Credit Card Alternatives When Your Business Runs Up Against Chase’s 5/24 Rule
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – American Express® Business Gold Card
You can start a business at any point in your life, but many people choose to wait until they’re older and more financially secure before venturing into entrepreneurship. There’s a good chance that by the time you reach this point, you’ll have long since maxed out your 5/24 slots with Chase and are precluded from getting some valuable cards like the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.
Not to worry. There are plenty of business cards from other issuers that can net you thousands of dollars in value and help your business earn the free travel it needs to keep growing. Here are a few of our favorites.
Welcome bonus: Earn up to 100,000 points; 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Annual fee: $595 (see rates and fees)
Standout perks: While there’s no getting around the sky-high annual fee, the Business Platinum gives you back a good chunk of change through annual statement credits. You’ll get up to $200 in an annual credit for airline incidental fees and up to $200 in annual statement credits for U.S. Dell technology purchases. You’ll also enjoy the most comprehensive airport lounge benefits of any card, giving you plenty of space to relax and work before you board your flight. Platinum cardholders get a Priority Pass Select membership with guesting privileges, access to Amex’s growing collection of Centurion lounges and access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta. The perks keep rolling with Marriott and Hilton Gold elite status and access to the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program. For more information about the Business Platinum card you can check out our full review here.
American Express® Business Gold Card
Welcome bonus: Earn up to $500 back in the form of statement credits by purchasing qualifying services with FedEx using your Card within the first 3 months of Card membership. Offer ends 11/06/2019.
Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees)
Standout perks: A refresher in late 2018 saw the annual fee on the Amex Business Gold climb to $295 a year, but the card now offers a high-powered set of bonus categories that automatically reward you where you spend the most. Each month Amex will calculate your top spending categories from the following list and reward you with 4x points on them:
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media
- US purchases for shipping
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases at restaurants
- US purchases made from select technology providers
Your top categories can change month to month to reflect the changing needs of your business, and you’ll earn 4x points on your first $150,000 of eligible spending each year; then 1x (and 1x everywhere else).
You will have access to the normal suite of Membership Rewards transfer partners. Business Gold cardholders will also receive a 25% rebate when they pay with points for tickets on their selected airline. You need the full amount of points in your account at the time of booking, but this rebate gives you a minimum redemption value of 1.33 cents per point.
Welcome bonus: N/A
Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)
Standout perks: Even though it isn’t offering a welcome bonus at the moment, the no-annual-fee Amex Blue For Business credit card is one of the most valuable cards for a business to hold long term. The card offers 2x Membership Rewards points on your first $50,000 of annual spending (then 1x), with no bonus categories to keep track of. These are fully transferable points, making the Blue for Business one of the only cards to earn transferable points without charging an annual fee. Note that there is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees).
Welcome bonus: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles; 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening.
Annual fee: $95 (waived first year)
Standout perks: Growing a business takes all your focus and the Spark Miles From Capital One makes it easy to rack up rewards without too much effort. The card earns 5x miles on hotels and car rentals when booked through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on all other purchases, with no annual limits to pay attention to. You can redeem miles at a fixed rate of 1 cent each to erase travel purchases made on the card, giving you the flexibility to get your employees on the exact flights they need. If you have a little more wiggle room in your travel planning you can also transfer your miles to one of 15 airline partners, with most partners transferring at a 2:1.5 rate. There are some good transfer options, including Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest and Air Canada/Aeroplan, whether you’re looking for short-haul domestic travel or international premium-cabin awards.
Welcome bonus: Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening
Annual fee: $99 (waived first year)
Standout perks: Even though American appears to be following United and Delta with the rollout of variable award pricing, 70,000 miles isn’t bad for your corporate travel. TPG values AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents each, making this bonus worth just under $1,000. You can use Oneworld partners like Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines for international travel, or use AA’s reduced mileage awards to score cheaper domestic travel. CitiBusiness AAdvantage cardholders will also enjoy a 25% savings on inflight purchases (including Wi-Fi if you need to make some last-minute changes to your presentation), priority boarding, a free checked bag and a companion certificate for domestic main cabin travel when you spend $30,000 or more each year and account must remain open at least 45 days after anniversary date.
Whether you maxed out your 5/24 slots early on in business or used them all up on personal cards, don’t despair. There are plenty of valuable business credit cards you can get approved for even after you’ve passed the 5/24 mark, offering thousands of dollars in upfront value and great long-term earning potential as well.
This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.
- Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
- Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
- Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Low $95 annual fee