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There are many benefits to owning a business credit card. For one, business credit cards help you keep business and personal expenses separate. This benefits you not only from a tax perspective but from a business planning perspective, as well, as it ensures that you won’t put too many personal funds into a business that isn’t earning enough to stay afloat.
A business credit card can also help you cover expenses during periods of low cash flow. If you’re waiting on a client payment but you need to buy supplies right now, a business card can cover the cost and buys you time until your client pays you.
Lastly, a business card can help you earn rewards on your business’ spending. While experiencing some struggle when getting your business off the ground is unavoidable, you don’t want to put money into a business without expecting profitable returns in the long run. The same logic applies to business credit cards – whether it’s earning cash back rewards or points and miles from travel.
Bankrate’s picks for the best business cards with no annual fee
- Best for startups: American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
- Best for paying off debt: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Best for doubling your rewards: Discover it® Business Card
- Best for flexible rewards: Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Best for startups: American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
- 2 percent cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1 percent)
Welcome bonus: None
Annual fee: $0
Known as one of the best business credit cards for startups, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a great no annual fee option when shopping for the perfect credit card for your business. The Blue Business Cash Card not only skips the yearly fee but also offers 2 percent cash back on all purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year (then 1 percent).
Best for paying off debt: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- 2X Membership Rewards® points on every purchase (up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1 percent)
Welcome bonus: None
Annual fee: $0
Like the Blue Business Cash Card from American Express, the Blue Business Plus offers business owners no annual fee and 2X Membership Rewards® points on all purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1 percent.
Additionally, the no annual fee credit card offers an introductory zero percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after opening the account (14.24 percent to 20.24 percent variable APR thereafter).
Best for doubling your rewards: Discover it® Business Card
- Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase
Welcome bonus: Discover will match all of the cash back you earn at the end of your first year of card ownership
Annual fee: $0
If you’re looking for hassle-free rewards from your business credit card, the Discover it Business may be the best no annual fee option for you. With an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases (plus no expiration dates on rewards), the card is one of the most user-friendly and straightforward of its class.
Similar to other Discover cards, the Discover it Business offers a Cashback Match™ feature, meaning all the cash back you earn is automatically matched dollar-for-dollar at the end of the first year. If your business earns $300 in cash back, for example, you’ll take home $600 in cash back your first year.
Best for flexible rewards: Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
- 3 percent cash back on your choice of one out of six categories: gas stations, office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom and wireless, computer services and business consulting services
- 2 percent back on dining (up to $50,000 in combined 3 percent and 2 percent category spending each calendar year, then 1 percent)
- 1 percent back on all other purchases
Welcome bonus: $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Annual fee: $0
The Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard is a cash back credit card that 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 some other business credit cards, you’ll get the benefit of a welcome 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.
How to choose the best business card for you
Choosing the best credit card for your business 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 card with a zero percent introductory APR to help fund a large purchase or a travel credit card to help cover the costs of your next business trip, there are a lot of great business credit card options out there.
In addition to no annual fee choices, here are a few factors you may want to consider when choosing a business credit card:
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 $10,000 credit limit on your business credit card, for example, you’re not going to be able to cover very many business expenses.
Zero percent introductory 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 zero percent introductory 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 whenever you can.
Rewards for everyday spending
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. It also helps to look for a business credit card that comes with a great sign-up bonus to maximize your rewards.