or chooses American Airlines as its primary carrier.  You might also choose to supplement your Citi business card with another rewards-earning card that offers travel benefits and additional earning potential. 

Alternative $0 Annual Fee Rewards Cards

Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express

If you’re looking for earnings on every purchase your business makes but prefer not to pay an annual fee, the Amex Blue Business Cash could be an appropriate choice.

You’ll also find a 0% APR on purchases for 12 months after card approval; after that, 14.99%-20.99% variable (see rates and fees). If your business has upcoming large purchases, the repayment can be spread out over time without incurring high-interest charges.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Having a Chase business card that earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points is a smart move. Points can be easily redeemed for cash-back or transferred to premium Chase credit cards like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and redeemed for travel for 25% more in value.

If your business involves travel and you’d like a travel rewards card without an annual fee, the Ink Business Cash card is worthy of consideration considering the benefits that come with the card.

American Express Centurion Lounge
Premium business travel rewards credit cards offer your business travel benefits such as lounge access, elite status, travel statement credits, and more. Image Credit: American Express

Alternative Premium Travel Rewards Cards

A premium travel rewards card earns flexible rewards that can be redeemed for travel, has travel-related benefits, and normally includes other cost-saving features. These features can include perks such as statement credits, complimentary elite status, or even cell phone coverage.

Here’s a look at 2 alternative premium travel rewards cards we recommend.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Why We Like the Card

  • Earn 5x points on flights booked with airlines or through Amex Travel.
  • Worldwide lounge access to over 1,200 airport lounges.
  • A welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel.
  • $200 statement credit for airline incidental purchases each year.
  • 35% airline bonus rebate when using Pay-With-Points for flights on your pre-selected airline book through Amex Travel (up to 500,000 bonus points per year)
  • 1.5x points per dollar for purchases of $5,000 or more.
  • 10 complimentary Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi passes per year.
  • Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold hotel elite status.

You’ll also find travel-related benefits such as secondary car rental insurance, baggage insurance, premium roadside assistance, and travel accident insurance. Trip cancellation/interruption insurance will also be included in early 2020.

For more information on the best American Express business credit cards, access our list of recommendations.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Why We Like the Card

  • A welcome bonus worth $1,000 in travel
  • Earn 3x points on travel purchases
  • Earn 3x points on common business categories such as shipping, advertising with social media/search engines, internet, cable, and phone
  • Transfer points to hotel and airline partners or redeem for travel at 1.25 cents per point
  • Cell phone coverage (terms apply)
  • Lower annual fee

Additionally, you’ll find a long list of travel-related benefits such as primary car rental insurance, trip cancellation, interruption, and delay coverage, roadside dispatch, and baggage insurance.

To learn more about Chase business credit cards, check out our overview of the top 3 Chase business cards.

Bottom Line: The best business credit card for your business will be the one that rewards your highest expenses, has redemption options that fit your goals, and offers benefits that your business can use. In many cases, you may need more than 1 business credit card.

Final Thoughts

Both of Citi’s business credit cards require excellent credit to be approved. With excellent credit, you’ll have your choice of some of the best available business travel rewards cards.

However, if your largest business expenses are Costco purchases or you value American Airlines perks and miles, one of the Citi business cards could certainly add value to your business.


FAQ

Are Citi Business credit cards worth it?

Citi doesn’t issue a lot of business cards but the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi and the AAdvantage Platinum Select World can add value to specific businesses.

If your business shops a lot at Costco, having the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi can compliment your membership. You’ll be able to get the best deals on your purchases, earn rewards with a premium membership, and earn additional cash-back rewards for charges made on the card.

If your business travel involves loyalty to American Airlines, you’ll benefit from the AAdvantage Platinum Select World. Airline perks like a free checked bag, priority boarding, and earning double miles can all be beneficial for traveling with the airline.

Do Costco Cash Rewards expire?

Cash Rewards are issued each year on the February billing statement. If you do not use your Cash Rewards certificate by December 31 of the year the certificate is issued, the rewards will be forfeited.

If your Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi account is closed prior to the February statement, any rewards not issued in a certificate will be forfeited.

What's the annual fee on the Costco business credit card?

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi does not charge an annual fee but you must be a member at Costco to get the card.

A business membership at Costco costs $60 or upgrade to a Business Executive Membership for $120. The Executive Membership allows you to receive 2% rewards on certain purchases and pairs well with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.

If it difficult to get a Citi business credit card?

You will need excellent credit to secure either of the Citi business credit cards.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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