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If you have a PNC business banking account, it’d make sense for you to be curious about the bank’s business credit card program. Here’s both the good and the bad news: PNC does offer business credit cards—in fact, they offer a suite of five. So if you’re a PNC loyalist, and you’re intent upon maintaining that loyalty, your odds of finding a PNC business credit card that suits your business are pretty good. But that means you need to sort through five whole PNC business credit cards to figure that out.
We’ll try to make things easy for you: In short, all five PNC business credit cards offer different rewards programs. Cash back, points, travel rewards, low interest rates, generous spending limits: There’s a PNC business credit card for each of the above.
And here’s what all five PNC business credit cards have in common: No annual fee (with the exception of the PNC BusinessOptions® Visa Signature® Credit Card—more on that later), PNC Bank’s online account management system, overdraft protection, and Visa Signature benefits, including travel accident insurance, Visa Signature Concierge, and lost luggage reimbursement.
Of course, we’ll also tell you about the differences among these PNC credit cards. And whether you do your business banking with PNC or not, you’ll probably find a comparable card from another issuer that offers much better rewards programs than PNC’s—we’ll show you some strong alternative options, too.
It’s not hard to figure out what this card does—just as the name suggests, the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Signature Business Credit Card offers your business cash back for every purchase you make.
In this card’s favor, there are no limits on the amount of cash back you can earn, and you won’t pay an annual fee. There’s also some flexibility in how you choose to redeem your earnings: either as a statement credit or as a direct deposit into an eligible PNC checking or savings account.
But this card doesn’t offer nearly as many rewards opportunities as other cash back credit cards do—you’ll only get 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases. (Its flat-rate structure does take the guesswork out of leveraging its reward system, though.)
Like all other PNC business credit cards, when you sign up for the PNC Cash Rewards card you can also enroll in the bank’s business-only online banking portal, Account View. Here you can carry out some essential banking functions, like adding and activating employee cards, setting spending limits on those cards, and integrating your transaction history into your business accounting software.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better cash back business credit card than the American Express SimplyCash Business Credit Card. Like PNC’s cash back rewards card, SimplyCash has no annual fee—but the similarities really end there.
With SimplyCash, you’ll have so many more opportunities to earn on your spending through their tiered rewards program. You can earn:
On top of that, you’ll be able to take advantage of the card’s 15-month 0% intro APR period, which is the longest introductory period we’ve seen on a business credit card (and six months longer than PNC’s nine-month 0% intro APR period). Just note that after your 15 interest-free months are up (or nine months, if you opt for the PNC cash back card), a variable APR sets in at a rate depending on your creditworthiness. This rate will also vary with the market, so check the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR information.
If you don’t want to limit your rewards earnings to cash, consider PNC’s Points card, which earns you a consistent five points per dollar with no limits on the amount of points you can earn. This simple system, though limited, makes it easy to keep track of your rewards—which you can redeem for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and digital merch (think online gift cards, movies, apps, and games).
As a unique feature, you can combine points earned on your PNC Points Visa Business Credit Card with points earned on your personal PNC rewards credit card (if you have one) to augment your earning potential. Plus, if you issue employee cards, you can choose whether those cards earn points on an individual or aggregate level.
For even greater rewards earning potential, look into the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card. Their rewards program is much more comprehensive than PNC’s.
First off, Chase provides a generous welcome bonus of 80,000 rewards points if you spend just $5,000 within your first three months of card ownership. After that signup bonus, you’ll earn either 3x per dollar for certain spending categories, for up to $150,000 worth of annual purchases. Beyond that cap, and outside of those spending categories, you’ll earn 1x point per dollar you spend on this card. If you choose to redeem those 80,000 points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, those points are worth $1,000.
Unfortunately, you will have to pay a $95 annual fee for this card. But depending on how much you spend per year on this card, that fee might pay for itself in the travel rewards you can earn.
Next up on the docket is PNC’s travel rewards business credit card. Like the other cards in their business suite, the PNC Travel Rewards Visa Business Credit Card offers a simple, straightforward rewards program: In this case, you’ll earn 1 mile per dollar spent on eligible purchases, with no limit to the amount of miles you can earn; you’ll also earn double miles on the first $2,500 you spend in qualifying purchases. You’ll book your own travel and then redeem your miles as a statement credit.
And, since this is a travel credit card, you’ll dodge foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
Like the PNC Travel Rewards business credit card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business offers cardholders an easily navigable, flat-rate rewards structure—but Capital One offers Spark Miles cardholders double the number of miles that PNC does on qualifying purchases. You’ll get an unlimited 2x points per dollar spent on this card, to be exact.
You’ll also have the chance to earn 50,000 miles if you spend $4,500 during your first three months after account opening. That’s $500 worth of free travel.
Do keep in mind that you’ll need to pay $95 per year for the Capital One Spark Miles card, though that fee is waived the first year—but reaching the $500 signup bonus essentially covers that annual fee for the first six years of card ownership.
The PNC Visa Business Credit Card is the bank’s most bare-bones business credit card offering—but if you’re looking for a card with a forgiving balance transfer policy, this might be exactly right for you. If you transfer your balances from other cards onto the PNC Visa Business Credit Card within 90 days after opening your account, you’ll benefit from a 13-month 0% APR period. That’s a year-plus to pay down your consolidated balance, without worrying about getting hit with exorbitant interest rates.
After those 13 months, a standard APR based on your creditworthiness will kick in, which varies with the market Prime Rate. Still, this card offers one of the lowest starting interest rates you’ll find in a business credit card. On the downside, the PNC Visa Business Credit Card offers neither an additional rewards program nor a signup bonus (see? Pretty bare-bones!).
A 13-month-long 0% APR period is hard to turn down—unless you’re looking at a 15-month-long 0% intro APR period, which is exactly what the American Express Blue Business Plus offers. That interest-free grace period applies to both purchases and balance transfers. But after these 15 months, your APR will set in at a rate that will vary with the market Prime Rate, so be sure to see the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR information.
Even after that introductory period, this card will continue to work hard for your business through its ongoing rewards program—you’ll earn 2x points on your first $50,000 in annual purchases, and 1x point for every dollar you spend thereafter.
Lastly, the PNC BusinessOptions Visa Signature Credit Card is reserved for the companies that spend at least $50,000 on their cards per year, and it gives cardholders the most optionality in how they earn rewards—you can choose to earn cash back, points, or travel rewards.
You can also choose whether to use this card as a classic, revolving credit card—which means that you’ll be able to carry a balance (but be subject to a balance APR)—or essentially as a charge card, which requires that you pay your bill in full every month. You’ll have a higher credit limit if you opt for the latter.
Regardless of which type of rewards you choose, your program will work in the same way as its corresponding PNC business credit card. So, for example, if you want to use PNC BusinessOptions as a cash back card, you’ll earn a consistent 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases. (If you choose the pay-in-full option, though, then you’ll only earn 1% cash back.)
But all that optionality comes at a price: You’ll need to pay an annual fee of anywhere between $0 and $500 to use this card, and your exact fee is determined based on your net total spend over the previous billing cycle. The less you spend, the more you’ll pay; and if you spend over $100,000, you’ll pay nothing.
If you anticipate large spends on your business credit card every year (say, $50,000+), you’ll find the most flexibility in a charge card. Unlike credit cards, charge cards have no predetermined credit limit, so you won’t need to worry about maxing out your card. (Though it is still possible to overspend, in which case your card issuer will alert you.) But the key here is that you absolutely need to pay off your monthly balance in full; if not, you’ll be subject to a hefty late fee.
American Express offers an unparalleled selection of charge cards, but you can start your search with the Amex Plum Card. What makes the Plum so special is its 60-day grace period: In other words, you have a full 60 days to pay off your balance—as opposed to the standard, 30-ish day billing cycle that most other cards carry—before getting hit with that late fee.
As is the case with most charge cards, the Plum Card does carry an annual fee. It’s $250 in this case, right in the middle of the PNC BusinessOptions fee range, but that $250 is waived your first year. And throughout the life of your card, you can earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase if you pay off your balance within 10 days of your statement closing every month.
Picking which PNC business credit card to use for your business should be fairly straightforward—you just need to decide how you’d like to earn your rewards:
And if you’re still feeling a bit too spoiled for choice, consult PNC’s business credit card comparison page. They’ll run you through a quick survey about your spending habits and preferences, which’ll land you on exactly the right PNC business credit card for you.
But if you’re not a PNC bank customer (or even a PNC bank loyalist), there are other business credit cards on the market that’ll offer you even more opportunities to earn rewards, however you choose to redeem them.