Nobody wants to carry a balance on a credit card unless it’s absolutely necessary. But paying cash is not always an option in the world of small business, so it only makes sense to augment your company’s wallet with the best small-business credit cards available in today’s market. In addition to the spending power that can help you navigate tough financial situations, the rewards points from the leading creditors can become quite substantial as well.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the Credit Card Accountability Act that bans frivolous lending practices only applies to personal lines of credit. That means that even the best business credit cards can still raise their annual percentage rates without notice, plus add in numerous other charges to pad their bottom line. That’s why it’s a good idea for small businesses to carry two lines of credit at once:
- A business reward card for bulk purchases that you pay off monthly
- A personal card to carry a balance on, if necessary
Here are our picks for five of the best small business credit cards, which we’ve rated by their overall reward benefits, introductory/permanent APRs, and annual fees.
1. Chase Ink Cash with $200 Bonus Cash Back
Chase Ink for Business is issued by JPMorgan Chase & Co., and it is an excellent choice for cash-back rebates. It grants 5 percent bonus cash on office supplies and utilities up to the first $25,000, and 2 percent earnings on fuel purchases and meals. On all other purchases, it offers an uncapped 1 percent cash back, plus a bonus of $200 after spending $3,000 over the first three months. This card also comes with no annual fee, which makes it an excellent choice if you occasionally have to carry a balance.
2. Chase Ink Plus & Chase Ink Bold
Both Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold have the same basic rewards structure as Chase Ink Cash, but rewards are granted in points instead of cash rebates. The main difference between these two cards is that Chase Ink Bold is a charge card that must be paid off in full each month. The tradeoff is that Chase’s top-tier card gives an extra benefit with Chase Ultimate Rewards, with 1-to-1 point transfers for airfare and bonus points for direct Ultimate Rewards purchases. Additionally, both cards carry a $95 annual fee after the first year. While each of these cards certainly has merit, the Bold card is the way to go if you need large purchasing power on net-30 terms.
3. Citi Diamond Simplicity & City Diamond Preferred Card
While the Citi Diamond Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred Card are both consumer credit cards, they easily have the best introductory rates in the industry with 18 months “same as cash” on purchases and balance transfers. Afterward, Citi’s fixed rate locks in at as low as 11.99 percent, and neither carries an annual fee. The Citi Diamond Preferred card also comes with 24/7 concierge service and special access to live events, which makes it a great choice for entertaining clients. Even without reward points, the added consumer protection under the Credit Card Accountability Act makes it hard to go wrong when you have to carry a balance.
4. Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
Another business credit card worth considering is the Capital One Cash Select for Business. It offers unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, plus a $100 bonus after the first $3,000 in spending. This card also offers a six-month, zero percent APR with no annual fee, and it is one of the few business cards whose rewards never expire. The only catch is that the introductory rate does not apply to balance transfers, but it’s a small trade-off since Capital One has much more relaxed approval standards than other banks.
5. Club Carlson Business Rewards Card
For the busy professional who has to travel extensively for business, the Club Carlson Business Rewards Card is truly second to none. In fact, it grants enough points for nine free stays at Radisson properties after the very first purchase, plus gives an additional week after you spend your first $2,500. Additionally, cardholders get a free night’s stay whenever they book in advance for two or more consecutive nights with rewards points. The $40 annual fee also grants enough points for an additional week’s stay each year, plus it includes several other travel-related perks. The only catch: The Club Carlson Business Rewards Card is only available to businesses with exemplary, well-established credit histories.