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Best Business Credit Cards of June 2022 — Save & Budget on Business Expenses

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Whether you’re just starting a business or growing an existing enterprise, every dollar counts. That’s why it’s important to maximize each expense your business incurs, take savings where you can, and protect your own finances by keeping business and personal spending separate. No matter how much cash flow you have or what industry you operate in, the right business credit card can help you streamline your budget and simplify your accounting.

Business credit cards aren’t just for traditional small businesses with brick-and-mortar locations and employees — you can get approved for a business card as a sole proprietor or freelance worker. These cards offer a variety of benefits at varying price points, and some will serve your credit needs better than others. Here are our picks for the best business credit cards to help you decide:

Before You Start

Just like a consumer credit card, it’s important to practice good credit habits with your business credit card. Your payments and any debt balances may affect both your personal credit and business credit score. Plus, business credit cards carry high variable APRs and other fees. Don’t charge more than you can afford to pay off on time and in full each month to avoid taking on high debt balances.

Best Business Credit Cards for 2022

Good for Cash Back Capital One Spark Cash Plus
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Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
Good for Cash Back Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    Up to $1,000 cash bonus
  • Annual fee:
    $150
  • Regular APR:
    N/A
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • No preset spending limit
  • Great flat-rate rewards on spending
  • Generous bonus offer
  • Potential for annual cash back bonus
Cons
  • No option to carry a balance
  • High annual fee for a cash back card
  • Minimal cardholder benefits
  • High spending required to maximize rewards
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus* is a business card that comes with no preset spending limit, and earns 2% back on all purchases. Business owners can score a sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000. Earn $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening.

Additional Card Details

  • Score an annual cash bonus of $200 when you spend $200,000 or more on your card in a year
  • Pay-in-full card with no preset spending limit (2.99% fee on any balances not paid in full each month)
  • Download spending reports to Quicken®, QuickBooks®, and Excel®
  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad
  • Roadside assistance
  • Extended warranty protection for extra year of coverage on purchases that come with a manufacturer’s warranty
Good for Welcome Bonus Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
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Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.1/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Good for Welcome Bonus Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.1/5)
  • Intro offer:
    100,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    16.74% – 21.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

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.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Great welcome offer
  • Tiered rewards structure with diverse category options
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • $150,000 annual spending cap in combined purchases on 3x rewards rate
The Bottom Line
The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has great perks for business owners. With rewards earning potential across four categories of business expenses, and a valuable sign-up bonus, this card can grab a lot of value.

Additional Card Details

  • 25% more points value when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point value when you transfer to a Chase transfer partner
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Cell phone protection
Good for Business Travelers Capital One Spark Miles for Business
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Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
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Good for Business Travelers Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro offer:
    50,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Regular APR:
    21.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won’t expire for the life of the account.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flat 2x miles on every purchase
  • Valuable welcome bonus worth $500 toward travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • High variable APR
  • No introductory APR
  • Fewer travel transfer partners than other rewards programs
The Bottom Line
Capital One Spark Miles for Business* offers a simple rewards structure with plenty of flexibility for business travelers. It even ranks among our top picks for business credit cards in 2022. You’ll earn a flat 2x miles per dollar on every purchase, plus a 50,000-mile welcome bonus after you spend $4,500 within three months of account opening.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $100 fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Redeem rewards to cover previous travel purchases or transfer miles to airline or hotel partners
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • Free additional employee cards
  • Year-end summaries and purchase records for business accounting
  • 21.24% variable APR
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year
Good for Flexible Rewards American Express® Business Gold Card
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American Express® Business Gold Card
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Good for Flexible Rewards American Express® Business Gold Card
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
  • Intro offer:
    70,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $295
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • High rewards rate in your biggest spending categories
  • Valuable welcome bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 25% airline bonus for eligible redemptions through Amex Travel (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year)
Cons
  • 4x points rewards only apply to $150,000 in combined spending in bonus categories each year
  • High APR if you carry a balance using Pay Over Time
  • $295 annual fee
The Bottom Line
The American Express Business Gold is our top card pick for business travelers, thanks to its flexibility and value potential. If you’re a business owner with variable expenses, you will enjoy the American Express Business Gold Card’s flexible rewards structure that earns where you spend most, plus access to valuable travel redemptions via Amex’s Membership Rewards program.

Additional Card Details

  • 25% airline bonus on flights booked with points through AmexTravel.com, which applies to any flight on your selected qualifying airline. You can earn up to 250,000 points back per calendar year
  • No preset spending limit, but you can use Pay Over Time to carry a balance with 15.74% – 23.74% variable APR
  • Year-end summaries for business expense management
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection
  • Trip delay and baggage insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
  • Up to $100 hotel credit when you book a stay with The Hotel Collection of at least two consecutive nights
  • No foreign transaction fees
Good for No Annual Fee Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
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Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Good for No Annual Fee Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $750
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 19.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Bonus cash back categories for business expenses, plus gas stations and restaurants
  • Welcome bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program
Cons
  • Bonus cash back categories capped at $25,000 annual spending
  • High variable APR
  • Not a great choice for frequent business travelers
The Bottom Line
The Chase Ink Business Cash card is a solid business cash back card option, most useful for freelancers and small business owners looking to earn on regular spending and build credit. Because it has no annual fee and everyday rewards, this card is a good beginner business card choice.

Additional Card Details

  • $750 cash back bonus after spending $7,500 within 3 months of account opening
  • No annual fee
  • Additional employee cards for no extra cost
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening (13.99%-19.99% variable APR thereafter)
Good for Premium Rewards The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
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The Business Platinum Card®  from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Good for Premium Rewards The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
  • Intro offer:
    120,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $695
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year. 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • 5x rewards bonus on flights and prepaid hotels through amextravel.com
  • Many premium perks and benefits
Cons
  • $695 annual fee
  • Rewards and benefits primarily travel-based
  • High APR
The Bottom Line
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a premium travel card for business owners with big budgets and a busy travel calendar, and it ranks among our picks for the best business cards. For a $695 annual fee, you can score a great welcome bonus, earn ongoing rewards on travel, and enjoy benefits designed to upgrade your travel experiences.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $400 annual credit for U.S. Dell Technologies purchases
  • Up to $360 in annual statement credits for purchases with Indeed
  • Up to $150 in statement credits per year for purchases with Adobe on eligible annual prepaid plans
  • Up to $120 in annual statement credits for wireless phone services
  • Up to $189 in annual statement credits toward CLEAR® membership
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • 35% airline bonus when you pay for all or part of eligible fare using Membership Rewards points (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com)
  • Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Access to Fine Hotels + Resorts Program
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Business Platinum Card Concierge access
  • Travel protections
Good for Cash Back Rewards Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Learn More externa link icon
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Good for Cash Back Rewards Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $750
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 19.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Bonus cash back categories for business expenses, plus gas stations and restaurants
  • Welcome bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program
Cons
  • Bonus cash back categories capped at $25,000 annual spending
  • High variable APR
  • Not a great choice for frequent business travelers
The Bottom Line
The Chase Ink Business Cash card is a solid business cash back card option, most useful for freelancers and small business owners looking to earn on regular spending and build credit. Because it has no annual fee and everyday rewards, this card is a good beginner business card choice.

Additional Card Details

  • $750 cash back bonus after spending $7,500 within 3 months of account opening
  • No annual fee
  • Additional employee cards for no extra cost
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening (13.99%-19.99% variable APR thereafter)
Good for Consumer Protections The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
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The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Good for Consumer Protections The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    15,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    No annual fee
  • Regular APR:
    14.74% – 22.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

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.

Good for Redeeming Rewards Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card
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Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
Good for Redeeming Rewards Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    30,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    12.99% – 22.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit score:
    740-850 (Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center. Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases everywhere, every time-no matter how much you spend. Points don’t expire.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flat rewards on everyday business spending
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR introductory offer for purchases
  • Redeem your rewards for several flexible options
Cons
  • Only earn added travel bonus points on travel booked through Bank of America
  • High ongoing APR
The Bottom Line
The Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and can help you earn points toward travel with every purchase you make for your business. Plus, you can benefit from a 0% introductory APR for new purchases for 9 months (12.99%-22.99% variable APR thereafter).

Additional Card Details

  • 0% APR on purchases for 9 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 12.99% to 22.99%
  • Earn 25% to 75% more rewards with this card via Bank of America Preferred Rewards, depending on which membership tier you qualify for
  • Up to $1 million in travel accident insurance coverage
  • Other travel protections, including lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage and trip delay reimbursement
  • World Mastercard

Best Business Credit Cards of May 2022 Summary

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Good for: Cash Back

Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, plus up to a $1,000 bonus in the first six months ($500 after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and another $500 if you spent $50,000 total in the first six months). There’s a $150 annual fee.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

Good for: Welcome Bonus

Earn 3x points rewards in select business categories, up to $150,000 in combined annual spending: shipping purchases; advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines; internet, cable, and phone services; and travel. Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months of account opening. The Ink Business Preferred charges a $95 annual fee.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Good for: Business Travel

Earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase. You can get 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 within three months of account opening, plus benefits like credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Spark Miles’ $95 annual fee is waived for your first year. 

American Express Business Gold Card

Good for: Flexible Rewards

Earn 4x Membership Rewards points automatically in the two categories you spend most each month (up to combined $150,000 in annual spending, then 1x points). Categories include: 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, including takeout and delivery; and U.S. shipping purchases. You’ll also earn 70,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. Terms Apply. Amex Business Gold costs $295 annually.

Chase Ink Business Cash credit card

Good for: No Annual Fee

Earn 5% cash back on your first $25,000 in combined spending at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services annually; 2% cash back on your first $25,000 in combined spending at gas stations and restaurants; and 1% cash back on everything else. You can get $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 within three months of account opening. This card charges no annual fee.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Good for: Premium Rewards

Earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com, 1.5x points on eligible purchases in key business categories and on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to $2 million per year), and 1x points on other purchases. You’ll also earn a 120,000-point welcome bonus after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership, plus benefits including Global Lounge Collection access, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors Gold status, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and more. The Business Platinum card costs $695 annually.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card 

Good for: Cash Back Rewards

Earn 5% back on the first $25,000 combined annual spending at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services. You’ll also get 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined annual spending at gas stations and restaurants, and unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. You’ll earn a $750 cash back welcome bonus when you spend at least $7,500 within the first 3 months of account opening. The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card doesn’t have an annual fee.

Blue Business Plus Card from American Express

Good for: Consumer Protections

Earn a flat 2% cash back on all business expenses up to $5,000 each year, and 1% on all purchases after that. You can also earn a $250 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You’ll get several cardholder perks, such as secondary auto rental coverage when you pay for your rental car with your card, extended warranties, and Global Assist hotline emergency assistance. The Amex Blue Business Plus Card doesn’t have an annual fee. There’s no fee if you go over your credit limit, but remember to pay your balance in full and on time each month. 

Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card

Good for: Redeeming Rewards

Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, and airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. If you’re a member of the rewards program, Bank of America Preferred Rewards for Business, you’ll earn 25% – 75% more rewards for each dollar spent. You can redeem your rewards toward travel, cash back, gift cards, or a statement credit. Plus, there’s no annual fee.  The card has a few travel perks including lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance coverage, and trip delay reimbursement. 

CARDWELCOME BONUSREWARDSANNUAL FEE
Capital One Spark Cash Plus$500 cash bonus after spending $5,000 within 3 months of account opening; another $500 if you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months• Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase
• Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
$150
Chase Ink Business Preferred100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within 3 months of account opening3x points on the first $150,000 in combined annual spending in select categories: 
• Shipping purchases
• Advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines
• Internet, cable, and phone services
• Travel

1x points on other purchases
$95
Capital One Spark Miles for Business50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 within 3 months of account opening2x miles on every purchase$95 (waived the first year)
American Express Business Gold Card70,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership4x points on the first $150,000 in combined annual spending in the 2 categories you spend most each month (then 1x points): 
• 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, including takeout and delivery
• U.S. shipping purchases

1 point per dollar on other purchases
$295
Chase Ink Business Cash credit card$750 cash bonus after spending $7,500 within 3 months of account opening• 5% cash back on your first $25,000 in combined spending at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services annually 

• 2% cash back on your first $25,000 in combined spending at gas stations and restaurants

• 1% cash back on everything else
$0
The Business Platinum Card from American Express120,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership• 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com

• 1.5x points on eligible purchases in key business categories and on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to $2 million per year)

• 1x points on other purchases
$695
Chase Ink Business Cash Card $750 cash back welcome bonus when you spend at least $7,500 within the first 3 months of account opening• 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined annual spending at gas stations and restaurants

• 1% cash back on everything else
$0
Blue Business Plus Card from American Express$250 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening• 2% cash back on all business expenses up to $5,000 each year 

• 1% on all purchases after that
$0
Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of account opening• 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, and airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center

• 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
$0

Understanding Business Credit Cards

One of the most practical uses of business credit cards is to keep your business expenses separate from your personal spending. This can be especially helpful for new business owners or sole proprietors for whom the lines between business and personal spending can easily blur. 

Business credit cards work much like personal consumer cards. Charge purchases to your card, and pay them off when your statement balance is due each month or begin accruing interest on the remaining balance.

These cards can give you some flexibility in your business’s cash flow. If you know your invoices are typically paid at the end of the month, for example, but you incur costs throughout the month, charging them to a business card may simplify the payment process. 

But just like a personal credit card, it’s important to maintain good credit habits, like spending only what you can afford to pay down each month, keeping a low credit utilization ratio, and paying your bills on time.  

Because these cards are designed for small business owners, you must submit information about your business on the card application. That also means they offer business-related rewards and benefits. Rewards categories like internet and phone services, office supplies, and online advertising may add much more value to your business than the grocery or dining rewards typically offered by traditional consumer cards.

A business credit card can also help you improve your business credit score, making it easier to qualify for future loans and even business partnership opportunities.

Can You Apply for a Business Credit Card?

You don’t have to be a traditional business owner to apply for a business credit card, but you do have to have some type of business.

If your business is structured as a corporation or an LLC, (maybe you’re a local restaurant owner or you run an accounting practice, for example) you can use your business information and any existing business credit history when you apply.

But a “business” is defined much more broadly for card applicants. If you’re self-employed in any capacity, you can likely qualify for a business card. This includes everything from a sole proprietorship for your full-time freelance work to part-time gig work and even side hustles. When you apply, you’ll need to include your personal information on the application. For example, you can use your Social Security number in place of an Employer Identification Number.

No matter what type of business you have, you’ll likely need to insure your small business credit card with your own personal credit. This means that your personal credit score may be used to determine your approval, and your payment history as well as any debt you take on using your business credit card may affect both your personal credit and business credit. Check your specific card agreement or reach out to your issuer to ask whether your payments are reported to consumer credit bureaus, business credit bureaus, or both.

Business Credit Scores vs. Personal Credit Scores

Business credit scores are similar to personal credit scores because they indicate your creditworthiness to lenders. A business credit score can help you secure credit, loans, and other financing to grow your business. 

There are three main business credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet. These agencies generally report business credit scores within a range of one to 100, though (like with personal credit scores) there are different scoring models. 

To establish business credit, you’ll need an officially incorporated business or LLC and an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Over time, reporting positive payment history and good credit use to the bureaus can build your business credit score.

Even after you’ve established a business credit score, your personal credit can still affect the lending and terms you qualify for. Many issuers require you to submit your personal information alongside business information when applying for a business credit card.

A Changing Business World 

Since the pandemic, businesses are shifting where and how they work. While many companies are returning to the office, others are working from home or adopting a hybrid model that gives employees the flexibility to work from home and in the office.

Many small businesses have shifted a part of their home into a dedicated office space — which means adding the cost of a desk, chair, office supplies, and more. Or if you’re a new business owner, you may benefit from paying for a coworking space to get the perks of an office, such as printers, collaboration spaces, private offices, and other amenities. 

Even though these costs are tax-deductible, they can add up quickly. Fortunately, the right business credit card lets entrepreneurs earn rewards points on these expenses to use for travel or other business expenses.

Some business cards are geared toward earning travel rewards, which may not be beneficial if you don’t have many upcoming business trips planned for the foreseeable future. If that’s the case, you may choose a cash back business credit card with travel perks to maximize your card’s value now and in the future. Cash back business credit cards, like the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, offer a flat 2% cash back on every purchase, 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and you can redeem your rewards for a statement credit or check in the mail.

Cash back rewards like this can help you save money in a time when rising inflation is making everything more expensive. For instance, if you pay for all of your expenses using your business credit card, you’ll earn rewards on your business purchases. Then, you can redeem your cash back as a check to cover bills, equipment, office supplies, or other costs. 

How to Choose a Business Credit Card

To choose the best business card, consider how a credit card fits with your business’s budget and regular expenses. 

If you’re just looking for a simple way to separate your business expenses from your personal spending, or your expenses don’t fall into specific categories month to month, a cash back business card with flexible rewards may be the best choice.

Also take your regular business activities into account. Business cards can be especially valuable for business travelers, with high-value rewards programs and benefits. But if your business doesn’t require frequent travel, you likely won’t be able to maximize a travel-focused card’s benefits.

It’s also important to evaluate just how much you spend each month. Some business cards cap bonus rewards after a certain amount each month or year. If your spending far exceeds these caps, a card with unlimited rewards (even at a lower rewards rate) may make a better choice. On the other hand, if your business expenses are relatively low, you should be careful to ensure that any rewards you earn outweigh the cost of the card’s annual fee.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Business Credit Card

Pros

  • Separate personal and business spending

  • Access to credit for business expenses — many offer higher credit limits than personal card

  • Earn rewards on business spending and enjoy added cardholder benefits

  • Build your business credit score

Cons

  • Can be difficult to qualify if you don’t have good personal credit

  • Fewer consumer protections than other types of credit cards

  • Business debts can impact your personal credit

How to Compare Business Credit Cards

Here are a few card details you should consider before applying for a new business credit card:

  • Annual Fee: Despite the cost, a business card with an annual fee may better maximize your spending and easily outpace the fee with rewards, especially if you have a lot of business expenses or you travel frequently. Always make sure the card’s rewards and benefits are enough to at least cover the annual fee cost each year.
  • Rewards Structure: Business credit card rewards categories can range from office supply stores and gas stations to travel and advertising. Review your expense reports and past purchases to determine which rewards categories will help you gain the biggest return on your spending — or if a flat rewards structure works best for you.
  • Introductory APR: 0% interest introductory periods aren’t the most common feature on business credit cards, but they can be a valuable tool. If your business has taken on high-interest debt that you’re looking to pay down or you have a large upcoming expense you’d like some flexibility to pay off, an introductory APR on balance transfers or purchases can help.
  • Ongoing APR: The ongoing variable APR your business card charges will affect how much debt you’ll take on if you need to carry a balance. While it’s good practice to pay your balance in full and on time with both personal and business cards, you should be aware of your card’s assigned interest rate.
  • Cards for Employees: If you’d like to designate cards to employees for business-related expenses (an office manager who stocks up on supplies, or a client-facing employee who often drives off-site, for example), look for business cards that offer additional employee cards on your main account. Even if you pay an annual fee, these additional cards should carry no cost.
  • Expense Management Tools: Business cards are great for separating your personal spending from business expenses, and many issuers offer budgeting or expense management tools to make your year-end accounting even easier. This may include year-end summaries, employee card spending and account alerts, integration with software like Quickbooks, and more.
  • Perks: Basic travel and purchase protections, expense management tools, and employee cards are standard perks among business credit cards. Look into other benefits, such as annual statement credits, partner discounts, and more to further maximize your card’s value.  
  • Welcome Bonus: Most business credit cards offer a welcome bonus after spending a certain amount within a given time period after opening your account. It’s best to time your account opening when you’re planning to make a big purchase or travel to reach the spending requirement. Some welcome bonus offers can add up to free flights, hotel stays, or purchases. 

How to Apply for a Business Credit Card

  1. Determine which business credit card is right for you. Evaluate your regular spending to find which rewards categories your business may benefit most from, and determine how other features like an 0% introductory period may help you meet your goals.
  2. Complete the application. The application process is similar to any consumer card application. You should be prepared to provide personal information, such as your name and Social Security number, as well as information about your business, including the business name and location, EIN, and revenue and spending numbers.
  3. Prepare for a hard inquiry on your personal credit. Many business credit card issuers require your information as the business owner when you apply, and will check your personal credit before approval.
  4. Practice good credit habits. Once you’re approved for a new card account, begin using your card responsibly and racking up rewards to help you save on future business expenses. Remember to pay your bills in full and on time each month. Any late or missed payments using your card could impact both your personal and business credit.

Getting the Most Out of Your Business Credit Card

Get the most out of your business credit card by using it for any business expenses that fall within rewards categories, and using your rewards to offset future business costs. 

Plan your spending and budget so you can qualify for any welcome bonus offers, and calculate your potential rewards before applying to ensure you spend enough to outpace the card’s annual fee each year. If your card offers any added benefits like savings on certain products, travel perks, or expense management tools, take advantage of those regularly — as long as they don’t require you to overspend on purchases you weren’t already planning.

Continue to make the most of your card by practicing good credit habits and using it to establish and build your business credit history. Always pay your balances off in full and on time, charge only what you can afford, and make sure any employees you entrust with card access make smart spending choices.

Why You Should Use a Small Business Card Over a Personal Card

A business credit card is a good way to keep your business costs separate from your personal expenses. Keeping your expenses separate is a good way to stay organized from month to month. Plus, it can make filing your taxes easier if you used one card for most of your business expenses. 

Using a business card is also a good way to keep your credit utilization low on your personal accounts while you build your business’s line of credit. When you use your business credit card and pay your balance off in full each month, you can build your business’s credit without hurting your personal credit score. 

With a business credit card, some card issuers also offer free employee cards to lessen the hassle of reimbursement. And you’ll get extended warranties, purchase protections, and business-specific perks. 

Business Credit vs. Business Loan

Choosing between a business credit card and a business loan depends on your business expenses and needs. A business loan is a set amount of money that you’ll pay back over time with a fixed interest rate. You may choose to get a loan if you’re handling renovations or getting equipment to kickstart your business. Your approval limit will depend on your business and personal credit score, type of loan, and lender. Loans usually don’t come with perks or rewards for borrowing the money. 

If you’re looking to build your business credit score, you may choose a business credit card instead. You’ll be approved for a set limit, but won’t have to pay interest if you pay your balance on time and in full each month. Some business credit cards also have 0% introductory periods after account opening to make interest-free payments on your credit card balance for a certain time period. 

For instance, if you get a business credit card with a six-month 0% introductory period, you may buy new desks, chairs, and computer monitors while earning rewards. Then, you’ll make interest-free payments on your balance over the six months. Keep in mind that after the introductory period ends, you may have to pay interest on your remaining balance. 

Most business credit cards offer rewards and perks on your business purchases. Over time, you can redeem these rewards to save money on business travel or as cash back to cover for other expenses. 

Before you decide on a loan or a credit card, think about how you plan to use the money over time. If it’s a one-time investment, you may choose a loan. On the other hand, if you plan to make frequent trips to office supply stores, pay bills, or travel, you may lean toward a credit card to earn rewards on your purchases. 

Business Credit Card Rewards 

Business credit cards have different rewards programs that can help you cut business costs. But the rewards can vary. Some business credit cards offer cash back to give you more flexibility. You can redeem your cash rewards for a deposit to your business checking account to use on other purchases. 

But if you frequently travel for business, you may choose a card that offers points or miles as rewards to save on flights, hotels, and rental cars. Oftentimes, you can still redeem these rewards for a statement credit or gift cards, but you’ll get the best value when booking travel. 

You also may be able to earn more rewards if your card has a welcome bonus that offers more rewards if you spend a certain amount within a given timeframe. 

For rates and fees of the American Express Business Gold Card, click here.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card from American Express, click here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I check my business credit score?

You can check your business credit score for free, but you’ll likely have to pay to monitor your business credit. You can check your business credit score through any of the business credit reporting agencies (Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, or Experian) or use a third-party service like Nav.

Like personal credit scores, there are a few different business credit scoring models. That means the score you see may not be the same as the score a lender or creditor uses to determine your creditworthiness.

Can I apply for a business credit card without a business?

You don’t need a traditional brick-and-mortar business to open a business credit card; sole proprietors, freelancers, and even people working side hustles can qualify. But you do need some kind of business. When you apply for a business credit card, you should be prepared to answer questions about your industry or business type, revenue, expenses and other information related to your business.

What is a business credit score?

A business credit score is similar to a personal credit score; it helps lenders determine your creditworthiness so your business can secure financing with competitive terms. Scores typically range from one to 100 and include factors like payment history, credit utilization, and credit mix.

What is the best business credit card?

Like personal credit cards, business credit cards and their uses vary. The best business credit card for you will depend on the type of business you own, your typical business spending, credit needs, how big your business is, and other factors. Compare different card options and your likelihood of approval for each before you apply.

Can I apply for a business credit card with an EIN (Employer Identification Number)?

You can provide your EIN when you apply for a business credit card. However, many issuers require a personal guarantee, which holds you liable for paying your balance even if your business fails. Generally, you’ll need to submit personal information, including your Social Security number, in addition to your EIN and other information about your business.

What’s the difference between a small business card and a corporate card?

The big difference between a small business credit card and a corporate credit card is that the business owner is responsible for the small business card while the company is responsible for a corporate card. 

Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers can apply for a small business card with their personal credit score, TIN, and other supporting documents. Whereas, a corporate card requires substantial annual revenue, monthly spending, and business credit history. The process is less straightforward compared to a small business card.

Does a business card affect my personal credit score?

Yes, a business card can affect your personal credit score. Even though business credit card issuers regularly report to commercial credit bureaus, occasionally your activity is reported to consumer credit bureaus, too. Usually, only negative activity is reported, but it varies by bank. A business card should not be seen as a personal credit building tool if you’re looking to boost your personal credit score.

What is the easiest business credit card to get?

The easiest business card to get will depend on your personal credit score and history. You may have more options if you have good to excellent credit. Whereas, if you have less-than-perfect credit, you may have to choose a secured business credit card and upgrade to a card with more rewards and perks as your score improves.

Methodology

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

To determine the best business credit cards, we evaluate cards for small business owners available from major issuers on the market today. These cards are designed to suit a number of different business types across different industries, so we focus on the cards that can add the most value for a wide range of businesses. High-value rewards and redemptions are the primary factor in our card picks, but other card details we consider include annual fee, added benefits and perks, business-related benefits (employee cards, expense management, etc.), ongoing APR, welcome bonus, and more.

*All information about the Capital One Spark Cash Plus and Capital One Spark Miles for Business, has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

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