Having a business credit card is a good starting point for a new business. It can help your start-up reap rewards on new business expenses and simplify the finances of your new enterprise. Since business credit cards utilize personal credit history to determine creditworthiness, you can get a business credit card with minimal credit history.
In fact, you may be eligible to apply for a card as a sole proprietor using your Social Security number, even if you don’t have a formal business or significant revenue history.
- 5% Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
- 2% Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
- 1% Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
The Ink Business Cash Credit Card is a great pick if you are looking for a no-annual-fee business card with great cash-back rates. The card provides 5% back on office supplies and telecommunication purchases (up to $25,000 in combined purchases each year), 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000 in combined purchases each year) and then 1% back on all other purchases. In addition, it offers an introductory 12-month 0% APR for purchases. If you apply today, you can take home a best-ever bonus of $900 cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.
The Ink Business Cash’s cash-back can be transferred to Chase Ultimate Reward points for cardmembers with eligible premium Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. This potentially doubles the value of its sign-up offer, making the bonus one of the best business card offers out there. Read more about the Ink Business Cash Credit Card here.
- 4X Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.
- 1X 1X is earned for other purchases. **
- 25% Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
The American Express Business Gold Card is a great choice for companies looking to earn travel rewards, specifically American Express Membership Rewards points. The card earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on your top two spending categories each billing cycle (up to $150,000 in combined purchases every calendar year) and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. American Express points are transferable to 17 airlines and three hotel transfer partners, but if you use your points for a flight with Amex Travel, you can get 25% of your points back thanks to the Pay With Points feature. The Amex Business Gold card is not for every start up, as it has a hefty $295 annual fee, but it can be a good match if you’re looking to gain flexible reward points. Read more about the American Express Business Gold Card here.
- 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
The Ink Business Unlimited is a great business card for freelancers, as it offers no annual fee and unlimited 1.5% cash back. New cardmembers can earn a generous $900 cash back after spending $6,000 in the first three months from account opening. Premium Chase card holders can also transfer the Ink Business card’s cash-back rewards to Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially double its redemption value.
In addition to having no annual fee, the Ink Business Card features a relatively low spending rate to earn the sign-up bonus and an introductory 0%APR for 12 months on new purchases, which can be helpful for freelancers who are still building out their businesses. But even for established operations who may already have other Ink Business cards, the Ink Business Unlimited can be a great card to fill in reward gaps not covered by other products. Read more about the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card here.
- 5X Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
- 1.5X Earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
- 1X 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a great card if your startup requires extensive travel — and even more so if you are looking to add some luxury to your business trips. While the card does come with a high annual fee, it also offers a ton of valuable benefits and perks. The Business Platinum Card offers generous annual travel credits, unparalleled lounge access (including Amex Centurion Lounges), elite hotel status and more. Read more about the Business Platinum Card from American Express here.
- 3X Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
- 1X Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases – with no limit to the amount you can earn
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a great choice for companies looking to earn reward points, specifically Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Ink Business Preferred offers 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping, advertising and telecommunication providers, and all other purchases earn 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar. All points are transferable to Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners. The Ink Business Preferred also offers travel protections, shopping protections, primary rental car coverage and more for — all for just a $95 annual fee. Read more about the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card here.
- 2X Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners
- 1X 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card is a great card for startups looking for reward earning without a high annual fee. The card earns 2 American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases, up to $50,000 in annual spending. In addition, the card offers a welcome bonus of 15,000 Amex points, which can be transferred to 20 different partners. Based on creditworthiness, new card members can also qualify for an introductory APR of 0% for up to 12 months. But the Blue Business Plus does have a foreign transaction fees, so if your business involves international travel, there may be better options for you. Read more about the Blue Business Preferred Card here.
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|Card||Best for||Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus||Earning Rate||Annual Fee|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||Best for freelancers||$900||
|American Express® Business Gold Card||Best for American Express Membership Rewards||70,000 points||
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||Best for no-annual-fee reward earning||15,000 points||
||No annual fee|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Best for travel perks||120,000 points||
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||Best for cash-back||$900||
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||Best for Chase Ultimate Rewards||100,000 points||
Do I qualify for a business credit card if my business is a start-up?
Startups will have a limited credit history, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a business credit card. Most issuers will allow individuals to apply for business cards using a Social Security number, but that requires a personal guarantee ‚— an agreement where the applicant agrees to personally cover any debt on the business card. Even in cases of business failure, the personal guarantor is responsible for the debt.
This means that your personal credit history greatly affects your eligibility for a business credit card. If your personal credit is good to excellent, the cards on this list can be a great fit.
How can I establish business credit?
Small business credit cards are often given to companies with minimal credit history based on a personal credit score. However, established businesses should seek to create a dedicated business score to access better loans and lines of credit. For more information on how to build business credit, you can check out our full guide here.