Edited by: Juan Ruiz
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In this post, we’ve put together a collection of the best business credit cards available. These 10 options all have different strengths that will benefit businesses of all sizes and types.
1. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
✅ Our Pick for Premium Perks, Travel Rewards, and Worldwide Lounge Access
The elite Amex Business Platinum card is a clear leader if your business requires a lot of travel and you’re looking to get access to travel perks and benefits.
With this card, you’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel and 1.5x points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year), and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Although the annual fee is steep, you’ll find the Amex Business Platinum card has plenty of benefits that more than offset the fee. Here are just some of this card’s perks:
- Worldwide lounge access, including Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass (upon enrollment), Plaza Premium Lounges, Deltas Sky Clubs, Escape Lounges – The Centurion Studio Partner, select Lufthansa Lounges and select Virgin Clubhouses
- Up to $400 annual Dell credit distributed as an up to $200 credit semi-annually for U.S. purchases
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, upon enrollment
Find out more information, including whether your business has the credit score needed for the Amex Business Platinum card.
2. American Express® Business Gold Card
✅ Our Pick for Flexible Bonus Categories
The Amex Business Gold card is an excellent choice if you’re looking to maximize the number of points you earn through your business spending. This card is a powerhouse when it comes to earning Membership Rewards points thanks to its flexible bonus categories that adjust automatically.
It’s pretty unique to have a card that enables you to automatically maximize your rewards and helps you to focus on actually running your business. If you’re interested in learning more, there are tons of other benefits of the Amex Business Gold card!
3. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
✅ Our Pick for Best Overall Business Credit Card and Best for Flexible Bonus Categories
The Ink Business Preferred card is the most appealing for businesses that travel frequently. Plus, its broad range of bonus earning categories is likely to pair nicely with your business’ spending patterns.
You’ll earn 3x points per dollar spent (up to $150,000 per year) in the following bonus categories:
- Advertising on social media and search engines
- Internet, cable, and phone services
For example, if you spent $50,000 per year in those bonus categories you’d earn 150,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. That’s worth $1,875 when you use Chase’s travel portal to book flights, hotels, etc. Or you can get even more value from your points by transferring them to the Chase airline and hotel partners!
You can receive up to $2,700 in cell phone protection claims every 12 months, and it’s split up to $1,000 per claim with up to 3 claims every 12 months. This insurance protects against accidental damage and theft of your phone, comes with a low $100 deductible, and covers phones that are purchased brand-new (used/refurbished phones do not qualify).
4. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
✅ Our Pick for Cash-back Bonus Categories, and No Annual Fee
The Ink Business Cash card is a great no-annual-fee option that offers some exceptional perks, including travel insurance and purchase protection, and earns lots of cash-back with these great bonus categories:
Earn 5% cash-back (up to $25,000 in combined purchases):
- Office supply stores
- Internet, cable, and phone services
Earn 2% cash-back (up to $25,000 in combined purchases):
- Gas stations
Plus you’ll earn 1% cash-back on all of your other purchases.
If you also have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card (one that charges an annual fee) you can turn your cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points that can then be transferred to hotel and airline partners for maximum value.
Hot Tip: Many new businesses spend a lot on phone expenses, internet service, and office supplies, so having a business credit card such as the Ink Business Cash card that gives 5% cash-back in these categories could make it a good choice for a start-up business.
5. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
✅ Our Pick for Flat-rate Cash-back, and No Annual Fee
If you’re looking for simplicity, the Ink Business Unlimited card may be just right for you. This card earns a flat 1.5% cash-back on all purchases without having to worry about bonus categories or earning limits.
Ink Business Unlimited cardholders who also hold a premium Ultimate Rewards credit card can combine the points earned from their cards and transfer them to Chase’s airline and hotel partners.
Other cards such as the Amex Blue Business Plus card might offer 2x points, but the bonus rewards are capped at $50,000 per year. With the Ink Business Unlimited card, you’ll have no cap on how many points you can earn!
It’s easy to see how the Ink Business Unlimited card fits into the Ink portfolio of cards, perfectly filling in the spending category gaps of the Ink Business Preferred card and Ink Business Cash card.
6. The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
✅ Our Pick for Flat-rate Cash-back
The Amex Blue Business Cash card offers a simple way to earn cash-back for every purchase you make. For the first $50,000 you spend per calendar year, you’ll earn 2% cash-back credited to your statement. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash-back.
7. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
✅ Our Pick for Flat-rate Point-earning
The Amex Blue Business Plus card is a great no-fee option that offers simple, flat-rate points earning (rates and fees). With this card, you’ll be earning valuable Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to the Amex travel partners for maximum value.
You’ll earn 2x points per dollar spent (up to $50,000 per year). After you hit the $50,000 threshold, you’ll earn 1x point per dollar.
Plus, you’ll be able to get additional employee cards at no additional cost and you’ll be able to earn points on all of their purchases in addition to your own (rates and fees).
8. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
✅ Our Pick for Hilton Loyalists and Lounge Access
With this card, you’ll earn 12x Hilton Honors points per dollar spent at hotels and resorts within the Hilton family of brands across the globe. In addition, you’ll be able to earn 6x points per dollar on these bonus categories:
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- Wireless phone services from U.S. providers
- U.S purchases for shipping services
- Flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel
- Car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies
On top of all that, you’ll earn 3x points per dollar on any purchases that don’t fall into the bonus categories.
The Hilton Business Amex card will also help fast-track you to higher levels of Hilton Honors elite status. As a cardmember, you’ll get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status. If you spend $40,000 or more in a calendar year, you’ll be upgraded to Diamond status.
This card also comes with 10 complimentary lounge visits per year after signing up for the Priority Pass Select membership. You’ll have access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide with this perk.
9. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
✅ Our Pick for Delta Flyers and Lounge Access
With this card you’ll earn:
- 3x miles per dollar on Delta purchases
- 1.5x miles per dollar on purchases after you spend $150,000 in a calendar year
- 1x miles per dollar on all other purchases
The Delta Reserve Business card also helps you earn Delta SkyMiles elite status. You’ll get 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $30,000 in purchases in a calendar year. You can do this up to 4 times per year (earn 60,000 MQMs total after spending $120,000). Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available.
When you consider that Delta Diamond elite status requires 125,000 MQMs and Platinum requires 75,000 MQMs (among a few other requirements), you can begin to see how much Status Boost can help you in achieving your desired Delta Medallion status. Plus you’ll enjoy benefits like a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit and a Delta Companion Certificate.
10. Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
✅ Our Pick for Bonus Categories and Marriott Loyalists
If you’re a Marriott loyalist who wants lots of ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and a fast track to Marriott Bonvoy elite status, then the Marriott Bonvoy Business card might be a good option for you.
With this card, you’ll earn:
- 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
- 4x points at restaurants worldwide
- 4x points at U.S. gas stations
- 4x points on wireless phone services from U.S. providers
- 4x points on U.S purchases for shipping services
- 2x points on all other purchases
This business credit card is at the top of our list of favorite credit cards for Marriott Bonvoy loyalists, for numerous reasons, including the 7% room rate discount, 15 Elite Night Credits, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, and the ability to earn up to 6x points on your spending!
But one of the best benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Business card is the free night award certificate you get a month after every cardmember anniversary. This free night award is good for any 1-night stay of up to 35,000 points. This could get you a free night worth anywhere from $200 to $300. The benefit alone could pay for the card every year!
Business Credit Card Comparison Table (2023)
|Business Credit Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Main Benefits|
What Is a Business Credit Card?
Put simply, a business credit card is a card that is designed for business expenses instead of personal expenses. This is great for accounting purposes as it will allow you to easily reference and calculate all of your business expenses for the year when it comes time to pay your taxes.
How To Select a Business Credit Card
There are so many variables when it comes to credit cards, and business credit cards are no different.
Business Card Basics
- You’ll be personally responsible for paying the card unless your contract states otherwise. Your personal credit may play a significant role in whether you’re approved for a business credit card.
- The Federal Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 set new provisions to protect consumers from some of the negative practices of credit card companies, but the CARD Act does not apply to business cards. Your business credit card may have higher fees and be less consumer-friendly, although many banks are now including CARD protections voluntarily on business cards.
- Credit limits are generally higher for business credit cards than for personal credit cards.
- Unfortunately, APRs can also be higher on business credit cards — a good reason not to carry high balances.
Narrow Your Options by Answering These Questions
- Which are my most significant business expenses? You’ll want to select a card that rewards your most significant spending categories, ideally one that rewards all of your spending in those categories, not just a portion.
- What are my business travel requirements? Are you a road warrior who values rewards for gas purchases, an in-home business requiring no travel, or a frequent flyer who values premium travel benefits?
- Do I want to earn cash-back to reinvest in my business, or is earning travel rewards more of a priority?
- Do the redemption options for rewards add value to the business? With cash-back credit cards, the answer may be easy, but can your business benefit from free airline tickets if your business doesn’t require travel? Don’t forget — it’s perfectly acceptable to use the rewards earned on business expenses for a personal vacation.
- Do I prefer a business card with no annual fee? While some high-annual-fee cards provide exceptional benefits, you may have a preference to stay clear of cards with high annual fees.
How To Apply for a Business Credit Card
Before applying for a business credit card, you’ll want to make sure you have the following information handy:
- The legal name of your business (this can be your own name)
- Your business entity (sole proprietor, partnership, S corporation, limited liability company)
- Tax ID number, which can be either an Employer Identification Number or Social Security number
- Years you’ve been in business
- Business revenue (yes, it can be $0) and total personal income
- Business address (can be the same as your personal address) and phone number
- Type of business and subtype of business (for example, services, subtype cleaning services)
- Number of employees
- Possible additional personal information
5 Tips for Completing the Business Credit Card Application
- Don’t lie. Provide information that is as accurate as possible.
- Relationships matter. Having other credit cards (with a positive history) or a bank account with the financial institution issuing the credit card will increase your chances of approval. For example, having a business checking account from Chase can help increase the likelihood of being approved for a Chase business credit card.
- Keep a copy of the application. If for any reason you are not approved, or if the issuing bank needs more information, you can refer to your application during any follow-up conversations.
- Make notes. On the copy of your application, make notes as to why you answered a question a certain way. Did you estimate your earnings? What was the process you used for the estimate?
- Take a screenshot of the offer. Before you hit submit, make sure you’ve documented the credit card offer. Applying for an offer that gives you 50,000 miles after your first purchase? Be sure you have a screenshot to refer to if those 50,000 miles don’t show up.
It’s also not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the rules of each bank before applying. This will ensure you’re within the card limit for a specific issuer, eligible for the welcome bonuses, etc.
Business Credit Cards vs. Personal Credit Cards
Some business owners question whether it’s necessary to have a business credit card for your start-up or small business. It’s especially questionable if you’re not making a lot of money yet and you’ve been able to utilize your personal credit card for the expenses you’ve incurred so far.
It’s prudent to separate business expenses from personal expenses, and it can become critical when it comes time to pay taxes or produce supporting information for an audit. An easy way to separate expenses is to open a bank account for your business and apply for a business credit card to use for your business-related purchases.
Additionally, business credit cards frequently offer perks for businesses, have higher credit limits, and reward business category purchases more than personal cards.
Deciding Between a Business Charge Card or a Business Credit Card
Knowing the difference between a charge card and a credit card can help you make an informed decision on which card fits your business spending patterns best.
A credit card allows you to carry a balance from 1 statement period to another. You will be charged interest on any carryover balance. A charge card requires the balance to be paid off in full each statement period.
Charge cards may have offers that allow you to carry over a balance, but it’s not guaranteed. The credit card issuer has to explicitly grant you this privilege.
An advantage of a charge card is not having a specified spending limit, as the credit card issuer will determine this based on how you’re managing the card.
Hot Tip: If a charge card is what you’re looking for, consider the Brex corporate cards. Brex is a company that has turned business credit cards on their head.
Which Types of Businesses Qualify for a Business Credit Card?
The IRS gives us the bottom line on what constitutes a business in its statement: “Generally, an activity qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.”
Under that definition, a business can range from opening a restaurant to selling homemade jam or refereeing soccer on the weekends, as long as it has a reasonable expectation of earning a profit. Even if your side gig is small, it may still qualify for a business credit card because your personal credit will play a significant role in whether you get approved for a business credit card.
Pros and Cons of Business Credit Cards
Pros of Getting a Business Credit Card
The number of business expenses you have can really add up over the year, and putting all of these expenses on a set business credit card or 2 can really be a lifesaver when it comes time to pay your taxes. This way, you can easily access, refer to, and itemize all of your expenses from the past year.
Earn Rewards and Optimize Your Spend
Put simply, business credit cards can offer lucrative rewards structures that can offer travel rewards or cash-back on every dollar you spend. Given that, if you aren’t using a business credit card for your expenses then you are leaving money on the table with every transaction you make.
Welcome Bonuses Boost Your Bottom Line
Not only are the rewards you earn with a business credit card lucrative, but the welcome bonus you receive can give a boost to your bottom line at the end of the year. Some of the best credit card welcome bonuses can offer anywhere from $500 to $1,000 in cash-back, or can offer travel rewards points that can offset thousands of dollars in travel expenses you’d otherwise have needed to pay out of pocket for.
Receive Perks and Protections
Another great way to enhance the value of your business credit card is the perks and protections they can offer.
For instance, many benefits rich cards might offer perks like airport lounge access, annual credits to help offset your business expenses, elite status, priority security clearance at the airport, and more.
In terms of protections, look for benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty protection, cell phone protection, trip delay protection, rental car insurance, and more as these items can really come in handy when the unexpected happens.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you operate a business that requires making overseas purchases then this perk is an absolute must-have. Without it, you’ll be charged anywhere from 2.7% to 3% in fees for your international purchases, which can add up quickly.
Enable and Track Employee Expenses
Most business credit cards have functionality that allows you to add employee cards for no additional fee. They even offer helpful benefits like allowing you to set credit limits for each card individually, and track expenses across all cards from your main account.
Cons of Getting a Business Credit Card
Not Ideal If You Can’t Regularly Pay Your Balance Off
Business credit cards can charge some high interest rates, especially for business credit cards that offer travel rewards. Given that, you’ll want to make sure you’re always paying your full statement balance to avoid paying interest on the business expenses you make with your card.
Might Charge an Annual Fee
Some of our favorite business credit cards, the Amex Business Platinum card and the Ink Business Preferred card, charge an annual fee. In our view, the benefits that cards offer can easily outweigh the cost, but this isn’t always the case for everyone. That said, if you’re considering a business credit card that charges an annual fee, make sure the value you’ll receive from the card is higher than the fee you’ll pay.
Methodology: How We Selected Our List of the Best Business Credit Cards
The Upgraded Points team selects the best business credit cards based on how much value the card can provide to cardholders. When evaluating each card, we assess every factor possible, including the card’s benefits, earnings structure, welcome bonus, redemption value/rewards program, fees, and more.
Here’s a look into our thought process when selecting the best business rewards cards:
The top business rewards cards will offer benefits that can help your business, whether that be on the bottom line or by making tasks easier. Benefits such as free employee cards, statement credits, travel benefits such as lounge access, and expense management tools, as well as card protections, are just some examples of travel perks we look for.
We look for cards that offer solid bonus categories on a variety of business purchases like advertising, computer hardware, shipping, and more. A great business rewards card could also have flat-rate earnings on all purchases, making it easy to accumulate rewards on everyday purchases.
A business card’s welcome offer is perhaps the best way to earn a large chunk of points in a short amount of time. While this is a one-time bonus, they are a factor in our evaluations because of how lucrative they can be.
We’ll provide you with the current welcome offer information available to us for each card, but we also encourage you to confirm the welcome offer and review any offers before applying for any card.
The very best business rewards cards come with excellent perks and benefits, but with those benefits also come higher card annual fees. That said, if the card is right for you, it can be easy to get far more value from the card than what you pay for the annual fee.
A card will score high if it earns flexible rewards that allow for several options at redemption time. The best business rewards cards provide the option to redeem points directly for travel, cash-back, or statement credits, or allow the transfer of rewards to airline and hotel partners for the opportunity to receive the greatest potential value.
Hot Tip: While the most desired benefits and features of a card will vary by person, our holistic approach gives readers the full picture of what they can expect from every card we review. To learn more about how we review cards, read through our designated methodology page.
Opening a business credit card is a positive step that supports the future growth of your business, and you do not need to have a large business to qualify.
While this list of the best business credit cards is exhaustive, there are many more options available.
Find the best business credit card for your business by researching the best available cards, their rewards and benefits, as well as the drawbacks. A business credit card can make a big difference for your business and it’s critical to make an informed decision.
See our in-depth articles where we cover the best business credit cards for perks and benefits, best Amex business cards, 0% APR business credit cards, low credit scores and building credit, new businesses and start-ups, real estate investors, doctors, dentists, house flippers and landlords, and nonprofits.
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For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
Featured Image Credit: Upgraded Points
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the primary reasons for having a business credit card is to separate your business expenses from your personal expenses, making it easier at tax time or to provide documentation in the case of an audit. Some business credit cards provide record-keeping tools, syncing with Quickbooks, and other financial management tools.
Additionally, business credit cards may offer higher credit limits, free employee credit cards, and earn bonuses in business spending categories that you won’t find on personal cards.
You apply for a business credit card in your business name and all spending that relates to your business activity goes on the business credit card. Although you apply for a business credit card, your personal credit history can make a difference in whether you’re approved as you’ll normally be personally responsible for debt incurred on the card.
Your personal credit history is normally taken into consideration and a hard-pull inquiry is done on your personal credit report when you apply for a business credit card. While this might affect your personal credit by a few points initially, opening a business credit card may not affect your personal credit in the long term.
If you default on your payments to the business credit card, however, the information will be reported to your personal credit report. Most issuers do not report activity to your personal credit report unless there is negative activity.
There is no single best credit card for every business because benefits, rewards, and the value the business card adds to your business will vary.
Reviewing the benefits of each card you’re considering and asking yourself if a benefit adds value to your business can help you select the perfect card.
If you’re trying to keep costs to a minimum, for example, you might select a rewards-earning business card with no annual fee, such as the Ink Business Cash card.
The spending habits of your business should match up with the bonus spending categories on the credit card for maximum rewards earning. If you’re a road warrior, for example, you might select a card that rewards purchases at gas stations and hotels.
Selecting a card with a 0% APR period for purchases and/or balance transfers may also be an option to help with your small business’ cash flow.
The short answer is yes, but it is not prudent to do so because one of the primary benefits of opening a business credit card is to keep business and personal expenses separate.
When personal expenses are put on a business credit card, you could run into problems at tax time trying to sort it all out and even have difficulty in case of an audit.
Generally, no. Even if you’re just starting out, with good or better personal credit, you can qualify for a business credit card as long as your business activity has a reasonable expectation of a profit.
With that said, every credit card issuer has its own requirements for issuing business cards.
You can be approved for a business credit card even if your business does not yet have profits. You’ll need a strong personal credit history to be approved, but it’s possible to secure a business credit card without a profit.
Business credit cards are different from personal credit cards because they require you to have a business to open one, they offer business-specific features and tools, and they usually have higher credit limits.
Just as with your personal credit score, your business credit score will determine whether or not you’ll be eligible for credit cards, loans, and lending terms, etc. The better your business credit score, the better chance you will have of getting your applications approved.
You certainly can. That said, business credit cards are best used for the day-to-day and month-to-month expenses of running your business. If you are looking for capital to finance the initial start-up cost of a business of your business, then a small business loan would be more prudent.
Many business credit cards do require a personal guarantee. That said, there are some business credit card options that do not require a personal guarantee, like Brex, for instance.
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