All information about the Capital One Spark Classic for Business has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
Comparing the best business credit cards of 2023
|Business Credit Card||Best For||Intro Bonus||Rewards Rate||Annual Fee||CreditCards.com Rating|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||Simple rewards program||$750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||1.5% unlimited||$0||4.0 / 5|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||Cash back on office supplies||$750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||5% on office supplies, internet, 2% at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year)
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
|Capital One Spark Miles for Business||Rewards||50,000 miles after spending $4,500 within the first 3 months||5X miles on hotels and rentals through Capital One Travel, 2X miles per dollar||$0 first year, then $95||4.2 / 5|
|Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card||Large purchases||$1,000 cash back after spending $10,000 on purchases in first 3 months of account opening||5% cash back on travel booked through Chase travel portal, 2.5% cash back on purchases over $5,000, 2% cash back on all other eligible purchases||$195||3.7 / 5|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||Long intro APR period on purchases||15,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership||2X (up to $50,000 in annual spend, then 1X)||$0||4.1 / 5|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||Corporate business card||70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership||4X per dollar on the two categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle (first $150,000 in purchases yearly)||$295||4.4 / 5|
|American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card||Simple rewards redemption||$250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of membership||2% (up to $50k in annual spend, then 1%)||$0||4.4 / 5|
|Capital One Spark Cash Plus||Flat-rate cash back||$1,200 cash back once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months||5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 2% cash back on all other purchases||$150||4.7 / 5|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Luxury travel perks||120,000 points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership||5X on flights and prepaid hotels through amextravel.com, 1.5X on purchases of $5,000 or more and select business supplies
1.5X points on US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers
|$695||4.9 / 5|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card||Flat-rate unlimited boosted rewards||$300 statement credit after spending at least $3,000 in net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening||Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases||$0||4.1/ 5|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card||Return to office||$300 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in first 90 days||3% cash back on a category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining purchases (on up to $50,000 in combined 2% and 3% category purchases per year, then 1%)
1% cash back on other purchases
|$0||3.9 / 5|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||Sign-up bonus||100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months||3X on travel, select business categories, 1X on all other purchases
Up to $150,000 annually, then 1 point per dollar
|$95||4.5 / 5|
|U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard||Gas||60,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 in the first 180 days||5X points on hotels and rental cards when booked directly in Rewards Center, 4X points on travel on first $150,000 combined annual purchases, 2X points on dining||$125||3.9 / 5|
|The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||Hilton loyalists||Limited Time Offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 7/19/23.||12X per dollar at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on select business and travel purchases, 3X on all other eligible purchases||$95||5.0 / 5|
|Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card||Affordable travel perks||Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first three months of card membership. Offer Ends 8/2/23.||2X miles per dollar on direct Delta purchases, on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on eligible U.S. shipping and at restaurants, 1X on every eligible purchase||$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99||4.6 / 5|
|Brex 30 Card||Startups||50,000 bonus points after spending $9,000 within 30 days||7X on rideshares, 4X on Brex Travel bookings, 3X at restaurants, 2X on recurring software||$0||3.6 / 5|
|Capital on Tap Business Credit Card||Low interest||$200 cash back after spending $15,000 in first three months||1.5% cash back on all purchases||$0||3.4 / 5|
|Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit||No annual fee||$500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 within the first 3 months||5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 1.5% cash back on all other purchases||$0||4.0 / 5|
Editor’s picks: A closer look at our top-rated business credit cards
Best for simple rewards program: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
- Best Features: Not only will you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every business purchase, but you can also transfer your rewards to a qualifying Chase Ultimate Rewards card and boost their value by 25% when you redeem for travel. The no annual fee and generous sign-up bonus of $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening are also enticing.
- Biggest drawbacks: Points are only worth one cent unless you transfer them to a premium Ultimate Rewards card, plus you need a minimum of 2,000 points for redemptions.
- Alternatives: With The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, you can earn 2X points per dollar on every purchase, up to $50,000 per year (1 point per dollar thereafter). This keeps your rewards simple but more rewarding.
- Bottom line: This Ink Business Unlimited card is ideal for small-business owners looking for a straightforward rewards card without complicated rotating bonus categories and spending caps.
Related: Is the Ink Business Unlimited worth it?
Read our Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for cash back on office supplies: Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- Best Features: The Ink Business Cash card can help small-business owners save money on their everyday spending. The first $25,000 you spend every anniversary year will earn you the following: 5% cash back in combined purchases made in select business categories (office supply stores, as well as variable internet, cable and phone services) and 2% cash back in combined purchases made at gas stations and restaurants.
- Biggest drawbacks: Potential cardholders may be put off by the 2,000-point minimum for redemptions and the $25,000 cap on bonus category purchases.
- Alternatives: If your high-spending categories tend to lean toward travel purchases, you could get more value out of the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. It earns 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on every other purchase.
- Bottom line: This no-annual-fee business credit card is an excellent option for owners who spend heavily within the bonus cash back categories.
Related: Chase Ink Business Cash vs. Ink Business Unlimited
Read our Ink Business Cash® Credit Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for rewards: Capital One Spark Miles for Business
- Best Features: Cardholders will earn an unlimited 2X miles on all qualifying purchases, with no need to track spending or enroll in bonus categories, plus earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Additionally, there’s a welcome offer of 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 within the first 3 months.
- Biggest drawbacks: If you make a late payment, you could get hit with a higher variable penalty APR. Travelers should note that the list of partner airlines is limited, with only one domestic carrier among them.
- Alternatives: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a strong choice thanks to its versatile rewards program that includes high bonus rewards in travel and other select business categories.
- Bottom line: Consider the Capital One Spark Miles for Business if you’re looking for a flexible travel business rewards card – and you spend enough to justify the $95 annual fee (waived the first year).
Read our Capital One Spark Miles for Business review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for large purchases: Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card
- Best features: An impressive and unlimited flat rate of 2% and the chance to earn 2.5% on every purchase over $5,000 makes this a top pick for small-business owners with larger budgets who don’t want to worry about spending caps or having to track bonus categories or those who anticipate a larger upcoming purchase.
- Biggest drawbacks: The annual fee puts the card out of reach for small-business owners who can’t quickly offset the $195 annual fee and continue raking in cash back rewards. Plus, the benefits are limited compared to other business cards that offer statement credits, intro APR offers on purchases, or let you transfer your points to travel partners for a potentially higher redemption value.
- Alternatives: The Capital One Spark Cash Plus offers unlimited 2% cash back at a slightly lower annual fee ($150). But if you’re looking for a business card that lets you transfer your rewards to airline or hotel loyalty programs, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express could be a better fit despite the spending cap on the card’s generous flat rate.
- Bottom line: The Business Premier card is a great fit for high-spending small-business owners who want to earn flat-rate rewards without worrying about spending caps. But if travel makes up a big part of your expenses, other cards could prove more rewarding.
Jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for long intro APR period on purchases: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Best Features: American Express has several credit card solutions for small businesses. For new purchases, the Blue Business Plus card offers a lengthy introductory APR from the account opening date. Plus, you can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.
- Biggest drawbacks: The redemption options with this card are limited since you’ll get the best value redeeming for travel. Frequent international business travelers should also note the 2.7% foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees).
- Alternatives: The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card comes with a 2% cash back rate on all purchases up to $50,000 per year (1% cash back after) and lets you redeem for a statement credit or cash back without losing any value.
- Bottom line: The Blue Business Plus credit card is another solid option for business owners looking for a no-annual-fee card or flexible financing options.
Read The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best corporate business card: American Express® Business Gold Card
- Best Features: Large businesses will get a lot of value out of this card – especially if they spend big in two of Amex’s six high-earning bonus categories. The Amex Business Gold card automatically awards 4X points on the two select bonus categories you spend the most on each billing cycle. This applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (1X after that). There’s also features that help manage the business’ cash flow, such as Pay Over Time, and a 25% bonus on travel bookings.
- Biggest drawbacks: The annual fee is a steep $295. You won’t get as much value from the Amex Business Gold card if your most significant spending falls outside the following six categories: 1. airfare purchased directly from airlines; 2. U.S. purchases at gas stations; 3. U.S. shipping; 4. U.S. restaurants; 5. U.S computer software, hardware and cloud solutions from select technology providers; 6. U.S. online, radio, and TV advertising. And unless you plan to transfer points to airlines, you may be underwhelmed by the redemption options.
- Alternatives: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card also offers increased rewards in bonus categories but comes with a lower annual fee and a bigger sign-up bonus.
- Bottom line: The American Express Business Gold Card offers plenty of benefits to business owners who spend enough to take advantage of its lucrative welcome offer and net a return on the $295 annual fee.
Related: How I use my Amex Business Gold
Read our American Express® Business Gold Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for simple rewards redemption: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
- Best Features: A cash back rate of 2% (on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%) isn’t uncommon among business credit cards, but it is special when paired with no annual fee. This no-frills card also offers a 0% introductory APR (18.24% – 26.24% variable APR) on new purchases for the first year of membership.
- Biggest drawbacks: The 2% cash back rate caps at $50,000 in purchases per calendar year (then 1%). If you plan to exceed that figure with business purchases, perhaps consider a card with a higher spending cap.
- Alternatives: If your business makes a lot of office-related purchases, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers a higher rewards rate in that category.
- Bottom line: One of the best credit cards on the market, the American Express Blue Business Cash card is a standout option for new business credit card owners whose current expenses might not justify a card with an annual fee.
Related: American Express Blue Business® Plus vs. Blue Business Cash™
Read our American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for flat-rate cash back: Capital One Spark Cash Plus
- Best Features: Similar to the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, cardholders will earn an unlimited 2% cash back on all qualifying purchases, with no need to track spending or enroll in bonus categories, plus earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Additionally, there’s a higher welcome bonus of $1,200 cash back once you spend $30,000 in the first three months.
- Biggest drawbacks: Because this is a charge card, you must pay off your balance in full each billing cycle. It also carries no ongoing APR or 0% introductory APR offers, making it less useful for those who need to free up cash flow or chip away at business expenses over time. The $150 annual fee and high spend thresholds for the sign-up bonus could make this card too costly for some business owners.
- Alternatives: If you tend to carry a balance each month, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has a variable APR rate for purchases. Depending on your creditworthiness, this could be a good choice for a low-interest business credit card.
- Bottom line: Business owners looking for a straightforward way to earn cash back on their everyday purchases will get a lot of value from the Spark Cash Plus, particularly heavy spenders, due to its flexible spending limits.
Read our Capital One Spark Plus review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for luxury travel perks: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Best Features: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business credit cards for travel. Cardmembers get a generous welcome offer of 120,000 points if you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months, an airline fee credit of up to $200 every year with one qualifying airline (enrollment required), airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- Biggest drawbacks: The annual fee is super high at $695, as is the spending requirement associated with the current welcome offer. Prospective cardholders should consider whether you spend and travel enough to justify these costs.
- Alternatives: If you’re not a frequent business traveler eager to turn points and miles into travel rewards booked through American Express Travel, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has redemption options that may be a better fit for you.
- Bottom line: With the Business Platinum Card from American Express, big business spenders who frequently travel for work can reap first-class benefits, including free airport lounge access, seat upgrades and a 24-hour concierge service.
Related: Who should and shouldn’t get the Business Platinum Card from Amex
Read The Business Platinum Card® from American Express review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for flat-rate unlimited boosted rewards: Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
- Best Features: This card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and charges no annual fee. But the real value goes to Preferred Rewards for Business clients at Bank of America or Merrill, who can get up to a 75% boost in rewards. That means cardholders could enjoy an unlimited flat rate of up to 2.62% cash back on all qualifying purchases.
- Biggest drawbacks: Big spenders who are not existing Bank of America or Merrill Preferred Rewards clients may be better served by a card with a higher rewards rate on business-specific bonus categories.
- Alternatives: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a no-annual-fee business credit card that earns 2X points per dollar on all purchases for the first $50,000 spent each year and 1X points after.
- Bottom line: Those who qualify for Preferred Rewards for Business have an opportunity to earn an impressive amount of rewards with the Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard®.
Read our Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for businesses going back to the office: Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
- Best Features: This versatile business card has plenty to like, including its lucrative rewards rate on dining and bonus categories of your choice, such as gas, office supplies or business consulting services. The low end of the variable APR will also be a plus for those who qualify, as well as the no annual fee.
- Biggest drawbacks: This card requires excellent credit and lacks many of the perks and management tools similar business cards offer. And while there’s a lot of potential value here, not everyone will want to keep track of rotating categories.
- Alternatives: The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a higher sign-up bonus and allows cardholders to earn higher rewards rates in multiple business-related categories.
- Bottom line: If your business requires a lot of time spent on the road or long power lunches with clients, you can get a lot of value out of the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard®.
Read our Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for sign-up bonus: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Best Features: With the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 3X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases made on travel and in select business categories each account anniversary year. The card also touts a hefty sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after spending $15,000 within the first three months, worth $1,250 toward future travel when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Biggest drawbacks: This isn’t the best credit card for business owners who want to do a balance transfer or finance a large purchase since it doesn’t offer a 0% introductory APR.
- Alternatives: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express comes with a lengthy introductory APR on purchases and earns 2X points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent on purchases each year, 1x points per dollar thereafter.
- Bottom line: Big business spenders might want to take advantage of the Ink Business Preferred’s top-of-the-line sign-up bonus and rewards program.
Related: 5 reasons to get the Chase Ink Preferred
Read our Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for gas: U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®
- Best Features: Along with a solid rewards rate on airfare, hotels, gas and EV charging, cardholders enjoy no foreign transaction fees, airport lounge access and the ability to pool points with a personal U.S. Bank Altitude card
- Biggest drawbacks: While the travel features are great, those hoping for money back on business-focused categories will find this card lacking.
- Alternatives: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express combines the best of both worlds for big spenders with luxury perks and 1.5X points on various business categories.
- Bottom line: If you spend more time at an airport gate than a desk, the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect card can be very rewarding.
Read our U.S. Bank Business Altitude card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for Hilton loyalists: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
- Best Features: The welcome offer is generous with a Limited Time Offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 7/19/23. This can add up to some free hotel nights if you are strategic in your Hilton Honors redemptions.
- Biggest drawbacks: There’s not much value in other redemption options beyond Hilton hotel stays.
- Alternatives: The U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard offers a wide range travel perks and rewards categories that may make it a better fit for travelers who are not loyal to one hotel brand.
- Bottom line: Business owners who travel a lot or frequent Hilton hotels will generally find themselves well-served by this credit card.
Read The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for affordable travel perks: Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
- Best Features: Frequent Delta fliers can quickly rack up miles thanks to a number of perks, including a competitive base rewards program and lucrative welcome offer bonus. Cardholders can use miles for airfare, car rentals, hotels, merchandise and more. The miles don’t expire and there are no blackout dates.
- Biggest drawbacks: When redeeming miles, watch out for steep fuel surcharges.
- Alternatives: The flexibility and high rewards earning potential that comes with the American Express® Business Gold Card may be a better fit for travelers who don’t want to be tied to one airline.
- Bottom line: Delta loyalists will enjoy these card perks. But non-Delta fliers might want to look into flat-rate travel rewards credit cards.
Read our Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for startups: Brex 30 Card
- Best Features: CreditCards.com referrals get 50,000 bonus points after spending $9,000 within the first 30 days. In addition to the targeted bonus rewards categories, cardholders have access to built-in expense management, automatic receipt matching, and instant virtual cards for their team. The card also integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, Concur and Expensify.
- Biggest drawbacks: The Brex 30 Card is a charge card, meaning you’re required to pay your bill in full every 30 days. To be approved, you need to link a bank account containing at least $50,000 if professionally invested or $100,000 if not.
- Alternatives: If your startup tends to spend more in categories that fall outside of the Brex 30’s bonus rewards categories, the Capital One Spark Plus is a flat-rate credit card that offers up an unlimited 2% cash back on all of your purchases.
- Bottom line: Startup founders with a big bank account but limited credit history will find some value with the Brex 30 Card.
Read our Brex 30 Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for low interest with excellent credit: Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
- Best features: The low end of the variable APR rate is impressive for a credit card, especially one with no annual fee. Depending on your creditworthiness and eligibility, you may be able to use this as a low-interest business credit card.
- Biggest drawbacks: While the card carries an impressive low-end APR, it also has one of the highest high-end APRs offered on a business credit card. Plus, Capital on Tap calls this, “The credit card built for small businesses.” But it currently doesn’t accept applications from sole proprietors who make up the majority of small businesses.
- Alternatives: The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is a flat-rate business credit card available to most small-business owners, including sole proprietors. It offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and comes with a more modest variable APR rate. Plus, you’ll have an easier time qualifying for the sign-up bonus, which earns $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Bottom line: For a lot of small-business owners, the Capital on Tap card may not offer much value.
Read our Capital on Tap Business Credit Card review or jump back to this card’s offer details.
Best for no annual fee: Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit
- Best features: Its sign-up bonus and low potential interest rate offer cardholders many advantages, as well as the opportunity to redeem cash back earnings at any time for statement credit. That makes it easy to earn flexible rewards.
- Biggest drawbacks: In comparison to similar cards, this card doesn’t offer many unique business-related or travel benefits. Plus, there is no intro APR period for new purchases or balance transfers.
- Alternatives: If you prefer to have an intro APR offer on purchases, the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard has no annual fee and offers a 0% intro APR period for the first nine billing cycles (18.24% to 28.24% variable APR thereafter).
Bottom line: For no annual fee, this card is a great beginner business card for those who are just starting out and want to earn uncomplicated rewards on all purchases.
Read our Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit review or jump back to offer details.
What are business credit cards?
A business credit card is a revolving line of credit used by small-business owners to make purchases or withdraw cash. Like personal cards, business credit cards carry interest charges if not paid in full each month.
You’ll need to operate some type of business to qualify for a business credit card, but it doesn’t have to be a formal business. Here’s what you need to know about business credit cards:
Who can apply for a small-business credit card?
Small-business credit cards aren’t just for formal business structures like a limited liability company (LLC), corporation or partnership. They can be used by anyone trying to make a profit by selling goods or services. This includes sole proprietors, such as freelancers, independent contractors and gig-economy workers.
How do business credit cards work?
A business credit card helps small-business owners keep track of their credit card spending. It allows a business to free up its cash flow while purchasing necessities via credit.
The best business credit cards are also designed to include special features that specifically benefit businesses, such as organized expense tracking tools and spending controls, along with discounts on internet and other services needed to run a business. For the business traveler, these cards offer a slew of high-end perks from airport lounge access to upgrades. In terms of accounting, it’s advantageous to have these expenses under one business credit card account.
What you should know about business credit cards
- Small-business credit cards can impact your personal credit. Most small-business credit cards will assess a business owner’s personal credit history before approving you for a new card. Some will also report your business activity to personal credit bureaus. This could have a negative impact if you make late payments on your business credit card or run up too much debt and have a high credit utilization ratio.
- Small-business credit cards have fewer consumer protections. The protections that apply to consumer cards, like those that prevent excessive fees and interest rate hikes, do not apply to business credit cards. However, business credit cards will often offer similar protections as a courtesy.
- Small-business credit cards have business-related features and benefits. The credit limits are usually higher on business credit cards than on personal credit cards. Plus, rewards and benefits are usually designed to meet the needs of small businesses. You can find discounts and rewards for office supplies, business-related travel, shipping and other common business expenses.
- Expect to sign a personal guarantee when applying for a small-business credit card. Nearly all business credit cards require you to sign a personal guarantee before you’re approved. A personal guarantee states that the cardholder agrees to be personally liable for the debt. This means you agree to pay back any debt even if your business fails.
Types of business credit cards
From secured to high-limit business credit cards, there are plenty of options to choose from. To determine the ideal business credit card for you, you’ll need to compare credit cards to see which one provides the most value to you and your business. Here’s a breakdown of different types of cards and how they might fit your financial needs and business objectives:
Pros and cons of business credit cards
- They can help build business credit: Using a business credit card responsibly can increase your business credit score, which looks better to vendors and can secure you the best interest rates on business loans.
- Tax benefits: Keeping business expenses separate from personal ones makes tax records simpler to unravel and provides peace of mind during tax season.
- Lucrative rewards: Businesses can benefit greatly from the rewards earned on spending, particularly on cards that offer high-value rewards rates.
- Increase cash flow: Using a business credit card to pay vendors or suppliers can stabilize cash flow while your business is waiting for payments to come in. Plus, the cards can even be used to raise startup funding.
- Potentially high interest rates: Business cards generally have higher fees and interest rates than personal credit cards.
- Can affect personal credit score: You may be personally liable for any unpaid debt on the cards, which can affect your personal credit score.
- Potential for misuse by employees: Larger organizations with multiple users listed on the account may have difficulty tracking down who made what purchase and verifying the business legitimacy of that purchase.
- Lack of consumer protection: Personal credit cards come with protections against instant rate hikes and capped fees. However, these protections do not apply to business cards and means your terms can change at any time.
Who should get a business credit card?
Business credit cards aren’t for everyone. Before shopping among credit cards for your business, determine whether you should get one in the first place. Here’s who should and shouldn’t get a business card:
How to choose a business credit card
Once you’ve determined you should get a business credit card, the next task is to choose the best business credit card that meets your needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing a business card:
In what categories do you spend the most?
Business credit cards often reward business-related expenses, such as office supplies, dining, or travel. Matching a business card with the spending categories most closely aligned to your business spending can increase the card’s value and maximize the amount you’re eligible to earn in rewards.
How much do you plan to spend monthly or yearly?
Some business credit cards have spending limits for their rewards. The Amex Blue Business Cash card earns its elevated 2% back, but only on the first $50,000 each calendar year, so spending more than $50,000 will drop the rate down to 1%. If your business spends less than that spending cap, then you could earn 2% all year. However, businesses that spend more each year or month might need cards with unlimited rewards or spending caps near $150,000 a year.
Do you need employee cards?
Business owners with employees may need employee cards. Employee cards allow employees to spend on the business account, bypassing the need for expense reports and reimbursements. Some card issuers charge for or limit employee cards, while other issuers offer unlimited virtual cards with custom limits for employees. If it’s important for your business to allow employees to spend with the business account, opt for a card offering low-cost or free employee cards.
Can you afford the annual fee?
The annual fees for business cards are often higher than those for personal cards. Still, the perks and benefits may be worth it and could offset the yearly cost. Before choosing a card, consider how much value the benefits offer your business. Then, determine if it’s enough to justify the annual fee for the size and budget of your business.
How to get a business credit card
If you’ve recently opened your business or have had one for a while, you may have already started receiving offers about applying for a business credit card. Applying for a business credit card is similar to applying for a personal credit card. Here are a few steps business owners can take to get started.
- Ensure you know your credit scores (business and personal): Most banks set a minimum credit score for each credit card they offer. Knowing your business and personal credit scores will help you know what your options are. The higher your credit score, the more (and better) options you could have when applying.
- Find the right card: Research several cards and banks and find the one that will fit with your business operations. Choosing a credit card with your current bank could help with your application process, since you already have a relationship with the bank. The types of purchases you will make on your card and the benefits you’d like to receive are also things to consider. For example, if you travel frequently, a credit card that offers high rewards rates on travel purchases could be an ideal choice.
- Gather the necessary information: When applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide personal information along with information about your business. Details may include your business’s name, address, employer ID or EIN number, annual revenue and number of employees. The bank may ask for more documentation during the verification process, so be prepared to supply documents regarding your business.
- Apply: Once you’ve done the necessary research and have determined a credit card you would like to apply for, the next step is to apply. Most banks allow you to apply for a business credit card online. Once your application is complete, you could receive a decision within a few minutes. If your application is denied, the bank is required to send a letter detailing the reason for denial.
Learn more about how to get a business credit card.
How to make the most out of a small-business card
- Secure a sign-up bonus. Business credit cards frequently tout sign-up bonuses worth $500 or more. Sign-up bonuses reward you for spending a certain amount with your card in a set time period, usually three months. The trick is to identify a sign-up bonus within your natural spending limits. You’ll want to avoid spending more than you can ultimately pay off in full, lest you lose those extra points to interest.
- Know your financing options. Cash flow management is an important issue for most small businesses. As such, issuers often offer promotional financing or business-friendly payment terms, such as an extended payment option, which lets business owners finance large purchases over a period of time with different terms than those used for routine purchases. Know the full suite of options you have to take advantage of.
- Make on-time payments. Aim to pay balances off in full each month or by the time an introductory APR expires. That way, you won’t lose any of your rewards to interest. At the very least, be sure to make all monthly payments on time. Set up auto-pay or request alerts to minimize the odds of missing a due date. Missed payments will negatively impact your credit scores and tack on additional fees.
- Use your secondary benefits and features. You may get more than rewards and flexible financing with your business credit card. Some issuers offer access to expense-management tools, purchase protection, extended warranties or certain travel insurance. You may also be able to do things like set custom limits for any authorized users added to the account. Read your credit card’s terms and conditions to get a full scope of its benefits.
- Deduct your interest and fees. You can generally deduct a portion of the interest and fees you pay on business expenses on your annual tax returns. (Note: This only applies to interest on business-related charges. If you use your business credit card for personal expenses, too, those charges aren’t eligible for a tax deduction.)
- Avoid charging personal expenses. That’ll make it much easier to complete your taxes each year and regularly reconcile your books, especially since some issuers provide a breakdown of the categories you’re spending on.
- Utilize employee cards. Many business credit cards allow the cardholder to add their employees as authorized users. While you will need to provide a guarantee to repay and watch out for interest charges, employee cards are a great tool for earning additional rewards on behalf of the company.
Business credit cards for fair or bad credit
It’s possible to get a business credit card if your credit score falls outside the good-to-excellent range, but your options are limited. If you have bad credit, you may have an easier time getting approved for a secured business credit card. These cards require a security deposit, which will act as your credit limit. This could be as low as $200, and if you want that deposit back, your account will have to be in good standing at the time of closing.
A secured business card may not come with top-of-the-line benefits, but it lets you keep your business accounts separate from your personal spending. And in some cases, you may even be able to earn rewards.
For example, with the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card, you’ll earn cash back or reward points. In other words, you can choose to earn 1.5% cash back on qualifying purchases or one point per $1 spent. If you choose the reward points, you’ll get 1,000 bonus points each billing cycle when you spend $1,000 on qualifying purchases. To get the Wells Fargo Business Secured Card, you’ll have to put down a minimum deposit of $500.
To learn more, check out our best business credit cards for bad credit.
How we picked the best business credit cards
Research methodology: We analyzed 368 business credit cards to identify the best offers currently on the market. The major factors we considered include:
- Rewards program: Ideally, a business credit card should reward you for the purchases your business frequently makes, whether that’s travel, office supplies or another category. We looked at whether a card offered a competitive rate of return in these spending categories as part of its base rewards program.
- Introductory bonus: In addition to solid base rewards, we considered whether the card offered bonus points, miles or cash back in exchange for a reasonable spend within the first few months of opening the account.
- Flexible financing offers: Many business owners use credit cards to finance large purchases, so we considered whether a specific card offered zero-interest introductory APRs on purchases and/or balance transfers. We also considered whether the card had other financing features, like a flexible credit limit.
- Overall value: Some business credit cards do carry annual fees, so we considered whether that fee was justified by the rewards program, introductory bonus and additional benefits.
Other criteria include redemption options and flexibility, customer service, small business perks and other rates or fees. Our business credit card reviews can help you compare offers to find the one that best suits your needs.
More information on business credit cards
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