27 Best Small Business Credit Cards in 2019

27 Best Small Business Credit Cards in 2019

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: April 3, 2019
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines and are updated regularly.

One of the fundamental financial rules of having your own business is that you must keep your personal and business finances as separate as possible. This not only means keeping independent bank accounts for your business, but it also includes individual personal and business credit cards.

And it’s more than simply good accounting. Small business credit cards can also help you build business credit — which is important in getting business loans and vendor credit lines — and, with the right card, boost your bottom line with things like rewards and purchase protections.

As in the consumer market, however, the world of small business credit cards is full to bursting with options. To select the best card for your business, make sure you think about what you need and want out of your card. Here are some of our top picks to get you started.

Overall | No Annual Fee | Cash Back | Points & Miles | Travel | 0% APR | Signup Bonus | Freelancers | New Businesses

Best Overall Small Business Cards

For every small business that exists, there also exists a distinct set of needs and wants out of a small business credit card. That being said, some expenses and requirements are shared among many businesses of various types and sizes.

So, what makes a good overall small business credit card? In a word: features. These cards offer lucrative rewards, valuable purchase protections, free employee cards, and a host of financial tools that can help you keep track of your business purchases.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

This card offers useful rewards for a range of businesses thanks to its broad bonus categories that include office supplies, internet and phone services, and even restaurant purchases. In addition, users pay no annual fee, enjoy $0 fraud liability, primary business rental car coverage, and even an introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 23.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Another Chase card, this option is a good pick for businesses with decent monthly spend — the annual fee means you’ll need to earn a certain amount of rewards each year just to break even — or with a lot of dedicated travel, shipping, advertising, and/or communications expenses. The card earns transferable Ultimate Rewards® points, one of the most popular rewards currencies.

3. Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a solid option for smaller businesses, as it offers 2X Membership Rewards® points per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, regardless of purchase category.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1X points per $1 thereafter
  • Pay no annual fee

Membership Rewards® points are a popular transferable rewards currency that also provides competitive value when redeemed for travel through American Express. Redeeming for cash back provides the least value, so this card shouldn’t be used as a cash back option.

Best Small Business Cards with No Annual Fee

Running a business is expensive. Even the smallest side hustle can come with necessary costs, whether it’s purchasing supplies or buying hosting and bandwidth. And those expenses continue to grow with the size of your company.

However, when used wisely, your small business credit card doesn’t have to add to the cost of doing business. In fact, with our top no-annual-fee business cards, you can even come out ahead thanks to great purchase rewards and useful benefits.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Sitting high on many lists of the best business cards, this is a feature-rich card despite its lack of an annual fee. It offers cash back on every purchase, plus bonus cash back in a number of categories that can benefit businesses of all types. New cardholders also enjoy a big signup bonus and an introductory interest rate deal.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earning unlimited 1.5% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 15.24% - 23.24% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Use Spark Cash Select across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 months
N/A
15.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

This no-annual-fee business card option makes earning and redeeming rewards simple, making it a good option for business owners who don’t want to spend time tracking categories or dealing with points. Cardholders earn the same 1.5% cash back on every purchase, rewards that are easy to redeem and won’t expire so long as the account remains open.

6. Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express earns big for a card with no annual fee, offering 2X points per dollar on every purchase, with no categories to track.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1X points per $1 thereafter
  • Pay no annual fee

Membership Rewards® points can be redeemed for select travel purchases through amextravel.com at a fixed value, or they can be transformed into frequent flyer miles or hotel loyalty points when they’re transferred to an American Express travel partner program.

Best Small Business Cards for Cash Back

Although purchase rewards are hardly the only reason to get a business credit card — they certainly don’t hurt. But rewards are only valuable when they’re used, and complicated rewards programs that make redeeming them a chore can wind up taking much of the value out of your earnings.

Cash back rewards tend to be the simplest form to earn and redeem, providing an easy way to get statement credits to cover any type of card purchase. Even better, with the variety of cash back business cards on the market, you can still maximize your rewards with a card that complements your company’s spending habits.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

This card has a lot to offer in the cash back realm, especially for a card with no annual fee. Users earn 5% cash back on office supplies as well as internet, cable, and phone services. In addition, cardholders earn 2% cash back on both gas station and restaurant purchases. Keep in mind that rewards are capped at the first $25,000 in purchases for each category tier each year.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

If you don’t want to keep track of categories, spending caps, or any other rewards details, this might be the right pick. Every purchase earns the same 1.5% cash back, regardless of category, making it simple to earn rewards without having to give it a second thought. And, with no annual fee, there’s no cost to keep the card in your wallet.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Another unlimited cash back card, this option is good for businesses that put a lot of spend on their card. That’s because, while the card offers a higher-than-average 2% unlimited earnings rate, it also has an annual fee. That means you’ll need to do the math to figure out if you’ll earn enough rewards to compensate for the annual fee.

Best Small Business Cards for Points & Miles

As nice as simple cash back can be, savvy small business owners like points and miles rewards cards because of the potential for maximizing the value of their earnings. Indeed, with a good transferable rewards program and some smart redemption, it’s easy to get a value of 2¢ or more per point, particularly for travel redemption.

Our top picks for points and miles business cards span several transferable rewards programs from different banks. Each rewards program has its pros and cons — including its own portfolio of transfer partners — so do a little research before selecting a card to find the program that best fits your company’s needs.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 23.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

One of the top business cards available, this card earns unlimited 1X points per dollar, plus triple points in four useful categories (on up to $150,000 in combined category purchases per year). The rewards you earn with this card are part of the very popular Ultimate Rewards© program, which is known for its useful travel portal as well as its diverse collection of transfer partners.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® application fee
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is lost or stolen
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Business owners who don’t want the hassle of keeping track of categories may like this option, which earns an unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase. Miles can be redeemed at a flat rate toward eligible travel purchases on your card, or they can be turned into frequent flyer miles with any of Capital One’s transfer partners.

12. Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a great way to start earning transferable Membership Rewards® points, which can be redeemed for travel through Amex or transferred to a number of hotel and airline partner programs.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1X points per $1 thereafter
  • Pay no annual fee

This card is a good everyday card for a variety of businesses, as it provides 2X points per dollar on every purchase, regardless of the category. Keep in mind that bonus rewards are limited to the first $50,000 in purchases each year, however; after that, you’ll earn unlimited 1X point per dollar.

Best Small Business Cards for Travel

Although technology and the internet have made the world a much smaller place, some things simply can’t be done right through video conferences or group chats, making travel a necessity for many small business owners. Unfortunately, the cost of travel can be prohibitive, especially when you’re trying to grow your business — but a good business card can help.

If you’re dedicated to a specific airline or hotel chain, it can be beneficial to pick up its specific co-branded card. For anyone else, however, the flexibility offered by our picks of the best small business credit cards for travel will likely be more valuable than the extras offered by co-branded travel cards.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 23.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Not only does this card earn points in one of the most popular transferable points programs around — Chase Ultimate Rewards© — but it also allows users to earn 3X points per dollar on travel purchases, a broad bonus category that includes everything from hotels and airfare to parking and tolls.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® application fee
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is lost or stolen
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Users of this card can earn an unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, including travel purchases. Those rewards can be transferred to the loyalty programs of more than 10 travel partners, or they can be redeemed as a statement credit to cover a wide range of travel purchases at a flat rate.

15. American Express Business Platinum Card®

The American Express Business Platinum Card® is not for the low-budget small business, but it is ideal for business owners who spend a majority of their time on the go thanks to both high-rate rewards on flights and hotels, as well as a range of cardholder perks.

American Express Business Platinum Card®

  • Earn 5X points per $1 spent on flights and hotels booked through amextravel.com
  • Earn 1.5X points per $1 on purchases $5,000 and up
  • Pay $595 annual fee

Some of the card’s travel perks include an annual $200 airline fee credit, 35% back in points for airfare redemption, access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection — which includes over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide — and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®. Users also unlock elite status with Marriott and Hilton hotels.

Best Small Business Cards with 0% Intro APR

As wonderful a tool as a good business credit card can be for financing those everyday purchases that facilitate running a business, credit cards do have a serious downside: interest fees. Although a good grace period means you can have weeks to pay off a purchase without interest, sometimes you simply need more time.

That’s what introductory 0% APR offers are designed to do — they give you more time. A good intro-APR offer, like those from our top picks, can give you a year or more of interest-free financing so that you can spread out your purchases and pay them back on your schedule.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

This unlimited cash back card comes with 1.5% cash back on every purchase, plus a long introductory APR deal that provides 0% APR on new purchases. You can earn even cash back on your purchases and still enjoy 0% APR.

17. Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express has a generous 15-month introductory 0% APR offer that applies to both new purchases and balance transfers, and the card has no annual fee.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1X points per $1 thereafter
  • Pay no annual fee

Users can also earn 2X points per dollar on their new purchases while still enjoying the 0% interest rate offer. As with most cards, however, no rewards will be earned on transferred balances. A balance transfer fee may apply.

18. U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Platinum Card

The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Platinum Card is a low-cost option with no annual fee that provides users with a full year of 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers.

U.S. Bank Business Edge Platinum Card

  • Get 0% intro APR on balance transfers & new purchases for the first 12 months of account opening
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount transferred
  • Pay no annual fee

Although this card doesn’t offer any purchase rewards, it does offer a fairly low regular APR range (depending on cardholder qualifications), as well as a range of cardholder perks like $0 fraud liability, free employee cards, and spending reports and tracking.

Best Small Business Cards for a Big Signup Bonus

When used responsibly, rewards credit cards are a great way to earn cash back, points, or miles on those everyday business expenses that you’d be purchasing anyway. But, purchase rewards aren’t the only way you can use a business credit card to save on your business purchases — you can also earn big a signup bonus.

Typically only available to new cardholders, signup bonuses are lump-sum bonus rewards that can be earned by meeting a specific spending requirement — typically $3,000 to $5,000 — on your new card, generally within the first three months (though the specific requirements will vary by offer).

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.24% - 23.24% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The big signup bonus offered by this card has an equally big spending requirement, so it’s best for businesses with a lot of regular expenses and/or a few large purchases in the near future. The bonus comes in the form of a big stash of Ultimate Rewards© points that provide the best per-point value when redeemed for travel or transferred to an eligible airline or hotel partner.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Business owners who want a big bonus without the hassle of dealing with points can turn to this no-annual-fee cash back card that offers a huge cash signup bonus with a fairly reasonable spending requirement. And you’ll earn some decent cash back as you work on that spending requirement thanks to the card’s unlimited 1.5% cash back.

21. American Express Business Platinum Card®

The American Express Business Platinum Card® is one of many cards now offering a tiered signup bonus, with users eligible to earn up to 75,000 for a total of $20,000 spend within the first three months.

American Express Business Platinum Card®

  • Earn 5X points per $1 spent on flights and hotels booked through amextravel.com
  • Earn 1.5X points per $1 on purchases $5,000 and up
  • Pay $595 annual fee

Users earn 50,000 points for reaching $10,000 in spend in the first three months, but they can earn an additional 25,000 points for another $10,000 in card spend. New cardholders also qualify for one year of Platinum Global Access to WeWork, a network of community workspaces around the world.

Best Small Business Cards for Freelancers

A common misconception held by freelancers, and other sole proprietors, is that their business is too small for them to need a business credit card, or that they won’t qualify for a card even if they wanted one. But, not only should freelancers separate their personal and business finances like any other business, they can likely find additional value in a good business credit card.

Of course, most freelancers aren’t working with the same level of spend as larger businesses, so the best cards will be those that can offer value even without a lot of monthly purchasing. Our top picks are cards without annual fees that also offer purchase rewards useful to freelancers in a variety of industries.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

This is a good cash back card for many types of business owners, including freelancers, as it offers up to 5% cash back on things that nearly any business owner can use, including internet and phone services — virtual necessities in today’s business world. The signup bonus spending requirement might be a little tough for small budgets, but can be good for large purchases or big expenses, such as buying new equipment or paying quarterly taxes.

23. Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express has no signup bonus, but its category-free 2X points per dollar make it easy to earn a competitive rate on pretty much any business expense no matter how small your budget.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1X points per $1 thereafter
  • Pay no annual fee

Double points are limited to the first $50,000 in annual spend, which makes the card best for independent freelancers and sole proprietors with limited budgets. The card charges no annual fee, so cardholders don’t have to worry about their credit card taking up valuable resources.

24. U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card is a no-annual-fee card that lets users customize their earnings by selecting their bonus points category from three broad options, including a Day-to-Day Expenses category that includes shipping, advertising, utilities, office supplies, and telecom and professional services.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

  • Earn 3X rewards points on a broad bonus category of your choice, including day-to-day expenses, automotive, and travel/entertainment
  • Earn unlimited 1X point on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

This card also has a signup bonus with a pretty reasonable spend, making it attainable for smaller budgets. Points can be redeemed for a variety of things, but users can get the best per-point value by redeeming for travel, as cash back provides less than 1¢ per point.

Best Small Business Cards for New Businesses

Building a new business can be an exciting time — but it can also an expensive time. One of the first things many new business owners do is establish a line of business credit, usually in the form of a small business credit card, as a way to keep track of expenses.

Unfortunately, without a business credit profile, your ability to get a small business credit card will depend on your personal credit. If your credit is good, then you’ll find a number of great options. However, if your personal credit needs a little work, you may need to go with an entry-level or secured business credit card.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 21.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

This card is a good option for new business owners who have at least good credit, and it offers a lot of perks that can help most types of businesses save while getting started, including cash back rewards in several useful categories. The card also has an introductory APR deal that can give cardholders more time to pay off necessary startup purchases.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Enjoy no annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase
  • Build business credit with responsible use
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy business benefits including Year-End Summaries, employee cards at no extra cost and experienced small business customer service
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
25.24% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

New business owners with fair or limited personal credit may find this option to be a good fit. This card has flexible credit requirements that make it accessible for a range of credit types, while still offering unlimited cash back rewards so users can earn while building business credit. Plus, the card doesn’t charge an annual fee.

27. Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is designed for business owners with limited or poor personal credit who may struggle to qualify for an unsecured business credit card. This card requires a deposit to open and maintain, and the credit line is determined based on the deposit.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase made with your card, redeemable as a statement credit or check
  • Access credit lines from $500 to $25,000
  • Pay $25 annual fee

This card has a small annual fee, but it doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees. Wells Fargo will periodically review the account to determine eligibility for upgrade to an unsecured account. The full deposit amount will be refunded when the account is closed or upgraded with a $0 balance.

(The information related to Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.)

Who Qualifies for a Business Credit Card?

As you might expect, the most basic requirement necessary to qualify for any business credit card is, well, a business. The being said, you don’t need to have a six-figure revenue stream or a bunch of employees to get a business credit card.

Essentially, if your business can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) — which is basically the business equivalent of a Social Security Number — or you file your taxes using a form 1099, you have a small business. Any of these types of businesses can qualify for a card:

  • Freelancers
  • Startups
  • Side hustles
  • Hobbyists
  • Sole proprietors
  • Partnerships
  • LLCs
  • S-corps
  • C-corps

Of course, when your company reaches the corporation level, both legally and in revenue, you may want to look into a corporate credit card, rather than a small business credit card (more on that in the section below).

Besides the requirement that you own a business, qualifying for a business credit card will be very similar to qualifying for a personal credit card — right down to needing to have decent personal credit. That’s because many small business card issuers will rely on your personal credit profile — and your personal guarantee — when evaluating your application, even if you provide an EIN.

One requirement that can be different from a personal credit card is the income requirement. While credit card issuers will obviously prefer your business to already have a reliable income stream, your business may still qualify for a new business credit card even before it starts pulling in a big profit.

That flexibility is due to the fact that banks understand it takes time to build a business to the point where it’s making a profit — but new businesses still need credit. Banks are happy to offer you credit while your business is young in hopes that you’ll stick around as you grow.

Screenshot of IRS EIN Application Page

You can obtain a business EIN (Employer Identification Number) online through the IRS website.

This also means you can often qualify for a business credit card for a low-income business, like a hobby or side hustle, without needing to worry about meeting income requirements. (So don’t fib about your revenue on your application — that’s a surefire way to get an application rejected or an account shut down.)

Small Business Credit Cards vs. Corporate Credit Cards

During the process of looking for a new business credit card, you may come across another type of card known as a corporate credit card. However, while some folks may use the terms business credit card and corporate credit card interchangeably, they actually represent two distinct product types.

A general small business credit card is available to any type of business owner, from the part-time freelancer up to the big CEO. Most small business cards can be easily applied for online, and the process usually involves a personal credit check in addition to looking at the business.

On the other hand, corporate credit cards — sometimes called commercial credit cards — are designed for, you guessed it, corporations. And yes, that means legally registered S or C corporations.

Additionally, though it varies by issuer, corporate credit cards tend to have very high minimum annual revenue requirements, with minimum requirements in the millions of dollars not uncommon. Furthermore, while some corporate credit card accounts can be applied for online, you may need to head into a branch to speak with an account manager to apply.

Of course, corporate credit cards differ from small business credit cards in more than the application requirements. They also tend to offer features designed to better suit the needs of large companies that may have many employees using a few accounts. These can include customizable billing setups, robust purchase tracking, and multiple types of analytics.

Do Business Credit Cards Impact Your Personal Credit?

Although business credit cards are a good way to keep your personal and business finances separated, your personal and business credit profiles can have a lot of overlap, with the amount depending on the specific card.

For one thing, most small business credit card issuers will want to check one, two, or all three of your personal credit reports when you apply, especially if your business has a limited or nonexistent credit history of its own.

Along those lines, most applications will request both your business EIN as well as your personal SSN. This also means that applying for a business credit card can result in a hard credit inquiry showing up on any credit reports pulled by the issuer.

Screenshot of Small Business Credit Card Application

Most small business credit cards will require you to provide information, including your personal income and Social Security number, when you apply.

For those interested in a Chase credit card, the fact that Chase will be looking at your personal credit profile has one extra implication for approval: the 5/24 Rule. Chase’s 5/24 Rule means you’ll be denied a new Chase credit card — even a business credit card — if you’ve opened five or more personal credit card accounts in the last 24 months, regardless of your credit scores or your company’s income.

The potential impact to your personal credit doesn’t end when you’re approved for a business credit card. Some issuers will actually report the payment history and utilization of your business card to the consumer bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — so it will show up on your personal credit reports and may impact your credit scores.

If your business utilization is reported to your personal credit profile, then you could potentially see a decrease in your personal credit score any time you put a large purchase on your business credit card. So, a bulk supply purchase or another big buy could cause your personal scores to drop by a noticeable amount.

And don’t forget that personal guarantee in the fine print of your business card’s terms and conditions. Most small business credit cards require you to personally guarantee the debt, meaning you take responsibility for the card’s balance even if your business can’t repay its debt.

Table of Issuers That Report Business Card Use to Consumer Bureaus

That guarantee also means you can’t just drop the company and run away from its debt. Business card issuers can — and will — come after you for that debt, which can also mean coming after your credit. Even issuers that don’t report your regular business card use to the consumer credit bureaus will usually be quick to report a delinquent business credit line.

Given that your payment history is worth up to 35% of your personal credit scores, having a delinquency on your reports — regardless of the fact that it’s from a business card — can have serious negative consequences.

How Do You Establish & Build a Business Credit Profile?

Regardless of whether a given business card issuer reports your activity to the consumer credit bureaus, the issuer will likely report your payment history and utilization to at least one of the largest business credit reporting agencies.

The primary business credit bureau is Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a company that provides business credit scoring services. Both Experian and Equifax, well-known consumer credit bureaus, also have divisions dedicated to business and commercial credit reporting.

Every business can — and should — establish its own business credit profile. The same way that companies use consumer credit reports and scores to judge your personal credit risk, so, too, do business lenders and vendors use business credit reports and scores to make important financial decisions about your business.

Although the basic tenets of building a good credit profile are the same for consumer and commercial credit, establishing your business credit profile requires a few more steps than simply opening a credit card:

  1. Apply with the IRS to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN): An EIN establishes your business as its own financial entity, and will be required for things like filing business taxes.
  2. Establish an individual business bank account: You’ll need a business bank account to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. Many lenders and vendors will require you to have a business checking account.
  3. Register for a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number: As the main business credit bureau, Dun & Bradstreet data is used by many major business lenders and vendors. That said, you should consider creating accounts with other major business credit reporting bureaus, as well.
  4. Open business credit lines: The types of accounts that can help you establish and build business history can include business credit cards, business loans, and bank-extended credit lines. Many business credit scoring models will also incorporate payment history from trade lines, or vendor and supplier credit lines.
  5. Use your credit wisely: Many of the same rules of consumer credit apply to building good business credit, starting with the golden rule: always, always, always pay on time — or early, as some reports indicate early bill payment can boost your business credit score.

As with consumer credit, a long (positive) credit history is an important part of a healthy business credit profile, so it’s a good idea to start establishing your business credit as early as possible. You may also need to have a minimum number of credit or trade lines to qualify for a credit score — Dun & Bradstreet scores typically require four — so a single credit card may not be enough.

This doesn’t mean you need to rush out and open a bunch of credit cards, however. Hundreds of vendors will allow you to set up a credit or trade line that can then be reported to the business credit bureaus. Your business can become eligible for a PAYDEX credit score, for example, so long as you have at least three reported trade lines.

Even if your business is small, you can likely find vendors that qualify for business credit reporting. That’s because eligible vendors can include basic services, like office supplies and water deliveries, so long as the vendor is willing to offer you a credit line and report your payment history to the bureaus.

Checking Your Business Credit Score

Each credit reporting bureau, major lender, and even some vendors will all likely have their own internal scoring models used to gauge the risk of businesses. Even companies that use outside scores may choose a different type of business credit score depending on their needs.

For example, the Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX score tends to be used by vendors to gauge how often a business pays its bills on time and as agreed. The Intelliscore Plus from Experian, however, is used by lenders to gauge a business’s overall credit risk for things like loans and credit lines.

In general, scoring models will take information from the same basic sources, and models can look at data on any or all of the following business factors:

  • Number of trade experiences
  • Outstanding balances
  • Payment habits
  • Credit utilization
  • Trends over time
  • Public record recency, frequency & dollar amount
  • Demographics (years on file, business size, etc.)

Actual score ranges will also vary based on the individual model used. For instance, the Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX and Experian Intelliscore Plus business credit scores range from 0 to 100, while the Equifax Business Credit Risk Score runs from 101 to 992, and the FICO small business score runs from 0 to 300. No matter the range, however, a higher score is better as it represents less risk.

You can check your business credit profiles and scores by purchasing a report through any of the reporting agencies or through a number of third-party companies. Some companies may also offer free business credit scores, like the free CreditSignal® report from D&B or the new Business CreditWise program from Capital One.

Checking your business credit reports regularly can be a good way to stay on top of your credit-building process, as well as helping to ensure that you can spot any potential issues– including signs of fraud — before they can become major problems.

Credit Cards for Businesses of All Sizes

Whether you run a 30-person staff or preside over a company of one, having distinct accounts for your business is not only good accounting, but just plain good business. Especially when you take the time to find a small business credit card that complements your company’s financial goals.

No matter the size of your business, you can likely find a business credit card that provides purchase rewards, cardholder protections, and other benefits that can save your small business time, money, and hassle.

Of course, both personal and business credit cards do have one important thing in common: They need to be used responsibly. Always, always, always pay your credit cards on time and, ideally, in full every month. Because practicing good credit habits is also good business.