Shopping around for a business credit card should be done the same way you’d search for a consumer card. There is a variety of business credit cards from which to choose, each with a selection of benefits and perks to match various spending styles and preferences.
Let’s explore some of the most popular business credit card perks available, to help narrow down your search, and ultimately choose the right card for your business.
Benefits for Air Travel
From free checked bags to airline loyalty status to airport lounge access, for business travelers who want to save on flights and travel in style, there are several business credit cards worth considering.
First, decide if you want a business credit card that’s co-branded with a major airline, or if you prefer to go with a more general business travel rewards card.
For example, The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select card offers a welcome bonus of 65,000 AAdvantage miles (if you qualify), and 2 miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights, certain telecommunication merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rentals, and gas station purchases.
A business credit card tied to a particular airline or hotel is best if you want to earn upgraded loyalty status, which often entitles you to welcome gifts, free upgrades, and points bonuses on flights and stays.
If you need more flexibility and prefer not to be tied to one airline, then look for a card that allows you to use points with multiple travel partners.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card is a good example. You’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that you can transfer to 13 airline and hotel loyalty programs.
For those seeking business travel upgrades and unlimited lounge access, you can usually find these perks on premium cards with high annual fees, such as the Business Platinum Card From American Express ($595 annual fee).
If you travel enough to take advantage of a travel card’s travel credits, lounge access, and companion passes, the value of your complimentary perks and rewards could exceed the annual fee you pay.
Discounts on Business Services
Covering expenses such as shipping, telecommunications, software, online advertising, and other tools and services to run a business can add up. That’s why some card issuers offer discounts, statement credits, or other incentives related to everyday operating expenses.
Gina LaGuardia, who runs GL Editorial Services, Inc., says she appreciates the small, business-friendly offers she gets on her American Express business card.
“I’ve saved money on my Dropbox subscription, FedEx shipping, various client gifts, and more,” LaGuardia told The Balance in an email. “It makes me feel efficient—and rewarded—when I’m able to realize some savings for things I frequently need and utilize.”
Another consideration for business travelers is if your business credit card of choice offers travel protections. They can offer peace of mind when you or your employees are on the road.
One standout perk is primary car rental coverage, available on the Spark Cash for Business from Capital One. Primary coverage means you don’t have to go through your personal insurance at all in the case of an accident or theft, whereas secondary coverage requires you to file a claim with your insurance company.
Other cards offer lost luggage protection, travel accident insurance, trip cancellation coverage, and travel emergency hotlines.
If you have a business that requires international travel, look for a business credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
Free Employee Cards
Adding authorized users to your business credit card accounts is convenient, can help with expense management, and increases your rewards earning potential.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred has complimentary employee cards, which is a nice perk for a card that has a $95 annual fee. The Discover it Business Card, which has no annual fee, offers up to 50 free employee cards.
Each issuer lets you set spending limits and notifications regarding employee purchases.
0% Purchase APR Offer
If you have a big upcoming purchase scheduled, like office furniture or a new vehicle, applying for a business card with a 0% purchase APR offer can make it easier to pay back the purchase.
The U.S. Bank Business Platinum offers 15 months, which is longer than most, but there aren’t many other benefits beyond that.
Other cards, such as the American Express Blue Business Cash Card, offer 12 months of 0% interest on purchases, but also have rewards, so consider the full benefits package when choosing a card for its introductory offer.
Keep up-to-date with your payments. Cards with 0% interest may end the promotional interest-free period—and charge a penalty APR—if you make a late payment.
Accounting Software Integration
Typically, you want your business expenses meticulously tracked, which is why some business credit cards, including the Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card, offer cash management and reporting tools.
Some allow you to download reports and transaction data right into your own accounting software. For example, the Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card integrates with QuickBooks.
Other tools to look for include category spending breakdowns, and the ability to run and export customized reports.
“I find the year-end summary very useful around tax time, as it quickly helps me compile an itemized list of possible deductions for my accountant to consider come April 15th,” LaGuardia said about her Amex business card.