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Whether you run a major corporation, own a small family business or have a side hustle that brings in income each year, it always makes sense to have a dedicated business credit card.
Having a separate card for business can help you keep personal and business spending separate, and this could make bookkeeping considerably easier come tax time. Not only that, but a business credit card can work as a short-term line of credit when you’re waiting on client payments or you need help purchasing inventory.
But there are additional reasons to get a business credit card — particularly if you want to travel. The fact is, the best business credit cards for travel offer an array of perks that can make travel more comfortable, more luxurious and even more affordable.
Bankrate’s best business travel credit cards of 2019
In this guide, we’ve outlined the best business credit cards for travel in several important categories. As you compare business credit cards to find the best deal for your business and lifestyle, consider these cards first:
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — best for flexible rewards
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express — best for luxury perks
- The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express — best with no annual fee
- American Express® Business Gold Card — best earning structure
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business — best flat rate travel credit card
Once you’ve reviewed our list of the best credit cards for business travel, it might be worthwhile to brush up on some application tips. You’re making an important choice, as a business owner and a consumer, so don’t skimp on your research.
#1: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — best for flexible rewards
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns high marks on our list of the best travel business credit cards due to its affiliation with the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program. Points earned with this card can be used to book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, or for 1:1 transfers to popular airline and hotel partners such as Marriott Bonvoy, IHG Rewards, World of Hyatt, British Airways, Southwest Airlines and United MileagePlus.
On the earning side of the equation, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is offering 80,000 points worth $1,000 in travel after you spend $5,000 on your card within three months of account opening. You’ll also earn 3x points per $1 on up to $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone purchases, and advertising with social media sites and search engines (then 1 point per $1), and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card also comes with an affordable annual fee of $95 per year.
Consider this card if: You have a personal Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card, such as the Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Reserve. This Chase rewards program lets you transfer points between accounts, including personal and business accounts, which can give you extra flexibility in managing your rewards points.
#2: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
Best for luxury travel perks
According to card issuer American Express, “traveling for business doesn’t have to feel like work.” The Business Platinum® Card from American Express underscores this concept by offering imaginative benefits that aim to make personal and business travel better.
Perks you’ll receive with this card include access to WeWork workspaces worldwide (must enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019), up to $200 airline credit for incidentals annually, up to $200 in annual Dell credits and access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection.
This card does have a $595 annual fee, but you’ll earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within three months of account opening. You’ll also earn:
- 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through AmexTravel.com
- 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million extra points per year)
When it comes to redeeming those points, keep in mind that the American Express Membership Rewards program is versatile and flexible. With these points, you can book travel directly through AmexTravel.com, redeem for gift cards or merchandise, or transfer to popular airline and hotel partners.
Consider this card if: You like to travel in style and keep hassles to a minimum. The WeWork feature even makes it easier to take your workspace with you on the go.
#3: The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
Best with no annual fee
While the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, it does offer access to the versatile American Express Membership Rewards program without an annual fee. This card lets cardmembers earn 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1x points.
Like other cards within this program, the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express lets you book travel directly through AmexTravel.com, transfer points to popular airline and hotel partners or redeem for gift cards or merchandise.
Consider this card if: You want to keep your overhead low. The lack of an annual fee will definitely help in that area.
#4: American Express® Business Gold Card
Best earning structure
The American Express® Business Gold Card is another American Express card that offers all the perks and flexibility of the Membership Rewards program. What we love most about this card, however, is how lucrative it can be for business owners who spend a lot in its top-tier earning categories. Plus, 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.
With the American Express® Business Gold Card, cardholders earn 4 points per $1 spent on up to $150,000 spent annually in two categories where your business spent the most from the following list:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions
- U.S. gas station purchases
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
Once the $150,000 limit has been reached in these categories, cardholders earn 1 point per $1 spent. They also earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Cardholders also get 25% of their points back when they use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked through AmexTravel.com, with an annual bonus limit of 250,000 points back per year. The American Express® Business Gold Card does have a $295 annual fee.
Consider this card if: Your business depends heavily on advertising. If U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio) consistently represent one of your two highest-spending categories, those expenses may qualify for the lucrative 4X Points Benefit.
#5: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Best flat rate travel credit card
Business owners who don’t want to deal with complex loyalty programs should consider the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. This card doles out an unlimited 2 miles for each dollar you spend with no bonus categories or restrictions. On the redemption side, you can cash them in for any type of travel at a rate of 1 cent per mile. This includes obvious travel bookings like hotel stays and flights, but you can also cash in points for campgrounds, train tickets, rental condos that code as travel on your credit card statement and more.
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business also offers a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 on your card within three months of account opening. Your miles never expire, and there’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn. This card does have a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. Plus, you can receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee.
Consider this card if: You need a low-maintenance credit card for your one-person business. This card’s flat-rate rewards program will earn rewards without any micromanagement on your part, which helps you stay focused on all the decisions that only you can make.