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Most major credit card issuers are known for offering specific types of cards, whether that includes cards within their own loyalty program (like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, for example) or credit cards co-branded with specific airlines and hotel brands.
Citi, which first moved into card-based banking with Citicards (a card-based payment system) in 1974, is no exception. When it comes to Citi credit cards, most consumers know about the Citi ThankYou Rewards program, as well as the issuer’s relationship with American Airlines and Costco.
Citi offers two business credit cards geared toward travel and wholesale club purchases, respectively. Keep reading to learn about Citi credit cards for business, their main highlights and who they’re best for — as well as a few consumer card options that can still provide value to small-business owners.
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard: Best for frequent flyers
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®* is the only Citi business credit card co-branded with an airline, but it’s still a good option for frequent flyers. The initial bonus on this card is generous, and the fact you can earn 2X miles in a variety of categories is another major plus: 2X AAdvantage miles spent on American Airlines purchases; 2X miles on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations; 1X miles on everything else.
Further, the sign-up bonus alone (currently 65,000 miles after spending $4,000 in your first four months) is enough for two round-trip MileSAAver domestic flights or a round-trip flight to Europe during peak season.
You can also qualify for a companion travel certificate, which lets a companion fly with you for just $99 (plus taxes and fees) in domestic economy. To secure this perk, you need to spend at least $30,000 or more on your credit card within a cardmember year and renew your card membership.
- $99 annual fee is waived the first year
- Companion travel certificate opportunity
- One checked bag free on domestic flights
- Preferred boarding and 25 percent off in-flight Wi-Fi, food and beverages
- No foreign transaction fees
- No luxury travel perks, such as Admirals Club lounge access
- Miles cannot be redeemed for cash back or statement credits
- Can’t transfer miles to fly with other airlines
Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi: Best for gas and bulk shopping
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi* is a good option if your business spends a lot on gas. For no annual fee, you’ll earn 4 percent cash back on eligible gas and electric vehicle charging purchases (for the first $7,000 per year, then 1 percent), which works out to $280 in rewards if you’re able to max out this category each year.
Earning 3 percent back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases is also a plus, especially since this rate applies to purchases made through the Costco travel portal. You’ll also earn 2 percent back at Costco (in-store and online) and 1 percent back on all other purchases — making this card a well-rounded option for small-business owners who shop at Costco often.
Other than its rewards rates, this business card has scant benefits — so you’ll really want to make sure the Costco-specific rewards are worth it to you. If you’re more interested in earning rewards on gas station purchases, there are a variety of other gas credit cards on the market that offer extensive perks.
- $0 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- Purchase protection
- No sign-up bonus
- You can only redeem your rewards once per year when your February account statement closes
- Requires a Costco membership to apply (at least $60 per year)
Consider a consumer credit card from Citi
If you’re considering a Citi business credit card but are frustrated by your lack of options, you should also take a close look at personal credit cards from Citi. (Yes, you can use a personal card for business expenses.)
The Citi ThankYou Rewards program has a pretty valuable option: the Citi Premier® Card. For a $95 annual fee, this travel card lets you rack up 3X Citi ThankYou points on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases. This may be a better option for your business if you don’t often fly with one specific airline.
Or, if your business has existing credit card debt to pay off, you might consider the Citi® Double Cash Card as a good long-term option. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee and comes with a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (followed by a variable APR between 18.24 percent and 28.24 percent). In terms of ongoing rewards, you’ll earn a total of 2 percent cash back for each dollar you spend: 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off.
How to choose a Citi business credit card
Before you choose a Citi business credit card, you should explore your alternatives (like consumer options from Citi or other top business credit cards on the market) and decide which card might work best for your needs. Here are some tips that can help:
Determine what you want to earn rewards on
The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select will earn you decent rewards on American Airlines purchases, as well as various business-related expenses. On the other hand, the Costco Anywhere Visa Business packs the most punch in the gas category. Take a good look at where your business does the most spending to help you choose the best business card for you.
Consider redemption options
Neither of these two Citi business cards offer great redemption options. In fact, both are incredibly limiting. With the CitiBusiness AAdvantage card, you can redeem for travel booked specifically through your AAdvantage account — like American Airlines flights and flight upgrades — as well as Admirals Club membership and charity. With the Costco business card, you can get cash back once a year, which can only be redeemed at Costco.
If none of these redemption options sound appealing, look toward a consumer Citi card or a general option on our list of the best small-business credit cards.
Compare annual fees
Note how both of these business credit cards compare in terms of annual fees. If you decide to pay an annual fee for a credit card, you should make sure you’re getting plenty of value in return. While the Costco business card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you’ll need to pay at least $60 a year to be a Costco member and shop at the wholesale club.
On the other hand, while the CitiBusiness AAdvantage card doesn’t charge an annual fee the first year, you’ll be on the hook for $99 per year each year after. If paying a yearly fee to hold your business card is something you’d prefer to avoid, consider sifting through our guide to the best no-annual-fee business credit cards.
The bottom line
If you’re a small-business owner looking for a business credit card from Citi, we hope you aren’t picky. Though, if you’re willing to look outside of Citi for a business credit card, there are plenty of options that offer solid ongoing rewards rates — on everything from travel to business-specific purchases — and with a myriad of additional benefits.
*All information about the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.