Best Credit Cards for your Small Business

Small business credit cards help to separate a business owners’ personal and company finances and help to cover unexpected business expenses and to close financial gaps whenever necessary. More importantly, a small business credit card can help new businesses to establish a new credit history from scratch.

Business credit cards are similar to consumer credit cards as they mostly rely on the owner’s personal credit history and some will post all account events on their personal credit report.

Generally, business credit cards rewards rates, sign up bonuses and cash back offers are more generous than those offered by consumer cards. The main reason for this being that business card expenditures are, on average, much larger in volume than those that personal cards tend to incur

Have a look at our editor’s top picks. as well as  some advice on business cards for new and established business below.

Best Cash Back Business Credit Cards

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR17.24% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer no BT fee
rewards 2% +$500 bonus
  • $500 cash bonus for spending $4,500 in the first 3 months

$0 first-year annual fee, $59 after

earn 2% on all purchases, get up to $300 sign up bonus by spending and signing up employees

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With a 2% cash back flat rate on all purchases, this card is a leader in its category. The sign-up bonus is $500 after you spend $4,500 on the card within the first three months of opening the account. As a standard, Capital One doesn't charge any foreign transaction fee.

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR13.49%, 17.49%, 19.49%
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 5% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 2% 5% per dollar +$200 bonus
  • 5% cash back on office supplies and telecom purchases with a $25,000 annual limit
  • 2% cash back on gas and dining out with a $25,000 annual limit
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 bonus after spending $3000 in the first 3 months
 

no annual fee

up to 5% cash back

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With the Chase Ink Cash credit card, you will get 5% cash back on office supplies and telecom services, 2% cash back for gas  and on dining and 1% cash back on purchases and dining you will get 2% back, and on all other purchases.

Extra cards for employees are offered for free, with the option to set spending limits readily available. A sign-up bonus of$200 is offered after you spend $3000 on the card in the first three months. This card also offers 12 months of 0% APR and a low 13.24% ongoing variable APR.

Best for Travel Rewards

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.24 - 15.24% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.24-15.24%
rewards 1 2 5 points per $1 +60,000 pt intro bonus
  • earn 5x points on office supplies and telecom purchases (up to 50,000 annual combined purchases)
  • earn 2x points on gas and hotel bookings (made directly with hotel)
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 60,000 points bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months   

 

$95 annual fee

20% bonus on your points when redeemed for travel 

redeem for travel, cash or gift cards

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This card offers 60,000 bonus points as a sign-up bonus after you spend $5,000 in the first three months after opening the account.

Rewards are five points for every dollar spent on office supplies and telecom purchases, two points on gas and hotel reservations, and one point for all other purchases. Ultimate Rewards Points are highly valued at 1.25 cents each and can be redeemed for travel or transferred to popular loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR13.90 - 20.90% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer no BT fee
rewards 2 miles/$1 +25,000
  • 25000 miles sign up bonus if you spend $5000 in the first 3 months
  • Get 5000 miles on additional employee cards signed up in the first 60 days
  • redeem miles with ease as a statement credit for all travel expenses

$0 first-year annual fee, $59 after

Earn 2% No Hassle Miles on all purchases. Up to 30,000 sign up bonus

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With Spark Miles for Business, you get 50,000 miles sign-up bonus after you spend $4,500 on the card, a flat rewards rate of 2 miles per dollar applies for all purchases.

You also can order free additional cards for your employees.

Like consumer credit cards, business credit cards often feature various rewards programs. The general consensus is that programs that offer maximum rewards for office supplies purchases and business telecommunication purchases are preferable. Most banks offer those types of rewards for small business, however, large purchases, such us computers, phones, and other equipment, are typically excluded from the maximum rewards categories.

Extra rewards on gas and travel expenses are sometimes beneficial if your business requires traveling. However, each company should consider its own spending patterns before choosing a given rewards program in order to maximize rewards. 

Typically redeeming business credit card rewards is reserved for the company's owner. Go for a travel rewards card  if you feel as though a good vacation is needed. However if you prefer hard cash, cahs bakc programs are the way to go.

Best for Fair Credit

If you find it difficult to apply for a credit card because of your personal credit problems or a low credit score, you can take advantage of options similar to individual cards – secured business credit cards and pre-paid business cards.

However if your credit is Fair or Average - there is a perfect solution for you. 

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR23.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer no BT fee
rewards 1%  

no annual fee

good card for average credit

1% cash back on all purchases

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Best business credit card for fair credit is Capital One Spark Classic

This card is 1% cashback earner with no annual fee. The best part is that it is available for people with fair or average credit.

Secured Business Credit Cards for Bad Credit or No Credit 

If your credit isn't the greatest, your best choice for a business credit card is a secured card. These cards are not instant approval, but it is a far easier to get approval for a secured card than for a regular one. We selected two secured cards for small business for you - both of them offer reward programs, additional employee cards and credit lines up to $25,000 depending on your security deposit size.

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.24% (V)
rewards 2x, 3x points on selected categories 
  • 2x and 3x points on selected categories like utilities, gas, groceries, etc.
  • 1 point for every dollar spend on other purchases

 

 

$40 annual fee

first-year fee is waived

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read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR18.99% (V)
rewards 1% cash back 

a choice of:

  • 1% cash back on everypurchase
  • 1 bonus point for every purchase

 

$25 annual fee

1% cash back

or 1 point per $1

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Applying for a Business Credit Card

The overwhelming majority of applicants will need to sign a personal guarantee with the application. Typically, banks are unwilling to extend unsecured credit to small or new companies without a personal guarantee. However, medium to large companies with an established credit and more than 2 year old history and having more than $1mm in annual sales can avoid the guarantee. Still, most small business owners should assume the personal guarantee as a requirement. 

Same applies to reporting on an owner’s personal credit.

Be aware that if you draw a large sum from your small business card, your personal score will take a hit because the debt to credit limit utilization will change.

Business Cards and The CARD Act

The CARD Act doesn't cover business credit cards. For that reason, these credit cards lack owners’ protection given to consumers by the Act. Rate increases and other account changes occur more often with business cards, but business and personal credit cards share a great number of similarities today.

Many banks and financial institutions voluntarily extend personal card protections to business credit cards. 

Each business owner should read the fine print before applying for a given card because sometimes fees and terms can be less transparent than those for consumer cards. Terms and conditions should spell out how much notice banks will provide before changing an account's terms and how interest rate increases work.

 

 

Comments

Thank You!

Kristy Tallman, 10/27/16

I just wanted to say thank you for the coverage you gave to business credit cards and credit in general as it's sooooo very hard to establish credit when starting a new business and almost virtually impossible to be able to do so without using yourself as a personal guarantee and to me that is the most foolish way to pursue your credit status bc if you are for instance an LLC or Corp you are establishing your business in a way to NOT be held liable in the event your business does not succeed....read in full
I just wanted to say thank you for the coverage you gave to business credit cards and credit in general as it's sooooo very hard to establish credit when starting a new business and almost virtually impossible to be able to do so without using yourself as a personal guarantee and to me that is the most foolish way to pursue your credit status bc if you are for instance an LLC or Corp you are establishing your business in a way to NOT be held liable in the event your business does not succeed. No one sets out with this in mind bc we all hope we will succeed but to not do this is almost suicide to your personal credit if you link yourself to the credit you get. The reason for this is bc once you do this it's basically making the whole purpose of the formula you set your company up as now becomes null and void once you add your ss# so be very careful when you sign up using yourself as a PG. Not many sites go into the depth of conversational posts when it comes to business credit as you have and for that I do truly appreciate everything you have posted. I do have a question and maybe you would know the answer to this as I can't find it anywhere on the web sadly. Do you know if there is a way to get the shopping cart to work for small businesses - like is there a way to apply this trick to set up business accounts. To me this may be the one exception to the rule of not adding your ss# to the account because so long as it's a dept store such as Walmart or such you aren't as tempted or apt to use this card to your demise or so one would hope lol. However if you could just get your biz fein on just one of them somehow maybe it would be a way to get the credit building blocks to the job site and allow you finally a chance to breakthrough some in a more secure way than an outright visa/master card type acct. I hope there's an answer to this question and would be grateful to you if you were able to post more information on small business credit esp in re to the dept type stores companies could use ie lowes - any office supply store - etc. They say it's easy to get terms on accts for Quill or they types however not without using your personal ss# and not before ordering and getting the order shipped to you. It would be so wonderful if we could somehow find an easier way to establish the credit we so desperately cannot find without a lot of hoops to jump through and still it's hard to make it through the final one. Thanks so much - love your site and will visit again and often!
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