The best no-annual-fee business credit cards
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information.
If you’re looking for a rewards card specifically for your business spending, you have plenty of great options. From The Business Platinum Card® from American Express with its points rebate for airfare to the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card with its 3x categories, there’s no shortage of cards that help you maximize your purchases.
But what if you’re looking for a rewarding business card minus the annual fee? This limits your choices a bit, though happily there are still some solid picks.
Related reading: Best business credit cards of 2021
Sign-up bonus: $750 cash back after you spend $7,500 in the first three months of account opening. You’ll get a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months, after which it will be a variable rate of 13.24% to 19.24%. This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Why it’s worth it: This Chase business card is unique in that it allows you to redeem rewards as cash back (with each point earned equal to 1 cent) or, if you have an Ultimate Rewards-earning card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Business Preferred, you can choose to convert your cash-back points to UR points that are fully transferable to Chase’s 10 airline and three hotel partners.
That flexibility, coupled with the Ink Business Cash’s bonus categories, can lead to a healthy return on spending. You’ll get 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services, plus 2% back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each calendar year. (And you’ll earn an uncapped 1% cash back on everything else.)
Read our review of the Ink Business Cash card.
Sign-up bonus: $750 back after you spend $7,500 in the first three months of account opening, identical to the offer on the Ink Business Cash. With both cards, you can boost the value of the bonus by transferring the cash back to Ultimate Rewards points, which would net you 75,000 points.
Why it’s worth it: This is essentially the business version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited (minus the new bonus categories added to the Freedom Unlimited). It earns you 1.5% back on purchases, uncapped. The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card offers higher purchase protection limits than the Freedom Unlimited, along with primary, as opposed to secondary, car rental insurance. The 1.5% cash back you earn on all spending can be boosted if you own a card that earns Ultimate Rewards, since that means you could transfer your cash back to redeem it as points, effectively getting you a 3% return on spending based on TPG’s valuations.
Read our review of the Ink Business Unlimited card.
Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Why it’s worth it: This card offers a flat 2x Membership Rewards points on all purchases for the first $50,000 you spend each calendar year (1x point thereafter). Since TPG values MR points at 2 cents apiece, you’re looking at a 4% return on spending up to that $50,000-a-year cap. The card has no annual fee (see rates and fees).
Read our review of the Blue Business Plus card.
Sign-up bonus: $200 cash back after you spend $3,000 within the first three months from account opening. New cardholders get 0% intro APR for nine months on purchases, after which it jumps to a variable rate of 13.99% to 23.99%.
Unlike many of the other cards on this list, the Spark Cash Select doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, making it a wise choice if you’ll be traveling abroad. You’ll earn 1.5% back on everything along the way. Of course, if you’d rather earn miles, you can apply for the travel version of this card, the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business.
The information for the Capital One Spark Cash Select and Capital One Spark Miles 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.
Read our review of the Spark Cash Select card.
Welcome bonus: Currently you can earn 30,000 points with this card when you use it to make $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Why it’s worth it: This card earns you 3x points on travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center, and 1.5x points on all other purchases. When it comes time to redeem, you can use points toward statement credits for travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point or for cash back or gift cards.
You can avoid paying an annual fee for a business credit card while also racking up some lucrative rewards. You might not get the highest earning rates — and most of these cards are light on supplementary perks — but you have options if your goal is to recoup some cash or to earn redeemable points toward free travel.
Featured image courtesy of @criene via Twenty20.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, click here.
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