Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Whether your small business is a for-profit side gig (like running an Airbnb or driving for Uber or Lyft) or a million-dollar corporation, using one of the best business credit cards for your expenses makes lots of sense. You can redeem your rewards for anything from cash back to travel or you could reinvest in your business.
Wondering what’s the best business credit card? We’ve carefully examined all the top offers. We’ll help you easily choose the best business credit card for travel. Some have no annual fee, while others are loaded with top-tier perks.
Best business credit cards of 2019
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best overall card
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: Best for American Airlines travel
- Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card: Best for Alaska Airlines miles
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card: Best for Southwest points
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Best with no annual fee
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card: Best for cash back
- Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Best for easy rewards
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: Best for travel/airport lounge access
Read our Chase Ink Business Preferred review
Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
This is a fantastic welcome bonus and a big reason why the Chase Ink Business Preferred is our #1 pick. If you like basic cash back, the 80,000-point bonus offer is worth $800, but can be worth much for when its used for travel.
Benefits and perks
Prefer to trade in your points for super easy travel? Good idea. Because when you book through the Chase Travel Portal (it looks and works just like Expedia or Travelocity) your Chase Ink Business Preferred makes your Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth 25% more (1.25 cents each instead of 1 cent each). So the bonus gets you $1,000 worth of airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and more.
Or, you could move the points you earn to a Chase transfer partner for even more value. For example, your 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points can become 80,000 United Airlines miles or 80,000 Hyatt points.
The card also comes with the following coverages:
- Cell Phone Protection – You get up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your credit card.
- Extended Warranty – When you buy stuff with your card, they add one extra year when the warranty is three years or less. The extended warranty protection is up to the amount charged to your card less shipping and handling fees, with a maximum of $10,000, and no more than $50,000 per calendar year. (So sorry, your business yacht is not covered.)
- Rental Car Insurance – Rental car insurance is primary when renting for business purposes when you decline the car rental agency’s CDW.
- Baggage Coverage – If your baggage is delayed for more than six hours, you could be reimbursed for emergency purchases of essential items (i.e. clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables and more). You can get up to $100 per day for a maximum of five days.
- Lost Luggage – This benefit covers the cost to repair or replace lost luggage and the personal items inside. You can be reimbursed up to $3,000 per person each trip with a limit of $500 for items such as jewelry and electronics. (So don’t pack your original Picasso painting.)
- Trip Delay Protection – If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours (or requires an overnight stay), you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication and other personal use items).
In addition, you won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees and it’s free to add employee cards to your account.
Ongoing earning potential
The Ink Business Preferred card earns 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year). You’ll also earn 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all other purchases.
The Ink Business Preferred card has a $95 annual fee.
You can’t go wrong with this card. In the absolute worst case, you earn the intro bonus and take home $800 minus the annual fee. Best case: Flying to your dream destinations and staying at luxury hotels.
The Ink Business Preferred is our best overall business credit card because, aside from the huge intro bonus, it also has generous spending bonus categories and great built-in insurances. Million Mile Secrets staff and readers alike have saved using perks like the card’s trip delay coverage, rental car insurance and cell phone insurance.
Read our CitiBusiness AAdvantage review
Earn 70,000 American Airlines miles after you make $4,000 in purchases in first four months from account opening.
70,000 American Airlines miles are more than enough to take a couple of domestic award trips round-trip in coach. All you’ll pay is the taxes and fees, which are ~$6 each way. Plus, American Airlines has amazing Oneworld travel partners like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and LATAM, with excellent rates to Asia, South America and beyond.
That amount of miles is worth a trip or two in coach or might even get you a luxurious first- or business-class seat, depending on where you want to go. These flights can easily cost thousands, so using American Airlines miles instead can be a huge money-saver.
Benefits and perks
Nearly everyone on the MMS team has had an American Airlines card at some point, and for good reason – the miles you earn are extremely valuable, especially when you have a travel goal in mind. With this card you’ll earn 2x American Airlines miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights, and at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and gas stations. After that, you’ll earn 1x miles on everything else.
Luckily, it’s easy to book award flights directly on the American Airlines website. Just enter where you want to go and your dates, be sure to check the “Redeem miles” box and you’re golden. You can easily filter for nonstop flights, explore the monthly calendar and find prices for all classes of service, using simple tools built into the search engine.
Beyond the ability to earn AA miles, you’ll also get access to perks like:
- First checked bag free – You’ll get the first bag checked for free on domestic American Airlines flights for you and up to four companions on the same reservation. Considering it costs $30 to check a bag each way, this can add up to huge savings.
- Preferred boarding
- 25% off food, drinks, and inflight Wi-Fi
- Companion certificate – When you spend $30,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card (account must remain open for 45 days after account anniversary date), you’ll earn a companion certificate. After purchasing a qualifying airfare, you’ll pay a $99 companion ticket fee plus ~$22 to ~$43 in taxes and fees to add a friend or loved one to your flight. There are blackout dates, but if you can make it work, you stand to save much more than the card’s annual fee.
The card has a $99 annual fee that is waived for the first 12 months.
American Airlines miles are valuable for booking Oneworld partner awards, and the American Airlines website has been getting much more friendly when it comes to these types of bookings. You can now search for award space with Cathay Pacific, Eithad and Japan Airlines right from the American Airlines site.
The CitiBusiness AAdvantage card usually has the biggest intro bonus of all the Citi American Airlines cards, so it’s a great choice for stocking up on these useful miles. If you fly with American even just a few times per year I recommend having a card like this one that will get you priority boarding and a free checked bag. Also, this card won’t appear on your personal credit report, so it won’t add to your Chase 5/24 count.
- American Airlines miles value
- Best use of American Airlines miles
- How to use American Airlines miles
With this card you’ll earn 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles, plus a Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
Domestic award flights start at just 7,500 Alaska Airlines miles, but you’re in no way limited to just flying on Alaska Airlines. That’s because they have partnerships with over a dozen international airlines, like Fiji Airways, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Qantas – and the award chart is surprisingly generous, though it varies by partner airline.
This welcome offer is as high as we’ve ever seen it.
Benefits and perks
Alaska Airlines miles are some of the hardest frequent flyer miles to collect because Marriott points are the only major transferrable points program that partners with Alaska Airlines. So a nice benefit of this card is the ability to earn 3x Alaska Airlines miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles on everything else.
When it’s time to use your miles, simply head to the Alaska Airlines website. There, you can book all partner awards online, with the exception of Cathay Pacific and LATAM.
The Alaska Airlines Business card also comes with an annual companion fare each year you renew your card With the fare you’ll to bring a companion along on a domestic economy flight (paid for with cash) for only $99 + taxes and fees. This is an especially good deal if you use it to fly to Hawaii or other markets that tend to have seasonal price jumps. You’ll also get a free checked bag on Alaska Airlines for yourself and up to six travel companions.
The annual fee is $75 a year.
The intro bonus is unlikely to go higher than it is now. In the past, it’s been as low as 30,000 miles as a standard offer. If you use the companion ticket and check bags on a trip or two, you’ll come out way ahead. Plus if you fly Alaska Airlines regularly, you’ll earn 3x miles on ticket purchases, which is an easy way to earn more miles.
Alaska Airlines is unique in that it is not part of an airline alliance. But the domestic routes and bevy of excellent partnerships make these airline miles worth collecting.
- Alaska Airlines mileage plan review
- Best ways to redeem Alaska Airlines miles
- How to earn Alaska Airlines miles
- Alaska Airlines miles value
You’ll earn 80,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
A Southwest point’s value is about 1.5 cents each for flights (based on our valuations), so this bonus is worth around $1,200 in Southwest airfare — and potentially almost double if you have the Southwest Companion Pass. The good news is that this bonus counts toward earning a companion pass.
Benefits and perks
This it the best Southwest card for earning points because you’ll get triple points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners; 2x points on social media and search advertising purchases, internet, cable and phone service purchases; and 1x Southwest points on all other purchases.
In addition, every cardmember year you’ll get 9,000 bonus Southwest points every anniversary (worth ~$135 in Southwest flights).
Using Southwest points is incredibly easy. There’s no Southwest award chart; instead, if there’s a seat for sale, you can book it with points. The price of an award flight is tied to the cost of a paid ticket, so if there’s a Southwest fare sale, you’ll need fewer points.
This card is also loaded with perks like four upgraded boardings per year (when available), up to 365 $8 WiFi credits per year, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (worth up to $100), and 1,500 tier-qualifying points after every $10,000 in purchases (on up to $100,000 in purchases every cardmember year). Plus if you use it overseas you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees.
This card has a $199 annual fee.
This card has the highest annual fee of all the Southwest cards, but if you make the most of the perks (9,000 points each card anniversary, four upgraded boardings, inflight Wi-Fi credits and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit), you’ll come out way ahead.
This is also the highest-ever intro bonus we’ve seen for a Southwest business card. It’s worth a hard look for anyone who flies Southwest because you only need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in a calendar year to get the coveted Southwest Companion Pass — and this bonus will get you most of the way there.
- Everything you need to know about Southwest status
- How to earn Southwest points
- Do Southwest points expire?
Read our Ink Business Cash credit card review
With the Ink Business Cash you’ll earn $500 cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Earning $500 in cash from a business credit card with no annual fee is a fantastic deal.
Benefits and perks
The Ink Business Cash card also has excellent bonus spending categories. You’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on phone, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. In addition, you’ll get 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
I’ve had this card for many years. It’s great. I rock it at office supply stores and to pay my internet and cable bills, and whenever I have a business meal, I use it to earn double points. Oftentimes, your business beer and cocktails earn 2x points too, because those bars and lounges code as restaurants to the credit card company.
If you only have the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card, all the points you earn are worth 1 cent each and you can redeem them for statement credit, gift cards or travel. But if you also have the Chase Ink Business Preferred (yes, you can totally have both cards), the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you have powered-up from small Mario to Super Mario because you can move the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Ink Cash to one of those cards. And from there you have access to all the great travel partners I talked about in the Chase Ink Business Preferred section.
This card comes with many of the same benefits as the Chase Ink Business Preferred, like primary rental car insurance (when renting for business purposes), extended warranty protection, and delayed baggage and lost luggage protection.
When I bought my semi-fancy office chair at Staples with my Ink Cash (to earn 5x points), I chuckled when they tried to sell me their extended warranty.
The Ink Business Cash card has no annual fee.
I have this card. I love this card. You will too. It costs nothing to own and earns 5% back on your phone, internet and cable bill. But this card does charge foreign transaction fees, which is why I instead use my Chase Sapphire Preferred when I travel abroad.
Read our Chase Ink Business Unlimited review
With this card, you can earn a $500 cash bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Again, that is a great intro bonus for a credit card with no annual fee.
Benefits and perks
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited card is similar to the Chase Ink Business Cash card. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t have any bonus categories. Instead, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on every purchase with no yearly limits.
This is the no-annual-fee cash back business credit card I recommend most to my friends and family who have businesses, because you’ll be earning a higher cash-back rate on every purchase, regardless of how much you spend per year. And most businesses have lots of large expenses that don’t fall neatly into narrowly defined bonus categories.
Just like with the Chase Ink Business Cash card, you can pool the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn onto an eligible Chase credit card and then transfer them to Chase’s travel partners. You’ll also get similar coverages, like extended warranty, purchase protection and rental car insurance (when you rent for business purposes).
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited card is impacted by the Chase “5/24” rule, so you’re not likely to be approved if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank (not counting Chase business cards and certain other business cards) in the past 24 months. But you can still have this card even if you have other Chase business cards like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card or Chase Ink Business Cash card.
As with the Ink Business Cash card, you can only redeem your points for cash unless you have one of these other annual-fee Ultimate Rewards points cards: the Chase Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can move the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Ink Business Unlimited to one of those cards. And from there you have access to all the great travel partners I talked about in the Chase Ink Business Preferred section.
This card has no annual fee.
This is the perfect card for earning those coveted Chase Ultimate Rewards points for non-bonus business spending without paying an annual fee. There are very few business owners who wouldn’t benefit by having this card in their wallets because they can earn 50% more rewards (1.5% back on everything) for all of the non-bonused spending, which for some outfits can be the majority of expenses.
Read our Capital One Spark Cash card review
When you apply for the Capital One Spark Cash card, you’ll earn a $500 cash bonus after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
After you meet the spending threshold, you bank $500 cash to use however you like. It’s a very good deal.
Benefits and perks
The card earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. You can get your rewards as a check or statement credit any time with no minimum redemption amount.
You’ll get other built-in benefits, like purchase security and extended protection, auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage) and lost luggage reimbursement. You also don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees, and employee cards are free to add.
The card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.
This is a great card to try out because the $95 annual fee doesn’t kick in until after your first year with the card. At ~10 months with the card, look over your spending habits to see if the card makes sense for you to keep.
Whenever I have to cancel a credit card (which I don’t do often) I’ve found it to be very easy and painless. If you like Capital One and you like this business credit card, it’s definitely worth getting. In general, I’ve had great experiences with Capital One and you can’t go wrong with earning 2% back on every purchase.
You’ll earn the Amex Business Platinum card’s full bonus after meeting these tiered spending requirements:
- Earn 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Terms apply.
- Earn another 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend an additional $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the same time frame. Terms apply.
That brings the total bonus to 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points. The main reason we don’t rank this higher is because you have to spend $25,000 to earn the full bonus. If that’s not a problem for you, you’re going to love this business card.
On top of the bonus points, you’ll also get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork, as long as you enroll by Dec. 31, 2019.
Benefits and perks
The Business Platinum card is a good option for large business purchases and travel spending. It earns 1.5x Amex Membership Rewards points on single purchases of $5,000+ (up to 1,000,000 bonus points per calendar year) and 5x Amex Membership Rewards points when you book airfare or prepaid hotels through the Amex travel site.
To get the most value from your rewards points you’ll want to transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to travel partners. To redeem them without having to worry about award charts and blackout dates, take advantage of Amex’s Pay With Points feature. And if you’re looking to keep things super simple (though we don’t recommend this route), you can use your points for gift cards through Amex’s portal.
One extremely valuable benefit that is unique to the Business Platinum is the 35% points rebate you get on all Pay with Points bookings in first class or business class, or any other flights (including coach) booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points (up to 500,000 points per calendar year).
The card is also loaded with valuable credits. You get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food and drink, etc.) and an up to $200 annual Dell statement credit ($100 from January to June, $100 from July to December). That’s in addition to an up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees.
Perhaps the best travel perk of this card is the top-of-the-line airport lounge access. To start, you’ll have access to 1,200 Priority Pass lounges around the world and you can visit Delta SkyClub lounges (when you’re travel with Delta), Airspace lounges, Escapes lounge, Plaza Premium lounge and the posh American Express Centurion lounges. This is the most extensive network of airport lounges you can access with any credit card.
The AMEX Business Platinum annual fee is $595 and it is not waived for the first year (see rates and fees).
This is a “Platinum” card that is actually worthy of the name. This is always a strong pick, especially for frequent travelers, because it is easy to offset the annual fee with the welcome bonus, perks, and benefits.
Everyone will find different value from the benefits of this card, but if you can take full advantage of the many statement credits and lounge access it can be easy to justify the annual fee. Even if you just planned on using the year of WeWork co-working space that alone could make it worth paying the $595 annual fee, which would only come out to $50 a month, which is much less than you’d pay for any co-working membership.
Comparing the best business credit card offers
Here’s a quick breakdown of each card’s bonus offer, best perks and annual fee.
|Intro Bonus Offer||Best Perk||Annual Fee|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after making $5,000 in purchases in first three months of account opening||3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on up to $150,000 in combined eligible purchases in select categories each year (then 1X afterwards)||$95|
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®||70,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first four months of opening your account||2x American Airlines miles on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations||$99, waived the first year|
|Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card||40,000 Alaska Airlines miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening||Alaska Companion Fare each year from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22)||$75|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card||80,000 Southwest points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening||Inflight $8 Wi-Fi credits -- up to 365 each year, worth hundreds of dollars||$199|
|Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card||$500 cash back bonus after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening your account||5% back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each cardmember year||$0|
|Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card||$500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening||1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar)on every purchase with no yearly limits||$0|
|Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business||$500 cash bonus after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening||Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases||$95, waived the first year|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express||Earn up to 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months. Terms apply.||Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year on a selected airline for incidentals such as baggage fees, lounge day passes, & more. And up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits. Terms Apply||$595 annual fee (see rates and fees)|
How we select the best business credit card offers
We filtered through them all, investigating appealing categories like airline miles, all-purpose travel miles, cash back and annual fees.
The bonus offer: Credit card companies make money every time you use their card and when you pay them interest (so pay those bills on time!). To entice you to become their customer, they give you an opportunity to earn a ton of miles or cash when you first open the new card. Some bonuses are very generoua, but some are not. We deleted all the cheapskate welcome bonuses and kept only the cards with big offers.
Minimum spending requirement: So what’s the “catch” to the bonus offer? You have to spend a certain amount on your new card within a certain time frame. Smaller spending requirements that make it easier for you to unlock the bonus make the card offer more favorable in our opinion. At Million Mile Secrets we want you to earn that bonus.
Ongoing bonus opportunities: We prefer business credit cards that keep rewarding you even after you earn the initial big intro bonus.
Other special benefits: Airport lounges, no foreign transaction fees, TSA PreCheck … these perks and others can save you money and time.
Having a small business card is also a terrific way to stay organized because you can separate personal and business expenses, which makes it easier to track your spending.
We ranked the best business credit cards by category to help you decide which is a good fit for your situation.
Who qualifies for business credit cards?
Qualifying for a business credit card might be easier than you realize. You don’t need to own a huge multi-million dollar corporation. In fact, you don’t even need to be officially registered as a business on a local or state level, or even with the IRS, to qualify for the best small business credit card offers. You can apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor by using your social security number on the application. Team members Meghan and Jasmin have had success applying this way. That said, you’ll have to show the bank that you’re operating a for-profit venture. And anything you do as an independent contractor may also count, especially if you get a 1099 form for it.
The good news is most banks do not have any minimum business income requirements for opening business credit cards. So you’re eligible to apply for business credit cards even if you don’t make deposits for your business at the bank that issues the card.
It’s so awesome to see regular business owners who get to travel first class, stay in luxurious hotels or earn lots of cash using our tips and tricks. I loved the story of our reader Darren who owns a property management company. He treated his family of six to trips to Greece, Egypt, London, Montreal and New York City using travel miles — and they flew in business class. Nice.
Which business credit card is best? The bottom line
We’ve dug into the details of the best business credit cards. Based on our analysis, these are the best business credit card offers:
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best business credit card overall
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: Best business credit card for American Airlines travel
- Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card: Best business credit card for Alaska Airlines miles
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card: Best Business credit card for Southwest points
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Best business credit card with no annual fee
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card: Best business credit card for cash back
- Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Best business credit card for easy rewards
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express: Best business credit card for travel/airport lounge access
What’s the best business credit card in your opinion? Sound off in the comments.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.