Best Credit Cards for Contractors and Construction Businesses [2024]

CREDIT CARDS - BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS
If you’re a contractor looking for ways to cut costs and earn more money, you’re not going to want to miss this easy-to-use strategy.
Updated Feb. 20, 2024
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How Contractors Can Save $1000s By Using the Right Credit Cards

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In the world of contracting, where every expense counts, using credit cards to earn rewards can boost your return. Business owners, especially contractors, can harness the power of rewards credit cards to not only manage their cash flow effectively but also benefit from their rewards rates and potential welcome bonuses.

Let’s explore the top small business credit card options and explore the benefits they can add to your business.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • Using a business credit card for your expenses can help you keep personal and business finances separate.
  • Among our business credit card recommendations are the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit, and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
  • These credit cards offer employee cards at no additional cost. They also offer rewards on various types of purchases, providing construction businesses with an opportunity to earn money on their spending.
  • Some of our recommended credit cards offer purchase protection or extended warranty protection, which can help you have more peace of mind when making your purchases.
  • Some of these cards offer an intro APR period on purchases, which can be beneficial for contractors who need to pay off their purchases over time.

The best credit cards for contractors

Compare the best credit cards for contractors

As a contractor with a limited liability company (LLC), it’s important you stick with business credit cards for your business expenses. You carry a lot of liability in your profession, and using a personal credit card for your business expenses opens you up to being held personally liable should something go wrong on the job. Using a business card for all your business expenses keeps you and your business completely separate from one another.

With that in mind, I’ll walk you through a handful of the best business credit cards I recommend for contractors.

Credit card name Rewards rate Welcome offer Annual fee

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$0

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$0

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
3X points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year; and 1X points per $1 on all other purchases Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$95

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
2X Membership Rewards points on everyday eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership
$0 (Terms apply)

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit
Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases on all cards attached to the account; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then 21.24%, 26.24% or 29.24% (variable) APR
$0

Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express

Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express
2% cash back on business categories (U.S. restaurants, U.S. office supply stores, and purchases with U.S. wireless telephone service providers) and at Lowe's stores and Lowes.com; 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases Earn 5% cash back on purchases at Lowe’s for the first 6 months. 2% back after (new accounts only)
$0 (Terms apply)

All information about Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by FinanceBuzz.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is a straightforward credit card that takes the guesswork out of earning rewards. There’s no need to worry about spending categories with this card. You simply earn a flat amount every time you swipe your card. There are no spending caps either, which means you’ll earn unlimited rewards on all your business expenses. This card has a $0 annual fee.

Welcome offer: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended credit score: Excellent, Good

Why we like it: You can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase using the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card. You’ll also have a 0% intro APR on your purchases for the first 12 months (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable). This is huge if you have to carry a balance until you get paid for a project, as you can save money on interest charges. And because Chase doesn’t report business activity to your personal credit, carrying a balance on this card won’t negatively impact your personal credit score by increasing your credit utilization.

What we don’t like: The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card offers a fixed rewards earning rate, so it doesn’t have elevated rates for certain categories like some other cards do. While this might not be a deal breaker, it means that you might be able to earn more rewards on certain purchases using a different card.

Apply now or read more in our Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card review.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card rewards you for spending within certain categories. This card comes with a $0 annual fee.

Welcome offer: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended credit score: Excellent, Good

Why we like it: With this card, you can earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card also comes with 12 months of 0% intro APR on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable), so you can have the freedom of carrying a balance until you get paid while saving money on costly interest charges.

What we don’t like: While the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers bonus categories, these categories are capped. This means you’d earn the base rewards rate on spending that exceeds the maximum amount for these categories.

Tip
If you primarily shop at Home Depot or Lowe's and want to earn more rewards, you can buy Home Depot or Lowe's gift cards from an office supply store like Staples or OfficeMax using the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. This way, you can earn 5% cash back on the gift card purchase instead of the base 1% cash back you’d get at Home Depot or Lowe's. While it involves an extra step, it allows you to earn rewards at a higher rate.

Apply now or read more in our Ink Business Cash® Credit Card review.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card comes with a lucrative welcome offer and elevated rewards rates on certain spending categories. This card comes with a $95 annual fee, but it easily pays for itself when you consider its benefits.

Welcome offer: Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended credit score: Excellent, Good

Why we like it: Using this credit card, you can earn 3X points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year; and 1X points per $1 on all other purchases.

What we don’t like: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has an annual fee of $95. While this fee can be easily justified thanks to this card’s welcome offer and rewards rates, it’s still money out of your pocket. Additionally, this card doesn’t offer an intro APR period on purchases.

Apply now or read more in our Ink Business Preferred Credit Card review.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a flat-rate rewards credit card that helps you earn rewards using a simple structure. This credit card comes with an annual fee of $0 (terms apply).

Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.

Recommended credit score: Excellent, Good

Why we like it: The The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express allows you to earn 2X Membership Rewards points on everyday eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that. Plus, thanks to its intro APR period on purchases, this card can help you save money on interest charges.

What we don’t like: Having a fixed rewards rate simplifies your earning potential. However, it also means that you might miss out on earning elevated rewards on specific categories. That’s why you may want to pair the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express with another credit card that offers higher rewards for certain expenses.

Apply now or read more in our Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card review.

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit is another solid option for contractors who simply want a flat-rate rewards credit card that allows them to earn cash back using a straightforward structure.

Welcome offer: Introductory APR on purchases.

Recommended credit score: Good

Why we like it: With this card, you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases on all cards attached to the account; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. You can also benefit from its 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then 21.24%, 26.24% or 29.24% (variable) APR. It also offers purchase protection and extended warranty protection.1

What we don’t like: Like other credit cards with fixed rewards rates, using the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit for your business expenses may not provide the highest possible earning potential. But its simple rewards rate means that you won’t have to carry several credit cards to find the best one to use in every situation.

Keep in mind
It’s important to note that, unlike the cards mentioned above, Capital One does report your business activity to your personal credit on a monthly basis. So if you carry a balance on your card, it can impact your personal credit score.

Learn more in our Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit review.

Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express

The Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express is a decent card for frequent Lowe's shoppers who enjoy discounts and want to benefit from rewards on their Lowe's purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn 5% cash back on purchases at Lowe’s for the first 6 months. 2% back after (new accounts only).

Recommended credit score: Excellent, Good

Why we like it: With this card, you can earn 2% cash back on business categories (U.S. restaurants, U.S. office supply stores, and purchases with U.S. wireless telephone service providers) and at Lowe's stores and Lowes.com; 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. It has a $0 annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about it adding extra costs. It also offers valuable business management tools, including detailed transaction reporting and spending limits for employees, which helps with control over business expenses.

What we don’t like: This card’s rewards program is primarily focused on Lowe's purchases, which may not be ideal for businesses that do not frequently shop at the store. It also doesn’t come with an intro APR offer on purchases or balance transfers, so it isn’t an ideal choice if you want to avoid interest on bigger purchases.

Learn more in our Lowe's Business Rewards Card from American Express review.

How credit cards can be a powerful tool for contractors

As a contractor, it’s important to stay on top of your finances. If a job requires you to pay for materials out of your own pocket, you may not get reimbursed for those costs until after you complete the job. Depending on the length of the job, you could be waiting months to get paid and/or reimbursed.

However, there’s a way you can avoid using your cash reserves to pay for the costs of doing business while also earning rewards: credit cards.

When you use the best business credit card to fund your business purchases, it lets you do two things: alleviate the burden of using your own money to front the costs of materials and earn cash back on that spending. For these reasons, credit cards are valuable lines of credit that every contractor needs to add to their wallet.

Let me paint a picture of what I’m talking about in real-world terms so you can see the enormous money-saving potential of adding a credit card to your toolkit.

Paying for materials in cash versus credit cards

Say you’ve landed a new roofing job. The job is to replace the entire roof on a 3,000-square-foot home. The homeowner told you what sort of material they want to use, but it’s up to you to supply everything. So you head to Home Depot to get what you need.

You get the materials, and the total comes to roughly $15,000. Let’s look at how funding this project with cash versus a credit card would play out.

Method of payment The impact on your cash flow Upon finishing the job and getting paid by the client
You pay using $15,000 cash you earned from a previous job You’re out $15,000 in your bank account until you complete this roofing job and get paid. This could mean you’re short on cash for other expenses or projects. You get reimbursed for your $15,000 and put it back in your bank account.
You pay using a new Ink Business Cash® Credit Card You’re using your card’s credit line until you get paid, not your cash, so your bank account is unaffected.

You can earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You also earn additional cash back for making the purchase itself.

You save money on credit card interest because this credit card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable).

By using the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card instead of cash, you can earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. And that’s just the welcome offer — that’s not including the points you earned on your purchase itself. 

With the Ink Business Cash, you earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This card even has a $0 annual fee.

This is just one example of how the right business credit card can improve your bottom line. In fact, there are many business credit cards that can transform your expenses. All have something unique about them, but all allow you to cut costs and increase your earnings.

How to choose the best credit card for your construction business

As a contracting business owner, you probably have specific spending habits and needs, so you should consider the following factors when selecting a credit card:

  • Assess your spending habits: You likely have varying expenses, so consider a credit card that rewards you for the categories in which you spend the most. If there’s no category that clearly comes on top, you may prefer a credit card that offers a fixed rate on all purchases.
  • Consider the card’s annual fee: Some cards come with annual fees, while others have $0 annual fees. Weigh the benefits of the card against its annual fee to determine if it's a cost-effective choice for your financial situation. Keep in mind that some premium cards may offer significant perks that can outweigh the annual fee.
  • Look for an intro APR period: Contractors often encounter fluctuating income streams, so managing cash flow is critical. Look for credit cards that offer an introductory APR period for purchases. This can provide you with a valuable buffer to make necessary business purchases without facing high interest rates. However, ensure you have a clear repayment plan in place to avoid debt when the introductory period ends.
  • Find out the card’s additional benefits: Beyond cashback rewards, cardholders should explore the additional available benefits. These may include a sign-up bonus, purchase protection, extended warranty, and more. Consider which benefits are most relevant to your contracting work and choose a card that complements your professional needs.

Alternative financing options for construction businesses

While credit cards can be a convenient way to finance small purchases, they may not be the best option for larger expenses that come with running a construction business. Fortunately, there are several alternative financing options available to help you manage cash flow and fund projects. Here are a few to consider:

  • Equipment financing: This type of financing allows you to purchase the equipment you need for your business while spreading out the cost over time. You'll typically make monthly payments with interest until the equipment is paid off.
  • Business line of credit: A business line of credit gives you access to a revolving line of credit that you can draw from as needed. You'll only pay interest on the funds you use, making it a flexible financing option for ongoing expenses.
  • Project loan: A project loan is a type of financing that's specifically designed to fund a construction project. You'll receive a lump sum payment upfront, which you'll repay over time with interest.

Each of these options has its own pros and cons, so it's important to carefully consider which one is right for your business. By exploring alternative financing options, you can find the funding you need to grow your construction business and take on new projects.

Best credit cards for contractors FAQ

Do credit cards protect the things I buy?

Some credit cards offer purchase protection as a benefit. Purchase protection typically provides coverage against theft or damage to eligible items that you buy using the credit card. However, there might be a limit to the coverage you receive, so make sure to review the terms and conditions of your specific credit card to understand the extent of this protection and any restrictions that may apply.

Can you use a personal credit card if you’re a contractor?

Yes, you can use a personal credit card for business expenses as a contractor. However, you may prefer using a business credit card for business-related transactions, as it helps separate your personal and business expenses. This can simplify accounting and can make it easier to file your taxes.

Can I cash out credit card rewards?

In some cases, you can redeem credit card rewards for cash, but the process and options for doing so can vary depending on the credit card issuer and rewards program. Common methods for cashing out credit card rewards include statement credits, direct deposits to your bank account, or physical checks. Some credit card rewards programs may also offer the option to redeem rewards for gift cards. Make sure to check your credit card's rewards program options for cashing out the rewards you earn.

Best credit cards for contractors: bottom line

As a contractor, your business expenses give you a lot of potential to earn big rewards. Using the right business credit card for your expenses can put cash back into your pocket as long as you practice good financial habits. Pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges, or you can avoid these charges by using a 0% intro APR credit card.

Credit cards are valuable tools that can transform your contracting business. Decide which credit card best fits your needs as a contractor, and watch the rewards roll in.

Methodology

To identify the best credit cards for contractors, we began by compiling a list of credit cards relevant to their unique financial needs. We considered factors such as rewards and benefits relevant to contractors' expenses, including business-related purchases, equipment, and project-related costs. In addition, we assessed annual fees, welcome offers, and other perks that could benefit contractors.

We then collected information on each card and selected the options that offered the highest benefits for contractors. Note that we haven't included every available credit card option in our recommendations, as our aim is to provide a curated list to assist contractors in making informed decisions. Additionally, our list is not presented in any particular order, as the best credit card for one contractor may not necessarily be the ideal choice for another.

Unlimited Cash Back

4.8

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Brandon Neth Brandon Neth is a credit card and award travel expert. He runs social media and audience growth for FinanceBuzz, including the FBZ Elite Facebook travel group. He’s spent the last 11 years using credit card points and miles to travel the world, taking him to 600 cities in 76 countries and counting. He's well-versed in credit cards, early retirement, real estate investing, and frugal living. He's been featured in Business Insider, Yahoo, MSN, Credit.com, U.S. News, Reader's Digest, and The Wirecutter (A New York Times Company).

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