No-Annual-Fee Business Credit Cards Do Exist! Here Are 5 Options to Consider

Here are a few options to consider if you're looking for a business credit card with no annual fee.
Last updated Jun 4, 2021 | By Brett Holzhauer
Smiling small business owners outside flower shop

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If you’re a small business owner, you’ll be happy to learn that no annual fee business credit cards do exist. And if you have regular or upcoming business purchases, using a business credit card with no annual fee can help you reduce the hard cost to your business with valuable rewards or cash back. But with so many card options, how do you decide which is best for your business?

In this article, I will discuss how to choose the best no annual fee business credit card. I’ll also outline a few of the best options available and some tips to consider before you apply for a card.

In this article

How to choose the best no-annual-fee business credit card

Choosing a credit card is difficult because there are so many options available. As you weigh your options, it is important to know that a credit card for your business can be a large asset. It can help boost spending power, make it easier to track your business expenses, and much more.

Often, earning travel rewards or cash back are top-of-mind for small business owners when they research different cards. However, it’s important to consider a few other factors before you choose a card for your business.

  • Rewards: You will earn either cash back or travel rewards as you spend. Both are equally valuable, but the most important question is — which will benefit your business the most?
  • Welcome offers: Many credit cards offer a welcome offer when you first sign up for the card. Often, these offers are lucrative and enticing, but be sure to look beyond them as well. While one card may offer a great bonus, it might not give you the long-term rewards your business needs.
  • Introductory APR offers: Some cards offer interest-free spending for a set time period. These offers can be valuable if you need to make a large purchase and want more time to pay off your balance.
  • Coverages: Business owners often overlook the additional coverages that some credit cards provide. Examples of credit card insurance coverages include: rental car insurance while traveling, purchase coverage if your item is lost or stolen, and extended warranty to give your purchases longer coverage options than the manufacturer's warranty.

What is the best no-annual-fee business credit card?

There are a limited amount of no annual fee business credit cards on the market. The majority do have an annual fee, but several do not have annual fees. While there is no “best” card, there are several options that may be the “best” for you and your business needs.

If you’re interested in applying for a Chase business credit card specifically, remember that all Chase cards fall under the dreaded 5/24 rule. According to the 5/24 rule, if you have five credit card approvals in a 24-month span, you will be declined from any Chase credit cards. 5/24 rule aside, if you are interested in a multiple credit card strategy to maximize your expenses, you should apply for Chase cards first.

Here are a few of the best business credit cards with no annual fee.

Card Welcome bonus Reward details Annual fee
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 $0
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express Get a 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 $0 (See rates and fees) (terms apply)
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases on all cards attached to the account $0
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 $0
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days 3% cash back on your category of choice and 2% cash back on dining (on up to $50,000 annually in combined 3% and 2% category purchases); and unlimited 1% cash back on everything else $0

Chase Ink Business Cash

The Chase Ink Business Cash is one of the best no annual fee business credit cards.

With the Chase Ink Business Cash, you will get 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.

To get your cashback earnings off to a quick start, you can earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months. With the welcome bonus included, you could potentially earn over $1,000 in cash back in the first year alone — with a $0 annual fee!

In addition to the savings, the Chase Ink Business Cash Card card comes with rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.

This card is a great option for small business owners who want to save money each month on their expenses that match the specific categories of the card.

Up to 5% Cash Back

Intro Offer

$750 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $750 cash back sign-up bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Up to 5% cash back

Drawbacks

  • Capped spending on bonus cash back categories
  • Has foreign transaction fee
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)


The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

If one of your top priorities is to earn points for travel, the Blue Business Plus from American Express is a card worth considering.

The Blue Business Plus from American Express does not come with a welcome offer, so you won’t get that added boost as a new cardholder. However, you will earn a respectable 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that with this card. Along with this card, it is a great idea to apply for the Amex trifecta to earn the maximum amount of Membership Rewards possible. Membership Rewards can be redeemed for a variety of different things including travel, gift cards, or online shopping.

In addition, you’ll also get employee cards for no additional fee, rental car insurance, and Global Assist Hotline in case things go awry while you are traveling for work.

The Blue Business Plus from American Express is a great card for hassle-free points earning on all of your business purchases.

Simplified Earnings for Small Business Owners

Intro Offer

15,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Up to 2X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2X Membership Rewards Points on first $50,000 each year
  • Global Assist hotline
  • No annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
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


Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business is a simple, yet effective option for business owners that want to save on their purchases.

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business will earn you unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases on all cards attached to the account. In addition, you can earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months. And if you want to enjoy interest-free spending, the card comes with a N/A intro APR on purchases for the first N/A of card membership.

This card may not offer as many perks as other no annual fee business credit cards, but a simple option may suit your business needs the best.

Flat 1.5% cash back & no annual fee

Intro Offer

$500

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

unlimited 1.5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $500 cash bonus welcome offer
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back
  • Free employee cards
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Other cards may earn higher rewards for bigger spenders
  • No intro APR offer
Card Details
  • Earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases on all cards attached to the account


Chase Ink Business Unlimited

Similar to the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card offers unlimited cash back on all your business purchases.

When you use the card, you will get 1.5% cash back on all spending. This cashback rate isn’t too special, but the welcome bonus is worth considering as you can earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months. In addition, the card comes with a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months of card membership.

In addition to the savings, the Chase Ink Business Cash Card card comes with rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.

This card is a great option for small business owners who want to save money each month on their expenses without investing time into tracking numerous spending categories.

Unlimited Cash Back

Intro Offer

$750

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • New Offer: $750 cash back sign-up offer
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all spending
  • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
  • No lucrative rewards categories
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)


Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard

The Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard has a stretched out name — and it wants to stretch your business’s dollars even further.

With the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard, you will get 3% cash back on your category of choice and 2% cash back on dining (on up to $50,000 annually in combined 3% and 2% category purchases); and unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. It also offers a generous welcome bonus — you can earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

To earn even more cash back, you can become part of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards for Business program. This program can increase your cashback earnings up to 75% based on how much money you are holding with Bank of America. If you are in the market for a new bank account and credit card simultaneously, you may want to consider Bank of America as they reward their loyal customers well.

In addition, the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 9 months of card membership.

Pick Your Best Business Cashback Category

Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard

Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard

Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard

Intro Offer

$300 statement credit

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Up to 3% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Choose your 3% cash back category, plus earn 2% cash back on dining
  • Earn $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in first 90 days
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for first 9 months
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 3% cash back on your category of choice and 2% cash back on dining (on up to $50,000 annually in combined 3% and 2% category purchases); and unlimited 1% cash back on everything else
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 9 months then 12.24% to 22.24% (variable)


Why we chose these cards (methodology)

There are many different business credit cards on the market today, both with and without annual fees. It can be difficult to know which one is right for your business, but these no annual fee business credit cards will help you narrow down your options.

In addition to having no annual fee, I chose these cards because you can use them to earn cash back or rewards on your business purchases. The cash back you earn can help keep your budget healthy. And if you choose a card with travel rewards, these can help save on your business travel costs such as flights or hotels. Either way, you are earning value back through business purchases you were going to make anyway.

The bottom line on the best no-annual-fee business credit card

Although you may hear or read differently, there isn’t a “best” business credit card. The “best” business credit card is the one that earns you the maximum amount of rewards based on your purchases. And to find that “best” card for your business, take a good look at your expenses.

If your expenses are solely at office supply stores, you will want to consider a card that rewards you within that category. If you spend intermittently and across different categories, a card that rewards you equally for all your purchases may be the better route.

It’s easy to select a card and call it “good.'' But if you do so, consider that you may be leaving valuable rewards on the table. Your time as a business owner is valuable, but the rewards are valuable as well. If you take 30 minutes of your time to evaluate which no annual fee business credit card is best for your business, you could make a significant difference in your budget.

Simplified Earnings for Small Business Owners

Intro Offer

15,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Up to 2X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2X Membership Rewards Points on first $50,000 each year
  • Global Assist hotline
  • No annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
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

Author Details

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.