A business credit card is one of the most versatile tools a business owner has when it comes to running operations and managing finances. For individuals who haven’t already separated personal and business finances, a business credit card can be a way to build a business’s credit score and establish a solid payment history. Even if you pay for expenses with cash, it’s essential to have established credit for any sort of financing in the future, like a business loan or mortgage. A business credit card can also make day-to-day expenses more convenient and easier to track, with the option of giving multiple employees the ability to make company purchases.
If you’re currently in the market for a business credit card, Commerce Bank is an option for small businesses in the Midwest and West. Commerce Bank business credit cards’ highlights include the low fees, straightforward terms, and protections for fraud and accidents. Of the two credit card programs for small businesses, one lets users earn cash back or other rewards, which will be of interest to business owners hoping to earn on purchases but put off by the high fees and spending limits of bigger-name points cards.
Commerce Bank is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and operates over 300 bank branches in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Although accessible branch locations are more of a priority if you’re depositing checks or making cash withdrawals, you’ll still want to be in range of a Commerce Bank branch if you open a credit card account.
Which Rewards Are Right for You?
One of the perks of owning your own business is the agency you have in choosing a rewards program that actually benefits your business. If you’ve been diligent about financial planning, you should have a good idea of your business spending habits, whether that’s frequent, small-ticket expenses or a few large charges each month—let the way you’ll be using your business credit card inform your decision.
If you haven’t considered the kind of credit card rewards that would bring the most benefit to your business, it’s worth investigating different credit card plans to find a competitive rewards program. The Commerce Bank Business Rewards card offers unlimited 1% cash back with low costs, but there are other rewards programs that can be even more lucrative if you make business purchases in specific categories, like supplies and travel.
Commerce Bank Business Credit Cards
Commerce Bank currently offers two credit card products for small businesses—the Business Rewards Card and Business Platinum Card. Both Commerce Bank business credit cards are issued by Visa, so you have the benefit of ease-of-use and fraud protection of one of the largest credit card companies. The primary difference between the two is the rewards feature—all other benefits like online banking, fraud protection, and unlimited number of cards are the same for the two cards.
Commerce Bank Business Rewards Card
- 1% cash back
- No annual fee
- Unlimited points (expire after four years)
With the Business Rewards Card, you have an option between paying off your balance each month or a revolving payment plan. The cash back you earn each billing cycle is rewarded as a deduction from your statement, or you can choose to redeem points for other rewards instead, like gift cards or hotel and airfare expenses.
Users earn 1% cash back* on all purchases, with the option to redeem points online for perks like merchandise, gift cards, and travel. (According to the bank, Business Rewards cardholders can earn up to 2%-3% on purchases in certain categories, but these are subject to change.) You can find out more about specific Commerce Bank rewards, which are updated frequently.
It’s particularly important to be aware of late payment penalties with the Commerce Bank Business Rewards Card, because there is a hefty penalty APR rate, which won’t be reevaluated until you’ve gone through five billing cycles. See the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR information.
*1% cash back is applied as a credit to your monthly statement or as points (1x point per $1 spent) that can be redeemed for rewards.
Business Platinum Card
- No annual fee
The Business Platinum Card is a good fit for business owners who want a simple credit card solution. The plan features are identical to the Business Rewards Card, except the Business Platinum Card has a lower APR and does not earn rewards on purchases.
Advantages of Commerce Bank Business Credit Cards
Business owners looking for a straightforward credit option will find a low-cost solution in Commerce Bank’s business credit cards. Commerce Bank also offers the option of adding a separate employee line of credit to your business credit account, which is a unique feature. You can also request as many employee cards as you need, so there’s no limit on your team’s spending flexibility.
Standard Features of Commerce Bank Business Cards
- No foreign transaction fees
- Online and mobile banking functionality
- Fraud liability coverage
- Travel and accident coverage
One major benefit of the Commerce Bank credit cards for business is the zero liability coverage, which means you aren’t liable for fraud—although it’s important to note you must contact the bank within 60 days of noticing fraudulent activity on your account in order to be covered.
Drawbacks of Commerce Bank Business Credit Cards
Because Commerce Bank is a regional institution, it’s really only a feasible option for business owners in range of a branch—as a reminder, there are Commerce Bank locations Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Some business owners might actually prefer a smaller bank, where you can establish a relationship with local bank officers.
Commerce Bank does not offer signup bonuses or additional rewards for meeting certain spending limits after signing up. You might find lower introductory rates and slightly higher rewards yield with other cash back business credit cards, but sometimes the introductory perks can be misleading. With the Commerce Bank Rewards Card, there’s no complicated introductory process or rate increase after a certain period, so you can be confident the plan you sign up for will stay consistent, provided you make payments on time.
Top Alternatives to Commerce Bank Business Rewards Card
No-Fuss Cash Back: Capital One Spark Classic
For business owners looking to establish good credit for their business, or rebuild sub-par credit, the Capital One Spark Classic offers a no-fee account that still allows you to earn points every time you make a purchase for your business. The Spark Classic has zero annual fees, with an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. There’s no 0% introductory APR period with this card, and it’s regular purchase APR is on the high end. As always, see the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR info.
If your credit score is above 580, the Capital One Spark Classic plan for business provides an opportunity to continue building credit without the additional cost of annual fees, all while earning cash back on purchases.
In spite of the no-fee account, the steep APR might be a deterrent for some, and you should definitely only sign up for a credit card if you’re confident that you’ll be able to make payments in full. The Spark Classic can be great for building your personal and business credit, but as with any credit card, overspending and late payments will damage your credit score—there is only a benefit if you’re prepared to pay back what you spend.
All-Around Rewards Value: Capital One Spark Cash for Business
For business owners with a credit score above 660, Capital One Spark Cash for Business is one of the most affordable and rewarding cash back credit card programs around. You’ll get unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
It’s true that this card does not have the absolute highest cash back rewards on the market, but the moderate annual fee of $95 (waived the first year) and unlimited cash back on all purchases makes this card a great deal for business owners who want to see immediate rewards. If you’re unsure about trying a rewards card, the first year without fees allows you to see if your cash back earnings justify keeping the account.
Low-introductory APR: Blue Business Cash Credit Card from American Express
The major benefit of a Commerce Bank business credit card is the low (or no) fees. For business owners outside the range of Commerce Bank locations, or those who prefer a national institution, the Blue Business Cash Credit Card from American Express is a solid alternative with low rates and cash back rewards.
With a 12-month introductory period with 0% APR on purchases and balances transfers—plus no annual fee—the Blue Business Cash Credit Card from American Express is one of the most cost-effective cash back business credit cards. You’ll get 2% back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases you spend each year, then 1% after.
Keep in mind that the introductory period ends after 12 months—the credit score minimum is 660+, and the variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness and payments history.
Travel Rewards: Chase Ink Business Preferred
Depending on your business expenses, there might be better alternatives to the Commerce Bank business credit cards that can have big payoffs, especially if you’re using points toward travel, rather than cash back.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred earns 1x-3x points on purchases, depending on how you spend, and has an annual fee of $95, which is one of the lower rates for a travel rewards cards. The Chase Ink Business Preferred has one of the biggest introductory offers around.
This card has a high spending limit, so if you’re not making a lot of purchases, you might get more benefit from a lower-cost card, but it’s ideal for business owners who know they’ll be incurring a lot of startup costs.
Be Realistic About Rewards
Commerce Bank offers solid rewards for its credit card users, but other points cards out there can provide higher returns on your spending, especially if you’re planning to use your credit card for primarily travel expenses. That said, the best rewards programs from bigger national banks often come with higher fees and rates, which you won’t see with a Commerce Bank account. Ultimately, rewards programs and signup bonuses are designed to encourage you to spend more, so it’s easy to overspend if there’s the incentive of bonus points.
The Commerce Bank Business Rewards program gives you the bonus of cash back rewards, without high-spending minimums or extra fees, and the Platinum Business Card provides an uncomplicated, affordable credit card solution. Business owners who value personalized customer service over rewards might prefer the regional aspect of Commerce Bank over the bells and whistles of a national or online bank. Commerce Bank business accounts are ideal for individuals whose priority is a straightforward credit card.