Edited by: Juan Ruiz
& Kellie Jez
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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.
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!
Get 4x points in 2 select categories where your business spends the most each month (on your first $150,000 spent each year).
The American Express® Business Gold Card is excellent at racking up rewards for your business spend.
The card earns a whopping 4x points per $1 in the 2 categories (from a list of 6) that your business spends the most money on each month. With no need to opt-in or preselect your categories, so you can focus on what matters most — running your business.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome bonus offer of up to 110,000 points with the Amex Business Gold card! The current public offer is 70,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
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.
This card earns 4x Membership Rewards points on the top 2 categories in which your business spends the most every month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases every calendar year):
This card earns 4x Membership Rewards points on the top 2 categories in which your business spends the most every month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases every calendar year):
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!
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 Amex 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.
Earn Membership Rewards for your business spending the easy way: get 2x points for the first $50,000 in purchases per year.
As a business owner, getting a credit card that maximizes each dollar you spend does not have to be complicated or expensive. Especially when you opt for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
With the Amex Blue Business Plus card, you’ll earn 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases throughout the year (up to $50,000; 1x thereafter) and receive purchase protections and no-additional-charge employee cards all for no annual fee (see rates and fees).
The simple and straightforward earning structure makes it a great fit for those looking to earn flexible rewards, without having to fixate on which purchases earn the most points.
Let’s take look at all that the Amex Blue Business Plus card has to offer.
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 & fees).
This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a lot going for it that makes it a compelling choice for small business owners. The card features a very lucrative 5% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
When you factor in that the card has no annual fee, and 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter, you could be adding big value back into your business for no cost out of pocket.
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:
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 one of the best Chase credit cards that earns Ultimate Rewards, 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.
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.
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.
The Capital One Spark Miles card is a low-annual-fee business card that earns 2x transferable miles on every $1 you spend. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is a great option for business owners looking for an uncomplicated rewards card that earns double miles on every purchase they make and offers access to transfer partners, all for a low annual fee.
Capital One offers an envious business credit card — its flagship rewards credit card is the Capital One 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.
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.
The World of Hyatt Business card provides a solid option for business travelers that are looking to put their expenses on a small business card.
Hyatt loyalists who do their fair share of business travel have been clamoring for the addition of a co-branded Hyatt business credit card for quite some time — and now it’s finally here.
The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card is now available. In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about it!
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:
The eligible 2x points categories are:
And if you take advantage of the 2x points, your return on spending will be approximately 3%.
Additionally, this card comes with:
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.
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.
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.
A great option for business owners who stay in Marriott hotels and want automatic elite status.
Business travelers who opt for Marriott as their hotel chain of choice will definitely want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. The card offers great benefits to cardholders like a complimentary hotel night once a year, complimentary Gold Elite status, and multiple point redemption options.
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:
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.
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.
An excellent option for business owners and business travelers who stay at Hilton properties often and want perks like Hilton Honors elite status.
For frequent business travelers who regularly stay in Hilton hotels, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a great option.
Not only will the card help you earn more points on all of your Hilton stays, but you’ll also receive automatic elite status, complimentary Priority Pass visits, travel protections, and the opportunity to earn free night certificates.
Here’s a detailed look at all the benefits this card offers so that you can determine if it’s a good fit for you.
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:
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 Night Reward after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year, a second Free 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 annual fee (rates & fees).
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.
Receive 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and eligible business purchases, priority boarding, a free checked bag, and discounted award flights.
Delta Air Lines is your first choice for business travel, and you’re always looking for more ways to earn Delta SkyMiles.
Being able to board the plane early and check your bag for free makes all the difference for a smooth flight. Plus, getting discounts on inflight purchases keeps money in your pocket and your small business.
It’s for those reasons and more that you choose to make purchases with the 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:
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 (rates & fees).
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 1.2 cents each. This makes 2x miles worth a 2.4% 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.
If you run your own business and you found this article useful, we recommend you read our guide on the best credit cards for ad spend, especially if you are looking at advertising your business.
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 Business Platinum Card® from American Express, 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.
Our favorite cards for business catering purchases are the Amex Business Gold card, the Amex Blue Business Plus card, the Ink Business Cash card, the Capital One Spark Miles card, the World of Hyatt Business card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card, the Hilton Business Amex card, and the Delta Gold Business card.
Yes, coffee shops generally count as restaurants for the purposes of earning bonus rewards.
Yes, catering does count as dining, but keep in mind that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards are personal credit cards, which might not be suitable for business owners.
It depends. Sometimes, a bakery is not considered a restaurant merchant, as is the case with Chase. However, with other credit card issuers like Amex, a bakery may qualify as a restaurant.
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