7 Top Business Credit Cards for Travel in 2021

There are plenty of excellent cards to choose from, but the right one for you depends on your expenses and preferences.
Last updated Aug 13, 2021 | By Ben Luthi
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A good business credit card can make a big difference for small business owners. Not only can it help you build a business credit history and separate your personal and business purchases, but it can also provide a lot of value in the form of rewards and perks.

If you want those features to translate into free travel, the best business credit cards for travel can make it happen. These cards provide a lot of potential for business travel and vacation experiences at a fraction of the cost.

The best business cards for travel

In this article

The best business credit cards for travel [October 2021]  

There’s no single best travel credit card out there, so it’s important to know what you want to find the right one for you. Among our top picks are cards that offer lucrative rewards, valuable perks and trip protections, no foreign transaction fees, or all of the above. Here are our top choices.

Card name Rewards rate Annual fee Best for...
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on select business purchases and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases $595 (See rates and fees)

Terms apply

Premium perks
American Express® Business Gold Card 4X Membership Rewards points for the first $150,000 spent in two select categories each year (after that 1X), and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases $295 (See rates and fees)

Terms apply

Flexible rewards
Capital One Spark Miles for Business 5X miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, and 2X miles on every purchase, every day $95 (waived first year) Lucrative rewards on everything
Chase Ink Business Preferred 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else $95 Flexible redemptions
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases $125 (See rates and fees)

Terms apply

Hotel stays
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business 3X points on eligible Southwest Airlines purchases, 2X on rideshare purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, plus 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases $99 Domestic flights
United Business Card 2X miles on United purchases and dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting; and 1X miles on everything else $99 (waived first year) International flights

As you review each card, consider your top priorities to narrow down the selection to the best fit for you and your business.

1. Best for premium perks: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Annual fee: $595

Welcome offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.

Rewards rate: 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on select business purchases and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases

When redeeming your travel rewards, you’ll get 35% of your points back (up to 500,000 per year) when you use them to cover some or all of an eligible flight ticket.

Travel perks: The Business Platinum Card from American Express comes with a suite of premium travel benefits, and taking advantage of them can help offset its high annual fee. Cardholders will get $200 in annual airline fee credits and a fee credit for application for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

You’ll also get elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, as well as complimentary benefits when you book a hotel stay through Fine Hotels & Resorts. Membership in premium rental car programs that provide discounts and free upgrades is also included. 

When you fly, you’ll get complimentary airport lounge access to several networks, including the Centurion Lounge, International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass, Airspace, and Escape. 

Enrollment may be required to activate select benefits.

The card also allows you to transfer your points to several airline and hotel partners to offset the cost of your travel purchases.

Additional benefits: If those perks aren’t enough, there are also various trip protections available, including rental car insurance (secondary coverage) and lost luggage insurance.

Read our full Business Platinum Card from American Express review.

Premium Business Rewards

Intro Offer

120,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$595

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 120,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 14.24% to 22.24% APR after that)
  • 5X points on qualifying flight and hotel purchases
  • 1.5X points on select business purchases and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more
  • Up to $200 statement credit per year for airline incidental fees
  • $595 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • High annual fee
  • Requires good to excellent credit
Card Details
  • Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on select business purchases and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 14.24% to 22.24% (variable)
  • Terms apply

2. Best for flexible rewards: American Express Business Gold Card

Annual fee: $295

Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months

Rewards rate: The card’s main value lies in its flexible rewards. You’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards points for the first $150,000 spent in two select categories each year (after that 1X), and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.

 Available bonus categories include:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

If you redeem your rewards for flights, you’ll get 25% of them back, up to a total of 250,000 points per year.

Travel perks: The American Express Business Gold Card doesn’t provide any major travel benefits, but you can transfer your points to several travel partners, including airlines and hotel brands. If you’re earning bonus points on a good chunk of your expenses, you could start earning free flights and hotel stays fast.

There are some travel benefits of note, however, including complimentary benefits when you book The Hotel Collection, a global assist hotline, travel discounts and amenities, lost luggage insurance, and rental car insurance (secondary coverage).

Additional benefits: In addition to a valuable welcome bonus and rewards program, the card also offers up to one year free of G Suite Basic for up to three users and up to one year free of ZipRecruiter Standard. Amex estimates the value of these offers to be $3,200, which could make a big difference if you rely on those services for your business. (Enrollment required on select benefits.)

Read our full American Express Business Gold Card review.

High Rewards in Categories You Select

Intro Offer

70,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$295

Rewards Rate

up to 4X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
  • 4X Membership Rewards points in selected categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $295 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • No intro APR promotion offered
  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
  • 4X Membership Rewards points for the first $150,000 spent in two select categories each year (after that 1X), and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Terms apply

3. Best for lucrative rewards on everything: Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Annual fee: $95 (waived first year) (waived first year)

Welcome offer: Earn 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months

Rewards rate: The card offers a flat two miles per dollar on every purchase, making it a solid choice for business owners who don’t spend a lot in any one expense category.

Travel perks: The Capital One Spark Miles for Business focuses more on its rewards program than travel perks. However, you’ll get an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You’ll also have the opportunity to transfer your hard-earned miles to one of 15 airline partners to potentially squeeze more value out of them.

Additional benefits: Beyond the travel features, the card doesn’t provide a lot of other major benefits. You will, however, get protections like rental car insurance (secondary coverage), price protection, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, and travel accident insurance.

Read our full Capital One Spark Miles for Business review.

Low Annual Fee with Plenty of Benefits

Intro Offer

50,000 miles

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 5X miles

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 50,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • $95 annual fee after the first year
  • No introductory APR
  • No airline lounge access or free checked bags
Card Details
  • Earn 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • 5X miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, and 2X miles on every purchase, every day

4. Best for flexible redemptions: Chase Ink Business Preferred

Annual fee: $95

Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards rate: You’ll earn three points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable, and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. You’ll receive one point per dollar on every other purchase.

Travel perks: The biggest benefit of having the Ink Business Preferred is its flexible rewards. If you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel, you’ll get 25% more value than if you redeem them for cash back or gift cards. What’s more, you could get more value by transferring your points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

The card also offers primary rental car insurance when you rent a car for business purposes. This coverage is different than the secondary coverage most credit cards provide and doesn’t require you to file a claim with your auto insurance company before it kicks in.

Additional benefits: Cardholders will also get trip cancellation and interruption insurance, roadside dispatch, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection. If you use the card to pay your cell phone bill, you’ll get coverage of up to $600 per claim for you and any employees listed on your plan, up to three claims per year.

Read our full Chase Ink Business Preferred review.

Hot Sign-up Bonus

Intro Offer

100,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and common business spending categories
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Additional employee cards at no extra cost

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No intro 0% APR promotion offered
  • Limited business-specific benefits
Card Details
  • Earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else

5. Best for hotel stays: Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

Annual fee: $125

Welcome offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points (plus 2 bonus Free Night Awards) after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

Rewards rate: 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases

Travel perks: The primary benefit of having a hotel credit card is the brand-specific perks that come with it. On that front, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card doesn’t disappoint. It offers complimentary Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, which can get you a number of perks ranging from bonus points on stays to late checkout.

The card also provides one free-night award worth up to 35,000 points every year when you renew your card and pay the annual fee, plus another free-night award when you spend $60,000 in a calendar year.

You’ll also receive 15 elite night credits per year, which can help you qualify for a higher status in Marriott’s loyalty program.

Additional benefits: Cardholders will also get purchase and extended warranty protection, as well as access to various expense management tools that come with all American Express business credit cards. (Enrollment may be required on select benefits.)

Read our full Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card review.

Generous welcome offer

Intro Offer

125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points (plus 2 bonus Free Night Awards)

Annual Fee

$125

Rewards Rate

up to 6X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 125,000 bonus point welcome offer + 2 Free Night Awards after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4X points at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations
  • Free Night Award every year
  • $125 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points (plus 2 bonus Free Night Awards) after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

6. Best for domestic flights: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Annual fee: $99

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Rewards rate: You’ll get two points per dollar on Southwest Airlines purchases and one point per dollar on everything else.

Travel perks: The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card’s main value proposition is the chance to earn valuable rewards with one of the best domestic airlines in the industry. While not specific to the card, Southwest Airlines passengers get two free checked bags on each flight and don’t have to pay a fee to change their flight reservation.

As a cardholder, however, you’ll earn 6,000 bonus points each year when you renew the card, which could be enough to make up for its annual fee.

Additional benefits: The card also comes with purchase and extended warranty protection, lost luggage reimbursement, and baggage delay insurance.

Read our full Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card review

Big Rewards For Southwest Travelers

Intro Offer

60,000 points

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 3X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 6,000 points every year on Cardmember anniversary
  • 3X points on Southwest purchases
  • Two early bird check-ins per year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Rewards redemption limited to Southwest
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 3X points on eligible Southwest Airlines purchases, 2X on rideshare purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, plus 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

7. Best for international flights: United Business Card

Annual fee: $99 (waived first year)

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Rewards rate: United Business cardholders will earn 2X miles on United purchases and dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting; and 1X miles on everything else.

Travel perks: United Airlines has a wide network, both domestically and internationally. What’s more, it belongs to the Star Alliance, which includes several international airline partners that you can use your United miles with to book flights overseas.

Free flights aren’t the only reason to get the card, though. It also offers priority boarding, the first checked bag free for you and a travel companion, and two one-time passes to the United Club airport lounge each year.

Additional benefits: United Business cardholders will have access to several trip protections, including primary rental car insurance when renting for business purposes, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and purchase and extended warranty protection.

Read our full United Business Card review.

Great value for a low fee!

Intro Offer

75,000 miles

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 2X miles

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 75,000 mile sign-up bonus
  • 2X miles on United purchases, dining, at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting
  • $100 annual United credit (terms apply)
  • 5,000 bonus miles annually if you also have a personal United card
  • Free checked bag, priority boarding, and 2 United Club passes annually

Drawbacks

  • Earning bonus could be hard for some
  • Best for frequent United travelers
Card Details
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles on United purchases and dining (including eligible delivery services), at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting; and 1X miles on everything else

Bottom line

There are a lot of solid rewards credit cards out there, but the best business credit cards for travel really depend on your typical business expenses and what you want in a credit card. And it's worth keeping an open mind, too. For instance, if you aren't traveling all that much, you might find that you could even get more value from a cashback rewards card like the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, Chase Ink Business Cash Card, or the Capital One Spark Cash for Business.

Be sure to compare these and other top business credit cards to get a better idea of what you’re looking for and which new business card is the best fit for your needs. 

Before you apply, check out our best practices for small business credit card applications. Also, make sure your credit score is in good shape to improve your chances of getting approved.

Hot Sign-up Bonus

Intro Offer

100,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and common business spending categories
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Additional employee cards at no extra cost

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No intro 0% APR promotion offered
  • Limited business-specific benefits
Card Details
  • Earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else

Author Details

Ben Luthi Ben is a personal finance and travel writer who loves helping people achieve their money goals. Along with FinanceBuzz, his writing has also been featured on U.S. News, NerdWallet, Experian, Credit Karma, and more.