2017’s Best Business Credit Cards for Travel

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood
Advertiser Disclosure

Editor’s Note: American Express is a partner of Fundera.

Do you travel often for business?

Are you looking to earn great rewards on everyday business purchases?

Whether you’re looking to recharge in an airport lounge before an important meeting or want to rack up miles for money you’re already spending, there’s a card for your small business.

We’re breaking down the best business credit cards for travel in 2017, to help you decide which card is right for you.

Best for luxury travel: The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Ever spent hours at the airport on a business trip because your flight was delayed?

How about twiddling your thumbs in an interminable customs line?

As one of the best business credit cards for travel, the Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has your back.

The card’s $450 annual fee seems much more reasonable when you consider its annual $200 airline fee credit, a credit for TSA Pre-check or Global Entry, free Gogo and Boingo internet, and—best of all—access to Amex’s network of airport lounges, including the Centurion Lounge and the International American Express lounges, as well as Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass Select lounges.

The card comes with a Welcome Offer of 75,000 Membership Rewards points—50,000 when you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months and an extra 25,000 when you spend an additional $10,000 in the same time period.

As for rewards, the card earns 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on travel booked through amextravel.com, and 1.5 points per $1 on qualifying purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million points).

Membership Rewards points can be worth about 1 cent apiece, unless you transfer to one of Amex’s airline or hotel loyalty partners, in which case they can be worth much more.

However, the Amex Platinum’s real value as one of the best business credit cards for travel isn’t in the rewards—it’s in the perks.

Keep in mind that the Platinum is a charge card, and carrying a balance month-to-month is much, much more costly than with a credit card.

Best for ongoing travel rewards: Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

Next up on the list of the best business credit cards for travel is the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express.

The Business Gold Rewards Card offers excellent ongoing rewards, starting with 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on your choice of:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

It also offers 2 points per $1 on the remaining four categories and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.

The signup bonus is pretty exciting, too: 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.

It does come with a $175 annual fee (waived the first year) and $50 annually for the first employee card (also waived the first year), but subsequent employee cards have no annual fees.

If you spend a lot of money in one of the Amex Gold’s bonus categories, you’ll benefit from no rewards caps and the potentially high value of transferred Membership Rewards points.

For businesses not ready to commit to the Platinum’s high annual fee, the Gold is a solid middle ground and still one of the best business credit cards for travel.

Best signup bonus: Chase Ink Business PreferredSM

The Chase Ink Business PreferredSM is one of the best business credit cards for travel.

The Chase Ink Business PreferredSM offers a great signup bonus: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.

Not only is the bonus higher than the Amex Platinum, it’s also more attainable—the spending threshold is $5,000 versus $20,000 to get the Platinum’s full bonus.

Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when used for travel booked through Chase’s online portal (putting the signup bonus’ value at $1,000) but can be even more valuable when transferred to one of the bank’s airline and or hotel loyalty partners.

By redeeming strategically, you can get a value of 5 cents per point or better. That’s a pretty enticing prospect—and one of the top reasons why the Business Preferred makes our list of the best business credit cards for travel value.

As for ongoing rewards, the Ink Business Preferred offers 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent annually on:

  • Travel, including airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Plus, you’ll get 1 point per $1 elsewhere.

It does come with a $95 annual fee but charges no foreign transaction or employee card fees.

If you’re in the market for a great signup bonus to a travel card, look no further than the Ink Business Preferred.

Best flat-rate travel rewards card: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

If you’re tired of managing changing bonus categories and rewards caps, you’ll take to this card like … a spark to tinder.

With a solid 2 miles earned for every $1 sent, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is pure simplicity when compared to the other best business credit cards for travel.

The card starts off with a 50,000-mile signup bonus if you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months, and its $59 annual fee is waived the first year.

Like all Capital One business cards, it has no foreign transaction fee. Capital One miles are about as straightforward as they come—you can redeem them at a rate of 100 miles per $1 as a statement credit against any travel expense, or you can use them at the same rate to book vacations using Capital One’s travel portal.

While it doesn’t offer flashy perks like the Amex Platinum or bonus categories like the Amex Gold, it’s dependable and uncomplicated—the kind of card you want to settle down with.

Best no annual fee travel card: American Express Blue for Business®

The American Express Blue for Business® offers entry into American Express OPEN without any annual fees or charges for employee cards—setting it apart from the list of the other best business credit cards for travel.  

This business credit card earns 2 points per $1 spent on travel booked through Amex and 1 point per $1 elsewhere, and gives a 30% anniversary bonus.

It comes with a 0% intro APR period of 9 months, so it’s great for making a big purchase that you want to pay off over time.

Though it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the Platinum or Gold, Blue for Business offers travel rewards for businesses that need financing or don’t spend enough to justify an annual fee.

One caveat: Though the Blue earns Amex Membership Rewards points, those points can’t be transferred to airline or hotel loyalty partners, which means you may miss out on the best redemption methods you’d get from Amex’s other best business credit cards for travel.

Ready to Book Your Next Flight with One of the Best Business Credit Cards for Travel?

Are any of the best business credit card for travel the right fit for your business?

If one sparks your interest, apply now and save when you’re on the go for business!

best-business-credit-cards-for-travel

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood

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