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When you’re a budding entrepreneur, inevitably you’re going to reach that point when it makes sense to get a business credit card. This is a good problem to have as business credit cards can offer better benefits than your personal credit card.
In the following cases, you should consider upgrading to a better credit card.
You Want to Track Business Expenses
The main reason to get a business credit card is to quickly track your business spending. This makes filing your taxes easier as you don’t have to separate your business and personal expenses each month.
If you’re self-employed and only make a few monthly purchases, opening a new credit line or paying an annual fee for a card you rarely use might not be worth it. The annual fee can be tax-deductible, so it can still be worth it to pay for a better card if you use it regularly.
When you have multiple employee cards, business credit cards usually come with expense tracking software that makes bookkeeping easy. Plus, you can usually also monitor spending by
The Purchase Rewards Are a Better Fit
Unless you get a flat rewards card, most tiered rewards business credit cards have bonus categories that cater to business spending. For instance, you might earn bonus points on social media advertising, shipping, or office supply store purchases.
You will find cards that offer bonus points on travel, dining, gas, or retail purchases. It’s also possible to get co-brand credit cards for retailers like Amazon or certain hotels and airlines including United Airlines.
You Like the Additional Benefits
When comparing purchase rewards, don’t forget to compare the additional card benefits. One of the best options for frequent flyers is the Business Platinum Card from American Express as you get free airport lounge access and 25% airline bonus when redeeming points for award flights.
You Qualify for the Signup Bonus
Many business credit card signup bonuses require you to spend more to qualify for the bonus than its personal credit card cousin. As a reward, the bonus values are more valuable.
For instance, the Chase Ink Business Preferred currently has the largest Ultimate Rewards signup bonus of 80,000 bonus points worth $1,000 after spending $5,000 in three months. The next largest bonus is for the Chase Sapphire Reserve which awards 50,000 bonus points worth $750 after spending $4,000 in three months.
Once you can spend several thousand dollars during the qualifying period, look for the card with the most valuable bonus offer and the best ongoing purchase rewards and benefits to always maximize your spending habits.
Like personal credit cards, some business credit cards periodically have limited time offers. You can try delaying your spending until the enhanced bonus is available. Another option is applying for new cards when they first launch as those tend to be the highest bonus offers to attract a large group of users.
Before applying, make sure you read the terms and conditions to make sure you qualify for the business. You might not qualify if you have owned this card or a similar product in the last 24 months.
The Best Business Credit Cards
When you’re ready to get a business credit card, these are some of the best offers currently available.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns 3x bonus points on the first $150,000 in combined annual purchases at these merchants:
- Shipping Purchases
- Internet, Phone, and Cable Providers
- Advertising on social media and search engines
All remaining purchases earn unlimited 1 point per dollar spent.
You can redeem your points for cash, travel, or gift cards. Travel rewards are the most valuable as you earn a 25% redemption bonus when booking travel on Chase. Or you can transfer them on a 1:1 basis to transfer partners like Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.
It also has a 80,000-point bonus offer worth $1,000 in award travel after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Before you apply, know that Chase will employ their notorious “5/24 Rule” to automatically decline your application if you have five new credit cards in the most recent 24 months.
It has a $95 annual fee but no foreign transaction fee.
Chase Ink Business Cash
When you only need no annual fee business credit card, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is one of the best. It comes with a $500 signup bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
You can also earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases spent at office supply stores and phone, internet, and cable services. Plus, you earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations.
You can redeem your points for cash, travel, gift cards, or Amazon.com credits. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee and the card is subject to the Chase 5/24 Rule.
United Explorer Business Card
The United℠ Explorer Business Card is offering the ability to earn 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. With a bit of planning, this can be enough miles to book a roundtrip main cabin flight to Europe or a business class roundtrip inside the United States.
Each year, you get two one-time United Club passes. You can always enjoy priority boarding plus a free checked bag for you and another person. You earn 2x points on United purchases, gas stations, restaurants, and office supply store sales.
The annual fee is $0 the first year then $95 after each card renewal.
Capital One Spark
If you prefer flat-rate rewards the Capital One Spark is worth a look. You will need to decide if you want to earn travel miles (Spark Miles) or cash rewards (Spark Cash).
If you get the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, it comes with a $95 annual fee ($0 the first year), and the ability to you earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere. You can also 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.
The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business has no annual fee and earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back per $1 spent. You can also earn $200 when you spend $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.
The Spark Miles lets you redeem your miles for future travel on Orbitz, recent travel purchases, or one of the Capital One airline transfer partners. For the Spark Cash, you can redeem your points for cash statement credits.
It’s time to start using a business credit card when the purchase rewards are better than your personal card, when you’re spending more on your business, and when you want to make life easier when it comes time for tax season. Once you reach