If you are currently side hustling, you are part of the “gig economy” sweeping America. Whether it is driving for a rideshare platform, performing freelance work online, or a fun weekend side job — Americans are utilizing multiple streams of income to get ahead.
But, as a side hustler, you aren’t just earning more money on the side — you are also a business owner. And as a business owner, you can take advantage of the best business credit cards to save money and/or earn travel rewards on your expenses.
You may be wondering, “How do I pick the best business credit card for me?” Well, keep reading. In this article, you will learn how to choose the best business credit card for your particular side hustle, and how a business credit card can benefit you in unexpected ways.
How to choose the best credit card for your side hustle
Whether you are just starting your side hustle by yourself or starting to scale your business, you can apply for a business credit card. And generally, it is a great idea to have a business credit card. You can more easily keep your business and personal expenses separate, and you earn rewards on your business-related purchases. However, some credit cards will serve your side hustle better than others.
So how do you tell which credit card is better? Well, the truth is the “best” business credit card for a side hustle doesn’t exist. The best card is the one that will benefit your side hustle the most. And to begin examining which card will work for your hustle, there are two factors to keep in mind: the spending rewards and spending categories.
The form of reward you earn with each card is the most important factor to consider. These rewards typically come in two forms: points/miles or cash back. Points and miles are used to redeem for things like flights, hotels, and other travel-related costs. Cash back is exactly what it sounds like — cash you earn for purchases on the card. Both of these rewards are valuable, and each of them can benefit you depending on your lifestyle and your side hustle.
The other thing to consider is the spending category options on each card. Just like personal cards, business credit cards can have different rewards for different types of spending or they may offer you one flat rewards rate for all your purchases. Which of these structures will benefit you more is important to consider when selecting a card.
If you have consistent expenses in specific categories, such as office supply stores or gas, it could be advantageous to select a card that rewards you the most for those purchases. If your expenses happen across a variety of categories, a card with a flat unlimited reward rate on all purchases may benefit you more.
So, keep in mind the type of rewards and spending categories that could help you the most as you read about the best credit cards for side hustles.
The best credit cards for side hustles
|Card||Best for||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||Digital marketers and online resellers with consistent expenses||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|
|Chase Ink Business Cash||Small business owners who spend a lot on office supplies||Earn $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 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||$0|
|Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business||Small business owner with consistent business purchases||Earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months||2% cash back on every purchase, every day||$95 (waived first year)|
|Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express||A side hustler with scattered expenses and who wants to eliminate travel expenses||Earn up to $300 in statement credits ($100 at each of the following: Dell Technologies, DocuSign, and FedEx) after making an eligible purchase in first 3 months||2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that||$0|
|Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||Rideshare drivers and travel agents with consistent expenses||Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months||12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton, 6X on select business travel and purchases, and 3X on other purchases||$95|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card||A side hustler with scattered expenses and who wants to cut down flight expenses||Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||2X points on eligible Southwest Airlines purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases||$99|
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is an outstanding card for someone with a side hustle that wants to earn travel rewards. 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 these wide-ranging categories, this card provides a great opportunity for a variety of side hustlers to score tons of points. So if you are a digital marketer paying for Facebook ads, an online reseller paying to ship items, or a rideshare driver paying for gas, you could earn up to 5X points on those purchases.
But what are these points, and what can you get with them? The points you earn are called Chase Ultimate Rewards. They are some of the most valuable rewards you can earn because of the ability to transfer them to a wide variety of hotel and airline rewards programs. If you earn a sizeable amount of points, you could even fly first class and stay in luxury hotels with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
To get your points off to a great start, you can earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months. The 100,000 points alone are worth $1,250 when you redeem them through the Chase travel portal.
This large earning potential of this card comes with a modest $95 annual fee. If you are strategic in your spending with this card, you can easily outweigh the annual fee with the points you earn.
Chase Ink Business Cash
If saving money is the most important factor for your side hustle, the Chase Ink Business Cash card can help you accomplish that. As you make purchases on the card, you will earn 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. This card also offers 5% cash back on each dollar spent on Lyft rides, which can be great for frequent business-related travel.
This cash back can be redeemed for a credit to be directly applied to your statement or as a direct deposit into your checking or savings account. You can also earn a great sign-up bonus with this card to jumpstart your cashback earnings. You can earn $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
If your side hustle grows and so does your employee count, you can add employee cards to the account at no extra cost. Any charges that are made on employee cards will also add to your cashback earnings.
Lastly, the card comes with a $0 annual fee. So this card will not cost you anything to hold.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Another great card to earn cash back on your side-hustle purchases is the Capital One Spark Cash for Business. If you have consistently large expenses or an expensive project in the near future such as an office remodel, you have the potential to earn some serious cash back with this card.
When you use this card, you will Earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months. If you can’t complete the second half of the bonus, you can still earn the first half. And this card is still worth considering even if the second half is out of reach because as you use the card, you will earn 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. With rewards on every purchase, every day, you can earn valuable cash back without needing to track any spending categories.
This card has a $95 (waived first year) annual fee. So you can try the card out for a year cost-free to see if it works for you and your side hustle.
Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
If you want to earn valuable travel rewards without tracking spending categories, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express could be a great fit. This card is simple, yet very effective to earn loads of American Express Membership Rewards.
As you use this card for your side hustle, you will earn 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that. These rewards are similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards in that they are transferable to a number of American Express travel partners including Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Hilton Hotels, and more.
This card comes with a $0 annual fee, so you will be sure that all of your Membership Rewards will be earned at no additional cost to you. The card doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus or welcome offer, though.
To really get the most rewards, it is a great idea to have another American Express card in addition to the Blue Business Plus Credit Card. I currently have the American Express Platinum Card and American Express Gold Card along with the Blue Business Plus Credit Card — which is known as the Amex trifecta. The Amex trifecta will allow you to strategically earn from all your expenses, whether they are personal purchases or for your side hustle.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
If you are side hustling toward the goal of taking a few luxurious vacations, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card may be a great fit. This card has spending categories that can fit with nearly any side hustle.
When you use this card, you will earn 12X per dollar on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton, 6X per dollar on select business and travel purchases, and 3X per dollar on all all other purchases.
And to get your Hilton Honors points balance started, you can earn 125,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first first 3 months of card membership.
As long as you hold this card, you will have complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status. This status gets you perks such as room upgrades (when available), complimentary breakfast at all Hilton hotels, and late check out. In addition, the card will give you 10 free Priority Pass airport lounge visits on your upcoming travels. Lastly, you can earn a free weekend night certificate at any Hilton property if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year with the card.
The card comes with a reasonable $95 annual fee. But with the opportunity to earn a great amount of Hilton Honors points, it is worth considering if you want to reduce your travel costs without losing out on luxury.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card
This card isn’t a perfect fit for every side hustler, but If you frequently fly Southwest and want to use your side gig to earn free flights, then look no further than the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card.
Unless you have a large amount of travel to book, the card doesn’t have lucrative categories for your side hustle spending. However, you can still earn great points for future travel. As you use the card, you will earn 2X points on eligible Southwest Airlines purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. And the sign-up bonus can get you started quickly. You will earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
This card has a $99 annual fee, but you will automatically be rewarded for that fee each year with 6,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards. So if you plan on flying Southwest Airlines regularly, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card could be a great fit for you and your side hustle.
The bottom line on the best credit cards for side hustles
You are giving up your free time to make extra money on the side, and that is admirable. To continue making those dollars work for you, a business credit card for your side hustle can net you outstanding awards. When you select a credit card for your side hustle, you should pick the card that best fits your financial situation and lifestyle. There is no one “best” card for everybody.
So as you side-hustle your way to your financial goals, keep in mind that a business credit card can help you. Whether it’s saving you money in the form of cashback or travel rewards, a business credit card can complement your side hustle and help you get to your goals.