The best no-annual-fee business credit cards

Mar 25, 2020

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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.

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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 2020

In This Post

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Welcome bonus: $500 cash back after you spend $3,000 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 14.74% – 20.74%. This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

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, 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.)

The information for the Ink Business Cash, Ink Business Preferred 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 Ink Business Cash card.

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

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 is essentially the business version 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, 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.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Unlimited 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 Ink Business Unlimited card.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit card From American Express

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

Welcome bonus: None

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 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 and fees).

Read our review of the Blue Business Plus card.

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: None

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 U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores, plus 3% back on a category of your choice from a list of eight (options include airfare, U.S. restaurants, U.S. purchases for shipping and car rentals). 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 15 months; after which it’s a variable rate of 14.49% to 21.49%. There’s a 2.7% fee on foreign transactions.

The information for the SimplyCash Plus Business card 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.

Read our review of the SimplyCash Plus Business card.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select For Business

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

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 14.49% to 22.49%.

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.

Read our review of the Spark Cash Select card.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

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

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.

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.

Read our review of the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards card.

Bottom Line

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.

This is The Points Guy’s permanent page with the best currently available no-fee business credit cards. Bookmark it and check back regularly for updates. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments below referring to older offers.

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.