From cups and coffee to staplers and sticky notes, running a business requires a lot of supplies — and expenses. One of the best ways to manage your daily expenditures is by using a business credit card for your purchases. Not only does a business card ensure you won’t be dependent on having cash on hand to make important purchases (which can be a problem when you’re waiting for invoices to get paid), but online issuer portals and mobile apps can be a good way to keep track of your spending.
Of course, as with personal credit cards, one of the best parts of a great business credit card is the rewards. Whether you want cash back, airline miles, or flexible rewards points, you can likely find a business card to suit you — and your business.
Top Cash Back Cards for Small Business
The most straightforward of rewards types, getting cash back for your purchases is like having a discount coupon that applies to just about everything.
When it comes to cash back cards, the Capital One Spark Cash card is certainly a strong contender. It has one of the best general cash back bonus levels, offering an unlimited 2% cash back on all of your purchases so you don’t have to keep track of bonus categories. The Spark Cash card also comes with a generous cash back bonus once you hit the initial spending requirements.
You can also add employee cards to your Spark Cash account — at no additional charge — and earn the same cash back rewards from employee purchases.
For those who don’t spend quite as much, the Capital One Spark Cash Select card has a lower spending requirement to receive the decent cash back bonus. You’ll also earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases. The best part? No annual fee.
If your business expenses involve a lot of car trips to the office supply store, the Ink Business Cash card may be for you. In addition to cash back at office supply stores, you can also earn bonus rewards on gas and dining. You won’t pay any annual fee for your Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, and your cash back rewards won’t expire as long as your account remains open. The online application takes just minutes to complete.
Your Spark Cash Select card also has no minimum requirements for redeeming your cash back, so you can get your money on your terms.
4. SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card
While the SimplyCash Plus Business card does not offer a signup bonus, it does have good cash back rewards that you can customize around your business needs. Additionally, the SimplyCash Plus card has no annual fee to undercut the value of your cash back rewards.
- Earn 5% cash back for your purchases on office supplies and communications
- Earn 3% cash back for purchases made in your customized category
- Get 0% APR on purchases for an initial 9-month period
As a bonus, the SimplyCash Plus Business card charges you no over-limit fees, and you get cash back on those purchases. You can apply online to see if you qualify for SimplyCash Plus.
5. Cash Rewards for Business
The Cash Rewards for Business credit card from Bank of America is a solid business card, offering a good signup bonus with one of the lowest spending requirements on the market. The online application takes just minutes to fill out, and you can redeem your cash back rewards as a statement credit or deposit to your Bank of America business checking or savings account.
- Receive $200 statement credit after spending just $500 in the first 60 days
- Earn 3% cash back in gas stations and office supply stores
- $0 annual fee
You’ll also enjoy 0% APR on new purchases for the first nine billing cycles after you open your new credit account.
Top Rewards & Points Cards for Small Business
Where cash back is the most straightforward rewards type, some business owners prefer the flexibility of points. In general, points can be redeemed in a variety of ways, including cash back, gift cards, travel, and products.
6. Business Platinum Card®
For businesses with a higher volume of spending, the Business Platinum card from American Express is a great option. You can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 in the first 90 days, and an extra 25,000 bonus points if you spend another $10,000 in those same 90 days. Other perks include:
- Receive a $200 airline fee credit annually
- Earn 1.5X points on purchases of $5k or more
- Pay no foreign transaction fees
The points you earn can be redeemed for anything from gift cards to flights, with travel booked on Delta commercial flights receiving a 20% discount. Apply online through the American Express website.
7. Business Gold Rewards Card
Offering a more easily attainable spending requirement for a still-meaty signup bonus, the Business Gold Rewards card from American Express is a good alternative if your business doesn’t spend enough to make the Platinum card worthwhile. A quick online application will net you:
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 3X rewards points in your chosen category, 2X in other categories
- Annual fee waived the first year
You can use your Business Gold card on your international business trips, as well, as you’ll pay no foreign transaction fees.
8. Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program is one of the more popular points programs on the market, and the Ink Bold lets you earn Ultimate Rewards points with every business purchase. If you’re frequently picking up paper or Post-Its at the local office supply store, the Ink Bold is a good option.
- Earn 5X points up to $50,000 spent on office supplies and communications
- Points never expire as long as account is open
- Purchase protection covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft
In just a few minutes you can complete the online application to start earning Ultimate Rewards.
9. Worldpoints for Business
A Bank of America product, the Worldpoints for Business card offers an easy-to-earn initial bonus as well as rewards redemption starting at only 2,500 points. You can redeem for gift cards, cash back, and travel.
- Earn a $200 bonus statement credit when you spend $500 within the first 60 days
- Earn 2X points on gas, restaurants, and office supplies
- Pay no annual fee
In most cases, you’ll receive a response within minutes after completing the easy online application.
Top Travel Cards for Small Business
As any frequent business traveler knows, a few perks can go a long way toward turning your business trip into a pleasure. In that respect, the right travel rewards card can make all the difference.
Whether you’re constantly in the air for business, or just want to earn miles toward your next vacation when making necessary business buys, the Capital One Spark Miles card is a good option. With a hefty signup bonus when you hit the minimum spending requirement, you can quickly earn free flights.
In addition to the ability to earn miles, your Capital One Spark Miles card comes with perks such as extended warranty protection and emergency assistance.
With an introductory 0% APR offer, unlimited cash back, and a signup bonus worth hundreds in free travel, the Capital One Spark Miles Select card is a solid choice for business travelers.
Enjoy $0 fraud liability on your Capital One Spark Miles Select card, so you never have to worry about charges from a lost or stolen card.
12. Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card
Not only does the Starwood Preferred Guest Business card from American Express provide the opportunity to earn rewards points at any Starwood property, but eligible purchases made in thousands of Marriott locations will also earn 2X points per dollar.
- Earn 25,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
- Free club lounge access when staying in a qualifying Starwood hotel
- Receive free WiFi access
Your Starwood Preferred Guest Business card will also net you complimentary SPG Gold Status after you spend $30,000 on your card in a calendar year. Fill out the online application to get started.
13. Delta Business Gold
With routes reaching more than 325 cities around the world, your Delta Business Gold card can help you earn free flights to just about anywhere you want to go. Only a short online application separates you from tons of Delta airline miles:
- Earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 2X miles on all Delta purchases, 1X everything else
- The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year
The Delta Business Gold card can help you save a little extra at the airport, too, with a free checked bag and a 20% statement credit for in-flight purchases on your Delta flight.
14. CitiBusiness American Airlines
American Airlines offers nearly 6,700 flights a day to 350 different destinations, making the CitiBusiness American Airlines credit card a top choice for frequent business flyers of all kinds.
- Earn 2X points on American Airlines purchases, plus gas, car rentals & cellphones
- Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
- Receive a free checked bag & priority 1 boarding on domestic flights
The CitiBusiness American Airlines card also waives the $95 annual fee the first year, so there’s no reason not to apply online today.
15. Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa
The Club Carlson Business Rewards comes with a choice signup bonus, giving you 50,000 bonus points after your first card purchase and an additional 35,000 bonus points for spending $2,500 in the first 90 days. Since Club Carlson free nights start at just 9,000 points, your signup bonus can be worth a full nine free nights.
- Earn 10X points on Club Carlson purchases and 5X points everywhere else
- Receive 40,000 bonus points every year when card is renewed
- Receive Gold Elite Status once you activate and use your card
The Club Carlson portfolio contains more than 1,000 properties, including the popular Radisson and Park Plaza hotel locations. You can apply online in minutes.
Top Card for Business Owners with Average/Fair Credit
While some credit card issuers claim they have no minimum credit score requirements, there is a correlation between credit scores and application approval. Most business cards, in particular, require good to excellent credit — but not all.
The process of building, or rebuilding, credit is a slow one, and you may be stuck with a credit score that is less than ideal. The Capital One Spark Classic credit card welcomes applicants with fair or average credit scores — and offers unlimited 1% cash back.
As with other Capital One business cards, you can also add employee cards to your account at no additional cost, multiplying the rewards you can earn.
Getting a Business Card with Bad Credit
Likely the biggest challenge in the business credit world is finding a business card when you have poor credit. Unfortunately, few want to take a risk on your business if you have bad credit. Your best bet may be to improve your credit through the responsible use of a consumer credit card. Some of our top-rated cards for people with poor credit are below to get you started.
The Total Visa® Card is an unsecured card that reports to all three major credit bureaus, which is what you want out of a credit-building card. You’ll receive a spending limit up to $300, depending on your creditworthiness.
In addition to the one-time processing fee, you’ll need to pay an annual fee every year, and a monthly service fee after the first year.
The First Access Visa® Card requires you to pay one-time processing fee to access the $300 credit line and will report your credit behavior to the three credit reporting agencies.
You’ll also pay an annual fee of $75 for the first year and $45 for every year after.
Another unsecured card that reports to all the bureaus, the Milestone® Mastercard® – Bad Credit Considered won’t charge you interest on purchases that are paid off before the due date of your statement.
The Milestone® Mastercard® – Bad Credit Considered actually determines your annual fee based on your credit profile and APR, with fees ranging between $35-$99.
Earn Rewards While You Grow Your Small Business
Whether you’re a CFO or one-man show, a good business credit card is a must-have — especially when it can help you earn miles or points toward free travel and rewards on every stapler and coffee cup. With so many options on the market, choosing the right business card will likely come down to choosing the best rewards for your business style and spending habits, so make sure to compare your options before making a selection.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.