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If you’re a small business owner, you may be leaving money on the table by NOT having a credit card that earns points or cash back for your business purchases!
I’ll highlight the best small business credit cards. And give you tips about how to choose the best 1 for you!
Why Get a Small Business Credit Card?
Small business credit cards are an easy way to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses.
And many of them have special perks for small business owners, like discounts, built-in savings, and extra miles or points in certain categories (like office supplies, gas, and advertising).
It makes sense to shift your business spending to a small business credit card because your expenses are easier to track. Plus, you can earn cash back or points for items you need to buy anyway!
If you’re building your business, many card issuers will let you open a small business credit card before you even open your doors!
And while most of them have annual fees, there are a couple that do NOT have an annual fee. It all depends on which perks you’ll find most valuable for you and your business.
You don’t have to have huge revenue or employees to open a small business card. And you can apply with your Social Security Number if you don’t have an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
Just be sure you use your credit responsibly, because you are ultimately liable for any charges you make on your small business credit card.
Best Credit Cards for…
If you advertise online (like on Google, Bing, Facebook, or Yahoo!), you can earn bonus points with AMEX small business cards.
Dentists advertise a lot online, have offices, and enjoy Big Travel. Right? 😉
Here are 2 cards I recommend to them, and to other businesses that advertise online.
AMEX SimplyCash has NO annual fee and has lots of great perks, like:
- 5% cash back at US office supply stores & US cell phone service on purchases up to $25,000 per rebate year per 12 month billing period starting ~ February 1 each year
- 3% cash back on the category of your choice on purchases up to $25,000 per rebate year including advertising, US gas stations, US restaurants, and more!
- 1% cash back on other purchases
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 such as Google ads
- US gas stations
- Hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You’ll 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.
With either card, you’ll also receive special discounts from the AMEX OPEN small business program such as discounts on shipping with FedEx, HP computers for record-keeping, or flowers for your office or waiting room from 1-800-Flowers!
And, because they’re AMEX cards, they’re eligible for lots of other perks and benefits, including top-notch purchase protection and extended warranties. So they’re great cards to use for big purchases, like new dentistry equipment, computer systems, or chairs for patients.
There are often terrific AMEX Offers, and you can sign-up for them with AMEX small business cards. Recently, there have been discounts for hotel stays at W Hotels, 1-800-Flowers, and Dropbox for storing digital files online.
The past few years, AMEX has offered statement credits on AMEX cards for Small Business Saturday. I love this perk and look forward to its return this November!
2. Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents advertise their properties in many different ways. And they also drive around to show them to clients. If you’re in real estate, you might consider 1 of the cards above for dentists to take advantage of the bonus points on advertising.
The Chase Ink Cash is a good option, too, because it earns:
- 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) on the 1st $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each card year
- 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (2% cash back) on the 1st $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each card year
And it has NO annual fee!
Real estate agents might consider the Ink Cash card because they’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on their cell phone bills. And 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for filling up on gas and taking clients out for meals.
You can also take advantage of earning 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points at office supply stores when you buy open house signs, markers and pens, or snacks.
And, if you work from home, you’ll earn points on supplies like paper, ink/toner, file cabinets and furniture, and anything else you need to keep your clients (and yourself!) organized.
The cash back adds up fast! Because the card has no annual fee, you’ll earn money for purchases that directly support your growing business. That’s a smart decision no matter how you look at it!
Link: CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® Consultants travel often. And there are a couple of cards that reward you for taking work trips!
Starwood points are valuable because you can use them for award stays at Starwood hotels, or transfer them to ~30 airline partners. Starwood also has innovative points redemption options that can save you a lot of cash, like Cash & Points and Nights & Flights.
Or you can use Starwood points for SPG Moments, which are unique experiences like live concerts, theatre, or sports events and can’t be bought anywhere else!
And, you can earn even more Starwood points when you ride with Uber!
The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum earns 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights, and 1X American Airlines mile on other purchases.
This is a great card if you fly American Airlines because you’ll also get priority boarding and the 1st checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 companions on the same itinerary.
If you prefer another airline, see if they have a business version of their credit card! You’ll earn miles and get perks when you fly to make your trip a little more comfortable!
4. Office-Based Businesses
Link: Chase Ink Plus
If you have an office, consider the Chase Ink Plus! It earns 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points at office supply stores and on cable, internet, and cell phone bills.
You’ll also earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent at gas stations and on hotel stays booked directly with the hotel.
You’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards on these items from office supply stores:
- Printer paper
- Office furniture
- Toilet paper
- And anything else you buy for your office!
You could also purchase Visa gift cards from office supply stores to use for office petty cash, incentives for employees or clients, holiday gifts, or unexpected events. They can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted.
You’ll also earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for your internet and phone service!
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are great for folks who like to choose how they use their points! You can:
- Transfer them to air and hotel partners for Big Travel
- Purchase flights, hotel stays, and car rentals using your points at the Chase Travel Center
- Redeem for statement credits or gift cards
This card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the 1st year. But the points you earn can far outweigh the cost of having it. That’s why it’s 1 of my favorite cards for Big Travel with Small Money!
Other Ideas and Tips!
Link: The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express Your small business is a labor of love, and each business has different needs.
If you want a simple small business card that offers unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, try the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card. The 1 thing to note about this card is that when you apply, it pulls inquiries from all 3 credit bureaus. Usually, banks only pull from 1 bureau.
So the effect on your credit score is the same as if you apply for 3 credit cards, and it can temporarily cause your credit score to dip.
But, the card has no foreign transaction fees, and an easy rewards program with no cap on the rewards you can earn. So some folks might like this card for those reasons.
And if you’re just getting started, the AMEX Blue for Business card has 0% APR on purchases for the 1st 12 months (after that, 11.74% to 19.74% variable APR applies). That way you can buy what you need for your business and not have to worry about accruing interest.
That said, all of the cards on this list should be paid off each month to avoid interest charges and/or late fees. If you pay interest, it can cancel out the value of the miles or cash back you earn.
Keep in mind you are solely responsible for all charges made on the account, even if you get an employee card or add an authorized user. In the case of default, you’ll still be liable.
But that shouldn’t detract you! Treat your credit card like a debit card, pay it off in full each month, and you will be fine (and earn miles, points, or cash back in the process!).
And don’t forget to enroll your Visa small business cards for Visa SavingsEdge, and your small business MasterCards for Mastercard Easy Savings for statement credits for hotel stays, gifts, shipping, and advertising expenses!
If you have a small business, you can earn miles, points, cash back, or get a low introductory APR for purchases you’re going to make anyway!
If you think you might have a small business, find out how you might qualify.
Some of my favorite cards are on this list! They’ll help you keep your expenses separate and easy to track. And you’ll earn rewards for making the purchases you need to help your business grow!