The 6 Best Credit Cards for Small Business Owners of 2019

Secure your business with a great line of credit

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.

As a small business owner, having the right credit card is an important part of your financial security and peace of mind. When you’re worried about running your business and serving your customers, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your credit card is charging you too much or whether it’s serving you well. We've looked at a variety of credit cards for small business owners and handpicked the best. Our list includes:

  • Best Sign-up Bonus: Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • Best Flat Rate Cash Back: Capital One Spark Cash
  • Best Premium Travel Rewards: Business Platinum Card from American Express
  • Best for Office Supplies: Blue Business Cash Card
  • Best Airline: CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
  • Best for Building Business Credit: Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
  • Best for Balance Transfers: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card

Pay attention to the rewards and other credit card perks. Some pay cash back rewards on your biggest business expenses, others offer 0% financing for an introductory period, or you can earn travel rewards to offset the cost of your travel expenses.

01
Best Sign-up Bonus: Chase Ink Business Preferred

Chase Ink
Courtesy of Chase

What we like: The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card pays a generous 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. The bonus is worth up to $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Ongoing, you’ll earn three points per dollar on the first $150,000 you spend in certain business categories each year. That includes purchases you make on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone, as well as social media or search engine advertising purchases. All your other Chase Ink Business Preferred purchases earn unlimited one point per dollar.

Use Chase's online booking tool—Chase Ultimate Rewards—to redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises and your points are worth 25% more.

What we don't like: Points aren't always as flexible as cash or statement credit. You'll have to use Chase Ultimate Rewards for redemption to get the most value from your rewards.

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

02
Best Flat Rate Cash Back: Capital One Spark Cash

Capital One Spark Cash

What we like: The Capital One Spark Cash keeps it simple. All your purchases earn unlimited 2% cash back. There are no special categories to keep up with and you don’t have to tailor your spending to earn additional rewards.

If you spend a lot on your business, you have the opportunity to earn hundreds of dollars in rewards each year. Redeem your rewards at any time and in any amount. There’s no minimum redemption.

Your business can earn a $500 cash bonus just by spending $4,500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. 

What we don't like: The penalty rate - charged if you make a late payment - is 31.65%. Staying on top of your payments is important to avoid hefty finance charges.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • 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
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first three months.

View details about this credit card.

03
Best Premium Travel Rewards: Business Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Platinum Business Card
Courtesy of American Express

What we like: The Business Platinum Card from American Express pays higher rewards on travel purchases - as long as you book through amextravel.com. You'll earn five points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels.

You'll also earn 1.5 points per dollar on eligible business purchases of $5,000 or more—up to 1 million points per year—and one point per dollar on everything else. American Express gives 35% of your points back when you use your Membership Rewards to pay for all or part of an eligible fare.

Enjoy a $200 airline fee credit each year that you can apply toward incidental fees like checked bags and in-flight purchases.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a charge card which means you don't have the option of carrying a balance each month. Paying in full keeps you from getting into business credit card debt and allows you to avoid interest.

What we don't like: The annual fee is fairly expensive. You'll need to spend heavily on travel purchases to make the annual fee worth it.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • 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 points - 50,000 points when you spend $10,000 and and additional 25,000 points when you spend $10,000 more on qualifying purchases within your first three months of opening your account.

View details about this credit card

04
Best for Office Supplies: Blue Business Cash Card

American Express Blue Business Cash Card
Courtesy of American Express

What we like: The Blue Business Cash Card from American Express is the best credit card for earning cash back on office supplies. You can earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% after you've hit that limit.

You’ll have the ability to spend above your credit limit, up to a certain amount depending on your payment history, credit record, financial resources, and other factors determined by American Express.

What we don't like: Your cash back rewards are automatically posted to your account as a statement credit. This may be easier for some, but for others, it means less control and flexibility over how you use your rewards.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 15.24% to 21.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 2.7% of the transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Welcome Offer: None offered

View details about this credit card

05
Best Airline: CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

What we like: With the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard, you’ll earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage(R) bonus miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening

Earn two miles for every dollar you spend on select business purchases including gas stations and eligible American Airlines purchases. Other purchases earn one mile per dollar.

The sign-up bonus and rewards are great; the additional perks put this card above the competition. You'll save 25% on in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights; plus, fly to select destinations on American Airlines operated flights for up to 7,500 fewer AAdvantage miles.

Check your first bag for free for you and up to four companions traveling with you. Plus, you'll receive preferred boarding on domestic American Airlines flights.

What we don't like: The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard doesn't offer any lounge access for cardholders.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: $99 waived in the 12 months
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.74% to 25.74% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage(R) bonus miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening

06
Best for Building Business Credit: Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
Courtesy of Wells Fargo

What we like: The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card allows businesses to establish or rebuild their business credit. You can make deposits between $500 and $25,000 to secure the credit limit for the credit card. Wells Fargo will periodically review your account to determine whether to upgrade you to an unsecured credit card. The time frame for the review and the conversion vary. For this reason, it’s important to manage your account wisely.

If you need to give employees the ability to make purchases for the business, you can add up to 10 employee cards to your account — each with an annual fee of just $25 per card.

Earn 1.5% back and receive your cash back automatically as a credit to your account or to your eligible checking or savings account each quarter. There are no spending categories or caps on the amount o rewards you can earn.

What we don't like: Some of the fees are not disclosed until you're approved and receive your cardholder agreement.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: $25 per card
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: Prime + 11.90% on purchases
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Disclosed on approval
  • Cash Advance Fee: Disclosed on approval
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

07
Best for Balance Transfers: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa
 Courtesy of U.S. Bank

What we like: The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card offers a long promotional period—0% for 12 billing cycles—that applies to both purchases and balance transfers. The promotional rate is great for paying off a large balance that currently has a high interest rate. Some business may enjoy the initial 0% purchase rate for low-cost financing of business equipment, office supplies, or other major expenses.

Another perk: the ongoing APR after the promotional rate expires is lower than the APR for many of the other credit cards on our list.

What we don't like: The card doesn't offer a signup bonus or ongoing rewards.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
  • Ongoing APR: 12.24% to 20.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

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 above content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.