The Best Business Credit Cards for Side Hustles [2024]: Earn Rewards with Your Gig

CREDIT CARDS - BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS
If you freelance or have a side gig, you could qualify for a small business credit card that earns valuable rewards.
Updated Feb. 20, 2024
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Best Business Credit Cards for Side Hustles

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To help you reach your small business and personal finance goals, we picked the best business credit cards for side hustles.This includes credit cards such as the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, and The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card.

These small business cards provide great rewards rates and generous welcome offers that can benefit any freelancer or gig economy enthusiast.

In this article

Key takeaways

The 5 best credit cards for side hustles

  1. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
  2. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
  3. The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
  4. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  5. American Express® Business Gold Card

Compare the best credit cards for side hustles

Credit card Best for Rewards rate Annual fee

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

4.8

Elevated cash back 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 $0

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

4.8

Simple cash back Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase $0

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

5.0

Simple cash back 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that $0 (Terms apply)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

4.8

Travel rewards 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

American Express® Business Gold Card

American Express® Business Gold Card

4.8

Flexible spending categories 4X Membership Rewards Points on purchases in the two categories with the most spend each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories (up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, after that 1X), 3X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com, and 1 point per $1 spent on other eligible purchases $375 (Terms apply)

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Pros
  • $0 annual fee
  • Elevated cashback rate
  • Intro APR offer on purchases
Cons
  • Has foreign transaction fees

The Chase Ink Business Cash provides some of the best earning potential we’ve seen on common business categories.

Why we like it

As part of its cashback rate, you can earn 5% on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. This provides a high cashback potential each year if you max out your spending in this category.

On top of that, the Ink Business Cash also has a $0 annual fee and provides this intro APR offer:

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable).

What we don’t like

This isn’t the best card for international trips since you have to pay 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars in foreign transaction fees.

Learn more in our Ink Business Cash review.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Pros
  • $0 annual fee
  • Simple cashback rate
  • Intro APR offer on purchases
Cons
  • Has foreign transaction fees

The Ink Business Unlimited makes sense if you want a simple cashback rate for making business purchases.

Why we like it

You can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase and take advantage of an intro APR offer on purchases. This card has a $0 annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about additional costs.

This card helps you benefit from this intro APR offer:

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable).

What we don’t like

You have to pay a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars on applicable purchases, making this a poor choice for international travel.

Learn more in our Ink Business Unlimited review.

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Pros
  • $0 annual fee (terms apply)
  • Simple cashback rate
  • Intro APR offer on purchases
Cons
  • Has foreign transaction fees

The Amex Blue Business Cash has a simple cashback rate that’s higher than average.

Why we like it

You can earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that. The cash back you earn is in the form of statement credits that automatically post to your account. This rate beats out many other cards that only earn up to 1.5% back on qualifying purchases.

You can also take advantage of this intro APR offer:

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 26.49% Variable).

What we don’t like

You have to pay 2.7% foreign transaction fees on applicable purchases, including purchases made abroad.

Learn more in our American Express Blue Business Cash Card review.

Tip
If you like the Blue Business Cash but prefer earning travel rewards, consider The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. The Blue Business Plus is similar to the Blue Business Cash, but it earns points as part of the American Express Membership Rewards program.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Pros
  • Elevated earning potential on common business spending categories
  • Has flexible redemption options, including transfers to travel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No intro APR offers

The Ink Business Preferred makes sense if you want to earn travel rewards on common business expenses.

Why we like it

You can earn an elevated rewards rate on everyday business expenses, including 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.

Even better, you can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a variety of different options. These include redemptions you won’t find on most cash back cards, such as transferring your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt.

You also have options to redeem points for cash back, gift cards, and making Apple purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards. One bonus is that you receive a 25% boost to your redemption value if you use points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

And if you like to travel abroad, you don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees with the Ink Business Preferred.

What we don’t like

There’s a $95 annual fee and no intro APR offers on purchases or balance transfers.

Learn more in our Ink Business Preferred review.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Pros
  • Flexible earning potential
  • With enrollment, get up to $240 back annually for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and office supply stores
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • $375 annual fee (Terms apply)
  • No intro APR offers

The Amex Business Gold Card has one of the most flexible rewards rates if you frequently have different types of business expenses.

Why we like it

You can earn 4X Membership Rewards Points on purchases in the two categories with the most spend each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories (up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, after that 1X), 3X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com, and 1 point per $1 spent on other eligible purchases.

Eligible 4X categories include:

  • Purchases at U.S. media providers for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made from electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • Transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
  • Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S.

The Amex Business Gold also has no foreign transaction fees and provides multiple types of credit.

  • Flexible business credit: Get up to $240 back each year (up to $20 per month) for making eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and office supply stores.
  • Walmart+ credit: Get $12.95 (plus applicable taxes) back per month when you pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership.

Keep in mind that enrollment is required for select benefits.

What we don’t like

There aren’t any intro APR offers, and you have to pay a $375 annual fee .

Learn more in our American Express® Business Gold Card review.

How to choose the best credit card for your side hustle

Consider these factors to help you decide which card makes the most sense for your side hustle.

1. Earning potential

Many rewards cards provide a welcome offer or sign-up bonus that new cardholders can earn within the first months of card membership. If two cards have similar benefits, a better welcome bonus could tip the scale in favor of one card over another.

To compare everyday earning potential, consider the rewards rates of different cards. You can typically find two types of rates.

  1. Flat-rate rewards: Flat-rate rewards offer a consistent reward rate, like 2% cash back on all purchases. It’s ideal if you prefer simplicity over managing multiple cards for different categories.
  2. Bonus categories: Bonus categories offer higher rewards on specific purchases like 3X miles on travel. It’s suitable if you have consistent expenses and want to maximize rewards.

2. Type of rewards

Rewards credit cards tend to earn one of three types of rewards: cash back, points, or miles.

Cash back makes sense if you want to use your rewards for statement credits, bank deposits, or similar types of redemptions.

Points and miles make sense for travel redemptions, including flights, hotel stays, and car rentals.

3. Fees

Two of the most common types of fees that can vary between credit cards are annual fees and foreign transaction fees.

In general, cards with annual fees tend to have more benefits. So it could be worth paying a fee as a cardmember to take advantage of increased rewards or perks. But if you want to avoid an annual fee, there are plenty of no-annual-fee cards that can provide loads of value.

Foreign transaction fees are typically only applicable if you plan to travel abroad or make international business purchases with your card. Most travel credit cards don’t have foreign transaction fees.

4. Benefits

Many business credit cards provide free employee cards as well as expense management tools and resources. But for specific benefits, such as airport lounge access or introductory APR offers, you’ll have to compare different cards to find what works best for you.

Note that intro APR offers aren’t as common on business credit cards versus personal cards. This is especially true for intro APR offers on balance transfers.

5. Eligibility requirements

If you want to be approved for a business credit card, you need to run a legitimate business. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need a corporation or lots of employees, as many business credit card applications accept sole proprietorships as well.

If you’re a small business owner with a new business, you can typically use your personal credit score and personal credit history during the application process. This is very similar to applying for a personal credit card.

This could be important if you don’t yet have a business credit score or employer identification number (EIN). In that case, you can typically use your Social Security number as a sole proprietor.

Side hustle business credit cards FAQ

How do you get 5% cash back on a credit card?

Many credit cards offer up to 5% back or more. This includes both personal and business credit cards. You can use personal credit cards for your side hustle as long as you keep track of business-related transactions to have an easier time filing your taxes.

Some cards to consider include:

  1. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
  2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Cash back is in the form of Rewards Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits)
  3. AARP® Travel Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays
  4. Chase Freedom Flex℠
  5. Discover it® Cash Back (On quarterly rotating categories, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate)
  6. Prime Visa
  7. U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card
  8. U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Which credit card do most millionaires use?

Millionaires and other wealthy individuals tend to use credit cards that have lots of rewards and benefits as well as cards that can have high credit limits. Credit cards that come with various perks and benefits include:

  1. The Centurion® Card from American Express
  2. The Platinum Card® from American Express
  3. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  4. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  5. Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  6. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  7. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

What is the best credit card for a freelancer?

Best credit cards for side hustles: bottom line

We think the Ink Business Cash is one of the best business credit cards for side hustles because it provides high earning potential on common business expenses. And it has a $0 annual fee.

For more top credit card offers, check out our list of the best business credit cards.

Methodology

To determine the best credit cards for side hustles, we first compiled a list of credit cards that people with side businesses may qualify for. We then gathered information about these cards, including but not limited to earning rates, welcome offers, annual fees, and other relevant features and benefits.

The next step was determining which cards offer great value to individuals with side hustles. It’s important to note that our recommendations do not include all available credit cards suitable for side hustles. Additionally, we didn’t rank the cards in any specific order. Instead, our recommendations are designed to provide information on a curated selection of credit cards that may be suitable for those with side hustles.

Hot Welcome Bonus

4.8

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Current Offer

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

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

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

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. 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.
Brett Holzhauer Brett Holzhauer is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. He writes about using points & miles for travel, travel industry news, utilizing credit cards as financial leverage, and investing for the future. He has been featured in publications such as The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets, The Money Manual, Recruiter, Travel Pulse, and Bald Thoughts. He is a full-time digital nomad with his wife, Kiersten.

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