The top 7 business cash-back credit cards

By
Benét J. Wilson
Updated
Oct 27, 2021
This page is a marketplace where our partners can highlight their current card offers. The reviews and insights represented are editorial, but the order in which cards appear on the page may be influenced by compensation we may receive from our partners.

There are many different types of travel credit cards on the market today. Some allow you to earn valuable points that can be transferred to partners, while others offer specific benefits when traveling on a given airline or staying at a specific hotel chain. Today, I want to focus on the subset of small business credit cards from our partners that offer the best cash-back rewards.

Best for office supplies
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
1 - 5% cash-back
more info
  • 5% Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • 2% Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
$750
details
Intro Offer tooltip icon
$750
$0

Why we chose it

The Chase Ink Business Cash is an excellent no annual fee card for small business owners. Cardholders can earn 5% cash back on office supplies and select utilities, as well as 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations.

Pros

  • The current sign-up bonus on this card is an impressive $750. TPG values it at $1,500, not including any points you may earn from the valuable bonus categories
  • There is no annual fee which is perfect for small business owners
  • You’ll earn 5% at office supply stores and on common monthly bills such as internet, cable and phone services. Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year

Cons

  • 5% cash back earned on certain categories is capped at the first $25,000 you make in combined purchases each account anniversary year
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases

Pros

  • The current sign-up bonus on this card is an impressive $750. TPG values it at $1,500, not including any points you may earn from the valuable bonus categories
  • There is no annual fee which is perfect for small business owners
  • You’ll earn 5% at office supply stores and on common monthly bills such as internet, cable and phone services. Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year

Cons

  • 5% cash back earned on certain categories is capped at the first $25,000 you make in combined purchases each account anniversary year
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
1.5% cash-back
more info
  • 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
$750
details
Intro Offer tooltip icon
$750
$0

Why we chose it

The Ink Business Unlimited’ sign-up gives you a generous $750 cash back spending $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening plus unlimited 1.5% cash back on every business purchase. It fills in rewards gaps not cpvered by the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. You can maximize this card by pairing it with cards including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Business Preferred.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Generous $750 cash-back sign-up bonus
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Primary insurance for car rentals
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on purchases (then a variable APR of 13.24% - 19.24% applies)

Cons

  • Higher spend to receive sign-up bonus
  • No conversion to Chase points without holding the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • No travel protections
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Generous $750 cash-back sign-up bonus
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Primary insurance for car rentals
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on purchases (then a variable APR of 13.24% - 19.24% applies)

Cons

  • Higher spend to receive sign-up bonus
  • No conversion to Chase points without holding the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • No travel protections
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
3.5/5
1 - 2% cash-back
more info
  • 2% Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
  • 1% 1% cash back on all eligible purchases after spending $50,000 per calendar year.
$250
details
Intro Offer tooltip icon
$250
No annual fee

Why we chose it

For businesses just starting out, we get it: You want to minimize any costs while maximizing your expenses. This is why the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is the perfect fit — there’s no annual fee, and you’ll earn 2% back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases per calendar year, then 1%. With this card, you’ll also have access to exclusive Amex Offers from useful businesses such as FedEx and Bloomberg.com to help you save money on business shopping, dining, travel and so much more.

Pros

  • 2% cash back on the first $50,000 eligible purchases each calendar year, then 1% cash back. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Only earns 1% after you spend more than $50,000 in a calendar year -- not ideal for businesses with lots of expenses
  • Charges a foreign transaction fee
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • From workflow to inventory to floor plans, your business is constantly changing. That’s why you’ve got the power to spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power.
  • Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • 2% cash back on the first $50,000 eligible purchases each calendar year, then 1% cash back. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Only earns 1% after you spend more than $50,000 in a calendar year -- not ideal for businesses with lots of expenses
  • Charges a foreign transaction fee
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • From workflow to inventory to floor plans, your business is constantly changing. That’s why you’ve got the power to spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power.
  • Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Best business cash-back credit cards

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Card Best for Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus Earning Rate Annual Fee
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Office supplies $750
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
$0
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card Freelancers $750
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
$0
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card No annual fee $250
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
  • 1% cash back on all eligible purchases after spending $50,000 per calendar year.
No annual fee

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Sign-up bonus$750 cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Earning rates: 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year); 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year); 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Additional perks: Free employee cards; primary car rental coverage (when traveling for business); 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on purchases, then a variable APR of 13.24% – 19.24% applies.

Annual fee: $0

Cash back without an annual fee is great, but if you want the added flexibility of “playing the game” at a later date when it comes to your earning and redemption, the Ink Cash could be a great option for your small business. The 5% cash back at office supply stores and on telecommunications purchases can be incredibly rewarding if you have large expenses that typically come from those categories.

With 2% back on gas and restaurant purchases, it’s also lucrative for those with extensive travel and/or client meetings at lunch or dinner. However, what makes this card especially compelling is the fact that you can “convert” the cash-back points you earn on the card to full Ultimate Rewards points if you have any Ultimate Rewards earning card from Chase (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve). This unlocks valuable transfer partners like United and Hyatt — and when you add in the fact that the card carries no annual fee, it’s a solid value proposition all around.

Just be aware that the card does include a 3% foreign transaction fee, so be sure it stays in your wallet when traveling abroad.

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Sign-up bonus$750 cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Earning rates: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Additional perks: Free employee cards; primary car rental coverage (when traveling for business); 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on purchases, then a variable APR of 13.24% – 19.24% applies.

Annual fee: $0

The Ink Business Unlimited is a business equivalent of the incredibly popular and recently upgraded Chase Freedom Unlimited, although with a much larger sign-up bonus, it’s sure to appeal to a wider audience. Other than that enlarged bonus and the fact that this is a business card and not a personal one, it has many of the features that make the Freedom Unlimited such a fan favorite. These include unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, no annual fee, and the ability to convert your points into transferable Ultimate Rewards earning points if you hold the right combination of Chase cards. Based on TPG’s valuation of Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, you’re really looking at an impressive return of 3% if you include the Ink Unlimited as part of a broader Chase strategy.

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening.

Earning rates: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Additional perks: Same as above.

Annual fee: $0

The Spark Cash Select is a great option. For no annual fee, you’re still getting a solid 1.5% return on your spending, and avoiding foreign transaction fees on a card that doesn’t cost anything is pretty fantastic. It’s also great that this card comes with  Visa Signature benefits. 

The information for the Capital One Spark Cash Select card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Sign-up bonus: Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of account opening.

Earning rates: 3% cash back on purchases in one category of your choice, chosen from gas stations, office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom and wireless, computer services or business consulting services; 2% cash back on dining (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Additional perks: Get a 75% rewards bonus on every purchase when you’re a Business Advantage Relationship Rewards Platinum Honors tier clients; deposit cash rewards directly into a Bank of America checking or savings account.

Annual fee: $0

If you spend $50,000 in one of the 3% categories and are a Business Advantage Relationship Rewards Platinum Honors tier members, you’ll definitely want to crunch the numbers to see if this card works for you. For example, if you spend $50,000 per year at office supply stores, you’d earn $1,500 of cash back — or $2,625 if you’re eligible for the relationship bonus.

The other nice perk of this card is that the cash-back rewards can be deposited directly into a Bank of America checking or savings account, so if your small business is already set up with B of A, this seamless integration of accounts could help sell you on this card. Once again, though, be aware that this card will incur a 3% fee if used outside the country.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Earning rates: 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in purchases made each calendar year, then 1% back.

Additional perks: No annual fee for employee cards (see rates and fees); ability to buy above your credit limit; 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening (see rates and fees), then a variable rate, 13.24% – 19.24% (see rates and fees), based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

The final card is another great no-annual-fee, cash-back small business credit card: Amex’s Blue Business Cash card, modeled on the incredibly popular Membership Rewards-earning Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. The simplicity of earning a fixed 2x points back on your first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year (then 1x) without any bonus categories to worry about means you can spend more of your mental energy focusing on your business instead of your wallet. High-spending businesses who can max out the 2% cash back will walk away with an extra $1,000 each year, all from a card with no annual fee. The only downside is that the card comes with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees).

U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®

Sign-up bonus: Earn $500 cash back after spending $4,500 on purchases in the first 150 days of opening your account. 

Earning rates: 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers and restaurants and 1% on all other eligible purchases.

Additional perks: $100 annual statement credit for recurring software expenses, World Elite Mastercard benefits (including cell phone protection), no annual fee for employee cards, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, then a variable APR ranging from 13.99% – 22.99%. 

Annual fee: $0

The final card on this list is the new U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards card, offering a 3% rewards rate on four common purchase categories. Although there’s no annual fee on this business card, it still fields a decent number of benefits. For example, you’ll receive an annual $100 statement credit for software subscriptions — a considerable discount on accounting or payroll needs you’ll likely have as a business owner. Finally, all the rewards you earn never expire and can be redeemed for valuable cash back in your pocket — helping you reduce your overall business expenses. However, this isn’t a card you want to take with you abroad, as it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. 

Read our full review here.

Research methodology

We chose the best business cash back credit cards by looking at this set of criteria for each credit card:

  • Rewards structure: When it comes to cash back cards, the rewards rate is the biggest long-term draw to any particular card. We looked at which bonus categories were offered and the multipliers on each to see which cards offered the best return for business cardholders.
  • Sign-up bonus: First-year value can be a big push for someone to decide to apply for a credit card. We compared each card’s bonus in terms of how large the payout and how easy it is to earn.
  • Annual fee: Most of the time, cash back cards don’t offer annual statement credits and other perks that help offset a larger annual fee. This means that in order for a card to be valuable, it has to strike a balance between solid earning rates and a manageable annual fee.
  • Business tools: Small businesses have a different set of credit card needs compared to personal credit cardholders. We also looked at what business tools — such as integration with accounting software — each card has to offer.

Why get a business cash back card?

Cash back is much simpler for a busy entrepreneur. You don’t need to worry about saving points for a dream vacation or spend time poring over award charts to find the best redemption. You can simply take the earnings from the card and plow them right back into growing your business.

You don’t need to have a formal business to get approved for the cards on this list. Many issuers allow individuals to apply for small business credit cards as a sole proprietor by simply using their Social Security number on the application. The good news is you become a sole proprietor simply by doing business, so in most cases, you won’t need to file any paperwork in order to become eligible to apply for these cards. This means that side hustles such as tutoring, consulting, driving for Uber or occasionally selling things on eBay or Etsy could help you get a card.

Bottom line

As you can see, there are a variety of cash-back credit cards geared toward small businesses that allow you to earn some solid rewards when you use them regularly. It’s also great that several of the cards listed above include an introductory 0% APR for at least twelve months, which can be huge for a business just starting out with large expenses and little revenue (though be sure to pay everything off before interest is tacked on or you’ll be violating the most important of the 10 commandments for travel rewards credit cards).

If your business is just getting off the ground, hopefully this post has highlighted how cash-back credit cards can play an important role in your success.

For additional reading, check out our picks for the best credit cards.

For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Cash card, click here.

Featured photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Madison Blancaflor.

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