The 7 Best Business Travel Credit Cards of 2019

Get rewarded when you travel for work

We are committed to researching and recommending the best financial solutions and products for our readers. The Balance has partnered with CardRatings and may receive commissions from links within our content, but these have no bearing on our reviews or recommendations. The below content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.

Using the right credit card for your frequent business travel will help you earn rewards that you can use toward future flights. Or, your credit card may come with other benefits and perks that help you move through the airport quickly and with ease. We've reviewed credit cards that offer great travel benefits for businesses and narrowed it down to the best. Our list includes:

  • Best Overall: Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • Best Premium: Business Platinum Card from American Express Open
  • Best for Car Rentals: United Explorer Card
  • Best Flat Rate Rewards: Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Best for International Travel: Bank of America Premium Rewards
  • Best Airline Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
  • Best for Hotel Stays: Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express

When you're weighing the best credit card to use for your business, consider how you typically spend for your business. Choose a credit card with no foreign transaction fee if you travel out of the country to save money on purchases you make in other currencies. Or one that pays higher rewards on dining if you spend money on company dinners. Whether you’re a small business owner yourself or an employee who travels for business, there’s a credit card here that’s just right for you.

01
Best Overall: Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

Chase Ink
Courtesy of Chase Ink

What we like: With the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card, you have the opportunity to earn 80,000 bonus points. Just spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening your account to earn the bonus. Use Chase’s online booking tool, Chase Ultimate Rewards, to redeem your points and the bonus is worth up to $1,000 toward travel rewards.

You’ll earn three points for every dollar you spend on the first $150,000 you spend on travel and other business purchases each year. In addition to travel expenses, business purchases include shipping, internet, cable and phone, as well as social media/search engine advertising purchases. You’ll earn one point per dollar on all your other purchases.

Use your rewards to book travel in advance through Chase Ultimate Rewards and your points are worth 25% more.

What we don't like: After the first year, you must spend at least $4,200 a year on business expenses to offset the annual fee. Businesses who don't spend heavily on travel and business purchases may get more benefit from a flat-rate rewards credit card.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 18.24% to 23.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the amount transferred
  • Cash Advance Fee: $15 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.

02
Best Premium: Business Platinum Card from American Express Open

American Express Business
 Courtesy of American Express

What we like: New cardholders can earn up to 75,000 bonus points, first by spending $10,000 on purchases, then spending an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months of opening your account. Between flights, hotels, and rental cars, frequent travelers may not have a hard time earning the bonus rewards.

You’ll earn five points per every dollar you spend on flights and prepaid hotels that you book through American Express' online booking tool at amextravel.com; 1.5 points per dollar on eligible business purchases of $5,000 or more—up to 1 million points; and one point per dollar on everything else. Plus, enjoy a $200 airline fee credit each year that you can to apply toward incidental fees like checked bags and in-flight purchases.

What we don't like: You must be big spender to make the steep annual fee worth it. This card is meant to be paid in full each month so transferring a balance isn't an option.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $595
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend a total of $20,000 on purchases in the first three months ($10,000 must be spent on qualifying points)

View details about this credit card

03
Best for Car Rentals: United Explorer Card

United Explorer Card
 Chase.com

What we like: The United Explorer Card offers primary rental car insurance which means it kicks in before your personal auto insurance. Many other credit cards only offer secondary insurance that only kicks in after you've exhausted your personal auto insurance coverage.

The signup bonus allows you to earn up to 60,000 bonus miles with $2,000 spent in the first three months and then another $8,000 in the first six months of opening your account.

Ongoing, you'll earn 2x miles on United purchases and at restaurants and on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. Plus, earn 1x mile on everything else.

Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck when charged to your Explorer card.

What we don't like: Due to Chase's 5/24 rule, you may not qualify for the credit card if you've applied for more than five credit cards in the past 24 months. The card only offers the first free checked bag for you and one companion.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived in the first year
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 18.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the amount transferred
  • Cash Advance Fee: $15 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months; an additional 20,000 after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first six months

04
Best Flat Rate Rewards: Capital One Spark Miles for Business

What we like: With the Capital One Spark Miles you’ll earn a one-time bonus worth up to $500 in travel if you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your credit card account.

Earning rewards is simple and straightforward. All your purchases, including business travel purchases, will earn unlimited two miles for every dollar.

If you have a business partner who travels with you, you can add additional employee cards to earn additional rewards.

What we don't like: For some businesses, the lack of bonus rewards categories may mean leaving rewards on the table. If you tend to spend more in one area, like office supplies, it may be worth adding a credit card that pays higher rewards in that category.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived in the first year
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 19.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 50,000 after you spend $4,500 in the first three months.

View details about this credit card.

05
Best for International Travel: Bank of America Premium Rewards

Bank of America Premium Rewards
Courtesy of Bank of America Premium Rewards

What we like: You'll receive a signup bonus valued at $500 if you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account. Ongoing, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else.

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card offers a $100 credit for the Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee every four years—two benefits that make it easier and faster to move through airport security and customs. The bank also rewards an additional $100 statement credit for airline incidentals like seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services and airport lounge fees.

Bank of America customers with a checking and $20,000 average combined balance in an investment account can take advantage of the Preferred Rewards Program to earn higher rewards.

What we don't like: Rewards are only worth one cent each and must be redeemed in 2,500 increments. You can't transfer rewards to any hotel or airline partners.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 18.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 3% of the amount transferred
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.

Best debit cards for international travel

06
Best Airline Credit Card: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard

Citi AAdvantange Platinum Select
Courtesy of Citi

What we like: WIth the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard has a great signup bonus offer - 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage(R) bonus miles after spending $2,500 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Ongoing, you’ll earn two AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases and at restaurants and gas stations, and one AAdvantage mile for every dollar spent on other purchases.

Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card.

Get priority boarding, and your first checked bag is free. Use your credit card for in-flight food and beverage purchases and receive a 25% savings on your purchase.

What we don't like: This card is most valuable for people who fly American Airlines. Many other airline credit cards come with access to the airport lounge. This one, however, doesn't offer that benefit.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $99, waived in the first year
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.99% to 25.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the amount transferred
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage(R) bonus miles after spending $2,500 within the first 3 months of account opening.

07
Best for Hotel Stays: Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express

Mariott Bonvoy Business American Express
 Courtesy of American Express

What we like: The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card pays great rewards for big spenders. First, you'll earn a generous 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

You'll get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your card. You can upgrade to Gold status after you spend $35,000 on your card.

Receive 1 free night each year on your card anniversary. Get an additional free night after you spend $60,000 in a calendar year.

Ongoing, the card pays 6x Marriott Bonvoy points at participating hotels; 4x points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at restaurants, gas stations, wireless telephone services, and on shipping purchases; and 2x points all other eligible purchases.

What we don't like: The 4x rewards categories applies to U.S. purchases only. If you travel internationally, another no foreign transaction fee credit card with higher rewards would be a better choice.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $125
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.74% to 26.74% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 3% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome offer: 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

View details about this card.

About Our Reviews

We are committed to researching and recommending the best financial solutions and products for our readers. The Balance has partnered with CardRatings and may receive commissions from links within our content, but these have no bearing on our reviews or recommendations. The below content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.