Best business credit cards of 2020

Mar 17, 2020

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If you’ve got a business — new or old, big or small — you should consider getting a small business credit card. Small businesses need access to credit, and these specialized business rewards credit cards can be a great way to fund purchases, manage spending and help save money and/or earn rewards over time. This guide will review the best business credit cards, broken down by categories, and explain how to maximize the benefits of each card.

Remember, small business credit cards aren’t just reserved for large businesses with multiple employees and traditional brick and mortar storefronts. You can qualify for a business credit card as a sole proprietor, which means your freelance or independent contractor gig (i.e. Uber, Lyft) could make you eligible. And, as a sole proprietor, you may be able to use your Social Security number as your business tax ID and your name as your official business name on your application. If you need help applying, we have guides on completing business card applications for Chase, Amex and Capital One.

Related reading: Who might be eligible for a small business credit card

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The best small business credit cards of 2020

In This Post

Here’s how these small business credit cards stack up against each other in total value. Note that for bonuses that have two spending tiers, we’re factoring in the rewards you’d earn for meeting all of the tiers.

Comparing business credit card offers

Credit card Best For Bonus value** Annual fee Total value (including perks)
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Travel Insurance $2,000 $95 $1,905
Capital One Spark Cash for Business Business cash back $500 $95* $500
United Business Card United Airlines flyers $1,300 $99 $1,205
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card Occasional Delta flyers $840 $99, waived the first year (see rates & fees) $840
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Frequent Delta flyers $1,200 $250 (see rates & fees) $950
Capital One Spark Miles for Business Everyday business spending $700 $95* $700
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Travel perks $1,500 $595
(see rates & fees)
$1,730
Brex Corporate Card for Startups Corporate card $1,275 $0 $1,275
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard American Airlines flyers $910 $99* $910
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card Regular Southwest Flyers $900 $99 $891
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card Southwest road warriors $1,500 $199 $1,601
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card Hilton business travelers $750 $95
(see rates & fees)
$730
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Marriott business travelers $600 $125
(see rates & fees)
$475
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card Frequent Alaska Airlines flyers $740 $75 $765

*Annual fee waived the first year.
**Bonus value is an estimate based on TPG’s monthly valuations and not the card issuer.

Here’s a detailed rundown of the best business credit cards, with each card’s standout benefits and why it could be worth it for your small business. Note that the bonus valuations listed below are based on TPG’s latest valuations and are not provided by the card issuers.

The best business credit cards

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best for Travel insurance

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Why we like it: If you spend a lot on business travel or social media advertising, you’ll be able to keep earning significant points with the Ink Business Preferred card after the sign-up bonus, thanks to its 3x bonus for the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, telecommunications and online advertising purchases made each year. Since TPG’s most recent point valuations peg the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, you’ll get a fantastic return of 6% on purchases in these categories. If you spend the full $150,000, you’ll take home 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which TPG values at $9,000. (Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.)

You also get great value out of Chase Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them to ten airline and three hotel loyalty programs, which can get you outsized value when you redeem points for award flights with carriers like United or for award stays at Hyatt properties. Plus the card gives you 25% more value for the points you earn when you redeem them for travel at a fixed-value in the Ultimate Rewards portal, a perk also available on other Chase credit cards.

For more details, check our Chase Ink Preferred Card review.

Current bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. (valued by TPG at $2,000).

Benefits and rewards: 

  • 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per year in combined purchases for:
    • Travel (including airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis)
    • Shipping purchases
    • Internet, cable and phone services
    • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else
  • Cell phone insurance
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: $95

APPLY HERE: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Best for business cash back

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Why we like it: The value in the simplicity of cash back business cards can’t be overstated. While transferable points can be more valuable, it can be incredibly time consuming to extract that extra value. Also, when it comes to travel credit cards, the rewards can often only be used for travel. Sometimes your business might need that extra cash for other expenses.

What makes this card even better is it earns an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. You don’t need to juggle multiple cards as you try to maximize specific bonus categories. Simply swipe the Spark Cash and enjoy a straightforward return on every purchase.

Current bonus: The Capital One Spark Cash card earns a $500 bonus after spending $4,500 in the first three months from account opening.

Benefits and rewards:

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

APPLY HERE: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Best for everyday business spending

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Why we like it: Capital One miles transfer to 17 airline and hotel partners, including Avianca, Flying Blue and Air Canada. And because this card earns at least 2x miles on every purchase, it’s a great option for business owners that want to maximize their everyday purchases. TPG values Capital One miles at 1.4 cents each, so you’re getting a return of at least 2.8% regardless of what category your business expenses fall into. You also have the option to use your miles to cover travel expenses at a fixed value of 1 cent apiece, so you’re guaranteed to get an effective return of at least 2% on every purchase you make for your company.

This is also one of the few cards without a massive annual fee with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and that annual fee is even waived for the first year. Plus, if you spend a lot on hotels or rental cars, you can earn 5x miles when you book through Capital One Travel.

Current bonus: The Capital One Spark Miles card has an intro offer of 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first three months from account opening.

Benefits and rewards:

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

APPLY HERE: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for Travel perks

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Why we like it: If you’re after travel perks, the Amex Business Platinum card is for you. Cardholders will enjoy automatic Gold status in both the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs along with numerous other benefits — including Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass lounge access, Delta Sky Club access (when flying Delta), up to $200 in annual airline fee credits and a 35% points rebate for flights booked through Amex Travel in first or business class on any airline, or economy on the airline of your choice each year. With the 35% rebate, I can book my favorite premium domestic seat — JetBlue Mint — for fewer than 39,000 points one way. Plus, the Business Platinum features a 5x bonus category for airfare and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel, along with a 1.5x earning rate for eligible purchases over $5,000.

For more details, check our American Express Business Platinum Card review.

Current bonus: Earn 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (valued by TPG at $1,500).

Benefits and rewards:

  • 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 1.5x points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to one million extra points per year)
  • 1x point per dollar on everything else
  • Access to Centurion and Priority Pass lounges, plus Delta Sky Clubs when you’re flying Delta (valued by TPG at $325 annually)
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Redeem points directly for first or business class, or for any seat on the airline of your choice, and get a 35% points rebate.
  • Up to $100 in Dell statement credits between January and June and up to $100 in Dell statement credits between July and December for U.S. purchases made on the card when enrolled.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application rebate (up to $100)
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Terms apply

Annual fee: $595 (see rates and fees)

APPLY HERE: American Express Business Platinum Card

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard: Best for American Airlines flyers

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Why we like it: The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select card comes with some solid bonus categories for an airline credit card, and miles earned on this card can be redeemed not only on American Airlines but on the carrier’s Oneworld alliance partners. You’ll get a free checked bag for you and up to four companions when you have this card, even if you don’t charge the airfare to it. Plus, you can give employees free cards, giving you a great way to rack up miles for some big redemptions. The card also comes with the business version of Citi Concierge, which offers 24/7 help with travel, hotel and dining arrangements. Best of all, the annual fee is waived for the first 12 months you have the card.

For more details, read our CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Credit Card review.

Current bonus: Earn 65,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 within the first four months of account opening (valued by TPG at $910).

Benefits and rewards:

  • 2x AAdvantage miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 2x miles per dollar on telecommunications companies, cable and satellite providers, car rentals and gas stations
  • 1 mile per dollar on everything else
  • Free checked bag and priority boarding for you and up to four traveling companions.
  • Earn a companion certificate for domestic economy travel after spending $30,000 or more each membership year and after the card is renewed (account must remain open at least 45 days after anniversary date).
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Annual fee: $99 (fee waived for the first 12 months)

APPLY HERE: CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Best for Hilton business travelers

Why we like it: The Hilton Gold elite status that comes with the Amex Hilton Honors business credit card gets you a number of perks, including a 25% point bonus on qualifying spending, a fifth night free on standard room award stays of five nights or more, room upgrades and free breakfast at most properties. Hilton’s portfolio of brands includes nearly 6,000 properties in 117 countries and territories around the world, giving you plenty of opportunities to earn and redeem points.

For more details, read our Hilton Honors American Express Business Card review.

Current bonus: Earn 125,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months (valued by TPG at $750).

Benefits and Rewards:

  • 12x Hilton Honors points per dollar for eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in Hilton’s portfolio
  • 6x points per dollar at eligible U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchases directly from U.S. service providers, U.S. shipping, U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel and car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 3x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
  • 10 passes per year for Priority Pass Select lounges without restaurant access (valued by TPG at $75)
  • Free employee credit cards (see rates and fees) and expense management tools help you track and organize expenses
  • Travel protections including baggage insurance plan, travel accident insurance, roadside assistance and car rental loss and damage insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Terms apply

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

APPLY HERE: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: Best for Marriott business travelers

 

Why we like it: If you stay at Marriott properties on a regular basis, this is a great time to get the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and score its current welcome bonus of 75,000 Marriott points. Those bonus points alone can be enough for a five-night stay at a Category 3 property — or even longer at lower-category locations. Plus the card comes with baggage insurance plan, travel accident insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance and roadside assistance, which are always welcome for business travelers. Just note the card’s application restrictions, which prevent you from earning the welcome bonus if you have or have had a Marriott business card in the last 30 days, or if you’ve received a personal Marriott credit card welcome bonus in the last 24 months.

For more details, read our Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Credit Card review.

Current bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Benefits and rewards:

  • 6x Marriott Rewards points per dollar at participating Marriott properties
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 2x points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status
  • Earn Marriott Gold elite status if you spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Get 15 elite credits toward the next level of status
  • Receive a free award night good for stays costing up to 35,000 points every year after your account anniversary
  • Earn an additional 35,000-point free night award after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Terms apply

Annual fee: $125 (see rates and fees)

APPLY HERE: Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

United Business Card: Best for United Airlines flyers

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Why we like it: This is a brand-new card with a big 100,000-mile bonus after $10,000 in spending the first three months (offer ends 4/2/2020). While $10,000 is certainly higher than your typical sign-up bonus spending threshold, keep in mind that this card is for small business owners. For many businesses, this bonus will not be hard to hit.

Even though United has removed its fixed award chart for flights, you can still find excellent value through the airline’s Star Alliance partnerships, including redemptions like Lufthansa First Class for around 113,500 miles one-way with minimal taxes, fees and carrier surcharges.

If you or your employees fly regularly on United, the card also comes with a first free checked bag for you and one companion on the same reservation, priority boarding, two United Club one-time passes each year and — most importantly — expanded award availability for United-operated flights.

For more details, check out our United Business Card review.

Current bonus: New cardholders will earn 100,000 bonus miles on the United Business Card after they spend $10,000 within the first three months of account opening (offer ends 4/2/2020).

Benefits and rewards:

  • Earn 2x miles on United purchases, gas stations, office supply stores, restaurants and local transit and commuting
  • First checked bag free for you and one companion traveling on your same reservation
  • 2 United Club one-time passes after account opening and on each anniversary year
  • Priority boarding
  • $100 annual United travel credit after seven United flight purchases over $100
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases — includes Wi-Fi, beverages and food
  • 5,000 anniversary bonus miles each year when you have both the United Business Card and a personal United cobranded card
  • Expanded award availability
  • Employee cards at no extra cost
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: $99

APPLY HERE: United Business Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: Best for Occasional Delta flyers

Why we like it: If you fly Delta for business travel even twice a year, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card will easily pay for itself in the money you’ll save on checked bag fees from having it. Along with a free checked bag for you and up to eight companions on your reservations, you’ll also get priority boarding on Delta flights and 20% off inflight purchases. The cherry on top is that the card has no annual fee for the first year (see rates and fees), so you can try it out at no cost for a full 12 months.

For more details, read our Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Credit Card review.

Current bonus: Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. You can earn 60,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months, plus earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary.

Benefits and rewards:

  • 2x Delta SkyMiles on Delta purchases, at restaurants, U.S. purchases on advertising in select media and U.S. shipping purchases
  • One mile per dollar on other eligible purchases
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding
  • Free checked bag for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation
  • 20% off inflight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 or more on the card in a calendar year
  • Terms apply

Annual fee: $99 (waived the first year, see rates and fees)

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: Best for Regular Southwest Flyers

Why we like it: If you fly on Southwest at least once a month but don’t need all the extensive perks of the Southwest Performance card, this lower-cost option might be a perfect fit. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card currently comes with a 60,000-point sign-up bonus, and since Southwest doesn’t have blackout dates or seat restrictions, you’ll have no trouble redeeming those points anytime you want. Plus the 6,000 bonus points every year on your anniversary are worth $90 based on TPG’s latest valuations, which practically offsets the cost of the annual fee.

Current bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months (valued by TPG at $900).

Benefits and rewards:

  • 2x Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar on Southwest and its Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
  • 1x point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points after every cardmember anniversary
  • Lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay insurance
  • Get free employee cards and earn points on their spending
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Annual fee: $99

APPLY HERE: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card: Best for Southwest road warriors

(Photo by Eric Helgas / The Points Guy)

Why we like it: The Southwest Performance Business credit card is a perfect fit for Southwest fans. It comes with plenty of perks that will make business trips on the airline more comfortable than ever, especially for those who don’t have A-List or A-List Preferred status. You’ll get four priority boarding positions each year, which normally cost between $30-$50 each, so that perk alone can make up for the annual fee. And the 365 annual Wi-Fi credits that come with the card mean you can have free internet service on Southwest every single day of the year if you need it.

But the cherry on top is the current sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 bonus points. You’ll earn 70,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months plus an additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. Not only are those 100,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points worth $1,500 based on TPG’s valuations, they also count toward earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, possibly the greatest perk across any U.S. airline. If you earn the full sign-up bonus and include the base earning by spending $25,000, you’ll have at least 125,000 qualifying points and earn the Companion Pass outright with this card.

For more details, read our Southwest Performance Business credit card review.

Current bonus: Up to 100,000 bonus points: Earn 70,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. Plus, an additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 on purchases in the first six months (valued by TPG at $1,500).

Benefits and rewards:

  • 3x Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent with Southwest and its hotel and car partners
  • 2x points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
  • 1x point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Four A1-A15 boarding passes per year when available so you can grab a seat up front (valued by TPG at $120 annually)
  • Up to 365 $8 Inflight Wi-Fi credits per year, valued at TPG at $80 for an average of 10 flights annually ($8 covers an all-day pass)
  • Up to $100 to cover enrollment fees for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • 9,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points after every cardmember anniversary
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: $199

APPLY HERE: Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Best for Frequent Delta flyers

Why we like it: Along with all the features of the Gold Delta Business Amex, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card helps you keep your Delta Medallion elite status — with its Status Boost feature, you can earn 10,000  Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year and earn another 10,000 MQMs if you spend $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. If you want to go for Silver, Gold or Platinum status, you can get Delta’s Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) requirement waived by spending $25,000 on the card during a calendar year (though if you want to go for Diamond Medallion status, you’ll have to spend $250,000 on the card to get the MQD waiver for it). The card comes with a baggage insurance plan and car rental loss and damage insurance.

For more details, read our Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Amex Card review.

Current bonus: Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles. You earn 80,000 miles after you make $3,000 in purchases on your card in your first three months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary.

Benefits and rewards:

  • 3x Delta SkyMiles on Delta purchases and eligible purchases made directly with hotels
  • 1.5x miles on all eligible single purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 50,000 additional miles per year)
  • One mile per dollar on other eligible purchases
  • Get a free companion certificate (plus taxes and fees) each year after your account renewal for round-trip, main cabin domestic travel
  • Free checked bag and Main Cabin 1 priority boarding for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation.
  • 20% statement credit when using the card for Delta inflight purchases (not including Wi-Fi).
  • Get a discount on Sky Club airport lounge passes for you and up to two companions, at $39 each per visit
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Terms apply

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Brex Corporate Card for Startups: Best Corporate card

Why we like it: If your company is looking for access to credit without all the headaches of credit checks or security deposits, the Brex Corporate card for Startups could be the perfect card for you. This independent underwriter uses your company’s cash and equity to determine its credit limit, meaning there are no hard pulls on your personal credit report and no personal liability for the credit line. The card is a World Elite Mastercard, so your business will get additional benefits like price protection and extended warranty, along with discounts on Lyft, Boxed and Lufthansa purchases (among others). It has no foreign transaction fees for purchases outside the U.S. Brex Exclusive Rewards is a highly competitive rewards program, and now Brex points can be transferred at a 1-to-1 ratio to JetBlue TrueBlue along with other lucrative airline programs such as Singapore KrisFlyer, Avianca LifeMiles and Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

For more details, read our Brex Corporate Card for Startups review.

Current bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases (valued by TPG at $1,275) and waived card fees for life. Offer ends 3/31/2020.

Benefits and rewards:

  • If your company uses the Brex card exclusively, it will earn:
    • 7x on rideshares and taxis
    • 4x on travel booked through the Brex travel portal
    • 3x on restaurants
    • 2x on recurring software/SAAS
    • 1x on all other spend
  • Credit limits 10-20x higher than traditional small business corporate cards
  • Simplify reconciliation with built-in integrations with Quickbooks, Xero and more.
  • 15% discount off of the list price for any new WeWork desk or office space for up to six months across all US locations
  • Additional partner offers from Google Ads, Zoom and many others
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: TPG readers who sign-up via the exclusive TPG link will receive waived card fees for life from Brex

APPLY HERE: Brex Corporate Card for Startups

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card: Best for frequent Alaska Airlines flyers

Why we like it: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles can be exceptionally valuable thanks to the program’s slew of valuable partners. Not only that but, Alaska also allows free stopovers (in hub cities) on international award flights. This opens up all sorts of sweet spots with Alaska miles. You could fly from the U.S. to Fiji in Fiji Airways business class for 55,000 miles, or you could stopover in Fiji on your way to Australia or New Zealand for the exact same price. We even saw a discount on Fiji awards in early 2020 that runs through Feb. 29, making this award even more valuable.

With the Alaska Airlines business card, you also get an annual companion fare every year you renew the card. The companion fare is valid for any Alaska Airlines coach flight and it only costs $99 plus taxes and fees (from $22). I conservatively peg the value of this fare at $100, but it would be hard to save any less than that. You and the companion will also earn Alaska miles on the flight, and if you have Alaska Airlines elite status, you and your companion are both eligible for upgrades.

Current bonus: Earn 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles and a companion fare after make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening .

Benefits and rewards:

  • 3x Alaska milesfor every dollar spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases
  • One mile per dollar on all other purchases
  • Free checked bag for the cardholder and up to six guests on traveling on the same reservation
  • 20% back on inflight purchases (food, beverage and Wi-Fi)
  • 50% off Alaska Airlines lounge day passes
  • Companion fare every year after account renewal
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual fee: $75

APPLY HERE: Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card

Research Methodology

There are a lot of credit cards geared toward small businesses, so narrowing down the list to the best ones can be challenging. Here are the main items we used to arrive at the cards above:

Bonus value: As you can see, the bulk of the value comes from the welcome bonus itself — I used our latest valuations to calculate a dollar amount for each offer.

Travel credits: From there, I factored in annual travel credits, like the $200 air travel credit offered by the Business Platinum Card from American Express. As the Amex Business Platinum also offers Centurion Lounge access plus Delta Sky Club access when you’re flying Delta, I assigned a value of $250 for these perks. Additionally, if a card waives its annual fee for the first year, I didn’t subtract that from the value of the welcome bonus and other perks, since this post is focused on how much you’ll get from the card as a new applicant.

Bonus requirements: More and more business credit cards offer tiered bonuses based on how much your business spends in the first 3-6 months. In the past, I focused on the value you’d get by meeting only the lowest spending requirement, but with many business credit cards requiring higher tiers of spending nowadays and the ability of businesses to put large expenses on credit cards, I’m now including the maximum number of bonus points you can earn assuming your business meets all the spending requirements.

Why should you get a business credit card?

A business credit card can help you maximize your purchases, separate your expenses and save money on interest each year. These business credit cards offer bonus rewards on categories popular with small businesses, such as office supplies, airfare, advertising and gas. In fact, business-specific bonus categories are one of the main ways that business credit cards differ from personal credit cards. (For more information about the best personal credit cards on the market, be sure to check out our best credit cards, best rewards credit cards, and best travel credit cards pages to find the perfect partner to pair with your new business card).

But you need to do your research before applying for a small business credit card. So check out these TPG these posts for reasons to get a business credit card, and to learn how to choose the right credit card for your business expenses.

Requirements to apply for a business credit card

If you own a small business or even if you just do freelance gigs, you could be eligible for a business credit card. You don’t necessarily need a tax ID or an employer identification number (EIN) to qualify for a business credit card; if you’re a sole proprietor with a small business or side gig, you can usually just enter your Social Security number instead.

Check out our guides to business card applications for Chase, Amex and Capital One for issuer-specific strategies.

Are business credit and personal credit the same?

Business credit is similar to your personal credit in that it allows potential creditors to judge what kind of a credit risk your business poses. For established firms, a higher business credit score could mean you’ll have better access to loans and lines of credit, lower interest rates and cheaper insurance premiums. When you’re just starting out, you won’t have a business credit score, at least until you open a business credit card or secure a line of credit from a vendor that reports to the business credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet.

How do I check my business credit score?

Dun & Bradstreet offers a free service called CreditSignal, which gives you alerts when your scores or reports change, but doesn’t give you access to the full reports themselves. Here’s what the fine print on the website says:

“CreditSignal only indicates that your D&B scores and ratings have changed and alerts you when your business credit file has been purchased. To view actual scores and ratings and learn about what industries are purchasing your D&B file, we recommend that you upgrade to one of our business credit monitoring or credit building solutions.”

Can I use a business credit card instead of a business loan?

Yes, but you should take into account your specific business needs. Business credit cards are faster and allow you to use only what you need — though if you aren’t able to pay your balances in full and on time every month, you may be hit with big interest charges. If your business cycle is a few months between incurring the expenses and receiving payment from a customer, a business loan may be a more cost-effective solution.

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

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


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