Business credit cards can be your ally if you are a small business owner. Not only do you get a line of credit to meet your business expenses without putting up any collateral, many business credit cards offer a rewards program whereby you can earn cash back or rewards points on your spending. This year, I have noticed that some cards are also offering 0% introductory APR on purchases, which lets you make large purchases with your card without having to pay any interest during the first few months - a bonus to your cash flow. Another benefit to small business credit cards is that many of them let you get free additional cards (each with adjustable limits) for your trusted employees. This way, you can delegate business spending, and also save your staff from the hassle of claim forms.
To help you decide which business credit card to get, we at GET.com have read the fine print and rated these cards based on their features, fees and interest rates. Here are our top rated business card offers that are currently available in the US:
Ink Cash® Business Credit Card. This card, issued by JPMorgan Chase, is our top rated business credit card for cash rebates. Each account anniversary year, for the first $25,000 you spend on office supplies, telecom services and cable services you will earn 5% cash back. For the first $25,000 you spend on dining and gas each card account anniversary year you’ll earn 2% cash back, and you earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases made with this card. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (13.24% variable APR thereafter). Earn $200 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 during the first 3 months from account opening. No annual fee.
Ink Plus® Business Credit Card lets you earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You earn 5 points per $1 in purchases for internet and phone services (mobile and fixed), as well as office supply stores and cable TV. You earn these 5 points per $1 on the first $50,000 of purchases made in these categories each card anniversary year. You earn 2 points per $1 for up to $50,000 of purchases from gas stations and hotel accommodations (when booked directly from hotel) each card anniversary year. Transfer points to most frequent flyer programs at the rate of 1:1. Benefits include primary auto rental collision damage waiver and trip cancellation/interruption insurance when you pay for your car rental or trip with this card. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser. This card has a limited time offer (for applications received by September 21, 2015) that lets you earn a one-time $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 on qualifying purchases with your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Earn 5% cash back on purchases made at US office supply stores and on wireless telephone services that you purchase directly from US service providers. Earn 3% cash back on the category that you choose from a list of select categories. These 5% and 3% categories are capped at $25,000 spent per rebate year on purchases (earn 1% cash back after the cap). Earn 1% cash back on your other purchases. Benefit from 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months, after that there is a 12.24% - 19.24% variable APR based on your creditworthiness. This card has no annual membership fee. Terms & limitations apply.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. This business card rewards you with a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months. With this card, you will also earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all your purchases. Earn unlimited miles that don't expire. Miles can be redeemed for travel purchases as well as cash back, gift cards, merchandise and more. Miles can be redeemed for flights on any airline, with no blackout dates. No foreign transaction fee. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $59 after that.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. This business credit card rewards you with a one-time $500 cash bonus when you make $4,500 of purchases within the first 3 months. For every purchase you make, you'll receive 2% cash back. The cash back you earn doesn't expire, and you can earn unlimited cash back. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $59 after that.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business. This business card rewards you with 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases with your card, as well as a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. With this card, you will also enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases until December 2015, after that there is a 12.9% - 20.9% variable APR. The miles you earn can be redeemed for air travel, cash, gift cards, merchandise, and more. Every year you'll receive an itemized report on your spending at no additional cost. No annual fee.
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business. This business cash back credit card offers a one-time $200 bonus if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. This card also lets you earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases! Your cash back doesn’t expire and there is no limit on the cash rewards you can earn. Redeem your cash back anytime. There is a 0% intro APR on purchases until December 2015 (12.9% - 20.9% variable APR thereafter). All additional employee credit cards have no annual fee. No annual fee.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN, a GET.com advertiser. This charge card has a welcome offer that lets users earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 on purchases with this Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. This premium card offers complimentary access to more than 700 airport lounges all around the world and gives users access to over 40 benefits. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on eligible purchases and points do not expire. Another interesting perk is complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at over 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots around the globe. $450 annual fee. Terms & Restrictions Apply.
The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN This business charge card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser lets you earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 in purchases on your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Earn 3 points on one category of your choosing (of 5 to choose from) and 2 points on the remaining 4 categories. Each of these categories is capped at $100,000 per year. Earn 1 point on other eligible purchases. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. Terms & limitations apply.
The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser. This rewards credit card for businesses lets you get 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after making your first purchase on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. These points are valued at up to $100 in gift cards at select merchants. Earn a 30% annual Relationship Bonus on eligible purchases each anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Earn an additional point per $1 spent on eligible purchases when booking your travel with American Express Travel. This card has a 0.0% introductory APR for 9 months on purchases, 11.24% - 19.24% variable APR on purchases thereafter. $0 annual fee and no annual fee for each additional Employee Blue for Business® Credit Card. Terms and Restrictions Apply.
U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards Card lets you earn 3% cash back on gas purchases, cellular services, and office supply store net purchases. Earn 1% cash back on your other purchases. Earn unlimited rewards that don't expire. Each account anniversary year you will get a 25% Annual Rewards bonus (up to $250) - equal to 25% of the cash back you earned that year. Benefit from 0% introductory APR on qualifying purchases for the first 9 billing cycles with a 11.99% - 17.99% variable APR after the promotional period. $0 annual fee as long as you make at least one purchase per year.
U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards lets you earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 in net purchases within the first 90 days after account opening. Earn 3 points per $1 spent in net purchases in the category of your choice from the following categories: automobile, travel and entertainment or day-to-day expenses. You will earn 1 point per $1 on your other net purchases. You can earn unlimited points with no caps. There is a 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 billing cycles. After the intro period there is a 11.99% - 17.99% variable APR on purchases, based on your creditworthiness. This card has no annual fee.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser, lets you earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. You can also earn a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase with your new Card within this same 3-month period. Earn two miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn one mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Benefit from other travel perks including complimentary first checked bag on flights, priority boarding and 20% in-flight savings (in the form of statement credit) on your eligible purchases. This card has no foreign transaction fees which can help you save when traveling abroad. The annual fee will be $0 for your first year of Card Membership, then $95. Terms and limitations apply.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser. Earn up to 25,000 Starpoints® bonus, here’s how: earn 10,000 Starpoints® after making your first purchase with this Card and another 15,000 after spending $5,000 in purchases with this Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Earn 2 Starpoints® for each $1 spent on eligible purchases that are charged directly to hotels and resorts that are participating in the SPG® program. Earn 1 Starpoint® for each $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65. Terms and limitations apply.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®. This business card is especially designed for businesses with an established credit history. It lets you earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines and US Airways purchases. You will also earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at select car rental, telecommunications and office supply merchants. Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on your other purchases. Travel perks include boarding privileges with Group 1 on American Airlines flights and Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights, first checked bag for free on domestic American Airlines and US Airways flights for you and up to 4 traveling companions whose tickets have been purchased with this card and are on the same reservation. Save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases when using this card on American Airlines and US Airways flights. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months.
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, a GET.com advertiser, is a business charge card that lets you earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase with this Card. When you book on the American Express Travel website you can earn double Membership Rewards® points for each dollar of eligible purchases. You will earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every dollar you spend on other eligible purchases. You can redeem your points toward merchandise, gift cards, entertainment, and more. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms and limitations apply.
The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN, a GET.com advertiser, is a charge card that gives you flexibility when making your monthly payments. With this card you can enjoy up to 60 days to make your payments without interest, or you can get a 1.5% discount for paying early - or both each month. As a limited time offer, you can also earn up to 3.5% back on your first $30,000 in purchases made with this card within the first 3 months of card membership. This time-limited offer ends on August 24, 2015. No foreign transaction fees. Pay no annual membership fee for your first year, then pay $250 annually. No annual fee for employee cards. Terms and restrictions apply.
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Business Edge™ Travel Rewards Card lets you earn 20,000 bonus FlexPoints after spending $3,500 in net purchases in the first 4 months of card membership. Earn 3 FlexPoints per $1 on qualifying charity donations, 2 FlexPoints per $1 on the category you spend the most on (office supplies, gas or airline purchases) as well as on most cell phone purchases per billing cycle. Earn 1 FlexPoint per $1 spent on eligible net purchases. Benefit from an airline allowance of up to $25 with each award travel ticket. This allowance can be used toward in-flight food and beverage purchases or baggage fees. There is a $0 annual fee for the first year, then $55 annual fee after that (unless you spend over $24,000 each year in net purchases).
Citizens Bank Everyday Points® Business MasterCard®. Although it may not be as well known or as highly promoted as some other business credit cards, this rewards card provides some interesting benefits like 24/7 online account management, $0 liability for unauthorized purchases and Travel Assistant services. Signing up for the MasterCard Easy Savings program lets you get up to 20% rebates automatically when you make purchases at participating stores (including DHL, Fuelman and AVIS). You can also sign your employee cards up so they earn these rebates as well. You also get rental car insurance coverage. You earn 3,500 bonus points the first time you use your card to make a purchase, and 2 points for every $1 spent on business purchases. Points can be redeemed for cash back, office equipment, travel and more. The accessCARD Command feature puts you in control of your credit, employee card limits, business expenses and purchases. Although other cards offer higher rewards or more features, if you are a small business owner and are looking for an alternative to the more popular cards, this no-annual-fee card may be all you need.
Business Credit Card Tips
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.
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