Best small business credit card 2021

When you’re expanding a small business, you want financial tools that can help you grow, provide flexibility, and reward you for your spending. And these days, there are more options than ever for small business credit cards to do exactly those things.

But with all the options available, it can be challenging to choose the right card for your business. Is it better to go with travel rewards, or would you prefer a cashback credit card? Should you focus on the rewards? The annual fee? The interest rate?

In this comparison, we’re breaking down some of the best small business credit cards of 2021 to help you find the best card for your business, no matter your needs.

American Express disclaimer


Best for no annual fee


aebbcimage.png

American Express

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is one of the most popular business credit cards on the market. When you sign up for this card, you’ll enjoy a 0% introductory APR (after 12 months, it will be between 13.24% and 19.24%), as well as a $250 statement credit when you spend $3,000 on your card in the first three months.

As far as ongoing rewards, this card offers 2% cashback on eligible purchases up to $50,000 each year. Once you exceed $50,000, you’ll earn 1% cashback on the rest of your purchases for the year. When you earn cashback, it’s automatically applied as a statement credit.

Other miscellaneous perks this card offers include:

  • Expanded Buying Power so you can spend beyond your credit limit

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance

  • Access to a global assistance hotline when you travel

  • Employee credit cards

  • Extended warranty of an additional one year

  • Purchase protection for stolen or damaged items for 90 days

Pros:

  • Generous welcome bonus and cashback rewards

  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months (between 13.24% and 19.24% after a year)

  • Expanded buying power to spend above your credit limit

Cons: 

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash Card, click here.


Best for bonus categories


chaseinkbusinesscash.png

Chase

The Chase Ink Business Cash card is one of a handful of popular business credit cards that Chase offers. When you sign up for this card, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR for the first year after opening the card (and between 13.24% and 19.24% after that). You’ll also have access to a new cardmember offer of $750 cashback when you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months.

The Ink Business Cash offers ongoing 5% cashback on the first $25,000 you spend on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. You’ll also earn 2% cashback on the first $25,000 you spend at gas stations and restaurants. Finally, you’ll earn 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Other perks this card comes with include:

  • Employee credit cards

  • Flexible redemption options

  • Business car rental insurance

  • Travel and emergency assistance services

  • Roadside dispatch

  • Purchase protection against damage or theft for 120 days

  • Extended warranty protection for an additional year

Pros:

  • Generous new cardmember offer

  • 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months (between 13.24% and 19.24% afterward)

  • High cashback on office supplies and telecommunications

Cons: 

  • $25,000 spending cap on bonus categories

  • Low rewards on all other spending

  • Foreign transaction fees

For rates and fees of the Chase Ink Business Cash Card, click here.


Best for flat-rate rewards


capitalonecreditcardspark.png

Capital One

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus card is a flat-rate rewards card that offers excellent cashback on your spending. When you sign up for the card, you’ll get a $1,000 cash bonus — $500 when you spend $5,000 in the first three months and $500 when you spend $50,000 in the first six months. 

As for ongoing rewards, the Spark Cash Plus offers 2% cashback on all of your purchases, without spending limits or category restrictions. You’ll also earn a $200 annual cash bonus each year that you spend $200,000 or more.

One unique feature about the Spark Cash Plus card is that it’s a pay-in-full card, meaning you can’t carry a balance. Capital One requires that you pay the card off each month or be charged a 2.99% monthly late fee. As a result, this card may not be well suited to small businesses that want to use a credit card to finance a larger purchase over a longer period.

Other features of this card include:

Pros:

  • High welcome bonus and annual spending bonus

  • Generous flat-rate rewards

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons: 

For rates and fees of the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card, click here.


Best for business travel


American Express

American Express

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium card for small businesses. When you sign up right now, you’ll get 120,000 membership points when you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months. This is higher than the card’s normal 100,000 membership point bonus.

As far as online rewards, the card offers 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels that you book through AmexTravel.com. You’ll also get 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more and 1X points on all other purchases throughout the year.

Other features of the Business Platinum include:

  • $595 annual fee (see Rates & Fees)

  • $200 annual statement credit for Dell Technologies

  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection

  • Pay Over Time feature to carry a balance on purchases of $100 or more

  • $200 annual airline fee credit

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • $179 CLEAR Credit

  • Discounts and statement credit for Wheels Up Connect and Core

  • Fee credit for Global Entry and TSA Precheck

  • Fine Hotels + Resorts Program

  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status

  • Hilton Honors Gold Status

  • Business Platinum Travel Service

  • Trip delay insurance

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

  • Business Platinum card concierge

  • Preferred seating program

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance

  • Baggage insurance plan

  • Premium global assist hotline

  • Premium car rental privileges

Pros:

  • Lots of premium travel perks

  • Higher rewards points on travel and large purchases

  • Large 120,000 point signup bonus

Cons: 

For rates and fees of the American Express Business Platinum Card, click here.


Best for sign-up bonus


chaseinkbusinesspreferred.png

Chase

The Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card is well-known for its outstanding welcome bonus. When you sign up for the card, you’ll earn 100,000 points when you spend $15,000 in the first three months. And thanks to Chase’s flexible rewards redemption and Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, those points can be worth between $1,000 and $1,250 depending on how you choose to redeem them.

The Ink Business Preferred offers 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 you spend each year on shipping, social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, phone, and travel. You’ll also earn 1X points per dollar on all other spending, as well as spending in the bonus categories above $150,000.

Other features of the Ink Business Preferred include:

  • $95 fee

  • 25% more rewards value on travel

  • Employee credit cards

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance

  • Roadside dispatch

  • Business rental car insurance

  • Cell phone protection

  • Purchase protection against damage and theft for 120 days

  • Extended warranty protection for an additional year

Pros:

  • High new cardmember bonus

  • Flexible reward redemption 

  • High rewards in bonus categories

Cons: 

  • $95 annual fee (see Rates & Fees)

  • No 0% introductory APR

  • Spending cap on rewards bonus categories

For rates and fees of the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card, click here.


Best for flexible rewards


amexbusinessgold.png

American Express

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The American Express Business Gold Card offers flexible rewards so that all card members can benefit from their spending. When you sign up for the card, you’re eligible for a 70,000 rewards points welcome offer when you spend $10,000 in your first three months.

The benefit of the Business Gold Card is that it offers 4X points per dollar in two bonus categories, but the bonus categories are entirely dependent on your spending. The categories that will earn the 4X points per dollar are those that you spend the most money in, and the 4X reward only works up to $150,000 total in 12 months. After that, you’ll earn 1X point for every dollar in those categories. For all other spending categories, you’ll earn 1X point per dollar.

Other features of the Business Gold Card include:

  • $295 annual fee (see Rates & Fees)

  • 25% airline bonus when you book through American Express Travel

  • Pay Over Time for purchases over $100

  • No spending limits

  • Employee credit cards

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Access to The Hotel Collection and $100 hotel credit

  • Access to a Global Assist hotline

  • Baggage insurance plan

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance

  • Trip delay insurance

  • Extended warranty protection for an additional year

  • Purchase protection against theft or damage for an additional 90 days

Pros:

Cons: 

For rates and fees of the American Express Business Gold Card, click here.


Best for fair credit


capitalonesparkclassic.png

Capital One

The Capital One Spark Classic is a great small business credit card option for those with fair credit. While the card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus or introductory APR like many other business credit cards, it’s more accessible for those who may not be able to qualify for another business credit card.

The Spark Classic offers a flat-rate 1% cashback on your spending with no spending limits or category restrictions. Then you can receive the rewards in the form of a statement credit or a check.

Other features of the Spark Classic include:

Pros:

  • Available to fair-credit borrowers

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Unlimited rewards without spending caps or category restrictions

Cons: 

  • No sign-up bonus or introductory APR

  • High purchase APR (see Rates & Fees)

  • Low rewards rate for spending

For rates and fees of the Capital One Spark Classic for Business card, click here

How did we choose these credit cards?

With so many small business credit cards on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right card — or even narrow it down to a handful. When looking for the best credit cards for small businesses, we primarily considered the rewards that business owners can earn for their spending. We also considered factors such as additional perks, business features, fees, interest rates, and more. 

Ultimately, our goal was to find the credit cards that best reward business owners for their spending, while including more premium cards with other perks that business owners will appreciate.

Which is the right small business credit card for you?

Wondering which small business credit card is right for you? Start by paying attention to your spending. Plenty of business credit cards on the market reward business owners for spending in certain categories. If you do a lot of business spending in those categories that reward card holders, then those might be cards to consider.

It’s also important to consider other perks and features that are important to you. For example, some business credit cards offer many travel perks and make it easy to redeem your credit card rewards for travel. Those cards are well-suited to businesses that spend a lot on travel expenses.

Finally, it’s important to consider characteristics such as annual fees, interest rates, and credit requirements. If you’re considering many different cards at once, those features may help you make your final decision.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

The credit cards on our list are some of the top small business credit cards on the market, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. There’s an endless number of cards available to people who are building a small business and need a credit card to help. Some of the other top cards on the market include:

  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited

  • American Express Blue Business Plus

  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business

  • Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard

  • American Express Plum Card

FAQ

What is the best small business credit card?

There’s not one small business credit card that’s right for every business. Instead, it’s important to consider your business spending habits and what you need from a credit card.

What are the benefits of a small business credit card?

In addition to standard credit card rewards like cashback and sign-up bonuses, small business credit cards also offer employee credit cards and other business finance tools.

What credit score do you need for a small business credit card?

Most small business credit cards require a good or excellent credit score to qualify, but there are some available to borrowers with fair or bad credit.

Do small business credit cards affect your personal credit score?

If you don’t have sufficient business credit, you may be required to use your personal credit to guarantee the card. But in most cases, the card issuer will only report your spending to your business credit report, not your personal credit report.

Leave a Reply

Previous post Sustainable Travel Products You Will Absolutely Love
Next post Real Life Stories From Travelers About the Worst Hotels They Ever Visited