Credit Karma

The best credit cards for business owners and entrepreneurs

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. We generally make money when you get a product (like a credit card or loan) through our platform, but we don’t let that cloud our editorial opinions. Learn more about how we keep this compensation from affecting our editorial views.
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Best business credit cards, as chosen by Credit Karma editors:

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

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 (some, like the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, even let you limit how much each employee can spend per month).

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.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

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 percent intro for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the APR ranges from 14.24 to 20.24 percent.

The card also features strong rewards incentives, such as a $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. You’ll earn 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on mobile phone, landline, internet and cable services each year (from the date you open the account).

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

Watch out for

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has a 3 percent 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 percent 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.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

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

Chase only launched the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card card in November 2016, but it’s quickly become a popular option among business owners.

Business owners with a lot of varied expenses may especially benefit from this card. You’ll earn three points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone service and social media or search engine advertising purchases per account anniversary year (when the card’s annual fee is due). For all other purchases, you’ll receive one point per dollar.

This card currently comes with an impressive sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards® points if you spend $5,000 on purchases within three months of opening your account. You can redeem Ultimate Rewards® points for a variety of rewards, including cash back (where 100 points equals $1), merchandise and gift cards.

As with its sibling card, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card 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.”

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

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 percent back on every purchase, without any limit on how much you can earn each year. There’s also a sign-up cash bonus worth $500 if you make $4,500 worth of purchases in the first three 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 17.99 percent 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 percent 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.”

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Who’s it for?

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN  has a hefty $450 annual fee, but we’ve heard from multiple business owners who feel the benefits are worth the expense. Most of the features are related to travel, and many business owners reportedly use them for personal as well as business trips.

Why we like it

Benefits include free passes for Gogo in-flight internet access, no foreign transaction fee, Gold status in the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, credit every four years after applying for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and $200 worth of statement credit 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 OPEN also comes with an impressive welcome offer of 75,000 Membership Rewards® points if you spend $20,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months, or 50,000 points if you just spend $10,000. You’ll also get five points per dollar on eligible purchases through the American Express Travel website, 1.5 points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to one million additional points per year) and one point on everything else.

Membership Rewards® points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including travel, merchandise and cash back. When redeeming points via the American Express Travel website, you might want to compare the cost with booking directly with an airline, as there may be a significant price difference.

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 the American Express Travel website. If you don’t travel often, you might want to choose a card with a higher cash back rate for purchases you frequently make.

How to use it

One of the travel-related benefits is access to The Centurion® Lounge and The International American Express lounges. You’ll also have access to Delta Sky Club® when flying Delta or a Priority Pass™ Select lounge once enrolled.

Brent Lindner, CEO and president of The Necropolis Group, which owns and operates five food and beverage venues near Grand Island, Nebraska, says lounge access was a great relief when he and his wife had to wait to catch a flight back to the U.S. from Cabo San Lucas. The air-conditioning was on in the lounge but not in the airport. “I couldn’t have imagined getting on the plane after five hours in a hot, sweaty terminal,” recalls Lindner.

If that sounds like you, make sure to take full advantage of those lounge benefits.

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.

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