How to choose the best travel card for your small business

If you and your team are planning to venture out this year, a travel credit card can help you earn points, miles or cash back on your spending


The world is opening back up again, and that means many business owners will have an opportunity to start racking up frequent flier miles and credit card points. If your business is in the market for a travel card, here’s how to identify the best option.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

The world is opening back up again now that vaccinations are becoming more available, and that means many business owners will have an opportunity to start racking up frequent flyer miles and credit card points (remember them?).

How frequently does your company travel? 

To pick the right travel credit card, think about how frequently you will be traveling. Many people changed the way they work in 2020 to include more virtual meetings, so your travel habits from 2019 may not be an accurate guide. Think about whether you will continue meeting clients and prospects remotely or if you are now ready, willing and able to meet them in person. That will help you select a card that rewards you for your normal buying habits.

Also, think about how frequently your team will travel. Will your salespeople be getting back on the road or still meeting prospects virtually? If some team members are still nervous about traveling because of COVID-19, that may be a factor that determines how much travel they do.

See related: Travel in the time of COVID-19, one year later

What are your biggest spending needs?

It’s also important to think about what categories of spending are most frequent for you and your team during business travel – and whether you’ll be following similar spending patterns in the future.

If so, will they be inclined to get on a plane for most travel or will they be choosing other means, such as a train or their own car? Once they get to their destination, will they be opting for a hotel or Airbnb or one of its competitors? Will they be traveling to destinations where it will be possible to entertain clients for lunch, dinner or activities like a ballgame? And will the clients be open to that?

Traveling to each state and country is different right now, and that may determine whether you do certain types of spending at all. Some areas are still pretty locked down.

How many employees will need a card? 

Getting cards for employees who travel is a good way to keep a handle on how much the company is spending on travel. Make sure to create written guidelines on what the cards may and may not be used for and to set clear policies for what employees can spend on flights, hotels, travel meals and entertainment.

Employees may not have the same assumptions as you do about what is acceptable, so being clear will leave little room for unwelcome surprises.

See related: Managing employee cards on your credit card account

3 travel cards to consider for your business

American Express® Business Gold Card

If you’re looking for a card that offers lots of points for frequent travel purchases, the American Express Business Gold Card offers 4X Membership Rewards points on the two categories you spend the most in each billing cycle – on the first $150,000 in purchases yearly. Plus, you’re entitled to a 25% bonus for eligible redemptions through the American Express travel portal.

The card also includes an introductory bonus of 70,000 points if you spend $10,000 in the first three months. The annual fee is $295.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

If you or your team drives a lot, the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi could be a valuable tool in your arsenal. It offers 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year and 1% thereafter. It also offers 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s no annual fee.

Discover it® Miles

If you’re looking to keep overhead down the Discover it Miles card may fit the bill. It has no annual fee and automatically gives you 1.5 miles on every dollar of every purchase. You can redeem miles for cash or a statement credit for things such as airfare, hotels and ride-shares, with no blackout dates. Additionally, Discover matches all the miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Bottom line

Travel business cards can help you get more out of your spending on airfare, gasoline, hotels and restaurants. Shopping around for the right one is good investment in getting more bang for your buck.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more