No matter what type of business you’re in, chances are there’s a business credit card to match your industry-specific needs. Even so, every business owner runs their company differently, so you may need to do a bit of research to find the perfect business card for your unique spending habits. For example, your delivery driver-based company might not need a traditional business travel card if it doesn’t reward fuel purchases.
It’s easy enough to find a business card that offers rewards and perks for travel-related expenses, like airfare, hotels and rental cars. In fact, the best business cards often focus on travel value. However, it can be harder to find a credit card with the right mix of perks and bonus categories that include other typical business costs such as:
- Telecommunications (such as internet and phone services)
- Office supplies
- Rent and utilities
- Business consulting services (including accounting, payroll, insurance, public relations and more)
To find the right choice for your needs, take a look at our curated list of the best credit cards for these everyday business expenses.
Compare the best credit cards for business expenses
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||Office supply stores||
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Business travel||
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card||Category variety||
|U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card||Company drivers||
|Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card||Startups and big expenses||
|Capital One Spark Cash Plus||General expenses||
|Capital On Tap Business Credit Card||Online businesses||
|Huntington Voice Business Credit Card℠||Rent and utilities||
|American Express® Business Gold Card||Airfare rewards||
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: Best for office supply stores
Why we picked it: Office supply stores are key one-stop shops for businesses, so 5 percent cash back at these retailers could mean considerable savings on a wide range of staple purchases — from tech and supplies to services like printing and shipping. What’s more, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card also earns 5 percent back on internet, phone and cable services, plus 2 percent on gas and dining.
These valuable categories can add up to a big rewards payday if your business has an office.
- Offers one of the highest rewards rates available for office supply stores and internet, cable and phone services.
- You’ll have flexible redemption options, including cash back and travel at an equal value, plus the ability to increase your rewards value toward Chase and transfer partner travel when paired with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card.
- It can offer plenty of savings with its 0% intro APR on purchases (then 16.24 percent to 22.24 percent variable) and no annual fee to worry about.
- Big spenders may find their rewards hobbled by the 5 percent categories’ $25,000 yearly spending limit and the 2 percent categories’ equal $25,000 yearly limit (then 1 percent back).
- Although this card’s 5 percent categories provide excellent reward opportunities, they may not be the most lucrative since they’re not typically the biggest business expenses.
- This card isn’t a great choice for business trips abroad since it charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee.
Who should apply: Business owners who spend a lot on office supplies, internet and telecommunications services — especially those who want to redeem for travel and have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Who should skip: Big spenders who need much more than $50,000 on office equipment, telecommunication services, gas and dining each year. Digital business owners and other cardholders whose biggest expenses don’t fall within these categories might want to consider another card.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for business travel
Why we picked it: The Business Platinum Card from American Express is best known for its top-tier travel benefits and 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels through the American Express Travel portal (2X points on other Amex Travel bookings).
However, it also earns 1.5X points on other expenses that aren’t commonly rewarded, including U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, shipping providers, software and cloud system providers and large purchases of $5,000 or more (all sharing a $2 million annual spend, then 1X points). What’s more up to $1,030 of its annual credits are for Dell, Indeed hiring and recruitment, Adobe product and U.S. wireless telephone provider purchases.
- Offers perhaps the best roster of travel perks and annual credits of any business card on the market.
- Features like a 35 percent bonus point value boost on airfare redemptions, comprehensive airport lounge access and hundreds of dollars in flight-related annual credits make it excellent for frequent business flyers.
- Provides a flexible spending limit for extensive purchasing power, plus the ability to carry a balance in a pinch with Pay Over Time plans.
- Its $695 annual fee is one of the highest on the credit card market and isn’t easily justifiable if you can’t take advantage of several key travel perks and business credits.
- The rewards rates aren’t particularly strong for everyday business expenses if your business doesn’t require frequent travel.
- A number of its benefits may be hard to use based on your business needs, especially if you can’t shift your spending habits to adapt to the perks.
Who should apply: Frequent business travelers who prefer the comfort and ease of an expedited airport experience and luxurious flights and hotel stays. Business owners who can take advantage of the card’s 1.5X rewards rates and annual business credits can justify the annual fee as well.
Who should skip: Those who can’t take advantage of the card’s specialized perks, don’t fly often or who don’t want to book travel through American Express probably won’t find the annual fee worthwhile.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card: Best for category variety
Why we picked it: The Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card provides perhaps the most flexibility of any business card when it comes to racking up rewards on a wide variety of business expenses. You’ll be able to earn 2 percent cash back on dining and 3 percent cash back on one of six choice categories: gas stations, office supply stores, travel, computer services, business consulting services and TV, telecommunications and wireless services.
These categories cover more merchants than cards with similar categories and can even be swapped more frequently than other choice cards’ categories — once per month instead of per quarter.
- It’s perhaps the best card for professional consulting services, which can be some of business’ biggest expenses and aren’t typically covered by bonus categories. Its business consulting category also includes public relations, legal services, accounting, tax preparation and more.
- The Preferred Rewards for Business program can boost your rewards rates by up to 75 percent if you have sufficient savings — which could add up to some of the best rewards rates available on your expenses.
- There isn’t an annual fee to eat into your rewards, and neither will interest payments thanks to this card’s 0 percent intro APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles (then 15.24 percent to 25.24 percent variable).
- The 3 percent and 2 percent categories share a yearly $50,000 spending cap, and you’ll only have two bonus categories active at once, which may limit the card’s rewards potential depending on your spending habits.
- You’ll likely want an excellent credit score for the best approval odds, so it might not be the best option for startup businesses and young entrepreneurs.
- The card charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, which would essentially negate rewards you’d earn with its travel category if you use it abroad.
Who should apply: Business owners who frequently hold business meals and have a variety of month-to-month office and travel expenses — especially if you have at least $20,000 in eligible Bank of America savings accounts for the Preferred Rewards rate boost.
Since this is one of the few cards to reward business consulting and other pricey key services, this card may also be worthwhile as a second card up your sleeve specifically for these expenses.
Who should skip: Business owners who don’t have banking accounts with Bank of America and would earn more rewards from a card that carries several bonus categories at once. If your expenses don’t fit in with the Business Advantage Customized Cash card categories, then the flat-rate Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card may be a better fit.
U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card: Best for company drivers
Why we picked it: The U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card hosts one of the best rosters of bonus categories available all at once. You’ll always be able to earn unlimited 3 percent cash back on gas and EV charging station, office supply store, cellphone provider and restaurant purchases without needing to swap out categories. Plus, you can nab 5 percent back on prepaid hotel stays and car rentals booked through the U.S. Bank Travel Rewards Center.
These are handy categories for a wide array of businesses, but you can capitalize on these reward opportunities if your business keeps you on the road — whether it’s driving for deliveries, passengers, rideshare apps or otherwise.
- All four bonus categories are always active — you won’t need to choose, activate or track alternating categories.
- Offers excellent category coverage on a variety of popular business expenses, including one of the best unlimited, year-round reward rates on cellphone provider and EV charging purchases.
- You’ll get a $100 credit each year for your business’ recurring software subscriptions (after 11 consecutive months of payments to the software provider using your card). These programs can include accounting software such as Freshbook or Quickbooks, which typically aren’t eligible for bonus category rewards or annual credits.
- The ability to pay off your purchases over time in monthly installments without interest is excellent, but the fixed ExtendPay fee (up to 1.6 percent of your original plan amount) each month could be more expensive than the APR you’d accrue if you’re not careful.
- Overlimit fees are rare nowadays since you must actively opt-in for overlimit protection, but this is one of the remaining cards that charges an overlimit fee ($40).
- If you fuel up your fleet in bulk or often buy items from gas stations, you’ll only be able to earn 3 percent cash back on up to a $200 transaction at gas and EV charging stations, or you’ll only earn 1 percent back beyond that.
Who should apply: Business owners who spend a good bit on office supplies and driving-related expenses like fuel and dining, especially if they manage spending records with online subscription services like Quickbooks.
Who should skip: Frequent travelers who fly more than drive, and small side business owners who don’t require other employees and their company driving and cellphone expenses.
Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card: Best for startups and big expenses
Why we picked it: the Ink Business Premier Credit Card is fantastic for startup businesses since it rewards all your purchases, even expenses that don’t usually fall within bonus categories such as incorporation fees, rent, construction and etc. These startup costs may even earn more the usual 2 percent flat-rate cash back since you’ll rake in 2.5 percent back to on purchases of $5,000 or more. This card even provides a flexible spending limit to give you the purchasing power you may need.
- It offers one of the highest flat-rate cash back rates among business cards and a unique boost to 2.5 percent back on big purchases of $5,000 or more.
- Flex for Business doesn’t require toggling on and off, which can make this card’s flexible spending limit feature more convenient than competing cards.
- It carries excellent benefits, including extensive travel protections and perhaps the best cellphone protection available through a credit card.
- The $195 annual fee may be hard to justify compared to similar cards unless you make several purchases of $5,000 or more each year.
- Unlike other premium Chase cards, you can’t potentially increase your rewards’ value through an Ultimate Rewards travel redemption or transfer partners.
- You can’t pool your rewards with other Chase cards, which can be a deal-breaker if you wanted to pair it with your other Chase cards.
Who should apply: Business owners who want purchasing power and one rewards card to cover all their expenses, or if they don’t know what their regular expenses will be just yet. Its 2.5 percent cash back rate and flexible spending limit can be especially helpful for getting a business off the ground and other startup expenses.
Who should skip: Business owners who won’t make single purchases of $5,000 or more several times a year. The annual fee may be a bit too high otherwise, which may make the rival Capital One Spark Cash Plus card a more cost-effective option. Since you won’t be able to pool rewards with other Chase cards, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card may also be a better flat-rate alternative if you want to redeem for travel and squeeze the most value from your hard-earned rewards.
Capital One Spark Cash Plus: Best for general expenses
Why we picked it: Like the Ink Business Premier card, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus earns a flat-rate, unlimited 2 percent cash back on all purchases. However, it’s a better fit for big spenders with a variety of general expenses rather than those that make several large purchases of $5,000 or more. In fact, the Spark Cash Plus card’s lower annual fee and its annual cash bonus could make it a more lucrative flat-rate cash back business card for a wider range of expenses.
- The card doesn’t have a preset spending limit, meaning that you don’t have a traditional credit limit holding back any necessary expenses.
- You have the option to automatically redeem your cash back at a set date and cash rewards balance interval, which can make the rewards process much simpler than other cards.’
- You can obtain an annual $200 cash bonus — which can offset the annual fee alone — by spending at least $200,000 each year.
- There is a $150 annual fee, which takes spending at least $625 each month to offset with cash back.
- Unlike other cards with a flexible spending limit, this card doesn’t offer an option to pay off your purchases over time, meaning you’ll have to settle your full balance each month.
- The annual cash bonus may be hard for the average spender to obtain, so it isn’t dependable for offsetting the annual fee unless you consistently spend more than $200,000 each year.
- Who should apply: Business owners who want a streamlined rewards experience and a single credit card to earn cash back all their expenses. Big spenders with expenses that might not be covered by traditional business card bonus categories, especially those who spend more than $200,000 each year.
Who should skip: Business owners with specialized expenses may earn more cash back with a bonus category card. More modest spenders might also earn more rewards through a cash back card with no annual fee, like the Ink Business Unlimited or the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus card. The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card doesn’t pose an annual fee either, but it also offers an Expanded Buying Power feature so that you can spend beyond your credit limit in a pinch. However, you can earn flat-rate travel miles instead with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
Capital On Tap Business Credit Card: Best for low rates and fees
Why we picked it: The Capital On Tap Business Credit Card harbors some of the lowest rates and fees you’ll be able to find on a business card. It poses no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, returned payment fee or even cash advance fee. Unfortunately, there aren’t any intro APR offers to keep interest at bay. On the bright side, the ongoing interest rate can be one of the lowest on the business card market at a 9.99 percent variable APR.
- On top of its incredibly low rates and fees, applying won’t cause a hard credit pull and affect your credit score.
- Offers above-average purchasing power with a high credit limit of up to $50,000, which means you won’t have to resort to a potentially risky charge card.
- You’ll also earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases.
- Other business cards can earn more cash back and offer extended purchasing power as well.
- The interest you’ll accrue by paying off a purchase over time can quickly eat through the rewards value you’d earn.
- Consider your credit profile carefully before applying if there’s a chance you may qualify for the high-end 34.99 percent variable APR, which is nearly double the current average interest rate.
- Doesn’t offer any remarkable extra perks to compete with rival cards’ perks, beyond its flat-rate rewards and low rates and fees.
Who should apply: Business owners with a solid credit profile that want purchasing power and the flexibility to cost-effectively pay off purchases over time, plus rewards on general spending after their balance is settled.
Who should skip: Business owners with a thin credit profile or those looking for a rewards card primarily.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for online businesses
Why we picked it: The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is one of the best travel business cards if you’re on a budget, but it also provides you plenty of value on everyday business expenses with 3X points on travel, shipping, social media and search engine advertising and internet, cable and phone services.
- You can increase your rewards’ value by 25 percent when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel, or even more value with the right Chase transfer partner.
- The card offers outstanding travel protections for whenever you travel, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
- It usually offers one of the highest business card sign-up bonuses. Currently, you can earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 within the first three months.
- It charges a $95 annual fee, which can be recouped by spending at least $212 a month on purchases in your 3X categories.
- Unlike some competing cards, there aren’t any intro APR offers to help you keep interest on your balance at pay.
- Its 3X bonus categories don’t include a few popular business expenses like office supply stores.
Who should apply: Business owners with an online business can accumulate substantial rewards with this card’s shipping, select online advertising and internet service bonus categories. The boosted redemption value toward Chase travel also makes this an excellent partner card if you have other cash back Chase business cards.
Who should skip: If your business leans on other expenses like gas, dining or office supply stores, other rewards cards may offer better rewards value.
Huntington Voice Business Credit Card℠: Best for rent and utilities
Why we picked it: The Huntington Voice Business Credit Card earns a remarkably high 4 percent cash back on one of an astounding 10 choice categories (although earned as points). A number of these options usually aren’t found as bonus categories, meaning you’ll earn perhaps the highest rewards rate available on major expenses like gas and groceries, along with on specialized expenses such as auto parts and service stores, discount and warehouse stores and sporting goods stores.
Two of the choice categories available are some of the biggest everyday business expenses you typically won’t earn more than 1 percent back on: rent and utilities.
- This card provides perhaps the largest roster of choice categories you’ll find, which includes: travel and entertainment; gas stations; restaurants; grocery stores; utilities and rent; electronics, computer and camera stores; auto parts and service stores; discount and warehouse stores; home improvement stores; and department, apparel and sporting goods stores.
- Poses relatively low fees, including no annual fee or foreign transaction fees to worry about.
- It’s a World Elite Mastercard, so it has a wide acceptance and may come with top-tier Mastercard perks — although you should check with your issuer to see if they’re included.
- You’ll only earn 4 percent cash back on one category per quarter, which could limit the rewards you’d earn compared to cards with multiple bonus categories.
- The categories can only be swapped once per quarter, while the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash card allows you to swap categories monthly.
- There are next to no perks outside the rewards rate, such as annual credits toward business expenses.
Who should apply: Businesses with a wide range range of expenses, including specialized categories you might not find elsewhere, such as auto parts and service stores, discount and warehouse stores and rent and utilities. This means the card is also helpful as a second business card solely to cover these specialized expenses that wouldn’t be as lucrative as your primary rewards category, like auto store purchases or rent and utilities.
Who should skip: Business owners who want to earn travel rewards, or who would earn more rewards from a card that carries multiple bonus categories at once.
American Express® Business Gold Card: Best for airfare rewards
Why we picked it: The American Express Business Gold Card earns valuable Amex Membership Rewards points on a range of key business expenses from U.S. merchants: airfare purchased directly from an airline, advertising (on radio, TV or online), gas stations, restaurants, shipping and select computer, hardware and software providers. Not only that, but you’ll earn 4X points on the two categories on that list you spend the most on. The points you earn can then be worth 25 percent more when redeemed toward airfare through the American Express Travel portal (on up to 250,000 points per year).
- The card also earns 2X points on travel booked through the American Express Travel portal.
- There isn’t a preset spending limit to hold back your spending, and Amex’s Pay Over Time feature allows you to revolve purchases as needed.
- Although the travel insurances this card carries aren’t as strong as other travel business cards, you can enjoy solid perks like airline baggage protection.
- You’ll only earn 4X points on the first $150,000 you spend each year on purchases in your bonus categories, after which you’ll earn 1X points.
- The $295 annual fee is a bit high since other cards offer yearly credits and other perks for such a high fee.
- Despite offering six possible categories, you’ll likely only earn rewards from two particular categories regularly since only your spending influences which expenses earn 4X points — you can’t choose.
Who should apply: Business owners with expenses that tip the scales toward travel-related expenses, and who would like to put their points toward airfare.
Who should skip: Business owners who prefer cash back and categories they can actively choose — especially if the $295 annual fee is hard to justify based on their spending habits.
How to choose a credit card for business expenses
The right rewards card for your business depends on a few factors. Consider these questions to make sure you pick the right one:
- What are your biggest business expenses? Naturally, it’s key to pick card with categories that align with what you spend the most on. For example, if a lot of your business needs can be met by an office supply store, you’ll want a card that rewards purchases at those types of retailers. If you have a low-expense, part-time business selling products online, you may want a card that rewards internet services and shipping.
However, you may want a flat-rate rewards card if your biggest expenses fall outside typical bonus categories — such as website hosting, insurance payments, and rent — or you don’t want to juggle multiple credit cards.
- Do you travel often for business? If so, you may want a card that earns travel points or miles instead of cash back and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. A premium travel card for businesses may also carry annual travel credits, complimentary airport lounge access, credits for expedited airport security programs or even automatic hotel or airline loyalty status. These perks alone may make some travel cards a better deal than a card that only earns cash back on your day-to-day expenses.
If you and your employees often travel with a specific airline or stay with a particular hotel brand, you may want to consider a hotel card for businesses — like the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card — or an airline card, like the United℠ Business Card.
- Where do you buy products for your business? Cards that reward office supplies are a reliable way to earn rewards on the products you need for your business. However, you may need to think outside the box if your business doesn’t require the typical pens and printer ink.
For example, a card with a grocery store or wholesale club category may be better if you need ingredients for your bakery, and a card that rewards online purchases or home improvement stores would be more relevant if you own vacation rental properties.
- Does the card offer valuable additional features? If a card carries additional perks that offer substantial value — like extensive travel insurance, complimentary airport lounge access, or relevant annual credits — it may be worth more than similar cards with slightly better rewards rates, depending on your business needs.
- Is your business a startup? If you have a lot of startup expenses, you may want to consider a card with plenty of purchasing power and a generous intro zero-interest offer on purchases to afford you enough flexibility to cover the costs without resorting to a less cost-effective loan. But if you’re building a business credit score, you may want a card with a high credit limit instead of a charge card since charge cards don’t have a credit utilization ratio to report.
- Is the annual fee worth it? Although premium business cards may look like a killer value with their bounty of credits and high rewards rates, the annual fee may be too much to offset if your business spending isn’t high enough to earn sufficient rewards or your expenses don’t align with many of the card’s perks.
Be sure to crunch the numbers and compare the value you can expect to earn each year to the value you’d get from an alternative no-annual-fee card to make sure you’d get your money’s worth.
The bottom line
Kickstarting a business and keeping it afloat can sometimes be challenging. However, having the right business credit card can earn you the rewards and perks that give your spending additional value as well as provide financial flexibility when you need it most.
Finding the right card starts with examining your biggest business expenses, seeing whether they align with a business card’s bonus categories or additional perks and deciding whether you want to earn cash back or travel rewards. Expenses like travel, office supply store purchases, select advertising, telecommunications services and shipping are the most common business expenses you’ll find on a business card. If your major expenses fall outside those categories, you might want to consider a flat-rate rewards card.
*The information about the Huntington Voice Business Credit Card℠ and U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.