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Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card last updated on 05.28.2019

If you have a side hustle, there are three general benefits to opening a business credit card.

First, business credit cards help you keep business and personal expenses separate. This benefits you, not only from a tax perspective, but also from a business planning perspective. Keeping business and personal finances separate helps ensure that you don’t put too many personal funds into a side hustle that isn’t earning enough to stay afloat.

Secondly, a business credit card can help you cover expenses during a period of low cash flow. If you’re waiting on a client payment but you need to buy supplies right now, you can use your business credit card to cover the cost and pay it off when your client pays you.

Lastly, a business credit card can help you earn rewards on your side-hustle spending. You don’t want to put money into your business without expecting profitable returns. The same logic applies to business credit cards – whether it’s earning cash rewards or travel points.

What do the best business credit cards offer?

Cash flow management

The best business credit cards give you enough credit to manage cash flow and grow your business. If you only have a $1,000 credit limit on your business credit card, for example, you’re not going to be able to cover very many side hustle expenses.

0% intro APRs

If you’re planning on putting a lot of expenses on your business credit card and paying off your balance over time, look for a card with a 0% intro APR. This will give you a window of time to pay down your balance, interest-free. Although business credit card interest is tax-deductible, it’s still better for your bottom line to avoid paying interest on your credit card balance.

Everyday spending rewards

The best business credit cards also reward you for your everyday business spending, whether you’re purchasing office supplies, booking plane tickets or investing in your next big marketing campaign. Look for a business credit card that comes with a great sign-up bonus to maximize your rewards.

Low fees

The best business credit cards come with as few fees as possible. Although some charge high annual fees in exchange for big cash-back or travel rewards, many don’t charge an annual fee. The best part is your rewards aren’t slashed as a result.

Building business credit

When you apply for your first business credit card, the issuer will use your personal credit history and credit score to determine if your application gets approved, as well as your credit limit and interest rate.

If you are a sole proprietor, your business credit might be considered part of your personal credit. Some credit card issuers report business credit cards to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) and others don’t. It’s good practice to treat any business credit card as if it were a personal credit card, and establish responsible credit habits for both yourself and your business.

If you take the next step and incorporate your business, you’ll be able to build a business credit score. A good business credit score will make it easier to get loans or expand your business’s credit later on. It can also lower the interest rates you receive on those loans and credit cards.

Building a good business credit score is a lot like building a good personal credit score: make your payments on time, avoid maxing out your business credit cards and don’t run up bills you can’t pay off.

Top business credit cards

Here are some top non-annual-fee business credit card options:

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express is a cash-back rewards credit card that lets you choose how you want to earn your rewards. It comes with a zero percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months (then 14.49% – 21.49% variable), as well as travel insurance benefits such as baggage insurance and travel accident insurance.

Rewards Breakdown
  • 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, for up to $50,000 in purchases annually
3% cash back on the category of your choice, for up to $50,000 in purchases annually:
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
  • Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is for people who want to participate in the American Express Membership Rewards® loyalty program. You’ll pay a zero percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then 13.49%- 21.49% variable), as well as perks like car rental loss and damage insurance. You’ll also get access to the Global Assist® Hotline, which provides medical, legal, financial and other select emergency and coordination services.

 

Rewards Breakdown
  • 2x Membership Rewards Points on the first $50,000 in purchases per year
  • 1x Membership Rewards Points on all other purchases

According to The Points Guy, 1 Membership Rewards Point is currently worth 2 cents — making this card exceptionally valuable.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business is a flat-rate cash back credit card that comes with a modest sign-up bonus. You’ll pay zero percent intro APR on purchases for 9 months (then 15.24%- 23.24% variable), and you’ll get to take advantage of Visa® Business Benefits such as extended warranty protection, purchase security and an auto rental damage waiver.

 

Rewards Breakdown
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • $200 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business is a business travel credit card that lets you participate in the Capital One Miles loyalty program. Like the Spark Cash Select, you’ll pay a zero percent intro APR on purchases for 9 months (then 15.24%- 23.24% variable), as well as Visa® Business Benefits such as extended warranty protection, purchase security and an auto rental damage waiver. In fact, this card is virtually identical to the Spark Miles Select card, except you get rewarded in miles instead of cash.

 

Rewards Breakdown
  • Unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase
  • 20,000 miles bonus (worth $200 in travel) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership

The Points Guy values Spark Miles at 1.4 cents per mile.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® is a cash-back rewards card that just reconfigured its rewards structure to give you more choice in how you earn your rewards. Although the percentage of cash back per purchase is lower than what’s being offered by the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card, you’ll get the benefit of a sign-up bonus in the form of a $300 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Plus, if you bank with Bank of America, you can become a Preferred Rewards for Business member and earn 75% more cash back on every purchase (the actual bonus depends on your membership tier status).

Cardholders also pay zero percent intro APR on purchases for the first 9 billing cycles (then 14.49% – 24.49% variable), as well as benefits like travel insurance and access to emergency services.

 

Rewards Breakdown
  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% back on dining and unlimited 1% on all other purchases. 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases annually
  • 2% cash back at dining (for up to $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases annually)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $300 statement credit after making $3,000 in net purchases in the first 90 days of card ownership

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® is a business travel card that earns points redeemable through the Bank of America® Travel Center. As with the Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard, Bank of America customers can earn additional rewards through the Preferred Rewards for Business program.

You’ll also get a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 9 billing cycles (then 13.49% – 23.49% variable), and the same suite of benefits that come with the Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard.

Rewards Breakdown
  • 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America Travel Center powered by Expedia®
  • 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases
  • 25,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in net purchases in the first 60 days of card ownership

According to The Points Guy, 1 point is currently worth 1 cent.

Ink Business CashSM Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business CashSM Credit Card is a cash-back credit card with rewards comparable to the SimplyCash Plus Business Card, though you won’t get the benefit of being able to choose your rewards category. You’ll receive a zero percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 15.49% – 21.49% variable), as well as travel and purchase coverage benefits such as extended warranty protection and an auto rental collision damage waiver.

Rewards Breakdown
  • 5% cash back at office supply stores as well as internet, cable and phone services, for the first $25,000 in combined purchases per year
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, for the first $25,000 in combined purchases per year
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership

Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card is a flat-rate cash back card. Like the Ink Business Cash card, you’ll earn the same 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases (then 15.49% – 21.49% variable) ; you’ll also receive similar travel and purchase coverage benefits.

Rewards Breakdown
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership

*The information about the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited cards has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

Choosing the best business credit card for your side hustle is all about understanding how you want to grow your business over the next few years — and where you want to earn rewards. Whether you’re looking for a zero percent intro APR card to help fund a large purchase or a travel rewards card to help cover the costs of your next business trip, there are a lot of great business credit card options out there.


Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.