The Best Business Credit Cards for Travel

The Best Business Credit Cards for Travel

We've researched the pros, cons and features of the best business credit cards for travel to help you quickly and easily pick the one that's best for you.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

One of the big benefits of owning a small business is the ability to leverage your business spending into free travel. You can earn rewards for major business purchases such as advertising, computers and office supplies — then simply cash those points or miles in to fly to a client meeting, stay at your favorite beach hotel or attend an annual conference or business retreat.

And the benefits go beyond free trips — a business credit card for travel may offer a variety of perks, from airport lounge access and airline or hotel elite status to travel credits that reimburse you for checked bag fees and in-flight drinks. We've reviewed a variety of small business travel credit cards on ValuePenguin and top issuer sites to give you the most valuable picks for different goals, priorities and types of businesses.

Best Business Credit Cards for Travel 2021

Recommended card
Best for
Credit required
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit CardAirline milesExcellent
unavailable credit card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express CardAirline perksExcellent/GoodRead Review
unavailable credit card
The Hilton Honors American Express Business CardHotel rewardsExcellent/GoodRead Review
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardTravel pointsExcellent
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
unavailable credit card
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressLounge accessExcellent/GoodRead Review
unavailable credit card
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card$0 annual feeExcellentRead Review
Recommended cards
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express CardRead Review
The Hilton Honors American Express Business CardRead Review
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressRead Review
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit cardRead Review

How to choose a business credit card for travel | How to use a business credit card for travel

Best business credit card for airline miles

Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card could be a great card for small business owners who fly Southwest frequently and want a big boost toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass. You currently need to earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a year to get the Companion Pass, and the welcome bonus on this card offers a great start.

The card also offers bonus earnings on Southwest purchases and in many popular business categories. It's a good choice for business owners loyal to Southwest Airlines who know they'll get enough value from the perks to more than make up for a $199 annual fee — double what some other business travel cards charge.

Benefits

  • Get 9,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary each year
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable, and phone services. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Get a $100 TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit every four years
  • Get four free seat upgrades per year when better seats are available
  • Get up to 365 free in-flight Wi-Fi credits each year
  • $0 foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • The card really makes sense only for very loyal Southwest customers
  • There's a hefty $199 annual fee charged to your card each year
  • Not the best option for financing a big business purchase or balance transfer, since there is no 0% introductory offer

Best business credit card for airline perks

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 bonus miles, 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/2021. The MQMs can help you qualify for elite status in the Delta Medallion Program.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card may be a great match for business owners who travel frequently on Delta Air Lines and don't mind paying a high annual fee to get a card that's loaded with perks. In addition to airport lounge access, one of our favorite features of this card is the annual companion certificate that allows you to bring a travel companion with you in first class for no more than $75 in taxes and fees.

This card is good for businesses that spend a lot, are very loyal to Delta Air Lines and want a boost toward earning Delta elite status.

Benefits

  • Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Get a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+ or main cabin round trip companion certificate each year after you renew card membership.
  • Access to Amex Centurion Lounges when you book your flight with your card and to Delta Sky Clubs when you're flying Delta Airlines, plus two Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes per year so you can treat companions to lounge access
  • Get first checked bag free and Main Cabin Priority 1 boarding on Delta flights, as well as access to complementary upgrades after Medallion members (if you don't have Medallion status)
  • Earn 15,000 MQMs when you spend $30,000 on your card in a calendar year, up to four times per year, getting you closer to elite status
  • Get an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck every four years (4 ½ years for TSA Precheck)
  • An array of travel benefits, including concierge service, car rental insurance, baggage coverage and trip insurance
  • Foreign transaction fees: None f
  • Terms apply

Drawbacks

  • The annual fee of $550 is on the high end for a business travel card
  • Not a good fit for businesses that aren't loyal to Delta or don't care about Delta elite status
  • Offers limited flexibility in redeeming rewards, compared with cards that have transferable points, since you're limited to Delta and Delta partner airlines
  • Won't work well for those with side hustles or other small businesses with low to modest expenses

Best business credit cards hotel rewards

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Earn Earn up to 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points. Earn 130,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.

ValuePenguin's verdict

If you travel frequently for business and often stay at Hilton hotels, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card may be the small business travel credit card for you. The card stands out for its solid welcome offer, generous rewards earnings structure and automatic Hilton Gold elite status, which can be upgraded to Hilton Diamond status if you spend enough each year.

The card may be an excellent match for Hilton loyalist business owners who have high expenses, are willing to pay a modest annual fee and value Hilton elite status and all its perks. The complimentary Gold Status alone is worth $1,450 — and Diamond status worth $3,180 — by our Hilton Honors status value calculations.

Benefits

  • Competitive welcome bonus
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status, with the ability to upgrade to Diamond Status based on annual spending
  • Earn 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
  • 10 free Priority Pass visits that can be redeemed at over 1,200 airport lounges
  • Free weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 on your card in a calendar year, plus a second one if you reach $60,000 in annual spend
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Terms apply

Drawbacks

  • A $95 annual fee could be a dealbreaker for business owners who don't want to pay an annual fee
  • Only bigger spenders who put at least $40,000 a year on their card can qualify for Diamond Status
  • Not the best match for businesses that aren't very loyal to Hilton brand hotels

For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, please click here.

Best business card for travel points

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99%-20.99% Variable

Excellent

  • 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. That's worth $1,250 in travel when you redeem rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card card may be the best business travel credit card for business owners who spend a lot and are looking for both high value and extreme flexibility in a card. The card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, giving you access to one of the best travel rewards programs available today and its variety of Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.

The card could work well for business owners who aren't loyal to one particular brand and want one go-to small business travel credit card.

Benefits

  • Extremely generous welcome bonus with tons of redemption flexibility, since you can transfer to Chase partner airlines and hotels
  • 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.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • Travel and purchase coverage includes auto insurance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, cell phone coverage, purchase protection and extended warranty
  • $0 foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Unusually high minimum spend required to earn welcome bonus when compared to other small business travel credit cards
  • A $95 annual fee could be a minus if you'd prefer a no-fee business travel card
  • Not a great choice for balance transfers or financing, as there's no 0% introductory deal on the card

Best business credit card with lounge access

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best business credit cards for travel available today. It could be an excellent choice for high-spending businesses that value luxury travel and don't mind paying a high annual fee for access to a wide range of valuable perks.

The card earns Amex Membership Rewards points, which gives you access to one of the top transferable points rewards programs — plus, it's loaded with travel benefits including airport lounge access and hotel elite status in two programs (enrollment required).

Note, unlike typical credit cards, the card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.

Benefits

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status and Gold Marriott Bonvoy elite status (enrollment required)
  • Up to $400 in credits yearly for U.S. Dell Technologies purchases on your card when you enroll ahead of time (enrollment required)
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection with over 1,300 airport lounges in more than 140 countries
  • Earn 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.
  • Get a 35% airline bonus when you use Membership Rewards Pay with Points to book all or part of an eligible fare, getting you up to 500,000 points back per year (enrollment required)
  • Fee credit for Global Entry every four years or TSA Precheck every 4 ½ years
  • Business Platinum Card Concierge offers travel planning service with counselors who can create custom itineraries and tailored recommendations
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Terms apply

Drawbacks

  • A very high annual fee of $595 (10/14-1/12/22) makes this the most expensive of all of our picks
  • Lack of flexibility in travel rewards earning, since you'll need to book through Amex Travel to get 5 points per $1 spent on travel

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Best no-annual-fee business travel credit card

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

Earn 30,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in net purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel or dining-related purchases. of your account opening. The bonus is worth $300 in travel statement credits.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card is a great basic small business credit card that charges $0 annual fee and offers a 0% for 9 billing cycles introductory deal.

It's great for small business owners who don't normally spend a lot, but want to finance a business purchase or transfer a balance from another card. The card also offers a solid rate of rewards earnings and some redemption flexibility. The card may work well for new business owners or those with a side gig.

Benefits

  • $0 annual fee makes it a good match for budget-minded business owners
  • An introductory APR of 0% for 9 billing cycles after account opening makes this a good card for financing a big business purchase (then a 12.24% - 22.24% Variable APR on purchases applies)
  • Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center. Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases everywhere, every time-no matter how much you spend. Points don't expire.
  • Earn up to 75% more on purchases if you have a business checking account with Bank of America and qualify to be a Bank of America Preferred Rewards for business member
  • Offers several options for redeeming points
  • Foreign transaction fees: None

Drawbacks

  • Rewards redemption limited to Bank of America options, since there are no transfer partners
  • Does not offer as many travel perks as some other featured business travel cards

How to choose a business credit card for travel

There are various factors to consider when picking a business credit card for travel. For example, look at:

Types of rewards

First decide whether you want to earn miles, hotel points or transferable points. For a comprehensive primer on the differences, pros and cons, check out our guide on what credit card points are worth.

A general rule is that transferable points are best for businesses seeking flexibility in how they redeem rewards, while miles or hotel points may work well for frequent travelers loyal to a particular airline or hotel. It is worth noting, however, that airline and hotel business rewards cards often offer automatic elite status with the brand or a boost to help you get status faster.

Airline/hotel preferences

One of the most important considerations in choosing the best business credit card for you is how you fly and where you stay. This will allow you to eliminate cards right away if you're not already a loyal customer of the brand. If you're extremely loyal to one airline or hotel brand, you might choose a co-branded airline or hotel business travel card. If you prefer to mix things up in how you fly and where you stay, it may be better to choose a general business travel card.

Sign-up bonus

A sign-up bonus is an especially important consideration for a business credit card. Owning a small business or having a side gig means you'll be spending money on business expenses ranging from advertising to office furniture, and that gives you enormous leverage in the points and miles game. A sign-up bonus is a major opportunity to maximize those earnings, so make sure you're getting a generous bonus that offers the most value for the way you travel.

Earning categories

Many business cards offer bonus earnings in popular business spending categories like cable, internet, office supplies and online advertising. Take a look at your business spending from the past year to guesstimate how many points or miles you might earn in that category on a business card. This does require a little legwork, but it could help you to see exactly which business card would allow you to maximize your earnings based on the way you spend in your business.

Foreign transaction fees

If you ever travel internationally, you'll want to look for a card with no foreign transaction fees. These sneaky fees typically tack about 3% onto each purchase made outside the United States, so they could add significantly to the cost of a business trip.

Travel insurance

Many business cards for travel offer some travel insurance, which may include coverage for trip cancellations and delays, lost luggage and rental car liability. The specifics of the coverage offered can vary, so read the fine print and exclusions so you know exactly what is — and isn't — offered on a specific card.

Global Entry/TSA Precheck credits

Many of the best business credit cards for travel offer a credit that will cover your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. This is a key benefit for business travelers who want to minimize waits in long lines and breeze through airport security.

Other travel benefits

Many business travel credit cards offer other travel-centric perks. These might include free checked bags or upgrades on a co-branded airline business travel card, or automatic elite status on a hotel business travel card. Some travel cards also have concierge service to help you plan your travel or book shows or dining reservations.

How to use a business credit card for travel

Now that you've chosen the best business travel credit card for you, let's make sure you know how to maximize its value. Here are six tips for making the most of a business travel card:

  1. Get familiar with the benefits and features. It pays to go over the terms and conditions to find out exactly what your card does — and doesn't — cover. Knowing what's included may help you make decisions, such as whether to purchase extra travel insurance for an upcoming business trip. It'll also prevent you from scrambling to figure out your lost luggage policy while you're standing in an airport with no toiletries or suit for your upcoming business meeting.
  2. Set goals for earning and using points. It's helpful to set a strategy for earning and using points or miles. Decide ahead of time what you're working toward — whether it's a trip to a conference for your team or a well-deserved CEO retreat for yourself — and figure out how many points or miles you'd need to get it. We recommend using a spreadsheet to track your points and the goal needed for your next trip.
  3. Shop ahead of time for award redemptions. Do some browsing before you earn your points or miles to see which rewards redemptions make the most sense for you. If your card has transferable points with a variety of travel partners, it's even more important to do your homework to get the maximum value for your points. Compare the number of miles required for your award trip on various airline partners to see who has the best deal.
  4. Consider pairing your business card with the right personal cards. One of the best ways to maximize rewards earning and redemption is to use a duo or trio of cards that includes a business credit card. Check out our guide to the best credit card combinations to learn more about which personal cards work well with which business travel cards.
  5. Take advantage of little known perks. Some small business travel credit cards offer free travel concierge services to offer recommendations and take administrative chores off your plate, making your trip planning that much easier. These services also may be useful if you're traveling abroad and need translation help ironing out a travel glitch.
  6. Take coverage details and numbers with you. If you plan to rely on your card for car rental or travel insurance, make sure you have the details of coverage and any relevant claims phone numbers with you when you travel. Put this info in your phone and another safe place so you have quick access if you need help.

The information related to The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 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.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).