Small business credit cards can be your ally if you are a small business owner. Not only can you get a line of credit to meet your business expenses, you can also earn cash back or rewards points on your spending. This season, we've noticed quite a few cards offering 0% introductory APR on purchases, which lets you make purchases with your card without having to pay any interest during the first few months, plus many come with no annual fee, including employee cards.
Here are the best small business credit cards for established and new small businesses based on GET.com's research:
0% on Purchases for 9 months
12.49% - 19.49% Variable
Read our review of SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express here.
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Read our review of Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business here.
0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 9 billing cycles
11.49% - 21.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
No annual fee
0% on purchases for 9 months
13.24% - 21.24% (Variable)
Read our review of Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business here.
Find out more in our detailed review of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN.
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
Read our detailed review of The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN here.
11.49% - 19.49% Variable
Find out more in our review of The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express here.
0% on purchases for 9 billing cycles*
12.24% - 18.24%* (Variable)
No annual fee*
Find out more in our review of U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard® here.
0% intro APR on purchases for the first 9 billing cycles
15.49% - 19.49% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Read our Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express review here.
Read our review of Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express here.
Read our review of Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business here.
Read our review of Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business here.
$95, waived for first 12 months
Read our review of CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® here.
Read our review of Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $250
Read our review of The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN.
$0* intro for the first year, then $55*
Find out more in our review of U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Business Edge™ Travel Rewards Card.
If you own a small business, we recommend that you carry more than one business credit card so as to maximize the potential of each one for the overall benefit of the business. For example, you can consider having one card with 0% APR offer or a low interest rate for carrying balances, and a second card for expenditures that you will repay fully at the end of each month.
This strategy allows you to make full use of the cash back or rewards features of your small business credit card, and you can earn up to 5% cash rebates on business-related spending, such as office supplies or gas.
Over the long-term, business credit cards can help your small business build a credit history with business credit bureaus so that your business will have a credit history of its own, instead of being linked to your personal credit history.
A business credit card is a card that you use for your business rather than your personal finances. If you use a business credit card for all your business spending, you will benefit from accurate accounts of business spending in the form of card statements. That makes it much easier to keep your accounts.
Today business credit cards and charge cards offer most of the same benefits that you get with your personal credit cards. Plus, many business cards also offer special tools and services that can save your business time and money.
For example, some business cards provide employee cards at no additional cost. Some also provide custom, itemized reports of your spending (a big plus at tax time), and let you securely download your purchase records into multiple formats (like Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel), which makes accounting a whole lot easier.
Using a business credit card that lets you earn cash back on purchases is a fuss-free way to save on business expenses. When you make a purchase using a card like this, you earn cash back (normally a certain percentage of each purchase).
Depending on which card you use, you can redeem your cash back as cash checks, statement credits, deposits into a bank account, or even for gift cards, merchandise or travel.
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express is an example of a rewarding cash back credit card for businesses.
Earning points that you can redeem through a rewards program could be a good fit for your business, if a particular rewards program includes offers that can help you save on business expenses.
Most good rewards programs offer a lot of flexibility in the way you can earn and redeem points. In some cases the merchandise or services that you can redeem points for may offer better value than what you would get if you paid for those things in cash.
Business rewards cards like The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN comes with extensive rewards programs that can help you get better value for the rewards you earn.
If you or your employees travel a lot on business, then a miles credit card could save you money. You earn miles or similar travel rewards when you make purchases, and you can then redeem these miles towards travel.
Some miles cards like Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® let you earn actual frequent flyer miles that you can redeem directly through your frequent flyer program.
Other miles cards like Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business give you miles that translate into a certain amount of cash value that can be redeemed towards travel purchases.
These cards can be a real saver if you take a lot of business trips and stay at hotels. Many large hotel groups have their own hotel credit cards for businesses. These let you earn rewards on purchases which you can then redeem for hotel accommodation.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is an example of a business credit card that lets you earn hotel rewards. Cards like this usually give you special privileges when you stay at their hotels.
How we rate business credit cards and charge cards
At GET.com, we conduct rigorous research into the terms and conditions behind each card benefit. With our business credit card/charge card ratings, we strive to present an accurate gauge of a card's benefits in relation to its fees. We also take into account the overall flexibility of card benefits and their appeal to a broad range of card users. For example, a hotel or airline card may provide excellent benefits for customers of a certain hotel group or airline, but may not have many benefits for non-customers.
Charges that we take into account are the annual fee, foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees, late payment fees and over-limit fees, purchase and balance transfer APR, penalty APR and ATM charges. The scope of the payments network and the issuer's ATM network is also taken into account. Benefits we look for include bonus offers, how rewards are earned and redeemed, introductory APR periods, travel privileges, accounting tools, mobile business apps, employee cards, insurance coverage and unique benefits.
updated Aug 30, 2016
Grace Cheng is co-founder and editor in chief at GET.com, a lifestyle and personal finance website. Email: email@example.com.
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At GET.com we compare credit cards and rate them objectively based on the credit card's features, interest rates and fees.
Cards are rated by our team based primarily on the basis of value for money to the cardholder. The GET.com team rates each card based on its annual fee, rewards, benefits, bonus, introductory APR, ongoing APR, flexibility (in how its benefits can be used and how rewards are earned and redeemed), and other card features.