Small business credit cards are increasingly popular business financing options, particularly for entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for traditional business loans and don’t have access to networks filled with deep-pocketed family members, friends, and colleagues. No matter what your business does, a credit card can probably help – as long as you use credit wisely and avoid making purchases your company can’t afford.
Small business credit cards typically have higher spending limits and more generous rewards programs than consumer cards. Some have additional benefits, such as low APRs, attractive balance transfer promotions, personalized concierge service, and fringe benefits. However, many also come with annual fees and require good or excellent credit to qualify.
The Best Small Business Credit Cards Right Now
Without further ado, these are the best small business credit cards on the market right now. They include a mix of low-interest credit cards, travel rewards credit cards, cash back credit cards, and general-purpose rewards cards.
Best Overall: Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a longtime favorite of Chase small business card users. It offers:
- A generous rewards program that favors travel and everyday business purchases.
- An attractive points transfer feature that lets you swap your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for other companies’ loyalty currency at a 1-to-1 ratio.
- Perhaps best of all, a massive sign-up bonus worth up to $1,250 in free travel.
When you spend at least $15,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you get 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points. That’s worth $1,000 when redeemed for cash, and $1,250 when redeemed for travel (thanks to Chase’s 25% bonus on all travel redemptions). If you travel a lot for business, that’s hard to resist.
This card’s regular rewards program is equally impressive. The 3x tier is unusually generous: cardholders get 3 points per $1 spent on travel, shipping purchases, telecommunications purchases (such as Internet, cable, mobile phone bills), and advertising, up to $150,000 in combined spending across those categories in each account anniversary year. All other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent.
This all adds up to the best overall credit card for small-business users, period.
- $95 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- Transfer points to more than a dozen travel partners at a 1-to-1 ratio
- Get cell phone protection (up to $600 per claim) when you pay your cell phone bill in full with your card
- Enjoy complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with this card
- Enjoy purchase protection for up to 120 days and extended warranties on purchased items with eligible existing manufacturers’ warranties
- Qualify for trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to applicable limits per claim
Apply Now for the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back: Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is an annual-fee-free business credit card that echoes the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card, a consumer credit card that also earns unlimited 1.5% cash back.
Ink Business Unlimited accrues cash back via Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel purchase, and general merchandise. The one-two punch of a no-nonsense rewards program and flexible redemption make it the best flat-rate cash back card for business owners, period.
- Earn $750 bonus cash after you spend $7,500 in purchases within 3 months after account opening
- Enjoy 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening
- Once the promotional period ends, the regular APR ranges between 14.74% to 20.74% variable, depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates
- No annual fee
- No employee card fees
- Get the same great value-added benefits as Chase Ink Business Preferred
Apply Now for the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card
Best Tiered Cash Back Program: Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is a popular business credit card with a generous cash back rewards program, solid sign-up bonus, and reasonable APR.
Here’s what to expect from the cash-back program:
- From day one, you earn 5% cash back for office supply store and communications purchases (including Internet, TV, landline, and cell phone services), up to $25,000 per year.
- You earn 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases, up to $25,000 per year. After reaching the $25,000 cap, you earn unlimited 1% cash back on these spending categories.
- All other purchases earn 1% unlimited cash back as well.
- Earn $750 bonus cash back when you spend at least $7,500 within 3 months of signing up
- Enjoy 0% on purchases for 12 months — then the regular purchase APR is 14.74% to 20.74% variable, depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates
- No annual fee
- Get the same great value-added benefits as Chase Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Unlimited
Apply Now for the Chase Ink Business Cash Card
Best for Business Travelers: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a popular business card that’s fantastic for business travelers in particular, despite the hefty annual fee of $695. (For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.)
This card’s top perks include:
- A $200 statement credit for purchases made with an airline of your choice (enrollment required)
- Complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges worldwide through the American Express Global Lounge Collection (enrollment required)
- Reimbursement for TSA Precheck application fees ($85) or Global Entry application fees ($100), but not both programs
- A 35% bonus when using Membership Rewards® points to book travel with your selected qualifying airline, up to 1 million bonus Membership Rewards® points each calendar year
- Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points as a welcome offer after you spend at least $15,000 in eligible purchases within 3 months of opening your account
- Airfare and prepaid hotel purchases booked through American Express Travel earn 5 points per $1 spent
- Purchases in key business spending categories and all other purchases greater than $5,000 earn 1.5 points per $1 spent ($2 million annual purchase cap on these purchases applies)
- All other purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent
- Redeem accumulated points for gift cards, online shopping, travel purchases, statement credits, and more
- No foreign transaction fee
- Late payments cost up to $39 or 2.99% of the outstanding balance, and returned payments cost up to $39 — for rates and fees of the the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page
- Your APR on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time will be 16.49% to 24.49% APR, depending on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at time of account opening (terms apply)
- Notable additional benefits for small business owners include up to $400 in annual purchase credits (statement credits) for U.S. purchases with Dell (terms apply and enrollment is required)
Apply Now for the American Express Business Platinum Card
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.
Best For Saving on Everyday Business Purchases: BMO Harris Business Platinum Rewards Mastercard®
The BMO Harris Business Platinum Rewards Mastercard® is a great credit card for everyday business spending.
Its rewards program couldn’t be simpler. You’ll earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent, your points won’t expire, and you can redeem them for things you actually want, like gift cards, cash, travel and more.
Plus, there’s no annual fee, and you can save up to 25% at 40,000-plus merchants: gas, meals, office supplies, hotels, and more with Mastercard Easy Savings®.
- Enjoy discounts on Intuit Quickbooks and TurboTax to streamline your accounting and simplify your taxes
- Get up to 20 additional cards so employees can easily make purchases and earn points on behalf of your business
- Enjoy 0% introductory APR on purchases valid for the first nine months from your account opening date
- Terms and conditions apply
Apply Now for the BMO Harris Platinum Rewards Mastercard®
For rates and fees of BMO Harris Business Platinum Rewards Mastercard® , please visit this rates and fees page.
Best for Frequent Flyers: Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is a super-premium business travel card designed for frequent flyers who like to travel in style.
If your business travel habits, lifestyle, and budget allow, it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t want to have this card in your wallet.
Big spenders make out especially well with this card. Spend $30,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year and you’ll get 15,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost, up to 4 times per year (for a total potential haul of 60,000 bonus MQMs).
And, when you spend at least $25,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year, you’ll qualify for the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) waiver, making it even easier to ascend the Medallion status ranks and earn coveted Delta perks.
Medallion status is pretty complicated. If you’re new to the ranks of Delta frequent flyers, check out this primer on the Delta Medallion program. Terms and limitations apply: see rates & fees.
- Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Earn 3 SkyMiles per $1 spent on eligible Delta purchases
- $550 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
- Cash advances cost the greater of $5 or 3%; late and returned payments cost up to $39 — for rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this rates and fees page
- Enjoy complimentary Delta Sky Club membership and complimentary access to the Centurion Lounge or the Escape Lounge – The Centurion Studio Partner when you purchase a Delta flight with your SkyMiles Reserve Business card (enrollment required)
- Qualify for one complimentary companion certificate (including on some first-class fares) each year (terms apply)
- Enjoy other Delta benefits like main cabin priority boarding, discounted Sky Club access for up to two traveling companions, and 20% off in-flight Delta purchases (terms apply)
Apply Now for the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this rates and fees page.
Best Introductory APR Promotion: U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard®
The U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard® is an excellent business cash back credit card that earns up to 3% cash back on eligible net gas station, EV charging station, office supply store, restaurant, and cell phone or service provider purchases and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
But the real headline here is an unusually long 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases and balance transfers. This promotion stretches for the first 15 billing cycles your account is open. After that, variable regular APR applies, currently 16.24% to 25.24%.
- For a limited time, earn $500 bonus cash back as a sign-up bonus after spending $4,500 in eligible purchases during the first 150 days your account is open
- No annual fee or fee for additional employee cards
- Get an annual credit worth $100 against eligible recurring software subscriptions
- Terms and conditions apply: see rates & fees
Learn More About the U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard®
Best for Startups: The Brex Mastercard Corporate Credit Card for Startups
The Brex Mastercard Corporate Credit Card for Startups is a super-generous corporate rewards credit card with virtually no fees. Unlike most other business credit cards, it requires no personal guarantee (even for small business users) and promises a credit limit 10 times your current corporate card’s — making it great for startups working their way toward a successful exit.
The catch: Your statement balance is automatically paid in full on a net 30 basis, so you can’t carry balances from month to month.
There’s more. When you agree to make Brex for Startups your primary credit card, you gain access to a fantastic rewards program that offers:
- 7 points per $1 spent on rideshare purchases, including Uber, Lyft, taxi, and scooter rides
- 4 points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, and Airbnb stays booked with Brex Travel
- 3 points per $1 spent on all eligible restaurant purchases
- 2 points per $1 spent on recurring software purchases
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
- Get a virtual card (ideal for online transactions) at no additional charge
- Qualify for partner offers as a new cardholder — including up to $100,000 in Amazon Web Services credits (depending on company funding), 50% off on all annual Dropbox Business Standard subscriptions, and a three-month discounted starter package (including one month free) for DoorDash’s DashPass food delivery subscription service (see terms for details)
- Pay just $5 per month, per card, for extra employee cards after the first 5 cards
Apply Now for the Brex Mastercard for Startups
Best for Frequent Hotel Guests: Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is the business version of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, and the best business credit card overall for business travelers who regularly stay in hotels.
Eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels earn 6 points per $1 spent. Eligible purchases made at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telecom purchases made directly with U.S. providers, and U.S. shipping purchases earn 4 points per $1 spent. All other eligible purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent.
You can redeem accumulated Bonvoy points for free nights at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. All cardholders in good standing enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and one free night award every year after your account anniversary at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels with redemption levels at or under 35,000 points per night. Terms and conditions apply – see rates and fees.
- Enjoy complimentary Gold Elite Status
- When you make at least $60,000 in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year, you receive an additional award night at participating hotels with redemption levels at or under 35,000 points per night
- Get 1 free award night each year after your cardmember anniversary
- Welcome offer: Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points after spending $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/31/22. Terms apply.
- $125 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- Cash advances cost the greater of $5 or 3%; late and returned payments cost up to $39 — see rates and fees
- Enjoy free in-room premium WiFi
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, please visit this rates and fees page.
Apply Now for the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card
Methodology: How We Select the Best Small-Business Credit Cards
We use several important factors to evaluate small-business credit cards. Those that score highest on an acceptable mix of factors earn a spot on this list.
Here’s what we look for when making these calls.
Virtually all small-business credit cards assess applicant creditworthiness.
Some are fine with applicants using their personal credit scores to apply, provided they personally guarantee the account. That’s explained in more detail below.
Other small-business credit cards ask that applicants have a business credit score before they apply. This is something of a catch-22 for new businesses, since it’s hard to build credit without a credit history. But there are ways to do it.
More selective small-business credit cards typically have minimum revenue and time-in-business requirements as well. These standards weed out new and/or revenue-less enterprises.
Personal Guarantee Requirements
If you’re applying for your first small-business credit card, you’ll probably need to choose one that accepts a personal guarantee. This is your ticket into the business credit card world and could help you build business credit over time, but beware — if your account becomes delinquent, your personal credit could suffer.
Most of the credit cards on this list have a rewards program. We evaluate them based on:
- How generous they are overall
- Which spending categories they reward
- Whether they have any caps or restrictions on earned rewards
- How easy it is to redeem
- What you can redeem for
Earning rewards is the reason many small-business owners sign up for small-business cards, so we take this evaluation seriously.
Sign-up Bonus (Welcome Offer)
Many of these cards offer bonus rewards for new cardholders. Typically, these sign-up bonuses — also known as welcome offers or early spend bonuses — require hefty upfront spending.
But that’s no sweat for capital-intensive businesses. So, all else being equal, we prefer business cards with attractive sign-up bonuses.
Interest Rate and Promotions
Carrying a credit card balance is never ideal, but sometimes you have no choice. Especially when you’re building a business and watching absolutely every penny.
With that in mind, we prefer small-business cards with low regular interest rates and long 0% APR introductory promotions. The latter isn’t as common in the business card world as it is among personal cards, but you can still find 0% APR promotions if you know where to look.
Benefits for Business Users
This is where some business cards really shine. From partnerships with popular business vendors (bookkeeping software, digital storage) to cutting-edge spend reporting and analysis tools, the best business credit cards offer thousands of dollars in annual value to dedicated users. We reward them with high placement on this list.
Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money. The best business credit cards generally have annual fees, but we prefer those that keep them reasonable — a subjective description if ever there was one.
Other business credit card fees include but aren’t limited to:
- Fees for employee cards
- Foreign transaction fees
- Balance transfer fees
- Cash advance fees
- Late and returned payment fees
Most business cards charge at least some of these fees, so there’s really no such thing as a “fee-free” business credit card. But we do prefer cards that keep these fees to a minimum.
Small-Business Credit Card FAQs
Still have questions about credit cards for your small business? Read on for answers to queries about applying for and using small-business credit cards.
How Do You Qualify for a Small-Business Card?
Qualifying for business credit cards is a bit different from qualifying for consumer credit cards. Some issuers simply require you to submit a valid Social Security number and affirm in writing that you’ll use the card exclusively for business purposes.
Such laid-back issuers welcome freelancers and solopreneurs. That’s basically anyone who files a Schedule C at tax time, including people who don’t really think of themselves as business owners.
Some issuers are more strict. They request a federal employer identification number (EIN), seek evidence of incorporation, or ask for financial statements. If you can’t prove that you actually own an incorporated business with legitimate cash flow, you won’t qualify.
Do You Need to Personally Guarantee Your Small-Business Credit Card?
You should know before you apply whether you’ll need to personally guarantee your business credit card account. If you don’t have to, you should think very carefully before doing so, since it could open you up to considerable personal liability if things go sideways.
That said, you might have no choice. If this is your first business credit card, your business credit history probably isn’t enough to qualify.
Does Using a Small-Business Card Hurt Your Credit Score?
Only if you don’t use it responsibly — or your business falls on hard times. If you keep your credit utilization at a manageable level and pay your bills on time, your small-business credit card could improve your business credit score. Or your personal credit score, if you went that direction.
How High Are Credit Limits on Small-Business Credit Cards?
It depends on several factors:
- Your credit score (personal, business, or both)
- Your business revenue (or personal income, if you’re personally guaranteeing the card)
- Your requested credit limit
- Your time in business
Other factors may come into play as well. The best business credit cards have eye-popping limits, often 20 or 30 times revenue, and business charge cards typically have no pre-set spending limits at all. But that doesn’t mean they’re appropriate or accessible for your business.
How Much Do Small-Business Credit Cards Cost?
No-annual-fee business cards do exist — you’ll find some on this list. But premium cards do charge annual fees ranging from $100 to more than $500.
How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Your Small Business
If you still haven’t found a clear business credit card winner, don’t fret. You’re closer to the end of your search than to the beginning.
You just need some perspective. So take a step back and consider:
- Your company’s top spending categories
- How much you spend overall in a typical month or year
- Which business benefits you value above all
- Whether you need short-term financing to reach a key milestone
- How many people in your organization are authorized to use a company credit card
Your answers here should help guide you toward the right card for your needs, or at least a narrower set of potential choices.
The final decision might well come down to gut feeling. But so do plenty of high-stakes business decisions.
- For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.
- For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, please visit this rates and fees page.
- For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this rates and fees page.