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Best no-annual-fee business credit cards

March 03, 2022
9 min read
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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 a variety 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 purchases for your business.

And earning rewards on your expenses is a must for any growing company, making business cards essential. But what if you’re a startup or up-and-comer looking for a rewarding business card minus the annual fee? This limits your choices a bit, though happily there are still some solid picks.

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Related reading: Best business credit cards of 2022

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

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 15.49% to 21.49%.

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), but if you have an Ultimate Rewards-earning card — such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card — you can choose to convert your cash-back points to Ultimate Rewards points that are fully transferable to Chase’s airline and 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 account anniversary year. (And you’ll earn an uncapped 1% cash back on everything else.) Although this card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, its ample rewards and no annual fee make up for it.

Read our review of the Ink Business Cash card for more details.


Official application link: Ink Business Cash


Ink Business Unlimited Credit 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. Like other Chase business cards, it features a 12-month 0% intro APR offer on purchases, which goes to a variable rate of 15.49% - 21.49% afterwards.

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 for more details.


Official application link: Ink business Unlimited


The Blue Business® Plus Credit card From American Express

Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening, worth $300 according to TPG’s valuations. There’s also a 0% intro APR offer on purchases for 12 months, then a variable rate of 16.24% to 24.24% (see rates and fees).

Why it’s worth it: This card offers a flat 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases for the first $50,000 you spend each calendar year (1 point per dollar thereafter). Since TPG values Amex points at 2 cents apiece, you’re looking at a 4% return on spending up to that $50,000-a-year cap. There's no additional fee to add cards for employees (see rates and fees).

Read our review of the Blue Business Plus card for more details.


Official application link: Blue Business Plus


American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after spending at least $3,000 on your card within the first three months. Get an intro 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then a variable rate of 16.24% to 24.24% (see rates and fees).

Why it’s worth it: Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases for your first $50,000 spent each year, then 1%. Access Expanded Buying Power for instances where your business has to spend beyond your credit limit. Add additional employee cards for no cost (see rates and fees).

Read our review of the Blue Business Cash card for more details.


Official application link: Blue Business Cash


Capital One® Spark® Cash Select For Business

Sign-up bonus: Earn $500 cash back after you spend $4,500 within the first three months from account opening.

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 an unlimited 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 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 for more details.

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months from opening an account. That’s roughly a $370 value according to TPG’s valuations. There’s also a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 9 months, 13.99% to 23.99% variable thereafter.

Why it’s worth it: Earn 5x miles on hotel and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel, plus 1.5x miles on every other purchase. Take advantage of Capital One’s transfer partners to get the most out of your spark miles. Access travel perks like no foreign transaction fees, rental collision coverage and roadside assistance. Earn transferable miles for no annual fee and add employee cards for no extra cost.

The information for the 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 Miles Select card for more details.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit 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 — worth $300 toward travel, and [SEE TERMS] Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles. After the intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that's currently [SEE TERMS] will apply.

Why it’s worth it: This card earns you 3 points per dollar spent on travel booked through the Bank of America Travel Center, and 1.5x points on all other purchases. Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can take advantage of sizable bonuses and earn as much as 75% more per purchase with this no annual fee card. 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 AAdvantage Travel Rewards card for more details.

Related: The best Bank of America credit cards of 2021


Official application link: Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards card


Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Welcome bonus: Earn a $300 online statement credit after making at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Why it’s worth it: Get 3% cash back from one of the following: gas stations, office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom, computer services or business consulting services. Also earn 2% back on dining and 1% back on all other purchases. Your heightened cash back rates are capped at $50,000 in combined purchases per year, then earn 1%. Couple your custom category with the earning power of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards to maximize your rewards.

Read our review of the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card for more details.


Official application link: Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash 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.

Additional reporting by Joey Robinson.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Cash Card, click here.

The Bank of America content was last updated 07/6/2022.

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