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Top Small Business Credit Cards

Top Small Business Credit Cards
Jason Steele

Jason Steele

Updated September 26, 2021
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Editor’s note: At Lantern, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, we occasionally feature content that includes information about our partners and their products or services. We do not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendations—and our opinions are our own.
Business credit cards allow small business owners to separate their company’s expenses from their own while also earning rewards, benefits, or other special features that are specifically designed for business needs. Just as with personal credit cards, there are a variety of small business cards designed to meet different businesses’ specific needs. When selecting the top small business credit cards, we looked at many of the same features that are valued in a consumer card, such as value provided, earning structure, and annual fee. But we also focused on rewards and benefits that are more suited to the needs of small business owners rather than consumers. 

How We Chose the Top Small Business Cards

To find the top small business credit cards, we first divided the market into the following six categories: 
  • Top no annual fee small business cards
  • Top cash back small business cards
  • Small business cards for airline rewards
  • Premium small business cards
  • Small business cards for travel rewards
  • 0% APR small business cards
Then we looked at more than a dozen major credit card issuers to find the top cards in each of these subcategories. Most major credit card issuers offer cards specifically designed for small business use. For each category, we looked at the most important factors. For example, top travel cards need to provide the most valuable travel rewards, while the top 0% APR cards should offer long promotional financing periods. While credit card terms may change from time to time, the following rankings reflect information that was accurate in September 2021. 

Top No Annual Fee Small Business Cards

Many small businesses, especially those that are new, don’t need travel benefits. They may have only modest spending requirements and not be able to justify paying an annual fee for a premium travel rewards card. Instead, cardholders may be looking for a small business card that doesn’t have an annual fee but still offers valuable rewards, a generous new account bonus, and potentially even a 0% APR financing offer. Those are the elements we considered in this category.

If You Want a No Annual Fee Small Business Card: American Express Blue Business Cash

The American Express Blue Business Cash card is a no annual fee small business card that also features a new account bonus, strong cash rewards, and 0% APR introductory financing. New account holders can earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on new purchases within the first three months after opening the account. Plus, you earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year. After that, you still earn 1% cash back on all other purchases, and your cash back is automatically credited to your statement balance. The card’s 0% introductory APR offer is for any purchases made within the first 12 months after opening the account. After that, your APR will be a variable rate between 13.24% and 19.24%, depending on creditworthiness. There’s no annual fee for this card.

Top Small Business Cards for Cash Back

For small businesses that don’t involve much travel but still want a card that offers them rewards, a small business cash back reward card can be a great fit. To find the top small business card for cash back, we looked at cards that featured large new account bonuses while offering the most possible cash back, to accommodate businesses with large spending needs. 

If You Want a Cash Back Small Business Card: Capital One Spark Cash Plus

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus has a solid cash back earning structure and a generous new account bonus. The card earns 2% cash back on all purchases with no limits on earning, which is a plus for small businesses with large amounts of spending. Cardholders can also earn up to $1,000 in the first six months of account opening. You earn $500 after spending $5,000 in the first three months and another $500 after spending a total of $50,000 within the first six months after opening the account. If you’re a business owner with large spending needs, you can also earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $200,000 or more each year. Note that this is a charge card, not a credit card, so cardholders must pay their balance in full every month. This card has a $150 annual fee.

Top Small Business Cards for Airline Rewards

Airline tickets can be one of the more expensive parts of business travel, especially when employees are traveling with little advanced notice or during peak times. Although the top small business cards for airline rewards usually have annual fees, the perks offered from the card can be worth the annual fee for businesses with frequent travel costs. To find the top small business cards for airline rewards, we considered cards that offer good airline-specific benefits, such as free checked bags, and extra miles for airline-specific spending. We also looked for generous new account bonuses and rewards for business spending.

If You Want a Small Business Card for Airline Rewards: Chase United Business

The Chase United Business card offers a generous new account bonus, lots of miles for business purchases, and strong travel benefits when flying United. New account holders can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. This card earns 2x miles per dollar spent on purchases from United including tickets, inflight food, beverages, Wi-Fi, and other United charges. You also earn 2x miles on dining, food delivery services, at gas stations, at office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting. On all other purchases, you can earn one mile per dollar spent. When you purchase United-operated flight tickets with this card, you and one companion traveling on the same reservation each receive one standard checked bag for free. This is a $35 value per person, each way. Cardholders also get priority boarding on United-operated flights and 25% back on United inflight purchases. Plus, earn a $100 United travel credit after qualifying flight purchases. There is a $99 annual fee for this card. 

Top Premium Small Business Cards

Premium small business cards typically offer many benefits for frequent business travelers but come with high annual fees. For this reason, premium cards may be best for small businesses with large expenses or a lot of business travel because these businesses can best take advantage of all that the card has to offer. When selecting the top premium small business cards, we considered it important to balance the value a small business gets from the card with the card’s annual fee. We also looked at the value that the card provides through things like airline or hotel loyalty statuses, travel protections, and the rewards earned. Just like personal premium credit cards, small business premium cards are best for those small businesses that can avoid interest charges by paying statement balances in full and on time. Therefore, the card’s APR and promotional financing were not important factors in our considerations.

If You Want a Premium Small Business Card: American Express Business Platinum

The Business Platinum card from American Express is a premium small business card that has a lot to offer, but for a high annual fee. New cardholders can earn an impressive 100,000 Membership Rewards bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months of account opening. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to American Express hotel or airline partners, such as Delta Skymiles, Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and British Airways Executive Club. This allows flexibility in earning and redeeming points, which may be preferred for small businesses that don’t want to be tied to one loyalty program. Membership Rewards points can also be redeemed for travel expenses through the Membership Rewards Pay with Points program. Use Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and you get 35% of those points back (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year). When you do this, you’re receiving 1.54 cents in value per point redeemed. The card earns 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com and 1x points on all other eligible purchases. Earn 1.5X points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more on up to one million additional points per calendar year.Although the card has a high annual fee of $595, some of this is offset through statement credits for various purchases. For example, you can receive a yearly $179 CLEAR® credit as well as a $100 credit towards an application for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® (worth $85) every four years. Global Entry even includes TSA Pre✔ at no additional charge, making this an easy decision between the two. This card also comes with a $200 annual Dell Technologies statement credit, split into half between January and June and half between July and December. Additionally, the card comes with a yearly $200 airline fee credit. Select one qualifying airline and receive up to $200 in statement credits for incidental fees such as checked bags or in-flight refreshments. The card also comes with hotel loyalty status. Get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status as a cardholder. Gold status members can get things like space-available room upgrades and bonus points on stays. If you purchase a round-trip airline ticket entirely with your card, you may also be eligible for covered trip cancellation insurance, and trip delay insurance for delays more than six hours.Finally, there are additional perks to this card, including airline business lounge access, Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits, and discounts on premium private jet programs. This card has a $595 annual fee. It has no foreign transaction fees.

Top Small Business Cards for Travel Rewards

For small business owners who travel frequently as part of their business, a small business card specifically for travel rewards can provide a lot of value. Instead of concentrating airline or hotel specific rewards, we focused on small business cards that offer transferable travel rewards to allow for flexibility for the business’s travel needs. When selecting the top business travel rewards credit cards, we also thought it was important to consider the value of the travel rewards and the new account bonus potential, as well as the flexibility the card offers in travel rewards earning and redeeming.

If You Want a Small Business Card for Travel Rewards: Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is a travel rewards card that has a generous new account bonus offer and strong bonus rewards for purchases from business-related spending categories. The card offers new applicants an impressive 100,000 point bonus after they spend $15,000 within three months of account opening. Points can be redeemed for travel bookings through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards for 25% more, making the 100,000 points worth at least $1,250 in travel rewards. Points can also be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to airline or hotel partners, such as United MileagePlus, British Airways, Marriott, Hyatt, and others. The card also earns 3x points on up to $150,000 spent each year in combined purchases of shipping, travel, internet, online advertising, cable, and phone services. Plus, the card comes with up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection.There’s a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees. 

Top 0% APR Cards for Small Business Owners

Small business owners who want to take a break from interest charges or pay down existing balances may be interested in a card with 0% APR introductory financing. There are a few small business cards with 0% APR offers, and we looked for the one with the longest promotional financing period. 

If You Want a 0% APR Small Business Card: US Bank Business Platinum

The U.S. Bank Business Platinum card is a relatively simple small business credit card that offers 0% introductory APR without many other features. This card offers 0% APR introductory financing on both new purchases and balance transfers completed within 30 days of account opening. After the introductory financing period ends, the variable APR rate will be between 11.99% and 20.99%. If you’re taking advantage of the balance transfer offer, make sure to transfer balances right away due to the short window of opportunity. A balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater, will apply. This card doesn’t offer a new account bonus or rewards for spending, but it also has no annual fee. 

The Takeaway

Being a small business owner can be a tough job, but the right credit card can make it easier. By selecting one of these top small business cards, you can receive the rewards and benefits that best fit the needs of your company.Whether you’re looking for credit cards for your business or yourself, it helps to know your options. At Lantern by SoFi, you can compare different credit card offers to find the one that’s best for you. 
Photo credit: iStock/Rowan Jordan
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About the Author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele

Jason Steele has been writing about credit cards and award travel since 2008. One of the nation's leading experts in this field, he has contributed to dozens of personal finance and travel outlets and has been widely quoted in the mainstream media.
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