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Folks whose work is digital media can qualify for a small business credit card that earns miles, points, and cash back for business purchases!
I’ll show you great small business credit cards for freelancers like writers, web and graphic designers, coders, and more!
Freelancers Run A Small Business
If you consistently have digital jobs or receive 1099 forms for your work, you can qualify for a small business credit card.
Folks who operate their business as a sole proprietor can apply using their Social Security Number instead of an EIN (Employer Identification Number) or tax number. So you don’t need to have employees or huge revenue to get a small business credit card.
It’s a good idea to get 1 because it makes your purchases easier to track. And it keeps them separate from your personal expenses, which is useful at tax time!
Digital freelancers can use a small business credit card for business purchases, including:
- Hardware, like a new monitor, mouse, tablet, etc.
- Software, like editing suites, or industry-specific programs
- Online advertising like Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook
- Office supplies like paper, ink/toner, or office furniture
- Domain names
- Internet service
- Cell phone service
- Media database subscriptions
- Industry journals
- And anything else you purchase to complete your work!
Plus, a few small business cards earn rewards in the categories you shop the most!
Best Small Business Credit Cards for Digital Freelancers
Digital freelancers include lots of folks! For example:
- Graphic Designers
- Web Designers
- Fiverr, TaskRabbit, or Postmates professionals
- UX/UI experts
- And anyone else whose work is primarily done on a computer!
1. AMEX SimplyCash
Update: This card is no longer available for new sign-ups.
AMEX SimplyCash has a limited-time $250 sign-up bonus after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases within the 1st 6 months of opening your account. It’s a no annual fee small business credit card that earns:
- 5% cash back at US office supply stores & US cell phone service on purchases up to $25,000 per 12 month billing period starting ~February 1 each year
- 3% cash back in the category of your choice on purchases up to $25,000 per rebate year including advertising, US gas stations, and more!
- 1% cash back on other purchases
So this card will earn 5% cash back per $1 spent at US office supply stores, for paper, ink, furniture, and office basics. And you’ll earn 5% cash back on your US cell phone service.
You can pick a 3% cash back category too, including advertising, and gasoline purchases. So if you advertise on Google, Yahoo!, or Facebook, or if you drive to off-site locations, this is an easy way to earn cash back.
And, because it’s an AMEX card, it’s eligible for lots of other perks and benefits.
You can sign-up for AMEX Offers with AMEX small business cards. For instance, there are sometimes offers to save money at Staples and there was recently a deal for $25 off at Best Buy. So it’s an easy way to save money on supplies or hardware.
Another recent AMEX Offer was $20 off $50+ at GoDaddy.com for domain services, which was useful for setting up a web-based business. I always update Million Mile Secrets with the best new AMEX Offers for your business!
2. Chase Ink Cards
Link: Chase Ink Plus
Link: Chase Ink Cash
The Chase Ink Plus is a terrific small business credit card. That’s because it earns:
- 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on internet and phone service, cable, and purchases made at office supply stores up to $50,000 total per card anniversary year
- 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent at gas stations and hotel stays booked directly with the hotel up to $50,000 total per card anniversary year
- 1X Chase Ultimate Reward point per $1 spent on other purchases
If you spend $500 per month on supplies at office supply stores, and internet/phone service, you’d earn 2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points X $500). That’s worth $25 cash back each month. Or ~$31 towards flights in the Chase Travel Portal. Over the course of a year, that’s $300 back in your pocket!
But my favorite use for these points is to transfer to great partners like Hyatt for hotel stays and United Airlines for flights to Europe, Hawaii, and more, where they can be worth much more.
This card is a great option because it has strong 5X categories that apply to most freelancers: office supplies, cable, internet, and phone service. So if you use the Chase Ink Plus for those purchases, your points can add up fast!
There’s a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the 1st year. Be sure to read about the other benefits of the card!
And if you want a straightforward cash back card, the Chase Ink Cash is a great choice.
It earns 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) up to $25,000 total per card anniversary year in the same categories as the Chase Ink Plus, and has no annual fee.
And it earns 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (2% cash back) per $1 spent on the 1st $25,000 total per card anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants.
Folks who also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold, can easily combine their points to transfer to airline and hotel partners, or book travel at the Chase Travel Portal, where points are worth 1.25 cents each!
Both the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Cash come with access to the Chase Ink App, which helps you keep track of your expenses.
When you shop online, be sure to earn even more miles or points by clicking through a shopping portal! It’s easy to earn lots of extra miles and points this way!
3. Capital One Spark Cash Rewards
If you want a small business card that offers unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, consider the Capital One Spark Cash Rewards card. One thing to note about this card is when you apply, it pulls inquiries from all 3 credit bureaus.
Usually, banks only pull from 1 bureau. So this card has the equivalent effect of applying for 3 credit cards. Only apply for it if you have good credit and don’t mind a temporary dip in your credit score.
That said, the Capital One Spark Cash Rewards card has no foreign transaction fees and NO cap on the amount of cash back you can earn. Folks who have expenses in several different categories might like this card because it’s easy to understand.
4. The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN earns AMEX Membership Rewards points, which you can use for airfare, hotels, and gift cards.
If you like to travel, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to lots of airline and hotel partners, like Air Canada, Delta, Hilton, and many others!
You’ll earn 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points on 1 of these 5 bonus categories of your choice:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- Advertising in select media
- US gas stations
- Hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You’ll earn 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent in the other 4 categories, and 1X AMEX Membership Rewards point on other purchases. There’s a $175 annual fee on the card, waived for the 1st year.
This card has a higher annual fee in the 2nd year than the others, but it earns points at merchants including:
If you need to buy new hardware or software, or have recurring expenses for cloud computing, this card is an excellent choice!
And because it’s a charge card, not a credit card, you aren’t constrained to a pre-determined limit. So if you have a lot of spending to do in 1 month, you have more flexibility with this card.
One of the great things about working on the internet is that you can travel overseas! And this is a good card to bring because there are no foreign transaction fees. So you can use it anywhere in the world AMEX is accepted without being charged extra.
5. AMEX Starwood Small Business Card
The AMEX Starwood small business card is a great all-around credit card for earning points. You will earn 2X Starwood points per $1 spent at Starwood hotels, and 1X Starwood point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
For instance, after spending $5,000 on business expenses, you’ll earn 5,000 Starwood points. With Starwood’s Cash & Points program, those 5,000 points get you a night at great Category 4 hotels like the Westin Charlotte when you add a $75 co-pay. That’s a great deal because hotels like this normally cost over $400 a night!
This card usually has an increased sign-up bonus of 30,000 Starwood points in late summer each year – but no guarantees it will return! Still, this is a great card to get even when the sign-up bonus is 25,000 Starwood points.
Starwood points can be used for award stays at Starwood hotels and award flights when transferred to ~30 airline partners such as American Airlines.
There are lots of ways to save money on stays at Starwood hotels including Cash & Points (possibly my favorite way!) and Nights & Flights. You can even use Starwood points for once-in-a-lifetime experiences like VIP access at a concert or sporting event, or a 1-on-1 golf lesson with a pro with SPG Moments!
Starwood points are valuable because they’re versatile. Read my review of the Starwood small business card and all the great perks you get with AMEX small business cards, including AMEX Offers, and AMEX OPEN savings.
For folks who like Starwood hotels, this card is a great way to earn points towards a free stay with every purchase. Because you’ll earn 1 Starwood point per $1 spent.
And if you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to airline miles, you’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus. Find out how this is even better than most airline credit cards!
You can use this American Express card to purchase computer hardware for your freelance business, knowing that AMEX is respected for its great customer service when it comes to extending the manufacturer’s warranty.
This is also a smart card to take with you when working from other countries because it doesn’t add any foreign transaction fees. Pay in a foreign currency and you’ll get a fair exchange rate.
The AMEX Starwood small business card also earns bonus points with Uber. So you’ll get closer to your free hotel stay or flight each time you take the car service to meet a client.
Then use your Chase Ink Cash card to earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (2% cash back) when paying for your business meal!
If your work is digital media, you can earn miles, points, or cash back for purchases you need to make for your small business, like at office supply stores, on advertising, or new software, with a small business credit card.
If you think you might have a small business, find out how you might qualify. Generally, as long as you make a profit from your work, you can get approved for a small business credit card.
A card you use just for your small business will keep your expenses separate and easy to track. And you’ll earn rewards for making the purchases you need to help your business keep growing!
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