To properly compare credit cards, it’s always a good idea to look through what both Chase and American Express have to offer. For small business owners, Chase credit cards and American Express credit cards are among the best business credit cards in the world, providing a wide range of benefits and ways to earn rewards back from your business expenses.
But this inevitably leads a business owner to ask themselves which is better — should you go with Chase vs. Amex for small business spending?
In this guide, we’ll discuss different Chase and Amex business credit cards and how they can bring you the most value. This will help you decide which cards may be a better fit for you and your business.
Why small business credit cards can be lucrative
Small business credit cards provide business owners with an opportunity to earn lucrative rewards on their everyday business expenses. Many business credit cards offer bonus earning rates on common business costs, such as purchases at office supply stores, phone and internet bills, or business travel expenses like airfare and rental cars.
Because these are expenses you’re already paying to keep your business running, it only makes sense to earn rewards on them at the same time. You can then use your rewards on many different redemption options, such as booking award travel, receiving cash back, or funding shopping trips.
In addition, the best credit cards can also provide valuable benefits to cardmembers. Depending on the card, you may receive complimentary travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, cell phone protection, and much more.
Apart from the rewards and perks, business credit cards also make it easy to keep track of your purchases. It’s essential to make sure your business expenses are kept separate from your personal expenses so it’s easier for you to handle the tax process when the time comes.
Understanding the Chase business cards
Chase business credit cards consist of multiple Chase Ink cards and a few co-branded business cards. The Chase Ink business cards are solely designed and issued by Chase, whereas the co-branded cards are issued by Chase in partnership with another company.
Here are all the available Chase business cards:
|Card name||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Best for...|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||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||Travel rewards and benefits|
|Chase Ink Business Unlimited||Earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months||1.5% cash back on all spending||Low-stress spending|
|Chase Ink Business Cash||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||Office supplies|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card||80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months||3X points on Southwest purchases; 2X on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as social media and search engine advertising; and 1X on everything else||Frequent Southwest travelers|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card||Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year||2X points for Southwest purchases and 1X points on all other purchases||Occasional Southwest travelers|
|United Business Card||Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus earn an additional 75,000 miles after spending $20,000 total in the first 6 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||United business travelers|
With Chase business cards, you can earn cash back, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, or other rewards from another loyalty program. For instance, the Chase Southwest business cards earn Rapid Rewards points, and the United Business Card earns MileagePlus miles.
Cash back is great, but Chase Ultimate Rewards points are easily one of the most lucrative rewards currencies available. They can be redeemed for valuable travel options through the Chase travel portal or for cash back, gift cards, and shopping trips. You can also transfer them to any Chase transfer partner like JetBlue Airways, IHG Rewards Club, or World of Hyatt.
To give you more of an idea of the power of the Chase business cards, here are three of our favorite credit card offers:
Chase Ink Business Preferred: Best for travel rewards and benefits
The Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card is an essential part of the Chase business card lineup. It has a $95 annual fee and a generous 100,000 points sign-up bonus after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months.
You can take advantage of its useful bonus categories when it comes to your business expenses by earning 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.
Every point you earn on the Chase Ink Business Preferred card is worth 25% more in travel redemptions through the Chase travel portal. You also receive other travel perks like trip cancellation and interruption insurance, roadside dispatch services, and auto rental insurance. Other coverages include cell phone protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.
Read our Chase Ink Business Preferred review.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited: Best for low-stress spending
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited is an ideal business card for business owners who don’t want to stress about how they earn rewards on purchases. The Chase Ink Unlimited has a $0 annual fee and a straightforward earning rate of 1.5% cash back on all spending. This makes it easy to earn rewards on any business spending, no matter which category it falls under. You can also earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months.
The Chase Ink Unlimited offers multiple benefits to cardholders, including a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening. You also get purchase protection, extended warranty protection, an auto rental collision damage waiver, and roadside dispatch services.
If you want to redeem your cash back for travel, it could make a lot of sense to pair this card with the Chase Ink Business Preferred. You can combine points between Chase Ink cards, which means your cash back on the Chase Ink Unlimited could be worth 25% more toward travel just by moving it to the Chase Ink Preferred. This is a free and easy way to immediately get more value out of your rewards.
Read our Chase Ink Business Unlimited review.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card: Best for frequent Southwest travelers
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is a Chase-issued card in partnership with Southwest Airlines. This means you’ll earn rewards in the form of Rapid Rewards points, which can be redeemed for Southwest award flights and are not subject to blackout dates.
There is a $199 annual fee, but new cardholders can earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. You can also earn 3X points on Southwest purchases; 2X on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as social media and search engine advertising; and 1X on everything else.
The best benefits to this card are the 9,000 additional points you receive each account anniversary year, the four complimentary seat upgrades you get each year, and the up to 365 free Wi-Fi credits you can enjoy per year. You also get a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement, as well as lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection.
Understanding the American Express business cards
American Express business credit cards consist of Amex cards and Amex cards that are co-branded with other companies. All the cards are issued by Amex, but the rewards and perks vary depending on whether they’re co-branded.
Here are all the available American Express business cards:
|Card name||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Best for...|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months||5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases||Travel rewards and luxury benefits|
|Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||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||Hilton business travelers|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||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||Everyday rewards earning|
|American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card||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||Low-stress cash back|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||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||Low-stress travel rewards|
|The Plum Card® from American Express||No preset spending limit||1.5% cash back on the portion of your eligible charges balance that you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date, as long as you pay at least your minimum payment||Simple cash back and interest-free balances|
|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express||Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 within your first 3 months||2X points per dollar on eligible purchases at Amextravel.com, and 1X points for all other eligible purchases||Amex Travel|
|Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card||Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 MQMs, and a $100 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||3X miles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta and on eligible hotel purchases; 1.5X miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (capped at 50,000 miles per calendar year); and 1X mile per $1 spent on other eligible purchases||Low-cost option for Delta Air Lines travelers|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card||Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, and earn up to $150 in statement credits on eligible purchases made within the first 3 months||6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases||Marriott business travelers|
|Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card||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||Frequent Delta travelers|
|Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card||Earn 80,000 bonus miles, 20,000 MQMs, and a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||3X miles for eligible purchases made directly with Delta, 1.5X miles per dollar after spending $150,000 in a calendar year, and 1X miles on all other purchases||Premium Delta benefits|
|Amazon Business American Express Card||Earn a $100 Amazon gift card upon appoval||3% back in Amazon Rewards points or no interest for 60 days on U.S. Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and purchases with U.S. wireless providers; and 1% back on all other purchases||Non-Prime Amazon shoppers|
|Amazon Business Prime American Express Card||Earn a $125 Amazon gift card upon approval||5% back in Amazon Rewards points or no interest for 90 days on U.S. Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and purchases with U.S. wireless providers; and 1% back on all other purchases||Amazon Prime shoppers|
|Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express||Earn $100 cash back (in the form of a statement credit) upon card approval, plus 5X points on eligible Lowe's purchases during your first 6 months||3X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. office supply stores, and purchases with U.S. wireless telephone service providers; 2X points at Lowe's stores and Lowes.com; 1X points on all other purchases||Lowe’s shoppers|
Within the Amex business card program, you can earn cash back, Amex Membership Rewards points, or rewards with another loyalty program. Examples of other rewards you can earn include Delta SkyMiles, Hilton Honors points, and Marriott Bonvoy points.
Amex Membership Rewards points offer loads of value because of their redemption options. Because you can redeem points for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more, business cards that earn Membership Rewards points are more flexible than cards that earn only cash back. You can also transfer your Membership Rewards points to Amex transfer partners like Radisson Rewards, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines.
Here are three of our top picks when it comes to the business credit card offers from American Express:
Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for travel rewards and luxury benefits
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is an excellent choice for businesspeople who want luxury travel perks. There’s a $595 (See rates and fees) annual fee (term apply), but you get a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months.
You can also earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases. If you use the Pay with Points option to pay for all or part of an eligible flight, you get 35% of your points back.
Each year, the Amex Business Platinum provides an up to $200 Dell Technologies credit and an up to $200 airline fee credit. You also receive complimentary Priority Pass and Amex Centurion Lounge access, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, Hilton Honors Gold status, and extra benefits with the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
In addition, card membership also gets you trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection.
There are even more Amex Business Platinum benefits, but that’s a big taste of what you can expect from this high-end business travel card.
Blue Business Cash Card from American Express: Best for low-stress cash back
The Blue Business Cash Card from American Express is a top choice if you want simple cash back on your business purchases.
The Amex Blue Business Cash is a earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. You can also earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that. Cash back arrives in the form of a statement credit. The Blue Business Cash has a $0 (See rates and fees) annual fee (terms apply).
For benefits, the Blue Business Cash has car rental loss and damage insurance, as well as an Expanded Buying Power benefit. With Expanded Buying Power, you’re able to make business purchases above your credit limit without a penalty. You’ll also still earn cash back on any eligible purchase that exceeds your credit limit. This unique perk can help if you need more buying power to get essential items or supplies to keep your business running and growing.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Best for Hilton business travelers
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card provides loads of value for Hilton business travelers. It has a $95 (See rates and fees) annual fee (terms apply), but new cardmembers can earn Up to 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. You can also earn 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.
The earning potential and welcome offer should easily offset the $95 annual cost, but you also get extra benefits that bring you even more value, including automatic Hilton Honors Gold status. Each year you’ll also receive 10 complimentary Priority Pass visits and the opportunity to earn multiple free weekend award nights. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
After you spend $15,000 in a calendar year, you’ll earn one free weekend award night. After spending $60,000 in a calendar year, you’ll get another. And if you meet the spending requirement of $40,000 in a calendar year, you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status until the end of the following calendar year.
Chase vs. Amex for small business owners
Where Chase wins
The Chase vs. Amex for small businesses competition is very evenly matched, but Chase comes out on top in multiple categories:
- Travel portal: Although American Express Travel provides a good opportunity to redeem Membership Rewards points for flights, it’s not as well-rounded as the Chase travel portal. Chase partners with Expedia to provide a seamless award booking experience with your Ultimate Rewards points. Use them on flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals, experiences, and more with the same points redemption rate of at least 1 cent per point. You can use Membership Rewards points on most of these options as well, but only flights offer the best redemption rate.
- Card acceptance: Chase credit cards use the Visa and Mastercard payments networks to process their transactions. These are the two most widely accepted credit card payment methods in the world, which makes it easy to use Chase cards anywhere credit cards are accepted. American Express uses its own payments network to process transactions on its cards. The American Express network is widely accepted throughout the U.S., but it doesn’t have the same international acceptance rate as Visa or Mastercard.
- Combining points: Chase Ink business cards are often used together because you can combine your Chase rewards onto one card and get more value from them. This also works with other Chase cards, like the Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve. And, you can combine Chase points with a spouse or partner who has these cards as well. Cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points will pool their points together for one cardholder, but you can’t combine points between spouses or partners.
If you often travel for business, Chase provides winning benefits with its business cards. The Chase travel portal is easier and more rewarding to use than Amex Travel. Also, you have more opportunities to combine points together between different Chase accounts. And if you travel abroad, it’s always a good idea to have a Visa or Mastercard with you so you know you’ll have a working credit card.
Where Amex wins
Chase isn’t the best when it comes to everything — Amex also has categories in which it’s the clear winner:
- Premium benefits: American Express and Chase fight it out for the best premium benefits on their cards, but Amex eventually takes the lead. Take the Amex Business Platinum, for example. You get a whole slew of benefits that none of the Chase business cards can quite match. Free annual travel and business credits, airport lounge access, elite status with two major hotel chains, and so on.
- Card selection: American Express simply has more business credit card options than Chase. With more options, it’s easy to find a card that suits your spending habits and the way you run your business. There are plenty of gaps between the Chase business card products. You get only slight variations between Amex business cards, but that might be exactly what you need. With Chase, you don’t get the luxury of lots of choices.
- Transfer bonuses: Both Chase and American Express have arrangements with major airline and hotel partners. You can transfer your points to the loyalty programs of these partners and then use them for flights or hotel stays. The Chase and Amex transfer programs are very similar, except Amex often has transfer bonus promotions with some of its partners. This means you’d receive a certain bonus percentage of rewards when you transfer your points to specific partners during the promotional period. Overall, this gives you a lot more bang for your buck when transferring Membership Rewards points. Chase has also offered transfer bonuses, but they’re not as frequent as Amex transfer bonuses.
If you want more business card options to help run your business, American Express is the clear winner compared with Chase. With Amex, you’ll also get a lot more premium benefits on certain Amex business cards, as well as a higher frequency of transfer bonuses. For business travelers who like to get more for their points and travel in style, Amex provides ideal opportunities to do so.
What is the best Amex business card?
The best Amex business card is the one that best suits your business needs. This includes the types of business expenses you typically make and what you’re looking for in credit card benefits. For example, you may travel frequently for business and want a business card to earn rewards on travel purchases. In this case, a card like the Business Platinum Card from American Express or Hilton Honors Business Card might make the most sense for you.
Which Chase business card is the best?
The best Chase business card depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a business card to help offset common business expenses, the Chase Ink Preferred and Chase Ink Cash are excellent choices. To help fuel your business travel, a card like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card or the United Business Card might make more sense.
Does opening a business credit card affect your credit score?
Opening business credit cards from most card issuers will likely affect your personal credit score to a small degree. Card issuers typically need to perform a hard credit check to deem you worthy of borrowing credit, which can drop your credit score a few points. Credit checks will typically fall off your credit history after a while, and then your score should go back up.
How many business credit cards can I have?
There is no set limit on how many business credit cards you can have, especially if you have business cards from multiple credit card companies. However, each credit card issuer may have its own rules and guidelines you should be aware of.
For example, the Chase 5/24 rule says you can’t qualify for more Chase cards — including business cards — if you’ve opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months. On the other hand, American Express typically limits you to five total Amex credit cards, whether they’re personal, business, or a combination of the two.
So which business cards should you choose, Chase or Amex? Overall, it’s a tough question, one that doesn’t have a clearly defined answer. For small business owners, the answer comes down to what exactly you’re looking for in credit cards.
Do you want premium travel benefits? Are you looking for an intuitive and easy-to-use travel portal? Do you want a no-stress cashback card for your business expenses?
As you answer these questions, you can go through this guide to see which business card(s) most align with your financial needs. In short, both Chase and Amex offer excellent rewards programs and some of the best business credit cards available. Chase business cards are more widely accepted around the world, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t travel abroad. In that case, you might opt for an Amex business card with better travel benefits.
Get 2% Back Automatically
$250 statement credit
up to 2% cash back
- 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,
- Annual spending cap on bonus cash back
- 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