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Credit Cards

The best small business credit cards of March 2024

We reviewed 21 popular business credit cards and chose the best ones for various needs.

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Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

If you operate a small business, whether it's part-time or full-time, you may benefit from opening a business credit card.

A business credit card helps to keep personal and professional expenses separate, which makes things much easier come tax time. Plus, many business cards allow you to open free employee cards, which is a great way to streamline spending and eliminate the hassle of reimbursing employees for business charges made on personal cards.

Business credit cards come in all shapes and sizes, with cards offering rewards, interest-free financing on new purchases, luxurious travel perks, extended warranties, insurance and more. To get approved for a business card, you typically need excellent credit (670+ according to Experian), but there are options for business owners with less than stellar credit.

To determine which business cards offer the best value, CNBC Select reviewed dozens of popular options and chose cards that fit into eight main categories: cash back, travel, no annual fee, welcome bonus, luxury, special financing, average credit, and shipping. Here are our top picks.

Best small business credit cards

Best for no annual fee

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months from account opening on purchases; N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    18.49% - 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards
  • Simple cash-back program
  • Special financing offer for purchases

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Who's this for? The Chase Ink Business Unlimited is an excellent pick for business owners who don't want to pay an annual fee. It offers a generous welcome offer and a 1.5% cash-back earning rate on all purchases, making it especially attractive to those who don't want to track spending categories to maximize their rewards.

Better yet, the cashback earned with this card can be converted into transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points if you have an eligible Ultimate-Rewards-earning card, like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited also comes with a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on new purchases (after, 18.49% - 24.49% variable APR) and you can add employee cards at no additional cost.

Best for financing new purchases

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1X point per dollar

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    18.49% - 26.49% variable; APRs will not exceed 29.99%

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Straightforward rewards program

Cons

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Who's this for? Business owners who are looking to finance new purchases without incurring interest should consider the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. You can benefit from a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening (after 18.49% - 26.49% variable APR; APR will not exceed 29.99%). See rates and fees. Terms apply.

If you plan to purchase office furniture, electronics, appliances and other business items, the special financing period can provide you with an interest-free period of up to a year. Plus, you'll earn an above-average return on your everyday business purchases and can add employee cards for free.

Best for welcome bonus

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    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 (then 1%); 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year (then 1%); 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months from account opening on purchases; N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    18.49% - 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards
  • Cash back geared toward popular business expenses
  • Special financing offer for purchases

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Who's this for? The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card stands out for offering one of the best welcome bonuses on the market: earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's like earning an extra 12.5% cash back for your business on purchases you were making anyway.

It's also a great option for small businesses that regularly make purchases from office supply stores or have significant bills from their internet, cable and phone service providers due to its bonus rewards on these purchases.

As with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited, the Ink Business Cash card offers a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on new purchases (after, 18.49% - 24.49% variable APR). Other perks include purchase protection, extended warranty protection, various travel protections and employee cards at no additional cost.

Best for cash back

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    For a limited time through March 11th, 2024, earn up to a $3,000 cash bonus: $1,500 once you spend $20,000 in the first 3 months, and an additional $1,500 once you spend $100,000 in the first 6 months

  • Annual fee

    $150

  • Promo APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    No APR; pay off your balance in full every month to avoid a 2.99% late fee

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    $0

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • No present spending limit
  • Free employee cards
  • Roadside assistance benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Balance must be paid in full each month
  • Annual cash bonus of $200 requires $200,000 yearly spending

Who's this for? If you're looking to earn a competitive cash-back rate on all spending, you should consider the *Capital One Spark Cash Plus, which offers 2% cash back on every eligible purchase.

The cash-back program is straightforward, without the bonus categories or spending limits many other business cards impose. Business owners can easily redeem cash back at any time and for any amount. There's also the option to set up automatic redemption at a set time or when a specific cash-back balance is reached.

The *Spark Cash Plus also comes with helpful business benefits, including free employee cards, account management tools such as the ability to view recurring transactions and download itemized year-end summaries, extended warranty, no foreign transaction fees, and more.

Best for luxury perks

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. Also, earn 1.5X points (that's an extra half point per dollar) on each 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.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $695

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 27.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Enroll to receive up to $400 in annual statement credits on Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually), up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases
  • Get 35% points back when you use points to purchase all or part of an airline fare, up to 500,000 bonus points back per calendar year
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus where available and get up to $189 back per year on your membership when you use your card. (subject to auto-renewal)
  • Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your card

Cons

  • $695 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers

Who's this for? The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a top-notch card offering over a dozen premium perks for business owners. Whether it's travel, purchase protection, rewards or expense management, there's a benefit for every type of business owner.

Cardholders can earn a competitive 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com and 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at U.S. construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and U.S. shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year). Points redeemed for flights through Amex Travel get 35% points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year. Terms apply.

Luxury travel benefits include a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, access to over 1,400 airport lounges through the American Express Global Lounge Collection and an annual airline fee credit of up to $200 for incidentals, like baggage fees and seat upgrades. This card also comes with up to $200 in semi-annual credit (up to $400 back per year) for Dell purchases after you enroll in the offer.

While this card has a suite of benefits, it comes with a hefty $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Best for travel

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in select categories each account anniversary year (travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines), 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase TravelSM

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.24% - 26.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Free employee cards
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase TravelSM
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Generous welcome bonus worth up to $1,000

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers

Who's this for? The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a great option for business owners who want to earn rewards on common business expenses, such as travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.

Cardholders can redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards, experiences and more. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase TravelSM.

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers employee cards at no additional cost and provides helpful travel perks, such as no foreign transaction fees, auto rental collision damage waiver and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.

This card also comes with cell phone protection, which covers damage or theft for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill paid with your card, up to $1,000 per claim. Maximum of 3 claims in a 12 month period with a $100 deductible per claim.

Best for average credit

Capital One Spark 1% Classic

Information about the Capital One Spark Classic has been collected independently by CNBC Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    30.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    None

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Average

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards
  • Average credit may qualify
  • Redeem cash back for any amount at any time
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • No welcome bonus
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers

Who's this for? Business owners who have less than stellar credit may run into difficulty qualifying for a business card since many cards require excellent credit. However, the *Capital One Spark 1% Classic* sets lower "average credit" requirements and has no annual fee and no fee for employee cards.

This card comes has a straightforward cash-back program and offers the option to set up automatic redemption at a set time each calendar year or when a specific cash-back balance is reached.

The Capital One Spark 1% Classic also comes with Capital One business benefits, which include account management tools (choose your due date, view recurring transactions, download purchase records to Quicken®, QuickBooks® and Excel®), extended warranty, no foreign transaction fee and more.

Best for flexible bonus categories

American Express® Business Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap. 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $375

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 27.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • Get 25% points back when you use points for flights
  • Flexible solutions for managing cash flow
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No cost to add up to 99 employee cards

Cons

  • $375 annual fee
  • No introductory APR offer

Who's this for? If your business requires you to ship products to consumers across the country, the costs can add up. But there are cards, such as The American Express® Business Gold Card, that provide competitive rewards to help offset the cost of shipping your products.

The Amex Business Gold Card offers a flexible rewards program that assigns the highest rewards rate of 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap.

Here are the bonus categories you can choose from:

  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 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
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Terms apply.

Qualifying U.S. shipping purchases include transactions made in the U.S. for courier, postal and freight shipping services. This includes eligible shipping costs from FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Beyond rewards, this card provides expense management tools and helpful features if your business requires travel. It has no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and car rental loss and damage insurance.

Keep in mind there's a $375 annual fee (see rates and fees), but it can be outweighed by the card's benefits.

Find the best credit card for you by reviewing offers in our credit card marketplace or get personalized offers via CardMatch™.

What you need to apply for a small business credit card

To qualify for a small business credit card you will need some sort of income from a source other than a traditional job. But you don't need to be the founder of a large corporation or a restauranteur to be eligible for a business credit card. You may qualify even if your business is just starting out or if it's only a part-time side hustle. Freelance and independent contractor gigs, such as driving for DoorDash or Uber, could help you qualify for a business card.

When you're ready to apply for a business credit card, you'll typically need the following information:

  • Business name. For sole proprietors, this can be your name.
  • Business address. This can be your home address.
  • Business tax ID. This can be an EIN or your social security number (if you're a sole proprietor).
  • Estimated revenue. Total revenue before taxes or other expenses are deducted.
  • Years in business
  • The number of employees. Enter one if you have no employees other than yourself.

Business credit card applications also require you to enter your personal information, including your social security number. When you apply for a small business credit card, your personal credit report typically is reviewed.

Why small business owners should get a small business credit card

It can make sense for small business owners to open a small business credit card for several reasons. Having a separate credit card for business transactions is essential for bookkeeping. Many business credit cards have built-in spending reports or free employee cards with the option to customize spending limits.

Aside from helping you with the nuts and bolts of running your business, a small business card can also be rewarding. The top business cards offer extra rewards, cash back and miles or points for everything from online advertising to internet services. These cards also tend to have other useful benefits, such as credits for software or computer expenses and insurance for business-related travel or other purchases.

Pros and cons of a small business credit card

Small business credit cards can help you streamline your bookkeeping and keep personal expenses separate from business transactions. These cards also tend to have higher welcome bonuses and are particularly rewarding for common business expenses.

The flip side is that business card welcome bonus offers can have larger minimum spending requirements. And when you apply, many business credit cards will still pull your personal credit report.

Pros

  • Helps separate business and personal expenses
  • Bonus rewards for popular business purchases
  • Larger welcome offers
  • Easy to add employee cards and manage spending

Cons

  • Typically have higher minimum spending requirements to earn the intro bonus
  • A hard pull on your personal credit (usually)

FAQs

You don't need an EIN (employer identification number) from the IRS to apply for a business credit card. If your business is a sole proprietorship, you can apply for a business credit card using your social security number as your business tax ID.

Many of the best business credit cards will not appear on your personal credit report. However, depending on the card issuer, your business credit card account may show up on your personal credit reports.

Personal and business credit cards work the same way in that you use them to make purchases and then pay off the balances. However, business credit cards tend to have special benefits and features designed to appeal to business owners.

Bottom line

Opening a business credit card is a great way to boost your rewards balance and get access to perks that can help your business run a bit more smoothly. Plus, business credit cards have bonus categories that reward you for common business expenses such as shipping, advertising and travel.

Qualifying for a business credit card may be easier than you think. You could be eligible even if your business is small or just starting. And freelance work or side hustles such as food delivery or rideshare work, could help you qualify for a business credit card.

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Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every credit card list is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card productsWhile CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best small business credit cards.

Our methodology

To determine which business cards offer the best value, Select analyzed dozens of the most popular credit cards available to U.S. business owners. We compared each card on a range of features, including annual fee, employee card fee, rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is to redeem points.

The main criteria in our ranking were the rewards rates and added benefits, such as redemption bonuses, insurance coverage and expense management features. The more perks a card had, the higher it ranked on our list.

Co-branded business cards, such as airline or hotel-specific cards, did not make our final list due to their often complex reward systems and potential to limit your travel options to a specific brand.

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.

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

*Information about the Capital One Spark Classic for Business has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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