Best Credit Cards For Small Business in 2020

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Business credit cards play a key role meeting the lending needs of SME's, providing access to credit that may otherwise be out of reach, and offering flexibility to business operators, freelancers, consultants, and entrepreneurs. They also allow business owners to build a substantial balance of rewards points from large company purchases and everyday business expenses, that may otherwise go under-utilized. These are not, however, the only benefits of acquiring business credit cards.

Small Business Credit Card

Tightened rules surrounding personal credit card applications at Chase, and policies already in place with other providers like American Express stating consumers can only obtain the welcome bonus for each credit card product once, mean that rewards cards targeting small business are becoming increasingly necessary for a successful long-term rewards strategy.

For example, current data shows that Chase’s Ultimate Rewards earning Ink cards, while subject to the 5/24 rule, do not count towards it. This opens up alternate strategies for rewards fans to still obtain bulk Ultimate Rewards while staying under the magic 5 cards in a 24-month period.

Business credit cards are also becoming more accessible. The nature of employment is changing as we push further into the 21st century, with a growing portion of the workforce self-employed, freelance, contracting, or consulting as opposed to historical full-time employment. This, in turn, qualifies more individuals to take advantage of the opportunity business rewards cards represent.

What Makes a Great Small Business Credit Card?

The one that works for your circumstances! It’s not rocket science, but just like a good bar of soap, a business credit card must perform it’s primary duties well to qualify as a great card. What works best for a chef running a restaurant may not be the best product for a mechanic, an online retailer, consultant, or events planner. Each business has unique requirements and operates in a different environment to its peers.

If you are a consultant required to travel for work but with few out of pocket expenses, your needs will differ vastly from those of a brick and mortar fashion retailer who doesn’t travel and is aiming to maximize cash back returns. Some business cards offer flexibility on big purchases via introductory 0% APR offers and low annual fees, other offer travel benefits such as elite status with hotels and annual travel credits in return for higher fees, while there are several cash back cards designed solely to maximize cash return on everyday business expenses.

With all that in mind, we’ve put together a list of highlights from some of our favorite rewards earning business cards, covering a wide range of the rewards spectrum and from a variety of credit providers.

Our Top Small Business Rewards Credit Cards

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer New Offer! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The most valuable Ultimate Rewards signup bonus on offer and our top pick for small business rewards cards. Business owners earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn up to 450,000 points per year on a wide range of 3X bonus categories.
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
  • 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

The Ink Preferred is one of our favorite business rewards credits, with a mammoth signup bonus for a reasonable minimum spend, a great bonus category structure, and accessible benefits that provide genuine value. At $95 a year, it offers one of the best cost/benefit ratios of any business card on the market.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
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Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual Fee$595
Welcome Bonus Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points. after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply
  • Rates & Fees
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year
  • 1X point on other purchases
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.

The Business Platinum Card maintains its place at the top of business rewards cards due to its stellar list of travel benefits. Aimed squarely at C-suite execs and entrepreneurs that travel for business, this card carries the best elite status perks of any card on this list.

American Express® Business Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card
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Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
American Express® Business Gold Card
Annual Fee$295
Welcome Bonus Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases.
  • 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
  • Terms Apply
  • Rates & Fees
Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spent the most each billing cycle from the list below:
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

*4X points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year; then earn 1 point per dollar.

While the Business Amex Gold card has lost some of its shine with the introduction of the Ink Preferred, it is still a solid earner with its 4x categories!

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
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Rates & Fees
(Terms Apply)
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Annual FeeNo annual fee
Featured Offer Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
The best credit card available for non-bonus business expenses. You'll receive 2X Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent up to the first $50,000 per year, then 1x. Points transfer to travel partners without the need to hold other cards. The introductory APR offer also makes the card a great option if you're looking for a low-cost method of financing capital purchases you intend to pay down in less than 12 months.
  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • You've got the power to use your Card beyond its credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
  • More buying power for your business means more opportunities to earn points. That's everyday business with the Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • Rates & Fees
  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.

The go-to business credit card for everyday spending, the Blue Business Plus earns 2X Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners (applies to first $50,000 spent each year, then 1X)!

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
BlueBizCash
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
Annual FeeNo annual fee
Featured Offer Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
The Blue Business Cash is a solid cash-back card with flexible spending power. The introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening and N/A for N/A (after a Variable 13.24% - 19.24% applies) make this an ideal choice for businesses that occasionally need to make larger purchases.
  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • From workflow to inventory to floor plans, your business is constantly changing. That's why you've got the power to spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power.
  • Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • Rates & Fees
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.

The cashback version of the popular Blue Business Plus, cardholders earn a flat 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. The card offers a generous intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening, then a 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR will apply (Rates & Fees).

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Welcome Offer Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
The AA Business Card is a great card to hold for any business owner that travels at least a few times per year with American Airlines. Get a free checked bag on domestic itineraries, priority boarding and a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. Even better, this card gives you access to Reduced Mileage Awards, which can save you up to 30% on the miles required for domestic awards. With these perks, it's easy to justify the annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months.
  • Free checked bags for you and up to 4 companions on domestic itineraries
  • Priority boarding to help you win the race for overhead bin space
  • A 25% discount on inflight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases
  • Reduced Mileage Awards can save you 7,500 miles on roundtrip MileSAAver Awards
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on cable and satellite providers
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on select telecommunications merchants
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on car rentals
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1X mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Great for any business operator that regularly flies American, the 65,000 bonus AAdvantage miles are good for two domestic return flights with miles left in your account and the free checked bag is a big money saver over the long term.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Annual Fee$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Welcome Offer $500 Cash Back once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business provides a strong return on business expenses of 2% on every $1 spent. Unlike many other cash back business cards, here is no cap on the cash back you can earn, plus the card offers an initial welcome offer of $500 cash back.
  • $500 Cash Back once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • 2 % Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.

The best straight business cash back card available, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers a fantastic bonus, a modest annual fee, great benefits, and unlimited cash back on business purchases.

Special mention also goes out to the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, both exceptional cards in their respective programs offering a combination of sharp benefits and high-value welcome bonuses.

Compare these cards and other small business cards

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to be an established business with years of history to obtain a business credit card. You could operate an Airbnb rental, resell products on Amazon, or walk dogs for in your local neighborhood. As long as you have a decent income and a fantastic credit rating, it may be easier than you think to take advantage of all that business rewards cards offer.

If there are any cards not on the list you think should have made the cut, let us know in the comments.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees), The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (Rates & Fees)

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Comments

  • Avatar

    The Costco Visa Business Anywhere Card from Citi is a powerhouse, too, for those who frequent Costco.

    And two cards you’ve reviewed in the past but which are no longer being offered – AMEX SimplyCash and AMEX SimplyCash Plus – are lucrative “keepers” for those who already have them. Since many people have and use them, I hope AwardWallet will restore them to the Merchant lookup and Reverse lookup tools.

  • Avatar

    Great list of cards to choose from. I just wish Capital One didn’t report to your personal account.

  • Avatar

    Thomas, don’t we all *love* those bonus offers requiring only a first purchase vs a large spend?!!

  • Avatar

    @lorriewins Good call! the Barclays AA Biz card offer is presently 50k after one’s first purchase; that’s a great deal.

  • Avatar

    Happy to report I recently got approved for a biz cc and any day now it should appear in my mailbox.

  • Avatar
    lorriewins says:

    Don’t forget Barclays AA with their easy to get sign up bonus

  • Avatar

    The Ink Biz Unlimited has a great sign up bonus, the same as the Ink Cash; but as a keeper for ongoing spend, I’ll take the Ink Cash card all day long.

  • Avatar

    Thanks! Looks like another good business card to add.