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In this article:

Bankrate’s best business credit cards
In-depth looks at our favorite business credit cards
Why you should get a business credit card
Which type of business card should you get?
How to apply for a business credit card
Business credit cards vs business loans
In-depth looks at our favorite business credit cards
Business credit card review scores and superlatives

Bankrate’s best business credit cards from our partners:

In review: Top business credit cards from our partners

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card’s simple and generous cash-back rewards program makes it ideal for business owners interested in unlimited cash-back earnings, substantial sign-up bonus opportunities and straightforward redemption options.
It’s especially useful to big spenders who consistently pay off their balance in full. Monthly spending of $10,000 could earn you yearly cash-back rewards of $2,400.

Highlights:

  • Earn an unlimited 2 percent cash back on every purchase.
  • The card carries a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.
  • There’s no foreign transaction fees, so if you or your employees need to do business outside the U.S., you won’t have to pay extra for using this credit card.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card’s generous rewards towards technology and travel spending make this credit card shine. Business owners who spend heavily on the card’s bonus categories should consider applying–especially if you book your travel through the Chase portal, where your rewards will take on 25 percent more value when used this way. With no foreign transaction fees and trip cancellation insurance, it’s also great for businesses with a number of travel expenses.

Highlights:

  • Earn three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent annually on combined travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services and advertising purchases made on social media and search engines.
  • Earn one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • If you pay the company cell phone bill with this card, you’ll get $600 worth of mobile phone insurance.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express is one of Bankrate’s highest-rated business credit cards thanks to its high-earning potential and ultra-flexible redemption options. Anyone who uses this card with some regularity will be on their way towards earning free flights or free nights at a qualifying property within the expansive Starwood/Marriott portfolio.

Highlights:

  • Cardholders will earn 2 Starpoints per dollar using this card on eligible purchases at participating Starwood or Marriott Rewards hotels. Enroll in the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program and earn an additional 2 or 3 additional points per dollar, depending on your SPG status.
  • This card comes with hotel perks like free Wi-Fi, and for those who have either Gold or Platinum SPG status, free upgrades, late check-in and increased points earnings for your stays.
  • When you redeem a four-night stay with your points at a Starwood property the fifth night is free.

Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card from Citi

If you don’t mind waiting for a once-a-year disbursement to receive your cash-back earnings, there’s no other business card that will put as much money back in your pocket on gas spending as the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card from Citi. Owning a Costco credit card is also the only way to get consistent discounts on shopping at the wholesale behemoth.

Highlights:

  • Earn 4 percent cash back, up to $7,000 a year in annual spending at eligible gas stations worldwide-including ones that aren’t owned by Costco.
  • All eligible restaurant and travel spending will earn 3 percent cash back and all Costco and Costco.com purchases will earn 2 percent cash back.
  • Owning this card is free, as long as you have a Costco membership.

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business is simple—and that’s a good thing. The card earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on any purchase made with the card. Those miles can be redeemed to either purchase travel through the Capital One travel portal or get a statement credit back against travel expenses you booked on your own using the card.

Highlights:

  • Rewards are unlimited and never expire, as long as the account is open and in good standing.
  • The card comes with comes with Visa Business Benefits, which includes auto damage protection, emergency and travel assistance and purchase protection.
  • Additional employee cards are free and the main account holder accrues rewards earned on those cards.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN

For frequent business travelers who want to fly in style and don’t mind paying the price, The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN delivers the goods. With this card, there’s access to nearly all of the airport lounges you can think of, worldwide.

Highlights:

  • Holders of the card have access to American Express’ exclusive Centurion Lounge, a perk reserved just for Platinum and Centurion cardholders.
  • Get up to $200 back as a statement credit in airline incidental fees.
  • All flights and prepaid hotels booked on the Amex Travel Website will earn 5 points per dollar spent.

SimplyCash Plus Business Card from American Express

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that wouldn’t benefit from the rewards structure of this card. Earn 5 percent back on spending at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, up to an annual maximum of $50,000, then the rewards rate drops to an unlimited 1% on those purchases. And it gets better. The SimplyCash Plus Business Card from American Express also pays 3 percent back on your choice from one of eight categories, making this card customizable to your particular business spending patterns.

Highlights:

  • There’s no annual fee with this card—or for additional employee cards.
  • Cash-back earnings are automatically credited to your statement.
  • As part of American Express’ OPEN savings plan, eligible purchases can receive an additional 5 percent discount.

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard

Any business owner who spends a lot of dough on gas and office supplies can likely benefit form this card’s rewards structure. The Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard pays 3 percent back, up to an annual cap of $250,000 on spending at the pump and eligible office supply stores.

Highlights:

  • If you max out the combined spending bonus categories, you could earn up $7,500 back on your spending before your rewards rate drops to an unlimited 1 percent.
  • If you’re a Business Advantage Rewards Client with Bank of America, you can stack an additional 25% to 75% rewards bonus on every base purchase you make for even greater cash-back earnings.
  • There’s no annual fee with this card.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

For smaller businesses who don’t spend as much as the big guys, the choose-your-own bonus category structure of The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN can be a great way to save money. There are five categories that offer enhanced cash-back rewards; choose one of them to earn 3X the points and the other four will earn 2X the points. All other spending will earn 1 point per dollar spent.

Highlights:

  • There’s no interest charges on this card as it’s a charge card and not a credit card.
  • The $175 annual fee is waived the first year.
  • There are no foreign exchange fees with this card.

Why you should get a business credit card

If you own a business, it’s a good idea to keep your business and personal expenses separate. You can save time and money by having a business credit card dedicated to your company’s related purchases. For example, most work-related expenses can be deducted on your businesses’ tax return—including your business card’s annual fee and any interest accrued.

If you make your business purchases on a personal card, not only do you have to keep track of which charge was for which purpose (Did you buy paper for the printer for personal use or for work use? How about when you paid that toll? Was that a work trip? Or just a drive to run an errand?) but you also can’t deduct the annual cost of owning the card.

If you have certain areas of spending for your business that are recurring, or you typically spend a lot in some categories, you may also save money by owning a business credit card that offers rewards in the areas where you spend the most.

Which type of business card should you get?

Anyone with a business can benefit from owning a business credit card if they choose the right card to align with their company’s spending habits. Here are some considerations when choosing a card for your specific type of business:

  • Sole proprietorships or side hustle businesses: Even if you’re a party of one, you can benefit from keeping your business expenses separate from your personal spending. Having a dedicated card can not only make things easier for accounting purposes, it can also help you save money. Consider the areas where you spend the most to find the right card. For example, if you’re selling goods or services online, a card that pays rewards for Internet access or online advertising may be the right fit.
  • General partnerships of two or more people: If you’re a small business with a small staff, you may want to consider a business credit card that includes free employee cards. The main cardholder will accrue any rewards and monthly statements will show a breakdown of which employee spent what on which card. If you own the type of business that provides delivery services for example, a card with enhanced rewards on gas spending could be a good choice.
  • Tech-heavy businesses: If most of your spending is on computers and technology related spending, consider a card that offers benefits in these areas. Or, if your expenses are varied, a flat-rate rewards card that offers the same rewards no matter what you’re buying may be the right one.
  • Travel-based businesses: Anyone with a business where employees are frequently on the go by plane, car or overnight in a hotel should consider a business credit card that offers travel rewards. Many of the travel-related business credit cards offer perks beyond the rewards structure like free Wi-Fi, priority boarding and other benefits. Keep in mind, if the travel is international, choosing a business card without foreign transaction fees should be at the top of your list.

How to apply for a business credit card

If your business is just starting out, when you apply for a business credit card the issuer will look at your personal credit score to determine creditworthiness. Just like with personal credit cards, business credit cards will require the applicant to have at least good credit and some require an excellent credit score.

When you apply, you’ll have to state your total income. This means your income from the business you want the card for and any other income. For example, if you’re just a few months into the business and you’ve earned $1,000 from your new venture but your day job earns you an annual salary of $50,000, your total income should be listed as $51,000.

More established businesses will apply using their company’s Employee Identification Number (EIN) but even then, the applicant is still held responsible for paying the credit card bills. If you miss a payment, or pay late on your business credit card, it will show up on your personal credit report.

Business credit cards vs business loans

Most businesses require some capital to get started and keep going until they make a profit. There are pros and cons to using a credit card or a loan to get your business up and running. Generally speaking, a business credit card is easier to get then a business loan. With a business credit card, you may still qualify for some types of cards even if your credit is just average. There are also a handful of secured business credit cards that you can get even if your overall credit score is less than stellar.

A business loan, however, would be nearly impossible to get from a lender with anything other than a strong credit profile as you’d be deemed too big of a risk.
Applying for a business credit card is usually much faster than applying for a business loan, which can take months to get approval for. A business loan may also require collateral, which can be risky if your business tanks or runs into financial trouble.

You should know that a business loan will also typically have much lower interest rates than a business credit card. If you think you’ll typically carry a balance on a credit card, a lump-sum business loan could be a better choice. But if you’re able to pay the bills in full every month, you could benefit from having a business credit card that offers rewards as cash-back or can be redeemed for travel. Use a business loan calculator to see if the terms are more favorable than what a business credit card may offer.

Recap: Business credit card review scores and superlatives

Card Name Best for Bankrate Review Score
Capital One Spark Cash for Business Sign-Up Bonus 94/100
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Cash Back 92/100
Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express Hotel Rewards 96/100
Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card from Citi Gas Stations 71/100
Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business Airline Miles 90/100
The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN Luxury Travel 93/100
SimplyCash Plus Business Card from American Express Office Supplies 92/100
Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard No Reward Limits 93/100
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Reward Points 88/100

This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by any of the referenced financial institutions or companies. Opinions, analysis, reviews or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any financial institutions or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such entity. All products or services are presented without warranty. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. This post contains references to our partners, and Bankrate may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on certain links posted on this website.