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There are numerous reasons that it makes sense to have a dedicated business credit card, and the benefits can extend far beyond the rewards you earn. Having a business credit card in your wallet makes it considerably easier to keep your business expenses separate for tax purposes, and the best business cards even come with unique cardholder perks, like extended warranties and auto rental coverage.
Business cards can also be a valuable financial tool if your business income fluctuates or cash flow is occasionally tight. For example, if you’re waiting on a client or vendor to pay a big invoice, a business credit card can cover bills and expenses in the interim. Plus, some business cards also offer free employee cards, which can make it easier for employees to make business purchases and for you to earn rewards on all your business spending.
Fortunately, there are plenty of no-annual-fee credit cards for businesses that can help you enjoy the rewards of having a business card without having to pay for the privilege. Not only do the best business credit cards with no annual fee offer rewards, but many come with introductory APR offers as well.
American Express Blue Business Cash Card: Best for business startups
Known as one of the best business credit cards for startups, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card makes it easy to earn a generous flat rate of rewards for each dollar you spend. As a cardholder, you’ll earn 2 percent cash back on the first $50,000 you spend on eligible purchases each year, then 1 percent back. There’s no annual fee, too.
Cardholder benefits you should be aware of include extended warranties, purchase protection against damage or theft, dispute resolution, access to Amex Offers and more.
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for business perks with no annual fee
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express works similarly to its cash back counterpart, except that you earn 2X Amex Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 you spend, then 1X points. Unlike cash back, points earned in the American Express Membership Rewards program can be redeemed for a range of options including merchandise, gift cards, travel through AmexTravel.com and transfers to Amex airline and hotel partners.
This card comes with no annual fee, extended warranties, purchase protection against damage or theft, dispute resolution, access to Amex Offers and additional cardholder benefits.
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card: Best for its welcome bonus
The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card’s rewards rate isn’t the highest rate available on a flat-rate business rewards card, but it’s still generous at 1.5 percent cash back for each dollar you spend. Meanwhile, this card is currently offering one of the most generous sign-up bonuses among business cards with no annual fee — $900 in bonus cash back when you spend $6,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
You can also qualify for primary auto rental collision damage waiver when you rent a car for business purposes, fraud protection, purchase protection against damage or theft, extended warranties, travel and emergency assistance services.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Best for business purchases
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is another top business credit card with no annual fee and it offers tiered rewards rates that can help you cash in if you spend a lot in specific business-related categories. As a cardholder, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on Internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year (then 1 percent back), 2 percent back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year (then 1 percent back) and 1 percent back on other purchases. You can also qualify for the same generous welcome offer of $900 in cash back when you spend $6,000 on your card within three months of account opening.
These rates are incredibly generous on a card with no annual fee and give cardholders who spend in the card’s boosted categories an opportunity to earn more cash back than they would with a flat-rate card. This credit card also comes with generous benefits including auto rental collision damage waiver for business rentals, extended warranties, purchase protection, travel and emergency assistance services and fraud protection.
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card: Best for big spenders
The Capital on Tap Business Credit Card is a flat-rate cash back card that earns unlimited 1.5 percent back on purchases and comes with a potentially higher-than-average credit limit. Business owners with great creditworthiness stand to benefit from up to $50,000 in available credit. This card also comes with a welcome offer: $200 cash back if you spend $15,000 in the first three months of card membership. This is an incredibly high spending requirement, however, so the card may be best for small-business owners who are planning large purchases or have a lot of ongoing business expenses.
The Capital on Tap Business card is a great choice for business owners who value simplicity and have high expenses. You can apply without any impact to your credit score, and there are no foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees or returned payment fees. You’ll also benefit from free employee cards. As a Visa Corporate Card, the Capital on Tap includes an auto rental collision damage waiver as well as travel and emergency assistance.
How to choose the best no annual fee business card for you
If you’re only comparing business credit cards with no annual fee, then you should expect to receive a toned-down set of benefits. While no annual fee business credit cards do offer generous rewards rates and bonus offers, you can access a new range of perks, including deluxe travel benefits, if you’re willing to consider all the top business credit card offers on the market today.
With that being said, there are plenty of factors you should try to compare before you settle on a business card, including the following:
You should compare cards based on their rewards rates for everyday business spending. If your business spends more at gas stations and office supply stores than restaurants or home improvement stores, you should consider cards that offer boosted rewards rates in those categories. If your business spending is spread out uniformly, then a business credit card with a flat rate of rewards could leave you better off.
Also, compare bonus offers among business credit cards, keeping in mind that the best credit card offers change over time. Ideally, you’ll wind up with a business credit card that offers a generous bonus with a minimum spending requirement you can easily meet. If the business credit card you’re considering requires you to spend $7,500 in three months to earn a sign-up bonus you should make sure you can spend at least $2,500 per month on regular business expenses for three months in a row.
The best business credit cards with no annual fee also tend to offer a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for a limited time. Since avoiding interest for a year or longer can help you save money while you pay down business balances over time, you should compare these offers based on how long they last, whether or not you’ll carry a balance for the first year and the variable APR you’ll have to pay on remaining balances once the intro APR offer is over.
Also consider any cardholder perks you’ll receive, whether that includes auto rental insurance, extended warranties, roadside dispatch or purchase protection on items you buy with your card. While you may think you won’t use your credit card’s benefits, perks you can get with a card can come in handy when you least expect it.
The bottom line
Business credit cards with no annual fee let you enjoy the perks of plastic without paying $100 or more each year. However, you shouldn’t settle for a new card before you know what’s out there. The best credit card for your business may be one you have never heard about before, so make sure to research and compare all your options before you apply.