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 large investments.
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.
The Best Credit Card for Your Business Expenses
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.
- If you’re looking to earn more for your spend on office supplies, cable, phone, and internet, then look to either the Chase Ink Cash.
- If your business spends mostly on business travel, shipping purchases, or digital ads, then the Chase Ink Preferred will be the best credit card for business expenses
- If your business is planning on making several purchases or having large expenses immediately after opening your credit card, then your best credit card for business expenses is the Blue Business Cash or the Blue Business Plus.
- Finally, if your business expenditures don’t fall into one of these particular categories, then you’ll likely get the most value out of a flat-rate business credit card, so look to the Spark Cash or the Spark Miles.
First Step: Analyze Your Business Expenses by Category
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.
Best Credit Cards for Business Expenses: Office Supplies, Cable, Phone, and Internet
Does your business spend the most on office supplies, cable bills, phone bills, internet service providers, or any combination of the above? You’ll be most interested in what the Chase Ink Business Cash card has to offer.
The Chase Ink Business Cash
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.
Best Credit Card for Business Expenses: Business Travel, Shipping Purchases, and Digital Advertisements
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:
Chase Ink Business Preferred
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 hefty welcome bonus in the form of points (redeemable for travel) after you spend enough to unlock it in your first 3 months of card membership.
As for sustained rewards, you’ll earn rewards at a rate of 3x for the first $150,000 you spend annually on:
- Shipping purchases
- Advertising purchases made with search engines and social media sites
- Internet/cable/phone services
Though you’ll still be able to earn for internet. cable, and phone services with the Ink Preferred, the Ink Cash 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.
Best Credit Cards for Business Expenses: Big Investments
Whether you’re just starting out or are planning to grow your business, sometimes you need to make bigger, more expensive purchases. These types of expenses can be taxing on your business’s cash flow, and therefore, you might take advantage of a business credit card that allows you to pay them off, interest-free, over a specific period of time.
These business credit cards, called 0% intro APR cards, allow you to carry a balance within the designated period without accruing interest—essentially functioning as an interest-free loan.
So, if your business is looking to make big purchases, then you have two excellent credit card options for these types of business expenses, both from American Express. One is better if you prefer cash back; the other, points:
The American Express Blue Business Cash Card
The Blue Business Cash Card is a top option for businesses looking to take advantage of a 0% intro APR period.
This card allows you to earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
The Blue Business Cash Card has no annual membership fee and a 0% APR introductory period for purchases within the first 12 months.
As we mentioned, this means if you have bigger expenses during this 12-month period, you can pay them off, over time, without facing interest. This being said, however, when the 0% intro APR period is up, a variable APR will set in based on the market rate and your creditworthiness—so you’ll want to be sure to pay off your balance in full before the offer expires.
The American Express Blue Business Plus
Similar to the Blue Business Cash Card, the Blue Business Plus is one of the best business credit card for large business expenses because it also offers one of the longest 0% intro APR period on the market.
With this card, you’ll be able to carry a balance interest-free for 12 months. After your 12 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.
Compared to the Blue Business Cash Card, however, the Blue Business Plus earns rewards points. This card will earn 2x points for every dollar you spend on your first $50,000 in purchases annually, as well as 1x points for every dollar you spend after that.
Moreover, the Blue Business Plus has no annual fee—meaning you can pay off larger purchases interest-free over time, earn competitive rewards, and do so without having to pay a maintenance fee for your account.
Best Credit Cards for Business Expenses: Irregular Spending
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:
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
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.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
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 Bottom Line for Finding Your Best Business Credit Card for Business Expenses
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?