Credit cards are a popular financing choice for small businesses and can help your business grow and prosper. You should select the best credit cards to manage your business finances, earn rewards you can utilize, and provide perks and benefits to make business travel more comfortable and productive.
No matter the size or nature of your business, selecting the right credit card is essential. But where do you start?
In this post, we’ve put together a collection of the best small business credit cards available. These 10 options all have different strengths that will benefit businesses of all sizes and types.
Take a peek at our comparison table for an easy way to quickly compare cards. Then scroll down for details about each card as well as some information about how to select and apply for a small business card.
Small Business Credit Cards at a Glance
Here’s a quick look at the best small business credit cards available today.
|Business Credit Card||Best For||Main Benefits|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Premium perks, travel rewards, lounge access||Earn 5x points in select categories, lounge access, up to $200 airline fee credit|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||Flexible bonus categories||Earn 4x points in flexible categories, Pay Over Time option|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||Overall small business card, flexible bonus categories||Earn 3x points in select categories, points are worth 25% more in the Chase travel portal, cell phone protection|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||Cash-back bonus categories, no annual fee, 0% APR for 12 months||Earn 2% to 5% cash-back on select categories, no annual fee|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||Flat-rate cash-back, no annual fee, 0% APR for 12 months||Earn 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, no annual fee|
|American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card||Flat-rate cash-back, no annual fee (see rates and fees)||Earn 2% cash-back on all purchases (up to $50,000; 1% thereafter), no annual fee|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||Flat-rate earning, no annual fee (see rates and fees)||Earn 2x points on all purchases (up to $50,000; 1x thereafter), no annual fee|
|The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||Hilton loyalists, lounge access||Earn 12x points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6x on Select Business & Travel Purchases, and 3x on all other eligible purchases plus Hilton Honors Gold status, 10 free airport lounge visits per year|
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card||Delta flyers, lounge access||Earn 3x points on Delta purchases, Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access, ability to earn MQMs toward your Medallion Status|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card||Bonus categories, Marriott loyalists||Earn 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 4x points in select categories, 2x points on all other purchases, Silver Elite status, 1 free Award Night per year|
The Best Small Business Credit Cards in 2022
Our Pick for Premium Perks, Travel Rewards, and Lounge Access
The elite Amex Business Platinum card is a clear leader if your business requires a lot of travel and you’re looking to get access to travel perks and benefits.
With this card, you’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel, 1.5x points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year), and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Although the annual fee is steep, you’ll find the Amex Business Platinum card has plenty of benefits that more than offset the fee. Here are just some of this card’s perks:
Our Pick for Flexible Bonus Categories
|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.
The Amex Business Gold card is an excellent choice if you’re looking to maximize the number of points that you earn through your business spend. This card is a powerhouse when it comes to earning Membership Rewards points with flexible bonus categories that adjust automatically.
You’ll earn 4x points per dollar spent (up to $150,000) in any 2 of the following categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from the airline
- U.S. purchases for online, TV, and radio advertising
- U.S purchases from select technology providers for computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
Our Pick for Best Overall Small Business Credit Card and Best for Flexible Bonus Categories
|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 the most appealing for businesses that travel frequently. Plus, its broad range of bonus earning categories is likely to pair nicely with your business spending patterns.
You’ll earn 3x points per $1 spent (up to $150,000 per year) in the following bonus categories:
- Advertising on social media and search engines
- Internet, cable, and phone services
For example, if you spent $50,000 per year in those bonus categories you’d earn 150,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. That’s worth $1,875 when used in Chase’s travel portal to book flights, hotels, etc. Or you can get even more value from your points by transferring them to airline and hotel partners!
Our Pick for Cash-Back Bonus Categories, No Annual Fee, and 0% APR on Purchases for 12 Months
The Ink Business Cash card is a great no-annual-fee option that also offers 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months. With this card you’ll also be able to earn lots of cash-back with these great bonus categories:
Earn 5% cash-back (up to $25,000 in combined purchases):
- Office supply stores
- Internet, cable, and phone services
Earn 2% cash-back (up to $25,000 in combined purchases):
Plus you’ll earn 1% cash-back on all of your other purchases.
If you also have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card (one that charges an annual fee) you can turn your cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points that can then be transferred to hotel and airline partners for maximum value.
Hot Tip: Many new businesses spend a lot on phone expenses, internet service, and office supplies, so having a business credit card such as the Ink Business Cash card that gives 5% cash-back in these categories could make it a good choice for a start-up business.
Our Pick for Flat-Rate Cash-Back, No Annual Fee, and 0% APR on Purchases for 12 Months
If you’re looking for simplicity, the Ink Business Unlimited card might be just right for you. This card earns a flat 1.5% cash-back on all purchases without having to worry about bonus categories or earning limits. In addition, this no-annual-fee card offers 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months.
Ink Business Unlimited cardholders that also hold a premium Ultimate Rewards credit card can combine the points earned from their cards and transfer them to one of the Chase airline and hotel transfer partners.
Bottom Line: A business credit card with a 0% APR period for purchases can help your business with cash flow as you spread out the repayment of a large purchase over time. If you need more information, check out all of these credit cards that come with 0% APR.
Our Pick for Flat-Rate Cash-Back and No Annual Fee
The Amex Blue Business Cash card offers a simple way to earn cash-back for every purchase you make. For the first $50,000 you spend per calendar year, you’ll earn 2% cash-back. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash-back.
Our Pick for Flat Rate Earning and No Annual Fee
The Amex Blue Business Plus card is a great no-fee option that offers simple flat-rate points earning. With this card, you’ll be earning valuable Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to hotel and airline partners for maximum value.
You’ll earn 2x points per dollar spent (up to $50,000 per year). After you hit the $50,000 threshold, you’ll earn 1x point per dollar.
Plus, you’ll be able to get additional employee cards at no cost and you’ll be able to earn points on all of their purchases in addition to your own (see rates and fees).
Our Pick for Hilton Loyalists and Lounge Access
The Hilton Business Amex card is a great option for Hilton loyalists because it offers multiple points earning categories and a fast track to Hilton Honors elite status.
With this card, you’ll earn 12x Hilton Honors points per dollar spent at hotels and resorts within the Hilton family of brands across the globe. In addition, you’ll be able to earn 6x points per dollar on these bonus categories:
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- Wireless phone services from U.S. providers
- U.S purchases for shipping services
- Flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel
- Car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies
On top of all that, you’ll earn 3x points per dollar on any purchases that don’t fall in the bonus categories.
The Hilton Business Amex card will also help fast track you to higher Hilton elite status. As a cardmember, you’ll get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status. If you spend $40,000 or more in a calendar year, you’ll be upgraded to Diamond status.
This card also comes with 10 complimentary lounge visits per year after signing up for the Priority Pass Select membership. You’ll have access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide with this perk.
Our Pick for Delta Flyers and Lounge Access
If you fly Delta often and value Delta elite status, the Delta Reserve Business card could be a good addition to your wallet. This card earns Delta SkyMiles and comes with Delta-centric perks.
With this card you’ll earn:
- 3x miles per dollar on Delta purchases
- 1.5x miles per dollar on purchases after you spend $150,000 in a calendar year
- 1x mile per dollar on all other purchases
The Delta Reserve Business card also helps you earn Delta SkyMiles elite status. You’ll get 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $30,000 in purchases in a calendar year. Plus you’ll enjoy benefits like a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee and a Delta Companion Certificate.
Our Pick for Bonus Categories and Marriott Loyalists
If you’re a Marriott loyalist who wants lots of bonus categories to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and a fast track to Marriott Bonvoy status, then the Marriott Bonvoy Business card might be a good option for you.
With this card, you’ll earn:
- 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program
- 4x points at U.S restaurants
- 4x points at U.S. gas stations
- 4x points on wireless phone services from U.S. providers
- 4x points on U.S purchases for shipping services
- 2x points on all other purchases
In addition, this card comes with automatic Marriott Silver Elite status, 15 Elite Night Credits toward your next level of status, and a yearly Free Night Award to use on a room that costs up to 35,000 points per night.
How to Select a Business Credit Card
There are so many variables when it comes to credit cards, and business credit cards are no different.
Business Card Basics
- You will be personally responsible for paying the card unless your contract states otherwise. Your personal credit may play a significant role in whether you’re approved for a business credit card.
- The Federal Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 set new provisions to protect consumers from some of the negative practices of credit card companies, but the CARD Act does not apply to business cards. Your business credit card may have higher fees and be less consumer-friendly, although many banks are now including CARD protections voluntarily on business cards.
- Credit limits are generally higher for business credit cards than for personal credit cards.
- Unfortunately, APRs can also be higher on business credit cards — a good reason not to carry high balances.
Narrow Your Business Card Options by Answering These Questions
- Which are my most significant business expenses? You’ll want to select a card that rewards your most significant spending categories, ideally one that rewards all of your spending in those categories, not just a portion.
- What are my business travel requirements? Are you a road warrior who values rewards on gas purchases, an in-home business requiring no travel, or a frequent flyer who values premium travel benefits?
- Do I want to earn cash-back to reinvest in my business, or is earning travel rewards more of a priority?
- Do the redemption options for rewards add value to the business? With cash-back credit cards, the answer may be easy, but can your business benefit from free airline tickets if your business doesn’t require travel? Don’t forget — it’s perfectly acceptable to use the rewards earned on business expenses for a personal vacation.
- Do I prefer a business card with no annual fee? While some high annual fee cards provide exceptional benefits, you might have a preference to stay clear of cards with high annual fees.
Bottom Line: While it’s essential to select a business credit card that aligns with your expenses and priorities, it’s not a permanent decision. Try the card for a year and determine if it meets your needs. If the card doesn’t have an annual fee, you can hold on to it to build a longer credit history, or you can cancel your card if it has an annual fee but doesn’t offer the value you want.
Which Types of Businesses Qualify for a Business Credit Card?
The IRS gives us the bottom line on what constitutes a business in its statement: “Generally, an activity qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.”
Under that definition, a business can range from opening a restaurant to selling homemade jam or refereeing soccer on the weekends, as long as it has a reasonable expectation of earning a profit. Even if your side gig is small, it may still qualify for a business credit card because your personal credit will play a significant role in whether you get approved for a business credit card.
How to Apply for a Business Credit Card
Before applying for a business credit card, you’ll want to make sure you have the following information handy:
- The legal name of your business (this can be your own name)
- Your business entity (sole proprietor, partnership, S corporation, limited liability company)
- Tax ID number, which can be either an Employer Identification Number or Social Security number
- Years you’ve been in business
- Business revenue (yes, it can be zero) and total personal income
- Business address (can be the same as your personal address) and phone number
- Type of business and subtype of business (for example, services, subtype cleaning services)
- Number of employees
- Possible additional personal information
5 Tips for Completing the Business Credit Card Application
- Don’t lie. Provide information that is as accurate as possible.
- Relationships matter. Having other credit cards (with a positive history) or a bank account with the financial institution issuing the credit card will increase your chances of approval. For example, having a business checking account from Chase can help increase the likelihood of being approved for a Chase business credit card.
- Keep a copy of the application. If for any reason you are not approved, or if the issuing bank needs more information, you can refer to your application during any follow-up conversations.
- Make notes. On the copy of your application, make notes as to why you answered a question a certain way. Did you estimate your earnings? What was the process you used for the estimate?
- Take a screenshot of the offer. Before you hit submit, make sure you’ve documented the credit card offer. Applying for an offer that gives you 50,000 miles after your first purchase? Be sure you have a screenshot to refer to if those 50,000 miles don’t show up.
It’s also not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the rules of each bank before applying. This will ensure you’re within the card limit for a specific issuer, eligible for the welcome bonuses, etc.
Bottom Line: You can apply for a business credit card even if your business doesn’t yet have income. A strong personal credit history increases your chances of being approved. Consider applying in person at a local bank branch where you’ve done business.
Business Credit Cards vs. Personal Credit Cards
Some business owners question whether it’s necessary to have a business credit card for your start-up or small business. It’s especially questionable if you’re not making a lot of money yet and you’ve been able to utilize your personal credit card for the expenses you’ve incurred so far.
It’s prudent to separate business expenses from personal expenses, and it can become critical when it comes time to pay taxes or produce supporting information for an audit. An easy way to separate expenses is to open a bank account for your business and apply for a business credit card to use for your business-related purchases.
Additionally, business credit cards frequently offer perks for businesses, have higher credit limits, and reward business category purchases more than personal cards.
Deciding Between a Business Charge Card or a Business Credit Card
Knowing the difference between a charge card and a credit card can help you make an informed decision on which card fits your business spending patterns best.
A credit card allows you to carry a balance from 1 statement period to another. You will be charged interest on any carryover balance. A charge card requires the balance to be paid off in full each statement period.
Charge cards may have offers that allow you to carry over a balance, but it is not guaranteed. The credit card issuer has to explicitly grant you this privilege.
An advantage of a charge card is not having a specified spending limit, as the credit card issuer will determine this based on how you’re managing the card.
Hot Tip: If a charge card is what you’re looking for, consider the Brex corporate cards. Brex is a company that has turned business credit cards on its head.
Opening a business credit card is a positive step that supports the future growth of your business, and you do not need to have a large business to qualify.
While this list of the best business credit cards is exhaustive, there are many more options available.
Find the best business credit card for your business by researching the best available cards, their rewards and benefits, as well as drawbacks. A business credit card can make a big difference for your business and it’s critical to make an informed decision.
See our in-depth articles where we cover the best business credit cards for: Perks & Benefits, Low Credit Scores and Building Credit, New Businesses & Start-ups, Real Estate Investors, Doctors, Dentists, House Flippers & Landlords, and Nonprofits.
The information regarding the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, and Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the America Express® Business Gold Card. click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ 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 Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
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