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Best Business Credit Cards of 2024

  • Business credit cards are not only a great way to keep personal and company expenses separate, but the best business credit cards will offer higher rewards and spending limits versus personal credit cards.
  • You must have a business to apply for a business credit card, but any type of business can qualify including ones like dog walkers, freelance writers, etc.
  • There are two main types of business credit cards – small business credit cards & corporate credit cards.
  • With small-business credit cards, the individual cardholder is responsible for paying the debt, whereas, with corporate credit cards, the responsibility falls on the company.
  • Keep in mind that the person and the business applying for the business credit card will receive a hard pull on their credit report.

Our top picks for the best business credit cards

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Best for Unlimited Cash Back

Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Card

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1.5% Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases made for your business.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$750
Regular APR
18.49% to 24.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
We love that this card allows businesses to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, so they don’t have to keep track of spending categories, while also offering a nice welcome bonus and 0% APR for the first 12 months. As an additional perk, businesses can take advantage of all this card offers for no annual fee.

Best for Category Bonuses

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

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Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn 5% cash back in select business categories (on up to $25,000 per year) and earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $25,000 per year). Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$750
Regular APR
18.49% to 24.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For businesses that spend a lot on office supplies, telecom services, gas, and restaurants, the Ink Business Cash can help you earn 5% back.

Best Business Card for Points

Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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Up to 3X Reward Rate

Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in select categories each year, and earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
100,000 points
Regular APR
21.24% to 26.24% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Ink Business Preferred card offers one of the highest welcome bonuses in the industry, coupled with a high rewards rate on eligible business purchases and access to Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Best for New Businesses

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

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Up to 2% Reward Rate

Earn 2% cash back on up to $50,000 in combined purchases each year (then it drops to 1%).

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$250
Regular APR
18.49% to 26.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card offers simple cash-back rewards and doesn’t charge an annual fee, making it a great option for small business owners who don’t spend heavily in specific higher-reward categories some other cards offer.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 18.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening. APRs will not exceed 29.99%
  • You’ve got the power to spend beyond your credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us and other factors.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rate
  • Simple cash back structure
Cons
  • Spending cap for 2% rewards
  • Requires good to excellent credit
  • Limited redemption options
Bottom Line

This is a good option for businesses looking to earn simple cash back rewards, but other cards may provide higher value for big spenders.

Best for Flat-Rate Business Travel Rewards

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X miles on all hotel and car rental purchases and 2X miles on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0 for the first year, then $95
Welcome Offer
50,000 miles
Regular APR
26.24% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Capital One’s Spark Miles for Business is a good card to consider if you’re interested in earning flexible travel rewards when making everyday eligible purchases.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Transfer your miles to 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Skip the lines with up to a $100 statement credit on TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry
  • Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 2X miles from their purchases
Pros
  • High rewards rate
  • Free employee cards
  • Two complimentary visits each year to Capital One Lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges
Cons
  • Has an annual fee after the first year
  • High APR
  • No intro APR
Bottom Line

For business travelers who value simple rewards, this card meets the brief. It also has a low annual fee and a nice welcome offer.

Best for Everyday Business Expenses

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

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Up to 2X Reward Rate

Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business expenses up to $50,000 per year (then 1X points).

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
15,000 points
Regular APR
18.49% to 26.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For small business owners looking to earn flat-rate points on purchases, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express does just that. It’s almost identical to The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card but it earns Membership Rewards® points rather than cash back.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 18.49% - 26.49%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening. APRs will not exceed 29.99%
  • You’ve got the power to spend beyond your credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us and other factors.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rate
  • Earns Membership Rewards points for more flexible redemption options
Cons
  • Spending cap for 2X rewards
  • Requires good to excellent credit
  • Large spending requirement for welcome bonus
Bottom Line

This is a good option for businesses looking to earn simple, flexible rewards, but other cards may provide higher value for big spenders.

Best for Automatic Business Bonus Categories

American Express® Business Gold Card

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Up to 4X Reward Rate

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points (up to the first $150,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points) on 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$375
Welcome Offer
70,000 points
Regular APR
19.49% to 27.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The 4X Membership Rewards® points the American Express® Business Gold Card earns in categories you spend the most gives you the potential to earn a lot back on your purchases, if you can spend enough to make up for the annual fee.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Earn up to $20 in statement credits monthly after you use the Business Gold Card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and Office Supply Stores. This can be an annual savings of up to $240. Enrollment required.
  • Get $12.95 back in statement credits each month when you pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with your Business Gold Card. $12.95 plus applicable taxes.
  • Your Card – Your Choice. Choose from Gold or Rose Gold.
Pros
  • Earns Membership Rewards points for flexible redemption options
  • 4X points categories adapt to your spending automatically each billing cycle
  • Generous welcome offer
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Spending cap of $150,000 annually for 4X rate
  • High spending requirement for welcome offer
Bottom Line

The automatically adjusting bonus categories give this card tremendous reward potential, but you’ll need to spend a pretty penny to make up for the annual fee.

Best for Premium Amex Business Travel Rewards

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5 Membership Rewards® points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels through American Express Travel, 1.5 points per dollar on eligible business expenses and purchases of $5,000+ (up to $2 million yearly), and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$695
Welcome Offer
120,000 points
Regular APR
19.49% to 27.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a top-tier credit card for business owners looking to earn travel rewards on their business expenses. Although it boasts a hefty $695 annual fee, its rewards make up for it if used to their full extent.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your Card.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Business Platinum Card®.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent welcome offer
  • Easy to earn points
  • Great travel benefits
Cons
  • No intro APR offer
  • Hefty $695 annual fee
  • High spending requirement for welcome offer
Bottom Line

The annual fee certainly has a shock factor but for the premium business traveler, this card’s luxury perks could make it well worth it.

Best for Premium Capital One Business Travel Rewards

Capital One Venture X Business

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$395
Welcome Offer
Up to 300,000 miles
Regular APR
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
The premium travel benefits and easy-to-earn rewards available through the Capital One Venture X Business card can easily make up for the $395 annual fee.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • This card has no preset spending limit, so you get purchasing power that adapts to your spending needs.
  • Redeem your miles on flights, hotels and more. Plus, transfer your miles to any of the 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Every year, you’ll get 10,000 bonus miles after your account anniversary date. Plus, receive an annual $300 credit for bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Empower your teams to make business purchases while earning rewards on their transactions, with free employee and virtual cards. Plus, automatically sync your transaction data with your accounting software and pay your vendors with ease
  • Skip the lines with up to a $100 statement credit on TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry. Then enjoy unlimited complimentary access to Capital One Lounges and a network of 1,300+ lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass™ and Plaza Premium Group lounges
  • This is a pay-in-full card, so your balance is due in full every month
  • Elevate your stay at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection with a $100 experience credit and other premium benefits on every booking
Pros
  • Can qualify for hundreds of dollars in credits each year
  • Unlimited access to Capital One Lounges
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Can’t carry a balance from month to month
  • Excellent credit required
Bottom Line

Although it comes with a steep price tag, this card boasts plenty of perks to make it worth it for the avid business traveler.

Best Business Charge Card for Big Spenders

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

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2% Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.

Annual Fee
$150
Welcome Offer
Up to $3,000
Regular APR
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus credit card is an excellent cash-back charge card option for businesses that spend a lot. It offers 2% cash back on all purchases and a a generous welcome bonus. Additionally, cardholders can have their annual fee of $150 refunded each year they spend at least $150,000.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Get your annual fee refunded every year you spend $150,000
  • Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees
Pros
  • Generous welcome offer for high spenders
  • High 2% cash back rate
  • Charge card, so no APR
Cons
  • No bonus categories
  • Must pay card in full each month
  • Has an annual fee
Bottom Line

For high-spenders, this business card is a solid option, but if you spend a lot in specific categories, another card may offer more value.

Best Hotel Business Card for Hyatt

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

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Up to 9X Reward Rate

Earn up to 9X points spent at Hyatt — 4X points when you use your card at Hyatt hotels plus 5X base points as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2X points on your top 3 spend categories each quarter (through 12/31/24, then your top 2 categories each quarter), earn 2X points on fitness club and gym memberships, and earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$199
Welcome Offer
Up to 75,000 points
Regular APR
21.49% to 28.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For business travelers who stay frequently at Hyatt hotels, this card is a no-brainer, with a great rewards rate and a moderate $199 annual fee.

Best Hotel Business Card for Hilton

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

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Up to 12X Reward Rate

Earn 12X points on any purchase made with resorts and hotels through Hilton; 6X points on eligible business spending at U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants, on U.S. purchases for shipping, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and 3X points on all other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
130,000 points
Regular APR
20.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a high-end business hotel credit card that can provide outstanding, ongoing rewards to elite-status Hilton fans, for a low annual fee.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors™ Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
  • Earn a Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Terms apply.
Pros
  • Automatic Hilton Silver status
  • 10 airport lounge visits each year with Priority Pass (enrollment required)
  • Ability to earn a free night with enough spending
Cons
  • Can only redeem points at Hilton hotels
  • Need good or excellent credit to qualify
  • No complimentary free night
Bottom Line

This card offers solid Hilton rewards and travel perks for a low annual fee, but no Free Night Award. Instead, it offers 10 free airport lounge visits per year, which is unusual but not unwelcome.

Best Hotel Business Card for Marriott

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

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Up to 6X Reward Rate

Earn 6X points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program. Earn 2X-4X points on other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$125
Welcome Offer
5 Free Night Awards
Regular APR
20.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For business travelers who choose to book with Marriott, the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers generous benefits for a moderate annual fee. Namely, cardholders can take advantage of complimentary Gold Elite Status, discounts on eligible bookings, a hefty welcome offer, a yearly Free Night Award, and more.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Receive a 7% discount on eligible bookings as a benefit of being both a Marriott Bonvoy® member & a Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Member when you book directly with Marriott through an eligible channel for a participating property under the Amex Business Card Rate.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card.
  • Terms apply.
Pros
  • Earn a free night award annually
  • Automatic elite status
  • Generous welcome offer
Cons
  • Has an annual fee
  • Limited redemption options
Bottom Line

The valuable benefits of this card can easily outweigh the modest annual fee.

Best Airline Business Card for United Airlines

United℠ Business Card

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Up to 2X Reward Rate

Earn 2X miles per dollar spent on United purchases, dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$99
Welcome Offer
100,000 miles
Regular APR
21.99% to 28.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The low annual fee of the United℠ Business Card, coupled with a generous welcome bonus and valuable United-specific perks make this card worth every penny.

Best business credit cards of 2024: Editorial reviews

Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Card

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Best for Unlimited Cash Back
Although the reward rate on the Ink Business Unlimited isn’t as high as some cards, its flat rate and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases make it simple to use. If you want a card with uncomplicated earning and no spending cap, this is a solid option. If you already have a card with Chase Ultimate Rewards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer cash back earned on this card to the Ultimate Rewards program for even more redemption value.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

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Best for Category Bonuses
If your business spends less than $25,000 per year combined on office supplies and telecom services, the Ink Business Cash Card’s 5% rewards rate in those categories could be incredibly valuable. Plus, if you already have a card with Chase Ultimate Rewards (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred), you can transfer cash back earned on this card to the Ultimate Rewards program for even more redemption value. If your spending is more varied than the categories of this card, a flat-rate cash-back card would probably be a more suitable option.

Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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Best Business Card for Points
While most of the Ink Business card line requires an additional card to access Chase Ultimate Rewards, the Ink Business Preferred comes with it. Cardholders can earn 3X points on $150,000 spent per year on travel and select business purchases, as well as 1X points on all other purchases. Those points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Side note: this card also has an exceptional welcome offer worth over $1,000 and only charges a $95 annual fee, so that’s pretty nice.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

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Best for New Businesses
If your business spends less than 50K per year overall, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card should be on your list. It offers 2% cash back on all eligible purchases of up to 50K per calendar year, then 1%, meaning you don’t have to worry about keeping track of spending categories. As an added bonus, it doesn’t require an annual fee, meaning there’s no yearly cost to recoup.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

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Best for Flat-Rate Business Travel Rewards
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is a no-fuss business travel card, with unlimited 5X miles on eligible travel purchases through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. This Spark business card also offers up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, has a low annual fee, and boasts a generous welcome offer.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

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Best for Everyday Business Expenses
The Blue Business Plus card is almost identical to the Blue Business Cash, with a slightly different rewards structure. This card earns 2X Membership Rewards® points on eligible business purchases rather than cash back, meaning rewards can be redeemed through the American Express portal in various ways. Membership Rewards® points are worth 0.7 cents/point when redeemed for statement credits and can be worth over 2 cents/point when transferred to travel partners. If your goal is cash back, this card’s value is sub-par, but if you’re willing to redeem points for travel, it could be a good option.

American Express® Business Gold Card

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Best for Automatic Business Bonus Categories
For business owners who like the idea of bonus categories but don’t like keeping track of them, the Amex Business Gold card takes out the guesswork. It automatically rewards cardholders 4X Membership Rewards® points on the two eligible categories (out of 6) they spend the most in each billing cycle. It does charge a $375 annual fee, but it could be easy to recoup if you spend enough.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

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Best for Premium Amex Business Travel Rewards
Frequent business travelers who enjoy luxury benefits can access thousands of dollars of value with the Amex Business Platinum. Although it has a hefty $695 annual fee, it also boasts premium perks like airport lounge access, valuable statement credits, a high rewards earning rate, and more. If you’re determined enough to maximize the rewards this card offers, it can be well worth it.

Capital One Venture X Business

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Best for Premium Capital One Business Travel Rewards
The Capital One Venture X Business offers tremendous value for a lower annual fee than other premium business cards. With up to 10X miles on eligible purchases, annual bonus miles, an annual $300 Capital One Travel credit, an extremely generous welcome offer, airport lounge access, and more, its value far outweighs the $395 fee.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

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Best Business Charge Card for Big Spenders
If your business spends a lot every year in categories most business credit cards don’t offer, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus could be a great option. It offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases and an elevated rate of 5% back on eligible travel. Yes, it has a $150 annual fee, but if your business spends over $150,000 per year, that fee will be refunded to you. This Spark business card is a pretty basic card overall, but for some people, simplicity is best.

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

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Best Hotel Business Card for Hyatt
If you or your employees prefer to stay at Hyatt hotels, the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card can help boost your experience. This card offers a high rewards rate on Hyatt purchases, a $100 rebate annually on Hyatt purchases (as $50 statement credits 2X per year), automatic Discoverist status for you and 5 employees, a generous welcome bonus, and more, making its $199 annual fee a worthwhile cost for Hyatt loyalists.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

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Best Hotel Business Card for Hilton
For an unpretentious $95 annual fee, the Hilton Honors Amex Business card offers plenty of value. It boasts perks like automatic Hilton Honors Gold status, up to 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible purchases, a generous welcome offer, and the ability to earn Free Night Rewards after spending set amounts. Plus, Hilton hotels are common worldwide, meaning you’ll likely find one anywhere you travel.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

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Best Hotel Business Card for Marriott
One of the most appealing aspects of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex card is its complimentary annual Free Night Award, a perk easily worth more than the modest $125 annual fee. Cardholders can also take advantage of complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status, Marriott reservation discounts, a generous welcome offer, and more.

United℠ Business Card

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Best Airline Business Card for United Airlines
The United℠ Business Card is a must-have if you and/or your employees travel frequently on United Airlines. With this card, you can earn 2X miles on United purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases. You can also take advantage of a free first checked bag, 2 United Club℠ passes per year, priority boarding, a generous welcome offer, free employee cards, and more, all for only a $99 annual fee.

More business credit cards

These cards barely missed the cut, but we love them nonetheless.

IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: Best Business Hotel Card for IHG
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: Best Delta Card for Small Businesses
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Best Delta Card for Semi-Frequent Business Travelers
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Best Premium Delta Business Card
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card: Best Airline Business Card for Southwest Airlines
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card: Best Southwest Card for Small Businesses
Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card: Best for Cash Back on Large Business Purchases

What is a business credit card?

A business credit card is meant to be used primarily by a business, for business purchases, instead of for your personal use. This can help keep your business expenses and personal expenses separate. 

These cards are available to any business, no matter their size, so they can improve their credit and increase their future borrowing odds. Even freelancers or sole proprietors can apply for a business credit card — so long as you make any type of income.

How do business credit cards work?

Business credit cards generally work similarly to personal credit cards, but they tend to offer cardholders better reward rates and a higher credit limit. Using a business credit card can be helpful when it comes to keeping track of expenses and managing your business finances. These cards come with all sorts of useful features, like tools to help you track spending and monitor employee expenses. Plus, the rewards and benefits are usually customized for businesses, with perks like travel rewards, discounts on business supplies, and more. By using a credit card for your business, you can keep better records, save money, and keep a closer eye on employee spending.

What is a business credit score?

Business credit scores are connected to your business and not to you as an individual. Unlike personal credit scores that use FICO or VantageScore models, business credit scores are rated between 0 and 100 and evaluate factors such as past payment history, credit utilization, business assets, and industry risk. Responsibly using a business credit card is one easy way to start building business credit. 

Business credit cards vs. personal credit cards

Having a business or personal card can give you access to credit, but they both operate differently.

Individuals use personal cards for daily purchases of things like gas, groceries, and household necessities.

Business credit cards are only meant for businesses and business spending. If you use this card for personal spending, your account could be flagged and even terminated.

The main difference between both cards includes:

Types of business credit cards

Small business credit cards

Anyone who has owned a small business or worked as a freelancer knows how waiting for invoices to be paid can be an endless cycle. A small business credit card can ease your financial burden and invest in business resources that will help your company grow if you cannot pay out of pocket.
Editor’s pick: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Corporate credit cards

Unlike small business credit cards, corporate credit cards are issued to the business entity, not a specific person. These types of cards are often best for large, well-established businesses.
Editor’s pick: Brex Card

Travel reward cards

Similar to personal travel credit cards, business travel cards offer high-value rewards on eligible travel purchases. They also tend to include other perks like lounge access, travel insurance, and travel-related statement credits.
Editor’s pick: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or Capital One Venture X Business

Cash-back credit cards

Many of the best business credit cards offer cash-back rewards for your purchases. These can be incredibly valuable, giving you money to invest back into your business. These cards either offer flat-rate cash back on all purchases, have specific bonus categories, or have a mix of both. 
Editor’s pick: Ink Business Cash® Credit Card or Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Co-branded business cards

Some credit card issuers work hand-in-hand with specific brands to give cardholders valuable benefits specific to their company. Hotel credit cards and airline credit cards are two of the more common types, often offering perks like elite status, in-flight discounts, annual free night rewards, etc.
Editor’s pick: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card or United℠ Business Card

Cards for startup businesses

Some business credit cards are made specifically for new businesses, offering a convenient way for startups to fund their initial costs. They’re available to any type of business, from freelancers to Etsy sellers to more formally structured businesses.
Editor’s pick: The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Business cards for bad credit

Not too many business credit cards are available to people with poor or fair credit, but there are a few options. Many of these are secured credit cards, or cards requiring a security deposit to open. These can help you build your business credit until you qualify for something better.
Editor’s pick: Brex Card

Perks of business credit cards 

Keep your business and personal accounts separate

You can easily track your business and personal expenses when you separate them. When it’s time to pay taxes, you can easily see how much overhead you have and make deductions. Every time you use your card for business, you can lower your taxable income.

Plus, if you ever get audited for any unfortunate reason, your card statements can serve as a backup. Small-business credit cards can help prove that the business you run is not a hobby or a personal matter, plus they can track your spending into different categories to keep your bookkeeping simple.

Have a financial safety net

Any freelancer or small business will tell you that cash flow is a major worry, especially if your client check hasn’t arrived in time to pay off expenses.

Business credit cards provide a revolving line of credit when you need to make a business expenditure without spending personal money. Just make sure that your business credit card is used solely for business. If you use it for personal spending, your account could be closed or frozen.

Enjoy business-specific perks

Credit cards for businesses tend to have higher credit limits, and many offer an extension to your billing cycle. Some cards offer sign-up bonuses that allow you to rack on points within a certain time frame. Others may offer free employee cards, airline credits, access to airport lounges, and business tracking tools.

Using your small-business credit card can improve your credit score and lower your interest rates, which is necessary if you are considering applying for a business loan.

You don’t even need employees or an established business structure to be eligible for a business credit card. Today’s gig economy shows more people deciding to work for themselves. You can qualify if you run a business from home or even have a part-time business. While freelancing comes with plenty of risks, there are many rewards, especially if you have a small-business credit card to help you through lean times.

Business credit cards are a good idea and can help you grow; just remember to use your card wisely and pay on time.

Choosing the best credit card for your business

Choosing the right business credit card can be instrumental. There are various factors you should consider when choosing a company credit card.

Determine where your business does most of its spending. 

If you notice you spend a lot on travel or office supplies, you should find a company credit card that fits those needs and offers rewards.

Make sure you can afford an annual fee. 

Many cards that come with a yearly fee often offer incentives and rewards so you can recoup the cost of the fee with your business purchases. However, if you are a startup or a new business, you may want to consider a no annual fee card.

Consider the APR

Are you planning on carrying a balance on your card? Look at the APRs on the cards you consider, as any balance you carry will accrue interest. If you plan to carry a balance, your best bet is a card with a very low APR, so you don’t have to spend too much. Alternatively, charge cards don’t allow you to carry a balance, meaning you need to pay off your bill in full each month.

Look at the rewards and perks

If you’re looking for a business credit card with rewards, pay attention to cash back cards and those with membership reward bonus points. Frequent travelers may want access to airport lounges, growing businesses may want free employee cards, and any business can benefit from business and account management tools.

How to apply for a business credit card

Applying for a business credit card or corporate credit card is similar to a personal card application. As a business owner, you can apply with an EIN (employer identification number) or your Social Security number. Credit card lenders will base their decision on your established credit history, your business’ revenue, financial backing, and more.

Here are some important tips on how to apply for a business credit card:

1

Know your personal credit score

No matter the type of business you own, the lender will pull a hard credit check on your personal credit report. The business credit card will be separate from your personal credit and will not impact your personal credit.

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2

Look at your business credit score

Personal credit ranges from 300 to 850, but business credit scores are on a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 meaning no credit or bad credit. This score is public so that you can access your score through business credit reporting agencies.

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3

Get your documents together for the application process

If you are a freelancer or sole proprietor, you just need to provide the same information as you would for a personal card application. If you are the owner of a corporation or an LLC, you may need to provide business-specific items like:
* tax identification number
* business name
* business phone number and address
* business income
* personal guarantee

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4

Apply for your new business credit card

Once you have all your information, go ahead and apply online for the best credit card that fits your needs.

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Pros and cons of business credit cards

Pros
  • Business cards allow you to separate personal and business finances.
  • Business cards regularly have higher credit limits than personal cards.
  • Business cards help build and improve business credit scores.
Cons
  • Business cards may make it far too easy to accumulate debt.
  • Business credit cards may demand membership or other fees.

Our methodology for selecting the best business credit cards

A great business card is subjective and hinges on your business needs, type of business, and business spending. As with personal credit cards, not all are created equal.

The characteristics that we keep in mind when selecting the best business cards involve:

Business credit cards FAQ

What is the best small business credit card?

The best small business credit card depends on your particular needs and wants from a credit card. Our favorite credit cards for small businesses are The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

Which business credit cards pay the most cash back?

The Discover it® Business Card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Combined with Discover’s welcome offer of an automatic unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, you could see your investments pay off.

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 each anniversary year if you spend on internet, cable, phone services, and office supplies. You also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend at restaurants and gas stations and 1% elsewhere. You earn $750 in cash back after spending $7,500 in the first three months of opening your account.

Do all business credit cards require a personal guarantee?

Many business credit cards require a personal guarantee, meaning that if you have any outstanding debt on your business credit card, your creditors can recoup it, which can be risky.

If you’re wondering if you can apply for a card without a personal guarantee, it’s possible — but your options may be more limited. Plus, they will require alternate forms of eligibility.

Creditors ask for a personal guarantee because many fledgling businesses don’t already have a long history of credit, which can make it harder to determine their creditworthiness when extending tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, a personal commitment from the business owner to not renege on outstanding debts is requested.

It is rare for a small business to be eligible for a card with no personal guarantees since the risk that the business will not be able to pay off its debts can be high. Lenders may pass you over if your personal finances cannot cover the potential debt.

On the other hand, large businesses rarely need a personal guarantee since they have cash reserves and revenue to guarantee debt repayment.

Do I have to own a business to apply for a business credit card?

Business cards can provide rewards programs and perks that may not come with a personal credit card, like enticing welcome offers and specialized category bonuses. However, if you are a sole proprietor or freelancer, you could be eligible.

In many cases, it is necessary to own a business to be approved for a card. Still, if you earn money independently, you are eligible — even if you don’t own a traditional business.

In fact, any type of entrepreneurship can qualify, including:

  • Independent dog walkers
  • Freelance writers
  • Virtual assistants
  • E-commerce
  • Tutors
  • Consultants
  • Food delivery
  • Selling anything online
  • Website designers
  • Social media managers
  • Entertainers
  • Photographers

Even if it’s a side-gig, you may qualify for a business-related card as long as you earn money.

This is a great way for you to keep your personal and business expenses separate, and you could gain extra spending power to help your business grow, no matter how small.

In short, yes, you need a business to get a business credit card. However, the term “business” can be a little loose. If you sell a product or a service, you qualify as a business owner.

Plus, you don’t need to have a registered business — you can use your own Social Security number instead of a business tax identification number when asked for a tax ID number on the application.

Many business credit cards could fit your needs, depending on your type of business, spending, traveling habits, and more.

Will a business credit card affect my personal credit score?

When you apply for a business credit card, your credit takes a hard dip, but once your card has been issued, your business and personal credit accounts are kept separate, unless you default on your payments.

In general, it’s always to keep your business and personal finances.

Many credit card issuers will ask you to sign a personal guarantee for your business. You can be held personally responsible for repaying your debt if your business defaults on payments.

Your credit activity could be reported to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), depending on your issuer. You should keep an eye out for your credit utilization ratio, which means that if you have a high balance on your card, your personal credit could be impacted.

We recommend keeping your credit utilization below 30% of the credit limit, which tends to be much higher for business credit cards.

If you need to make a large purchase for your business, you might be better off applying for a business loan than putting a red flag on your card.

If you stop making payments for more than 30 days, your credit card issuers will report delinquency to the credit bureaus. This can negatively impact your personal credit and can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.

Because payment history is one of the first things lenders look at, it could be difficult to borrow money in the future.

A late payment could mean a penalty APR, which can get quite high and make it even more difficult to keep up with your payments.

Since not all credit issuers report your activity to consumer credit bureaus, it may be good to call before applying to find out their policy and how the card issuer reports. You could save yourself unwelcome surprises and potential negative implications before applying for a business credit card.

If you’re worried about a card for your business having a potential impact on your personal credit, just make sure to pay your card every month. Also, try to keep your balance low and not hit your credit limit if you can avoid it and make sure you only spend your card when you need it.

A business credit card could be a great financial investment in your small business and help you grow, but you should know how it can affect you personally.

Which business credit cards are best for travel?

Although there is not a one size fits all business card for travel, there are a number of travel credit cards that provide fantastic rewards. The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is ideal for domestic travel, offering early bird check-ins and in-flight purchase discounts. The Capital One Spark Miles for Business card is also a great option, offering 2x miles on all purchases with no limits and complimentary visits to Capital One Lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges.

The comparison team is a proud partner of LA Times and is a combination of expert writers, editors, and contributors specially selected for their extensive experience writing and working in the financial industry. Every article written is thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed, and then fact-checked by a third party before publication to ensure you receive accurate information.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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