Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
My top 3 credit card picks for small business owners are:
Qualify for a Small Business Credit Card
I’ve written how to qualify for a small business card. For example, if you run businesses as an accountant, Airbnb host, Amazon seller, attorney, consultant, dentist, freelancer, or real estate agent, you could get a small business card. And anything you do as an independent contractor may also count, especially if you get a 1099 form for it!
You can even apply with your Social Security Number as a sole proprietor. That said, your business must be for-profit. But you might even be eligible if you haven’t realized a profit yet.
Here are my top 3 small business card picks.
1. Chase Ink Business Preferred
You’ll also get:
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
- 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases
- Up to $600 in cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card
- 25% bonus when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
- Primary auto rental insurance (CDW) when renting for business purposes, plus purchase and extended warranty protection
The card has a $95 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.
Is the Chase Ink Business Preferred Right for You?
For example, you could redeem 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Ink Business Preferred for $1,000 on travel booked through the Chase travel portal without having to worry about blackout dates! You can also redeem the rewards for an $800 statement credit to your account.
Or get even more for your points by transferring them to Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners like Hyatt, United Airlines, and IHG.
For example, 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to certain airline and hotel partners is enough for $1,000+ worth of Southwest flights (or nearly double if you have the Southwest Companion Pass). Or 4 free nights at a Category 5 Hyatt hotel like the gorgeous Andaz Napa.
At a minimum, the sign-up bonus alone can save you hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars off your next getaway!
2. Capital One Spark Miles for Business
The Capital One Spark Miles comes with 50,000 Spark miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.
And you’ll get:
- 2X Spark miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
- NO foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee, waived the first year
And Visa Business Card benefits, like:
- Rental car insurance – Primary protection if the car is being used for business purposes; secondary protection if for personal use. Covers collision, theft, and towing cost
- Purchase security and extended protection – Covers eligible purchases from theft or damage for 90 days after purchase (up to $10,000 per claim). Extends qualifying manufacturer’s warranties by up to 1 year
- Visa Savings Edge – Enroll your card and automatically save up to 15% when you shop at participating merchants
Is the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card Right for You?
If you’re just beginning in miles & points, this card probably does NOT make sense. Because there are other credit cards with higher sign-up bonuses that earn more valuable points and have MUCH better travel benefits. And opening a Capital One Spark Miles for Business card will count against the Chase “5/24 rule.”
But if you already have all the Chase cards you want, it’s worth considering. Because Capital One Spark miles are simple to use. As long as your purchase is travel-related, you can likely use Capital One Spark Miles toward the expense!
Spark miles are worth 1 cent each. And to redeem them, just buy travel like you normally would with your card. Then within 90 days of the purchase, sign into your online account and “erase” it with your miles.
Capital One also has an online portal similar to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal called No Hassle Rewards. There, you can book travel with your miles instead of purchasing your travel and erasing it later. This gives you another way to use Spark miles without having to bother with blackout dates or searching for open award seats or hotel nights.
So if you’re looking for a business card with a straightforward rewards program, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business could be a good choice!
3. AMEX Starwood Small Business Card
You’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $4,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
This card also gets you:
- 2X Starwood points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels (includes Aloft, Design Hotels, Element, Four Points, Le Meridien, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Westin and W brand hotels)
- 2X Starwood points per $1 you spend at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels
- 1X Starwood point per $1 you spend on everything else
- Unlimited use of Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots (excluding in-flight)
- Access to Sheraton Club lounges (free breakfast and hors d’oeuvres) for cardholder and 1 guest staying in the same room (3rd-party bookings are excluded)
- 2 stay credits or 5 night credits toward Starwood Elite Status
- No foreign transaction fees
The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. And this is the highest-ever offer we’ve seen on this card!
Is the AMEX Starwood Small Business Card Right for You?
Starwood points are valuable because not only can you use them for Starwood stays, you can transfer them to Marriott at a 3:1 ratio for Marriott stays, too!
You can also transfer them to airline partners. And you get a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to airlines with a 1:1 transfer ratio.
25,000 miles is enough for a round-trip coach flight within the US on many major airlines, like American Airlines and United Airlines. This means the sign-up bonus from the AMEX Starwood small business card could easily be worth hundreds of dollars in award flights!
Most importantly, AMEX small business cards do NOT show up on your personal credit report. So applying will NOT affect your Chase “5/24” status. That makes it easier to apply for any other Chase cards you might want in the future!
Getting the AMEX Starwood small business card would be a great choice for anyone looking for a card that earns flexible points that can be used for free hotel stays or award seats on LOTS of different airlines.
If you qualify for a small business credit card I’d recommend 1 of these 3 excellent small business cards:
- $800 statement credit
- $1,000 toward travel booked through Chase
- Potentially much more with Chase’s travel transfer partners
But all 3 cards have similar minimum spending requirements and earn flexible rewards miles or points. Are there other small business cards you’d recommend?