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Small Business Credit Cards: Best Options For 2021

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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’s 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, as the case may be) for your business needs.

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CompanyKey TakeawaysNext StepsKey Takeaways
Chase Ink Business Preferred

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Users keen to spend a lot of cash within the next three months will be generously rewarded by the Chase Ink Business Preferred's hefty welcome bonus.
Users keen to spend a lot of cash within the next three months will be generously rewarded by the Chase Ink Business Preferred's hefty welcome bonus.

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American Express Business Gold Card

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Because the Americas Express Business Gold Card adjusts its premium rewards categories based on a user's spending habits, this card is great for those looking for a personalized rewards program.
Because the Americas Express Business Gold Card adjusts its premium rewards categories based on a user's spending habits, this card is great for those looking for a personalized rewards program.

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Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

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If you need to make a big purchase on credit, look no further than the American Express Blue Business Plus and its lengthy 0% APR introductory period.
If you need to make a big purchase on credit, look no further than the American Express Blue Business Plus and its lengthy 0% APR introductory period.

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Brex Card

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With a tech-focused rewards program, the Brex Card is an enticing corporate card aimed at startups.
With a tech-focused rewards program, the Brex Card is an enticing corporate card aimed at startups.

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Spark Cash Select From Capital One

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Thanks to a straight 1.5% cash back on everything, the Spark Cash Select from Capital One is a great option for those in need of a simple cash back credit card.
Thanks to a straight 1.5% cash back on everything, the Spark Cash Select from Capital One is a great option for those in need of a simple cash back credit card.

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Other Featured Options:

  • Chase Ink Business Cash: The Chase Ink Business Cash's 5% cash back rate for office supply store, internet, phone, and cable purchases is one of the highest cash back rates available today.
  • Spark Miles Select from Capital One: With 1.5 miles earned for every dollar spent, frequent travelers may find Capital One's Spark Miles Select card appealing.
  • Spark Classic from Capital One: Aimed at fair credit users, the Spark Classic from Capital One is a great, minimalist card that can help those with young or lackluster credit histories.
  • Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card: Poor credit users can turn to the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card to boost their credit score and strengthen their credit history.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Best Business Credit Cards

Below is a look at nine of our favorite business credit cards. These cards suit a range of business needs — so you should be able to find one that works for your business.

Chase Ink Business Preferred: Best Welcome Offer

Chase Ink Business Preferred



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Chase Ink Business Preferred



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Annual Fee:


$95

 

Purchase APR:


17.49% – 22.49% (variable)

Chase Ink Business Preferred is often cited as one of the best credit cards for small businesses. And after doing our research and comparing it to the competition, we agree. This card is an excellent choice for many small businesses because it offers 3 points per dollar on a few common business categories.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card has one of the most generous welcome bonuses of any business credit card we researched: 100,000 bonus points. Based on the standard of 1 cent per point, that’s a bonus equivalent to $1,000 cash back. Cardholders must spend at least $15,000 on the card within three months of opening an account to earn the bonus points.

With the Ink Business Preferred card, it’s easy to ring up multiple points at a time on standard business purchases. Card users earn 3 points per dollar on all purchases made in travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising on social media and search engines.

There’s a catch, though. Cardholders only receive 3 points on their first $150,000 worth of purchases in all these categories combined each year. After that, all purchases revert to 1 point per dollar purchased until the next account anniversary year rolls around. Additionally, the card carries a $95 annual fee.

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American Express Business Gold Card: Best For Personalized Rewards

American Express Business Gold Card



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American Express Business Gold Card



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Annual Fee:


$295

 

Purchase APR:


15.24% - 23.24% (variable)

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. Because the American Express Business Gold Card adjusts rewards for categories you spend the most on, you can effectively personalize this card to maximize your savings.

Amex requires a hefty annual fee of $295, which is not waived for your first year. To help offset this charge, you can nab 70,000 bonus points when you spend at least $10,000 in your first three months.

With the American Express Business Gold Card, you will earn 4 points for every dollar spent within the two select categories you spend the most in each billing period. There are six categories eligible to earn bonus points:

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

Cardholders earn 4 points per dollar spent in their active categories, up to $150,000 in combined purchases each anniversary year, after which the purchases are worth 1 point. All other purchases are also worth the standard 1 point per dollar spent.

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Blue Business Plus From American Express: Best For A 0% Intro Period

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express



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Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express



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Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


14.74% - 20.74% (variable)

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express has a simple points-earning rewards system that will appeal to merchants looking for the ultimate hassle-free way to earn points. It also packs in a long introductory APR period of 12 months with no interest. And because this card carries no annual fee, it is a very good choice for many small businesses.

All told, 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 — unlike the two above cards that almost necessitate frequent spending. This card currently lacks a welcome offer but makes up for it with a tantalizing rewards program.

Earning rewards is simple: Every dollar spent is worth 2 points, up to a maximum of $50,000 per year. Double points apply to all eligible purchases; cardholders are not subject to category restrictions.

Naturally, businesses interested in spending a significant amount above $50,000 annually will either want to forgo this card or supplement it with another credit card. Still, Amex’s Blue Business Plus is one of the easiest ways we’ve found to rack up points.

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Brex Card: Best For Startups

Brex Card



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Brex Card



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Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


N/A (this is a charge card)

The Brex Card is a corporate card geared toward tech startups. This card provides up to 8x points for ridesharing apps and taxis, 5x on travel, 4x at restaurants, 3x on recurring software, 3x on Apple products, and 1x on everything else. Rewards can be redeemed for statement credit or used to book travel through Brex’s portal.

Beyond the base points scheme, the Brex Card features exclusive signup offers from various products and tools worth over $150,000 in value. Examples include $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credit, up to $150 in Google Ads credit, and 25% off Slack for 12 months.

Brex should also be noted for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help alleviate companies’ newly-minted remote workforces, Brex created an opt-in rewards program. This program features 8x points for collaboration tools, 4x for food delivery, and 3x for recurring software.

Outside of the card itself, Brex offers full-on spend management to help companies issue employee cards, match receipts, and track spending. The company’s business account offering, Brex Cash, attempts to replace the standard business checking account by providing FDIC coverage, free ACH and wire sending, and no minimum balance requirements.

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Spark Cash Select From Capital One: Best For Flat-Rate Rewards

Spark Cash Select From Capital One



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Spark Cash Select From Capital One



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Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


14.49%-22.49% (variable)

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 a basic 1%, this card is perfect for merchants looking for a simple way to save money.

We chose the Spark Cash Select from Capital One 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 early spend bonus, but it carries a $95 annual fee (however, this fee is waived the first year).

As stated above, this card does not administer an annual fee for the first year, which means your initial savings (and early spend bonus) will not be negated by a hefty yearly charge. You can also pick up a $200 early spend bonus by dishing out $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 caps; you will earn 1.5% cash back regardless of how much you spend on your card.

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Chase Ink Business Cash: Best For Cash Back

Chase Ink Business Cash



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Chase Ink Business Cash



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Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


14.74% - 20.74% (variable)

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 various categories. With a category cap of $25,000, you won’t be able to earn as much as you might with another card. However, Chase’s Ink Business Cash card has a generous welcome offer and no annual fee.

That welcome offer is pretty snazzy. If you spend at least $7,500 within three months of opening your account, you’re looking at a bonus of $750 cash back. It also has an intro APR of 0% on purchases made in the first 12 months — an intro period that rivals Amex’s Blue Business Plus.

Chase offers 5% cash back at office supply stores and on 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.

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Spark Miles Select From Capital One: Best For Travel Rewards

Spark Miles Select from Capital One



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Spark Miles Select from Capital One



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Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


14.49%-22.49% (variable)

Spark Miles Select from Capital One is an excellent and easy way for frequent travelers 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. Plus, Capital One tosses in miles at a 5x clip if you book hotels and car rentals through its portal. That base scheme sits higher than the amount dished out by many credit cards and makes for an excellent incentive to use this card on many purchases — and the 5x rate is the cherry on top.

Like Capital One’s cash back rewards lineup, it’s worth noting that the issuer has a second travel card simply called Spark Miles. This card earns two miles per dollar spent and has a higher early spend bonus, but it also carries an annual fee (however, the fee gets waived for the first year).

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 the equivalent of $200 for travel. Spark Miles Select 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.

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Spark Classic From Capital One: Best For Fair Credit Users

Spark Classic from Capital One



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Spark Classic from Capital One



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Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


24.49% (variable)

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

Those with the Spark Classic can expect to earn an unlimited 1% per dollar spent on all purchases. This amount 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.

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Wells Fargo Business Secured: Best For Poor Credit Users

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card



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Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card



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Annual Fee:


$25 per card

 

Purchase APR:


Prime + 11.90%

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.

That flexible rewards scheme is certainly this card’s highlight. You can choose to net 1.5% for every dollar spent, or you can opt for 1 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 rewards points.

Want more secured card options? Our guide on secured credit cards has you covered.

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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 provide your company’s business tax identification number. If you don’t have one, you can often use your 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.

Best Business Credit Cards: Final Thoughts

Overall, these are the best business credit cards for 2021. 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 your business is just getting started, 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.

⭐️ Featured Free Corporate Card ⭐️

Divvy Card



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Read our Review

Divvy offers a free corporate card for virtually any business. Start earning rewards with your corporate spending today. Get your free card.

In Summary: Best Business Credit Cards

  • Chase Ink Business Preferred: Users keen to spend a lot of cash within the next three months will be generously rewarded by the Chase Ink Business Preferred's hefty welcome bonus.
  • American Express Business Gold Card: Because the Americas Express Business Gold Card adjusts its premium rewards categories based on a user's spending habits, this card is great for those looking for a personalized rewards program.
  • Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: If you need to make a big purchase on credit, look no further than the American Express Blue Business Plus and its lengthy 0% APR introductory period.
  • Brex Card: With a tech-focused rewards program, the Brex Card is an enticing corporate card aimed at startups.
  • Spark Cash Select From Capital One: Thanks to a straight 1.5% cash back on everything, the Spark Cash Select from Capital One is a great option for those in need of a simple cash back credit card.
  • Chase Ink Business Cash: The Chase Ink Business Cash's 5% cash back rate for office supply store, internet, phone, and cable purchases is one of the highest cash back rates available today.
  • Spark Miles Select from Capital One: With 1.5 miles earned for every dollar spent, frequent travelers may find Capital One's Spark Miles Select card appealing.
  • Spark Classic from Capital One: Aimed at fair credit users, the Spark Classic from Capital One is a great, minimalist card that can help those with young or lackluster credit histories.
  • Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card: Poor credit users can turn to the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card to boost their credit score and strengthen their credit history.
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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4 Comments

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

    Marina (NMPL)

    Jared, does the Blue Business Plus Card really have no annual fee? Or are there any specific conditions?

    ( Marina Teramond // N.M.P.L. )

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

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Marina,
      Per Amex’s own rates and fees page, the Blue Business Plus Card does not have an annual membership fee, no specific conditions necessary. However, there are other standard credit card fees that fall outside of an annual fee, such as foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, and late payment fees.

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

        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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