If you’re starting a new business or a start-up firm, you’re probably juggling a ton of different tasks and wearing quite a few hats.
One thing you should absolutely not compromise on is optimizing your company’s finances.
In addition to separating your business expenses from your personal finances, getting access to quick funding, and starting to build your business credit, there are tons of benefits to opening a new credit card for your new venture.
Many different financial institutions offer business credit cards with a huge range of benefits that can easily become overwhelming.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of the best credit cards for new businesses and start-ups — let’s get started!
What To Look for in a Business Credit Card for New Businesses and Start-Ups
When researching the best business credit card candidates, we put ourselves in the shoes of a new business owner or start-up founder and thought deeply about the benefits we’d look for.
We searched for cards that reward you for common expenses associated with starting a business, like technology.
We also looked for products that offer business tools like expense management, employee cards, and purchase protection. And, of course, one of the best perks of a new card is the welcome bonus that can immediately get you on the right track to accelerating your rewards.
Other important benefits of a business credit card include quick, easy access to credit and travel benefits for any business trips you may be taking.
The 3 Best Overall Business Cards for New Businesses and Start-Ups
1. American Express® Business Gold Card
As a new business, no 2 days will be the same, but rest assured that the Amex Business Gold card will consistently be the most rewarding card you can get.
First of all, the Amex Business Gold card offers 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent for the 2 categories in which your business spends the most each month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year). The categories eligible for bonus earnings are:
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. purchases made from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
This card has the broadest selection of bonus categories, which means that those unexpected, seemingly random expenses could easily earn up to 4x points. Whether you’re spending on advertising, office supplies like computer hardware, or on gas, the Amex Business Gold card has you covered.
Hot Tip: The bonus categories on the Amex Business Gold card are selected automatically for you every billing statement based on where you spend the most, ensuring you’ll earn the maximum number of points possible on each statement.
This card also comes with purchase protection, extended warranty protection, trip delay insurance, car rental insurance, and no preset spending limit.
Even better, the Membership Rewards points you earn from this card are incredibly valuable, and they can be used to book first class flights!
At the end of the day, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a business card that offers a more diverse list of bonus categories where you can earn a whopping 4x points, which is a huge reason why we love this card.
Why We Like Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points
Amex Membership Rewards are the most valuable points you can earn, according to our valuations. By transferring them to airline and hotel partners, you can book some incredible first and business class travel.
You can also redeem your Amex points via Amex Travel, or for gift cards, charitable donations, Amazon, statement credits, and so much more.
2. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred card is similar to the Amex Business Gold card in a few ways but features several unique differences.
Arguably Chase’s best credit card for business spending, Ink Business Preferred cardholders are able to earn 3x points per $1 spent on up to $150,000 per year in several bonus categories, including:
- Advertising on social media and search engines
- Internet, cable, and phone services
As you can see, the Ink Business Preferred card offers the ability to earn bonus points on expenses common for new businesses or start-ups like marketing (advertising), website/IT costs (internet, cable, and phone), and even logistics (shipping).
And if you have business trips here and there, you’ll earn 3x points per dollar spent on your travel purchases.
You’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with this card, which are incredibly useful thanks to the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners.
This card also offers awesome cell phone insurance, offering $1,000 per claim with a $100 deductible for up to 3 claims per rolling 12-month period.
Other useful benefits include purchase protection, extended warranty protection, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, trip delay insurance, and no foreign transaction fees!
Why We Like Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
We love earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points because you can redeem them for award travel by transferring them to airline and hotel partners. This is the method to use if you want to get the maximum value out of each point you earn.
You can also redeem your points for travel booked via the Chase travel portal for 25% more in value (1.25 cents per point). Finally, you can redeem them for cash-back, gift cards, merchandise, and services.
3. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Maybe your new business or start-up will have large expenses or will require frequent travel. If you’re looking for a business card that offers the best travel benefits, look no further than the prestigious Amex Business Platinum card.
You can earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through the Amex Travel portal. You’ll also earn 1.5x points on select business categories (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year), including:
- Eligible purchases of $5,000 or more
- U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers
- U.S. electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
- U.S. shipping providers
You’ll also enjoy the following perks:
- Access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which features access to over 1,400 lounges, including Centurion Lounges, Airspace Lounge, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta the same day), Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner, International American Express Centurion Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Priority Pass lounges (upon enrollment), select Lufthansa Lounges (when flying Lufthansa the same day), and select Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status upon enrollment
- Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
- Up to $150 in Adobe credits
- Up to $360 in Indeed credits
- Up to $400 in statement credits annually for U.S. purchases with Dell ($200 semi-annually)
- Up to $120 in wireless credits
We’ve only scratched the surface of all the Amex Business Platinum card’s benefits, but it truly is one of the best cards on the market.
The 3 Best Alternative Business Credit Cards for New Businesses and Start-Ups
If you happen to be following different spending patterns than what we outlined above, don’t worry! There are plenty of alternative options to consider for a new business or start-up venture.
1. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
We’re big fans of the Amex Blue Business Plus card, which allows you to earn 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases, on up to $50,000 per year. After that, you’ll earn 1x. If you max out the $50,000 limit on 2x points, you’d earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points before reverting to earning 1 point per dollar.
This card has no annual fee, and it comes loaded with awesome perks like purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and employee cards at no additional cost (rates and fees).
2. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited card is a simple but exceptionally rewarding business credit card to have in your wallet. If you don’t want to worry about bonus categories or an annual fee, this Chase credit card is a great choice.
You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash-back on all your purchases with no cap. Plus, if you hold a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, your 1.5% cash-back is equivalent to 1.5x points.
This card gives you the ability to earn flexible and highly valuable points with no annual fee as long as you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card.
3. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash card is the sister card of the Ink Business Unlimited card.
Whereas the Ink Business Unlimited card offers straightforward 1.5% cash-back, the Ink Business Cash card gives you the ability to earn up to 5% cash-back on select business categories.
You can earn 5% cash-back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases on the following categories each account anniversary year:
- Cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- Office supply stores
You can also earn 2% cash-back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
If you have an Ultimate Rewards card, 5% and 2% cash-back is equivalent to 5x and 2x points, respectively.
You’ll also be able to take advantage of travel insurance, purchase protection, and primary rental car coverage.
It’s hard to think of another card that gives you up to 5x points with no annual fee!
With tons of different business credit cards out there competing for a spot in your wallet, deciding which one is right for your business can be overwhelming.
That’s why we did the legwork for you, narrowing the field down to just 6 options. The card you end up choosing should fit with your spending habits, your credit needs, and your rewards goals.
With any of these cards, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying credit card benefits, building credit for your business, and setting up your business for success!
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.