Business credit cards are an excellent way to convert business expenses into cash back and travel points. They are also an inexpensive way to reward employees (or yourself) with valuable travel perks.
Although personal credit cards have their place in an entrepreneur’s toolbox, companies need their own business credit card. Once a business has progressed beyond the launch phase, establishing separate business bank accounts and obtaining business credit cards are two of the best strategies for improving its credit profile.
This list of the top business credit cards of 2016 has something for every type of business. Whether your business is small, large, spends insane amounts of money on air travel, gas, office supplies, cell phone bills, or restaurant tabs, there is a business credit card for you. SuperMoney’s credit card search engine allows you to filter through dozens of business credit cards by selecting the features that mean the most to you. The business credit cards in this list are a selection of the best available in 2016. They will help you improve your credit, manage your cash flow, and come with better sign-up bonuses and reward rates than most consumer credit cards.
Chase Ink is the best business credit card for rewards of 2016. Period. The Ink Plus Business Card has a 60,000-point signup-up bonus for cardholders who spend $5,000 within the first three months of opening an account. That’s the equivalent of $750 in travel. It has a $95 annual fee, but the signup bonus alone will cover the first 7 years.
Rewards for the Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card
This card allows you to earn:
- 5 points for every dollar you spend on office supplies, cell phones, internet, cable TV, and landline service up to $50,000 of combined purchases a year
- 2 points for every dollar spent on hotels — when purchased directly through the hotel — and gas stations up to $50,000 a year
- 1 point for every other dollar you spend with no limit
The Ink Plus uses Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, which is valued at 1.25 cents a point. Cardholders can transfer points to other loyalty programs. Business owners can set spending limits for employees, and there is no charge for additional cards.
Drawbacks of the Chase Ink Plus Business Card
- The only downside of the Ink Plus is you don’t get traveling perks that are standard with other travel credit cards, such as priority boarding and waived baggage fees.
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card is one of the best credit card for travel. It has a 20,000-point sign-up bonus for new cardholders who spend $3,000 in the first three months and no annual fee.
Rewards for the Capital One Spark Miles Visa Card for Business
- The bonus rate is a fixed 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend.
- Reward points can be used for travel statement credit, so you’re not stuck with a particular airline or car rental company.
Drawbacks of the Capital One Spark Visa for Business
- You can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs, and there aren’t fancy perks included, such as free checked bags or airport lounge access.
The Chase Ink Business Cash is the best credit card for businesses looking for a no-annual-fee cash back card. With the Ink Business Cash, you can earn $300 when you spend $3,000 on purchases during the first three months, and it has no annual fee. New cardholders also receive a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
Rewards for the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
The reward rates are:
- 5% cash back on office supplies, cell phones, landline phone service, cable TV, internet up to $25,000 a year
- 2% cash back on restaurants and gas stations up to $25,000 a year
- 1% on all other purchases
Drawbacks of the Ink Business Cash
- Businesses that don’t plan to use the 0% intro APR should also consider the SimplyCash Plus, which has a better signup bonus and higher cash back rates.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Open is one the best card for businesses looking for luxury travel perks. The catch is its $450 annual fee. However, if you or your employees like to travel in style, you will love this card. it offers a 50,000 Membership Rewards points signup bonus to cardholders who spend $5,000 within the first three months, and it grants access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and Airspace Lounges. Travelers can also enroll in Priority Pass Select for free and receive a $200 credit on airlines expenses, such as checked baggage fees and flight refreshments. Cardholders who apply for Global Entry ($100 cost) or TSA Pre ($85 cost) receive a statement credit every five years and enjoy complimentary wifi access through GoGo and Boingo.
Rewards Rates for the Business Platinum Card from American Express Open
The bonus rates are:
- 2 points for every dollar spent on travel booked through American Express
- 1% on all other purchases
Drawbacks of the Business Platinum Card from American Express Open
- Low reward rates for a card with a $450 annual fee
- This is a charge card, not a credit card; purchases must be paid within the same cycle, or you will incur hefty fees.
The SimplyCash Plus Business is another great choice for small businesses looking for a no-annual-fee cash back card. New cardholders can earn a $250 signup bonus when they spend $5,000 within the first three months.
Rewards Rates for the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
The reward rates are:
- 5% cash back on U.S. office supply stores and wireless phone services
- 3% cash back on an additional category of your choice. Categories include: Airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, gas stations, restaurants, advertising, shipping, and computer hardware/software
- 1% on all other purchases
Drawbacks of the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit CardThe 3% cash back only applies to airfare, hotel rooms, or car rentals when purchased directly with the companies.
- Purchases made through a travel agency or website don’t get the bonus cash back rates
- The signup bonus is modest considering you have to spend $5,000 to qualify
US Bank Business Visa Cards
The US Bank FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards awards 20,000 bonus Flex points after spending at least $3,500 within four months after obtaining the card.
Rewards for the US Bank FlexPerks Credit Card
- 2x FlexPoints for every $1 spent on gas, airlines, office supplies, and cellular providers
- 3x on charitable donations
- All other purchases receive 1 FlexPoint for every $1 spent.
Cardholders who spend $24,000 a year get the $55 annual fee reimbursed.
Each award ticket obtained provides an airline allowance of up to $25 good for baggage fees or in-flight food and drink. The US Bank Business Edge Cash Rewards card offers a 25 percent bonus of all the previous year’s cash back awards, up to a maximum of $250.
Drawbacks of the US Bank FlexPerks Credit Card
- Points must be redeemed through FlexPerks program
- High annual fee for a card with average reward rates
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard rewards new cardholders with 30,000 bonus American AAdvantage miles if they make $1,000 in purchases during the first three months of obtaining the card. Card members are also entitled to Group 1 boarding and 25 percent discount on food and beverages purchased with the card during flights.
Rewards for the AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
- Cardmembers also earn 2 miles for every $1 in eligible flight-related purchases, including codeshare flights booked through American Airlines
- 1 mile for every $1 for most other purchases.
Drawbacks of the AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
- Travel rewards only benefit regular American Airlines travelers.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles business Credit Card from American Express is ideal for business owners who spend a lot of time traveling, especially on Delta flights. Cardholders earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending at least $1,000 during the first three months after obtaining the card. You can also earn a $50 statement credit by making a Delta purchase within the first three months after receiving the card. Your first bag flies free, and there are no foreign transaction fees.
Rewards for the Gold Delta SkyMiles business Credit Card
- Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on qualifying Delta purchases
- 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Drawbacks of the Gold Delta SkyMiles business Credit Card
- Low reward rate for a business card
- $95 annual fee
Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard is another card to consider if you’re looking for a cash back card with no annual fee. New cardholders receive a $100 statement credit bonus for spending $500 within the first 60 days.
Earn 3 percent cash back for office supplies and gas, 2 percent cash back for restaurant meals and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases made with the card, with no limits on rewards. You can transfer your rewards to a Bank of America savings or checking account or receive cash in hand. The card carries a 0% APR on all purchases during the first nine cycles after obtaining the card, and there is no annual fee.
Rewards for the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard
- 3% Cash back at gas stations and office supply stores up to $250,000
- 2% on purchases at restaurants
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Drawbacks of the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard
- Modest signup bonus.
The Benefits of Business Credit Cards
Obtaining credit and maintaining positive cash flow can be an ongoing challenge, especially for small businesses. Business credit cards allow entrepreneurs a measure of flexibility in managing their businesses’ finances. They also help business owners establish a separate business credit profile by separating business and personal expenses. Maintaining separate business and personal records is also a significant advantage when tax time rolls around.
The cash back and reward points you can obtain from your business card are also significant, even for micro-businesses. According to a recent survey, micro-businesses spend an average of $2,245 a month on business expenses. At 2x points, that represents $539 a year in cash back or travel credit.
If you still haven’t found the right card for your business? Consider using SuperMoney’s credit card search engine. Choose the features and rewards that matter to you and see which credit cards fit your criteria.