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:
- Chase Ink Business Preferred: Best for travel rewards and benefits
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited: Best for low-stress spending
- Chase Ink Business Cash: Best for office supplies
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card: Best for frequent Southwest travelers
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: Best for occasional Southwest travelers
- United Business Card: Best for 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
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.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
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.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
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 up to 100,000 points after spending $25,000 in the first 6 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:
- Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for travel rewards and luxury benefits
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Best for Hilton business travelers
- American Express Business Gold Card: Best for everyday rewards earning
- Blue Business Cash Card from American Express: Best for low-stress cash back
- Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for low-stress travel rewards
- Plum Card from American Express: Best for simple cash back and interest-free balances
- Business Green Rewards Card from American Express: Best for Amex Travel
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card: Best low-cost option for Delta Air Lines travelers
- Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: Best for Marriott business travelers
- Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card: Best for frequent Delta travelers
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card: Best for premium Delta benefits
- Amazon Business American Express Card: Best for non-Prime Amazon shoppers
- Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: Best for Amazon Prime shoppers
- Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express: Best for 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
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is an excellent choice for businesspeople who want luxury travel perks. There’s a $595 annual fee, but you get a welcome bonus of 75,000 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.
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
The Blue Business Cash Card from American Express is a top choice if you want simple cash back on your business purchases.
0% intro APR on purchases. You can also earn 2% cash back on eligible purchases on up to $50,000 spent each year and 1% cash back on everything else. The Blue Business Cash has a $0 annual fee.
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
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card provides loads of value for Hilton business travelers. It has a $95 annual fee, but new cardmembers can earn 130,000 points after spending $3,000 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 travel and 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.
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 each small business owner, the answer comes down to what exactly you’re looking for in a business card.
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 high-quality business card products and their rewards programs are two of the best 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.