Best Credit Card for Work Expenses: 8 Options That Earn Major Points

If you have major business expenses, you could earn massive rewards with these credit cards.
Last updated Jul 15, 2020 | By Brett Holzhauer
Best Credit Card for Work Expenses

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If you have regular business expenses, it may serve you well to apply for a card specifically for work costs. You will be able to separate your business and personal purchases, and earn rewards for spending that isn’t your liability to pay. Here are the best credit cards for work expenses, and who each card will work best for.

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How to choose the best credit cards for work expenses

No matter your needs, there are a seemingly infinite amount of credit cards to choose from. So which one is the best? There’s no one perfect card, but the best credit card for work expenses is likely the one that will earn you the most amount of rewards for the purchases you are making.

Additionally, consider the ancillary perks that comes with some cards, such as travel insurance, extended warranty, and return protection. Things can get derailed as a professional or business owner from time to time, so having a credit card can be a great insurance policy on your expenses as well.

Lastly, should you select a business or personal credit card? Again, choose the card that works best for you. Keep in mind that business credit cards are intended solely for business expenses, while personal cards can be for personal or business costs.

The best credit cards for work expenses

Card Best for Welcome bonus Rewards rate Annual fee
American Express Platinum Card Luxury travel perks for business travelers Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases $550
Chase Sapphire Reserve Outstanding rewards on travel and dining Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else $550 
Chase Freedom High cash back in certain categories $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases $0
Citi Double Cash Card Flat cash back across all spending Earn cash back twice: 1% when you buy + 1% when you pay up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay $0
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card High cash back in certain categories $150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 90 days 5% cash back on two chosen categories (up to $2,000 quarterly), 2% cash back on one chosen everyday category, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases $0

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is an excellent card to have if you travel for work consistently. With this card, you can earn outstanding points for flights and access luxury travel perks as well.

The Amex Platinum card offers 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. To boost your points balance even more, you can earn 60,000 membership rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

In addition, you get access to a long list of perks, including access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, $200 Amex airline credit, $200 in annual Uber credits, $100 fee credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry, complimentary elite status at Hilton and Marriott properties, a dedicated concierge service, and complimentary benefits at Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts.

Keep in mind that this card comes with a hefty annual fee of $550. If you’re able to regularly earn bonus points by booking travel with airlines or through Amex Travel, this card is a must-have. If you aren’t able to utilize this, you may want to look at other cards.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

If you travel regularly for work, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is another great way to earn bonus rewards points on your expenses.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can earn 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else. And if you have large expenses coming up, you have a great chance of earning the sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

While the card has a $550 annual fee , the card gives outstanding perks that make it easy to get serious value. You‘ll get:

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • $100 credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry
  • Special benefits at the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, including late check-out, early check-in, and room upgrades when available.
  • Access to Priority Pass lounges 
  • A $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021
  • Complimentary Lyft Pink membership for one year
  • 50% more value when you redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for travel through Chase
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection

Chase Freedom Card

While points are enjoyable to earn, maybe extra cash would suit you best. With the Chase Freedom Card, you’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. If your work expenses fluctuate each quarter, you have a great chance of earning some serious cash back without any of your own spending taken into account.

For example, let's say you spend $1,000 per month in varied work expenses. Even at 1%, that is still an effortless $10 in your pocket. However, if you were able to spend $1,000 within the quarterly categories that earn 5%, that could earn you an easy $50.

The current Chase Freedom bonus categories for January-March 2020 include spending at gas stations, phone services, and select streaming services. That means those who drive a lot at work or charge their work phone bill to their card could benefit.

You can get all of these savings with a $0 annual fee, and the chance to earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Citi Double Cash Card

If effortless and consistent cash back is more your vibe, the Citi Double Cash Card might be for you.

With this card, you get up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. If your purchases are consistently scattered across different spending categories, having a cashback credit card that earns a flat reward rate can be helpful.

Additionally, if you need to consolidate expenses from other credit card balances, the Citi Double Cash Card has a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months.

This card also has a $0 annual fee, which means you’ll get to keep more of your rewards.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

If the majority of your work expenses are predictable and you want to earn cash back on them, consider the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card.

With this card, you will be able to earn 5% cash back on two chosen categories (up to $2,000 quarterly), 2% cash back on one chosen everyday category, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. It sounds a bit complicated, so let's break it down.

You will be able to earn up to 5% cash back on two categories, up to $2,000 quarterly. The categories you can choose have included:

  • TV, Internet & Streaming Services
  • Fast Food
  • Cell Phone Providers
  • Department Stores
  • Home Utilities
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Electronics Stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Movie Theaters
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Furniture Stores
  • Ground Transportation

For the second rewards tier, you can earn 2% cash back on one everyday category, such as grocery stores, gas stations, or restaurants.

Lastly, you will earn 1% on all other eligible purchases.

The earning potential on this card is high if you have regular expenses that fall into these categories. Additionally, you can get $150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 90 days.

All of these earnings come with a $0 annual fee, plus a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles on balances transferred in the first 60 days.

The best business credit cards for work expenses

A nice perk of being a business owner is the ability to apply for business credit cards. There are many differences between personal and business credit cards, but the largest benefit is the ability to earn outstanding rewards on your business expenses.

Here are a few of the best business credit cards for work expenses.

Card Best for Welcome bonus Rewards rate Annual fee
Blue Business Plus Card from American Express Earning points without the hassle of bonus categories None 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that $0
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Travelers who want premium perks Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases $595
Chase Ink Business Preferred Diverse spending to earn flexible points 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 $95

Blue Business Plus Card from American Express

If you’re a business owner that wants valuable points without the hassle of tracking spending categories, the Blue Business Plus Card from American Express could be a great fit for you.

The card doesn’t come with a valuable welcome bonus, but you will earn a respectable 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that. That flexibility is invaluable for business owners who don’t spend in a narrow number of categories. And it you already have the Amex Platinum or Amex Gold cards, this card could pair nicely with them as part of the “Amex trifecta.”

To add, the card also comes with a $0 annual fee and a 0% APR on purchases for 12 months.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is an outstanding card for work expenses, especially if you plan on making large purchases.

You’ll get a long list of perks with this card, including:

  • $200 annual credit for Dell purchases
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $100 credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry
  • Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors
  • Access to the Global Dining Collection
  • Complimentary benefits for Fine Hotels & Resorts
  • 35% rebate on first/business class flights when booked with American Express Membership Reward points

When you use the Business Platinum Card from American Express for your work expenses, you will earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases. 

On top of that, you can get a generous welcome offer. Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

All of these perks can be beneficial for both your business and your travel experience. The card comes with a $595 annual fee, but if you’re able to earn enough points and max out the other ancillary perks, you could easily get enough value from the card to offset the fee.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred allows you to earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points — and the potential to earn them in large quantities as well.

With the Chase Ink Business Preferred, you will earn 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. This card also offers 5X points per dollar spent on Lyft rides, which can be great for frequent business-related travel.

With a wide range of expenses that offer 3X points per dollar spent, there are endless opportunities to earn rewards points to be used on travel. In fact, your points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

In addition, you’ll have access to employees cards at no additional cost, travel protections, cell phone protection, and extended warranty.

If you’re adverse to annual fees, the Chase Ink Business Preferred comes with a very manageable $95 annual fee.

Why we chose these cards

There are two main factors we considered as we researched the best credit cards for work expenses.

The first was the potential to earn valuable rewards or cash back. Regardless of how you spend your money or what your biggest budget item is each month, these cards offer a wide variety of options to earn rewards that can be used to save you or your business money.

The second factor was convenience and flexibility. Whether you prefer to use your rewards for flights, hotels, cash back, gift cards, or more, most of these cards allow you to redeem your points in a multitude of ways.

The bottom line on the best credit cards for work expenses

Work expenses are a very simple way to earn credit card rewards, and they can also be a much more efficient way to cover costs until you’re reimbursed. If you pay with cash or a debit card, you’ll be without that money until your business pays you back.

Hopefully one of these cards can simplify your work expenses, while also earning you valuable perks in the process.

Eye-popping Cash Back

Benefits

  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
  • 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories