Best Small Business Credit Cards for Cash-Back [2017]

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As a small business owner, you have countless financial responsibilities. Between paying monthly utility and bills, filling your tank at the gas station, and stocking up on ink, paper, and other supplies, business expenses are seemingly never-ending.

Whether you buy online or shop at the local office supply store, a good credit card can help you save big at the checkout. Find the right credit card offer, and you can even finance big-ticket items over time!

Which credit card issuer offers the features most beneficial to your business? Here are 3 of the best cash-back rewards cards available.

1. Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card focuses on what matters to the small business owner: cash-back rewards.

Earn cash-back for categories that target common business expenses such as services (internet, cable, landline, and cell phone) and purchases from office supply stores – all of which earn up to 5% cash-back for the first combined $25,000.

Both the generous sign-up bonus and no-interest APR offer make this card even more attractive. Check out the link to see the current offers.

Earn 1%-5% Cash-Back Rewards

As a business owner, chances are you find yourself saddled with the same types of bills each month. With the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, you’ll earn cash-back for these regular business expenses.

For instance, as we mentioned, you’ll earn 5% cash-back for combined purchases of up to $25,000 at office supply stores, as well as on landline, cell phone, cable TV, and internet services.

Also, earn 2% cash-back when you use the card for up to $25,000 at restaurants and gas stations. The rest of your purchases are worth an unlimited 1% cash-back.

Use your cash-back to qualify for travel rewards, or simply invest the money back into your business. 

Hot Tip: The 5% category out-earns most other reward credit cards both business and personal. This card combines well with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points in different categories.

An Introductory APR Offer: Better Than a Business Loan

This cash-back reward card comes with a great no-interest introductory APR offer. It’s a terrific feature for small business owners just starting out who need cash flow to get established but can’t qualify for a business loan.

You can utilize this offer for both purchases and balance transfers. Check out the link above for the current offer.

Accrue Points With Free Employee Cards

Employee cards won’t cost you a cent! Give cards to your employees and encourage them to use them. After all, you’ll receive 2% cash-back for everyday business expenses such as gas station and restaurant purchases. 

When you add up the points from all the cards, you’ll be eligible for countless cash-back rewards!

Benefits

  • Broad range of bonus point categories earn up to 5% cash-back, more than most cash-back rewards cards
  • Cash-back automatically converts to Ultimate Rewards program points good for statement credit, gift cards, and merchandise
  • No annual fee helps you get the maximum value in cash-back and travel rewards for your spending 

Drawbacks

Bottom Line: If you want to earn cash-back fast, the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is a good bet. Earn a whopping 5% for some business expenses, and convert to Ultimate Rewards points to use for travel.

2. The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN has 2 features that make it unique:

  • Earn cash-back by paying your bill early
  • Take 60 days to pay if you wish – over a month longer than most business credit cards!

Considering there are no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee until the second year, there is plenty to like about this card.

Flexible Payment Options: Just Right for the Business Owner on a Budget

What’s more important to you as a small business owner – earning the maximum amount of cash-back, or having more time to pay your bill? The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN lets you choose from both options with every statement.

You’ll receive cash-back for payments made toward your balance within 10 days of the statement closing date. For instance, pay $1,000 toward your $5,000 balance within the 10-day time frame and you’ll find a $10.50 credit on your next bill.

There’s no cap on the amount of cash rewards you can collect this way!

If you prefer to push your due date back a bit, just pay within 60 days of the statement closing date. You still won’t accrue interest or late fees.

More Purchasing Power for Business Expenses

This cash-back rewards card doesn’t have a preset spending limit because it’s not a charge card. Therefore, you have flexibility when a big business expense is on the horizon. 

Of course, your purchasing power isn’t unlimited. American Express considers a variety of factors before approving charges, such as your credit record and payment history.

Fewer Fees for Budget-Conscious Business Owners 

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN is one of the few American Express cards that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee for international purchases. This feature alone can save your business up to 3% per transaction.

In addition, you won’t pay an annual fee the first year, which saves you $250 automatically. That’s 12 months to see how the cash-back rewards stack up against other credit card offers.

Benefits

  • Flexibility to pay early (and earn 1.5% cash-back) or take up to 60 days interest-free
  • Enjoy cash-back rewards for 1 year without an annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees for international purchases 

Drawbacks

  • Must pay in full by due date or incur a 1.5% (or $38) late fee and 2.99% of the past due balance 
  • Annual fee of $250 (after first year) is high compared to many business credit cards
  • No cash-back rewards if payment not made within 10 days of the statement close date

Bottom Line: Take control over your benefits with The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN. Pay all (or a portion) of your statement balance early for cash-back when you need it. When cash-flow is a priority, take up to 60 days to pay.

3. SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

Get cash-back on the bills you pay most with the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

For instance, earn a 5% cash reward for wireless services and at office supply stores. Then, pick a category from a pre-selected list to earn 3% cash-back.

Basically, you get to personalize the card to maximize your cash-back rewards. Are you planning on investing in computer hardware this year? That’s on the list. Travel on a regular basis? Pick airfare or hotel expenses. And there are 5 more options!

Also, there are tons of features designed with the business owner in mind like free employee cards, online statements, and even the opportunity to earn more cash-back with OPEN Savings partners.

This card typically comes with a one-time bonus when you sign up too!

Earn up to 5% in Cash-Back Rewards for Business Expenses

With the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, cash-back rewards are based on the way you use the card.

When you pay for wireless telephone services (U.S. providers only) and purchases at U.S. office supply stores, you’ll earn 5% cash-back.

Once a year, select a category from 8 options (see features above) to earn 3% cash-back. Note that the 5% and 3% categories max out after you spend $50,000 in both of them combined.

Everything else you put on the card (the remaining 7 of the 8 categories plus anything after the first $50,000 in spending) gets you 1% cash-back.

This cash-back is automatically applied to your credit card statement, so there are no extra steps to redeem for cash-back rewards.

Receive Perks for Your Business From American Express OPEN

Because this is an American Express OPEN card, you also earn 5% cash-back for purchases made from OPEN Savings partners like FedEx, Hertz, and more.

But that’s not all you get!

American Express OPEN cards come with ReceiptMatch, which helps you manage your account in Quickbooks. Plus, access your credit card account through the mobile and tablet apps and stay on top of charges with online statements.

You can even appoint someone in your business to manage the account for you.

No Annual Fee Means More Money for Your Business

Credit cards can cost hundreds of dollars a year in annual fees, but that’s not the case with SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. In fact, there is no annual fee at all. Instead, you can spend your hard-earned money on other business expenses – or a vacation!

Benefits

  • A high cash-back rewards rate provides great value
  • Perks from American Express OPEN (online statements, the ability to connect to QuickBooks, and more) keep your business running smoothly
  • No annual fee to worry about, so you can put your money where it matters most

Drawbacks

  • Foreign transaction fee applies to international purchases, which can become expensive
  • Can only choose a single 3% earning category each year 
  • Cash-back is applied as statement credit, so there are no travel rewards

Bottom Line: Not only does the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express make it simple to accrue cash-back quickly, it helps you run your business online and offline. This card issuer tops it off by not charging an annual fee, making it a no-brainer for business owners.

How To Redeem Your Points 

Now for the fun…redeeming the points you earned!

All 3 of these cards are cash-back credit cards, but there is a slight difference between making redemptions with the Chase business card and American Express business cards.

With The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN and the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, cash-back earned is applied directly to your statement balance (second billing period). You don’t have to do a thing.

However, while you can apply cash-back as statement credit with the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, it won’t happen automatically.

Instead, your cash-back is deposited into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account in the form of points. From there, you can choose to apply $20 in credit for every 2,000 points, or redeem points for gifts and merchandise.

Even better, if you also have one of the 3 Chase travel cards at your disposal, you can transfer your points to a variety of Chase travel partners! Check out our transfer partner calculator to see how many miles are needed for your upcoming trip.

For example, you could take a one-way first-class trip to Hawaii by transferring 40,000 Chase points to Singapore KrisFlyer, or a trip to Europe in economy class by transferring 60,000 points to United MileagePlus!

Check out more options in our article on redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Conclusion

We understand that when it comes to cash-back credit cards, you have numerous options. Hopefully, this review has helped you determine which card is most advantageous for your business needs:

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Featured Photo:  Yanawut Suntornkij/Shutterstock.com
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Special Offer: Earn up to $400 cash back
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back.
  • 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I earn points with a business cash-back card?
Each of the 3 cards in this cash-back business credit card review accrues points slightly differently.

Use the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card to earn 5% cash-back in the Chase reward program for combined purchases up to $25,000 at office supply stores and the following services:

  • landlines
  • cell phone
  • cable TV
  • internet

You'll also earn 2% cash-back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $25,000) and 1% on everything else.

Use The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN to get 1.5% cash-back for the portion of your balance paid within 10 days of the statement ending date.

Finally, use the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express to earn 5% cash-back for wireless telephone services and office supply store purchases (both U.S. only).

In addition, you'll earn 3% with this card for a category you choose from 8 options. The 5% and 3% categories max out after the first $50,000 in spending combined.

All remaining purchases earn 1% cash-back.

Which business credit card offers the most cash-back rewards?
It depends on which business expenses you put on the card. For instance, earn up to 5% in certain categories when you use the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card or the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express only earns 1.5% cash-back, but there is no limit to how much you can earn.

Do any of the cash-back business credit cards allow balance transfers?
You may transfer balances to The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN. A balance transfer may be useful to a business owner who needs to keep cash flow up.

You may not transfer balances to the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

Are there any cash-back business credit cards that don't charge foreign transaction fees?
The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN does not charge a foreign transaction fee.

Is there a business cash-back credit card with no annual fee?
The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN have no annual fee.

What is the difference between a personal cash-back credit card and a business cash-back credit card?
Business credit cards typically have higher spending limits than personal credit cards. In addition, many business credit cards offer more bonus points for business-related categories such as office supplies, cell phone services, and fuel from gas stations.

It's important to be aware that as a business owner, you're not covered by consumer protection laws designed to protect cardholders from out-of-control late fees and escalating APRs.