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What’s the best business credit card for dining purchases?

July 28, 2022
9 min read
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We spend a lot of time talking about the best credit card for various earning categories. We have entire articles dedicated to the best credit cards for gas, supermarkets, cruises and more. We also have a guide to the best credit cards for dining. Those articles all have one thing in common: they focus on consumer (personal) credit cards.

What about business credit cards? Are there any cards for small-business owners that earn extra rewards at restaurants for client meetings or on takeout and delivery services when you're catering lunch for the office?

Today, let's look at the best business credit cards for dining purchases by comparing their rewards-earning capabilities.

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The best business credit cards for dining

(Photo by Christine Wehrmeier/Getty Images)

Before we look at any cards in depth, here's an overview of the cards we considered. The value of the rewards and rate of return are based on TPG's monthly points valuations.

Credit cardAnnual feeEarning rate on diningValue of the rewardsRate of return
American Express® Business Gold Card$295 (see rates and fees).4 points per dollar in your top two spending categories each billing cycle (on up to $150,000 per year).2 cents apiece.8%.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express$0 (see rates and fees).2 points per dollar (on the first $50,000 in purchases on the card each year).2 cents apiece.4%.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business$0 introductory annual fee, then $95.2 miles per dollar.1.85 cents apiece.3.7%.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card$95 (see rates and fees).6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants.0.6 cents apiece.3.6%.
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card$125 (see rates and fees).4 points per dollar.0.84 cents apiece.3.36%.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi$0.3% back.1 cent apiece.3%.
U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® (see rates and fees)$0.3% back.1 cent apiece.3%.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card$0 introductory annual fee, then $99 (see rates and fees).2 miles per dollar at U.S. restaurants.1.41 cents apiece.2.82%.
JetBlue Business Card$99.2 points per dollar.1.3 cents apiece.2.6%.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card$0.2% back (or 2 points per dollar) on the first $25,000 spent each year at gas stations and restaurants.1 cent apiece (or 2 cents).2% (or 4%).
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card$0.2% back (on the first $50,000 of combined purchases in 3% back and 2% back categories each year, then 1%). This could go up to 3.5% — more on that below.1 cent apiece.2%.
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card$0 (see rates and fees).2% back (on the first $50,000 in combined spending per year, then 1%).1 cent apiece.2%.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express$695 (see rates and fees).1 point per dollar.2 cents apiece.2%.

*The information for the JetBlue business 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.

Analyzing your card options

If you’re trying to maximize your dining purchases — and confining that spending to just one sole business credit card to keep things simple — American Express holds the top two slots.

The American Express® Business Gold Card earns valuable Membership Rewards points. Cardholders earn 4 points per dollar in their top two spending categories each billing cycle (on up to $150,000 in bonus category spending per year, then 1 point per dollar). Dining and restaurants fall under an available category, meaning you could earn 600,000 points by maximizing this category each year if you have significant restaurant spending for things like client dinners or group events.

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If you're looking for a card with no annual fee, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express earns 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on all purchases (for the first $50,000 in spending each year, then 1 point per dollar). Maximizing this earning rate would yield 100,000 points per year.

The simplicity of this card means you don't need to keep track of spending categories; it's just as great for your dining purchases as it is for shipping, advertising and other business expenses.

Related: The power of the Amex trifecta: Platinum, Gold and Blue Business Plus

Outside of American Express, Capital One miles are gaining value and versatility recently. The Spark Miles for Business card has a 3.7% rate of return and provides access to quality transfer partners. It, too, offers simplicity, as you'll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases (including dining).

While the rate of return on cards that earn Hilton and Marriott points is interesting, consider whether you are willing to earn points that can only be redeemed in one program — rather than earning transferrable points or cash back, since these allow you to decide how you'll use your rewards.

Three other cards merit individual attention.

  • Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi: The card has a quality earning rate in several categories, including the 3% back on all dining purchases. While it has no annual fee, it does require a Costco membership.
  • U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard: The U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash card awards 3% back on dining (along with other categories), but it has no annual fee and (unlike the Costco card) requires no paid membership to use.
  • Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Listed as a card that earns 2% cash back on dining, you can turn your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points (and thus increase the value of your earnings) if you have a premium card that earns these points — even if it's a personal credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This provides extra earning opportunities with Ultimate Rewards from Chase.

Finally, it's worth mentioning the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card. The card earns 2% back on dining purchases (limited to the first $50,000 in combined spending across 2% and 3% categories). While this isn't impressive compared to other cards on our list, it gains significant value if you're a member of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. Those at the Platinum Honors level get a 75% boost to their credit card earning rates, meaning the Business Customized Cash card could earn up to 3.5% back at restaurants.

Related: 10 considerations for your small business credit card strategy

These earning figures also don't take into account the welcome offers available on these cards. Sign-up bonuses continue to be the best way to earn a large stash of points and miles quickly. Some credit cards even have welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more right now.

Factor these offers into the equation when deciding which business credit card you'd like to use for dining purchases.

Bottom line

Choosing the best business credit card for dining expenses will vary based on a few factors. Do you spend enough in this category to need unlimited earning potential? Is there a card that earns your preferred points at a high rate, or will you need to branch out to another type of points earning? Are you willing to pay an annual fee to unlock higher earning rates from a card on this list, or do you only want a card without an annual fee?

Beyond these considerations, think about what else these cards offer. Do you need a card that offers travel protections, cellphone insurance, lounge access or elite status? Earning a few less points on each meal might be acceptable if the card offers numerous perks and benefits that you need.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Business card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Gold Business card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Cash card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum card, click here.

Featured image by 10'000 HOURS/GETTY 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.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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