The 6 Best Business Credit Cards for Real Estate Investors [2021]

Real estate investment

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Real estate investing is one of the few proven ways to generate wealth, and it’s a time-tested way to protect your assets in something that you can physically see and touch.

If you’re a real estate investor, you probably know all about the benefits, including numerous tax benefits, the tendency for real estate to appreciate like clockwork, and much more.

But one of the drawbacks of real estate is that except for some niche strategies, real estate investing can be capital intensive.

In this guide, we’ll show you the best business credit cards to keep in your wallet as a real estate investor.

What To Look for in a Business Credit Card for Real Estate Investors

Real estate investors generally spend a lot of money on home improvement expenses. They may also spend large sums of money on maintenance, like landscaping, repairs, and more.

But 1 thing is for sure: most real estate investing strategies entail more spending than other types of businesses.

So, what we looked for in a business credit card perfect for real estate investors is the ability to earn uncapped rewards, and, ideally, bonus points for large transactions (you probably have a bunch of those as a real estate investor).

In addition, we looked for bonus categories where you can earn points on common real estate expenses. It can be difficult figuring out which bonus categories would be relevant to you without knowing your exact real estate niche, but many niches also include marketing expenses.

In that case, a card with advertising as a bonus category will be instrumental to maximizing your rewards!

Nonetheless, we’ve compiled our favorite picks for the best business cards for real estate investors.

Best Overall Business Cards for Real Estate Investors

As a real estate investor, you might have a mish-mash of different expenses, so it can seem overwhelming trying to figure out cards that offer these bonus categories.

As you’ll find out, you don’t necessarily need to do that. Find a single card that rewards you for as many business categories as possible, and use those to scale your expenses!

Ideally, a business card will have a high spending limit, especially if you’re routinely doing renovation projects and paying contractors. Those expenses can add up quickly, and if you’re not careful, you can max out your cards!

So without further ado, let’s get into our best business credit cards for real estate investors.

1. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Our absolute favorite business card for real estate investors is the Amex Business Platinum card.

We love this card for numerous reasons. You’ll hit the ground running with an awesome welcome bonus that can be worth $1,500+ alone!

Aside from that, you’ll enjoy unmatched travel benefits, including access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection:

You’ll also enjoy a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, access to the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, an annual airline fee credit of $200, complimentary Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status, a 35% Pay with Points rebate on select flights, and even $200 in statement credits for Dell purchases in the U.S. (in the form of 2 equal credits of $100 semi-annually).

But one of the most important (and unique!) benefits of this card is the large purchase bonus, which allows you to earn 50% more points (1.5 points per $1) on purchases of $5,000 or more.

This can be very handy for real estate investors, where your contractor and materials costs, as well as tax payments, might easily eclipse $5,000!

Another significant benefit of this card is that you won’t be restricted to any preset spending limits in the way you might be with a traditional credit card. American Express will evaluate your spending habits and allow you to spend large amounts of money if they believe you can pay it back.

That’s an incredible value proposition for real estate investors when you consider the fact that real estate expenses can be very high.

Some of the “givens” you’ll get with this card are purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty coverage, travel insurance, and QuickBooks integrations (to manage business expenses).

Bottom Line: The Amex Business Platinum card is truly one of our favorite cards for real estate investors. The welcome bonus, the unsurpassed 5x business categories, the travel perks, and the non-travel benefits are some of the reasons why this card deserves a spot in your wallet!

Why We Like Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points

Amex Membership Rewards is one of the world’s most valuable points programs out there.

If you have this card, you’ll earn Amex Membership Rewards points, which are redeemable for gift cards, statement credits, merchandise, charitable donations, and travel bookings through Amex Travel.

Our personal favorite way to redeem Amex points is for transfers to travel partners for business and first class flights like Emirates first class!

This is the main reason why Amex Membership Rewards points are the most valuable out there.

2. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

The Ink Business Unlimited card is a superb credit card for those who want to earn straightforward rewards without worrying about bonus categories.

This credit card is fantastic because it comes with a substantial welcome bonus and it earns a flat 1.5% cash-back on all business purchases, regardless of category.

It also earns uncapped rewards, so you’ll earn 1.5% cash-back with no ceiling.

But perhaps the best aspect is that you can convert your 1.5% cash-back to 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you also hold an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card.

The cherry on top is the fact that this credit card has no annual fee, and you might love the introductory 0% APR benefit to help you avoid accruing interest on balances.

Other appreciated benefits are the ability to add employee cards for free, primary rental car insurance, purchase protection, zero liability fraud protection, and extended warranty protection for your business.

Why We Like Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

The Ink Business Unlimited card ordinarily earns cash-back, but as we mentioned earlier, you can turn the cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points, which are worth around 2 cents per point.

That’s an easy way to double your return on spend!

If you have Ultimate Rewards points, you can redeem them for cash-back, merchandise, charitable donations, gift cards, travel booked through the Chase travel portal, and best of all, transfers to airline and hotel partners for flights like Singapore Airlines first class!

3. American Express® Business Gold Card

The Amex Business Gold card is one of the mainstay options for business owners. It’s easy to see why this card is one of our favorite picks because of its extraordinary bonus categories.

With the Amex Business Gold card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on your top 2 categories from this list each month (up to $150,000 per calendar year; then 1x):

  • 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, including takeout and delivery
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

There are some familiar categories like advertising, shipping, gas stations, as well as some new categories like restaurants and technology providers!

One of the biggest benefits of this card is that you get to enjoy these 4x bonus categories without having to worry about choosing which bonus categories — they’re automatically chosen to earn you the most points every month.

If you spend $150,000 in a year on these purchases, you’d end up with 600,000 Amex Membership Rewards points, which is worth around $13,000+! You can’t forget about the welcome bonus, either.

Similar to the Amex Business Platinum card, the Amex Business Gold card doesn’t have a preset spending limit, which could seriously help you make the purchases and transactions you need to manage your business. Normal credit cards can’t do that!

The other benefits you will get include extended warranty coverage, secondary car rental insurance, travel insurance, purchase protection, and up to 99 total employee cards with no annual fee after the first employee card ($50 per year).

4. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Credit CardKey Benefits & Info
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • $2,000
  • 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 one of our top business credit cards overall, and it’s a popular choice for real estate investors. This card offers a huge welcome bonus, lots of perks, and a low annual fee of $95.

This is an Ultimate Rewards card that allows you to earn 3x points on your first $150,000 spent every cardmember year on these business categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines

Although you probably won’t be spending a whole lot on travel and shipping purchases in your everyday life as a real estate investor, the advertising and telecommunications categories could come in handy.

You will also earn 5x points per dollar on Lyft purchases through March 2022.

These points are redeemable for airline and hotel transfers, travel with a 25% bonus (1.25 cents per point) when booked through the Chase travel portal, as well as gift cards, cash-back, and more.

This card comes with purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, cell phone protection insurance, primary rental car collision insurance, other travel protections, and no foreign transaction fees.

Alternative Business Credit Cards for Real Estate Investors

If you’re a real estate investor and the card recommendations above don’t jive with you, we’ve also put together a list of alternative business credit cards that might fit your needs.

5. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus card is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding small business credit cards. This card earns a straightforward 2x points on everyday business purchases, up to $50,000 per year, then 1x thereafter. You’ll also be able to access a useful 0% introductory APR (as shown in the table above), in addition to purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, no-annual-fee employee cards, and access to Amex Membership Rewards (see rates and fees).

The only drawback of this card is that the 2x points earning is capped at $50,000 per year. This might be fine if you’re a small-scale real estate investor, but once you build up your portfolio, you might burn through $50,000 pretty quickly.

6. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

The last option we’ll be discussing is the Ink Business Cash card, which offers a niche value proposition without the burden of an annual fee.

This card will earn 5% cash-back on up to $25,000 in purchases every cardmember year on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV purchases and at office supply stores.

Also, the card will earn 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 in purchases every cardmember year on gas stations and dining purchases. You’ll earn 1% cash-back elsewhere.

If you happen to have large transactions at office supply stores as a real estate investor, this card can offer you some of the best rewards.

Your 5%, 2%, and 1% cash-back is convertible to 5x, 2x, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points, respectively, if you have an Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Other benefits include no annual fee, zero liability fraud protection, and a 0% introductory APR perk.

Final Thoughts

Real estate investors have plenty of options to earn rewards with credit card spending. But only a handful of cards offer worthwhile benefits and rewards that can help you maximize your purchases.

With names like the Amex Business Platinum card, the Ink Business Unlimited card, the Amex Business Gold card, and the Ink Business Preferred cards, it’s easy to jumpstart your rewards!

Be sure to compare and contrast the different benefits and points you’re looking for, whether it’s awesome airport lounge access, massive bonus categories of up to 5x points, a low annual fee, or straightforward earning structures.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
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.

Frequently asked questions

Can you buy real estate with business credit?

Generally, you can, but there are tons of caveats when it comes to using credit cards. More often, you might be able to use a business credit line, but credit cards will often code any of these transactions as cash advances, charge a fee, and will not be eligible for rewards.

How do you leverage a credit card for real estate?

If you’re talking about using a credit card for real estate, you can initiate cash advances to pull money out of your credit card, then use the money to purchase a property. After that, you can pay off the credit cards (depending on the interest rate).

However, this is not recommended. Plus, you’ll be expected to pay it back before any introductory APR period is over (unless you want to pay 25%+ interest). Imagine having to pay off an entire home after a year (typical introductory APR periods)!

Can I buy land with a credit card?

Usually, no. Any websites, individuals, or companies that broker/sell land don’t want to have to deal with a large interchange fee that could easily destroy any profits they might earn.

However, if you are insistent on earning rewards and are fine paying another 2%+ on your land purchase, you can consider using a platform called Plastiq.

Do you need a credit card to buy a house?

No, you do not.

You can qualify for a mortgage without a credit card, but having credit cards can boost your credit, allowing you to qualify for more favorable loan terms and reduce the amount of interest you pay.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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