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The Best Business Credit Cards For 2019

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best business credit card

Credit cards are a very good solution to many business financial goals. Whether you’re interested in earning points or cash back, easily keeping track of your spending, consolidating business expenses to a single source, or improving your business credit score, a credit card can help.

But which credit card is best for your business? There are an overwhelming amount of credit card offers out there (your junk mail can attest to that), and everyone wants a chunk of your business. How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

We’re here to help! Here at Merchant Maverick, we’ve spent a lot of time comparing credit cards to find the best available options. Credit cards are not one size fits all, so we’ve chosen the best cards for many business needs, whether you want to earn points, cash back, or travel miles.

Read on to find the perfect credit card (or credit cards) for your business needs.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Chase Ink Business Preferred is often cited as one of the best credit cards for small business. And after doing our own research and comparing it to the competition, we agree. This card is an excellent choice for many small businesses.

Chase offers three points per dollar on a few common business categories, so businesses that spend a lot of money in one or more of these categories will have no trouble earning points. In addition to points, cardholders have access to many benefits, including cell phone protection.

Chase Ink Business Preferred



Compare 

Annual Fee:


$95

 

Purchase APR:


18.24% - 23.24%, Variable

Offering 80,000 bonus points, the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card has one of the largest bonus offers of any business credit card we surveyed. At a standard one cent per point, that’s a bonus equivalent to $800 cash back. To earn the bonus points, cardholders must spend at least $5,000 on the card within three months of opening an account.

Unlike some cards that offer fewer bonus points, however, Chase charges an annual fee of $95. The company does not waive the annual fee for your first year.

With the Ink Business Preferred card, it’s easy to rack up multiple points at a time on standard business purchases. Card users earn three points per dollar on all purchases made in these categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

There’s a catch, though. Card users only receive three points on their first $150,000 worth of purchases in all these categories combined each year. After that, all purchases revert to one point per dollar purchased until the next account anniversary year rolls around.

If you do a fair amount of traveling, Chase offers a couple more reasons to use Ink Business Preferred: all points redeemed for travel are worth 25% more, and points can be transferred to other travel programs.

To utilize the 25% more benefit, you must redeem the points via Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, the 80,000 bonus points are worth $1,000 (instead of the standard $800) when used for travel. Naturally, cardholders can redeem points for other uses via Chase Ultimate Rewards (such as cash back, gift cards, or pay with points), but if they are redeemed for something other than travel, points are worth the standard amount.

Or, if you’d prefer, points earned via this card can be transferred on a 1:1 basis to other airline or hotel travel programs, including Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and others.

Chase offers quite a few benefits to cardholders with Ink Business Preferred. Most notably, this card provides cell phone protection. Following a $100 deductible, Chase will pay a maximum of $600 per claim on stolen or damaged cell phones (for a maximum of three claims, or $1,800, per year).

American Express Business Gold Card

If your business is planning on spending within a few specific categories, and you want to rack up as many points as possible while doing so, this may be the credit card for you. The American Express Business Gold Card offers more point-earning flexibility than many other business credit cards. Because it adjusts rewards for categories you spend the most on, this card can be personalized to maximize your savings.

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card



Compare

Annual Fee:


$295

 

Purchase APR:


16.49% - 24.49%, Variable

On signup, American Express offers up to one year free of G Suite Basic for three users and up to one year of ZipRecruiter Standard. Combined, those bonuses equal a value of $3,188. Amex requires an annual fee of $295, which is not waived for your first year. Note that this is a little pricier than the annual fee for most other business credit cards.

With the American Express Business Gold Card, you will earn four points for every dollar spent within the two select categories on which you spend the most each billing period. There are six categories eligible to earn bonus points:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

Cardholders earn four points per dollar spent in their active categories up to $150,000 in combined purchases each anniversary year, after which the purchases are worth one point. All other purchases are also worth the standard one point per dollar spent.

Head over to our full Amex Business Gold Card review for more information.

American Express Blue Business Plus

The American Express Blue Business Plus card has a simple points-earning rewards system that will appeal to merchants looking for the ultimate hassle-free way to earn points. And because this card carries no annual fee, it is a very good choice for many small businesses.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express



Compare

Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


13.49% - 21.49%, Variable

Unlike the above two cards, the American Express Blue Business Plus is an excellent option for businesses that are small or don’t plan to utilize their card a lot. This card does not currently offer a signup bonus, but makes up for it in other ways.

As stated above, this card does not carry an annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re using it enough to compensate for the annual charge. It also packs in a long introductory APR period of 15 months with no interest.

Earning points is simple: every dollar spent is worth two points, up to a maximum of $50,000 per year. Double points are applicable to all eligible purchases; cardholders are not subject to category restrictions. Naturally, businesses interested in spending a significant amount more than $50,000 will either want to forgo this card or supplement it with another credit card, but Amex’s Blue Business Plus is one of the easiest ways we’ve found to rack up points.

Check out our full Blue Business Plus review for the complete picture on this card.

American Express SimplyCash Plus

If you’re strictly interested in saving as much money as possible, American Express SimplyCash Plus is a good option. With both 5% and 3% cash back options on purchases in certain categories, you can save more money than you’d otherwise be able to, especially if you’re mindful about putting the right charges on your card.

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express



Compare

Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


14.49% - 21.49%, Variable

American Express SimplyCash Plus does not have an annual fee, nor does it currently carry a signup bonus.

With the SimplyPlus Cash card, you can receive 5% cash back on purchases from office supply stores and wireless telephone services. You also receive 3% cash back from a category of your choosing. These are the categories you get to choose from:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
  • Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

Assuming your business makes a significant number of purchases in one of these categories, the SimplyPlus Cash card is an excellent way to save a little money. That said, both 5% and 3% cash back perks max out once you spend $50,000 in each category per anniversary year, after which all purchases are worth 1% cash back. All purchases in other categories are also worth 1%.

Head over to our SimplyCash Plus review for more information.

Chase Ink Business Cash

Chase’s cash back business credit card, Ink Business Cash, offers the opportunity for business owners to earn 5% and 2% cash back on purchases in certain categories. With a category cap of $25,000, you won’t be able to earn as much as you might for another card—like Amex SimplyCash Plus—but Chase’s Ink Business Cash card has a generous signup bonus of $500, and no annual fee.

Chase Ink Business Cash



Compare

Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


15.49% - 21.49%, Variable

As stated above, Chase Ink Business Cash does not have an annual fee. Unlike some cards without an annual fee, however, this card still comes with a bonus offer. If you spend at least $3,000 within three months of opening your account, you’re looking at a bonus of $500 cash back.

Chase offers 5% cash back on office supply stores and internet, phone, and cable purchases, and 2% cash back on gas stations and restaurants. Both 5% and 2% cash back options cap off at $25,000 each account anniversary year, so this might not be a good choice for businesses interested in putting a lot of charges on their card. Purchases above the category caps (as well as all other purchases) are worth 1% cash back.

Naturally, rewards can be redeemed for cash back. However, you can also redeem your points for travel, gift cards, or shopping on Amazon.

Capital One Spark Cash Select

Capital One offers a very passive way to earn a fair amount of cash back. With 1.5% cash back on all purchases—instead of the standard 1%—this card is perfect for merchants looking for a simple way to save money.

We chose the Capital One Spark Cash Select card because it has no annual fee. With that in mind, be aware that Capital One offers a similar card with 2% cash back on all purchases and a higher signup bonus, but carries a $95 annual fee (however, this fee is waived the first year).

Spark Cash Select From Capital One


capital one spark cash select
Compare

Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


15.24% - 23.24%, Variable

As stated above, this card does not administer an annual fee, which means your initial savings (and sign-on bonus) aren’t negated by a hefty yearly charge. You can also pick up a $200 welcome bonus by spending $3,000 on purchases within your first three months.

Capital One’s Spark Cash Select rewards scheme is very straightforward: you receive 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases made through your card. If you spend $10,000 on the card, for example, you’ll get $150 cash back. This card is not subject to maximums; you will earn 1.5% cash back regardless of how much you spend on your card.

Check out our full Spark Cash Select review for more information.

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

For frequent travelers, Capital One’s Spark Miles Select for Business is an excellent and easy way to earn miles. Cardholders nab 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, so you can efficiently earn miles regardless of what you’re purchasing.

Like Capital One’s cash back rewards card, it’s worth noting that Capital One has another travel card, simply called Spark Miles. This card earns 2 miles per dollars spent, and has a higher signup bonus, but also carries an annual fee (however, the fee is waived the first year).

Spark Miles Select From Capital One


Compare

Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


15.24% - 23.24%, Variable

Cardholders receive 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on all purchases. That is higher than the amount dished out by most credit cards and a very good incentive to use this card for many purchases.

In addition to the miles earned for purchases, Capital One grants cardholders 20,000 bonus miles for signing on, as long as you spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account. That’s an equivalent of $200 for travel. This card also does not carry an annual fee.

Miles can be redeemed for most travel expenses, including airfare, hotels, vacation packages, and other purchases. Cardholders have access to all the business benefits from Capital One and Visa.

Interested in learning more? Head over to our full Spark Miles Select review.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Business Credit Card from American Express is a popular travel card because points are very valuable, depending on how you redeem them. While this card obviously isn’t designed for businesses without a lot of travel expenses, it’s definitely worth considering if you and/or your employees frequently travel.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express



Compare

Annual Fee:


$95 ($0 the first year)

 

Purchase APR:


17.74% - 26.74%, Variable

The SPG card carries a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. It also carries a signup bonus of 75,000 points, which you receive if you spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

Business owners earn six points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels. U.S.-based purchases at restaurants, at gas stations, on wireless telephone services, and on shipping collect four points per dollar. All other purchases are worth two points per dollar spent.

As stated above, SPG points—called Starpoints—can be worth quite a bit if you use them in the right ways. These points can be redeemed for many travel purposes, such as airline tickets and free nights at hotels owned by Starwood. Or, if you’re interested in using them for purposes that aren’t in available via SPG’s rewards program, points can be transferred to other rewards programs, including Marriott’s reward program or airline reward programs.

Capital One Spark Classic For Business

Business owners with a fair or average credit score need look no further than Capital One Spark Classic For Business when it comes to credit cards. While its rewards scheme might seem rather pedestrian, it does feature no annual fee. Plus, this card helps owners boost their credit scores, allowing them to seek better-rewarding cards in the future.

Spark Classic From Capital One


Compare

Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


25.24%, Variable

Those with the Spark Classic can expect to earn an unlimited 1% per dollar spent on all purchases. This may appear low compared to some other Capital One cards. However, it’s still a generous offer because it’s aimed at business owners with fair credit. On top of that, there’s no annual fee to worry about.

Rewards can be redeemed in the form of a statement credit or a check, as well as credits for previous purchases, gift cards, and more. There is no minimum to redeem and they’ll last for the duration of the account.

To get the full details on the Capital One Spark Classic, read our review.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

As one of the lone business-specific secured cards, the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card may be the best option for the business that lacks a credit history or perhaps has a low credit score. It also packs in a flexible rewards scheme, letting you get the most out of your rewards while also boosting your credit score.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card


business credit cards fair credit
Compare

Annual Fee:


$25

 

Purchase APR:


Prime + 11.90%

The highlight of this secured card is its flexible rewards scheme. You can choose to net 1.5% for every dollar spent or you can opt for one point per dollar spent with 1,000 bonus points each billing period your business spends $1,000 or more.

Ultimately, your choice will be determined by how much you spend. Low spenders (under $1,000 per month) or high spenders (above $2,000) will likely want to opt for the cash back format. Those in the middle (between $1,000 and $2,000 monthly) might see more success going with reward points.

While you will need to pay a security deposit to equal your desired credit limit, the annual fee is relatively low at $25 per card per year.

If you’re keen to learn more about Wells Fargo’s Business Secured card, take a peek at the full review. Or want more secured card options? Our guide on secured credit cards has you covered.

How To Choose A Credit Card For Your Business

Need some tips on picking your business’s next credit card? Here are a few helpful hints to get you started:

  • Check your credit score before applying. Because credit card applications initiate a “hard pull” on your credit history, applying for too many cards in quick succession may lower your credit score. As such, you’ll want to make sure you meet the qualifications to be approved before applying for a card. To find out your credit score, visit one of our favorite (and free!) credit-checking sites.
  • Find a rewards scheme that matches how your business spends. By matching a card with your business’s spending habits, you’ll be able to maximize your rewards.
  • Always look at a card’s extra benefits. Many cards offer benefits beyond basic rewards, such as extended warranties or travel insurance. If you’re trying to decide between two cards with similar base rewards, check their additional benefits to help you choose.

What You Need To Apply For Business Credit Cards

When applying for a business card, you’ll usually need to supply your company’s business tax identification number. If you don’t have one, you can often use your personal social security number instead. You’ll also likely be asked to specify your business’s legal structure, its ownership type, and its age. It’s common for issuers to request your annual revenue, how much you spend annually, and which country your business is located in.

Final Thoughts

Overall, these are the best business credit cards for 2019. But are you looking for something specific? We’ve reviewed the best cash back business credit cards, as well as the cards that are best for earning travel rewards. Large businesses may want to check out our comparison of the best corporate credit cards.

If you are just starting out, you might want to take a look at your options for the best personal credit cards for entrepreneurs. Head over to our favorite personal credit cards for business expenses for more information.

Summary of the Best Business Credit Cards for 2019

Best ForCard
Signup bonusChase Ink Business Preferred
Customizable rewardsAmerican Express Business Gold Rewards Card
0% APR introductory periodAmerican Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
Cash back rewardsAmerican Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
Cash back rewardsChase Ink Business Cash
Flat rate rewardsCapital One Spark Cash Select For Business
Travel rewardsCapital One Spark Miles For Business
Travel rewardsStarwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card
Fair creditCapital One Spark Classic For Business
Poor creditWells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
Jared Beilby

Jared Beilby

Jared is a writer hailing from the Pacific Northwest. Besides writing for Merchant Maverick, he has experience writing about sports and video games. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from George Fox University.
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2 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    David Wynn

    Bianca, thank you for your information here. I have a company that we may spend $3,000,000 per year on a credit card. The spending is going to be for food vendors as I have 7 restaurants. I am only interested in cash back programs. I would prefer to have one card per restaurant location so it is easier to account for. Which of the cards would you recommend for my business?

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Thanks for your question, David. We’d recommend taking a look at the Capital One Spark Cash cards. Depending on where your business spends a lot of money, you might also want to look at the Amex SimplyCash Plus, Chase Ink Business Cash, or the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa. I hope that helps!

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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