Your business is growing and it is time to open a business credit card. Fantastic!
We know what you’re thinking, however: there are a lot of options out there and you want to make sure you choose the right card.
Don’t worry. We’ve surveyed dozens of business owners and the same business credit card options came up again and again. Whether you’re interested in cash back, travel rewards or online tools, it’s a great idea to do some homework and choose the absolute best credit card for your business.
Read on for a useful and clear cut overview of the top business credit cards available right now, and the reasons entrepreneurs like yourself have embraced them.
Capital One Spark Visa
Many business owners point to this card as a good option for its easy to understand rewards program, and for its quick mobile application process.
“I established my business last year and used Capital One Spark Cash for Business,” says Gage DeYoung, CFP and founder of Prudent Wealthcare LLC. “Capital One gave me $500 for spending $4,500 in the first three months, and they pay me 2% cash back on all purchases.”
There is an annual fee of $59 for this card. Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business has no annual fee and pays 1.5% cash back plus $200 if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.
In both cases, DeYoung would not recommend carrying a balance due to variable APRs of between 13.24% to 21.24%.
“My favorite feature is the fraud alerts,” says Jeremy S. Office, Ph.D, founder and principal of Maclendon Wealth Management, another Capital One card holder.
Dr. Office was notified via email that he needed to take a second look at a recent restaurant over-charge and was able to stop payment immediately. “As a business owner moving a million miles a minute, juggling all kinds of strategies, people and concerns, this could have definitely fallen through the cracks,” he says.
American Express Platinum or Plum card
American Express is a perennial favorite for its excellent customer service and attractive rewards.
“I am an avid fan of the American Express Platinum and Plum card,” says Aalap Shah, co-founder of SoMe Connect in Chicago. “I couldn't live without them and have utilized both of these cards over the past ten years of being a business owner. Both have incredible benefits but the number one take-away for me is the customer service that both cards offer.”
The Platinum AMEX provides travel benefits and features, including the $200 credit along with the membership rewards program. The yearly fee is around $400.
“I travel about 100,000 miles per year, so airport club access and travel perks are a big deal for me,” says American Express Platinum card member Christien Louviere, CEO of Atlanta-based SellPersonal.com. “That access helps to provide some comfort in my world that is constantly in flux.”
Louviere points to several key features of the Platinum card, including:
- Free airport access to Sky Clubs
- Free Hilton HHonors Gold Status
- Access to all AMEX Centurion Lounges
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- 2X Membership Rewards on UBER
- Free Boingo and GoGo WiFi passes
The PLUM Amex offers an early pay discount, which allows users to earn extra margin on lower margin services.
“The Plum Card is an excellent tool because it mitigates some exposure to cash flow constraints,” explains Jon Novak, the founder and CEO of Boomerang Transportation, a third party logistics services firm.
“I can defer payments on a balance without any penalties or interest, or receive 1.5% cash back if I pay early,” Novak adds. “Moreover, there is no pre-set credit limit which allows me to make large purchases on the card. Combine that with the excellent customer service American Express provides, and the Plum Card was a no brainer for me.”
Other benefits? American Express Business Cards offer social media analytics and merchant social networking. You can also use the dashboard to buy office supplies or brainstorm with freelance creatives.
“Amex OPEN serves as a driver for small businesses, providing an online dashboard of tools for small businesses to tap into to drive their business,” says Robb Hecht, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Baruch College. “The key thing about OPEN is that you are rewarded by working with the tools, gaining points and offered discounts.”
Chase Ink Card
Chase Ink is routinely considered one the best business credit cards available for its generous cash back options.
“Chase Ink offers five times the points, which can be redeemed for cash back, on two areas that usually cost companies a lot of money, office supplies and communications — land and cell phones and the internet,” explains Ryan McEniff, owner of Minute Women Home Care. “Additionally, it offers two percent cash back on gas, which as I drive my vehicle a lot it is nice to have, and offers 1% on everything else.”
Wells Fargo Secured Business Credit Card
A secured card keeps users limited to however much they have in the connected savings account. It can be a good option for businesses that are being careful not to carry a balance.
“The reason I chose this card was the low annual fee, which they waive for the first year for new applicants, and for the rewards,” says Chike Uzoka, the founder of Newark-based Valentine Global, LLC, which specializes in creating entrepreneur education for youth and adults.
Typically, secured cards don't come with any rewards, let alone options, but with this card, business owners can get points or cash back, which they can deposit the cash back quarterly into a business savings account or directly to the credit card account.
“For me personally and for my business,” says Uzoka, “this card is the best of both worlds.”
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card
If travel is a big part of your business, this card might be the one for you.
“I chose the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card because we are planning to go on monthly business trips all year this year,” says Lark Ismail, managing director of Jolly Good Media in Lancaster, California.
This card offers six thousand bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, and free employee cards at no additional cost.
“Each dollar spent equals a frequent flyer mile point to redeem for Southwest flights. The sign on bonus of 50K puts you well on your way to earning the Southwest companion pass, which makes flights buy one get one free for the remainder of the year and the following year.”
Before choosing the best card for your business, spend some time evaluating your spending and payment habits. By zeroing in on where rewards or a certain APR rate could benefit your bottom line the most, you’ll end up with the optimal card for your enterprise. Good luck.