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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
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.
This business card from Chase 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, 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 13 travel 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.)
Welcome bonus: $500 cash back after you spend $3,000 on the Ink Business Cash in the first three months. You’ll get a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months, after which it will be a variable rate of 15.24% – 21.24% . This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
This is essentially the business flavor of the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It earns you 1.5% back on all purchases, uncapped. The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card offers higher purchase protection limits than the Freedom Unlimited, as well as 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.
Welcome bonus: $500 back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, 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 50,000 points (~$1,050 in value).
This card replaces the Blue for Business Credit Card and offers 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 1.9 cents apiece, you’re looking at a 3.8% return on spending up to that $50,000-a-year cap. The card has no annual fee (see rates & fees).
Welcome bonus: None
4. SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
This cash-back card doesn’t offer the same flexibility on the redemption side as the Ink Business Cash, but if you’re simply looking to put some bucks back in your wallet, it could be a good choice for you. You’ll earn 5% back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers and US office supply stores, plus 3% back on a category of your choice from a list of eight (options include airfare, US restaurants, US purchases for shipping and car rentals and more). The 5% and 3% bonuses are capped at $50,000 per calendar year, and you’ll earn 1% on everything else.
You get 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first fifteen months, after which it’s a variable rate of 14.49% to 21.49% (See Rates & Fees). There’s a 2.7% fee on foreign transactions (See Rates & Fees).
Welcome bonus: None
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.
Welcome 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 15.24% to 23.24%.
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.
Welcome bonus: Currently you can earn 25,000 points with this card when you use it to spend $1,000 in the first 60 days.
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 SimplyCash Plus, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, click here.
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page with the best currently available no-fee business credit cards, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for updates. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older offers below.
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