Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
Online advertising has become the major strategy for growing businesses in today’s marketplace.
Estimates vary by source, but according to data research company Statista, its recently released report estimates that nearly 92% of U.S. businesses will use social media for marketing in 2021. This is a staggering increase from 86.2% in 2013.
Chances are, your business spends money on advertising. Whether you use Facebook, Amazon, Google, Twitter, or more traditional media platforms such as TV or radio, if a big share of your business expenses falls in this category, you’ll want to make sure you’re earning the highest rewards possible.
Fortunately, several of the best credit cards available have been designed to reward common types of advertising spending inherent to businesses today.
In our article, we’ll cover:
Let’s get busy making sure every advertising purchase your business makes earns rewards.
|Card||Welcome Offer and Annual Fee||Benefits for Advertising Purchases|
|4x points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most (limit of $150,000), one of them being U.S. purchases for advertising in select media|
||3x points on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on internet, cable and phone services, shipping expenses, travel, and ads purchased with search engines or social media sites|
|2% cash-back on up to $50,000 in spend, then 1% back thereafter|
|1.5x points for eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year)|
|2x points on everyday business purchases (up to $50,000; 1x thereafter)|
||1.5% cash-back on all purchases|
You have more productive things to do with your time than trying to determine which bonus earning categories you should select on your business credit card.
With the Amex Business Gold card, elevated earning is simple. All of the 4x bonus earning categories are eligible, but your actual spending determines which 2 categories receive the bonus each statement period.
For example, if this month’s statement shows that shipping and radio advertising were your biggest expenses, those are the categories that will receive 4x bonus earnings.
Next month’s spending could change, with airline tickets and computer hardware being your largest expenses. Those will then be the categories earning the 4x bonus.
This process ensures your greatest expenses receive the greatest rewards. If advertising is always your biggest expense category, you’ll always receive 4x earnings for those purchases.
If your business spends a lot on Google Ads or Facebook Ads, the Amex Business Gold card is an excellent choice. If you maximize the $150,000 annual purchase limit in this 4x earnings category, that’s 600,000 Membership Rewards points earned each year!
Hot Tip: It’s worthy to note that Amex does not list Amazon advertising as a qualifying online ad purchase at this time.
Here’s how the Amex Business Gold card rewards advertising purchases:
|Best For:||Examples of Bonus Earning Merchants||Rewards|
|Qualifying online ads, television and radio advertising purchased in the U.S. for the purpose of promoting a business||
Membership Rewards points are one of the most valuable rewards currencies given how many ways there are to earn Amex points and the variety of good value redemption options.
The value you receive for your points will depend on which redemption option you select. You can purchase travel through Amex Travel, redeem your points for gift cards, or donate to charity to easily receive 1 cent per point in value.
Transferring Amex points to the Amex travel partners (especially airlines) can yield even greater value and be the best option for maximizing your Amex points.
While there are several other redemption options, choices such as statement credits, shopping at Amazon, Best Buy, or Shop with Membership Rewards Points will yield significantly less value for your points.
No need to select a specific bonus category with the Ink Business Preferred card — all of the business spending bonus categories automatically earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent.
Advertising purchases on social media and search engines are included in the bonus earning categories and also receive 3 points per dollar spent.
There is a $150,000 annual limit on total 3x category earnings, after which you will earn 1 point per dollar spent. If you’re reaching this level of spending on Google, Amazon, or Facebook ads, or another 3x category, that’s a total of 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points!
Once earned, Ultimate Rewards points are deposited in your Ultimate Rewards account at the end of each statement period and are available for use.
Here’s how the Ink Business Preferred card rewards advertising purchases:
|Best for:||Example of Bonus Earning Merchants||Rewards|
|Social media website advertising and search engine advertising purchases||
||3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent ($150k annual limit on the 3x, 1x thereafter)|
We like to earn Ultimate Rewards points because of their flexibility and value.
Hot Tip: If your business spends a lot on Google, Amazon, or Facebook advertising, the Ink Business Preferred card is an excellent choice for those advertising purchases. Maximizing the $150,000 purchase limit for 3x categories will generate $5,625 in travel value when redeemed via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
If advertising is your greatest expense, you can consistently earn 2% cash-back with the Amex Blue Business Cash card. 2% earnings are limited to up to $50,000 in eligible purchases per year, and after you’ve maxed our your 2% earning, you’ll earn 1%.
Amex advertising categories include Google Ads, Yahoo Ads, and Facebook Ads. NBC TV and CBS Radio all qualify for 2% since the card earns 2% on all eligible purchases within the cap.
If you’re operating your business on a tight budget and traveling is not a priority, cash-back can be a valuable way to bring capital back into the business.
No need for complicated redemption strategies — cash-back earned on the Amex Blue Business Cash card is applied automatically to your statement, helping to offset expenses and improve your bottom line.
If your business spends an inordinate amount of money on advertising each month, you’ll want to make sure every dollar is earning rewards. Plus, you’ll want to have a card that comes with many additional benefits you can use.
The Amex Business Platinum card is a premium travel rewards card that comes with premium travel benefits including the following.
If your business is spending big on advertising, considering a card like the Amex Business Platinum card, with no spending limits, might be a rewarding option.
If you want to earn rewards on all of your purchases, you can accomplish this with several credit cards.
Let’s take a look at several no-annual-fee credit cards that deliver earnings on every purchase you make, including advertising.
The Amex Blue Business Plus card earns 2x points on everyday business purchases, including advertising like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, up to $50,000 per year. After that, you earn 1x.
If you maximize that limit, you’ll earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points — an excellent value for a no-annual-fee credit card.
With 1.5% cash-back on every purchase your business makes, including advertising, the no-annual-fee Ink Business Unlimited card is worthy of consideration.
Cash-back rewards are earned in the form of Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for cash-back at 1 cent per point.
You can, however, transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to premium Chase credit cards such as the Ink Business Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card for 25% to 50% more value when redeemed for travel.
There is no limit on how much cash-back (in the form of Ultimate Rewards points) you can earn with the Ink Business Unlimited card.
Hot Tip: If your advertising expenses exceed the bonus category limits that come with a specific credit card, a combination of 2 cards that match up with your spending levels may be the ultimate solution. For example, the Ink Business Preferred card (great for Amazon advertisers) and the Amex Business Gold card are cards with elevated advertising earnings that have a $300,000 annual limit combined.
If your business is heavy into advertising and the expense is significant, selecting a credit card that earns rewards for these purchases makes good business sense.
It’s also prudent to look at your other major expenses and select a card that matches as much of your spending mix as possible.
For example, if your 2 largest business expenses are for travel and advertising, the Ink Business Preferred card might be a better choice than the Amex Business Gold card that limits travel-related earnings to just airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines.
If your business is small and you have a lot of office supply purchases and wireless phone expenses, the Amex Blue Business Cash card will have you earning plenty at 2% cash-back on up to $50,000 per year.
Selecting the best credit card for earning rewards on your business advertising expenses should involve looking at all of your expenses to determine which card is the best one overall for your business bottom line.
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 Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
The best credit card for earning rewards on your advertising purchases will depend on which media you spend the greatest.
For example, if you purchase a lot of TV and radio advertising, the Amex Business Gold card or the Amex Blue Business Cash card will earn rewards on these categories and be good choices.
The Ink Business Preferred card does not include TV and radio advertising but earns rewards for social media ads on Google, Amazon, and Facebook, which makes the card a wise choice if you use these vehicles for online advertising.
If you spend a lot on print publication advertising, a credit card such as the Ink Business Unlimited card will ensure you earn rewards on every purchase.
Selecting the best credit card for advertising purchases should also take into consideration the total mix of spending and whether other large business expenses could earn even greater rewards.
Each credit card has its own definition of advertising and which merchants qualify for bonus earning.
Some credit cards only include social media, while others include TV and radio.
You can access the credit card’s terms and conditions for more detailed descriptions before you apply for any credit card and should review the “offer and benefit terms” and “rates and fees” information.
The details on which advertising media qualify is located under the “offer and benefit terms.”
The Amex Blue Business Cash card does not charge an annual fee and earns 2% cash-back on advertising purchases (and all other purchases up to $50,000 per year; 1x thereafter).
While the IRS definition of a business is quite broad and includes “any activity carried on for the production of income,” credit card issuers will want more evidence of your business existing.
With that said, even small businesses such as part-time coaching, selling on eBay, or dog-walking can qualify.
Registering your business in the state where you operate can help establish legitimacy and improve your chances for approval of a business credit card. A current relationship with the credit card issuer (such as a bank account) can also improve your chances.
However, it is the strength of your personal credit that will ultimately solidify your approval for a business credit card.
Those with good credit, business activity (even it is small), and the bonus of an existing relationship are most likely to succeed in securing a business credit card.
Was this page helpful?
Travel is changing fast... Stay on top of all the points strategies, exclusive offers & pivotal news - and lock in huge savings along the way.
Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.