Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2021

Last updated May 13, 2021 | By FinanceBuzz Editors

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You don't need to own a big business to see big rewards from a business credit card. Whether you're looking for bonus cash back on office supplies, a way to build business credit, or a card with no annual fee and a long 0% introductory APR period, there's a business card that will meet your needs.

Generous sign-up bonuses also sweeten the deal for small business owners and will likely leave you wanting to apply for multiple cards to take advantage of all the introductory offers and other cardholder perks. Hopefully, one of the credit cards below offers just the perks and rewards that you're looking for to get the maximum benefit from your company card.

In this article

The best small business credit cards

Intro Offer

100,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Why We Like It

For business owners looking for a rewards card with premium benefits, the Ink Business Preferred card is a standout option. It has a lucrative sign-up bonus, valuable rewards program, and flexible redemption options.

With this card, you’ll earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising purchases made on social media sites and search engines — up to $150,000 in combined spending each year.

It also has comprehensive travel benefits, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary car rental insurance, and cell phone protection.

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

Intro Offer

$750 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 5% cash back

Why We Like It

If you’re a freelancer, independent contractor, or small business owner in need of a business credit card that offers valuable rewards, consider the Ink Business Cash card. It has no annual fee, a valuable sign-up bonus for new cardmembers, and rewards for common business purchases.

You don’t even need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to apply; sole proprietors and people who run side hustles can take advantage of this card’s benefits, too.

With the Ink Business Cash card, you’ll earn 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services — up to $25,000 spent combined each year. You’ll also earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, on up to $25,000 spent combined each year.

Card Details
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months
  • 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, or phone services (up to $25,000 combined annually); 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000 combined annually); and 1% cash back on everything else
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable)

Intro Offer

$750

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5% cash back

Why We Like It

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited card is best for business owners who want a simple, easy-to-use rewards card. It has an easy-to-earn signup bonus, a flat rewards structure on all purchases, and an introductory APR offer on purchases that can help you save money. And, there’s no annual fee.

You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, with no limit on how much you can earn.

If you have a major purchase coming up for your business, you can take advantage of this card’s 0% introductory APR. You’ll get 0% APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening, giving you a full year to pay down your balance without paying interest charges.

Card Details
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash back on all spending
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable)

Intro Offer

80,000 points

Annual Fee

$199

Rewards Rate

up to 4X points

Why We Like It

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Performance Business card is a good credit card for budget-conscious business owners who travel often for work, and who prefer to fly on Southwest Airlines.

The card offers a large sign-up bonus for new cardmembers, a high rewards rate on Southwest Airlines purchases, and extra perks to enhance your travel experience.

Every year on your cardmember anniversary, you’ll receive 9,000 bonus points. This bonus can help you earn Southwest A-list status and a Companion Pass. Each year, you can also take advantage of four upgraded boardings, when available.

Card Details
  • 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • 4X points on Southwest purchases; 3X on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners; 2X on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as social media and search engine advertising; 2X on rideshare; and 1X on everything else

Intro Offer

$250 statement credit

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 2% cash back

Why We Like It

For business owners who want to earn rewards without worrying about expensive fees, the Blue Business Cash Card from American Express is a great option. It has no annual fee, and it offers a simple rewards structure that’s perfect for busy business owners who don’t want to think about different spending categories.

With the Blue Business Cash Card, you’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase you make, on up to $50,000 spent per year. After that, you’ll earn a flat 1% cash back on every purchase. Cash back is received in the form of statement credits.

This is also a good card for large purchases.

Card Details
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable)
  • Terms apply

Intro Offer

15,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Up to 2X points

Why We Like It

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express offers great rewards and earning incentives on business-related purchases with no annual fee.

Cardmembers can create employee cards, designate an account manager, and receive a complete year-end summary each year. 

Earn 2X Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases thereafter.

Card Details
  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that
  • Terms apply

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

Intro Offer

65,000 miles

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 2X miles

Why We Like It

The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard is a great option for businesses that frequently fly on American Airlines with high travel expenses. Cardholders enjoy perks like a first checked bag free and preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.

This card also offers 2X miles per dollar on all eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases in popular business categories, including telecommunications, cable, satellite, car rental, and gas.

Card Details
  • Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first 4 months
  • Earn 2X miles per dollar on all eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases in select business categories (telecommunications, cable, satellite, car rental, gas), and 1X miles on other purchases

Intro Offer

70,000 bonus miles (and a $50 statement credit)

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 2X miles

Why We Like It

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express is a solid travel rewards card for Delta Air Lines travelers. 

Cardmembers enjoy benefits such as first checked bag free, 20% in-flight savings on eligible purchases, and no foreign transaction fees.

Earn 2X miles per $1 spent directly on purchases with Delta, at restaurants worldwide, on U.S. shipping, and on select U.S. advertising, and 1X mile per $1 spent on eligible purchases.

Card Details
  • Earn 70,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2X miles per $1 spent on purchases at Delta, restaurants, eligible U.S. shipping, and eligible advertising in select media; 1X miles per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Intro Offer

Up to 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

Up to 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Why We Like It

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a highly regarded hotel rewards credit card offering generous benefits for business travelers.

Cardmembers receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status, qualifying them for an 80% bonus on all Base Points, space-available room upgrades, free weekend night rewards each year, and more.

Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points per dollar spent directly with any eligible hotel or resort in the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands, 6X points on select business and travel purchases, and 3X points on all other eligible purchases.

Card Details
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months)
  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton, 6X on select business and travel purchases, and 3X on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Intro Offer

70,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$295

Rewards Rate

up to 4X points

Why We Like It

If you’re a business owner looking for a rewards credit card that offers great travel benefits, the American Express Business Gold Card is a good choice for you. 

It has a robust welcome offer for new cardmembers, and you can earn valuable rewards on some of your most common business expenses. You’ll earn 4X points per $1 spent on two categories where your business spends the most money.

If you travel often for work, this card is an excellent addition to your wallet. When you book your flight with American Express Travel with your Membership Rewards Points, you’ll get 25% of those points back.

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

Intro Offer

120,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$595

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Why We Like It

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is best for business owners looking for a rewards card with premium benefits. If you make major purchases throughout the year and travel often, the card can be very useful to you and your business.

It has a lucrative welcome bonus for new cardmembers and generous rewards. You’ll earn 5X points per $1 spent on travel booked through Amextravel.com. On all other spending, you’ll get 1 point per $1 spent. However, on large purchases — $5,000 or more — you receive 1.5X points per $1 spent, up to one million extra points per year.

You’ll get Centurion Lounge access at airports, as well as access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass Select. Each year, you’ll get up to $200 in airline credits to reimburse you for fees paid to an airline of your choice.

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

Intro Offer

$1000

Annual Fee

$150

Rewards Rate

unlimited 2% cash back

Why We Like It

The Capital One Spark Plus is a strong contender for business owners wanting to earn cash back to reinvest into their business. Because it's a charge card, there's no preset spending limit, making it flexible as your business grows.

Cardholders can request free employee cards and redeem cash back rewards at any time.

Earn 2% unlimited cash back on every purchase.


Card Details
  • Earn up to $1,000 cash bonus — $500 after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus $500 after spending $50,000 in the first 6 months
  • 2% cash back on every purchase, every day

Intro Offer

50,000 miles

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 5X miles

Why We Like It

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business offers business owners a straightforward, simple rewards program with flexible options for redeeming rewards. 

Cardholders can request free employee cards, generate expense summaries, and benefit from no foreign transaction fees.

Earn 5X miles when you book hotels or rental cars through Capital One Travel, and 2X on every purchase, every day--no blackouts, seat restrictions, or minimum to redeem rewards.



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

Intro Offer

75,000 miles

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

up to 2X miles

Why We Like It

The United Business card is best for business travelers who regularly fly on United and are looking for valuable rewards and travel benefits. This card boasts perks to make your next trip more pleasant.

With the United Business card, you’ll earn 2X miles per $1 spent with United, at restaurants (including delivery services), gas stations, office supply stores, and local transit and commuting purchases.

Each year, United Business cardmembers who make seven United flight purchases of $100 or more will receive a $100 United travel credit. Every year on your cardmember anniversary, United will add two one-time United Club passes to your account, giving you airport lounge access. On all United flights, you and your travel companions on the same reservation get priority boarding. When you pay for your flight with your card, you and one companion also get one free checked bag on all United flights.

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

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It

The Brex Card was created to help startups grow and scale. It's a little different from your typical business card because it's paired with a Brex Cash account. 

However, this card offers some valuable rewards if you're looking for a holistic approach to managing your business finances. Cardmembers can earn 8X on rideshare, 4X on restaurants, 1.5X on ads, and 1X on everything else.

In addition to its rewards, this card offers no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and may offer higher credit limits.

Card Details
  • $25,000 Brex Rewards sign-up offer

How to pick the right card for your business

No two businesses are alike and different company owners will have their own unique needs when it comes to the perfect small business credit card. To find one that's right for you, consider:

  • How much you plan to spend on your card: Some cards have maximum spending limits within bonus rewards categories; others offer extra perks for big spenders. Consider your average budget, your ideal credit limit, and how much you can comfortably spend each month.
  • What type of spending you do the most: Look at your typical business spending in a given calendar year. Business credit cards often offer bonus rewards for different spending categories, and you'll want a card that gives you extra points for the things your company spends the most on. 
  • What kinds of rewards you're interested in: Some cards offer the chance to redeem for cash back, whereas others allow you to trade points for travel or merchandise. Some even allow you to use your points with partner rewards programs. Consider how much redemption flexibility you need and which rewards excite you. 
  • How many employee cards you need: If you have lots of staff who need to charge purchases to your account, free employee cards will be an important perk. 
  • Can you afford — and justify — an annual fee: There are free business cards and cards that charge you to become a cardholder, though some waive the annual fee for the first year. Paying an annual fee is worth it only if you'll earn enough rewards to justify the fee or if the cardholder perks make the fee worth paying.
  • Business credit reporting vs. personal credit reporting: Certain card issuers report business card activity to your personal credit report, while others only report business credit card activity to your personal credit report if your account is delinquent. The rules typically vary by issuer, so do your due diligence before you apply for a card if this is an important consideration for you. 

FAQs

How do I get a business credit card for my business?

To obtain a business card for your company, research your options and submit an online application. The issuer or lender will consider your creditworthiness as well as other factors when you apply for a new business credit card.

You can use your company's EIN to apply if your business is well-established. Otherwise, you'll likely want to use your personal Social Security number on your business credit card application and apply as a sole proprietorship. 

You'll also need to provide details about your business structure and annual revenue. Some issuers may require that you make a personal guarantee indicating you will be personally responsible for any unpaid balances on your business credit card. Based on the information you provide, the credit issuer will either approve or deny your request for credit.

Does applying for a business credit card affect personal credit?

Applying for a business card can affect your personal credit if you apply with your Social Security number, as this will result in an inquiry on your personal credit report. A hard inquiry could impact your personal credit score.

Some business card issuers will report all information, including payment history, from your business card to your personal credit history; others report only negative information.

What are the major business credit bureaus?

There are three major business credit reporting agencies:

  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Equifax Small Business
  • Experian Business

Each has its own scoring model, so you may see different business credit scores across the three agencies, similar to what you'd see with your personal credit reports if you were checking them in Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Your business credit reports will typically include the following information across the three agencies, even though scoring models will vary:

  • Company information: business address and legal name, number of employees, ownership information, subsidiary information 
  • Public records data: judgments, liens, UCC filings, collection accounts
  • Payment data: past payments, accounts receivable, business credit card payment history, credit limits, length of credit history

How many credit cards should a small business have?

The right number of credit cards depends on your company's needs. Some businesses do fine with just one good card that offers generous cash back rewards or travel rewards for everyday business spending or for the kind of spending the company does most often. Other businesses benefit from having multiple cards so they can take advantage of different perks or earn the maximum rewards for different kinds of spending.

For everyday business spending, a company could benefit from a straightforward cashback rewards card to make regular business purchases without worrying about juggling bonus categories. But for frequent business travel, a company might also save money by applying for a new card that offers travel perks like no foreign transaction fees, bonus points on airfare, lounge access, or statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Can I get a business credit card for personal use?

The definition of what constitutes a "business" for obtaining a business card is pretty relaxed. Although you shouldn't lie on your application, you can often qualify with something as simple as selling a few items on eBay or listing crafts in an Etsy store.

Once you obtain a business card, the credit card issuer usually won't prevent you from using it for personal use. But if you obtained the card in the name of your business and want to maintain your company's separate legal identity, or you have business partners or shareholders, you typically shouldn't use the company card for personal purchases. Stick with a personal credit card instead.

Can you have a business credit card without a business?

Although you do need to have some type of business to get a business card, credit issuers are pretty lax in their requirements for what they consider to be a business.

If you make some money selling things online, babysitting, or walking the neighbor's dog, technically you could use these activities as your business and apply for a business card. Just be honest on your application and realize not every card issuer will necessarily approve you.

Why are business credit cards useful?

A business credit card can be useful in many ways. Often, small business owners may use credit cards to streamline cash flow and separate personal and business expenses, making it easier to track spending come tax time. Over time, a business credit card can also help you boost your business credit score. A strong credit history may make it easier for you to apply for lines of credit that you can use to grow your business in the future.

How we chose these cards

To select the best business credit cards, we looked for cards that offer valuable perks for businesses of all sizes. We looked at the value of these rewards, as well as the welcome bonus, compared to the annual fee. We did not include all cards available.

Get 2% Back Automatically

Intro Offer

$250 statement credit

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 2% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent each year
  • No annual fee. Terms apply,

Drawbacks

  • Annual spending cap on bonus cash back
Card Details
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable)
  • Terms apply

Author Details

FinanceBuzz Editors The editors at FinanceBuzz are a team of personal finance professionals dedicated to providing readers with accurate, helpful advice.