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As a consultant, you probably spend a lot of time traveling from client to client, racking up flights, hotel stays and restaurant meals along the way. Even consultants who do most of their work within a certain city can find themselves spending a lot of money grabbing lunch between client meetings — or treating clients to lunch!
How do you cover all of these expenses? With the right credit card, the costs of consulting can earn you serious rewards. We’ve put together a list of the best credit cards for consultants, with options for frequent travelers, frequent diners and more.
What credit card features are most important for consultants?
When you’re considering which credit card to use for the costs of your consulting business, you’ll want to look for cards offering features that directly benefit your work. If you travel often, for example, you’ll want an excellent travel credit card or airline credit card. In addition to the rewards you’ll get on your purchases, these cards often come with additional features such as trip cancellation insurance, rental car insurance, lost baggage protection, emergency assistance and more — each of which can save you a lot of money and hassle.
As you evaluate credit cards, make sure to compare both the rewards and the benefits each card offers. That way, you’ll get the best credit card for your consulting business.
Best credit cards for consultants
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best introductory travel card
- Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for consultants who spend on dining and entertainment
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Best for consultants who want flexible hotel rewards
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card: Best hotel loyalty card
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®: Best airline loyalty card
- Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business: Best business card for everyday travel
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: Best business card for frequent travelers or big spenders
Each of the cards on this list has been named one of Bankrate’s best travel credit cards, best hotel credit cards, best airline credit cards, or best business credit cards. We identified these cards as best for consultants based on the unique combination of benefits and rewards each one offers.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent starter travel credit card for entry-level consultants who want a flexible credit card that rewards both travel (including hotel stays) and dining. Points can be redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® for a variety of options including statement credits and gift cards, but points increase by 25% when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
For consultants who don’t travel often but do spend on dining and entertainment, we recommend the Savor Rewards from Capital One. This card offers some of the highest rewards on the market for both dining and entertainment spending, and new cardholders can also receive a $500 cash back bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership.
If you’re a consultant who wants to save money on hotels, we recommend the Venture from Capital One. This rewards credit card offers 2 miles per dollar on every purchase and an incredible 10 miles per dollar on hotel bookings when you pay with your card at hotels.com/venture.
If you’d rather sign up with a hotel loyalty program, we recommend using the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card. It’s a great hotel rewards card for Hilton loyalists, and new cardmembers can earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after making $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months.
Likewise, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is an excellent credit card for consultants who want to take advantage of an airline loyalty program. You’ll get a free checked bag, preferred boarding, 25% savings on eligible in-flight food and beverage purchases and the opportunity to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $2,500 in purchases within the first three months.
If you’d prefer a business credit card — and there are a lot of good reasons for consultants to apply for a business credit card — we’ve got two recommendations. The Spark Miles Select for Business from Capital One is a great entry-level business card for consultants who occasionally travel; The Business Platinum Card from American Express is ideal for consultants who travel often, want high-level perks including access to the American Express Global Lounge CollectionSM and Hilton Honors Gold Status, and can afford the $595 fee.
If you’re a consultant who doesn’t travel
Thanks to the internet, more and more consultants are able to work remotely. If you’re the type of consultant who meets with clients over Skype or Slack instead of over lunch, a travel credit card might not be the best option for you.
In that case, we urge you to look at our list of best business credit cards and find a credit card that offers top rewards on your most common purchases.
If you spend a lot of money on office supplies, for example, try the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express — we ranked it as the top business credit card for office supply purchases. If you simply want cash back, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is a good choice; you get an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, plus new cardmembers can earn additional cash back bonuses.
The best way to choose a credit card as a consultant is to understand where your money goes, figure out how to get rewarded for your business spending and make sure you’ve selected the card with the best features for your growing business. Once you’ve identified the best credit card for your consulting business, take a look at our best rewards credit cards so you can get rewarded for your personal spending as well!