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Best business credit cards 2021
Whether your business is a multimillion dollar company with dozens of employees or a small weekend "side hustle" for a little extra cash, you may qualify for a small business credit card. Businesses need access to credit. Having a small business credit card lets you separate personal and business expenses, plus many of the best business credit cards offer valuable rewards and perks.
To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.
Here are our picks for the best small business credit cards for 2021.
- Best for travel: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Best for startups: Brex 30
- Best for business expenses: American Express® Business Gold Card
- Best for miles: United℠ Business Card
- Best for sign-up bonus: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- Best for average credit: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
- Best for 0% APR: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
- Best for cash back: Capital One Spark Cash for Business
- Best for no annual fee: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Best for hotels: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Best business credit card for travel
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers an excellent suite of benefits for the traveling business owner. From access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection® at select airports to a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application credit, the card is a must for road warriors. We also love that the card earns 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. It also offers 35% of your points back when redeeming Membership Rewards for select tickets (enrollment required).
Other benefits, such as complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Elite status (enrollment required), a $100 semi-annual Dell credit (for up to $200 per year, enrollment required) and complimentary trip delay and cancellation insurance round out the perks that help justify the card's high annual fee and make it the best small business credit card for the frequent traveler.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection.
- Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit once every four years.
- 35% of your Membership Rewards points back on first- or business-class travel on any airline or economy travel with your selected airline (enrollment required) when booked through amextravel.com and paid with points.
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (enrollment required).
- Terms apply.
- High $15,000 spend requirement to earn the card's welcome offer.
- The $595 annual fee for the card can be hard to justify.
- Terms apply.
Note, unlike typical credit cards, the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.
Best business credit card for startups
More than $25,000 in credits toward services like Amazon Web Services and Google Ads.
If you're a new startup looking for a large credit line to help get your business moving, then take a look at the Brex 30. Brex claims to offer 10-20x higher credit limits than other lenders and does not require a personal guarantee. The card doesn't offer a sign-up bonus, but it does provide rich earning rates and credits tailored toward the tech startup. The card lets you 7x Rideshare, 7x Collaboration tools, 4x Brex Travel, 3x Food delivery, 3x Restaurants, 2x Recurring software, 1x Everything else Points are worth $0.01.
However, the credits are what make this card truly attractive for a tech startup. Brex has partnered with numerous companies, offering more than $25,000 in value through their partner offers. This includes a $5,000 Amazon Web Services credit, 50% off a Dropbox annual subscription, 25% off a Slack annual subscription and 20% off a Zoom annual subscription.
One thing to note: Brex only offers its Brex Corporate Card for Startups to non-individual business entities. Corporate businesses (such as C-corps, S-corps, LLCs or LLPs) organized and registered in the United States are eligible for the Brex 30. Sole proprietor and partnership business entities are ineligible.
- Attractive earning rates tailored toward tech startups, including 7X points on ride-share.
- $25,000+ in software and service credits.
- Card does not require a personal guarantee.
- $0 Annual Fee.
- No traditional welcome offer or sign-up bonus.
- Only corporations are eligible.
- The rewards program and credits are tailored toward a niche market.
Best credit card for business expenses
American Express® Business Gold Card
Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
The American Express® Business Gold Card offers a unique approach to rewards with its flexible categories. Rather than lock you into specific categories, the card lets you Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month*. These categories are out of a selection of six: airfare, select U.S. media advertising, select U.S. technology providers, U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and U.S. shipping purchases. The 4x earning rate is applied up to a maximum of $150,000 in annual combined spend over all categories.
The card earns valuable Membership Rewards points, which can be used for gift cards, airfare, hotel bookings and more, or transferred to an array of airline and hotel partners. The American Express® Business Gold Card also offers 25% back when using Pay with Points through American Express Travel. If your business has substantial expenses in any of the categories offered, the card can be highly rewarding.
- Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month*.
- Get 25% back when using Pay with Points with American Express Travel.
- Extended warranty and 90-day accident and theft purchase protection on eligible covered purchases.
- Foreign transaction fees: None.
- Terms apply.
- Cap on the number of points you can earn annually at the 4x rate.
- Fairly high $295 annual fee.
- Terms apply.
Note, unlike typical credit cards, the American Express® Business Gold Card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.
Best business credit card for miles
United℠ Business Card
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
- Earn up to 150,000 bonus miles
- Earn 75,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Earn an additional 75,000 miles after you spend $20,000 total in the first 6 months.
- Receive a 5,000-mile "better together" bonus each anniversary when you have both the UnitedSM Business Card and a personal United credit card.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at restaurants (including eligible delivery services), gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting.
- Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, employee cards at no additional cost - miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account so you can earn rewards faster.
- Enjoy a free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip (terms apply), 2 United ClubSM one-time passes per year, and priority boarding privileges.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for one year with DashPass, DoorDash's membership service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- $100 United travel credit after 7 United flight purchases of $100 or more each anniversary year.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $20,000 total in the first 6 months your account is open.
The United℠ Business Card offers a suite of excellent benefits for the frequent traveler on United Airlines. The card lets you Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Other perks add significant value to the United Business Card, including a free checked bag for you and a companion, 25% off in-flight United purchases made with the card and a $100 credit after making qualifying United travel purchases. The United℠ Business Card also doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, saving you money while abroad. If you're a frequent traveler with United Airlines, the card will easily be worth its annual fee: $99.
You can use your United miles to book award tickets with United and their global partners. If you hold both the United℠ Business Card and a personal United credit card, you'll be rewarded with 5,000 anniversary bonus United miles.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Travel benefits with United, including a free checked bag, priority boarding, 25% off in-flight purchases and two annual United Club passes.
- $0 foreign transaction fees.
- No annual fee the first year.
- Charges an annual fee: $99.
- Locks you into earning United miles rather than cash back or flexible points.
Best business credit card sign-up bonus
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
- With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
- With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
- Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account
- $95 Annual Fee
Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card currently has the highest bonus of any small business credit card, worth a whopping $1,250 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards to any of the Chase travel partners, which can offer even more value.
Cardholders Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn. Other benefits include trip cancellation and interruption insurance and an auto collision damage waiver when traveling for business purposes. The cellphone insurance against theft or damage is another extremely valuable benefit that can pay for the card's annual fee many times over if you damage your phone and have an eligible claim.
- Excellent welcome offer.
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.
- Ability to transfer points to Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners.
- Valuable travel insurance protections and purchase coverage, including up to $600 in cellphone insurance per covered incident.
- Now offering the option to Pay Yourself Back with Chase Ultimate Rewards points available through Dec. 31, 2021
- High purchase minimum of $5,000 within the first three months of opening your account to qualify. That can be steep for small firms or lean startups that have low expenses.
- Moderate $95 annual fee.
Best business credit card for fair credit
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
Earn 1% Cash Back on every purchase with a $0 annual fee.
The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is designed for business owners with less-than-excellent credit who are looking to improve their credit score. It is an excellent option that is free of extra fees or a security deposit requirement. You'll also earn 1% Cash Back on every purchase. Avoid carrying a balance, however, as you will incur an APR as a high 26.99% (Variable).
We also love the fact that the card does not charge foreign transaction fees, a rare benefit among cashback cards without an annual fee. You can also obtain employee cards at no extra cost.
- Available to those with average credit and can let you build or rebuild your credit score.
- Foreign transaction fees: None.
- $0 annual fee.
- No fee to add employees to your account.
- Card does not offer a welcome bonus.
- Lackluster 1% cashback rewards rate.
- High 26.99% (Variable) APR if you carry a balance.
Best business credit card with an intro 0% APR
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is one of the best small business credit cards that earns flat-rate cash back. You Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Rewards can easily be redeemed for statement credits toward your purchases.
This is an annual return of $1,000, if you max it out. The card doesn't have a traditional welcome offer. Instead, it offers $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $250 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership. The card also doesn't charge an annual fee and offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening (a 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR applies thereafter).
- Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%
- Intro 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening (13.24% - 19.24% Variable thereafter).
- No annual fee.
- Terms apply.
- The 2% cash back is capped at $50,000 in annual spend.
- Non-standard welcome offer that may not be useful for all businesses.
- Terms apply.
Best cashback business credit card
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
- Purchase above your credit limit with no hassle and no over-limit fees
- $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
- Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
- $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
- Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
- No foreign transaction fees
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
If you're looking for a business cashback credit card that does not have a cap on its rewards, then the Capital One Spark Cash for Business could be exactly what you need. The card earns a flat 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, with no limit on the annual spend. The card's sign-up bonus is highly enticing as well.
The main issue with the card is its annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that. The fee is waived the first year, but it will be levied every year thereafter. There are other comparable cashback cards that do not charge an annual fee. Still, if your monthly expenses are significant, your annual rewards will more than pay for the card.
- Earns unlimited 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
- Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
- Foreign transaction fees: None
- Welcome bonus may be difficult to earn for business without a lot of monthly expenses.
- Moderate annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that. There are comparable cashback cards that do not charge an annual fee, although the annual spend is capped.
Best business credit card with no annual fee
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a perennial favorite among business owners who highly value Membership Rewards points but also want a card without an annual fee. Cardholders Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter. You can use the Membership Rewards points in all the typical ways, including transferring to travel partners.
We really like the fact that this card earns transferable bank points yet doesn't charge an annual fee. You'll also enjoy an intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening before the card reverts to its standard 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR.
- Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
- 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
- Introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening (then a 13.24% - 19.24% VariableAPR applies).
- No annual fee.
- Terms apply.
- Annual spend for earning 2x points is capped at $50,000.
- Welcome offer: 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
- Terms apply.
Best business credit card for hotels
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Earn Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, Earn Up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family of hotels in the first 12 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/25/2021.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is one of the best business credit cards that earns points with a hotel loyalty program. If you stay at Hilton properties frequently for work, this card may be a great fit for your wallet, as it offers an array of valuable perks, including: complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Elite status, 10 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits per year and the ability to earn a free weekend night or even Hilton Diamond status by sufficient card spend.
The card has good earning rates as well, rewarding you with 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply. All these benefits come with an annual fee of $95.
- Elevated welcome offer.
- Great earning rate on Hilton hotel stays.
- Complimentary Hilton Gold elite status for as long as you keep your account open.
- Ability to earn a free weekend night after $15,000 in annual spend, and Diamond status after $60,000 in annual spend.
- Foreign transaction fees: None
- Terms apply.
- Locks you into earning points with a specific hotel program.
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms apply.
What is a business credit card?
A business credit card is a credit card intended for business use rather than personal use. Business credit cards help keep personal and business expenses separate, but they otherwise function much like a personal credit card, providing convenience and the ability to easily track spending. Businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietorships to corporations, can be eligible for a business credit card.
Business credit card vs. personal credit card
In general, business credit cards function just like personal credit cards. Both are used for purchases, typically have a credit limit and accrue interest, and may offer rewards to the cardholder. Bonus categories may be different between personal and business credit cards, Business credit cards are often geared more toward business expenses, such as office supply purchases, while personal credit cards may have grocery stores as a bonus category.
There are two primary differences between business and personal credit cards. First, business credit cards do not offer the same level of consumer protections that personal credit cards do. The CARD Act of 2009 requires issuers to provide more transparency on their rules and placed limits on when fees can be increased and how finance charges can be calculated. Some issuers (notably Bank of America) offer protections on their business card products, but it is up to you to understand the terms of the card agreement. Second, business credit card accounts typically report to a separate business credit report than personal cards. However, some issuers choose to report activity to the consumer bureau as well. Sometimes only negative information, such as missed payments, will be reported to the consumer bureau. Notably, Discover and Capital One business credit cards report to both personal and commercial bureaus.
Another difference between business and personal credit cards is the potential need for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) on the credit card application. For businesses with an EIN, you'll need to include this. For businesses without an EIN (typically single-member LLCs and sole proprietorships), you can use the Social Security number of the business owner. In either case, your business name can be printed on the business credit card.
Building a business credit profile
Business credit can be developed independently of personal credit, and it is important to know how to build it. Your business credit profile will inform lenders how credit-worthy your business is. It will influence the rates and terms on loans, your business's ability to qualify for financing and even business insurance premiums. To be able to build a business credit profile, your business must be incorporated as a separate legal entity from the owner. This can be a C Corporation, S Corporation or LLC. You'll also need to apply for an EIN, and open business banking accounts and a phone line.
Business credit scores follow a different scale than consumer credit scores, and you'll need to know how to read them and how to read your business credit report. There are two credit reporting agencies that track both personal and business credit profiles: Equifax and Experian. However, the scores and profiles are separate. There are other bureaus, including Dun & Bradstreet and FICO SBSS that only track business credit profiles and scores.
Should you get a business credit card?
If you are the owner of a small business, even if you are an online freelancer, you are certainly eligible for a small business credit card. If there are lots of charges that you can pay by credit card and you are able to pay off your expenses every month, then a small business credit card can allow you to earn valuable rewards on all your business purchases. A small business credit card also offers convenience and security just like a personal credit card.
One great benefit of a business credit card is to allow you to keep your business expenses and personal expenses separate. Many business credit cards make financial reporting extremely easy at the end of the year, as they provide detailed itemized and categorized reports for when tax time rolls around.
How to choose a business credit card
In many ways, finding the best small business credit card is much like finding the top consumer card. There are some questions you should ask yourself: What sorts of expenses do I have? Do I need to make a large purchase as I start my business? Will I need employee cards? Here are some factors to consider before making a decision on the best business credit card for your unique situation.
Type of card
The variety of available small business credit cards is as extensive as personal credit cards. You can find small business credit cards that earn:
- Airline miles
- Hotel points
- Bank rewards program points
- Cash back
Business credit cards are offered through many banks and on all major credit networks: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. Typically, the network isn't a major issue, unless you know the merchants you'll be buying from only accept cards from specific networks.
There are a handful of cards that technically are charge cards, which must be paid in full every month. Make sure you are aware that you are applying for one of these instead of a credit card. Only American Express typically still offers these.
Sign-up bonus or welcome offer
The sign-up bonus or welcome offer for a new credit card is often one of the most attractive features. It is the carrot that lenders dangle in front of prospective borrowers. Whether the bonus consists of cash back, airline miles, hotel points or some other reward, make sure you understand the value of the sign-up bonus. You may need to look up the value of airline miles, bank points or hotel points to help determine how much a bonus offer is worth.
Another critical factor to consider when picking the best small business credit card for your needs is what bonus earning categories it offers. For businesses with expenses in niche categories, such as advertising or travel, some cards may offer much better rewards. For businesses with a large variety of expenses, cards with flat-rate earning may be a better choice.
Typical bonus categories for many business credit cards include:
- Office supply stores
- Gas stations
Some of the cards in our list of best business credit cards offer bonus earnings in these common categories.
The cost of your small business credit card needs to be weighed against the annual fee. If your monthly spending is small, it is usually better to opt for a small business credit card without an annual fee. If your business expenses are larger, you may be completely able to justify a card with an annual fee, even one as high as the $595 commanded by The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which also offers many valuable travel perks.
Ultimately, you'll want to ensure that the rewards and perks provided by your small business credit card fully justify the annual fee.
Businesses that fail to pay off their credit card balance in full every month should opt for a card with a low or 0% intro APR offer. That's because carrying a balance on your card means your business will have to pay costly interest fees. These interest fees often outweigh any rewards offered by a small business card. A card with a low or 0% intro APR will waive the interest for a certain time period (typically six to 12 months) on purchases, balance transfers or both.
A business that pays its credit card balances off in full every month doesn't need to consider APR as carefully, as the balances won't accrue interest.
Most issuers require a personal guarantee for their small business credit cards. You'll need to decide if this is something that you are willing to bear. A personal guarantee makes you personally responsible for the debt rather than it being borne strictly by a separate corporate entity. In the event the business fails, you'll still be liable for the debt. Issuers will typically be looking for a business to have $1 million or more in annual revenue to be considered for a card without a personal guarantee.
The reason that most issuers require a personal guarantee is that it protects the issuer from loss. Nearly half of businesses fail within the first five years. Lenders could be stuck with a large amount of unpaid business debt unless they made borrowers personally responsible for the debt.
There are some specific business benefits that you may want to ensure your selected card offers. If you have employees, you may want a card that offers employee authorized user cards at no extra cost. Most of the best business credit cards do, but some charge a fee for employee authorized users. Being able to track and monitor employee spending is one excellent reason to have a business credit card.
Business credit cards sometimes offer other cardholder benefits. Premium cards, such as the Business Card from American Express, offer an array of travel benefits, such as complimentary hotel status and airport lounge access. Some cards offer annual credits at various merchants or in specific categories. If you travel abroad for work, you'll also want to find a card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.
Some of the benefits only apply to business expenses or travel. For example, the primary rental car collision damage waiver benefit of the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card only applies when the car is rented for business or commercial purposes.
How to get a business credit card
You'll need to have a business in order to qualify for a business credit card. Even if you're an online freelancer or operate a service business without a brick-and-mortar storefront, your business can certainly qualify for a small business credit card. Here are the steps you'll need to take to get a business credit card:
- Determine your personal or business credit score — For business credit cards backed by a personal guarantee, you'll need to know your personal credit score to help determine your eligibility. This is typical for sole proprietorships. Many of the best business credit cards require an excellent credit score, typically over 720. For businesses with a business credit profile, your eligibility will be based on your business credit profile instead.
- Decide which small business business credit card meets your needs — There are many business credit cards on the market, although the choices are more limited than consumer cards. We suggest you review our list above of the best business credit cards.
- Gather application information — You'll need either your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or your Social Security number (SSN) to apply for a business credit card. Many sole proprietorships do not have an EIN. You'll also need to provide details, such as legal business name, entity type, annual business income, business address, phone number and other important items.
- Complete your application and follow up — Once you submit your application, you may receive instant approval or it may need to be further reviewed. In some cases, the bank will follow up with a request for additional information, such as a DBA statement or business bank account information. The card issuer may approve your application after review, or may deny it altogether.
If your card application is approved, the card will be mailed to you and you'll need to activate it, just like with a personal credit card.
How to use a business credit card
Here are some best practices for using a business credit card:
- Use your card strictly for business expenses. One of the roles of a business credit card is to be able to keep personal and business expenses separate.
- Make as many business transactions as you can using your card. If you have a rewards-earning credit card, this allows you to maximize your return.
- Decide who should have a business credit card. If you have employees, decide the metrics for who will be issued a card and why.
- Use the end-of-year financial report tools available with many business credit card products. This will make expense reporting at tax time much easier.
- Like with personal cards, always pay off your business credit card every month. Carrying a balance will result in interest charges.
- Don't miss a payment! Business credit cards are not subject to the same protections as personal credit cards, and issuers can increase your interest rate substantially.
What is the best business credit card for my business?
There is no single best small business credit card for all businesses, as each business is different. Check out the above list of best business credit cards for one that meets your particular business needs.
Do business credit cards affect personal credit?
Hard inquiries from business card applications will appear on your personal credit report for small business credit cards where there is a personal guarantee (which is the majority). Recent inquiries can negatively impact your credit score. However, most business credit cards do not report to personal credit bureaus.
How do business credit cards work?
Small business credit cards work essentially the same as personal credit cards. They are intended for business expenses and allow you to keep your business financials separate from your personal financials.
Can you get a business credit card without a business?
You must have a business to get a business credit card. However, your business can be a freelancing gig or "side hustle" that you only do part time.
Do business credit cards build credit?
Business credit cards can build your personal credit if they report to the personal credit bureaus.
Who can get a business credit card?
Anyone with a small business can potentially be eligible for a small business credit card. The small business does not need to be your full-time employment.
Can a sole proprietor get a business credit card?
Yes, sole proprietors can get a small business credit card.
Can I get a business credit card with bad credit?
There are some credit cards available for businesses or business owners with poor credit. The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business (among those on our list of best business credit cards) is an option for business owners with fair/limited credit.
Can I use a credit card to start a business?
While it is possible to use a credit card to finance your business startup, this is generally a risky proposition. You would also absolutely want to obtain a credit card with a 0% APR if you are using it to start a business.
Can I use a personal credit card for business?
Yes, you can use a personal credit card for business purposes. However, you may miss out on some of the benefits from having a small business credit card. You also have to be careful about mixing personal and business expenses on the same card.
Can I use a business credit card for personal expenses?
While it is not illegal to use a business credit card for personal expenses, it is often against the account terms, and the issuer may have grounds to close your account. You would also likely be mixing personal and business expenses on the same card, which is a bad practice.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
The information related to the Brex For Startups has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.