Best Credit Cards for Savvy Real Estate Investors [June 2024]

CREDIT CARDS - CREDIT CARD BASICS
Do you need some help managing finances for your real estate investments? Read on to see how you can use credit cards to boost your real estate business.
Updated June 14, 2024
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Best Credit Cards for Savvy Real Estate Investors

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Using credit cards to pay for expenses related to real estate investing can help improve your bottom line. The best rewards credit cards typically offer earning potentials, rewards, and other helpful benefits and perks. This includes credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

In this guide, we'll go over the best credit cards for real estate investors to help you decide which credit card offers would be the best fit for your real estate needs.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • Utilizing credit cards can help real estate investors earn rewards such as cash back, points, or miles on expenses related to their investments.
  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 18.49% - 26.49% Variable), allowing real estate investors to manage large expenses. Its annual fee is $0 (terms apply).
  • Many credit cards offer generous welcome offers, which can help you earn a sum of rewards soon after qualifying for a new card. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card helps you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Its annual fee is $95.
  • Some cards, like Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, are designed for specific business expenses. This card helps you 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. Its annual fee is $95.
  • Using a business credit card for real estate expenses can help separate personal and business finances. This can make it easier to organize your paperwork when filing your taxes.

Compare the best credit cards for real estate investing

Card name Excellent for Why it’s special Annual fee

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

4.9

Big purchases Benefit from 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 18.49% - 26.49% Variable) $0 (terms apply)

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

4.8

House flipping Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase $0

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

4.9

Generous welcome offer Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening $95

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

4.8

Common business expenses 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 $95

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

4.5

Furniture and electronics Earn 5% cash back on two categories you choose (up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter) and 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations/EV charging stations, grocery stores, or restaurants $0

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

4.8

Simple cash back and balance transfers Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24, plus get 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)) $0

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Excellent for big purchases

If you know you have big real estate purchases coming up, consider using the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card gets a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening, which can give you enough time to work on your real estate investments without having to pay heavy interest fees each month. After that, your purchase APR will be 18.49% - 26.49% Variable.

In addition, the Blue Business Plus Amex also offers cardmembers 2X Membership Rewards points on everyday eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that. So every purchase you make for your real estate business will earn valuable Amex Membership Rewards points you can redeem for travel, statement credits, gift cards, and much more.

This card makes the most sense for real estate investors who want a good bonus rate on their purchases and could also benefit from a 0% intro APR on purchases (then 18.49% - 26.49% Variable). And if you’re more interested in earning Membership Rewards points over different types of reward currencies, this card would be a better fit than the others. 

Finally, The Blue Business Plus Amex has a $0 annual fee, so there’s no stressing about the annual cost.

Explore more benefits at our Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card review.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card: Excellent for house flipping

If you want to use credit cards for real estate investments, be aware that not every credit card will earn bonus points on common real estate expenses. You’d typically need to use multiple cards with different earning categories to maximize the rewards you earn. However, cards like the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card can help you earn the same rewards rate on any purchase.

This card earns Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase and offers $750 after spending $6,000 in the first 3 months after account opening. And because the annual fee is $0, everything you earn is a bonus.

For house flippers and home renovators, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is a great card to have in your wallet. Real estate expenses can vary depending on the project, so you might not always be buying supplies from the same stores. With this card, you get the same earning rate on everything, so it doesn’t matter where your expenses come from.

Explore more benefits at our Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Excellent for a generous welcome offer

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

For cash redemptions, each Chase Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1 cent, so you could get a lot of money back for purchases you’re already making. You also get an increased redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point if you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠.

The Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee, but the cost is easily offset through the welcome offer and your potential earnings. You can earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases.

Because this card is focused on travel rewards with its earning potential and increased travel redemption rate, it’s best for real estate investors who travel often for their business.

Explore more benefits at our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Excellent for common business expenses

Every business has some common expenses that just need to be covered. With the Chase Ink Business Preferred 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.

You can also earn 100,000 points after spending $8,000 in the first 3 months. The welcome offer alone should help you justify this card’s $95 annual fee, but the earning categories can provide a constant stream of bonus points for your ordinary business expenses.

This card is designed for real estate investors who can meet the minimum spend required for the welcome offer and also get value from 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.

This card can also be useful for business owners who often travel between real estate properties. With the Chase Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn bonus rewards for travel expenses and a 25% bonus on your travel redemptions.

Explore more benefits at our Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card review.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: Excellent for furniture and electronics

With the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, cardholders get to choose which categories offer bonus rewards. You can earn 5% cash back on two categories you choose (up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter), plus 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations/EV charging stations, grocery stores, or restaurants.

This kind of rewards program can be immensely helpful for real estate investors because they can choose to earn 5% cash back on categories such as furniture and electronics. If you’re renovating a property and setting it up as a rental, you may need to regularly buy those kinds of items, and getting 5% cash back could really start to add up.

It also helps that you get to choose the 2% category, which offers unlimited cash back. Because one of the everyday options for this category is gas, you’d be covered for the fuel expenses of driving to and from your real estate projects. And because the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has a $0 annual fee, there’s no annual cost to cut into your earnings.

Explore more benefits at our U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card review.

Citi Double Cash® Card: Excellent for simple cash back and balance transfers

The Citi Double Cash Card provides two excellent uses for real estate investors. The first is its earning rate, which is 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24. An unlimited amount of cash back for any type of purchase can be very useful for a small business owner who is buying lots of different supplies to keep a business running smoothly.

The second use is getting a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months after account opening (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)). This can be helpful if you already have real estate expenses on another card and you want to move them to this card to avoid high interest rates. As you save money by avoiding interest, you can work on paying your balance down.

The Citi Double Cash also has a $0 annual fee, so you automatically dodge a common credit card cost.

Explore more benefits at our Citi Double Cash Card review.

How credit cards can power up your real estate investing

If you invest money into real estate properties because you’re a general contractor, landlord, or something similar, you likely have no shortage of expenses involved with your business practices. This is where credit cards can shine, especially those with a rewards program.

Whether you need to pay for repairs on your rental properties or get supplies for a big renovation on a house flip, credit cards are a valuable asset that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are a few ways credit cards can help real estate investors:

  • Improved cash flow: If you want to start flipping houses or rehab a property for renting, you need money to get started. Real estate beginners may not have the necessary funds to start the process of renovating a home. They also may not qualify for short-term loans on these types of projects. In addition, real estate veterans may have difficulty coming up with money because they’re already juggling multiple real estate projects at the same time. In these situations, credit cards can provide the needed capital to fund repairs or renovations to your property. This can keep your project from stalling and get you closer to your financial goals.
  • Earning potential: If you’re already buying supplies, tools, and other expenses with your real estate business, you might as well get rewarded for them. When you compare credit cards, it’s easy to see how rewards cards can help most real estate investors. As you pay for necessary expenses, you can earn cash back, points, or miles. You can even earn a welcome offer or a sign-up bonus with some credit cards. You can, in turn, use the available redemption options to get more cash for your business or for other helpful redemptions, such as flights and hotel stays.
  • Major rewards up front: Welcome offers are often the quickest way to earn a lot of rewards from credit cards in a short amount of time. The obstacle for most people when it comes to earning welcome offers is the minimum spend required. Real estate investors, though, have a good deal of large expenses they can leverage for big rewards. If you earn enough credit card rewards, you might even be able to buy an investment property with points.
  • Separate expenses and credit history: Separating your small business expenses from your personal expenses becomes increasingly important as your real estate business grows. Having separate expenses can help make tax filing easier, which can potentially save you a lot of time and money during tax season. And if you use some of the best business credit cards for your real estate business, you can also separate your personal and business credit history. This can be useful if you carry high balances because of real estate expenses. With the right business credit card, your personal credit score won’t be affected by high credit utilization.
  • Financing big purchases: Real estate investing can be a game of shifting and managing your finances wherever they’re needed. It can be helpful to have a credit card with an introductory APR on purchases to give you more financing options with large expenses, like outfitting a kitchen with new appliances or completely replacing a roof. You can avoid big interest fees on these purchases while you build up the money to pay them off. If you’re already getting hit with interest fees on a card, it could make sense to transfer your balance to a new card. Some of the best balance transfer cards offer intro APR on balance transfers, which can save you major money on interest while giving you a long period to pay off your expenses.

How to choose the best credit card for real estate investment

Rewards

The goal is to get the most bang for your buck on purchases you’re already making, so you want a card that rewards you for those purchases.

Whether you choose points, miles, or cash back is up to you, but make sure you keep an eye out for a generous welcome offer and an earning rate that makes sense for your everyday purchases.

Intro APR offer on purchases

For increased cash flow, consider a credit card that has an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases. This can help you make necessary purchases for your real estate business while giving you some breathing room away from high interest rates (for a little while).

Low or no annual fee

Annual fees generally aren’t great unless you’re getting enough value from a card to warrant the cost. You can get value in different ways, including through a welcome offer or by using your card to earn rewards on your purchases. But if you don’t want to stress about offsetting an annual fee, look for a no-annual-fee card.

Real estate investing credit cards FAQ

Can you purchase real estate with a credit card?

It’s possible to purchase a real estate property with a credit card if the situation allows for it. You’d need a credit limit that is high enough on your card to afford the cost of the property, and you might have to pay some fees depending on the company you’re working with, but it’s technically possible. 

Perhaps a more sound method of purchasing real estate with credit cards is using your cards to earn rewards and then redeeming those rewards for cash. You can then put that cash toward real estate investments.

Can closing costs go on a credit card?

Most lenders won’t accept credit cards as a form of payment for closing costs, though you might be able to do a cash advance on your card. Because cash advances are typically accompanied by large fees, you’d likely want to avoid using this option as much as possible. Check with your lender or loan officer to see what types of payments are accepted for your loan’s closing costs.

What’s the best credit card for real estate agents?

The best credit card for real estate agents will depend on their typical expenses. Many real estate agents constantly drive between properties, so a card like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express would be an excellent choice because it earns 3% cash back on U.S. gas stations and eligible transit. 

For a business credit card with bonus categories for both gas and common business expenses, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card makes a lot of sense.

Best credit cards for real estate investing: bottom line

The best credit card for your real estate business depends on what you need it for. You have many different cards to choose from, so take a look at what’s available and see what each card has to offer. If a card aligns with your spending habits and financial goals, it’s likely the best card for your situation.

Remember, if you’re going to use a credit card to increase cash flow while investing in real estate, it doesn’t often make sense to get hit with high interest fees. It’s almost always a good idea to pay off your balance completely each month so no interest can accrue. If you’re taking advantage of a 0% interest rate offer, be sure to pay off the balance before the introductory rate expires.

Methodology

Each real estate investor may have slightly different types of investments. That means you may have different expenses than someone else, so the type of credit card you need should be different as well.

With this in mind, we chose a varied assortment of credit cards from a variety of credit card issuers in order to fit distinct situations. For example, a one-size-fits-all business card like the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is a great choice for earning rewards on any type of purchase, whether you’re upgrading a bathroom or working on drywall. However, you may want more specialized earning rates, which the Chase Ink Business Preferred provides. Or you could use both cards or more at the same time to really maximize your earning potential.

We also included personal credit cards, business credit cards, cashback cards, and travel rewards cards in the hope that you would find the best new card for you and your financial situation. Keep in mind that the chosen cards may not fit every situation, but they can give you a good idea of what’s available and which card(s) might make the most sense for you.

Great for Flexible Travel Rewards

4.9

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.