Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Real estate investing is one of the few proven ways to generate wealth, and it’s a time-tested way to protect your assets in something that you can physically see and touch.
If you’re a real estate investor, you probably know all about the benefits, including numerous tax benefits, the tendency for real estate to appreciate like clockwork, and much more.
But one of the drawbacks of real estate is that except for some niche strategies, real estate investing can be capital intensive.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best business credit cards to keep in your wallet as a real estate investor.
Real estate investors generally spend a lot of money on home improvement expenses. They may also spend large sums of money on maintenance, like landscaping, repairs, and more.
But 1 thing is for sure: most real estate investing strategies entail more spending than other types of businesses.
So, what we looked for in a business credit card perfect for real estate investors is the ability to earn uncapped rewards, and, ideally, bonus points for large transactions (you probably have a bunch of those as a real estate investor).
In addition, we looked for bonus categories where you can earn points on common real estate expenses. It can be difficult figuring out which bonus categories would be relevant to you without knowing your exact real estate niche, but many niches also include marketing expenses.
In that case, a card with advertising as a bonus category will be instrumental in maximizing your rewards.
Nonetheless, we’ve compiled our favorite picks for the best business cards for real estate investors.
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As a real estate investor, you might have an assortment of different expenses, so it can seem overwhelming trying to figure out cards that offer these bonus categories.
As you’ll find out, you don’t necessarily need to do that. Find a single card that rewards you for as many business categories as possible, and use those to scale your expenses!
Ideally, a business card will have a high spending limit, especially if you’re routinely doing renovation projects and paying contractors. Those expenses can add up quickly, and if you’re not careful, you can max out your cards!
So without further ado, let’s get into our best business cards for real estate investors.
Our absolute favorite business card for real estate investors is the Amex Business Platinum card.
You’ll enjoy unmatched travel benefits, including access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta the same day), Escape Lounges — The Centurion Studio Partner, International American Express Centurion Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Priority Pass lounges upon enrollment, select Lufthansa Lounges, and select Virgin Clubhouse lounges.
You’ll also enjoy a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, access to the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, an annual airline fee credit of up to $200, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status upon enrollment, and a 35% Pay with Points rebate on select flights. The card even comes with statement credits of up to $400 in statement credits for Dell purchases in the U.S. (in the form of 2 equal credits of $200 semi-annually), up to $150 in Adobe credits, up to $360 Indeed credits, and up to $120 in wireless credits.
The card also earns 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). This can be very handy for real estate investors, where your contractor and materials costs, as well as tax payments, might easily eclipse $5,000.
Hot Tip: The Amex Business Platinum card is one of the few cards that can earn bonus points at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, as well as electronic goods retailers, and more.
Another significant benefit of this card is that you won’t be restricted to any preset spending limits in the way you might be with a traditional credit card. American Express will evaluate your spending habits and allow you to spend large amounts of money if they believe you can pay it back.
That’s an incredible value proposition for real estate investors when you consider the fact that real estate expenses can be very high.
Some of the “givens” you’ll get with this card are purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty coverage, travel insurance, and QuickBooks integrations (to manage business expenses).
Amex Membership Rewards is one of the world’s most valuable points programs out there.
Our personal favorite way to redeem Amex points is for transfers to travel partners for business and first class flights, such as Emirates first class! This is the main reason why Amex Membership Rewards points are the most valuable out there.
The Ink Business Unlimited card is a superb credit card for those who want to earn straightforward rewards without worrying about bonus categories.
This credit card is fantastic because it comes with a substantial welcome bonus and it earns a flat 1.5% cash-back on all business purchases, regardless of category. It also earns uncapped rewards, so you’ll earn 1.5% cash-back with no ceiling.
But perhaps the best aspect is that you can convert your 1.5% cash-back to 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you also hold Ultimate Rewards credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
The cherry on top is the fact that this credit card has no annual fee, and you might love the introductory 0% APR benefit to help you avoid accruing interest on balances.
Other appreciated benefits are the ability to add employee cards at no additional cost, primary rental car insurance, purchase protection, zero liability fraud protection, and extended warranty protection for your business.
The Ink Business Unlimited card ordinarily earns cash-back, but as we mentioned earlier, you can turn the cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points, which are worth around 2 cents per point. That’s an easy way to double your return on spend!
If you have Ultimate Rewards points, you can redeem them for cash-back, merchandise, charitable donations, gift cards, travel booked through the Chase travel portal, and best of all, transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners for flights such as Singapore Airlines first class!
The Amex Business Gold card is one of the mainstay options for business owners. It’s easy to see why this card is one of our favorite picks because of its extraordinary bonus categories.
There are some familiar categories like advertising, shipping, and gas stations, as well as some new categories like restaurants and technology providers.
One of the biggest benefits of this card is that you get to enjoy these 4x bonus categories without having to worry about choosing which bonus categories — they’re automatically chosen to earn you the most points every month.
If you spend $150,000 in a year on these purchases, you’d end up with 600,000 Amex Membership Rewards points, which is worth around $13,000+! You can’t forget about the welcome offer, either.
Similar to the Amex Business Platinum card, the Amex Business Gold card doesn’t have a preset spending limit, which could seriously help you make the purchases and transactions you need to manage your business. Normal cards can’t do that.
The other benefits you will get include extended warranty coverage, secondary car rental insurance, travel insurance, purchase protection, and up to 99 total employee cards with no annual fee after the first employee card ($50 per year; rates and fees).
The Ink Business Preferred card is one of our top business credit cards overall, and it’s a popular choice for real estate investors. This card offers a huge welcome bonus, lots of perks, and a low annual fee.
This is an Ultimate Rewards card that allows you to earn 3x points on your first $150,000 spent every cardmember year on these business categories:
Although you probably won’t be spending a whole lot on travel and shipping purchases in your everyday life as a real estate investor, the advertising and telecommunications categories could come in handy.
You will also earn 5x points per dollar on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025.
These points are redeemable for airline and hotel transfers, travel with a 25% bonus (1.25 cents per point) when booked through the Chase travel portal, Pay Yourself Back, as well as gift cards, cash-back, and more.
This card comes with purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, cell phone protection insurance, primary rental car collision insurance, other travel protections, and no foreign transaction fees.
If you’re a real estate investor and the card recommendations above don’t jive with you, we’ve also put together a list of alternative business credit cards that might fit your needs.
The Ink Business Cash card offers a niche value proposition without the burden of an annual fee.
This card will earn 5% cash-back on up to $25,000 in purchases every cardmember year on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV purchases and at office supply stores. Lyft purchases also earn 5% cash-back through March 2025.
Also, the card will earn 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 in purchases every cardmember year on gas stations and dining purchases. You’ll earn 1% cash-back elsewhere.
If you happen to have large transactions at office supply stores as a real estate investor, this card can offer you some of the best rewards.
Your 5%, 2%, and 1% cash-back is convertible to 5x, 2x, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points, respectively, if you have an Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Other benefits include no annual fee, zero liability fraud protection, primary rental car insurance, and a 0% introductory APR perk.
The Amex Blue Business Plus card is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding small business credit cards. This card earns a straightforward 2x points on everyday business purchases, up to $50,000 per year, then 1x thereafter.
You’ll also be able to access a useful 0% introductory APR, in addition to Expanded Buying Power, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, no-annual-fee employee cards, and access to Amex Membership Rewards (rates and fees).
The only drawback of this card is that the 2x points earning is capped at $50,000 per year. This might be fine if you’re a small-scale real estate investor, but once you build up your portfolio, you might burn through $50,000 pretty quickly.
Real estate investors have plenty of options to earn rewards with credit card spending. But only a handful of cards offer worthwhile benefits and rewards that can help you maximize your purchases.
With names like the Amex Business Platinum card, the Ink Business Unlimited card, the Amex Business Gold card, and the Ink Business Preferred card, it’s easy to jumpstart your rewards!
Be sure to compare and contrast the different benefits and points you’re looking for, whether it’s awesome airport lounge access, massive bonus categories of up to 5x points, a low annual fee, or straightforward earning structures.
For the extended warranty and purchase protection benefits of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the return protection benefit of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the American Express® Business Gold Card, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/
For the extended warranty and purchase protection benefits of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
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 Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
Generally, you can, but there are tons of caveats when it comes to using credit cards. More often, you might be able to use a business credit line, but credit cards will often code any of these transactions as cash advances, charge a fee, and will not be eligible for rewards.
If you’re talking about using a credit card for real estate, you can initiate cash advances to pull money out of your credit card, then use the money to purchase a property. After that, you can pay off the credit cards (depending on the interest rate).
However, this is not recommended. Plus, you’ll be expected to pay it back before any introductory APR period is over (unless you want to pay 25%+ interest). Imagine having to pay off an entire home after a year (typical introductory APR periods)!
Usually, no. Any websites, individuals, or companies that broker/sell land don’t want to have to deal with a large interchange fee that could easily destroy any profits they might earn.
However, if you are insistent on earning rewards and are fine paying another 2%+ on your land purchase, you can consider using a platform called Plastiq.
No, you do not.
You can qualify for a mortgage without a credit card, but having credit cards can boost your credit, allowing you to qualify for more favorable loan terms and reduce the amount of interest you pay.
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