The best credit cards for business owners and entrepreneurs in 2019

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In a Nutshell

We compared interest rates, promotional offers, sign-up bonuses and rewards programs to help you find the best credit card for your small business.

Louis DeNicola is a personal finance writer and has written for American Express and Discover. Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors' opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when it’s posted.
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At a glance: Best business credit cards for 2019

Best business card with no annual fee  Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Best for business owners with varied expenses Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Best for simple cash back rewards Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Best for frequent business travelers The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

The best credit cards for business don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.

What works for your small business might not make sense for a multinational corporation, or even for your closest competitor.

That’s why it’s important to choose the card that best fits the needs of your business.

For example: If you plan on handing out cards for your employees to use, you might want a card that comes with employee cards at no extra cost. Other business credit cards make it easy to categorize and add notes to your expenses, and some issuers even offer apps that let you save pictures of your receipts — a helpful feature for organizing expenses come tax season.

Small-business owners (generally speaking, those with fewer than 500 employees or less than $7.5 million in average annual receipts, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration) and entrepreneurs may want to consider one of the following business credit cards. They tend to come with perks and terms that can be — you guessed it — a bit more business-friendly.


Best business card with no annual fee: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

From our partner

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

From cardholders in the last year

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Who’s it for?

If you have a side hustle or pick up freelance work occasionally and want a business credit card to help organize your expenses, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card may be a great fit.

Why we like it

This card doesn’t have an annual fee, and you get a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases. After that, the variable APR ranges from 15.24% - 21.24%.

The card also features strong rewards incentives, such as $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

You’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on phone, internet and cable services each year (from the date you open the account).

You’ll also get 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Watch out for

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, which can be a nuisance if you travel frequently for business.

How to use it

While the benefits and rewards that come with no annual fee cards may not be as plentiful as those on cards with an annual fee, it usually takes more planning (and more spending) to actually make that annual fee worth it.

That’s not something you’ll have to worry about with this card. Just remember to use your card to pay for all your office supplies and communications services, as you’ll get an impressive 5% cash back until you hit $25,000 in combined purchases.

To maximize your rewards earnings, consider adding employee cards to your account at no additional cost. Not only will employee spending count toward your rewards, but you can set spending limits to make sure they don’t stray from your budget.

Good if you have varied business expenses: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

From our partner

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

Who’s it for?

Small-business owners who rack up enough expenses to offset the cost of a $95 annual fee may be interested in the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Why we like it

Business owners with a lot of varied expenses may especially benefit from this card. You’ll earn three points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, internet/cable/phone services and social media or search engine advertising purchases each account anniversary year. For all other purchases, you’ll receive one point per $1.

This card currently comes with an impressive sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 on purchases within 3 months of opening your account.

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card also offers employee cards at no additional cost.

Watch out for

Although this card comes with a $95 annual fee, the rewards program, sign-up bonus and perks still make it a serious contender — for the right kind of business. If you think you don’t spend enough on business purchases to justify that fee, this probably isn’t the card for you.

How to use it

The selection of categories makes this a good option for online and retail businesses, which is why Allen Walton, owner of e-commerce store SpyGuysSecurity, is looking forward to getting the card for his business. “We do a lot of advertising on Google, Facebook, Bing,” he says, “(and) we also ship a ton of orders out to customers.”

Best for simple cash rewards: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

From our partner
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Who’s it for?

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business may be a good option for business owners who want a simple cash back credit card.

Why we like it

The card offers 2% back on every purchase, without any limit on how much you can earn each year. There’s also a sign-up cash bonus. You’ll earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

There’s no foreign transaction fee, and you can add employee cards to your account for free.

Watch out for

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card has a variable 19.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers and a $0 intro, $95 after first year annual fee. Capital One® says the card is geared toward applicants with excellent credit.

How to use it

Michael Pesochinsky, owner and attorney at MyBrandMark, an online trademark and patent firm, says the unlimited 2% rewards is incredibly useful for his small business: “Starting and building a business is very expensive, (and) getting a portion of that back to use for further growth is a major help.”

Best if you’re a frequent business traveler: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

From our partner
See Details, Rates & Fees

Who’s it for?

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has a hefty $595 annual fee, but depending on your business needs, the benefits could be worth the expense.

Why we like it

Benefits include no foreign transaction fee, Hilton Honors Gold Status, a fee credit every four years after applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and $200 worth of airline fee statement credits to offset incidental travel expenses, such as checked bags, from a qualifying airline carrier of your choice each year.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express also comes with an impressive welcome offer of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of card membership.

You’ll also get five Membership Rewards® points per $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, 1.5 points per $1 on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year) and one point per $1 on everything else.

Watch out for

In addition to the high annual fee, there are other reasons to think twice before applying for this card. For one, it’s a charge card rather than a credit card, meaning you’ll have to pay your balance in full each month. Also keep in mind that you’ll get the most benefits from this card when you use it for travel through amextravel.com. If you don’t travel often, you might want to choose a card with a higher cash back rate for purchases you frequently make.


Bottom line

Small-business owners have a variety of business credit cards to choose from, and the best card for you could depend on the card’s benefits, the types of expenses your business has and the rewards you’d like to earn.

Don’t need a ton of business-specific benefits? A personal credit card may do the trick.

If you don’t see yourself needing business credit or business-specific credit card perks, you may be better off with a no-fee personal card. These can offer some business-friendly perks such as travel rewards programs or a high cash back rate at gas stations to offset your costs as a ride-share driver, for example.

Try to determine which card fits the needs of your business today, and stay open to switching cards as your business grows.