Best Business Credit Cards for Travel of September 2020

A great business travel credit card lightens the load and cuts expenses, too

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The best business credit cards for travel don’t require loyalty to a particular airline or hotel, but they do offer plenty of opportunities to earn points or miles for future trips. They also come with perks that can elevate your travel experience. Co-branded cards are only worthwhile if you fly or stay with specific brands, but we’ve included these too, knowing some business travelers really value loyalty perks like elite status. Whether you regularly travel for your company or for fun, here are our top choices for business owners looking for a travel credit card.

Best Business Cards for Travel

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Best Overall

,

Best With an Annual Fee Under $100

,

Best Bonus

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
4.8
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate 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.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    There’s a lot to like about this card, including a 100,000-point bonus for new cardholders who spend $15,000 within their first three months. Since points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel through Chase, this superb offer is worth $1,250 (or possibly more, if you transfer your points to eligible airline or hotel programs). Plus, the annual fee is reasonable and there’s a good rewards-earning proposition. Besides airfare and other travel, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent each year on internet and phone services, shipping, and social media advertising. 

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Outstanding bonus for new cardholders
    • Extra rewards points on many different types of business expenses
    • Many ways to redeem rewards
    • Option to transfer points to eligible airline loyalty programs, in some cases getting more value per point

    Cons

    • No rewards on dining or gas
    • Rewards tiers and caps, which are higher maintenance
    • Steep spending requirement to earn bonus
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.
    • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Stay on top of your business with Fraud Protection, Purchase Protection, personalized Account Alerts, and more.
    • Employee cards at no additional cost.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Best for Luxury Travelers

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
4.7
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Current Offer

Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 within your first 3 months of card membership.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) N/A variable
Annual Fee $595
Rewards Earning Rate Get 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. 1x for each dollar spent on other eligible purchases.
Cash Advance Fee This card does not offer cash advances.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    You'll have to swallow a $595 annual fee, but if you travel enough, the generous rewards rates and valuable VIP perks more than make up for it. (You’ll have unlimited complimentary access to more than 1,200 participating airport lounges and a $200 annual credit toward incidental fees on your chosen qualifying airline, just to name two.) Plus, you’ll get the flexibility that comes with the Membership Rewards program. You can use your points to book travel with any provider offered through amextravel.com, or you can transfer them to an eligible airline or hotel loyalty program.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Lots of luxe travel perks, such as airport lounge access and elite status at some hotels
    • High rate of rewards on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com
    • Get some points back when you redeem them for first or business class airline tickets through American Express

    Cons

    • Very high annual fee
    • Steep additional user fee, which means employee cards cost extra
    • Not all cardholders will have option to carry balances on eligible purchases
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Get 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. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
    • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when flight is booked on amextravel.com.
    • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.

Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card

Best With No Annual Fee

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
3.6
Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card
Current Offer

30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel booked through the Bank of America Travel center - powered by Expedia.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 9 Billing Cycles
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card’s easy rewards scheme and lack of annual fee make it great for the no-nonsense business traveler. You’ll get 3 points per $1 spent on all travel booked online through the Bank of America Travel Center, and 1.5 points per $1 on all other expenses. (And if you have enough in deposit accounts with the bank, you’ll get a boost on both of these rewards rates.) It’s super simple to use your points, too: Just charge your trip with any provider and then redeem points for a statement credit later.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Decent earning rate for a no-annual-fee, flat-rate rewards card
    • Redeeming rewards for travel is easy—just request a statement credit for the expense

    Cons

    • Bank of America customers can earn even more rewards, but you’ll need a lot of money in a deposit account to qualify
    • Rewards can’t be transferred to other hotel or airline loyalty programs
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, everywhere, every time – no matter how much you spend.
    • Earn 3 points per every dollar spent when you book your travel (car, hotel, airline) through the Bank of America Travel Center.
    • Get 75% more points on the base earn of every purchase you make when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you'll earn 2.62 points on all purchases and 4.12 points for every $1 you spend at the Bank of America Travel Center.

United℠ Business Card

Best for Fans of United Airlines

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
3.4
United℠ Business Card
Current Offer

60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 23.49% variable
Annual Fee $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, eligible local transit, and office supply stores. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. 5,000 mile loyalty anniversary bonus.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    You can really pump up your stash of United miles with this card, earning 2 per $1 spent with United and at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit. These earning opportunities, plus some valuable travel perks, easily make this card worth the low annual fee, but there’s even more. You'll earn 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on your card in your first three months. Those are worth $1,368 when used for flights, based on our valuation of United's miles.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Several ways to earn extra miles besides buying airline tickets, such as office supply store and commuting expenses
    • One of the most valuable business travel rewards card welcome bonuses, based on The Balance’s calculations
    • Nice selection of travel perks, including free checked bags

    Cons

    • Only the primary cardholder and one travel companion can check bags for free, unlike comparable airline business cards
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
    • Earn 2X miles on United Airline purchases, on local transit & commuting and at gas stations, office supply stores and restaurants.
    • Free first checked bag – save up to $140 per roundtrip.
    • Priority boarding - board United-operated flights prior to general boarding.
    • 25% back on United inflight purchases.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®

Best for Fans of American Airlines

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
3.3
AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®
Current Offer

Earn 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Earn 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines, office supply, telecom, and car rental merchant purchases. 1 miles per $1 on all other purchases.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    If American Airlines is your preferred airline, this business card offers a nice array of rewards for your loyalty. It has a reasonable annual fee, and in addition to airline flights, you’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on a variety of business expenses including office supplies and telecom services. The bonus for new cardholders is outstanding, too. Based on our average valuations of American Airlines miles, the total bonus is worth more than $1,700 when used for flights. To round out this offer, you’ll enjoy a few nice airline perks like the option to earn an airline companion pass, early boarding, and free checked bags. 

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Competitive bonus for new cardholders
    • Many ways to earn extra airline miles
    • Free checked bag benefit
    • Annual miles bonus

    Cons

    • Annual fee
    • Few premium travel benefits
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 65,000 miles by spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. Earn an extra 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases, and on eligible office supply, telecom, and rental car expenses.
    • First checked bag is free for you and up to 4 companions on the same reservation when flying on an American Airlines-operated flight within the U.S.
    • Spend $30,000 or more in a year to get a companion certificate for just $99, plus taxes and fees
    • Complimentary employee cards
    • No foreign transaction fees

Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card

Best for Fans of Marriott

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
3.2
Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card
Current Offer

Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $125
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 4X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping, and 2X points everywhere else.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    If you prefer to stay with the Marriott hotel chain, this card offers the best value. Not only do you earn lots of points on a bunch of different expenses, but you’ll also have the potential to earn 75,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in your first three months with the card—a bonus we value at about $990. Other perks include automatic Silver Elite status (and a path to Gold Elite), a free night award every year when you renew your card, and another free night if you spend at least $60,000 in a calendar year.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Generous rewards program will help you rack up points fast
    • Free night each year you renew your card (and another for big spenders)
    • Bonus is a great value thanks to Marriott’s high-value points, per The Balance calculations

    Cons

    • Annual fee is a bit higher than what comparable cards charge
    • American Express card acceptance is low outside the U.S., compared to Mastercard or Visa
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary.
    • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite Status
    • 6X points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
    • 4X points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers & on U.S. purchases for shipping.
    • 2X points on all other eligible purchases.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card

Best for Fans of Delta Air Lines

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
3.4
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card
Current Offer

Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion (R) Qualificiatnion Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card in the first 3 months. Offer ends 10/28/2020.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and hotels. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card carries a relatively high annual fee, but if you fly Delta often enough, the travel perks may very well outweigh the cost. In addition to earning 3 miles per $1 spent with Delta and on stays booked directly with hotels, there are several great travel perks–including a Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee credit, an annual companion pass for a roundtrip domestic flight (just pay fees and taxes), and your first checked bag free (including for eight eligible travel companions).

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Good miles-earning rate on Delta and hotel purchases
    • Perks such as free checked bags and an annual companion pass for a domestic round-trip in the main cabin (fees and taxes not covered)
    • Best bonus for new cardholders among the Delta business credit cards.

    Cons

    • Annual fee is higher than other mid-tier airline cards for businesses
    • Must pay a fee to access Delta Sky Club lounges—a relatively stingy airport lounge benefit
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion (R) Qualificiatnion Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card in the first 3 months. Offer ends 10/28/2020.
    • Plus earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.
    • Earn 3 miles per dollar on purchases directly with hotels.
    • Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases.
    • Global Entry or TSA Pre✔ fee credit.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Best for Fans of Hilton

Our Rating Among Business Travel Cards
2.8
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Current Offer

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on select business & travel purchases, 3X everywhere else.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card is jam-packed with hotel perks, including an automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status and 10 free passes a year to participating airport lounges. You’ll earn the most points on charges you make with Hilton properties, but there are plenty of other ways to earn points, including using your card for flight purchases, gas and restaurant spending, and business expenses such as cellphone service and shipping. Big spenders are even better off, with chances to earn free weekend nights and Diamond status.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Free weekend night rewards for those who meet annual spending requirements
    • Valuable airport lounge access perk
    • Automatic elite status with Hilton Honors program, which means more hotel perks and higher hotel stay earning rates

    Cons

    • Lower value points, on average, compared to other hotel loyalty programs, based on The Balance calculations
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • American Express can now be accepted at 99% of places in the US that accept credit cards.
    • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors Business Card after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Enjoy even more perks as a Hilton honors Gold member, like an 80% bonus on all Base Points, space-available room upgrades and more.
    • Rest up with a Free Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Card account in a calendar year.
    • Earn a second Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
Find Your Credit Card Match We believe it's most important to consider interest rate, rewards, and annual fee when you choose a business credit card for everyday use, but we know you might have different priorities. See what suits you best.
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Who Can Get a Business Credit Card?

You have the potential to qualify for a business credit card as long as you have a business. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need employees or a business license, though. Based on the IRS’ definition, business income can include any income you receive from the sale of a product or service.

What Are Travel Credit Cards?

Travel credit cards offer travel-related rewards and perks that can help you save money on your next vacation, and potentially enjoy a better travel experience. 

What Are the Different Types of Travel Credit Cards?

  • General travel credit cards: These cards offer general travel rewards you can typically redeem for all sorts of travel-related expenses, without booking with a particular travel company. 
  • Co-branded airline credit cards: Airline cards offer rewards with the frequent flyer program of the card’s co-branded airline. While they don’t offer as much flexibility as general travel cards, they often come with airline-specific perks.
  • Co-branded hotel credit cards: As with airline credit cards, co-branded hotel cards offer rewards and perks with a specific hotel brand. 

Pros & Cons

Travel credit cards can provide a lot of value, but they’re not the best fit for every business owner. 

Pros
  • Sign-up bonuses to new cardholders

  • Valuable travel-related perks and insurance protections

Cons
  • Annual fees, some of which are in the hundreds of dollars

  • Potential blackout dates or award restrictions

What's Better: A Travel Card or a Cash-Back Card?

Both travel and cash-back credit cards can provide value, but neither option is inherently better than the other. As a result, it’s important to know what works best for you and your business. Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide.

If you can relate to the following statements, a travel rewards card may be the way to go:

  • I want a big bonus as a new cardholder
  • I prefer travel-specific benefits
  • I don’t mind paying a big annual fee
  • I want to use rewards to get better value from my travel

A cash-back credit card may suit you better if these ring true:

  • A bonus isn’t a huge priority
  • I like very flexible rewards
  • I don’t spend frequently in other countries
  • I want card benefits I can use when I’m not traveling

Should You Pay an Annual Fee for a Travel Rewards Card?

If you’ve never paid an annual fee on a credit card before, you may balk at the idea of doing so now. Depending on the card, though, it can be easy to get enough value to make up for the yearly cost. 

As you compare travel credit cards, look at each card holistically and compare the costs and the rewards and perks to see which one will give you the biggest net benefit. 

How Should You Choose a General Travel Card?

For starters, look at the flexibility of the redemption options. Having the chance to book through the card issuer’s travel portal is nice, but it may be nice to have the option to shop around and book wherever it is cheapest. Also, the option to transfer your points to an airline or hotel loyalty program could open up a whole new set of valuable redemption choices.

Also consider other features, such as how much the annual fee costs, what kind of benefits you get and how valuable they are to you personally, and whether they offer bonus rewards on your most common business expenses.    

How Should You Choose an Airline Card?

Unlike with general travel credit cards, it may be easier to pick an airline credit card, especially if you’re already loyal to one. If you’re not, think about which airline you’d get the most benefit from, based on your local airport and your frequent destinations. 

Tip

Some airlines have a bigger international footprint and partners that can give you access to more redemption options.

Finally, consider the perks each card offers. Some, for instance, may offer a free checked bag for more people, and others may add in more benefits, such as a discounted companion pass or airport lounge access.

How Should You Choose a Hotel Card?

Picking the best hotel credit card also typically comes down to which hotel brand has your loyalty already. If you haven’t picked one yet, though, consider the hotel chain’s presence in your frequent destinations. 

Also, consider what level of elite status a card may offer and whether there’s a path to a higher status based on your spending. Then also look at how valuable the bonus is for new cardholders, whether you’ll earn bonus rewards on business-related spending and the value of the extra perks you’ll receive.

How Should You Compare Travel Cards?

There’s no single best travel credit card out there for everyone, so it’s essential to know what you’re looking for in a card for your business. Here are just a few features to consider as you compare options:

  • Bonus for new cardholders
  • Rewards rates
  • Redemption flexibility
  • Annual and foreign transaction fees
  • Additional travel-related perks
  • Insurance protections
  • International acceptance

Keep all these factors in mind as you decide which card to apply for. Again, here’s our list of the best business credit cards for travel:

Best Business Credit Cards for Travel
Credit Card Category Annual Fee
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Best Overall $95
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Best for Luxury Travelers
$595
Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card Best With No Annual Fee $0
AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
Best for Fans of American Airlines
$95
United Business Card
Best for Fans of United
$99
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
Best for fans of Marriott

$125
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Best for Fans of Hilton 
$95

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card

Best for Fans of Delta Air Lines
$250
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Best With an Annual Fee Under $100 $95
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Best Bonus $95

How Can You Maximize Travel Credit Card Rewards for Your Business? 

As a new cardholder, the best way to maximize your credit card rewards is to make sure you spend enough in the first few months to qualify for the card’s bonus. 

Then, it’s important to use the card whenever possible to rack up rewards quickly. This will work best if you’ve chosen a card that offers bonus rewards on some of your biggest expense categories, or a card that offers a high, flat rewards rate on everything. 

When it’s time to redeem your rewards, take some time to learn about which redemptions will give you the most value.

Note

The rule of thumb with credit card rewards is you’re getting a good value if your points or miles are worth at least 1 cent each. 

What Can You Redeem Travel Rewards For?

Depending on which card you choose, you may have a few or several redemption options. As you learn how to travel for free with rewards, here are some of the more popular ways to do it:

  • Book travel through the card issuer’s online tool.
  • Use your points or miles to get a full or statement credit against eligible transactions.
  • Transfer your rewards to one of the card’s transfer partners, typically hotels and airlines. If you go this route, it’s ideal to transfer at a 1:1 ratio at least to avoid losing value.

What Kinds of Perks Do Business Travel Cards Come With?

In addition to a rewards program, many business travel credit cards also provide extra perks. Depending on the card, some of the more common perks include:

  • Insurance protections
  • Reimbursement for TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fees
  • Airport lounge access
  • Reimbursements for travel-related fees
  • Free checked bags, priority boarding, and in-flight discounts 
  • Elite hotel status
  • Free anniversary night’s stays 

Methodology

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

Our reviews are always impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

About This List

We determine this list of cards each month or whenever there's a drastic change in the travel-rewards credit card market. We start by filtering our database of cards to show only those classified as business credit cards, then we filter for cards with airline, hotel, or general travel rewards and benefits. If you’re interested in consumer credit cards, see our list of the best travel credit cards.

What We Score

The top factor in our scores for travel credit cards is whether the card demands loyalty to a particular hotel or airline, or if it’s more flexible in the way it allows you to earn and redeem points or miles. We also place a lot of weight on how much the average U.S. consumer might earn on hotel or airline spending in a year. We calculate those potential earnings by multiplying the value of a credit card's points by the rewards-earning rates the card offers in those categories and by average travel spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We calculate a point or mile's value by examining Americans’ travel habits, the ways a cardholder can redeem rewards, and the average cost of flights and hotel stays.

Next, we look at the maximum value of the bonus for new cardholders. Bonuses with higher values get higher scores. After that, we consider the value of travel credits that reimburse you for travel-related charges. Those credits can offset the cost of an annual fee, another factor that goes into our rankings (we consider a card’s fee over three years to smooth out the impact of having an annual fee waived the first year, a common feature of travel cards).

Equally as important as annual fee is the card’s total potential annual earnings—cards score higher if they let you earn at elevated rates for non-travel purchases. Those factors—flexible rewards structure, airline and hotel earn valuations, bonus value, travel credit value, annual fee, and total potential annual earnings—account for more than 60% of a product's score on our Best Business Credit Cards for Travel list.

Beyond those main features, we look at how widely accepted the card’s network is. 

Important

Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted card networks in the U.S., though Discover and American Express have nearly caught up with them, according to the Nilson Report. However, according to 2018 Nilson figures, Mastercard and Visa are tied as the most widely accepted networks by far. Discover comes in a distant third, and American Express is fourth.

We also weigh the card’s required credit score—cards with less stringent credit requirements score higher—as well how much you have to spend to earn the bonus. 

The best business credit cards also allow at least some employee cards at no fee, and offer interest-rate deals for large purchases.

Warning

Whenever you use an introductory purchase APR, make a plan to pay off your balance before the period ends. Otherwise, you'll end up with debt subject to double-digit interest rates.

Meanwhile, the best travel cards have these valuable features, all of which we favor: 

  • Airport lounge access
  • Airline or hotel partners with whom you can earn or redeem more points 
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement
  • Primary rental car coverage

Cards with several common perks—like rental car insurance that kicks in after your personal policy or concierge services—receive higher scores than those with fewer benefits, though more valuable perks have a greater bearing on scores.

Other Things We Consider

Travel-specific features make up about three-quarters of our scoring system for our Best Business Credit Cards for Travel, but we also account for several things we think make a quality credit card. We favor cards with low APRs, few fees, outstanding security features, and easy-to-access customer service. You can read more about everything we evaluate in our full methodology.