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I’ve been a small business owner for most of my career. In recent years, I’ve learned how to leverage various credit cards to maximize rewards. Below, you will find the best business credit cards that you can obtain by 2022, several of which offer generous welcome bonuses worth $750 to $1,000 or more.
You may be a small business owner like me. If you have a private practice or a partnership, that’s obviously a business. If you earn money with a blog or podcast, do freelance work, or sell products online, that’s a business. If you watch or walk dogs via Rover, that’s a business!
That’s all you need to apply for a business credit card. It doesn’t hurt to get an EIN (which takes all of 60 seconds), but some people apply using their social security numbers.
When I was a locum tenens physician, I had a business for that. Now that I’m a blogger, I’ve got a business that encompasses the website and all related activities.
A small business credit card is a great way to help keep track of expenses related to the business. Personally, I track business expenses on a spreadsheet and tend to commingle business and personal expenses on different cards depending on what I’m trying to achieve.
I’ve already shared my credit card rewards strategies and top tips in the freshly updated Credit Cards for People Who Love Travel and Money. If you haven’t yet, give that a read and return here to learn more specifically about business cards.
Note: I might earn money if you apply for a card via links on this page, and I will donate a significant percentage of my profits if that happens. Not many sites make that pledge, so please, do your research wherever the world wide web takes you, but consider coming back to this site for your credit card needs and support our charitable mission. Cheers!
What’s best for you and your business will depend on the answer to several questions.
How much do you spend in a year?
Are you more interested in welcome bonus offers? Or do the long-term benefits of the card matter more to you?
Do you prefer cash back or flexible rewards points?
Is there a particular airline or hotel chain that you use often for business or personal travel?
I’ve selected the best cards based on what I feel is the best combination of a valuable welcome bonus, solid ongoing rewards, and a reasonable annual fee. There are additional cards that offer more perks but come with annual fees of $450 or more. I’ve included one for the big ballers out there.
In the spreadsheet that accompanies this article, I did include a couple of cards with no welcome bonus for those that frequent Costco or want a no-annual-fee card, but the rest of the cards feature offer bonuses worth anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more.
Best Cash Back Business Credit Cards
If you don’t plan on charging big bucks on a business card, there a couple of Chase Business Cards that are excellent choices. Both offer a $750 bonus cash back welcome bonus and ongoing cash back throughout the year.
I like to think of these cards as the Business equivalent of the personal cards Chase Freedom Unlimited (minimum 1.5% cash back on every purchase) and Chase Freedom Flex (5% cash back on rotating categories on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter and 1% on everything else).
Like the personal cards, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited and Chase Ink Business Cash have no annual fees, ever.
Compared to the Capital One Spark cards, the minimum spends are much lower and the annual fee is non-existent. To earn the $750 welcome bonus, you must spend $6,000 on these Chase business cards.
Even if you plan to use another business card, I would recommend having one or both of these cards in your armamentarium.
Chase Ink Business Cash: $750 bonus cash back
Chase Ink Business Unlimited$750 cash back with a $6,000 spend in 3 months
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited offers a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No annual fee.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited: $750 bonus cash back
Chase Ink Business CashLimited Time Offer: $750 bonus cash after spending $6,000 in first 3 months
The Chase Ink Business Cash offers 5% back on up to $25,000 spent on cell and landline service, internet, cable TV, and at office supply stores. 2% back on first $25,000 combined at gas stations & restaurants. 1% back on all else. No annual fee.
Pro tip: Sign up for both the Ink Cash and the Ink Unlimited sequentially, collect both welcome bonuses, and then using each on its best rewards categories to maximize points with the highly transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The next two cards from Capital One will give you cash back (or a miles equivalent) for life.
The Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus is a straightforward cash back card with no annual fee offering 1.5% back on all purchases except hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel; those pay out 5% back to you.
If travel is more your thing, you’ll get a similar value in travel credits with miles that also can also be transferred to valuable travel partners with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. The card also has the benefit of a$100 global entry or TSA pre✓ reimbursement.
Capital One Spark Cash Select$500 cash back with a $4,500 spend in 3 months
The Spark Cash Select business card offers 5% back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and 1.5% back on everything else. No annual fee.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business50,000 miles (worth $500) with a $4,500 spend in 3 months
The Spark Miles business card offers 2,000 Miles (2 cent value) per dollar spent on all purchases, 5,000 miles per dollar on hotel & car rental via Capital One Portal, $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Pre✓ reimbursement & no foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived in year one.
Best Business Credit Cards with Flexible Points
Chase has a valuable third business card, the Chase Ink Business Preferred. There are a few key differences between the cash back cards and the Preferred card.
First, the Preferred card gives you an industry-leading 100,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points (after a $15,000 spend in 3 months) instead of cash back. 100,000 points can be used to book $1,250 to $1,500 in travel via the Chase portal or can be transferred to one of several popular travel partners.
Those partners include United, Southwest, and Jetblue airlines and Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, or Ritz Carlton hotels. A good redemption of 100,000 points could easily carry a value of $2,000 or more. The minimum spend is high at a total of $15,000 in the first three months.
This card also comes with an annual fee of $95 and adds the benefit of no foreign transaction fees.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card100,000 points with $15,000 spend in 3 months
The Chase Ink Business Preferred offers 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel & select business categories. 1 point per dollar on all else. No foreign transaction fees (unlike other Chase Ink Business cards. $95 annual fee.
Another business card with flexible rewards points to consider is the American Express Blue Business Plus card (rates and fees). This card has no annual fee and the first $50,000 spent on the card are rewarded at a rate of 2 points per dollar spent.
The card now offers a 15,000 membership reward point bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
Blue Business Plus from American Express15,000 point welcome bonus after a $3,000 spend in the first 3 mo. (rates and fees)
The Blue Business Plus offers 2 points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 per year, and 1 point per dollar thereafter. No annual fee.
The American Express MembershipAward points for this card and other AmEx cards are quite flexible with airline partners Delta, Air France / KLM, JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines. You can also transfer points to the Hilton and Starwood / Marriott hotel chains.
To learn how to best use these points, see CardRatings’ Guide to American Express® Membership Rewards.
Note, there is also an excellent personal card from American Express called the Blue Cash Preferred (rates and fees) that gets you 6% cash back at U.S. grocery stores among other perks.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express$200 cash back with a $2,000 spend in first 6 months (rates and fees)
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. No Annual Fee. 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. online retail purchases, and U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
Finally, if you prefer the finer things in life, American Express also offers the American Express® Business Gold (rates and fees) and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (rates and fees).
I have a hard time recommending the Gold card when comparing the card’s perks to its $295 annual fee, but the Platinum Card might be a good option, especially if you don’t carry a premium personal credit card.
The Business Platinum Card carries a hefty $695 annual fee but gives you some valuable perks including access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection, offering the widest range of airport lounges with free food and drink of any program.
Additionally, $200 of the annual fee can be offset with an airline credit for baggage fees, and over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases including tech, recruiting, and wireless.. Enrollment required. A CLEAR membership of $189 a year is also reimbursed, allowing you to breeze through airport and select stadium security.
The welcome bonus is generous but requires a large initial outlay, with 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 in the first three months.
I would only recommend this card if you are a frequent business traveler and plan to spend enough to get the full welcome bonus in the first three months. Terms apply.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express120,000 points after a $15,000 spend in 3 mo. (rates and fees)
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a premium card offering stellar perks including a sizable welcome bonus. Global Lounge Collection (airport lounge) access, $200 in airline fee reimbursement, $179 CLEAR credit for CLEAR membership annually, Uber VIP status, 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels via amextravel.com. Up to $200 in statement credits to reimburse airline baggage fees, and 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 $695 annual fee
How to Keep Track of Multiple Business Credit Cards
If you’re only going to get one card and use it for everything, there’s not much to do. Set up an online account, set up autopay (every time on every card!), and keep enough money in your checking or savings account to cover your monthly tab.
However, if you’re like me and you want to earn multiple welcome bonuses and use the right cards in the right situations (airline specific card for free checked bags, Chase Freedom for the 5 points per dollar at Costco this quarter for example), you’ll want to keep track of which cards you have.
That’s where my spreadsheet comes into play, and I’ll give you an opportunity to download it.
Business Credit Cards
The sheet shows each of the cards featured here and there’s a tab for personal cards, many of which are featured in my travel cards article. The welcome bonuses and spending required to reach them are all listed.
I’ve filled in the annual fees and whether or not they’re waived the first year. Most, but not all cards have no foreign transaction fees. The cash back cards are less likely to have this feature which is valuable if you spend time outside of the United States.
I created columns to mark if you’ve gotten the card(s) for you and your spouse. I highly recommend not adding a spouse as an authorized user, but rather applying for a new card in his or her name once you’ve reached the minimum spend on yours. That way, your household can earn the welcome bonus twice.
The key perks are also listed to the right of the spreadsheet. I truncated the sheet in the image below to make it better fit on your screen in this article.
The personal credit card portion is a little more robust. I’ve also created a third tab which is a blank slate where you can copy and past info from the first two as you add cards to your collection or enter information from other cards on your own.
Personal credit cards
The best way to send the spreadsheet to you (it’s an Excel file in .XLS format and can easily be converted to other formats after downloaded) is to ask for your email address in the box below. An email with a download link will be generated and sent to you immediately. You can opt out of future emails if you prefer, but if you remain subscribed, I’ll be able to send you updated versions of the sheet as the limited time offers and top cards change.
Best Business Cards for Frequent Fliers
United Business Card: 75,000 miles
United Airlines, one of the United States’ “Big Three Airlines” has a business card with a welcome offer of 75,000 bonus miles with an initial spend of $5,000 in the first three months your card is open.
Like many other airline cards, they offer a free checked bag when booking with United using the card. You’ll also get priority boarding for you and a companion, and two passes to use in any United Club. I used these at DFW for my wife and myself after FinCon17. It was a nice place to kick back for a few hours waiting for our flight!
United Business Mileage Plus75,000 miles with a $5,000 spend in 3 months & add'l 75,000 miles with a total of $20,000 spend in the first 6 months
The United Business Card comes with a generous welcome offer of 75,000 points, gets you a free checked bag on United flights & 2 passes for a United Club every year. 2 miles per dollar at gas stations, dining, and office supply stores. One year complimentary DashPass. $99 annual fee, waived in year one.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card: 60,000 Points
Southwest Airlines is popular with frequent fliers for their low fares, “bags fly free” policy that is rare, and the transparent system with frequent flier miles. Theirs is the least complicated where a mile has a dollar value and you don’t have to search for the best dates to use your miles.
Chase offers a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card that offers 60,000 Rapid Rewards points with a $3,000 spend in the first three months.
A savvy traveler will obtain a Southwest business card and one of their personal credit cards, the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus and/or the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier cards and meet the minimum spend to earn over 120,000 miles, qualifying for the coveted Companion Pass which gives you a free companion on every Southwest flight you take this year and next.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card: 80,000 Points
Chase and Southwest offer a premium card known as the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card offering 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
The Performance card has a higher annual fee as opposed to the premium-sounding Premier card ($199 vs. $99), but the Performance card has additional perks like 4x points on Southwest purchases, 3x points on rideshare plus hotel and car partners, wifi reimbursement, Global Entry / TSA Pre✓ reimbursement every four years, and up to four upgraded boardings per year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business60,000 points with a $3,000 spend in 3 months
The Southwest Premier Business Card gets you 60,000 points when meeting the minimum spend, 3 points per dollar spend with Southwest, 2 points per dollar on rideshare or hotel and car rental partners. 2 EarlyBird Check-Ins per year. No foreign transaction fees. $99 annual fee.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business80,000 points with a $5,000 spend in 3 months
The Southwest Performance Business Card gets you 80,000 points when meeting the minimum spending requirements, 4 points per dollar spent with Southwest, 3 points per dollar with hotel and car partners, 2 per dollar on rideshares, internet, cable, and phone. Inflight wifi credit, 4 upgraded boardings annually. Global Entry or TSA Pre✔(R) Fee Credit. No foreign transaction fees. $199 annual fee
Delta Skymiles® Gold Business American Express Card (rates and fees): 50,000 Miles
Delta is one of the “big three” U.S. airlines and they’ve got a quality business card via their partnership with American Express. If you often fly Delta, the Gold Delta Skymiles Business Card may be a very good option for you.
You can early a welcome bonus of 50,000 Delta Skymiles after $2,000 spent in the first three months plus a $100 credit towards a future Delta flight made if you spend $10,000 in a calendar year. Your first checked bag flies free and you’ll qualify for priority boarding. The $99 annual fee is waived the first year. Terms apply.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card75,000 Skymiles after $3,000 spent in first 3 mo. + $100 credit for a future Delta flight when spending $10,000 in a calendar year.
First checked bag is free for up to 4 members in your party. Double points on worldwide restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and Delta. 15% off Delta award flights. $99 annual fee waived in year 1.
Finally, there’s another “big three” airline business card offered by the same bank that offers the Costco card. Their rules prohibit direct linking, but if you, like me, like accumulating AAdvantage miles, this business card will give you 70,000 AAdvantage Miles after spending $3,000 in four months.
That’s enough to get you to Asia, South America, or Europe and back. If your spouse or a friend gets one, as well, you can take a pretty swell trip together after meeting the minimum spend on each card.
Unfortunately, I cannot link directly to the card, but I can direct you to airline reward cards and you’ll find it, along with its personal card counterpart, on the Cardratings website.
Best Business Cards for Hotel Stays
I’ll highlight a couple of business cards from the popular chains Hilton and Marriott. Both have excellent reward programs and these cards will get you automatic upgraded status in those programs and enough points in the welcome bonus for at least a long weekend in one of their upscale hotels.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (rates and fees)
The Hilton Honors American Express Business card is currently offering 150,000 Bonus points, plus a free night after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Offer ends 7/19/23.
As a cardholder, you’ll enjoy Gold status and 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton Hotels. Spend $15,000 any year for a free weekend night with a second complimentary night after another $45,000 spent. Terms apply.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card150,000 Bonus points, plus a free night after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Offer ends 7/19/23 (rates and fees)
The Hilton Honors Business has a solid welcome offer,150,000 Bonus points, plus a free night after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Offer ends 7/19/23
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (rates and fees)
Finally, after the 2019 Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) merger with Marriott, points earned on the Marriott Bonvoy Business card can be redeemed for stays at many hotels and resorts in the following families:
- JW Marriott
- Gaylord Hotels
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Autograph Collection
- St. Regis
- W Hotels
- Four Points
- Luxury Collection
The card currently offers 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
As with any hotel card, you’ll earn extra points (6 per dollar) when using the card within the hotel chain’s properties that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
In your renewal month, you’re gifted a free night’s stay. Spend $60,000 on the card in a year for a second complimentary night.
The card comes with complimentary Gold Elite Status. You’ll pay no foreign transaction fees, and there is a $125 annual fee. Terms apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (rates and fees)
The Marriott Bonvoy Business card gives you a great welcome bonus, Complimentary Gold Elite status, 6x points at Marriott,1 free night's stay annually + extra night after $60k in purchases each year. $125 annual fee.
Start Earning Rewards with a Business Credit Card
If you’re a small business owner, you should be reaping the rewards of a good business credit card on every business purchase made by you and your employees. Most of the cards featured here offer additional cards for employees at no additional cost.
While it’s true that this site can turn a profit if you apply for a card after clicking on the links from this article, it’s also true that I donate much of my profits. Do the research you need to do, but please return here to follow my links to the cards if you’re so inclined. And of course, do not use credit cards if you cannot afford to pay them off completely every month!
Download the spreadsheet and start earning that cash back, those flexible points, airline or hotel points today!
Please exercise caution with the language in the comments. The card issuers don’t like terms that rhyme with “travel snacking” or “travel packing.” Also, please avoid the yearning to use any word that starts like “church” and ends like “burning.” Thank you for your discretion.
Have you been earning cash back or travel rewards with small business credit cards? What are your favorite reward cards, business or otherwise?
To see rates and fees for featured cards from American Express: American Express Blue Business Plus card (rates and fees), Blue Cash Preferred (rates and fees), American Express Business Gold (rates and fees), American Express Business Platinum card (rates and fees), Gold Delta Skymiles Business Card (rates and fees), Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card (rates and fees), and the Hilton Honors Business Card (rates and fees)
Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
9 thoughts on “The Best Business Credit Cards for 2023”
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Having a small business line of credit is good for any side hustle millionaire because in my personal opinion, it helps you to effectively itemize on your taxes and can be an avenue for you to save money in the long run. Agree? 🙂
Very nice list of cards. I just started as a business owner myself so this is some good info.
A small disclaimer: If you’re a beginner in the credit card rewards realm, always start with Chase cards. They usually have amazing sign on bonuses as you have just read but if they see you have signed up for as little as 5 cards from ANY OTHER COMPANY in the past 2 years, they will deny every application. The only way to get back in their good graces is by going on a credit card fast for 2 years. Not fun.
Other than that, good luck to all!
Yup — “Chase Cards First” is a heading on my personal cards post.
Fortunately, Citi and AmEx business cards do not count towards 5 / 24.
And you wouldn’t have to wait 2 full years, either if you had gotten a number of other cards. If you had gotten five cards a year, you’d be able to apply for Chase cards after about a one-year hiatus.
A few thoughts…
There best available current offer for the Chase Southwest Plus card is a tiered 60,000 bonus points offer (40,000 after $1,000 in spending in the first 3 months and an additional 20,000 after spending $12,000 in the first year). Just wanted PoF readers know so that they miss out on additional points.
Also important to note is that the Amex Business Platinum annual fee will go up to a whopping $595 in a few months on February 2019. That’s crazy high!
And finally, I’m pretty sure the current offer for Chase Southwest Premier Business is 60,000 points, not 80,000 points (as stated on your post).
Good catch — I’m not sure if that was a typo or a “copy and paste” error, but either way, I’ve fixed it. I do have that offer on the Southwest Plus Card — in the perks section of the spreadsheet, I list the additional 20,0000 bonus points with the extra $12,000 spent.
Reader Toby opened my eyes to the benefit of the more expensive Southwest Priority Card. The annual fee of $149 is about half offset with a $75 Southwest credit, making it effectively $6 more than the $69 fee on the Plus, but with the added benefit of 7,500 points on your cardmember anniversary (versus 3,000 on the Plus),20% in-flight purchases, and four upgraded boardings per year.
Man, this is a comprehensive list, POF. My buddy and I were just talking about this yesterday. He scored a first class ticket to Japan ($23,000) by using around 100,000 points on his American Express card through one of the Japanese airlines (ANA, I think).
This stuff can really work.
That’s a sweet redemption. I’m usually happy getting 2 cents per point /mile. That’s 23 cents per point, which is incredible!
You’re right, though. There are some really valuable opportunities out there, particularly when looking at business class and first class overseas fares.
Yup! It definitely works. I’m proof of concept 🙂
I have probably redeemed the equivalent of $60-80k in points over the past few years (depending on how you truly value those points).
It’s definitely doable. But like PoF said in his reply,… the only way to get truly outsized value is by redeeming for international first class seats/suites. Much easier to do without kids. But I might consider redeeming first class tickets for the baby. I’m not sure if the other first class passengers will appreciate it though ;P