Best Business Credit Cards of September 2020

These cards can save you money and help you earn rewards worth thousands.

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments we receive from our advertising partners. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

The best business credit cards should provide as much value as possible. After all, for small-business owners, maximizing profits is a top priority, so it's a natural to want the same from a business credit card.

Whether you’re looking for cash-back or travel rewards, a card to help you rebuild your credit or one to help you make a big purchase with a financing deal, here are our top choices.

Best Business Credit Cards

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

Best Overall

,

Best for Travelers

Our Rating Among Cards for Small-Business Owners
3.7
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Current Offer

Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 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 (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines, telecommunication, cable and satellite providers, car rentals and gas station purchases. Earn 1 mile per $1 on other purchases.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    If you can fly American Airlines when you travel for business, this card belongs in your wallet. It offers valuable airline miles to frequent travelers (they are worth about 2.32 cents each, on average, based on our data). Plus, it offers extra miles on select business expenses, and a new customer bonus that we calculate is worth about $1,500 after you spend $4,000 on the card in the first four months. Travel perks like preferred boarding, free checked bags, and the ability to earn a companion certificate further add to its advantages.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • American Airlines miles are worth more than most airline miles, according to The Balance’s valuations
    • Great bonus for an airline-branded business card
    • Free checked bag perk (for you and four travel companions) can easily make annual fee worth it
    • Several travel and business expenses earn double miles

    Cons

    • No travel insurance benefits
    • No airport lounge passes, travel credits or card perks like cellphone insurance
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 4 travel companions.
    • Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights so you can save time and be more productive.
    • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi purchases when you use your card.
    • 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights when you use your card.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Best for Cash-Back Rewards

Our Rating Among Cards for Small-Business Owners
4.5
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Current Offer

Earn $500 when you spend $4,500 in 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 (%) 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card has an easy-to-manage rewards program, earning a very good 2% back on every purchase. There are no spending categories to track or earning limits to worry about, which makes the card perfect if you don’t travel much and need a straightforward option for getting a little something in return. You’ll earn $500 if you spend $4,500 within three months of opening an account, too, which isn't the best cash-back bonus offer, but it's attainable.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Stellar cash-back earning rate on all purchases, with no limits
    • Redeeming rewards is as easy as earning them

    Cons

    • Annual fee after the first year
    • No chance for more than 2% cash back on any spending category
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn a one-time $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Get unlimited 2% cash rewards.
    • Add employee cards for free and earn all the rewards from their purchases.
    • Get a custom, itemized spending report to simplify planning, budgeting, and taxes.
    • Make purchases outside of the U.S. with zero transaction fees.

Discover it® Business Card

Best for Financing a Large Purchase

,

Best With No Annual Fee

Our Rating Among Cards for Small-Business Owners
5.0
Discover it® Business Card
Current Offer

Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

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 (%) 12.99% - 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on all purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    If you need time to pay down upcoming business expenses, definitely consider opening this card. New cardholders get a 0% APR on purchases for a full year, one of the longest offers available right now. Plus, at the end of your first year, Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned during that interest-free period. This means a mediocre ongoing cash back rate of 1.5% on all purchases can become a quite generous 3% cash back, albeit for just the limited time.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Welcome bonus matches all cash back earned at the end of your first year, effectively giving you 3% cash back that first year
    • New cardholders get 12 months interest-free on purchases—an offer as good or better than other business cards
    • No annual fee

    Cons

    • Cash-back rate is standard, nothing better
    • No common perks, like auto rental insurance or coverage on damaged purchases
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases.
    • Only Discover automatically matches ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.
    • Use your card to pay for airfare, hotels, rideshares & more with no blackout dates. Then easily redeem miles as a statement credit for travel or get cash.
    • No annual fee.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Best General Travel Sign-Up Bonus

Our Rating Among Cards for Small-Business Owners
4.2
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Current Offer

Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in 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 (%) 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    Spend $4,500 within three months of opening this card and you’ll earn 50,000 miles worth $500 when redeemed for travel. On an ongoing basis, this card offers double miles on all purchases, several excellent travel perks, and waives your annual fee the first year.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Very competitive flat rewards rate with no limits
    • Annual fee waived for the first year
    • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement
    • Transferring miles to certain frequent flyer programs offers a higher value per mile, according to The Balance valuations

    Cons

    • Scant perks and no travel insurance
    • Value of miles is cut in half if redeemed for cash
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles (equal to $500 in travel) once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, plus 5X miles on hotel & rental car bookings through Capital One Travel.
    • Your rewards don't expire for the life of the account and there are no blackout dates, no seat restrictions and no limit to how much you could earn.
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Best Secured Card

Our Rating Among Cards for Small-Business Owners
4.7
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit 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
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.15% variable
Annual Fee $25
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back or earn 1X point and recieve 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.
Cash Advance APR (%) 23.99%
Cash Advance Fee See Terms
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    You’ll need to make a security deposit as collateral for your credit line, but you can get between $500 and $25,000 in available credit. What’s more, the card offers a couple of rewards programs you can choose from, including 1.5% cash back on everything, which you’ll be hard-pressed to beat. Keep in mind, though, that the card’s annual fee is per card, not just for the primary account.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Decent rewards rate on purchases, which is harder to find among secured cards
    • Credit limit of up to $25,000, based on deposit
    • Periodic account reviews to check eligibility for upgrade to unsecured card

    Cons

    • Annual fee applies to each employee card as well as main account holder
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Choose to earn cash back or reward points.
    • $500 to $25,000 credit line.
    • $0 liability protection.
    • Annual fee: $25 per card.
    • Up to 10 employee cards.
    • Spending reports available online.
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?

Anyone with a business can apply for a business credit card. You don’t need an official setup or employees to qualify as a business owner. According to the IRS, business income may include any income you receive from the sale of a product or service.

This means that if you occasionally buy and resell items on Amazon or eBay, do freelance photography or graphic design work, or even babysit, that could qualify as a business. 

And while business credit card applications often ask for an employer identification number (EIN), you can also use a Social Security number to apply.  

How Should You Choose the Best Credit Card for Your Business Needs?

With so many different business credit cards to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down the selection to just one. To help you with this process, here are three things to consider:

Your Credit Score 

Business credit card issuers run a personal credit check when you submit an application. While many of the best business credit cards require good or excellent credit to qualify—think a 700 credit score or higher—some don’t. 

Check your credit score before you apply for a credit card. If it’s in the good or excellent range, you’ll have a better chance of getting approved for the card you want. If your score is considered fair or poor, however, you should probably work on building your credit before you apply for a card you’re unlikely to be approved for. 

Your Business Expenses 

A lot of business credit cards offer bonus rewards on certain spending categories such as shipping, advertising, or communications expenses. If your business spends a lot in one area, it may make sense to pick a card that provides more value on those purchases.  

If you don’t spend a lot in general or your expenses are all over the place, you may be better off with a card that offers a high flat rewards rate on everything.

Other Card Benefits

In addition to a rewards program, many business credit cards offer other perks that can help you save money. Some, for instance, offer an introductory 0% APR promotion, which you can use to finance a large expense or manage irregular cash flow and pay down the balance interest-free over time.

Other cards may offer valuable travel perks, expense management features, and other benefits that can make your life a little easier. Think about what’s most important to you and focus your search on cards that can provide it. Here’s another summary of the cards we think are best for small business owners:

Best Business Credit Cards
Credit Card Category Annual Fee
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard Best Overall $0 for the first year, then $99
Capital One Spark Cash for Business Best for Cash-Back Rewards $0 for the first year, then $95
Discover it Business Card Best for Financing a Large Purchase $0
Capital One Spark Miles for Business Best General Travel Sign-Up Bonus $0 for the first year, then $95
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card Best Secured Card $25
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard Best for Travelers $0 for the first year, then $99
Discover it Business Card Best With No Annual Fee $0

Should You Get a Business Credit Card or a Personal Credit Card?

You don’t have to use a business credit card for your business. In some cases, a personal credit card may be a better fit. The important thing is that you keep your business and personal expenses separate. Here’s a quick comparison of business and personal credit cards to consider as you choose the best fit for you:

Business credit cards:

  • Rewards and perks are often tailored to common business expenses and needs
  • Can help you build a business credit history
  • Often provide higher credit limits than personal cards
  • Typically don’t report card activity to the consumer credit bureaus

Personal credit cards:

  • Rewards and perks are designed more for everyday consumer spending and needs
  • Won’t help you build a business credit history
  • Typically come with lower credit limits than business cards
  • Can affect your personal credit score and report

Business credit cards are not covered by the Fair Credit Billing Act, which limits consumer liability for fraudulent charges to $50. Most credit card companies voluntarily have zero-liability policies for unauthorized charges, but read the fine print in your card agreement to understand exactly how you're covered.

What's the Difference Between Business Credit Cards and Business Charge Cards?

Some business credit cards aren’t traditional credit cards. Before you apply for a card, make sure you know what you’re getting. Here’s what to know about the differences between credit cards and charge cards: 

Business credit cards:

  • Allow you to carry a balance from month to month with interest
  • Come with a set credit limit
  • Charge late payment fees
  • Come from a wide range of card issuers

Business charge cards:

  • Require payment in full each month
  • Have no pre-set spending limit
  • Charge late payment fees
  • Limited to American Express

How Can You Build Business Credit?

If you’re just starting out, establishing a business credit history can take time. Here are some quick steps you can take to start from scratch:

  • Set up a business entity
  • Apply for an employer identification number (EIN)
  • Apply for a D-U-N-S Number to get registered with the business credit agencies
  • Open a business bank account
  • Apply for a business credit card, use it responsibly, and pay on time every month
  • Request a trade credit arrangement from vendors or suppliers, and pay your invoices on time
  • Apply for other business financing options as needed and continue on-time payments

In order to get the most from your business credit card, avoid mixing business and personal expenses, try to pay your bill in full every month, and consider setting up automatic payments to avoid missing one.

What Is a Good Credit Rating for a Business?

Business credit card issuers don’t typically check your business credit scores, so you’ll want to focus on your personal credit score as you apply for cards. 

But as you work toward establishing a business credit history for future financing needs, there are two main business credit scores you’ll want to keep an eye on:

  • Dun & Bradstreet Paydex score: Ranges from 0 to 100; a good score is considered 80 or higher.
  • Intelliscore Plus from Experian: Ranges from 0 to 100; a good score is considered 76 or higher.

How Can You Maximize Credit Card Rewards for Your Business? 

Your best chance of maximizing rewards on your business credit card is to get a card that offers bonus rewards in categories where you spend money every day. Try to use your card whenever possible and, if feasible, consider getting more than one card to complement each other. 

For example, if you travel a lot, you might have a card that earns 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and 1 point on everything else. Use that card for travel expenses, then for all your other purchases use, say, a card that earns a flat 1.5% on all expenditures. 

Credit card rewards may not be at the top of your priority list as a business owner, but they can add up fast and provide a decent return on investment.

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

The Balance editorial team compiled this best card list using the same factors used to evaluate our best overall card rankings, but focused on cards issued to small business owners.

What We Score

Rewards, annual fee, and regular APR are the most important things people consider when choosing a credit card, so we weigh those features most heavily. Beyond limiting this list to small business cards, we applied the same methodology we use to determine our best overall credit cards. For full details on how we evaluate credit card attributes, check out our full methodology.