In the world of credit card rewards, there’s an age-old debate: points, miles or cash back? The abbreviated answer is that it depends. While cash back is best for those seeking low-maintenance rewards experience, points are best for frequent travelers and those who don’t mind doing a little research in exchange for an exceptional deal.

If you’re a business owner looking for a points-earning card, know that you have plenty of solid options — whether you’re looking for loyalty points with a particular hotel or airline or general-purpose points you can redeem a variety of ways. Many of the best business credit cards are points-earning cards embedded with sign-up bonuses and other compelling benefits.

Best business credit cards for earning points

Because there is a wide variety of options and offers change frequently, choosing a business card can be challenging. In addition to the points-per-dollar-spent rate, compare current sign-up bonus offers and perks.

Here are Bankrate’s top picks for points-earning business credit cards.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best flat-rate business card

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a great choice for business owners who want to use one card for everything. There are no bonus categories to keep track of, just 2X points on all purchases (on up to $50,000 in purchases per year, then 1X). American Express Membership Rewards points are notoriously valuable, especially for travel redemptions. Redeem them for flights or hotel stays through Amex Travel, or transfer them to one of American Express’s travel partners, including Delta Air Lines, Marriott and British Airways.

Overall, this is a great card for budding businesses. The simple rewards structure not only makes for a low-maintenance card, but also means it’s a card you can keep for years, even if you add more business credit cards to your lineup. If you later get the urge to apply for a card with specific bonus categories, you can continue to use The Blue Business Plus for miscellaneous spending, knowing that you’re earning a solid rewards rate on all purchases. The lack of an annual fee makes this especially true.

Lastly, consider the welcome bonus: 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of membership. Bankrate values American Express points at 2.1 cents apiece, making this welcome bonus worth just over $300 — not bad for a fee-free card.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: Best for business-focused bonus categories

Do you want to earn boosted rewards rates on key expense categories like travel, dining out, gas stations, and even shipping costs? The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers cardholders 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program, 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. gas stations, 4X points on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping and 2X points on all other purchases. If those categories cover many of your most common business expenses and you can also benefit from free hotel stays at Marriott properties, this card is is great fit.

The current welcome offer is solid with a Limited Time Offer: earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership (offer ends 5/3/23). By Bankrate’s calculations, Marriott points are worth approximately 0.7 cents apiece, making the welcome offer value about $875 if you redeem for Marriott stays. Coming in with a $125 annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex provides a flexible rewards scheme that can carry you a long way with the right amount of planning.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Best for hotel rewards

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card‘s bonus categories are similar to that of the Marriott Bonvoy card detailed above, but we think business owners who frequently stay in hotels will get more value from this card due to the rewards rate. Cardholders can earn 12X points on hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, compared with the 6X points offered by the Marriott Card. Hilton Honors points are worth slightly less than Marriott Bonvoy points by Bankrate’s calculations: 0.6 cents vs. 0.7 cents, respectively, but the doubled rewards rate will mean your hotel stays ultimately earn more rewards with the Hilton card.

Aside from hotel stays, cardholders earn 6X points on select business purchases (U.S. gas stations, U.S. cellphone service providers and U.S. shipping purchases) and travel purchases (airfare booked through Amex Travel and select car rentals) and 3X points on all other purchases. This all comes with a $95 annual fee.

New cardholders can earn a welcome offer of 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 3 months of card membership.

Based on Bankrate’s valuation, Hilton Honors points are worth about 0.6 cents apiece, making the welcome bonus points alone worth about $990.

Ink Business Preferred Credit card: Best for business travel

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, which comes with a $95 annual fee, offers 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year (then 1X points), plus 1X points on all other purchases. The 3X points bonus categories include travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media and search engines.

Additionally, cardholders who spend $15,000 in the first three months of account opening will earn a 100,000-point welcome bonus. You may trade them in for cash, equalling $1,000, but if you book travel arrangements via Chase Ultimate Rewards®, the bonus is worth $1,250. The boosted value for travel redemptions — combined with the boosted rate on travel spending — makes this a great choice for business owners who frequently travel.

One last bonus feature: Chase points transfer to partners at 1:1 ratio, meaning 1 point equals 1 transfer partner mile or 1 cent of cash back.

How to maximize the points your earn for your business

After deciding on, and obtaining, the right card for you and your business, make a plan to rack up the rewards. You can do this by charging as many of your expenses as possible, especially in those categories where the issuer will provide the highest reward values.

Secondly, it’s very important to steer clear of debt. To offset balance shock, you may want to delete your charges as you make them or on a weekly basis, but, as long as you pay the bill within the interest-free grace period (approximately 30 days), your reward value won’t be diluted by financing fees.

Another way to earn more is to make your employees authorized users since their charges will apply to the reward accumulation pool. Of course, this. requires a strong foundation of trust.

Lastly, pay attention to the perks that are embedded in the account. For example, many business travel cards come with free access to airport lounges and complimentary checked luggage. And, if you’re traveling internationally, using a business credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees can save you a bundle.

The key is to know and use all of the card’s features, from bonus point categories to perks. It never hurts to compare widely before you apply, and then brush up on your cardholder agreement every once in a while.