If you’re starting a new business or a start-up, 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 start-up.
Business credit cards are offered by many different financial institutions with so many dizzying benefits that it can seem overwhelming.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best credit cards for new businesses and start-ups that you can apply for.
We’ll go in-depth about the pros and cons of each credit card, so 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 and tried to think deeply about the benefits we were looking for.
We looked for a card that rewards you for the most common new business expenses, like technology.
We also looked for a card that offers business tools, like expense management, employee cards, and purchase protection.
And of course, one of the best parts about a new card is the welcome bonus that can immediately get you on the right track to accelerating your rewards.
Other crucial benefits of a credit card include quick access to business credit and travel benefits for any business trips you may be taking.
Best Overall Business Cards for New Businesses and Start-Ups
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info|
|American Express® Business Gold Card|
(at Amex's secure site)
- Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
- MORE REWARDS: Get 4x Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1x is earned for other purchases.**
- **4x points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
- AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
- PAY OVER TIME OPTION: Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month—or pay over time with interest.*
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
- Annual Fee: $295
- *Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, click here.
Must Reads: For more info on the Amex Business Gold Card see our guide on its benefits, top FAQ’s and our full review.
As a new business, no single day will ever be the same, but the Amex Business Gold card can 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 on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year):
- 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 at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
This card has the most bonus categories you can earn points from, which means that those unexpected, seemingly random expenses could easily earn up to 4x points.
With these 6 categories, you’ll be able to earn bonus rewards on purchases that may change from month to month. Whether you’re spending on advertising, office supplies like computer hardware, or on gas, the Amex Business Gold card has got you covered.
This card also comes with purchase protection, extended warranty protection, trip delay insurance, car rental insurance, and no preset spending limit.
And the key is that 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 why we love this option.
Why We Like Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points
Amex Membership Rewards are the most valuable points, according to our points and miles 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.
|Credit Card||Key Benefits & Info|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
- Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
- 25% more value when redeeming points through Ultimate Rewards® travel
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $95
Must Reads: For more info on the Ink Business Preferred, see our guides on its benefits, 7 things to do as a new cardholder, and our full review. This is our favorite Chase business credit card.
The Ink Business Preferred card is similar to the Amex Business Gold card in a few ways, but unique in a couple of other ways!
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 numerous bonus categories:
- Advertising on social media and search engines
- Internet, cable, and phone
As you can see, the Ink Business Preferred card offers the ability to earn bonus points on very common new business and start-up expenses like marketing (advertising), website/IT costs (internet, cable, and phone), and even logistics (shipping).
And if you have business trips here and there, you can get rewarded with 3x points on travel.
The points that you earn are Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are incredibly useful thanks to the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners.
This card also offers some awesome cell phone insurance, offering $600 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 Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners (maximum value).
You can also redeem your points for travel booked via the Chase travel portal for 25% more in value (1.25 cents per point).
Lastly, you can redeem your points for cash-back, gift cards, merchandise, and services.
Maybe your new business or start-up will have large expenses or require you to travel a lot. If you’re looking for a business card that offers the best travel benefits, look no further than the prestigious Amex Business Platinum card.
For your travel bookings, you can earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
You’ll also enjoy these perks:
We’ve really only scratched the surface of all the Amex Business Platinum’s benefits, but it truly is one of the best cards out there.
Alternative Business Credit Cards for New Businesses and Start-Ups
If you happen to be following different spending patterns than what is shown above, don’t worry!
Let’s take a look at our favorite alternative credit cards for new businesses and start-ups.
We’re big fans of the Amex Blue Business Plus card that 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. So if you max out the $50,000 limit on 2x points, you’d earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points before reverting to the 1 point per dollar structure.
Additionally, this card has no annual fee, and it also comes with some awesome perks like purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and employee cards at no additional cost (see rates and fees).
The Ink Business Unlimited card is a remarkably simple but exceptionally rewarding business credit card to hold.
If you don’t want to have to worry about bonus categories or an annual fee, this Chase credit card is a top-notch choice.
You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash-back on all your purchases with no caps. 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.
So, this card gives you the ability to earn flexible points with no annual fee as long as you have an Ultimate Rewards 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:
- Office supply stores
- Cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
You can also earn 2% cash-back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases on the following categories each account anniversary year:
If you have an Ultimate Rewards card, 5% cash-back and 2% cash-back is equivalent to 5x and 2x points, respectively.
Lastly, you’ll also be impressed with the travel insurance, purchase protection, and primary rental car coverage you get from this card.
It’s hard to think of another $0 annual fee card that gives you up to 5x points, but the Ink Business Cash card accomplishes just that!
With tons of different business credit cards out there competing for a spot in your wallet, learning about all the ins-and-outs can be overwhelming.
That’s why we boiled down the best business cards to just 6 choices in this guide. The card option you end up choosing should fit well with your spending habits, your credit card needs, and your rewards goals.
With any of these cards, you will rapidly be 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.