The best cards for each business credit card category

Jan 12, 2022

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Business credit cards have many significant advantages. For example, business cards allow your company to make large purchases without affecting your personal credit. Business cards also offer more bonus categories to choose from than personal travel credit cards. The trick is finding the card that best matches your business spending.

In this guide, we consider the best cards for the spending categories in which businesses tend to spend the most. By using these cards, you can keep your personal and business spending separate — and maximize your earnings on business expenditures.

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In This Post

Best cards for each business credit card category

Although these are the top business card for each spending category, often multiple cards perform well in each category — and other cards may even perform better for your specific business needs. For each category, we’ll present the card that provides the highest return followed by a selection of additional cards to consider. Let’s get started.

Best cards for office supplies

Shelves with office supplies in a shop
(Photo by -lvinst-/Getty Images)

Winner — Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Earning rates: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. Plus, 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.

Current bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Other notable perks: This card earns cash-back rewards. But if you pair the card with one that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards and transfer your points to that card, you’ll unlock the ability to transfer points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners. By doing so, you can approximately double the value of your rewards according to TPG’s valuations. Additionally, this card offers solid travel and purchase protections for a card with no annual fee.

Annual fee: None.

Related reading:

Apply here: Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Top business cards for office supplies

Card Earning rate on office supplies Annual fee
Ink Business Cash Credit Card 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services, then 1% cash back. None
U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard® 3% cash back on eligible purchases at office supply stores. None
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card 3% cash back if you select office supply stores as your category of choice (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% cash back thereafter). Preferred Rewards for Business members get a 25% to 75% bonus on earnings None
United Business Card 2 miles per dollar spent at office supply stores. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Best cards for dining

(Photo by Leezel Tanglao/The Points Guy)

Winner — American Express Business Gold Card

Earning rates: This card has a unique earnings structure: You’ll earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on your top two select spending categories each billing cycle (from a list of six). One of the options is purchases at U.S. restaurants, so if this is a top spending area for your business, the Amex Business Gold might be a good fit for you. Other options include airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. shipping purchases, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media and purchases at U.S. gas stations.

You’ll earn 4 points per dollar spent on up to $150,000 in combined purchases in these categories each calendar year, after which you’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent. This flexibility is great for businesses with expenses that change from month to month, especially if that spending is primarily on travel around specific events, such as an annual industry conference.

Current bonus: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first three months of card membership.

Other notable perks: You’ll get a 25% Pay With Points bonus when you use Amex points to pay for business- or first-class airfare with any airline or any class of airfare with your Amex selected qualifying airline (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year).

Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees).

Related reading:

Apply here: American Express Business Gold Card

Top business cards for dining

Card Earning rate on dining Annual fee
American Express Business Gold Card 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants if U.S. restaurants is one of two categories from a set list where your business spend the most each billing cycle (only on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar spent). $295 (see rates and fees)
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 6 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants. $95 (see rates and fees)
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card 4 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants. $125 (see rates and fees)
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi 3% cash back at restaurants. None (with paid Costco membership)

Best cards for airfare and hotels

hotel room with bed, window and desk
(Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Winner — The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Earning rates: Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com. Based on TPG’s valuation of Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, you’ll get an effective 10% return on these purchases. Plus, earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year). Finally, earn 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

Current bonus: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first three months of card membership.

Other notable perks: You’ll get access to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta and more through Amex’s Global Lounge Collection. You’ll also get statement credits for select purchases you make with your card, including select purchases with Dell, Indeed, Adobe and wireless providers. Also, when you redeem points directly for first or business class, or any seat on the airline of your choice, you’ll get a 35% points rebate (up to 1 million points per calendar year). Note that enrollment is required for select benefits.

Annual fee: $595 ($695 if application received on or after 1/13/22) (see rates and fees).

Related reading:

Apply here: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Top business cards for airfare and prepaid hotels

Card Earning rate on airfare Earning rate on hotels Annual fee
The Business Platinum Card from American Express 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked through AmexTravel.com. 5 points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com. $595 ($695 if application received on or after 1/13/22) (see rates and fees)
American Express Business Gold Card 4 points per dollar spent on airfare purchases directly from airlines if airfare is one of two categories from a set list where your business spend the most each billing cycle (only on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar spent). 1 point per dollar spent. $295 (see rates and fees)
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 3 points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, internet, phone, cable and advertising purchases each account anniversary year. 3 points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, internet, phone, cable and advertising purchases each account anniversary year. $95
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 6 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel. 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties. $95 (see rates and fees)
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card 2 points per dollar spent. 6 points per dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. $125 (see rates and fees)

Best cards for general travel

Miami, Downtown District at dusk
Miami, Downtown District. (Photo by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images)

Winner — Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Earning rates: Earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year across the following categories: travel, shipping purchases, internet, phone and cable purchases and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.

Current bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Other notable perks: Get various protections when using your card, including cellphone protection, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, trip cancellation and interruption protection and primary auto rental collision damage waiver when renting for business purposes. Transfer your points to airline and hotel partners or redeem through the Chase travel portal for 1.25 cents per point.

Annual fee: $95.

Related reading:

Apply here: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Top business cards for general travel

Card Earning rate on travel Annual fee
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 3 points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, internet, phone, cable and advertising purchases each account anniversary year. $95
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card 3% cash back if you select travel as your category of choice (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% cash back thereafter). Preferred Rewards for Business members get a 25% to 75% bonus on earnings. None
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card 3 points per dollar spent on travel (car, hotel and airline) booked through the Bank of America Travel Center. Preferred Rewards for Business members get a 25% to 75% bonus on earnings. None
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi 3% cash back on eligible travel. None (with paid Costco membership)

Best cards for gas

Hand refilling the car with fuel, close-up, Pumping equipment gas at gas station.
(Photo by Pramote Polyamote/Getty Images)

Winner — American Express Business Gold Card

Earning rates: You’ll earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on your top two select spending categories each billing cycle (from a list of six). One of the options is purchases at U.S. gas stations, but other options include airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. shipping purchases, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media and purchases with U.S. restaurants. However, you’ll only earn 4 points per dollar spent on up to $150,000 in combined purchases in these categories each calendar year (after which you’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent).

Current bonus: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first three months of card membership.

Other notable perks: You may be eligible for secondary rental car coverage when you rent an eligible vehicle with your card and decline the rental car company’s coverage.

Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees).

Related reading:

Apply here: American Express Business Gold Card

Top business cards for gas

Card Earning rate on gas Annual fee
American Express Business Gold Card 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations if U.S. gas stations is one of two categories from a set list where your business spend the most each billing cycle (only on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar spent). $295 (see rates and fees)
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi 4% cash back on eligible gas, for up to $7,000 per year, then 1% cash back. None (with paid Costco membership)
U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard® 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas and EV charging stations. None
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card 3% cash back if you select gas stations as your category of choice (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% cash back thereafter). Preferred Rewards for Business members get a 25% to 75% bonus on earnings. None
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® 2 miles per dollar spent at gas stations. $99 (waived the first year)

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum 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.

Best cards for non-bonus spending

Woman Working on Her Laptop Computer at Home
(Photo by FreshSplash/Getty Images)

Winner — The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

Earning rates: If you want a business rewards credit card that will provide a strong return on all the purchases that don’t fit neatly into one of the other categories on the list, then the Blue Business Plus card is an excellent choice. With this card, you’ll earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases for the first $50,000 spent each calendar year, and then 1 point per dollar spent. That equals a 4% return based on TPG’s valuations.

Current bonus: Earn 15,000 points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.

Other notable perks: Employee cards are available at no cost (see rates and fees), and you’ll earn rewards from their business spend.

Annual fee: None (see rates and fees)

Related reading:

Apply here: The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

Top business cards for non-bonus spending

Card Earning rate on non-bonus categories Annual fee
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express 2 points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year; then 1 point per dollar spent. None (see rates and fees)
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card 1.5% cash back. None
Capital One Spark Miles for Business 2 miles per dollar spent. $95 (waived the first year)
Capital One Spark Cash Plus 2% cash back. $150
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business 1.5% cash back. None
The Business Platinum Card from American Express 1.5 points per dollar spent on purchases of $5,000 or more and in select business categories; 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases. $595 ($695 if application received on or after 1/13/22) (see rates and fees)

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

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Amex Business Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Blue Business Plus Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Featured photo by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.