Best Business Credit Cards

The best business credit cards can help you get more out of your everyday expenses. Earn rewards like cash back or travel miles, build your business credit and get organized with expense tracking tools. Whether you’re a freelancer or the owner of a brick and mortar storefront, responsible use of a business credit card can save you thousands every year.

Our experts analyzed 368 business credit cards to find you the best offers – here are the best business credit cards from our partners.

The best business credit cards can help you get more out of your everyday expenses. Earn rewards like cash back or travel miles, build your business credit and get organized with expense tracking tools. Whether you’re a freelancer or the owner of a brick and mortar storefront, responsible use of a business credit card can save you thousands every year.

Our experts analyzed 368 business credit cards to find you the best offers – here are the best business credit cards from our partners.

Editor: Laura Mohammad | Writer: Mariah Ackary

|

December 1, 2020

Creditcards.com’s Best Business Credit Cards

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

3X
Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
1X
Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases – with no limit to the amount you can earn

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
100,000 points

New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
15.99% - 20.99% variable
American Express® Business Gold Card
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

4X
Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.
1X
1X is earned for other purchases. **
25%
Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
35,000 points

Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*

Annual Fee
$295
Regular APR
14.24% - 22.24% variable
The Business Platinum Card®  from American Express
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5X
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
1.5X
Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
75,000 points

Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee
$595
Regular APR
14.24% - 22.24% variable
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2%
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
1%
1% cash back on all eligible purchases after spending $50,000 per calendar year.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
No annual fee
Regular APR
13.24% - 19.24% variable
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

4%
4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
3%
3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
2%
2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
1%
1% cash back on all other purchases

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.24% (Variable)
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2X
Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
1X
2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
No annual fee
Regular APR
13.24% - 19.24% variable
Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2%
Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$500

Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$95, waived first year
Regular APR
20.99% variable
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5%
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
2%
Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
1%
Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$750

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.24% - 19.24% variable
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2X
Earn 2 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on every dollar spent on eligible U.S. shipping purchases, on every eligible dollar spent on dining at restaurants.
1X
Earn 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
40,000 miles

Welcome Offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.

Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
Regular APR
15.74% - 24.74% variable
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2X
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
2X
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.
1X
Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
65,000 miles

Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.

Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months
Regular APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

12X
12X at hotels & resorts in the Hilton portfolio
6X
6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases
3X
3X on all other eligible purchases. Terms & Limitations Apply.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
130,000 points

Welcome Offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
15.74% - 24.74% variable
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Excellent

Credit Recommended (740-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

3X
Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.
1.5X
Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year.
1X
1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
45,000 miles

Welcome Offer: Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months.

Annual Fee
$250
Regular APR
15.74% - 24.74% variable
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

6x
6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
4x
4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2x
2x points on all other eligible purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
100,000 points

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months of Card Membership for all eligible purchases on your Card on U.S. Advertising in select Media. Plus receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (February 1, 2021-January 31, 2022). Offer ends 1/13/21.

Annual Fee
$125
Regular APR
15.74% - 24.74% variable

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.

All information about the Capital One Spark Classic for Business and U.S. Bank Credit Cards has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.


Comparing Business Credit Card Offers

For most businesses – from brick and mortar storefronts to “side-hustles” – a business credit card can be a great tool to track spending, save money on interest, and earn rewards.

Before applying, you should understand the application requirements and credit implications. Though business credit cards are very similar to personal credit cards, there are a few key differences to know about. Finally, it’s a good idea to decide what’s important to you – are you hoping to spread out payments for several large purchases? Or do you simply want to start earning cash back on the purchases you’re already making?

Once you’ve decided what you’re looking for, it’s time to start comparing credit cards. At this point, you’ll be ready to make an informed decision with your business’s unique needs in mind.


best business credit cards of 2020

Best Business Credit Cards

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card: Best for boosted rewards

Our review

Not only will you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every 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. It also comes with no annual fee and a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases – it’s 13.24%–19.24% variable after that. On the flip side, some business credit cards offer a higher rewards rate, such as the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Read our full review.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for business travel

Our review

A hefty sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after a $15,000 spend within the first 3 months makes this a stellar business card. And those 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward future travel when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The rewards rates are pretty great, too: 3X points on all travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services and advertising purchases with social media and search engines on your first $150,000 in combined purchases each year (1 point per dollar thereafter). On the other hand, this isn’t the best credit card for those who want to do a balance transfer or finance a large purchase since it doesn’t offer a 0% introductory APR. There’s also a $95 annual fee. Read our full review.

American Express® Business Gold Card: Best for no expiration on points

Our review

The welcome offer is only 35,000 points after a quite high $5,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership. However, in addition to no expiration on points, earn 4X points on 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month (on up to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year). The annual fee on this card is $295, which isn’t waived the first year. Read our full review.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for airline points

Our review

Earn a sizable 75,000 points after a $15,000 spending within the first 3 months of card membership. Also, get 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. The annual fee is super high at $595 and isn’t waived the first year. Read our full review.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card: Best for no annual fee

Our review

A cash back rate of 2% isn’t uncommon among business credit cards, but it is special when paired with no annual fee. Keep in mind, though, the 2% cash back applies only to your first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year (then 1%). This flat-rate cash back card offers some unique features, such as the possibility of spending beyond your credit limit and even earning cash back in those cases. Read our full review.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi: Best for everyday cash back

Our review

Business owners who are already Costco members will love this card’s rewards: 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (for the first $7,000 in purchases annually, then 1% after that), 3% on restaurants and eligible travel, 2% on Costco purchases, and 1% on general purchases. However, be aware that the cash back rewards are only issued once a year in February and are only redeemable at Costco. Read our full review.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for long intro APR period on purchases

Our review

The card offers a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 months (13.24% - 19.24% Variable thereafter), making it useful if you need to finance a large purchase. You’ll also earn 2X points for up to $50,000 a year on business expenses like office supplies and client dinners, and 1 point per dollar thereafter. Read our full review.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Best for cash back rewards

Our review

This card’s sign-up bonus is quite rewarding – earn $500 after a $4,500 spend within the first 3 months. Also, earn 2% cash back on all purchases, meaning you aren’t limited to certain categories. Although there’s a $95 annual fee, it’s waived the first year. You also get free employee cards, as well as quarterly and year-end summaries, no foreign transaction fees, and lost luggage reimbursement. Read our full review.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: Best for cash back on office supplies

Our review

It’s one of the only cards that includes a bonus on office supply spending, offering 5% cash back on your first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores, as well as internet, cable and phone services each anniversary year (1% thereafter). If you’re working from home for the foreseeable future, this cash back reward can be a great benefit for providing your employees the services they need to stay productive online. Read our full review.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: Best for hotel and flights redemption

Our review

After you spend $10,000 in a calendar year, you’ll earn a $100 Delta flight credit for future travel. Also, earn 2X miles on purchases made directly with Delta, on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, on eligible U.S. shipping purchases and on dining at restaurants. Then, earn 1X mile on other eligble purchases. The annual fee is only $99 and is waived the first year. Read our full review.

CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Best for business travel

Our review

As with any cobranded airline card, it only makes sense to get this card if you’re a brand loyalist who flies often, especially since it comes with a $99 annual fee (waived the first year). Small business owners will love the 2X AAdvantage miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations. Plus, the sign-up bonus is significant: Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. Read our full review.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Best for Hilton loyalists

Our review

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card’s welcome bonus is quite generous at 130,000 points after a $3,000 spend within the first 3 months, which can add up to a fair number of free hotel nights if you are strategic in your redemptions. And although there’s a $95 annual fee that isn’t waived the first year, the ongoing rewards are pretty awesome, including 12X points on Hilton hotel purchases, 6X points on select travel and business purchases, and 3X points on other eligible purchases. Read our full review.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Best for Delta rewards

Our review

This card’s annual fee is $250, which is on the lower end when compared to other luxury travel cards. Earn 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta and on purchases made directly with hotels. Then, earn 1.5X miles on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more up to 50,000 additional miles per year. It’s 1X mile on other purchases. Read our full review.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: Best for Marriott rewards

Our review

For a limited time, earn 100,000 points after $5,000 spent within your first 3 months. Earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months of card membership for eligible purchases on U.S. advertising in select media. You can also receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (February 1, 2021-January 31, 2022). Offer ends 1/13/21. Read our full review.

Comparing the best business credit cards offers:

Business Credit CardBest For:Rewards RateAnnual FeeCreditCards.com Rating
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit CardBoosted rewards1.5% unlimited$03.5 / 5
Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardSign-up bonus and high rewards on select business categories3X on travel, select business categories Up to $150,000 annually, then 1 point per dollar $953.8 / 5
American Express® Business Gold CardBest for no expiration on points4X per dollar on the two categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle (first $150,000 in purchases yearly)$2953.5 / 5
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressBest for airline points5X on flights and prepaid hotels through amextravel.com$5954.4 / 5
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressLong intro APR period2X (up to $50k in annual spend, then 1X) No annual fee4.2 / 5
American Express Blue Business Cash™ CardNo annual fee2% (up to $50k in annual spend, then 1%)No annual fee3.9 / 5
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by CitiEveryday cash back1% unlimited$02.6 / 5
Capital One Spark Cash for BusinessCash back rewards2% unlimited $0 intro for first year; $95 after that4.1 / 5
Ink Business Cash® Credit CardCash back with high rewards rate on office supplies5% on office supplies, internet 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 $03.3 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express CardBest for hotel and flights redemption2X miles per dollar on direct Delta purchases$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $993.9 / 5
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®Business travel2X AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases$99, waived for first 12 months 3.8 / 5
The Hilton Honors American Express Business CardHilton loyalists12 points per dollar on Hilton hotel purchases$954.4 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express CardBest for Delta rewards3X per dollar on direct Delta purchases and on purchases made directly with hotels$2504.4 / 5
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® CardBest for Marriott rewards6X per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels$1254.3 / 5

What are business credit cards?

Business credit cards are very similar to personal cards, just tailored to meet the needs of small-business owners. You’ll need to operate some type of business in order to qualify, though it doesn’t have to be a formal business. Gig workers and freelancers can be eligible, too. Here are a few things you should know about business credit cards:

  • The credit limits are usually higher on business credit cards than on personal credit cards.
  • 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.
  • Rewards and benefits are usually designed to meet the needs of small businesses. You can find discounts and rewards on utility services, shipping and other common business expenses.
  • The way you use a business credit card can affect both your credit and your business’s credit.

Can you apply for a business credit card?

Yes, you will have to formally apply in order to get a business credit card. The application process is similar to applying for a personal credit card. You’ll need to supply some basic information about yourself and your business. You’ll probably know most of the information off the top of your head, but two potential exceptions are annual revenue and EIN (the number issued by the IRS to businesses located in the United States or U.S. territories). If you’re a sole proprietor without an EIN, you can use your Social Security number.

How to apply for a business credit card

Once you’ve found the best credit card for your business, it’s time to apply. Here are four tips to help the application process go smoothly.

  1. Check your credit score – Credit card issuers will usually look into the business owner’s personal credit before approving an application, so it’s important to check your credit score before you start shopping around. Most business credit cards require good to excellent credit. If your credit needs some work, it’s probably in your best interest to spend time improving your score before applying.
  2. Compare business credit cards – With a wealth of offers on the market, choosing a business credit card can be overwhelming. You’ll want to consider rewards type, interest rates, fees and your business’s spending habits.
  3. Find out if you prequalify – By using a soft inquiry, which won’t affect your credit, our CardMatch™ tool can show you which credit cards you’re likely to be approved for in under 60 seconds. Plus, you may also get access to special offers, like a boosted introductory bonus.
  4. Complete your application – Once you’ve decided on a credit card, the hard part is over. You can apply online with any major issuer, mostly using information that you’ll know off the top of your head. Aside from the basics, like your business name and annual revenue, you’ll need to provide your business’s EIN (the number issued by the IRS to businesses located in the United States or U.S. territories). If you’re a sole proprietor without an EIN, you can use your Social Security number.

Understanding business credit cards

Even if you’re well-versed in the world of personal credit, you should make sure you understand how business credit cards work before you apply. Business credit cards are similar to consumer cards in many ways, but there are a few key differences.

Rewards that are tailored to small business expenses

Just as consumer cards aim to reward common household expenses, like groceries or drug store purchases, the best business cards reward common business expenses. You can shop around for the most useful category, whether that’s travel, dining, utility bills or gas.

Fewer legal protections

Thanks to the Credit Card Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, consumer credit cards have restrictions on fees and sudden interest rate changes. Unfortunately, business credit cards are not protected by this federal law. However, it’s common for business credit card issuers to extend these same protections as a courtesy.

Required personal guarantee

Nearly every business credit card requires you to provide a personal guarantee, which states that the cardholder agrees to be responsible for the debt. So if your business falls into financial hardship, any debt you’ve acquired on the credit card is your personal responsibility. That means that unpaid business debt will hurt your personal credit.

Your personal credit will be affected

Applying for a business credit card will almost certainly affect your credit in the short-term, but it varies after that. When you apply, the issuer will probably look at your personal credit before accepting or rejecting your application, especially if you don’t have existing business credit. This will be a hard inquiry and will likely decrease your score a little bit in the short-term.

After the application, the way your activity is reported depends on the card and the issuer. Some issuers will report only to business credit bureaus, so your personal credit wouldn’t be affected. Others report to both consumer and business credit bureaus, which means any activity on your business credit card has the potential to increase or decrease your personal credit score.

Research methodology: how we picked the best business cards

One of the factors we weighed most heavily when selecting the best business credit cards is rewards categories and rates. Ideally, a business credit card should reward you for the purchases your business makes frequently, whether that’s travel, office supplies, or another category. Introductory period and regular APR were also key factors in our decisions, since many business owners use credit cards to finance larger purchases.
Business credit cards analyzed: 368
Criteria used: Rewards categories, rewards rates, redemption options and flexibility, sign-up bonus, customer service, small business perks, annual fee and other rates.

How to choose the best credit card for your business

There’s no one-size-fits-all business credit card. Credit needs can vary greatly from business to business, and that’s why credit cards come in different shapes and sizes. “Choosing the right business credit card depends on what you’re looking for (cash back, free travel, low interest, etc.),” says Ted Rossman, our industry analyst. “There are lucrative sign-up bonuses to be had, and rewards on spending categories tailored for businesses (such as travel, technology, internet, phone, shipping and online advertising purchases).” Here’s what you need to consider in choosing the best card for your needs:

What types of rewards are you interested in?

hen it comes to rewards, you can typically categorize them in one of two categories – cash back or travel. You’ll need to decide which will be more rewarding for your business.

  • Decide whether cash back or travel points/miles will be more valuable to you.
    If you’re looking for simplicity, a cash back card is probably your best bet – you can redeem your cash back as a statement credit or have it deposited into a bank account without having to worry about how to use rewards points. If you travel often, a points or miles card will likely be more advantageous.
  • Decide how flexible you need your rewards program to be. Look for possible limitations like rewards expirations, earning limits and minimum redemption amounts.

How do you plan to use the card?

Once you’ve settled on the type of rewards that you prefer, you should think about what the next year or so holds in terms of business spending. Will you be furnishing your home office? What about jumping into online advertising?

  • What types of spending do you do? If you spend a lot at office supply stores, you might look at Ink Business Cash, which offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores and internet services. If you’re a frequent traveler, you should look at a card like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Or, if your spending tends to be varied, you may earn a higher rewards rate by choosing a flat-rate card that offers the same rewards rate on every purchase.
  • What kinds of purchases do you have planned? If you have a large purchase on the horizon, it may be helpful to split up payments over the course of a few months. In that case, a card with a 0% introductory APR will work in your favor. Or maybe you already have some business debt – a balance transfer card can help you minimize interest payments.

What is your credit score?

Whether or not you get approved for a business card can be widely based on your creditworthiness – so before you apply, it’s a good idea to conduct an audit of your personal credit score. Most issuers will require a good credit score (670 and above), while others may even require an excellent score (740 and above). Although there are a small number of cards that require fair credit (580-669), just like a personal card, you may increase your chances of getting approved for a business card with a higher credit score.

What kinds of benefits would you like?

While some benefits can save you money, others are aimed at saving time or headache. If you or your employees travel frequently, having no foreign transaction fees or lost luggage insurance may be the most helpful perk. If you have several employees who will be authorized users, having no fee for employee cards can help you save the most money.
Some common business credit card benefits you may want to hunt for include:

  • Travel benefits: No foreign transaction fees, car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside assistance and travel and emergency assistance
  • Business management tools: Quarterly and year-end summaries, QuickBooks integration ability, no fee for employee cards, ability to set individual spend limits for employee cards
  • Purchase safeguards: Price protection, purchase protection, extended warranty
  • Savings programs: Many business credit cards include programs such as VisaSavings Edge, Mastercard Easy Savings and American Express that give you a small discount with a select list of merchants.

Pro-tip: You can also find small-business benefits with external programs, too. For example, with Spring from Capital One you can access deals on services like FedEx®, DocuSign and Squarespace – no Capital One account required.

How to apply for a business credit card

Once you’ve found the best credit card for your business, it’s time to apply. You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and your business.

  1. Check your credit score – Credit card issuers will usually look into the business owner’s personal credit before approving an application, so it’s important to know where you stand before you start shopping around. Most business credit cards require good to excellent credit. If your credit needs some work, it’s probably in your best interest to spend time improving your score before applying.
  2. Compare business credit cards – With a wealth of offers on the market, choosing a business credit card can be overwhelming. You’ll want to consider rewards type, interest rates, fees and your business’s spending habits. More information on choosing a business credit card.
  3. Find out if you prequalify – By using a soft inquiry, which won’t affect your credit, our CardMatch™ tool can show you which credit cards you’re likely to be approved for in under 60 seconds. Plus, you can also get access to special offers, like a boosted introductory bonus.
  4. Complete your application – Once you’ve decided on a credit card, the hard part is over. You can apply online with any major issuer, mostly using information that you’ll know off the top of your head. Aside from the basics, like your business name and annual revenue, you’ll need to provide your business’s EIN (the number issued by the IRS to businesses located in the United States or U.S. territories). If you’re a sole proprietor without an EIN, you can use your Social Security number.

Understanding and building business credit

There are some differences between personal and business credit, which we go into on this page. Here are some tips on how to build business, understanding what is a good rating, and more.

How to build business credit

To build a credit history for your business, you need to establish that your business is a separate entity from yourself and take steps to make sure that your business’s spending activity is being tracked by business credit bureaus. Here are some steps you can take to create a credit history for your business:

  • A business checking account will help you establish your business as a financial entity.
  • Register for a DUN number through Dun and Bradstreet to establish a credit history with them. For Experian and Equifax, establish an LLC so you can get an EIN and set up a phone line with a listed number.
  • If some of your vendor accounts are not making it onto your credit report, you can use D&B’s Credit Builder service to provide positive payment information to your credit report. You can provide D&B with your vendors’ contact information, then D&B will contact them to verify your payment history.
  • Building your personal credit score is one of the first steps to building a credit history for your business. A good personal credit score can help you acquire your first lines of business credit.
  • Apply for a small-business credit card.
  • So that you make your own payments on time (and minimize your need for cash flow), make sure your own customers are paying you in a timely manner.
  • Request credit line increases on your existing accounts – this will improve your credit-to-debt ratio and thus your overall credit score.

Business credit scores vs. personal credit scores

Credit scoring for businesses is a bit different (and more complicated) than scoring for consumers. Personal FICO scores range from 300 to 850, while business credit scores use different scales. There are three primary business credit score bureaus and they all structure their ratings differently.
You can find your business credit score by visiting the Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian websites. Each bureau calculates scores uniquely and offers different features.

While your business and personal credit are distinct, there is usually some overlap. Some business credit card issuers report activity to consumer credit bureaus. In those cases, your personal credit would be affected by your business credit activity. For that reason, it’s difficult to keep business and personal credit entirely separate.

Can you get a business credit card with fair or bad credit?

Though most business credit cards require good to excellent credit, there are a few business cards available for people with fair credit. These cards usually lack the hefty sign-up bonuses and travel perks of other business cards, but they can be useful as stepping stones to better credit and more lucrative business rewards cards down the line.

Currently, one of the easiest business credit cards to get is the Capital One Spark Classic for Business, a flat-rate cash back card offering 1% cash back on every purchase. While the card has its shortcomings, including a variable APR of 26.99%, which is much higher than that of the average business card, it comes with a number of useful business perks.

You may also consider paying for business expenses with a consumer card designed for people with fair credit or bad credit.


CreditCards.com Poll: Over one-third of small businesses relying on personal funds during the COVID-19 pandemic

Our July 2020 Small Business Poll uncovered a worrisome fact – 35% of American small-business decision-makers have tapped into personal funds to finance their businesses since the Coronavirus pandemic struck. That includes those who have dipped into a personal savings account (21%), used a personal credit card (24%) or both (10%).

“It’s commendable how far these dedicated business owners are willing to go in search of their dreams,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at CreditCards.com. “I worry, however, about the debt they’re taking on, and how they’re potentially putting their personal finances at risk.”

Also notably, 38% of business leaders have turned to either business or personal credit cards during this time, with 20% of those polled leaning on business cards.

Paying off credit card debt can be stressful, but there’s a way to do so efficiently. Negotiating interest rates and paying more than the minimum are two ways to reduce the total time and amount of money repaid. “Many of the normal debt reduction tools are in shorter supply these days — for instance, 0% balance transfer offers have dried up due to worries about the economy. That’s why it’s so important to be creative and ask for a break,” Rossman added. Another good strategy: If you have multiple cards with balances and are able to put some money toward your debt, prioritize the highest interest rates in order to reduce the total interest expense.

Meanwhile, the single most popular form of funding was Paycheck Protection Program loans from the Small Business Administration, used by 30% of small businesses.

Small business funding sources amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

  • PPP loan(s)
  • 29.6%
  • Personal credit card(s)
  • 24.4%
  • Business savings account(s)
  • 24.4%
  • Personal savings account(s)
  • 20.7%
  • Business credit card(s)
  • 20.1%
  • Other types of loan(s)
  • 29.6%

Unfortunately, the negative effects of the pandemic are ongoing for many small-business owners, many of whom see trouble on the horizon. The majority of small-business leaders (53%) agree that they will need either an increase in sales or some type of assistance just to stay in business this year.

To stay afloat until 2021, small business decision-makers say they will need:

  • An increase in sales (32%)
  • Government assistance, such as stimulus funding (19%)
  • Any type of loan (13%)

“I’m encouraged by the spirit behind these findings. Even in an incredibly difficult year, small businesses remain resilient and optimistic – they’re taking matters into their own hands. They’re important parts of our communities and our economy, and we’re rooting for them,” says Rossman.

Methodology

CreditCards.com commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 499 small-business decision-makers. Fieldwork was undertaken from July 14-20, 2020. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.


More in-depth reviews

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