The Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2020

Compare the top business credit card offers on the market and find out how to choose the right credit card for your small business.

The Ultimate Guide to Business Credit Cards

Whether you’re a working professional with a side hustle, a new, full-time business owner, or an entrepreneur who’s been operating for some time, you might find it worthwhile to invest in a business credit card.

In the same way that you use a personal credit card in your everyday life, business credit cards can be used for a variety of purposes—from paying for ordinary business expenses to making larger investments in your business. Plus, there are a number of benefits to using a business credit card—perhaps most notably, a business credit card allows you to separate your business and personal finances—protecting you from organizational, bookkeeping, and even legal issues down the line.

There are a variety of small business credit cards available out there to choose from—and the credit card that’s right for you will largely depend on your specific preferences and needs.

In this guide, we’ll compare the best business credit cards on the market, as well as discuss everything you need to know to understand this financial product and find a suitable credit card for your business.

Comparing the Best Business Credit Cards

With the vast number of business credit cards on the market, it can be helpful to narrow down your options by looking at different categories, as we’ve done below.

Best for 0% APR

These business credit cards offer a 0% intro APR period, during which time you’ll have a credit card that acts like an interest-free loan. During the 0% intro APR period, you’ll be able to pay down debt without accruing interest on any balance you carry over from month-to-month.

This type of small business credit card is great for those looking to make a large purchase or several purchases immediately after opening your account.

Top 0% intro APR cards include:

  • U.S. Bank Business Platinum
  • American Express® Blue Business Cash
  • Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Compare the best 0% intro APR business credit cards.

Best for Balance Transfer

If you have existing debt, a balance transfer business credit card can allow you to refinance that debt by transferring the balance on one (or multiple) of your business credit cards to another with a lower APR. With this lower rate, it will be easier and more affordable to pay the debt off that single card.

This being said, a balance transfer business credit card may be one that offers a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers or one that doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee at all.

Top balance transfer business credit cards include:

  • U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card
  • Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
  • Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Compare the best business credit cards for balance transfers.

Best for Cash Back

As the name itself implies, cash back business credit cards are those that allow you to earn cash back for your everyday spending. There are a variety of options for cash back cards—and many of them are the most flexible and simple rewards business credit cards out there—making them suitable for all kinds of business owners.

Top cash back cards include:

  • Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card from Chase
  • American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
  • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card from Chase
  • Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Compare the best cash back business credit cards.

Best for Travel

Whereas cash back business credit cards allow you to earn cash back for your everyday spending, travel rewards cards allow you to earn points—and these points can be redeemed for all different kinds of travel perks.

In this way, business credit cards for travel are ideal for business owners who travel frequently, or those who simply want to spend their  points specifically on travel-related rewards.

Top travel business credit cards include:

  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card From American Express
  • American Express® Business Gold Card
  • Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Compare the best business credit cards for travel rewards.

Best for Low Interest

If you think you might carry a balance on your business credit card, you might be interested in low-interest business credit cards. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, the interest rate you receive with any credit card will vary based on the market rate and your creditworthiness.

This being said, however, there are certain credit cards—with 0% intro APR periods, competitive bonus offers, and other rewards—that lend themselves better to this qualification.

Top low-interest business cards include:

  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
  • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Compare the best low-interest business credit cards.

Best for No Annual Fee

If you’re looking for the most affordable type of business credit card, you’ll want to turn to credit cards with no annual fee. These cards don’t require a fee to maintain your account, and therefore, you’ll only face interest on carried balances or incidental fees for using this type of card.

Business credit cards with no annual fee are particularly worthwhile for businesses on a budget, as well as those that are just starting out.

Top business credit cards with no annual fee include:

  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card From American Express
  • Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®
  • Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card From Chase

Compare the best business credit cards with no annual fee.

Best for New Businesses

In reality, any type of business credit card can be considered a startup business card if it’s used by a new business. However, there are certain cards—like those with welcome bonuses, no annual fee, and simple rewards programs—that lend themselves well to businesses who are just starting out.

Top credit cards for new businesses include:

  • American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

Compare the best startup business credit cards.

Best for Limited Credit

When you apply for a business credit card, one of the most important qualifications in the process will be your personal credit score. Therefore, if you have average or bad personal credit, you may be concerned that you won’t qualify for a business credit card.

Luckily, however, there are a variety of business credit cards out there that are designed to accommodate business owners with limited credit.

Top business credit cards for fair or bad credit include:

  • Capital One Spark Classic for Business
  • Capital One Secured Mastercard
  • Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Compare the best fair and bad credit business credit cards here.

Small Business Credit Cards by Issuer

Alternatively, another method to compare the best business credit cards is to look at different cards based on the issuer. You may prefer to get your business credit card from the same financial institution that houses your business bank account, or the one that issued your personal credit card. In fact, certain issuers offer benefits for using more than one of their business financial products.

With this in mind, you can explore the top business credit cards based on their issuer by consulting our guides here:

Understanding Business Credit Cards

As you can see, the concept of a business credit card is simple: It’s a credit card, designed specifically for business owners.

Like personal credit cards, credit cards for small businesses allow cardholders to cover expenses, build credit, and earn rewards.

However, there are important distinctions between business vs. personal credit cards.

When it comes down to it, a business credit card should be used exclusively for business expenses. Using a business credit card for personal expenses can make your bookkeeping more complex—plus, put you at risk for tax and legal issues.

Additionally, the rewards you receive with a business credit card will differ from those you earn with a personal credit card. Although both of these types of cards can offer cash back and point-based rewards, business credit card rewards are earned based on spending categories that are tailored to small businesses—like office supplies, gas, internet and cable services, advertising, etc.

Moreover, many small business credit cards will allow you to build business credit history, in addition to or instead of affecting your personal credit, although this is not always the case.

All in all, however, the mechanics of a business credit card are almost identical to a consumer credit card. Like a consumer credit card, you make purchases on a business credit card and repay them later. You typically have a spending limit on the card (unless it’s a business charge card) and this limit can be raised if you show a history of responsible spending and on-time payments.

This being said, although you may only be required to pay your minimum balance each month, you’ll accrue interest on the remaining balance, with the rate you’re charged, your APR, varying based on the specific card, the market rate, and your creditworthiness.

Types of Business Credit Cards

With all of this information in mind, it’s also important to understand the different types of business credit cards. In this case, we’re not referring to Visa vs. Mastercard or Chase vs. Capital One as “types” of cards, but instead, revolving business credit cards, business charge cards, and secured business credit cards:

Revolving Business Credit Cards

A revolving business credit card is the type of credit card you’re already familiar with. In fact, when you hear the term “business credit cards,” you can almost always assume that the card is revolving.

Revolving business cards come with a set credit limit (determined by your credit history along with your personal and business finances). You can spend up to that limit.

With these typical credit cards, you can roll over your balance from month to month, only paying the minimum amount of payment required (if there even is one). If you choose to do this, though, your spending will accrue interest, determined by the effective APR you qualified for.

This being said, unless you absolutely cannot do so, we recommend paying off your spending on your revolving business credit card each month.

Learn more in our guide to how business credit cards work.

Business Charge Cards

If you’re shopping around for credit options, you don’t want to overlook business charge cards.

In fact, depending on your financial strategies and the structure of your small business, a business charge card might be a better option than a business credit card.

Like business credit cards, business charge cards extend you a line of credit. They also have similar rewards, perks, annual fees, and foreign transaction fees. There are two features, however, that set these types of cards apart:

First, there’s no preset spending limit on a business charge card. Unlike traditional business credit cards, which usually have preset spending limits based on your qualifications, business charge cards don’t come with preset spending limits.

Instead, with a business charge card, you’ll have the flexibility to make large purchases without reaching your limit or restricting yourself a little down the line. This being said, although it’s possible that your charge card issuer might add a spending limit if your payment history and purchase habits seem concerning, this isn’t typically the case—as long as you’re a responsible borrower, you won’t have to worry about limits.

Additionally, in this way, your rewards directly correlate with your spending—and since you have no preset spending limit with a charge card, you can earn unlimited rewards.

The second important difference between business charge cards vs. credit cards is that with a charge card, you need to pay off your balance, in full, each month.

Whereas business credit cards let you roll your spending over from month to month, building interest along the way, business charge cards need to be paid in full every month. If you miss a payment, you’ll get charged a significant late fee—typically 3% of the balance—and risk getting your line of credit suspended.

The benefit of this setup, therefore, is that because you’re paying in full each month, you won’t need to deal with interest on your expenses, surprise fees, or outstanding debt.

Learn more in our guide to business charge cards.

Secured Business Credit Cards

Another type of business credit card you might come across is a secured business credit card.

A secured credit card is just like a secured loan—you offer up some sort of security (typically a deposit, or a physical item of collateral) to the lender issuing you money. This ensures that, in the worst case scenario in which you can’t pay back what you owe, they’ll get their money back.

Most credit cards are unsecured credit cards. Your spending limit on an unsecured business credit card is completely dependent on the quality of your credit history.

A secured business credit card, on the other hand, requires a deposit before you take out the card. Your spending limit is then determined by your deposit—you can borrow up to whatever amount you offer as security.

Learn more in our guide to secured business credit cards.

Should You Get a Business Credit Card?

So, now that we’ve reviewed how business credit cards typically work, the different types of cards, as well as explored some of the top options on the market, you may be trying to decide: Is a business credit card right for me?

In short, all business owners can benefit from using a business credit card, provided they spend wisely and make on-time payments. Overall, some of the most notable benefits of using a business credit card boil down to:

  • Simplify your bookkeeping: Having a business credit card will allow you to separate your personal and business expenses—making your bookkeeping and taxes much simpler.
  • Provide a cash flow cushion: A small business credit card gives you the ability to pay expenses and make purchases—stretching your dollars without dipping into your cash flow.
  • Establish and improve Your business credit score: Responsibly using a business credit card is one of the easiest ways to build your business credit score. If you pay your bills on time, keep your credit card balance manageable, and stay within your credit limit, you’ll quickly build or improve credit for your business.
  • Take advantage of rewards and perks: Most small business credit cards offer higher cash back rewards than consumer cards do, alongside bonuses on typical business buys like internet and cable services, office supplies, gas, travel, and restaurant bills.

On the other hand, of course, there are certain risks associated with business credit cards. Generally, business owners find that the benefits outweigh the risks, especially if you practice responsible spending.

This being said, however, it’s nevertheless worth keeping the following in mind:

  • Personal finances and credit score can be at risk: When you take out a business credit card, you’ll likely have to sign a personal guarantee. This guarantee makes you personally responsible for the business debts you put on the card. Therefore, if you are unable to pay off your business credit card debt, your personal credit will suffer as well.
  • Consumer protections don’t apply to business credit cards: The federal Credit CARD act of 2009 applies to consumer credit cards, alerting users when interest rates change on their cards. This protection does not apply to credit cards for small businesses. Therefore, if you tend to carry credit card balances and accrue interest on those balances, you might suffer from the lack of notification that your interest rates are changing.

Annual fees might be higher: Although this isn’t always the case, business credit cards often have higher annual fees than consumer cards—especially business charge cards. You’ll want to be sure you understand any and all fees you’ll face before signing up for a business credit card.

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for Your Business

Ultimately, only you can decide which business credit card is right for your needs.

This being said, to sort through the options out there, you’ll want to consider a variety of qualifications—including type of card, fees, interest rates, rewards programs, card issuer, and more. In addition to these traditional factors, you’ll also want to think about your specific business and what your unique needs might be—and try to match those up with the right business credit card.

For example, you might think about the search process this way:

  • Do you travel frequently for work? You might want to focus on cards with airfare and hotel perks.
  • Do you need to fund startup costs? You’ll likely want to look for business credit cards with high credit limits and low promotional APR.
  • Do you carry out business internationally? You’ll want to pay attention to foreign transaction fees and other hidden charges for purchases outside the country.

At the end of the day, the type of business credit card you choose should be based on how you intend to use it, what terms and fees you’re comfortable with, how your small business works, and of course, what card you can qualify for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Senior Staff Writer at Fundera

Randa Kriss

Randa Kriss is a senior staff writer at Fundera.

At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions. 

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