If you’re a small business owner who’s put in the effort to build a top-tier credit score, congratulations! Your FICO score can translate into earning great rewards, perks, and signup bonuses for your everyday business purchases, or into a flexible financing option with a zero APR period.
Looking for the best business credit cards for excellent credit? We break down the best offers out there, no matter what you’re looking for.
Best Signup Bonus: Chase Ink Business PreferredSM
The Chase Ink Business Preferred starts off with a bang: If you spend $15,000 in the first three months of card membership, you’ll get 100,000 Ultimate Rewards Points as a signup bonus.
That’s pretty great even at face value—but it can be worth much more. If you use your points to book travel through Chase’s Orbitz-powered online booking tool, your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece, for a $1,250 signup bonus.
However, your bonus’ ceiling can be even higher. As a premium Chase card, the Ink Business Preferred lets you transfer your points 1:1 to its airline and hotel loyalty partners including Virgin Atlantic, Air France, and KLM, Southwest, United, and Ritz-Carlton. I’ve used Ultimate Rewards Points to score an $800 United ticket for 20,000 points—a redemption rate of 4 cents per point.
And if you redeem smartly (British Airways short-haul flights are a popular option), you can wring 3-5 cents out of each point. That puts your bonus value at an impressive $2,400-$4,000.
Even without the signup bonus, you’re looking at solid travel rewards. The card gives 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
It also earns an unlimited 1 point per $1 elsewhere. Again, if you redeem wisely, that’s a bonus rewards rate 9%-15% bonus and 3%-5% base. It does have an annual fee of $95, but it has no foreign transaction or employee card fees. The annual fee pales in comparison, though, to the signup bonus’ upside.
Best for 0% APR: American Express Blue Business Plus℠
The American Express Blue Business Plus is easily the best intro APR card on the market for most businesses owners.
This is due to its impressive 0% intro APR period of 12 months—one of the longest intro period on the market. Plus, there’s no annual fee.
This makes the American Express Blue Business a perfect card for new business owners (with excellent personal credit) or those who know they need to make a big purchase that can be paid off within 12 months. Keep in mind that after the initial 12 months your APR will vary with the market, so it’s best to pay it off your balance before this intro period ends (check the issuer page for the most up-to-date rates).
As if these perks weren’t enough, the Blue Business Plus boasts 2x points on any purchase up to $50,000—making this business credit card extremely lucrative and flexible.
Best for Flat-rate Travel Rewards: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Part of what makes the Ink Business Preferred a great card is the ability to strategically transfer your points at a high value. However, busy small business owners may not want to deal with the hassle of juggling point redemption values.
If you want straightforward travel rewards, check out the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business—it has no bonus categories, rewards caps, or redemption hurdles. You earn a flat 2 miles per $1 spent, and can redeem your miles at a value of 100 per $1 as a statement credit against any travel expense—easy as that.
To start off, you’ll earn 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first three months.
Also, the $95 annual fee is waived the first year, and there are no foreign transaction or employee card fees.
For an excellent credit card, the Spark Miles doesn’t offer as many shiny perks like lounge access or sky-high signup bonuses. Still, what you lose in benefits, you make up for in simplicity.
Best Travel Perks: Business Platinum® Card from American Express
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s the Business Platinum® Card from American Express. It comes with a high annual fee—$595—and its rewards rate is nothing to write home about. But its side benefits are unparalleled.
You’re looking at a credit toward TSA Pre-check or Global Entry, free Gogo and Boingo internet, a $200 airline fee credit every year that you can use for bag fees and such, and access to American Express’ airport lounge network, which includes Centurion, International American Express, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass Select.
The card’s signup bonus is pretty solid: for the welcome offer you can earn up to 75,000 points when you spend $15,000 in the first three months.
The rewards rate, as we mentioned, is not the card’s strong suit: 1.5 points per $1 on qualifying purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million points), and 1 point per $1 elsewhere.
Like Chase, Amex also partners with airlines and hotels (in this case, Starwood, Virgin America, and Atlantic, Delta, and others) and you can transfer your Membership Rewards Points to get a value far higher than 1 cent per point. But don’t look to rewards to justify the $595 annual fee—the perks are what make the card worthwhile.
- ThePointsGuy.com. “Maximizing the British Airways Distance-Based Award Chart“