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Very few things are certain in small business finance, except that no two businesses’ balance sheets are identical. And since every single small business operates differently, the definition of a “business expense” is different for every business owner. So, how could anyone know the very best credit card for business expenses, period?
Well, you can’t—because there isn’t a universal best credit card for business expenses. But there is a best card for you, and that’s the important part. Your best credit card for business expenses depends on what exactly your business expenses look like—think different things like business travel, office bills, or even business debts.
Whatever your business spends the most on, there’s a business credit card out there that’s perfect for your situation. And that’s what our guide below is here to help you find.
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The best credit card for business expenses for you will be contingent on the breakdown of your business expenses. What you’ll need to do to identify your perfect credit card match is pinpoint what your business spends the most on.
Plus, you don’t have to spend on a certain thing—one card will often be the best for multiple types of business spending. That’s one of the great things about credit cards for business spending specifically.
Before you can find the best credit card for business expenses, you need a pulse on exactly how your business is spending. Sure, most businesses spend on a variety of things, but most also have one particular spending category to which they end up dedicating most of their capital.
Whether you’re spending on something as traditional as office supplies or as unconventional as potting soil, there’s still a best credit card out there for your business expenses. Or, perhaps your business spends irregularly and doesn’t fit into any particular top-spending models. That’s fine, too! There are also business credit cards designed specifically for that.
The reason to know is that many business credit cards do cater specifically to the more traditional business spending categories you’re used to—you know, office supplies, phone bills, business travel, advertising, etc.
But plenty of stellar business credit cards are out there that can offer your business a flat-rate rewards program for every dollar it spends, no matter what each dollar is spent on. These will be a better fit for businesses with expenses that are less traditional or less concentrated within one spending category.
Does your business spend the most on office supplies, cable bills, phone bills, internet service providers, or any combination of the above? That leaves you with two top cards to choose from.
The credit cards that tie for these business expense categories are the Ink Preferred and the SimplyCash Plus. Here’s what they have to offer your business:
If you use an Ink Cash business credit card to invest in office supplies, cable, phone, and internet, then you’ll earn a nice 5% cash back on every dollar you spend. Though this rate will only apply for up to $25,000 in purchases each year, you’ll still be able to extract a ton of cash back from this rewards rate.
Plus, you’ll also get 2% cash back for the first $25,000 you spend every year at gas stations and restaurants.
Outside of those categories and beyond their spending caps, you’ll still earn 1% cash back for every dollar you spend, so even if you divert from your mainstay purchases, you’ll continue to earn for your business spending.
The SimplyCash Plus is another top option for businesses that spend big on office supplies and phone bills.
This card will also offer you 5% cash back on the first $50,000 you spend on office supplies and phone bills every year. Unlike the Ink Cash, however, you won’t earn 5% cash back for internet or cable bills.
That said, I’ve included it as one of your top options because its second-tier rewards rate—at a solid 3%—is higher than the Ink Cash’s. Plus, this second tier of rewards is extremely flexible. You’ll be able to choose one from the following spending categories to earn 3% cash back for your first $50,000 spent every year:
Beyond those caps and outside of your chosen spending categories, you’ll also earn 1% cash back on every other dollar you spend.
Though the SimplyCash Plus’s top tier of rewards isn’t quite as broad as the Ink Cash’s, its flexible and lucrative second tier of rewards makes it one of your top options regardless.
If your business’s top spending category is business travel, shipping purchases, digital ads, or any combo of the three, then your best credit card for business expenses will be the Chase Ink Preferred.
This is one of the top business credit cards on the market, and it’ll be especially lucrative if your business has a lot of expenses in these categories. Here’s why:
The Chase Ink Preferred isn’t only your best credit card for business expenses because of the rewards it grants cardholders as they spend, but also because of the extraordinary value at which these cardholders can redeem rewards.
You’ll be able to earn a welcome bonus of a whopping 80,000 points when you spend $5,000 within your first three months after opening your Ink Preferred account.
As for sustained rewards, you’ll earn rewards at a rate of 3x for the first $150,000 you spend annually on:
Though you’ll still be able to earn for internet. cable, and phone services with the Ink Preferred, the Ink Cash and SimplyCash Plus will reward you at a higher rate for these spending categories. Meanwhile, very few business credit cards will offer you a rate as high as 3x points for travel, shipping, and digital advertising purchases. Plus, beyond the spending cap and outside of those categories, you’ll still earn a solid 1x rewards for your spending.
And when you decide to redeem the rewards you earn through the Ink Preferred, you’ll be happy to learn that your points will be worth 25% more when you redeem them through Chase’s travel portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This means that your welcome bonus will be worth $1,000 worth of free travel, making your business travel expenses that much more affordable.
Though business credit card debt might not traditionally be considered a business expense, that doesn’t mean businesses aren’t spending large amounts of their capital on interest.
If your business is dedicating too much of its capital to interest on credit card debts, then your best credit card for this particular business expense is the Blue Business Plus:
Here, you can transfer your business’s debt to the Blue Business Plus if your business spends a large amount of its budget on paying down debt. The Blue Business Plus is your best business credit card for business expenses that are debt-related because it offers the longest 0% intro APR period on the market.
After your 15 interest-free months are up, a variable APR sets in at a rate depending on your creditworthiness. This rate will also vary with the market, so be sure to see the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR information.
If you transfer your business’s credit card debt onto the Blue Business Plus within 60 days of opening your account, then you’ll have 15 months of interest-free balances to pay off your debt gradually. If you make your minimum monthly payments on time every time, the Blue Business Plus will basically grant you a 15-month grace period for paying off that debt.
So, if credit card debt interest is eating up your business’s budget, look to the Blue Business Plus as your very best credit card for business expenses.
Finally, your business spending might not fit easily into the typical categories that business credit cards tend to offer.
Whether your business doesn’t adhere to one single main spending category or your business’s main spending category isn’t a traditional business expenditure, then a flat-rate business credit card could serve your business extremely well.
The two best credit cards for out-of-the-box business expenses both come from Capital One. These are the two best choices for flat-rate business rewards credit cards:
If you’re looking for the best credit card for business expenses that aren’t your average business expenses, and you know you want to earn in cash back, then your very best bet is the Spark Cash.
This business credit card will give your business 2% cash back for every single dollar you rack up, regardless of its categories and without caps to boot. As you spend with the Spark Cash, every dollar you spend will earn at the same rate, so you’ll be able to invest in your business as you see fit, always knowing that you’re earning as much as possible.
Or, you might be looking for a flat-rate business credit card that will reward your spending with travel miles. In which case, the Spark Miles will be your best business credit card for business expenses.
No matter what your business expenses end up being, you’ll always earn a flat-rate, unlimited 2x miles for each dollar you spend with the Capital One Spark Miles.
The best part about this search for the best credit card for business expenses?
None of these business credit cards are mutually exclusive. If your business expenses shift from month to month, quarter to quarter, or even year to year, you’ll be able to optimize based on your new-found knowledge of which business credit card is best for each spending category.
If you know that you’re spending big in any one of these categories, what’s stopping you from earning more for the money that you’re already investing in your business?