I have a small business and these are my 4 favorite business credit cards
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- Writer Caroline Lupini runs her own small business while traveling the world.
- She finds there are business credit cards that offer outsized rewards on her everyday business spending, and she sticks with her four favorite cards to get the most value.
- These four credit cards are the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card, and the Capital One Spark Cash for Business.
When you have a small business, it's important to keep your business expenses separate from your personal ones - but you also want to make sure you're earning rewards on all your business spending.My small business isn't as traditional as most small businesses are. I dabble in a lot of different things, and my expenses are, likewise, pretty varied. Like many small businesses, I do have to cover expenses for a computer, software, and a cell phone. I also travel frequently and pay for meals and gas while I'm on the road with my business cards.
While I have many other credit cards that I use regularly for personal expenses, these four cards are my favorite business credit cards:
I love this card because it earns 2x American Express Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases every calendar year, then 1x. Those points can be transferred to 18 different airline partners, covering all three major airline alliances, so it's easy to use those points for travel.
The Blue Business Plus also offers purchase protection and extended warranty coverage, which helps protect my equipment and other business purchases and saves money on extended warranty plans. And like all American Express cards, you can sign up for AmEx Offers to get bonus points or cash rebates at specific merchants.
Unfortunately the Blue Business Plus doesn't usually come with a welcome bonus, but it does offer a 0.0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (then a variable APR of 15.49% to 21.49% applies), which can be a great way to leverage cash flow for your business. And best of all, there's no annual fee.
This card isn't necessarily a great choice for everyone, but as someone who works from a bunch of locations around the world, it's become one of my favorites.Currently the American Express Business Platinum Card offers a one year WeWork Platinum Global Access subscription (a one-time offer; must enroll between 2/15/19 and 12/31/19) as well as access to airport lounges, including American Express Centurion Lounges. If you use WeWork - or another coworking space and are willing to move - that benefit alone is worth far more than the $595 annual fee.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card is hands down one of the most rewarding credit cards for small business owners. You'll earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar spent in common business categories: travel, shipping, phone/cable/internet, and search engine or social media advertising, up to $150,000 in combined purchases every year.
The Ink Business Preferred also offers a suite of valuable protection benefits: auto rental insurance, trip insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, and cell phone protection; any one of these alone could easily justify the $95 annual fee.
On top of that, the card comes with an amazing sign up bonus: 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of account opening, worth at least $1,000 towards travel (and potentially much more if you transfer those points to one of Chase's airline or hotel partners).
Pro tip: You might also want to consider the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card, which offers 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases, or the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, which offers 5x Ultimate Rewards points at office supply stores and on cable, phone, and internet purchases (up to $25,000/year) and 2x at gas stations and restaurants.
Both of these cards have no annual fee. The catch? You can't transfer those Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners unless you have another Ultimate Rewards card with an annual fee, like the Ink Business Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Sometimes cash back is hard to argue with, especially when you're spending in categories that don't earn bonus points in a rewards program. The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card is an excellent cash back card for small business owners: Earn unlimited 2% cash back everywhere. This card is my top pick when I otherwise wouldn't earn more than 1x point per dollar with another card.
The Spark Cash for Business card also offers valuable purchase and travel benefits, including auto rental insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, emergency travel assistance, and no foreign transaction fees.You'll get a $500 bonus if you open a new account and spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. The card has no annual fee for the first year; afterward it costs $95/year.
Which card is right for me?
If you have personal rewards credit cards, think about how these cards tie in with your own rewards strategy - for example, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders might want to get one of the Chase Ink business cards to increase their Ultimate Rewards balance, or you could diversify your points portfolio and increase the number of airlines you can transfer points to by opening a business card that earns American Express Membership Rewards.
Deciding which credit card is right for your small business also depends a lot on how much your business spends and in what categories.
- If you have a lot of travel, shipping, communications, and/or advertising expenses, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is a great choice because it earns 3x on these categories up to $150,000 per year.
- If you aren't spending much in those categories and your annual expenses are under $50,000 per year, consider the American Express Blue Business Plus for 2x everywhere (then 1x).
- If those dollar limits aren't enough to cover your spending, consider the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card for unlimited 2% cash back everywhere.
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