It’s no secret that if you frequently host corporate events for your employees or large business dinners for your clients, you spend big on catering. One way to get a higher return on your business spending is to use the right credit card, especially on your largest purchases.
One of the biggest complaints about business credit cards is that even though “obvious” bonus categories like office supplies, advertising, and internet purchases have lots of viable credit card options, dining isn’t a common bonus category.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to earn lots of points on business catering purchases.
What To Look for When Making Business Catering Purchases
Finding a good business credit card for catering is surprisingly not as easy as it seems. That’s because most of the credit cards that offer bonus rewards on food-related purchases are personal cards, not business cards.
At a high level, the single most important element of a good credit card for business catering purchases is the ability to earn points quickly on these expenses.
If you’re making lots of business catering purchases over the course of the year, a good rewards structure on dining and restaurant purchases alone can be enough to make your credit card worth it.
Remember, the vast majority of catering purchases will be categorized as dining or restaurant purchases.
Beyond that, if you can also enjoy some good benefits like travel insurance, statement credits, or perks at airlines or hotels, that’ll sweeten the deal even further!
The 8 Best Business Credit Cards for Catering Purchases
1. American Express® Business Gold Card
Our favorite card for business catering purchases is, undoubtedly, the Amex Business Gold card. Between its dominant rewards structure and the welcome bonus, there’s not a lot to dislike about this card.
Additionally, the Amex Business Gold card earns 4x Membership Rewards points on the 2 select categories where your business spends the most every month in this list:
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases made from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
As you can see, U.S. purchases at restaurants qualify for the 4x points. You’ll earn 4x points on up to $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year. So if you max out the $150,000 cap, you’ll earn 600,000 points per year, which is worth an amazing $13,200 according to our valuations.
The cherry on top is that you don’t need to select your top 2 business categories every month because it’s automatically done based on where you’ll earn the most points.
This card also comes with purchase protection, extended warranty, travel insurance (including secondary rental car insurance), and no preset spending limit.
Hot Tip: If you’re also looking for a business card with excellent luxury travel benefits, consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which is considered even more prestigious than the Amex Business Gold card!
Why We Like Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points
The most valuable type of cards rewards points, in our opinion, is Amex Membership Rewards points.
Earning 4x points is equivalent to a return on spending of 8.8% by our valuations!
If you can transfer to airline partners, you can even book luxury first and business class flights for even better value!
Alternatively, you can also use Amex points (albeit at a much lower value) for cash-back, charity, gift cards, shopping, and travel bookings made through Amex Travel.
2. The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express
American Express offers another excellent business product known as the Amex Blue Business Plus card.
This card earns 2x Membership Rewards points on all everyday business purchases (up to $50,000 in total purchases per calendar year). After that, the rewards go down to 1x points. That’s equal to a return on spending of 4.4%, according to our valuations.
But if you do the math, you’ll still get superb value from this card. Additionally, the Amex Blue Business Plus card comes with expanded buying power, access to Amex Offers, secondary rental car coverage, extended warranty, and purchase protection.
We love this card, especially if you tend not to spend tens of thousands of dollars per month on your business.
The best part? The Amex Blue Business Plus card has no annual fee (see rates and fees).
3. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Our favorite Chase business credit card for catering purchases is the Ink Business Cash card.
An exceptional product overall, you can earn an enormous welcome bonus when you are approved for this card.
The earning structure is as follows:
- 5% cash-back (on up to $25,000 in combined purchases every account anniversary year) on office supply stores and cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- 2% cash-back (on up to $25,000 in combined purchases every account anniversary year) at restaurants and gas stations
- 1% cash-back elsewhere
If you generally make up to $25,000 in purchases per year at restaurants for your business, this card might be a fantastic fit for you.
One of the special features of this credit card is that if you also hold an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can convert your cash-back to coveted Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio.
That means your 2% cash-back is now convertible to 2x Ultimate Rewards points, which is worth double (4% return on spend)!
The Ink Business Cash card boasts free employee cards, primary car rental coverage, travel insurance, purchase protection, and no annual fee.
Why We Like Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
As a standalone product, the Ink Business Cash card doesn’t earn Ultimate Rewards points — but with an Ultimate Rewards card, you can earn a 4% return on spending with 2x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on restaurants.
We love earning Ultimate Rewards points because these points can be used for luxury award travel through the program’s airline and hotel partners, enabling you to get even more value from your points.
But if that doesn’t appeal to you, you can also use your points for cash-back, gift cards, charitable donations, shopping, and bookings made through the Chase travel portal.
4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Capital One offers an envious business credit card — its flagship rewards credit card is the CapOne Spark Miles card, which currently comes with a great welcome bonus.
In addition, you will earn unlimited 2x Capital One miles on every business purchase you make, as well as 5x Capital One miles on hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel.
Earning 5x and 2x Capital One miles is equivalent to a return on spend of 9% and 3.6%, respectively.
Furthermore, this card offers a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement (up to $100 in value), roadside assistance, fraud alerts, zero fraud liability, no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty, and free employee cards.
There’s a $95 annual fee with this card, after the $0 introductory annual fee for the first year.
Why We Like Earning Capital One Miles
Capital One Miles is one of the most improved rewards programs.
With an impressive list of transfer partners and the ability to transfer to most partners at an improved 1:1 ratio, we value these points at 1.8 cents apiece.
You can get some stellar value with your Capital One miles when booking award travel.
But for simpler redemptions, you can also use your Capital One miles for travel booked through Capital One Travel, gift cards, charity, statement credits, and more.
5. World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
Chase’s newest hotel credit card is the World of Hyatt Business card, a fantastic option for business travelers who favor the World of Hyatt loyalty program and its associated hotel brands.
Currently, you’re able to earn a solid welcome bonus upon meeting spending requirements — but what’s impressive is the ability to earn up to 9x points per $1 spent:
- Up to 9x points per $1 on Hyatt purchases (including restaurants at Hyatt hotels and resorts)
- 2x points per $1 spent on the 3 categories you spend the most on in each calendar quarter through December 31, 2022
- After that, it drops to your top 2 categories, instead of top 3 categories
- 1x points per $1 on all other purchases
The eligible 2x points categories are:
- Airline tickets purchased directly with the airline
- Car rental agencies
- Local transit and commuting
- Gas stations
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Social media and search engine advertising
And if you take advantage of the 2x points, your return on spending will be approximately 3%.
Additionally, this card comes with:
- Automatic Discoverist status (plus the ability to gift Discoverist status to up to 5 employees)
- Up to $100 annual Hyatt credit (2 $50 statement credits)
- Access to Hyatt Leverage for hotel discounts
- The ability to earn 5 Elite Night Credits for every $10,000 you spend on the card in a calendar year
- 10% points rebate after spending $50,000 in a calendar year (up to 20,000 points back per year) after spending $50,000 on the card (any stays prior to meeting that threshold will not be retroactively credited)
And as far as other benefits are concerned, you’ll get primary car rental coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, no foreign transaction fees, and no-additional-cost employee cards.
The World of Hyatt Business card has a $199 annual fee.
Why We Like Earning World of Hyatt Points
World of Hyatt possesses the most valuable hotel rewards points available; by our valuations, World of Hyatt points are worth around 1.5 cents each.
In practice, there are plenty of ways to get better value than that.
You can redeem your points at an ultra-luxury property like the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme or a variety of midscale hotels to get added value!
Hot Tip: Will your business be holding an event at a hotel or have off-site catering from a hotel? Learn how to maximize your earnings with our detailed guide on how to earn points and status by holding business events!
6. Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
Our next favorite credit card is the Marriott Bonvoy Business card, which is a fantastic option for Marriott Bonvoy loyalists with major business catering expenses.
Currently, there’s a good welcome bonus, as well as the ability to earn up to 6x points per $1:
- 6x points per $1 spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
- 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping
- 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Earning 4x Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 is equivalent to a return on spending of 2.8%!
Each cardmember anniversary, you will get 1 Free Night Award (worth up to 35,000 points), too.
Additionally, get 15 Elite Night Credits, complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, no foreign transaction fees, and no-cost employee cards — all for an annual fee of $125 (rates and fees).
Why We Like Earning Marriott Bonvoy Points
Marriott is one of the world’s largest hotel chains in the world. It includes brands like The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton, and much more.
Naturally, this means that you can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points much more flexibly for hotel stays in cities where there might not be other options!
Another huge benefit of Marriott Bonvoy points is that they can be transferred at a 3:1 ratio to a huge list of airline transfer partners like Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.
There are plenty of ways to get outsized value beyond our 0.7 cents per point valuation, including for luxury hotel stays and award travel on high-end airlines.
7. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
The Hilton Business Amex card is one of our favorite hotel business credit cards because it offers great rewards and lots of perks with a low annual fee.
You’ll start off with a generous welcome bonus, plus generous rewards structures:
- Earn 12x Hilton Honors points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
- Earn 6x Hilton Honors points on select business purchases:
- at U.S. gas stations
- on wireless telephone services purchases directly from U.S. service providers
- on U.S. purchases for shipping
- Earn 6x Hilton Honors points on select travel purchases:
- at U.S. restaurants
- on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
- on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
- Earn 3x Hilton Honors points on all other purchases
Earning 6x Hilton Honors points is equal to a return on spending of approximately 3% by our valuations.
Also, the biggest benefit of this card is the complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status that entitles you to complimentary breakfast, space-available room upgrades, and much more. You can also upgrade to Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.
Other benefits include the ability to earn a Free Weekend Night Reward after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year, a second Weekend Night Reward after you spend $60,000 in a calendar year, 10 complimentary Priority Pass visits, no foreign transaction fees, and no-fee employee cards — all for a modest $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Why We Like Earning Hilton Honors Points
We love Hilton Honors points because it’s so easy to rack up points quickly! Between a huge welcome bonus, enhanced bonus categories, and constant promotions offered by Hilton Honors, it’s easy to get lots of Hilton Honors points.
Importantly, Hilton Honors points are so valuable because they can be used for stays at numerous brands, ranging from modest Homewood Suites to ultra-high-end Waldorf Astoria resorts.
8. Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
The most rewarding Delta business credit card for business catering purchases is the Delta Gold Business card, which packs a ton of benefits in a small package.
Of course, the welcome offer is very respectable; but what you’re probably looking for is the ability to earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible:
- Purchases made directly with Delta
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. shipping purchases
- Restaurant purchases
On all other purchases, earn 1 mile per $1 spent.
Beyond the rewards, this card boasts a suite of Delta benefits, like your first checked bag free on Delta flights, Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, a $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 in purchases within a calendar year, employee cards for no additional fee, and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
Why We Like Earning Delta SkyMiles
Delta SkyMiles, unfortunately, has been devalued a few times over the years.
But there’s still a lot of value to be had with these miles, which is why we value them at 1 cent each. This makes 2x miles worth a 2% return on spending.
Don’t let this return on spending discourage you because you can still redeem them for a tremendous value. You can get up to 10 cents per mile in some situations, especially if you book international business class award travel.
Running your own business is extremely demanding. Make your life easier by extracting higher ROI from your business catering purchases.
Incrementally, you’ll want to examine whether you’d prefer to earn lots of rewards or enjoy airline or hotel perks with a low annual fee.
Whatever your preferences are, you should be in great shape by sticking to any of the options we’ve outlined in this guide.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, click here.