Owning a business is a pricey endeavor. While there are definite perks to being your own boss, it's the monetary rewards that are ultimately what keep your business in the black. To boost that bottom line, you'll need a steady stream of income, but you'll also have to budget carefully so that all those hard-earned bucks aren't flying out the door as soon as they come in. While it may be some time before you're flying first class as a "big time entrepreneur," that doesn't mean you can't start earning and redeeming rewards as a business credit cardholder. Whether your small business is meant to stay small or scale new heights in the industry, business credit cards make paying for all the stuff you and your staff needs so much easier. Just as you chose carefully with what you have in your own wallet, it makes sense to spend some time deciding which credit cards will work best for your needs as a small business owner.
Get personal perks with the right credit card for your business
Here's some good news—no matter which business card you choose, there are plenty of rewards and perks to come along with it. The real decision is what you want those rewards to do for you. Airline miles for travel? A good rate on a balance transfer? Cashback rewards that you can funnel right back into your biz?
Decisions, decisions! Just think—you'll rack up all those sweet business friendly rewards that much faster when you get cards issued for select employees. The more spending you and your staff do, the more rewards you'll reap in the end.
Match your small business credit card to your interests
It's all well and good to get a ton of airline miles with your business credit card signup bonus, but what if business is booming and you need to stay close to home? You can, of course, save your points for a well-deserved vacation in the future (most cards' points don't expire as long as the account is active), but perhaps a cashback credit card is more applicable to your current needs. Good news about business credit cards: You have flexibility when choosing rewards. Whether you want those airline and travel miles, balance transfer options, or cashback benefits to use however and whenever you choose, there are plenty of options for business credit cards.
Big bonuses and lots of perks make these credit cards small business friendly
As with consumer cards, there are a wealth of options out there for business credit cards. Rather than waste your precious time running your company, we did the grunt work and waded through the benefits and fine print for you. We came up with four cards we think are great picks for staff spending.
1. Amex Business Platinum Card
It's hard to ignore the privilege of being an American Express cardholder, especially since the newer metal chip cards look and feel like a million bucks. Plus, as we said before, there are certain cards which have signup bonuses that make their sky high annual fees worth every penny. The Amex Business Platinum card is one of them. Here's why:
Pay in full or over time. Amex is traditionally a charge card, which means you should pay off the balance each month. However, for eligible cardholders, the Pay Over Time feature allows you to carry a balance like you can with a regular credit card, though a higher than average APR does apply.
A super signup bonus means that work trip or vacation is already in the bag
The Amex Business Platinum routinely offers enticing welcome bonuses that offer large quantities of points to new cardholders for a minimum spend. These points typically can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind, though, that the spending has to take place in the first several months the card is open, so this one is best suited for successful business owners confident in their cash flow. This card is also best for jetsetting entrepreneurs—or at least those who aspire to be, thanks to some rather incredible travel perks that have become synonymous with this credit card issuer:
Say bye bye to baggage fees and hello to luxurious layovers
Amex offers an airline fee credit each year. And with your Priority Pass membership, you've got access to countless airport lounges, including Delta SkyClubs and Amex Centurion Lounges.
Upgraded status with Hilton. Before you even book a room, you'll get an automatic upgrade to Gold status in the Hilton Honors program.
Access to the express lane. Enjoy a free credit for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry, renewable every four years.
Stay connected. WiFi is on Amex, thanks to the 10 Gogo passes you'll get each year.
If that sounds good, the Amex Business Platinum could be the card for you. However, if you're looking for the more consumer-friendly personal version of this card, instead of the business one, let CardGuru guide your search:
2. Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
If you're launching a small business, you might think you need a ton of cash and a sky high credit score to even carry a business credit card&mdashh;and that's not the case at all. Enter the Capital One Spark Cash Select card, which can get you and your business off and running on a small budget.
Earn on all purchases.Get standard miles for every dollar you spend with no categories to keep track of.
Roam and redeem freely.There are no blackouts or seat restrictions when you book travel. And there's no minimum point amount to accumulate, so redeem whenever you want.
Easy to achieve signup bonus.Earn tens of thousands of bonus points when you spend enough in the early months of owning this card. The rather conservative minimum spend put this card on our list.
Go interest free for a while.Skip the interest during the welcome period on all purchases. After that, it's an above average variable APR. Your APR percentage will be determined by your creditworthiness upon application.
Avoid the annual fee. It won't cost you a thing (besides your monthly payment, of course) to be a cardholder. This card is looking better and better!
Protect yourself against fraud. If someone snags your card for a shopping spree, you're not responsible.
As shown above, there are a lot of reasons to consider this card for your business credit needs. Consumers love Capital One for their perks and customer service.
3. Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card is a worthy contender for your company spendin. Also, since Chase also offers excellent business banking options like loans and merchant services (think credit card processing) it's not a bad idea to also add a credit card to your Chase cache.
Even if you choose to bank or do your credit card processing with another institution, here's why we think you should consider Chase:
Enjoy a staggering signup bonus. We're still floored by this offer—earn a whopping point bonus when you spend to minimum spend in the first few months of opening the account.
Increase your points.You'll get the most points for purchases in these categories: travel, shipping purchases, online advertising, and internet, phone, and cable services. All other purchases earn you standard points and there is no limit on that spending.
Redeem points for big bonuses. When you're ready to give yourself a little treat, redeem your points and get a bonus.
Enjoy a low annual fee.For all you get with this card, we think the reasonable annual fee is money well spent.
We also like this card for its other perks:
Protect your phone. Pay your phone bill with your card, and you'll get up to $600 per insurance claim if your phone is damaged or stolen.
Go point for point with other rewards programs. For every point, you'll get a point with most leading frequent traveler programs.
This card is competitive with it's whopping welcome offer and above average rewards points. If you need a powerful card that pays premium rewards for purchases, look no further than Chase Ink Business.
If you like the types of business perks Chase has to offer, but don't want to deal with an annual fee. Try the sister card, Chase Business Business Cash, instead:
4. CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
The bank's website touts this card as "one of Citi's best business credit cards for earning travel rewards." Based on the signup bonus alone&mdah;60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles—we've already got vacation or perhaps an upgraded business trip on our minds.
Here are a few other things you can look forward to when you open this business credit card:
Easy peasy initial bonus. You'll net a boatload of AA miles after spending reasonably in the first few months you have this card in hand.
Be free of fees. The moderate annual fee is waived the first year. Plus, there's no foreign transaction fee, which is especially helpful if you're thinking of going global with your business. While it's always important to read the fine print of any credit card you consider, even Citi makes sure to draw your attention to the following card caveat:
There's no second chance with this card. If you had this card in the past but closed it, you're out of luck if you're thinking you can reapply to snag this bonus—you'll have to wait a full two years before you are eligible for miles again.
If you travel often for business, and if you book with American Airlines more often than not, this card is for you. Some will say that redeeming AA miles can be a bit tricky, but others will say it's totally worth it.
Pick the card that's best for your bottom line
It's none of our business how you run your business—but we will always advise you to pick out the best credit card for your company's spending habits. And boy, do you have options when it comes to the rewards you'll get based on your spending. Of course, just as you would monitor your credit limit on your consumer cards, you'll want to do the same for your business credit cards. It's simply not worth the future of your business endeavor to drive yourself into debt, even though the travel points you'll get for spending a ton of money could get you a first class tropical vacation. Be as savvy about your spending as you are about your industry, and you'll go far—perhaps literally!