Best business credit cards for travel

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Whether you run a major corporation, own a small family business or have a side hustle that brings in part-time income, having a dedicated business credit card can help you in more ways than one. Not only can a business credit card help you keep your personal and business spending separate for bookkeeping and tax preparation purposes, but a credit card will allow you to borrow money for important business expenses in a pinch.

The best business credit cards for travel also let business owners earn points or miles for each dollar their business spends, and that’s on top of the travel perks they offer. Many of the best also offer flexible redemption options you can take advantage of even during times when you’re not traveling at all, whether that means you can cash in your points for statement credits, gift cards or merchandise.

Bankrate’s picks for the best business travel credit cards

If you’re angling for a travel rewards credit card for your business, this guide can help you find the best card for your needs. The travel business cards we highlight below offer the best rewards rates, bonus offers and cardholder benefits on the market today.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for flexible rewards

  • Rewards: Earn 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines (then 1X points) and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within three months of account opening
  • Annual fee: $95

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is incredibly popular with business owners thanks to the fact that it doles out Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Rewards you earn with this card can be used to book travel directly through the Chase travel portal, but you can also transfer your points to Chase airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 basis. This means that 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned with this card can be turned into 100,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points or United miles, or even 100,000 World of Hyatt or Marriott Bonvoy points.

To start you off, the Ink Business Preferred is currently offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 points (worth $1,250 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®) after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases with your card within three months of account opening. You’ll also get the chance to earn 3X points per $1 on up to $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone purchases and advertising with social media sites and search engines (then 1X points) and 1X points on everything else. A $95 annual fee applies, but the first-year bonus makes up for it several times over.

Consider this card if you want flexible redemption options

While you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel, you can also cash in these points for other flexible options. For example, 100,000 points can be turned into a $1,000 statement credit, $1,000 in gift cards to restaurants and retailers, merchandise and more.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for luxury travel perks

  • Rewards: Earn 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com, as well as 1.5X points on purchases over $5,000; also, earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 within three months of account opening
  • Annual fee: $595

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express lets consumers earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com, which can quickly add up. Cardholders also earn 1.5X points for purchases over $5,000, which highly favors businesses that have a lot of high-dollar expenses throughout the month.

The welcome offer to look forward to includes earning 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

When it comes to redeeming your rewards, keep in mind that the American Express Membership Rewards program is versatile and flexible. Points in this program can be used to book travel directly through AmexTravel.com, redeemed for gift cards or merchandise or transferred to popular airline and hotel partners.

It’s also important to note that, when you redeem points for eligible airfare with this card, you’ll get 35 percent of your points back (up to 500,000 back per year).

Consider this card if you want luxury perks when you travel

In terms of major travel benefits, the Amex Business Platinum comes with no foreign transaction fees, a $200 airline fee credit each year, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership and the ability to visit Priority Pass Select or Centurion airport lounges.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best with no annual fee

  • Rewards: Earn 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 you spend each year, then 1x points
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Annual fee: $0

While the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, you do get the chance to earn valuable American Express Membership Rewards points without paying an annual fee. In fact, you’ll earn 2X points on the first $50,000 you spend each year with your card (then 1X points), which gives you the unique opportunity to earn more than the standard 1X points per dollar on most of your business spending.

Like other cards within this program, the Amex Blue Business Plus lets you book travel directly through AmexTravel.com, transfer points to popular airline and hotel partners or redeem for gift cards or merchandise. If you have other cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points, your rewards points can all be pooled in a single account.

Consider this card if you want to earn travel rewards with no annual fee

Many of the top credit cards for business travelers charge an annual fee, but this card gives you the rewards you want without having to pay one.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card: Best for flexible travel redemptions

  • Rewards: Earn 1.5X points on all regular purchases and 3X points on travel booked through the Bank of America travel center
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points (worth $300 in statement credit toward travel) when you spend $3,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening
  • Annual fee: $0

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card lets consumers rack up a flat 1.5X points for all regular spending on their card, but travel purchases made through the Bank of America travel portal net 3X points for each dollar spent. The initial bonus of 30,000 points is easy to earn with just $3,000 in spending required within the first 90 days, and this card doesn’t have an annual fee for business owners to worry about.

Also, if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards customer, you can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more rewards for each dollar you spend on your card. Interestingly, this card also comes with a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 9 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 12.24 percent to 22.24 percent. This perk can help business owners pay down large purchases without any interest for a limited period of time.

Consider this card if you want flexible redemptions

A major benefit to consider with the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard is just how flexible the redemption options are. Not only can you redeem your rewards for any travel purchase charged to your card, but you can cash them in for travel purchases through the Bank of America Travel Center. When you’re not traveling, you can also cash in your points for cash back or gift cards.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business: Best flat-rate travel credit card

  • Rewards: Earn a flat 2X miles for each dollar you spend and 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel™
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,500 on your card within three months of account opening
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, $95 after that

Business owners who don’t want to deal with complex loyalty programs or rewards structures should consider the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. Once you sign up, you’ll earn a flat 2X miles for each dollar you spend, and you get the chance to cash in your miles for travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per mile. Travel you can redeem rewards for includes hotel stays, flights, campgrounds, train tickets, rental condos that code as travel on your credit card statement and more. You can also transfer miles earned with this card to several Capital One airline and hotel transfer partners, such as Accor, Wyndham Rewards and Air France / Flying Blue.

This card also gives you 5X miles on travel booked through Capital One Travel, and you can earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 on your card within the first three months. Your miles never expire as long as the account is in good standing, and there’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn. This card does have a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. Plus, you can receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee.

Consider this card if you want to earn a flat rate of travel rewards for each dollar your business spends

Earning a flat 2X miles for each dollar you spend can be attractive if you don’t want to keep track of complicated rewards schemes. This card also comes with free employee cards, so you can earn flat-rate rewards on purchases your employees make as well.

How to choose the business travel card for you

If you’re struggling to figure out which travel business cards to consider, you should know you’re not alone. The following tips can help you sort through the best business cards for travel based on the flexibility you need and how much you’re willing to spend.

Decide which travel perks you want

Many of the top travel credit cards for small business owners come with travel benefits like airport lounge access, airline fee credits or fee credits for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership. While you’ll pay a higher annual fee for a card with any of these perks, the investment can be worth it if you travel often.

Look for rewards flexibility

If you’re not traveling a lot right now, you should also make sure you have plenty of options when it comes to cashing in your rewards. The best small business credit cards for travel let you cash in points for flexible travel redemptions or for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards.

Compare fees and interest rates

There’s nothing wrong with paying the annual fee on a business credit card if the rewards or cardholder perks make up for it. Still, you should take the time to compare cards and their fees, as well as the long-term interest rate you might pay.

If you plan to carry a balance, you should look for cards that offer 0 percent interest for a limited time. If you travel outside of the country often, on the other hand, you’ll want to look for a business card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

The bottom line

The best travel business cards can help you earn rewards and gain access to special benefits, but one type of card may leave you better off than another. Make sure to compare all your options side-by-side before you sign up for a business credit card, and only sign up once you have found one that suits your needs, goals and lifestyle.

All information about the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business review has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."