Top 5 Business Credit Cards for Newbies

Update: Not all offers below are still available. See our Best Business Credit Cards page for the latest info.

Business credit cards are great tools for earning travel rewards. If you are a small business owner, you should consider adding one to your wallet.

Why? Business credit cards help you easily separate your personal expenses from your business expenses to help you run your business more efficiently. Also, most business credit cards do not show up on your personal credit report, even if you apply using your social security number as a sole proprietorship.

More and more people are opening small businesses that may qualify for a business credit card. People who have direct sales businesses, like Plexus or LuLaRoe, as well as independent contractors, can qualify for business credit cards.

If you are small business owner new to the miles and points hobby, there are several cards with high bonus points available to you that are not available to some folks who have been in this hobby for a longer period of time. If you have opened more than 4 credit cards in the past 24 months or are trying to stay under Chase’s 5/24 rule for future personal cards, see my previous post on Best Business Credit Cards for a 5/24 Holding Pattern.

Without further ado, here are my top business credit card recommendations for newbies.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Chase Ultimate Rewards are my absolute favorite and most valuable points. Why? Ultimate Rewards are flexible and can be used with many airline and hotel partners, including Southwest Airlines and Hyatt.

This card comes with 80,000 bonus points after spending $5000 in the first three months. It has an annual fee of $95, which may be waived if you apply inside a Chase bank branch.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred earns 3X points on travel, shipping purchases, cable, internet, phone and social media and search engine advertising. The card also offers cell phone protection up to $600 for cell phones listed on your bill that you pay through the card.

In addition to many transfer partners with a 1:1 ratio, you can use the bonus points for a statement credit worth $800 or for $1000 worth of travel through the Chase portal. This card has one of the highest, most valuable bonuses available out of any credit card available. If I were just starting out in the miles and points hobby, this would be the first business card I would get. This card pays us commission if you apply through our site.

Unwinding at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort an Spa, using Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

If you’d rather have cash than points, this card has a solid bonus with no annual fee the first year. Spend $4500 in the first three months and get $500 cash bonus. The card earns 2% cash back on all purchases.

While the bonus is not as high as the Chase Ink Business Preferred, the 2% cash back on all purchases may make this a more rewarding card for the long-term, depending on the type of business expenses you have.

Unlike most business cards, Capital One business cards do show up on your personal credit report. However, if cash is king for you, this card makes it easy to collect cash back. This card pays us commission if you apply through our site.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Visa

The business version of the Southwest credit card comes with 60,000 bonus points after spending $3000 in the first three months. The $99 annual fee is not waived. This bonus is higher than the bonus on the personal versions of the card.

Southwest miles can really take a family far. Since award ticket prices are based on the cash price of tickets, flights can cost much lower on points than other airlines. When Southwest has a sale, I’ve seen tickets on points for as low as 1400 points each way. Compared to other airlines where a one-way ticket costs 12,500 miles, that’s a bargain!

If you pair this card with the personal version that has a 50,000-point bonus, you will have enough points to earn a Southwest companion pass. With a companion pass, you can designate a friend or family member to travel with you for free, whether you book your ticket using cash or points! It’s a great tool if you travel frequently throughout the year.

New York City trip, using Southwest Rapid Rewards points and Companion Pass

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Business Card from American Express

The sign-up bonus potential on this card is temporarily increased to 35,000 points through 4/5/17. I got the personal version of this card last year when the bonus was 35k. I love the flexibility of SPG points. Edited to add: The bonus is back down to 25k total.

To get the full bonus, you must spend $5000 within the first three months to get 25k points. Spend an additional $3000 in the first six months to get the remaining 10k points. If you have enough expenses to make this bonus structure work, the points have a lot of redemption possibilities.

This card comes with Sheraton lounge access. You can use the points on many SPG hotel properties, or convert the points at a 1:3 ratio to Marriott Rewards points. That’s 105,000 Marriott points for the bonus alone. My family is using my points to stay for five nights at the Sheraton Sand Key over Spring Break.

After meeting the minimum spending on this card to get the bonus, you would have 43,000 points. You can transfer those points to several airline partners. For every 20k points transferred, you get an additional 5k bonus points. So 43,000 SPG points equates to 53,000 airline miles.

See Leana’s post about the value of SPG points. Since Marriott and SPG merged, the assumption is that this Amex card may eventually go away since Chase owns the Marriott card. Get it while you can, especially at this higher bonus offer! This card pays us commission if you apply through our site.

CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard

This card currently has a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus after spending $3000 in the first three months. The annual fee is waived the first year. Update: the 50k-mile bonus offer on this card is no longer available.

With this card, you get one free checked bag for you and up to four companions. You also get Group 1 boarding and 25% off in-flight food and beverage purchases.

If you live near an American Airlines hub, these points can be valuable for many destinations. When you pair this business card with the Citi personal version and the Barclay personal version, your AA miles can add up quickly! See this post for more information on AA miles. This card pays us commission if you apply through our site.

Click here to view various credit cards and available sign-up bonuses






Author: Nancy

Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.

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