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Best Business Credit Cards With No Annual Fee for 2022

Dayana Yochim

September 22, 2022

You don’t need a corner office and a fleet of underlings to get a business credit card. You don’t even have to have a registered LLC or corporation to apply for one. Drive an Uber or occasionally sell stuff on eBay or Etsy? Walk dogs or children? Consult, contract or freelance? Your business need only be designed to earn revenue (and not necessarily a lot, either) for you to qualify for a business credit card.

Here’s why it might be worthwhile. Compared to general-purpose consumer cards, business credit cards offer:

  • Higher spending limits (around $55,000 on average versus $30,000).
  • Lower interest rates (1 to 3 percentage points less) on outstanding balances than average consumer card APRs.
  • Discounts on business-y services, like shipping, software, web services and more.
  • Free employee credit cards and financial tools to help manage your growing empire.
  • Rewards on business-related purchases, like office supplies and cell/internet/cable connectivity charges, on top of standard rewards card categories like gas, dining and travel. According to the investor.com cashback business credit card calculator, a small business that spends roughly $2,500 a month could earn $300 to $835 in cashback rewards per year.

Business credit card calculator: Find the best business credit card for you

The investor.com business credit card calculator shows how much cashback you can earn from the cards we track in our database. The results are based strictly on the spending data you enter. (See Methodology for more.) For the most accurate results, adjust the default “Spend Category” amounts to reflect your actual spending.

Input your monthly
spending
Monthly Spend
Spend Categories expand_more
Clear All
local_gas_station Gas
dining Dining
card_travel Travel
print Office Supplies
phone_iphone Cell Phones
monetization_on Other
Business Owners
Amazon Business American Express Card
Amazon Business American Express Card
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $100 Amazon Gift Card
Apply Now open_in_new on American Express' secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Choice of cashback (3%) or more time to pay
  • 2% back on dining, gas and gab (cell services)
  • $100 gift card upon approval, no spending requirement
  • $0 annual fee
  • Amazon Prime membership not required
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Potential referral bonus
  • Includes Amex perks
thumb_down Dislikes

  • 3% rewards/60-day no-interest apply only to Amazon purchases
  • Choose the 60-day financing and you forgo cashback rewards
  • $120,000 annual cap on 3% eligible spending
  • Redemption minimums revealed upon approval. Weird.
  • Balance transfers not allowed
list Card Deets expand_more

How much is it worth to have 60 interest-free days to pay off some of your business expenses? Based on the Amazon Business Card, the answer is 3% of the purchase price. That’s the setup with this American Express business card: You can earn 3% cashback on purchases from Amazon-owned properties — including Amazon.com, Amazon Business, Whole Foods and companies that operate as Amazon Web Services (AWS) — or opt instead to pay no interest on those purchases for 60 days. Also on the table: a 2% rewards rate on restaurant, gas and wireless phone purchases and 1% on everything else.

If you’re a heavy Amazon services user, the Amazon Business Prime Amex card offers a higher 5% rewards rate and a 90-day interest-free float, although a Business Prime membership (starting at $69 a year) is required.

The basics: 3% back or 60-day terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon. Terms and cap applies. 2% back at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and wireless telephone services purchased directly from service providers. 1% back on all other eligible purchases. Get a $100 Amazon.com gift card upon approval.

Primed

  • If Amazon.com and its related businesses — including Amazon Business, Whole Foods and Amazon Web Services (AWS) — are your go-tos, this card is like a 3% off coupon on those expenses. Or…
  • The thing that sets this card apart from some other rewards cards is the option to get a cash flow breather. If you’re willing to forgo the 3% cashback, you can opt for the 60-day, no-interest repayment period on those purchases. (The interest-free clock starts at the time of purchase.)
  • Who couldn’t use 2% cashback on wireless phone service? That, and 2% back at restaurants and gas stations, comes standard. Plus, there are no caps on the 1% and 2% categories. (More on the 3% spending cap in a moment.)
  • The $100 Amazon gift card welcome bonus is all yours once you’re approved for the card. Unlike other business rewards cards, no spending minimums or other actions are required.
  • The Amazon Business American Express card includes some of Amex’s purchase and travel extras, like access to the premium Global Assist Hotline, car rental loss/damage coverage, baggage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranties. Of course, terms apply.
  • The Amex Business App is designed to work with QuickBooks (account enrollment required) to help business owners manage expenses and receipts.
  • The Amazon Business card also comes with six months’ free enrollment in Vendor Pay by Bill.com to manage invoices. Note: Enrollment is free, but transactions within the service may not be.
  • The $0 annual fee extends to additional employee cards you request, which you can do for up to 99 of your minions. Like most business cards, you can set up spending limits and alerts on employee cards.
  • No foreign transaction fees saves you the 3% some cards charge on international transactions.
  • Worth mentioning: An Amazon Prime membership is not required for the Amazon Business credit card, making it a truly no-annual-fee business credit card.
  • FYI: Interested in what the people have to say? Based on more than 2,000 ratings on Amazon.com, the card rates 4 out of 5 stars.

Amazoinks!

  • The highest rewards tier — 3% — applies only to Amazon-related purchases, which makes the Amazon Business American Express Credit card less valuable if Amazon isn’t a key vendor.
  • Heavy Amazon service users may get more value from the Amazon Business Prime Card from American Express. It offers a higher 5% rewards rate and longer interest-free option (90 days vs. 60).
  • 3% cashback earnings are capped at $120,000 each calendar year. After that you’ll rake in just 1% until the ball drops in Times Square..
  • Aaaaand, nope: You can choose either 3% rewards or a 60-day interest-free repayment period, not both. Choose the latter and the purchases do not earn rewards points. On the plus side, financed purchases do not count toward the $120,000 annual rewards spending cap.
  • The redemption options with the Amazon Business American Express Card are basic: Either apply rewards toward an Amazon.com or Amazon Business purchase or request the money as a statement credit. Here’s the kicker: “minimum and maximum amounts may apply,” according to the rewards operating instructions. For example, to use points for eligible charges you’re required to have at least 1,000 available points on your card account.
  • The 2% cashback categories are limited to U.S.-based businesses only. On the plus side, the Amazon Business card charges no foreign transaction fees.
  • The 3% ($5 minimum) per cash advance fee isn’t the worst we’ve seen, but it’s still not great, especially on top of the nearly 25% APR you’ll pay from the moment you grab the moolah.
  • Balance transfers aren’t allowed. So just put those thoughts right out of your head.

The fine print

The Amazon Business American Express Card rewards program explained in eight pithy pages, plus all the rates, fees, terms and conditions to know before signing up.

Business Owners
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $125 Amazon Gift Card
Apply Now open_in_new on American Express' secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Choice of cashback (5%) or more time to pay
  • 2% back on dining, gas and gab (cell services)
  • $125 no-strings gift card upon approval
  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Potential referral bonus
  • Includes Amex perks
thumb_down Dislikes

  • 5% rewards/90-day no-interest apply only to Amazon purchases
  • Choose the 90-day financing and you forgo cashback rewards
  • $120,000 annual cap on 5% eligible spending
  • Amazon Business Prime membership required
  • Redemption minimums revealed upon approval
  • Balance transfers not allowed
list Card Deets expand_more

The Amazon Business Prime card from American Express is the near-identical twin of the Amazon Business card, but with slightly better rewards terms. The Business Prime Amex card offers 5% instead of 3% cashback on purchases from the Amazon family of companies. (The 2% categories are the same on both cards.) And if you choose the pay-later option instead of 5% cashback, you’ll get 90 interest-free days from the date of purchase instead of the 60 the non-Prime Amazon Business card offers.

Technically, there is no annual fee. But an Amazon Business Prime membership is required, and that starts at $69 a year for a single user. The $125 Amazon gift card offered upon approval can offset that cost for the first year or two.

The basics: 5% back or 90-day terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon. Terms and caps apply. 2% back at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and wireless telephone services purchased directly from service providers. 1% back on all other eligible purchases. Get a $125 Amazon.com gift card upon approval.

Primetime

  • The 5% rewards rate can really help offset costs if your business relies heavily on Amazon-owned properties — including Amazon Business, Amazon.com, Whole Foods or companies that operate as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • For months where business cash isn’t flowing in the right direction, the 90-day, no-interest breather on Amazon-related purchases is a handy financing tool.
  • Who couldn’t use 2% cashback on wireless phone service? Just remember you only earn it on service purchased directly from U.S. service providers.
  • There is no cap on 2% rewards spending (which applies to restaurant, gas station and wireless service purchases) or the 1% cashback that applies to everything else.
  • The $125 Amazon gift card welcome bonus requires nothing more than being approved for the card. No minimum spending in a short timeframe required. And no guilt about buying that weird thing you put on your wish list!
  • This card includes some of Amex’s purchase and travel extras, like access to the premium Global Assist Hotline, car rental loss/damage coverage, baggage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranties. Of course, terms apply.
  • The Amex Business App is designed to work with QuickBooks (account required) to help business owners manage expenses and receipts.
  • The card also comes with six months of free enrollment in Vendor Pay by Bill.com to manage invoices. Note: Enrollment is free, but transactions within the service may not be.
  • The $0 annual fee extends to additional employee cards you request, which you can do so for up to 99 of your minions. Like most biz cards, you can set spending limits and alerts on employee cards.
  • No foreign transaction fee! Great if you work with international suppliers or travel outside of the U.S.

Subprimetime

  • This is an Amazon credit card, so we won’t feign surprise about the 5% cashback/90-day no-interest terms applying only to Amazon-related providers and services.
  • Another limiting factor: 5% cashback earnings are capped at $120,000 each calendar year. After that the cashback rate dips to a sad 1% until the next calendar year.
  • Proof you can’t have it all: You’re allowed to choose either 5% rewards or a 90-day interest-free repayment period, not both. (Make your selection within your card account management page or choose at checkout when shopping at Amazon-owned properties.) On the plus side, financed purchases do not count toward the $120,000 annual rewards spending cap.
  • The redemption options with the Amazon Business Prime card are basic: Either apply rewards toward an Amazon.com or Amazon Business purchase, or request the money as a statement credit.
  • Here’s the cashback redemption kicker: “minimum and maximum amounts may apply,” according to the rewards operating instructions. For example, to use points for eligible charges you’re required to have at least 1,000 available points on your card account.
  • The 2% cashback categories are limited to U.S.-based businesses only. Bummer if you travel outside of the country and put restaurant, gas or telecom purchases on the card.
  • The 3% ($5 minimum) cash advance fee isn’t the worst out there, but it’s still not great, especially on top of the nearly 25% APR you’ll pay from the moment you make a withdrawal.
  • Balance transfers just flat-out aren’t allowed.

The fine print

The Amazon Business Prime Card rewards program explained, plus all the rates, fees, terms and conditions to know before signing up.

Business Owners
American Express Blue Business Cash
American Express Blue Business Cash
Cash Back Per Year $619
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $250
Apply Now open_in_new on American Express' secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • 2% cashback on eligible purchases
  • Flexible spending limit
  • $250 sign-up bonus
  • 0% APR on purchases for first 12 months
  • Plays nice with QuickBooks
  • $0 annual fee
  • Access to Amex travel perks/protections
thumb_down Dislikes

  • 2% cashback applies just to first $50,000 each year
  • A lowly 1% base rewards rate after you hit the annual spending cap
  • Lacks rewards flexibility
  • Only one cashback redemption option (statement credit)
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
list Card Deets expand_more

The American Express Blue Business Cash card is essentially the base model of Amex’s fleet of biz credit cards. It has a simple 2% cashback rewards setup (on up to $50,000 of spending annually, and 1% after that), and comes with some of the standard extras designed to help keep your business humming smoothly, like access to accounting features, budgeting reports, employee cards, etc. For businesses that need some spending wiggle room, the American Express Blue Business Cash card is much more forgiving than your average credit card if you exceed your credit limit.

The basics: Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Offers 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, with a variable APR after that. Welcome bonus: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your card in the first three months.

Smooth ride

  • The 2% cashback applies to your first $50,000 in eligible purchases each calendar year, which comes to a cool $1,000 in potential rewards. No need to keep track of rotating rewards categories here!
  • Cashback comes in the form of a statement credit that is automatically applied within the next two billing cycles.
  • Oopsy, exceeded your credit limit? It doesn’t have to become A Thing. The card’s Expanded Buying Power feature enables you to avoid extra interest and penalty fees as long as the overage is paid in full (on top of any minimum payment due on an existing balance) by the closing date of the current billing cycle.
  • The 0% introductory APR for 12 months after sign-up provides a breather on any big purchases on the near horizon. Just be sure to make the minimum monthly payments each month.
  • Receipts are stored in the Amex Business app for seven years. Like many business credit cards, the card’s app is designed to work with QuickBooks, and will automatically categorize your expenses.
  • If you have vendors that accept Amex, you can rack up more cashback by enrolling in Vendor Pay (run by Bill.com), which allows businesses to manage payables and receivables. The basic plan is free for one user. Just be aware of potential “per transaction” fees (which run $0.49-$1.99), and that payments via check and automated clearinghouse (ACH) aren’t eligible for rewards.
  • Be the benevolent overlord: You can get up to 99 employees their own Amex business cards ($0 annual fee), and then track their spending with alerts and summary reports. Added bonus: Their spending will add to your rewards cache.
  • Amex offers more employee card controls than a lot of cards, allowing you to set spending limits per card/billing period, and even block certain types of transactions (like hitting up an ATM and making purchases at Amex Travel Service locations).
  • Purchase protection against theft or damage covers you for 90 days, up to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance can help you save, allowing you to decline the cost of collision damage coverage at the rental company.
  • Get help with travel mishaps (lost passport, lawyering-up situations) with Global Assist Hotline. (Note that you’ll still need to foot the bill for third-party services.)
  • The Blue Business Cash Card also comes with Amex’s fun stuff, like access to event ticket presales and preferred seating. No staring at the back of a pillar during the NSYNC2MenStreetBoyz reunion tour!

Sputter

  • Consider this the base model of the American Express lineup of rewards business credit cards. The 2% cashback rate is fine for a starter card, but it ratchets back to 1% once you hit $50,000 in spending each year. That’s a factor for businesses with higher annual expenses to put on plastic.
  • Apologies if you were looking forward to redeeming cashback for something other than a statement credit. That’s not happening with this card. If travel-related rewards are more valuable to your business operations and you pine for an Amex card, consider American Express’ Blue Business Plus card. It has a similar rewards setup (2 points for the first $50,000 in spending each year, 1 point after that), but Membership Rewards points are redeemable for travel and are more valuable when used with Amex partners.
  • If your regular business expenses are gas, travel, telecom or office supplies, there are other cards that pay higher category-specific cashback rates than this card’s flat 2%.
  • Keep an eye on your cash flow. Although Amex’s Expanded Buying Power gives you a pass on excess interest and fees if you go above your credit limit, if you fail to pay the amount of the overage in full by the end of the billing cycle, ouch: You’ll owe a penalty rate of close to 30% on the entire balance. Also…
  • Don’t go nuts testing Amex’s boundaries: The amount you can spend above your credit limit has limits based on your card use, payment history, financial resources, credit record and other factors.

The fine print

Read all about it! It, being the American Express Blue Business Cash Card rates and fees.

Business Owners
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards
Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $300
Apply Now open_in_new on Bank of America's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Customizable 3% cashback category
  • 2% rewards on three-martini lunches (and other dining)
  • Offers rewards booster with a B of A biz checking account
  • $300 sign-up bonus
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for nine months
  • Compatible with QuickBooks
  • $0 annual fee
thumb_down Dislikes

  • Annual spending cap on bonus tiers
  • We’re nonplussed by the 1% default cashback rate
  • Business management tools are sparse
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 4% balance transfer and cash advance fees
  • No balance-transfer deal
  • Requires deeper banking/investing relationship for best rewards terms
list Card Deets expand_more

The “customized” in the card name of this tiered rewards business card means you get to decide each month which one of six business-y spending categories will earn 3% cashback. That’s great for strategizers who want to rack up maximum rewards by switching categories when your spending needs shift (e.g., travel one month, computer services the next). Dining is a set 2% cashback category (discussing business over shrimp cocktails, perhaps?), with all else earning 1%. (Note: Currently our cashback calculator is set to the card’s default spend category — 3% cashback on gas.) However, big budget businesses beware: The Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card imposes a $50,000 annual spending cap on purchases in the 3% and 2% rewards tiers — combined.

The basics: Choose how you earn rewards. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You’ll earn 2% and 3% cash back on up to $50,000 in combined purchases in those categories each calendar year, then 1% thereafter. 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first nine billing cycles. Special offer: Get a $300 statement credit after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Bank

  • The Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to strategize rewards. You’re allowed to change your 3% cashback category once per calendar month (as opposed to the quarterly clock other cards follow) to align with your biggest planned expenses. Choose between office supplies, TV/telecom/wireless, computer services, business consulting services or travel. (Gas station purchases are the default spend category.)
  • A lot of services fall under the 3% cashback categories. Paying for accounting, attorney or architectural services? Those fall under the “business consulting services” category. The “computer services” category is similarly broad.
  • Dining purchases are eligible for 2% cashback, and all else is awarded at 1%.
  • There’s $300 up for grabs at sign-up if you put $3,000 in purchases on the card within 90 days of sign-up. That’ll come in handy if you want to upgrade the break room coffee machine, hint, hint.
  • If you park at least $20,000 in a Bank of America business checking account or Merrill investment account, BofA will sweeten the rewards rate on your card to as high as 5.25%. (Settle in to read all the account options for limits and whatnot.)
  • Redemption options are the usual suspects: Actual cash back (mailed as a check), a statement credit, or you can deposit earnings into a Bank of America checking or savings account.
  • A 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first nine billing cycles, as long as you make your minimum payments, buys you time to pay off any big purchases you’ve planned. After that the standard variable APR kicks in.
  • Travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, emergency legal and medical referrals, and zero liability protection come standard on the card.
  • Planning to hand out cards to your minions? You can request as many cards as you’d like by adding each as an “authorized user.”

Balk

  • As noted earlier, there’s a $50,000 annual cap on purchases that qualify for 3% and 2% cashback each calendar year. Charging roughly $4,000 a month might not be an issue for a small operation. But bigger businesses with multiple employees using cards can get there surprisingly fast.
  • Once you hit the $50K ceiling, all purchases are rewarded at a flimsy 1% rate. Consider switching to a more rewarding card if it comes to that.
  • Choosing a cashback category on your own (unless you’re cool with the gas station default) is yet one more thing for your running-the-business to-do list. If your biggest purchases don’t align with any of the Customized Cash Rewards categories, you may be better off with a flat-rate cashback card.
  • Gotta be honest, we’re not wowed by the “suite of online services” to help cardmembers manage business. The ability to download transactions into QuickBooks and set up automatic payments and transfers is pretty basic stuff.
  • More advanced account management features require upgrading to BofA’s “Account Management” service at $15 a month. If your business banking is done through the company, the added controls could be worth it. If you’re not a BofA customer, wellll.
  • Using this card with international vendors will cost you an extra 3% of the transaction amount. There are other Bank of America business credit cards that don’t have this fee.
  • The 4% (minimum of $10) fee tacked on to balance transfers and cash advances is worth avoiding.
  • p.s.: Instead of “let’s meet for coffee,” where you’ll only get 1% cashback, consider ”let’s discuss over disco,” which, unlike coffee shops, qualifies for the 2% dining rewards rate. (I don’t make the rules, I only report them.)

The fine print

The fine print, some italics, tables, bold-faced items and other carefully styled text detailing the terms and conditions for the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card.

Business Owners
Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards
Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards
Cash Back Per Year $464
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $300
Apply Now open_in_new on Bank of America's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Simple flat-rate rewards structure
  • No caps on rewards spending
  • Rewards booster with a BofA biz checking account
  • $300 sign-up bonus
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for nine months
  • Compatible with QuickBooks
  • $0 annual fee
thumb_down Dislikes

  • 1.5% cashback rate across the board is the definition of "meh"
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Pricey 4% balance transfer and cash advance fees
  • No balance-transfer deal
  • Business management tools are sparse or cost extra
  • Requires deeper banking/investing relationship for better rewards terms
list Card Deets expand_more

Here’s the close relative to Bank of America’s Customized Cash business credit card. Gone is any spending cap that hampers your rewards earning potential. (Huzzah!) Gone also are the 3% and 2% cashback tiers. (Boo hiss.) With the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card you’ll have to settle for a 1.5% cashback rate. At least it’s unlimited, right? Before we slip the celebratory bottle of champagne back into the fridge, please step forward if you have a BofA business checking account or a Merrill investment account. For you, the rewards rate on this card could be as high as 2.62%. More details on that below.

The basics: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases everywhere, every time. 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 9 billing cycles. Sign-up special: Get a $300 statement credit after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

Advantage

  • Simple, straightforward rewards are what the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card is all about. The flat, unlimited 1.5% rewards rate requires no active management.
  • Grab some upfront cash to offset purchases. Spend $3,000 on the card within 90 days of sign-up to get a $300 statement credit.
  • Here’s where things get interesting — as long as you maintain a $20,000 account minimum. With a business checking account with Bank of America or Merrill investment account, you qualify for a higher cashback rate — anywhere from a 25% to 75% bump — which means up to 2.62% cash back on this card. (Settle in to read all the account options, where you’ll notice that eligibility for the lowest Preferred Rewards for Business tier requires maintaining a not inconsequential $20,000 account minimum.)
  • Rewards don’t expire, and redemption options are straightforward: Get actual cash back (mailed as a check), a statement credit, or deposit earnings into a Bank of America checking or savings account.
  • The 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first nine billing cycles (as long as you make your minimum payments) can help with cash flow. Put the deadline on a neon post-it note at eye level to pay off the balance in full. Otherwise you’ll be staring at the card’s standard variable APR.
  • Travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, emergency legal and medical referrals, and zero liability protection come standard on the card.
  • Requesting free employee cards is easy by signing into your account and adding individuals as “authorized users.”

Disadvantage

  • You give up some rewards earning flexibility with this card. While the flat 1.5% rate will work for a lot of business owners, if your expenses are concentrated in certain business-related spending categories, BofA’s Customized Cash Rewards card may be more lucrative.
  • Compared to, say, an American Express business card, the card tools BofA offers to help small-business owners take care of business are lacking. If you want more than the basics — which are the ability to download transactions into QuickBooks, setting up automatic payments and transfers — you’ll have to pay for it.
  • More advanced account management features require upgrading to BofA’s “Account Management” service at $15 a month. If your business banking is done through the company, the added controls could be worth it.
  • The Preferred Rewards for Business tier that bumps your cashback rate above 1.5% requires keeping a good amount of capital — $20,000 at the minimum — in a BofA business checking account or Merrill investment account.
  • Using this card with international vendors will cost you an extra 3% of the transaction amount.
  • Shop around if you need to transfer a balance or get a cash advance to avoid this card’s 4% (minimum of $10) fee.

The fine print

Cancel your plans tonight to binge on this: The terms and conditions for the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card.

Business Owners
Capital One Spark 1% Classic for Business
Capital One Spark 1% Classic for Business
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus No
Apply Now open_in_new on Capital One's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • No cashback spending caps or category restrictions
  • A rewards card option for those with just OK credit
  • Cashback redeemable at any time for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 annual fee
thumb_down Dislikes

  • Meh 1% rewards rate
  • No higher rewards tiers
  • No sign-up goodies
  • Punishing penalty APR (nearly 30%!)
  • Potentially very low credit line ($300)
list Card Deets expand_more

Billed as a credit building card, the Capital One Spark 1% Classic business card offers an unlimited 1% cashback on all purchases. This is the bottom rung of Capital One’s suite of Spark business cards as evidenced by the low rewards rate, potentially low starting credit limit, and lack of sign-up goodies. However, for business owners with a limited — or storied — credit history, this $0 annual fee cashback card could be a stepping stone to getting a more attractive cashback card in the Spark family or elsewhere.

The basics: Earn unlimited 1% cash back for your business on every purchase, no limits or category restrictions.

Sparkle

  • The straightforward 1% cashback rate is hardly impressive, but the rewards rate applies to all purchases (no categories to track!) and isn’t subject to spending caps. It is what it is, right?
  • If you have a limited credit history (as in less than three years of reported activity) or have defaulted on a loan in the past five years (all of which amounts to “fair credit,” according to Capital One), your odds of approval are better than with other Capital One business rewards cards.
  • Need to stagger your bills? Capital One allows you to change your monthly due date. Just make sure you pay at least your minimums by the old date until the new one comes through, which is usually within two billing cycles.
  • Reward redemptions are also straightforward: You can redeem cash back at any time (as a statement credit or check), and rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open.
  • There’s also the option to set up automatic redemptions, redeem for gift cards, or use as credit for past purchases, but minimums apply.
  • If you do any business in foreign dollars, this card could make a difference in your bottom line since it charges no foreign transaction fees — which are typically 3% on other cards — on purchases outside of the U.S.
  • Virtual card numbers are available to keep card specifics under wraps.
  • Additional cards for employees are free, and you can set customized spending limits or lock any card if it’s lost or stolen.
  • There is no fee for balance transfers.
  • Offers standard business card tools, like the ability to download purchase records to be ingested by Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel. Plus secondary rental car insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, travel/emergency assistance, and rotating offers via Visa.
  • Here’s a freebie: A Capital One card isn’t even required to access the company’s pre-negotiated discounts on small business essentials (e.g., tax software, FedEx shipping, electronics, office supplies, travel) via the free Capital One Spring program.

Fizzle

  • A 1% cashback rate is the bottom rewards tier on most business rewards cards, reserved for purchases that don’t qualify for better. On the Spark Classic card, it’s the top — and only — rewards tier.
  • Sorry, there’s no sign-up bonus. 😬
  • The card’s stated credit line minimum is a low $300, which isn’t going to get you very far. For comparison, minimums start at $2,000 for Capital One business cards on the next higher rung for those with more established credit.
  • The penalty APR (if you’re late or make any other untoward moves) is a nearly 30%.
  • Pro or con? It depends! The Capital One Spark 1% Classic disclosures state that the company may report card use information to consumer credit bureaus in addition to business credit bureaus. Not all business cards do. Tread carefully, as any missteps (late payments, high credit line usage) could affect your personal credit reputation.
  • Although balance transfers are free, there’s no 0% introductory balance-transfer offer with this card. You’re looking at paying the same variable APR you do on purchases from day one on any money you move over.

The fine print

Full disclosure on fees, rewards, interest rates and lawyerish fine print for the Capital One Spark Classic cashback card.

Business Owners
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card
Cash Back Per Year $464
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $750
Apply Now open_in_new on Chase's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Hassle-free, flat-rate rewards on all purchases
  • $750 sign-up bonus
  • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Multiple redemption options
  • Lets you combine points with other Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards
  • $0 annual fee
  • Pays out referral bonuses
thumb_down Dislikes

  • 1.5% rewards rate is it. No higher rewards tiers offered 🥲
  • No balance transfer deal
  • High balance transfer and cash advance fees
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Fewer benefits than some other Chase cards
list Card Deets expand_more

If your charges are all over the map and you don’t want the hassle of tracking bonus categories and caps, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card hears you. The 1.5% cashback rate applies to everything, ad infinitum (as in no spending caps). The real headline, though, is the chonky $750 welcome bonus and full year of interest-free purchases. And Chase stans will like this part: The bank allows you to combine earnings from Chase personal and business cards to boost your Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption options.

The basics: Unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase. 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. After that, standard variable APR. New cardmember offer: $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

The chase

  • There are no rewards caps or spending category restrictions with this card. The 1.5% cashback rate applies to all purchases, no card juggling required.
  • Generous $750 sign-up bonus for new cardmembers if you put $7,500 on the card in the first three months. That’s basically a 10% cashback rate on inaugural purchases.
  • From the date of approval you have 12 interest-free months on new purchases. (Minimum payments still apply.) If you’ve got any big purchases coming up, now’s the time to make ’em. After the 0% APR ends, period balances are subject to your regular variable APR.
  • Redemption options with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card range from straight-up cash back (as a statement credit or direct deposit, no minimums) to gift cards, travel and merch via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Here’s your shot to increase the value of your rewards. If you are the registered owner of the company and have another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards, you can combine/transfer your rewards — to convert them into miles or points — for a bigger payday. You’re also allowed to transfer points to the account of a member of your household if they have a Chase card with Ultimate Rewards.
  • As with most business cards, employee cards won’t cost you extra. Adding authorized users will also help you rack up rewards every time they swipe (or tap or whatever). Plus you can set individual spending limits on their cards.
  • Comes with fraud protection and extended warranty protection, travel and emergency assistance, roadside dispatch, and auto rental collision coverage in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Chase will hook you up with as many as 100,000 bonus points per year if you refer other business owners who are subsequently approved for an Ink Business card.

The catch

  • No bonus categories may cramp your cashback potential. If your spending is heaviest on office-related items (supplies, internet, cable and phone service and gas and restaurants), the Chase Ink Business Cash card with its tiered rewards setup may be rewardier. It also has no annual fee and the same sign-up goodies.
  • There’s no interest-free grace period on balance transfers. Chase also says it limits transfers to $15,000 (including fees and interest charges) or the amount of your available credit, whichever is lower.
  • The 5% balance-transfer fee is higher than many cards charge. If you transfer $10,000, that comes to $500.
  • Speaking of fees, cash advances are also subject to a higher-than-average 5%/$15 minimum transaction fee, and a variable APR hovering around 25%.
  • And then there’s the 3% foreign transaction fee — tolerable if your business doesn’t make many/any international purchases; terrible if you do.
  • This card lacks a few extras — like trip cancellation/interuption insurance and cell phone protection — that are standard on other Chase business cards, most notably the ones with annual fees.

The fine print

We chased down the pricing info and terms and conditions so you don’t have to. Also take a gander at the Ink Business Unlimited Ultimate Rewards Program agreement.

Business Owners
Chase Ink Business Cash Card
Chase Ink Business Cash Card
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $750
Apply Now open_in_new on Chase's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • High 5% cashback rate on business essentials
  • 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants
  • $750 sign-up bonus
  • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Multiple redemption options
  • Lets you combine points with other Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards
  • $0 annual fee
  • Referral bonus available
thumb_down Dislikes

  • 5% and 2% cashback categories subject to $25K annual spending caps, darnit
  • Low 1% base cashback rate
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No balance transfer deal
  • High balance transfer and cash advance fees
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Fewer benefits than some other Chase cards
list Card Deets expand_more

For a no-annual-fee business credit card, the 5% cashback rate the Chase Ink Business Cash card pays out on common business purchases is a rarity. When we say “common business purchases,” we’re talking about office supplies, internet, and cable and phone services. The next highest rewards tier is 2% cashback on spending at gas stations and restaurants. Still, businesspeople with big budgets beware: The elevated rates apply to up to $25,000 per 5% and 2% category spending per account year. Once you hit those limits, you’ll earn just 1%.

The basics: 5% cash back in select business categories plus earn rewards on every purchase. 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening. After that, cardholder's standard variable APR applies. New cardmember offer: $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Ka-ching!

  • Color us impressed with the 5% cashback rate on business purchases (specifically office supplies, internet, and cable and phone services).
  • The 2% cashback rate that applies to gas station and restaurant purchases is another nice touch. (Here’s how Chase classifies various merchants for rewards purposes.)
  • The $750 sign-up bonus for new cardmembers for putting $7,500 on the card in the first three months is equivalent to earning 10% cash back. You’d have to spend $15,000 to earn that much at the top 5% cashback rate.
  • The other new cardmember perk — 12 interest-free months on new purchases — comes in handy if you have any big purchases on the horizon. (Minimum payments are still required and the variable APR, in the 13% to 19% range, kicks in after the year is over.)
  • Reward redemption options with the Chase Ink Business Cash card range from straight-up cash back (as a statement credit or direct deposit, no minimums) to gift cards, travel and merch via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Here’s your shot to increase the value of your rewards. If you are the registered owner of the company, you can combine points with your other eligible Chase cards that have Ultimate Rewards for a bigger payday.
  • You’re also allowed to transfer points to the account of a member of your household if they have a Chase card with Ultimate Rewards.
  • Like most business credit cards, additional employee cards are free, and you can set individual spending limits on each card. Remember, every time an authorized user swipes (or taps or whatever) means more rewards.
  • The Ink Business Cash card comes with fraud protection, extended warranty protection, travel and emergency assistance, roadside dispatch, and auto rental collision coverage in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Chase will hook you up with as many as 100,000 bonus points per year if you refer other business owners who are subsequently approved for Ink Business cards.

Ka-chunk

  • While the 5% rewards rate is great, keep in mind that qualified spending categories are limited to office supplies and connectivity bills. Purchases like shipping, travel and advertising earn a measly 1% cashback. So consider whether the rewards align with your business spending.
  • We expected some caveats with a no-annual-fee card offering a higher-than-average 5% rewards rate. And we found ‘em! We’ll use the next few bullet points to spell them out.
  • The 5% and 2% cashback rates are in play on just the first $25,000 spent in each respective category each year (not calendar year, but account anniversary year).
  • For example, once you spend $25,000 on restaurants/gas, subsequent purchases in that category earn a paltry 1% until your next account anniversary rolls around.
  • For strategic purchases, consider pairing the Ink Business Cash card with another more generous rewards credit card to use when the 1% default rewards rate would apply.
  • Prepare to pony up for balance transfers. There’s no interest-free grace period, and even if you have a large credit line, Chase limits transfers to $15,000 (including fees and interest charges) or the amount of your available credit, whichever is lower.
  • You’ll also pay a pretty high fee for the privilege — 5% (or $5, whichever is greater) of the amount of each transfer, which is one of the highest we’ve seen. On a $10,000 balance transfer, that comes to $500 in fees even before you pay a dime in interest.
  • Speaking of fees, cash advances are also subject to a higher-than-average 5% ($15 minimum) transaction fee and a variable APR that hovers around 25%.
  • And then there’s the 3% foreign transaction fee. If you work with international vendors or travel overseas, the extra cost can add up. The only Ink Business credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee is the Ink Business Preferred card. But it charges a $95 annual fee. Tradeoffs, right?
  • No annual fee evidently translates to no extra protections like trip cancellation/interruption insurance and cell phone protection. Those come standard on other Chase business cards, most notably the ones with annual fees.

The fine print

Chase Ink Business Cash card terms, conditions and pricing, plus all the rewards earning and redemption info — including how to combine and transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points — spelled out in detail.

Business Owners
Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi
Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus No
Apply Now open_in_new on Citi's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • 2% to 4% earnings rates on multiple spending categories
  • Rewards non-Costco purchases, too!
  • Extra earnings potential for Costco Executive Members
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee (for the card)
thumb_down Dislikes

  • $7K annual spending cap on 4% cashback on gas
  • Redemptions available only once per year
  • 1% base cashback rate can be limiting
  • No sign-up bonus
  • No 0% intro APR deals
  • Authorized users must also be Costco members (at $60 a pop every year)
list Card Deets expand_more

Everything you’re about to read will sound eerily familiar if you’ve checked out the Costco Anywhere Visa personal card. (Interested parties are invited to check out our full Costco credit card review, in Technicolor.) The Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card has the same cashback rewards setup (double thumbs up for gas, travel and restaurant purchases), same long redemption waiting period, and the same Costco membership requirement. Also, the same industrial-sized-cans-of-tuna jokes apply. If Costco is a key part of your small-business infrastructure — and especially if you have a Business Executive membership ($120 annually) — you can double your cashback in some instances. Patience, however, is a requirement when it comes to redeeming rewards and schlepping bulky items back to the office.

The basics: Earn 4% on eligible gas worldwide, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide, 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases.

Cost control

  • Though it’s a Costco-brand business rewards card, you’ll earn an impressive 4% cashback on gas (on the first $7,000 spent per year), as long as you fill up at a regular gas station (or at Costco) and not at a convenience store or other warehouse/superstore. (That’s Costco’s way of throwing shade on competitors.)
  • The card may not billed as a travel rewards card, but the 3% unlimited cashback rate on travel purchases worldwide makes it worthwhile to use for sojourns.
  • Let’s discuss the Costco-related perks: The Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card pays out 2% unlimited cashback on Costco store and Costco.com purchases. That’s nice, but even better …
  • Paired with a Business Executive membership ($120 annually), your rewards rate is upped to 4% on purchases from the warehouse club. That’s 2% cashback when you use this card to buy your Kirkland-brand granola bars and vats of liquid hand soap for the break room, plus another 2% (up to $1,000 in cashback per year, mailed out annually) you get as an Executive Member. This is particularly valuable if you purchase for resale.
  • Like the Costco consumer card from Citi, rewards are redeemable for Costco merchandise (basically, a store credit) or cash back (in the form of a credit card reward certificate) at any Costco store in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. At Costco’s discretion, you may be able to redeem cash rewards via an electronic transfer.
  • Protections include damage and theft protection to cover repairs (or provide a refund) if a purchase is swiped or mangled within 90 to 120 days of purchase. (Just note that Costco's extended manufacturer warranty benefit ends on Jan. 22, 2023 and will not apply to purchases made after that date.) It also offers worldwide travel accident and worldwide car rental insurance.
  • Also note: The Costco Anywhere Visa Business card charges no foreign transaction fees. That’s like dodging the 3% fee a lot of other cards charge on international purchases when you travel afar or buy from foreign suppliers.
  • The Costco Anywhere Visa comes with Citi Concierge and Citi Entertainment (special access to event and concert tix).

Costly

  • No surprise, this card requires a Costco membership ($60-$120 annually). So much for “no annual fee.” And if you want someone besides you to be able to use the card, that’s gonna cost you.
  • Unlike most small-business credit cards, extra employee cards are not free. Employees must have a Costco membership in their name to be added as an authorized user on the account, or they can be added to your Costco account if you’re a Business Executive Member. Either way, it’ll cost an extra $60 a year … per employee, every year.
  • p.s.: Here’s a bit of fine print we’d like to magnify: “Only purchases made by the Primary and active Primary Household Cardholder on the account will apply toward the Reward.” Translation: The 2% Costco exec membership reward 👏 does 👏 not 👏 count 👏 on 👏 purchases 👏 made 👏 by 👏 mere 👏 authorized 👏 users.
  • And another thing: These items don’t qualify for the 2% Executive Member reward, including gas, postage, and alcohol in certain states.
  • The 4% cashback rate on gas downshifts to 1% after you spend $7,000 (and with the way prices are going 😬). At least the 3% bonus categories have no rewards spending caps.
  • Welcome perks are as bare as the warehouse shopping setup: The Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card offers no sign-up bonus or introductory 0% APR period on purchases or balance transfers.
  • Don’t expect immediate rewards gratification with the Costco card. Rewards are distributed annually once your February billing statement closes. You’ll have to go to the store to pick up your rewards certificate, and must redeem it before Dec. 31. Don’t cancel your membership before rewards are issued and redeemed or you’ll forfeit your earnings.
  • The 3% travel rewards rate does not apply to timeshares, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, and train and commuter travel. You’ll have to settle for 1% cashback on the campground rental fee. Just pointing that out so that our office ops team won’t make me go camping for our company retreat.
  • The measly 1% cashback rate on everything that’s not eligible for 2%-4% rewards calls for having a companion card — even a flat-rate 1.5% cashback card will do — to use for “everything else.”
  • Watch out for the variable 29.99% penalty APR (and $39 fee) if you make a late payment or your payment is returned.
  • The cash advance APR is also significantly higher than the purchase APR. You’ll pay around 25% (it’s variable based on the prime rate) on top of a relatively high 5% ($10 minimum) cash advance fee on the amount you borrow.

The fine print

The official word on fees, APRs and other important details for the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi. And, of course, what you’ll want to know about the Costco Cash Rewards Program.

Business Owners
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card
Cash Back Per Year $464
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $300
Apply Now open_in_new on Wells Fargo's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Flat 1.5% rewards rate option for no-fuss types. Or …
  • Option to earn points instead
  • Bonus rewards (points) available each billing cycle
  • $300 (or 30,000 points) sign-up bonus
  • 0% interest on purchases for first nine months
  • No rewards spending caps
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
thumb_down Dislikes

  • Points program adds rewards complexity
  • No cashback bonus categories
  • Minimum monthly spending requirement to earn bonus points
  • Cashback credited only quarterly
  • Points expire three years after earned
  • Lacks extra travel- and purchase-related protections
  • No standout business features
list Card Deets expand_more

Get out your abacus, kids! We thought this was going to be a simple flat-rate cashback card. It’s not. The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card lets you choose between earning a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase (no categories or caps), or 1 point per $1 spent. But wait. To sweeten the points option, Wells throws in 1,000 bonus points every billing cycle where you spend $1,000 on qualifying purchases, making it a 2% rewards rate on $1,000 of spending per month. Alas, the most bonus points you can earn monthly is 1,000, and you only get that bonus if you spend $1,000. Spend less? No bonus. Spend more? No extra bonus.

Here’s a paragraph break to provide a moment to soak all that in, because there’s more. Clearly Wells Fargo really, really wants you to choose the points rewards system 🙏: The bank tosses in a 10% points credit if you redeem them online. There’s also the option to trade in points for cash, but at a lower rewards rate.

Anyone else need a nap after all that?

The basics: Cash Back option: Earn 1.5% cash back on qualifying purchases. Reward Points option: Earn 1 point on every $1 spent and receive 1,000 bonus points every billing cycle when you spend at least $1,000 on qualifying purchases. 0% introductory rate on purchases for first nine months. New customer offer: Earn a one-time $300 cash back bonus (or 30,000 bonus points) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account open date.

A Wellspring of options

  • Is it a cashback card or a points card? You decide! Wells offers the choice between earning cashback or points on your spending.
  • First looks can be deceiving: 1.5% cashback is certainly better than earning 1 point for every $1 spent. Or is it? The Wells Fargo Business Platinum card provides several opportunities to pad your points.
  • We’ll math this out with all the available bonuses and boosters: In the cashback program, if you spend $1,000 each month (no more or less), you’ll earn $180 cashback in one year. That same $1,000 a month on the points plan makes you eligible for 1,000 bonus points a month for a grand total of 24,000 points. At the $1-per-point valuation, that comes to $240 in value per year.
  • Don’t stop there, player. There’s more value to be had if you redeem points through Wells Fargo’s Earn More Mall rewards website — as in 10% of the redemption amount in bonus points added to your account. That’s an extra $24 if you redeem the 24,000 points you racked up in the previous bullet point. After all that 😅 , you’ve eked out a 2.2% rewards rate on your $12,000 in annual spending.
  • Oh hey, you get a 5% discount on certain retail gift cards purchased through the Business Rewards redemption site.
  • That was a lot, so let’s all take a moment to regroup.
  • Two introductory goodies are worth planning ahead for: Spend $3,000 in the first three months for a one-time $300 bonus (or 30,000 bonus points if you go the point route).
  • Another intro offering: A 0% introductory rate on purchases for the first nine months.
  • The Wells Fargo Business Platinum card charges no foreign transaction fees, providing a break from the typical 3% fee some cards tack on.
  • Employee cards — up to 99 of them — are available for no additional fee, as with most business credit cards.
  • Includes Zero Liability protection, fraud monitoring, alerts and Visa Purchase Security on eligible purchases to replace, repair or reimburse you for lost/stolen/accidentally trashed goods.

A bounty of caveats

  • You’ve got to choose your rewards setup at sign-up, and no do-overs! Switching to a different rewards option isn’t allowed.
  • Although earning bonus points is an attractive feature, be aware that the 1,000 extra monthly points kick in only in months where you spend $1,000 or more. Businesses with smaller expenditures — or much higher monthly spends — would be better off with the 1.5% cashback option because ...
  • Another limitation of the points system: Only 1,000 bonus points are on the table each month, no more. If you buy, say, $1,500 worth of purchases in a month, you'll still only get 1,000 bonus points (1 point per $1) max. And if you come up short and spend less — $999, for example — then no bonus points for you!
  • There’s an option to trade in the points you earn for cash back — either as an account credit or physical check. But the reward value is lower than what you get in the cashback program (1% versus 1.5%).
  • Note the rewards lag time: Cashback earnings are automatically credited to your account (or an eligible checking or savings account) just quarterly (March, June, September and December). Points, at least, are redeemable right away. Sorta …
  • On the points plan, bonus points are calculated and awarded based on what the card owner earns during the current billing cycle. Any points racked up on employee cards, however, take at least one statement cycle to be paid out.
  • Points expire on Nov. 30 three years after they were earned.
  • Cash advances will cost you 4% of the amount ($10 minimum, $175 maximum). And balance transfers? Beats us! The fine print says to “refer to specific offer details.” Oh wait, we found it (finally). A footnote on the card’s offer page says there’s a 4% fee ($10 minimum) per transfer.
  • Talk about inconvenient. Only current Wells Fargo customers with a Wells savings or checking account that’s been open for at least a year can apply for this card online. If you don’t meet that criteria you’ll need to change out of your PJs and make an appointment with a Wells Fargo branch rep.
  • Big businesses need not apply: The lender’s eligibility rules state that this Wells Fargo business Visa is for companies with annual sales of up to $2 million and 100 or fewer employees.

The fine print

For our next book club gathering, please read the Wells Fargo Business Platinum credit card customer agreement and be prepared to discuss the points rewards program.

Business Owners
U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card
U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $500
Apply Now open_in_new on U.S. Bank's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Unlimited 3% cashback on common business expenses
  • 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 billing cycles
  • 5% cashback on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through U.S. Bank
  • $500 cashback intro offer. Noice.
  • $100 annual credit for certain recurring software subscriptions
  • Real-time rewards redemptions
  • No annual fee
thumb_down Dislikes

  • 1% default cashback rate = have another, rewardier card handy
  • Tight 30-day balance-transfer window to qualify for 0% intro APR
  • Watch out for the 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Lacks peace-of-mind perks (extended warranties, purchase protection, travel accident insurance)
list Card Deets expand_more

The U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa offers a trifecta of temptations for business card shoppers. There’s a $500 welcome bonus with a long runway to reach the $4,500 spending requirement, a lengthy 15 months of 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers, and unlimited rewards earning potential on business basics. (Specifically, the card pays 3% cashback — no spending caps — on gas/electric vehicle charging stations, office supplies, cell bills, restaurants.) Outside of those purchase categories, however, you’ll have to settle for just 1% cashback.

The basics: Earn 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers and restaurants. Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. Earn $500 in cash back after spending $4,500 on the account owner’s card in the first 150 days.

Tasty

  • On the whole, the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card makes sense for businesses with large purchases on the horizon where you can nab that welcome bonus and pay no interest for more than a year.
  • With no annual fee and an unlimited 3% cashback rate on a range of spending categories, this could be a top-of-wallet card for businesses with primary expenses that are aligned.
  • The $4,500 spending requirement (on the account owner’s card) to earn $500 is kinda steep. But you have 150 days to do it.
  • For 15 billing cycles you’ll pay 0% in interest on new purchases, which is a unique opportunity among business credit cards that charge no annual fee.
  • The same 0% intro APR applies to balance transfers made in the first month of opening the account, though a balance-transfer fee applies. (See more about that below.)
  • Got software subscriptions? The U.S. Bank Triple Rewards Visa will credit your account $100 a year if you use it to pay for recurring subscriptions directly to QuickBooks, FreshBooks or other software service providers. It all comes down to the MCC — or merchant category code. So ask, don’t assume.
  • Earn 5% cashback total (1% base rate and 4% extra) on prepaid rental car and hotels booked via U.S. Bank’s travel rewards center.
  • This is one of the few business credit cards that offers real-time rewards. Meaning, if you’ve got enough in your rewards piggybank, you can apply your earnings to cover the cost of a purchase (it’ll show up as an account credit) in real time on your mobile device.
  • Redemptions are available as a card statement credit, deposit into a U.S. Bank checking, savings or money market account, or by shopping in the Earn Mall, which, by the way, may help you earn more cash rewards.
  • Like most business credit cards, employee cards are free and the account owner can set spending controls.
  • Comes with zero fraud liability for unauthorized transactions, and 24/7 fraud monitoring. And that’s about it.

Bland

  • Key fine print on the $500 signup bonus: Only purchases on the account owner’s card (not those of authorized employees) count toward the requirement. Guess you’re picking up the tab, boss!
  • Outside of the 3% cashback categories, your spending earns just 1%, making this a card best paired with a cashback biz card that pay more on things like travel, shipping, internet, etc. There are plenty to choose from.
  • Here’s a weird restriction on gas purchases: There’s a $200 per-transaction limit on gas station purchases. Go over that amount and you’ll earn just 1% on the entire amount. We note this for readers who operate tour buses and fleets of stretch Hummer limos.
  • The 3% foreign transaction fee isn’t a good look if you need to use the card for international transactions. FWIW, the U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card (which we cover elsewhere on this page) doesn’t charge this, but it does have a $95 annual fee after year one.
  • This also isn’t the card to use for cash advances, unless you relish the thought of paying 5% (or a $10-$20 minimum) and a 26% variable APR from the moment you get your mitts on the money.
  • Penalty fees for late payments, returned payments or charging over your limit will cost you $40 a pop and may trigger a 29.99% penalty APR.
  • Protections on purchases and car rental damage insurance aren’t perks you get with the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card — something to consider when buying big-ticket, fussy items (where a card that offers extended warranties is a welcome plus), traveling (no accident insurance here) or renting a car for business.

The fine print

All the fees and rewards program deets for the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card.

Business Owners
U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card
U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $750
Apply Now open_in_new on U.S. Bank's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Automatic 2% cashback on two top spending categories
  • $750 intro bonus when you spend $7,500 within the first 120 days
  • 5% cashback on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through U.S. Bank
  • Offers real-time rewards redemptions
  • No cashback limit
  • No foreign transaction fees
thumb_down Dislikes

  • $95 annual fee kicks in after 12 months
  • Narrow rewards spending categories = smaller earning potential
  • Just 1% cashback base rate
  • Rewards expire after 5 years
  • No 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers
list Card Deets expand_more

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card doesn’t want you to have to lift a finger to manage your cashback rewards. And that’s cool, especially for busy business owners who prefer to avoid the hassle of keeping track of rotating rewards categories. But we’ll go ahead and say the quiet part out loud: The 2% cashback rate on your top two monthly spending categories (out of 48 the card tracks) isn’t that great. And earning 1% on everything else is just sad, especially starting year two when a $95 annual fee kicks in.

The basics: Earn 2% cash back in the top two categories where you spend the most each month automatically and 1% cash back per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Earn $750 in rewards when you spend $7,500 in eligible purchases on the account owner’s card within the first 120 days of opening your account. No annual fee for the first year and $95 thereafter.

Fresh

  • Regardless of your purchasing patterns, you’ll earn 2% cashback (or two points per dollar spent) on your two highest spend categories each month — whether it’s shipping, advertising, airlines, utilities, wholesalers or any of the 48 eligible categories. That’s handy for spending outside the traditional bonus categories on other cards.
  • No math required! The two bonus categories on the U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa are automatically adjusted each month based on where you spend the most. Though you may want to strategically time purchases to get the maximum rewards rate.
  • Rewards potential is unlimited, as in there are no earnings caps like some other cards that turn off the spigot after $25,000 in spending in a year. (However, see also: Rewards expiration terms in the next section of bummers.)
  • There’s a $750 bonus offer if you spend $7,500 in the first 120 days of opening the account. That’s a 10% rewards rate right there. 🚨 Only purchases made by the account owner’s card (not those of authorized employees) count toward the $7,500 spending requirement. 🚨
  • Unlike the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card, this card does not charge any foreign transaction fees, making it the better choice if you deal with international merchants or travel abroad.
  • Redemptions are available as a card statement credit, direct deposit into a U.S. Bank business checking, savings or money market account ($50 minimum deposit), or by shopping in the Earn Mall (for gift cards or merchandise) or travel (via U.S. Bank’s Travel Rewards Center, which, by the way, may help you earn more cash rewards).
  • Although it’s not billed as a travel card, you can earn a total of 5% back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the Travel Rewards Center.
  • Employee cards are free, and you can set spending rules to curb temptations.
  • As a Visa Signature card, cardholders get auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, lost luggage reimbursement, extended warranty protection and more.

Stale

  • Here’s the thing about the rewards spending categories: Yes, there are lots of them (48, in fact). But consider that airlines, hotels and auto rental/transport providers are considered separate spending categories, thus limiting your earning potential. In other words, the 2% cashback rate will apply only to the two where you spend the most versus other rewards cards that lump all travel-related expenses into a single bonus tier.
  • U.S. Bank waives the annual fee on the Business Leverage Visa card for the first year. After that, you’ll pay $95. For context, it’ll take $4,750 in spending at the 2% rewards rate to break even.
  • It’s hard to get excited about earning just 1% cashback on purchases that are outside of your top two spending categories each month.
  • Some purchases — we’ll call this the “questionable life choices” spending category — are not eligible to earn cashback rewards. Think betting tracks, lotteries, casinos, dating/escort services, massage parlors, pawn shops, political organizations and, relatedly, fines and bail and bond payments.
  • Here’s a fine print find: “Points expire five years from the end of the quarter in which they are earned.” Points? Wait wut? Here’s the deal: Cash back is tracked as points (each equal to $0.01 when redeemed, in most cases) and, as noted earlier, can be redeemed for actual cash back.
  • Besides the $750 bonus offer (detailed above), the only other sign-up perk is getting the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.
  • Not only is there no introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers, but you’ll pay a higher balance transfer fee 5% ($5 minimum) if you make the request with your application. Wait a little while and that goes down to 3% (same $5 minimum).
  • Cash advances from the U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa card are costly. You’ll pay 5% (or a $5-$15 minimum) on each advance and a variable APR in the mid-20% range from the moment the ATM spits out your money.
  • Late payments, returned payments and going over your limit will cost you $39 and may trigger a 29.99% penalty APR.

The fine print

U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card benefits and rewards, and the unvarnished bits (the latter courtesy of the compliance department). Bonus material: The list of eligible spending categories/merchant codes U.S. Bank uses to determine your top two spend categories.

Business Owners
Truist Business Cash Rewards Credit Card
Truist Business Cash Rewards Credit Card
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus No
Apply Now open_in_new on Truist's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • 3% cashback on gas and 2% on restaurants and office supplies
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for nine billing cycles
  • 10%-50% loyalty cashback bonus for Truist banking customers
  • No annual fee
thumb_down Dislikes

  • $2,000 monthly spending cap for 2% and 3% eligible purchases — combined
  • Yes, combined
  • Just 1% cashback on everything else
  • Rewards expire after five years
  • No welcome bonus
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
list Card Deets expand_more

Let’s start with the bottom line: If you’re a small-budget business with a Truist business banking account, read on. Everyone else, the FOMO potential here is pretty low.

The Truist Business Cash Rewards credit card offers a fairly standard tiered rewards program, but only up to a point. That point is $2,000 in monthly spending in the 3% gas and 2% restaurant/office supply store cashback categories combined. After that, the rewards rate drops to a piddly 1%. Being a Truist customer wins back a few attractiveness points: Redeeming rewards in a Truist business account comes with a 10% to 50% Loyalty Bonus based on your bank balance.

The basics: Earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% at restaurants and office supply stores, up to $2,000 in combined spend in 2% and 3% categories per month. 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. 0% intro APR on purchases for nine months after account opening.

Mmmmkay

  • If your monthly expenses are light, the 3% cashback on gas and 2% on purchases at restaurants and office supply stores are competitive with other no-fee business credit cards.
  • Funnel rewards into a Truist (the love child of BB&T and SunTrust) business deposit account, and you’ll get an automatic 10% Loyalty Cash Bonus.
  • Keep a big bank balance? The Cash Bonus on redemptions is bumped up to 25% for balances between $25,000 and $49,999, and 50% for balances of $50,000 or more. The 50% Loyalty Bonus turns a lame 1% base cashback rate into a more worthwhile 1.5%.
  • Got a big purchase on the horizon? The 0% introductory APR for the first nine billing cycles offers cheap financing, although some competitive no-annual-fee cards offer longer no-interest periods.
  • Cash rewards are redeemable as a statement credit, electronic deposit, check ($25 minimum balance required for those three), gift cards, merch, and travel via the Truist Rewards Center.
  • Adding authorized cardholders is free, which is true for most cards in this category.
  • Like many business credit cards, the Truist Business Cash Rewards card integrates with QuickBooks to make accounting easier.
  • Comes with Visa Signature Business credit card perks, like auto rental collision damage waiver, extended purchase and warranty protections, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and more.
  • We gotta hand it to Truist for spelling out the ugly bits (spending caps, expiration dates) in large type, upfront.

Mmmmnope

  • Reward spending caps = limited earning potential. A $2,000 monthly spending cap applies to purchases that are eligible for the 2% and 3% rewards rate. To be crystal clear, that’s $2,000 combined — fine for petite spends, less flattering if you put big purchases on the card.
  • Color us nonplussed by the 1% base cashback rate. It applies to everything that doesn’t qualify for higher rewards (including amounts that exceed the $2,000 cap).
  • You’ll probably want a backup rewards card with a higher rewards rate for everything you buy that earns just 1% on Truist Biz card.
  • Cash rewards expire five years from the date issued. Why? Just why?
  • Welcome bonus? Nope. Nor is there a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers. If you want borrow cash or move a balance onto the card, that’ll be an extra 4% of each advance, with a $10 minimum.

The fine print

Truist Business Cash Rewards card pricing, fees and reward programs terms in a type size that’s blissfully readable.

Business Owners
TD Business Solutions Credit Card
TD Business Solutions Credit Card
Cash Back Per Year $310
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $250
Apply Now open_in_new on TD Bank's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Up to 2% rewards rate (1% when you buy, 1% upon redemption in a TD account)
  • No cashback limit
  • No reward categories tracking necessary
  • $400 sign-up bonus
  • No annual fee
thumb_down Dislikes

  • Requires a TD deposit account to earn half of the rewards rate
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No introductory balance transfer or purchase offer
  • Cashback redemption minimum
list Card Deets expand_more

If you already bank with TD Bank, or are considering doing so, read on. Otherwise, keep scrolling. That’s because half of the TD Business Solutions credit card’s 2% cashback rate is contingent on depositing your earnings into an eligible TD Bank deposit account. Skip that step, and this is a 1% flat-rate cashback card. Although there are no earnings caps, you can do better.

The basics: Earn 2% cash back: 1% when you buy and 1% when you redeem into an eligible TD Bank deposit account. Earn $400 cash back in the form of a statement credit when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days after account opening.

High notes

  • The potential to earn 2% cashback on all purchases — all of them, and not just certain spending categories — outshines those no-annual-fee cards dangling 1.5% or less. Because math.
  • The TD Business Solutions card has no caps on rewards spending. Plus rewards do not expire as long as the account remains open and in good standing.
  • The welcome bonus gives you three months to spend $3,000 to earn $400 cash back, which is equivalent to a 13.33% cashback rate.
  • To clarify, the $400 one-time bonus offer for new accounts is not eligible for the 1% redemption bonus. We know you were wondering, too.
  • You can redeem rewards for cash back, merchandise, gift cards or travel rewards. But the only way to earn that additional 1% is to redeem with a direct deposit into a TD Bank deposit account. (Of course, you can do that and then transfer the cash into another account to spend spend as you see fit.)
  • Card extras include access to roadside dispatch (via a pay-per-use program), auto rental collision damage waiver, and travel and emergency assistance services. These, as well as cell phone protection (limits apply), purchase security and extended warranty protection are nice to see on a credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.
  • Comes with standard Visa fraud protections, such as zero liability if the card is lost, stolen or used fraudulently.
  • Extra employee cards are free, as with most business credit cards.

Low notes

  • The 1% redemption bonus requires having an eligible TD savings or money market account, each of which require maintaining a minimum daily balance of $500 to $2,500 to waive the $5 to $15 monthly maintenance fee.
  • Look elsewhere if you want to transfer an existing balance from another card. There is no 0% introductory APR for balance transfers or, for that matter, new purchases. Balance transfers carry a 3% ($5 minimum) fee and are subject to a variable interest rate based on your creditworthiness and the prime rate.
  • Frequent foreign travelers beware of the 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Cash advances will cost you 5% of the advance amount (with a $10 minimum), which is on the higher side of cards that charge this fee.
  • TD requires accountholders to rack up a minimum of $25 in rewards for cashback redemptions as a statement credit or direct deposit into a checking or savings account.
  • If you’re a frequent traveler, keep in mind that although the TD Business Solutions card is a Visa, it doesn’t come with Visa Signature card extras like lost luggage reimbursement and access to Visa concierge and hotel and entertainment perks.
  • This credit card won’t help you build your business credit reputation. TD Bank reports account information and activity to consumer credit reporting agencies, not business credit reporting agencies.

The fine print

The important stuff about the TD Business Solutions credit card (and some additional legalese). And read more about TD Bank’s checking and small business savings and money market accounts, since you’ll need one of those to double your cashback with this card.

Business Owners
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
Capital on Tap Business Credit Card
Cash Back Per Year $464
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $200
Apply Now open_in_new on Capital on Tap's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • Simple no-fuss 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • No rewards caps or categories to track
  • High potential credit line — up to $50K
  • Low 9.99% potential APR
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Applying doesn’t impact your credit score
thumb_down Dislikes

  • Card offerings a work in progress
  • High $15K spending requirement to earn $200 sign-up bonus
  • Lacks business-centric perks
  • No balance-transfers allowed. Period
  • No intro APR on new purchases
  • Charges interest as high as 34.99%
  • 10% minimum monthly payment requirement
  • Sole proprietorships and charities need not apply
list Card Deets expand_more

If you’ve got a rock star credit record, are approved for a high credit line and a low ongoing APR (we’re talking as low as 9.99%), and can make do with a business credit card without many frills (yet), the no-fee Capital on Tap Business credit card just might do. The U.K.-based company partnered with WebBank (which is not a made-up bank and is FDIC insured) for the stateside small-business offering.

But here’s the thing: Unlike business credit cards from more established U.S. lenders, the Capital on Tap card is still a work in progress. Hence messages on the issuer’s site like “Coming soon... We will be integrating with Xero, FreeAgent, QuickBooks, and more to make it easier for your card transactions to automatically sync with your accounting software.” The company is also not currently accepting applications from sole proprietorships.

The basics: No annual fee. Unlimited free 1.5% cashback. Credit limits up to $50,000. No foreign exchange fees. Apply in two minutes and get a response within 48 hours. Applying won’t affect your credit score. Get $200 back if you spend $15,000 in your first three months.

It’s beer-o’clock somewhere!

  • A simple 1.5% flat-rate rewards card — with no annual fee and no cashback limits — is an easy way for a small business to get into the cashback card game.
  • For those who qualify, the card offers a credit line up to $50,000. Of course, your mileage (credit limit) may vary based on your credit reputation.
  • The costs of borrowing on the card are potentially quite low — like 9.99% APR low — again, depending on your creditworthiness. (On the flip side, regular purchase APRs can go as high as nearly 35%. 👀)
  • There is one redemption option: Getting cashback rewards applied to your account as a statement credit. That’s not a knock if you’re looking to keep things simple.
  • Points are redeemable the following billing cycle after they’re earned. Pretty snappy.
  • Most credit card applications result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, costing you a few points temporarily. Applying for the Cap on Tap card won’t count as a hard inquiry to see if you qualify. (It does a “soft search” on your business and personal credit files.) Your activity with the card, however, will be provided to credit reporting agencies. So no funny stuff. Got that?
  • No foreign transaction fees means no extra cost — typically 3% with other cards that charge it — when doing business abroad or with foreign-based suppliers.
  • As with most business credit cards, additional employee cards are free. Plus you can set spending limits on each card, although the company is unable to block ATM transactions on any cards.
  • If you refer a friend and they’re approved for the Capital on Tap card, you’ll earn $100.

The party’s over

  • A 1.5% cashback rate is … fine. That it applies to all purchases with no spending caps makes it little bit better (or fine+, but still not close to knock-your-socks-off). Even so, it begs to be paired with a card that offers a higher cashback rate on your most common spending categories. And that turns a “no-hassle” card into a “semi-hassle” sitch.
  • To earn the mediocre $200 cashback bonus, you’ll have to spend a whopping $15,000 in the first three months of account opening. NBD if you’ve got some big expenses on the docket. Just know that other business credit cards have much lower spending thresholds (as in $1,500 to $3,000) with higher sign-up bonuses.
  • The Capital on Tap Business card’s repayment terms are a bit more involved than usual, requiring cardholders to keep an eye on their balance. If you owe between $100 and $1,000, the monthly minimum payment requirement is $100. If your balance is more than $1,000, you’ll owe 10% of the balance.
  • Got a weaker credit history? 👏 Pay 👏 off 👏 your 👏 balance👏 in 👏 full👏. Every month. Based on your creditworthiness, the variable APR on purchases can be as high as 34.99%. Dude, that’s higher than most cards’ penalty rates.
  • That 34.99% is, in fact, also the card’s penalty rate — and the cash advance APR. Which may explain why Capital on Tap is willing to charge no cash advance fee.
  • There’s no introductory APR to offset interest on purchases. That makes the potentially high ongoing interest rate a landmine for cardholders who carry a balance.
  • The issuer does not accept balance transfers, or direct payments from credit cards or other credit facilities if you want to move your Capital on Tap balance to another card.
  • The limited customer support hours — advertised as Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST — make us nervous about getting timely help if there’s a card emergency.
  • Don’t ghost the card once you get it. Cashback rewards points expire if you don’t redeem them or earn additional points for more than 12 consecutive months.
  • We expect to see fewer perks on a card that charges no annual fee. But the lack of even basics — like the ability to synch with QuickBooks — is a surprising shortfall. (As of June 2022, the company said it’s working to integrate with this common accounting software.)
  • The Capital On Tap Business credit card states upfront that eligible businesses must have been active for more than six months, earn at least $2,500 in monthly revenue ($30,000 a year) and be based in the U.S., and that the applicant is an active director or majority shareholder of 25% or more of the company.
  • Capital on Tap is not currently accepting applications from sole proprietorships, or charities and nonprofits.

The fine print

See the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card Agreement for the legalese and the card FAQs for plain English answers on everything from applying for the card to accessing account statements.

Business Owners
Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select for Good Credit
Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select for Good Credit
Cash Back Per Year $464
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus No
Apply Now open_in_new on Capital One's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • 1.5% cashback on everything, no caps, no categories
  • Cashback redeemable at any time for any amount
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months
  • Offers basic business tools and protections
  • No foreign transaction fees
thumb_down Dislikes

  • A 1.5% rewards rate is table stakes
  • No higher cashback tiers = limited earning potential
  • Offers no sign-up bonus
  • Punishing penalty APR (nearly 30%!)
list Card Deets expand_more

In the Capital One Spark suite of business credit cards, there are two Spark Cash Select rewards cards for businesses, each offering 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases for no annual fee. The biggest difference is the introductory hook: This Spark Cash Select card offers a full year of interest-free purchases (versus a $500 cash bonus and no intro APR period on its fraternal twin). The other consideration is your credit score: If your credit is less than stellar, your chances of approval are better with this version — the other requires having excellent credit.

The basics: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, no limits or category restrictions. 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months that the account is open. After that, your APR will be the card's standard variable rate based on your creditworthiness.

Sparkle

  • The 1.5% cashback rate applies to all purchases (no categories to track!) and isn’t subject to spending caps. The sky’s the limit! Well, your credit limit’s the limit, and with this card the minimum credit line is $2,000.
  • The 12-month 0% introductory APR on purchases provides a welcome cash-flow breather. What small business couldn’t use that? (Minimum payments still apply.)
  • A few credit blemishes won’t automatically tank your chances of approval as long as you haven’t been more than 30 days late on any payments in the last year, and haven’t declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan in the past five.
  • Need to stagger your accounts receivable? Capital One allows you to change your monthly due date.
  • Straightforward rewards redemptions allow you to redeem cash back at any time (as a statement credit or check). Rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open.
  • There’s also the option to set up automatic redemptions or redeem for gift cards or credits for past purchases, but minimums apply.
  • Virtual card numbers are available to cloak your digits.
  • No foreign transaction fees means no fretting when plunking down plastic for purchases outside of the U.S. Using this card for such purchases is like saving 3% — the typical foreign transaction fee on other credit cards.
  • Like most business rewards cards, additional cards for employees are free. Plus you can set customized spending limits or lock any card if it’s lost or stolen.
  • There is no fee for balance transfers. But after the initial 0% window closes, your regular purchase APR will apply from the day you make the transfer.
  • Offers standard business card tools, like the ability to download purchase records to be ingested by Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel. Plus you’ll get purchase protection, secondary rental car insurance, extended warranty protection, travel assistance and access to rotating deals offered via Visa.

Sniffle

  • A 1.5% rewards rate on everything could limit your cashback earning potential versus other tiered reward business credit cards, especially if you make regular high-dollar purchases on travel or office supplies — two spending categories that are more highly rewarded on other cashback corporate cards.
  • Sorry, there’s no sign-up bonus. 😬
  • There’s also no introductory low APR on balance transfers.
  • The penalty APR (if you’re late or make any other untoward moves) is nearly 30%. Watch your step!
  • Cash advances also aren’t cheap: The amount you take out is subject to a 27.24% APR. Plus you’ll pay a 3% fee (or $10, whichever is greater).
  • The penalty interest rate is even higher: 29.65%. Mind your manners with this card!
  • Although there is no balance transfer fee, you’ll pay a variable interest rate roughly anywhere from 16% to 24% (based on your creditworthiness) on the money you move onto the card.

The fine print

See the highlights — and the nitty gritty details — of the Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select card for good credit.

Business Owners
Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select
Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select
Cash Back Per Year $464
Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $500
Apply Now open_in_new on Capital One's secure website
face Dayana's Take expand_more

thumb_up Likes

  • 1.5% cashback on everything, no caps, no category restrictions
  • $500 cash bonus up for grabs
  • Cash back is redeemable at any time for any amount
  • $0 annual fee
  • No balance transfer fees
  • Low-ish purchase APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Plays nice with QuickBooks, Quicken and Excel
thumb_down Dislikes

  • Requires “excellent” credit in exchange for just “OK” terms
  • To clarify, 1.5% rewards rate is just “OK” in the biz card world
  • High sign-up bonus spending requirement
  • No purchase or balance transfer introductory APR offering
  • Punishing penalty APR (nearly 30%!)
list Card Deets expand_more

The selling point for this version of the Capital One Spark Cash Select business credit card is its $500 cash bonus for spending $4,500 in the first three months of opening your account. That’s it. That’s the big reveal. (The other Spark 1.5% Cash Select Card, for good credit, offers a year of interest-free purchases instead.) Other than that, you get the same 1.5% cashback rate on all purchases (no categories or caps to track), pay $0 in foreign transaction fees (great if international purchases are a big part of your business), and pay no annual fee. The catch is your credit score must be be in the “excellent” range (think mid- to high 700s) to qualify. And if it is, you might want to comparison shop before you settle.

The basics: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, no limits or category restrictions. Plus, earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months.

Shine

  • If you like simple, the 1.5% cashback rate on all purchases — no rotating rewards categories, no caps on how much you can earn — is as no-fuss as it gets.
  • There’s $500 in bonus cash up for grabs when you spend $4,500 on the card within the first three months of your enrollment. That’s the equivalent of what you’d get spending $33,000 and change at the 1.5% cashback rate.
  • Carrying a balance is less financially onerous than with Capital One’s other Spark 1.5% Cash Select card, since this one comes with a lower variable APR as befitting a card that requires a higher credit score for approval.
  • Go ahead and change your monthly due date to a more convenient time. Just be sure to give it two billing cycles to kick in, and pay at least your minimum due by your existing deadline.
  • Redeem cash back you earned at any time (as a statement credit or check). Rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open.
  • There’s also the option to set up automatic redemptions at a set time each year or when you reach a certain threshold (e.g. $25, $50, $100, etc.). Gift cards, credits for past purchases and other redemption options are available, but rates and minimums apply.
  • Virtual card numbers are available to cloak your digits.
  • No foreign transaction fees (versus the 3% many other credit cards charge) means no fretting when plunking down plastic for international purchases.
  • As with most business credit cards, additional employee cards are free. Plus you can set customized spending limits or lock any card if it’s lost, stolen or used to fraudulently fund an Inventing Anna-inspired romp in Marrakech.
  • The Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select card has no fee for balance transfers. But there’s no grace period or introductory APR, either, so your standard interest rate applies.
  • You'll get standard business card tools like the ability to download purchase records to be ingested by Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel. It also comes with purchase protection, secondary rental car insurance, extended warranty protection, travel assistance and access to rotating deals offered via Visa.

Shade

  • The 1.5% cashback rate, although unlimited, can be limiting if your spending is concentrated in categories like travel and office supplies/equipment, which earn higher rewards rates on other business credit cards. (For $150 a year there’s a Spark 2% Cash Plus card. But you’ll need to spend nearly $13,000 before the cash back you’ve earned covers the annual fee.)
  • Approval for this card requires “excellent” credit, which in Capital One’s book means you’ve never declared bankruptcy, defaulted on a loan, or been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill or loan in the past year; and you must have had a loan or card with a $5,000 minimum credit line for three years or more.
  • On that note, if you have excellent credit, there are other $0 annual fee business rewards cards with higher sign-up bonuses and cashback rates. Scroll up and down on this page to see.
  • The lack of an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers is a noticeable hole in this card’s offering.
  • The penalty APR (if you’re late or make any other untoward moves) hovers around 30%.
  • Cash advances also aren’t cheap: The amount you take out is subject to a 3% fee (or $10, whichever is greater) and is subject to an APR that's nearly as high as the card's penalty rate.

The fine print

Here’s the lawyered-up version of the Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select (for excellent credit).

What is the best credit card for small businesses?

Based on our analysis of average small-business expenditure data and credit card rewards rates across five common spending categories, the best credit card for small businesses is the Chase Ink Business Cash Card.

This no-annual-fee card pays 5% cashback on office supplies, internet, and cable and phone services, 2% cashback on gas station and restaurant purchases, and 1% on everything else. It offers a sizeable $750 welcome bonus (after you spend $7,500 in the first three months), and charges 0% interest on purchases for 12 months.

Investor.com calculates that a small business that spends roughly $2,500 a month would earn $835 in cash back annually with this Chase business credit card. Add in the welcome bonus (which equates to a 10% cashback rate), and a Chase Ink Business Cash Card pays out a total of $1,585 in the first year for the average small business.

Let’s pause here for a brief word from our sponsors: Just kidding! We don’t have any sponsors! In case you were wondering — and we hope you always do when reading financial product reviews on any website — Chase does not pay us any money to say nice things about its Ink Business Cash Card. In fact, investor.com receives no money from any of the business or personal cashback credit cards or high-yield savings accounts we review. The results you get from our Best Business Credit Cards calculator and the words in our reviews are based solely on data and our unbiased assessment of each provider’s offerings. We just thought you should know all that. And now, back to our regular programming.

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5 best small-business credit cards of 2022

To calculate the best business credit cards, investor.com started with average spending data across the five most common small-business expense categories (cell phones, dining, travel, office supplies, gas, and the catch-all “other”). Based on the rewards rates paid out by more than a dozen business credit card issuers whose products we track, the top five cashback business credit cards with no annual fee are:

Chase Ink Business Cash Card: As mentioned above, the 5% cashback rate on business essentials plus 2% on gas and restaurant spending means a business that spends around $30,000 a year using this card will earn $835 in cashback per year. A chonky $750 sign-up bonus, 0% intro APR on purchases for a year — and the ability to combine points with other Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards — is impressive. Less so, the $25,000 annual spending cap for the elevated rewards categories.

U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa Business Card: Need a cheap financing option? With U.S. Bank’s Triple Cash Rewards card you get a lengthy 15 months of interest-free spending — and the 0% APR also counts on balance transfers, although transfer fees apply and you’ve got just 30 days to make the transfer. The unlimited 3% cashback rate applies to common business expenses, which adds up to an average of $712 cashback per year. There’s also $500 up for grabs if you spend $4,500 on the card in the first 150 days.

American Express Blue Business Cash: This base model of AmEx’s fleet of business credit cards has no annual fee and a flat 2% cashback rate on the first $50,000 you spend each year. (Amounts above that earn 1%.) For the average small business, that nets $619 in cashback per year. You also get a 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, and a welcome bonus of up to $250 after spending $3,000 in the first month. Also good to know: If you exceed your credit limit, AmEx is much more forgiving than your average credit card issuer.

Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi: The 2% to 4% cashback rate on gas, restaurants, travel, and, of course, Costco and Costco.com purchases, puts $619 cashback in the pocket of an average small-business owner. (FYI: The rewards rates are identical to the consumer version of the Costco Anywhere Visa.) Use $120 of what you make to upgrade to a Costco Business Executive membership, and the 2% cashback rate on warehouse club purchases is doubled to 4% (up to $1,000 cashback per year). However (dramatic pause alert), unlike with most biz cards, employee cards require a separate annual membership (that’s $60) per year apiece. Also, look elsewhere if you’re banking on a sign-up bonus or 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers.

Truist Business Cash Rewards Credit Card: If you’re a Truist business banking customer, your relationship status with the bank enhances your earnings with this cashback card. Redeeming rewards into a Truist biz bank account qualifies for a 10% to 50% loyalty bonus on your earnings, based on your balance. Just know that the tiered rewards (3% on gas, 2% at restaurants and office supply stores) are good only on up to $2,000 a month. Amounts that exceed that are rewarded at the 1% base cashback rate until the next month.

Wait. Really?

Is the Chase business credit card — or any of the others highlighted above — truly the very best choice for your small business? Our definitive answer is ... maybe.

Remember, we use average small-business spending data to calculate the cashback rewards potential of the cards in our database. The list of the top five business credit cards above is based on those averages. Based on your spending, the results might be very different. Use the business credit card calculator to get customized recommendations based on how much your business spends each month.

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Business credit card FAQs

Should I apply for a business credit card?

Mixing business and pleasure (finances, that is) can be a slippery slope. Having a credit card dedicated solely to work-related expenses makes it easier to separate the two, which the IRS greatly appreciates.

A business credit card can also be a tool for short-term financing needs. Plus, many cards pay you back in points or cash back for work-related expenses like office supplies, telecom bills, advertising, and shipping — categories often missing from consumer card rewards programs.

The benefits of getting a business credit card include:

  • Help establishing a business credit history: Having an established line of credit in your business’s name is a good look if you plan to apply for other types of loans in the future. (That’s right: Your business has its own, separate credit score! More on this in the FAQs below.) This is especially helpful in the startup stages of building your business empire.
  • Access to greater capital: Having access to a line of credit can help a startup get off the ground or an established small business expand. According to Experian data, the average consumer credit line — the spending limits granted by credit card lender(s) — is approximately $31,000, while the average small business has access to around $56,000 in credit card purchase power.
  • Protection for your personal credit: You want to avoid maxing out your personal credit cards to pay for business expenses, which can cause your credit score to plummet. Just be aware that some small-business cards report activity to both your personal and business credit files. (Check your personal Experian, TransUnion and Equifax credit files for free at annualcreditreport.com to see what’s up.)
  • A cash flow buffer: Cash flow ebbs and flows, and not always on a strict schedule. When vendor payments pile up at the same time as ongoing business spending obligations, a business credit card can ensure providers get paid on time, and give you an interest-free grace period (so long as you regularly pay your balance in full). That float can be a big help as you wait to replenish your cash coffers. If you end up carrying a balance from month to month, you’ll likely pay less interest on the balance — roughly 1 to 3 percentage points less — on a business credit card versus a general purpose consumer card.
  • Access to accounting and business management tools: Most business credit cards seamlessly integrate with business accounting software, like QuickBooks. Some providers offer more souped-up expense management tools than what’s available via a consumer card account. Many also offer perks tailored to business clientele. We’re talking about discounts or free trials on software, shipping services, web services and business travel. And most lenders offer free employee cards, which can simplify — and add transparency to — company spending.
  • Sign-up bonuses and different rewards spending categories: Like consumer cards, many business credit cards offer sign-up bonuses (anywhere from $300 to $750 or more) after you spend a certain amount on the card within the first three, six or nine months. There are also business rewards credit cards that offer ongoing cash back — 1% to 5% — on each dollar you spend on work-related expenses like office supplies, telecom bills, advertising, and shipping. The extra money can come in handy to offset business expenses.

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Can my small business get a credit card?

If you do something that’s designed to generate revenue — looking at you, side hustlers, freelancers, contractors, nonprofits, sole proprietorships, weekend-only CEOs — you can qualify for a business credit card. Many business credit cards have no minimum revenue, employee head count or time in business requirements for approval.

Informal business owners can apply for a business credit card as a “sole proprietor,” which simply means you’re running the entire show on your own. You’ll use your name (don’t be cute and make up a fake business name) and Social Security number to apply, and your personal credit will be used to guarantee the account.

See “How to apply for a business credit card” in the FAQs below for more.

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How do I get a business credit card?

There are four steps to getting a business credit card, whether you run an established LLC or just launched your startup last week:

  1. Check your credit scores. If you’ve financed any aspect of your business and/or work with vendors that report payment history to commercial credit reporting agencies, you have a business credit score. (Here’s how to check your business credit score.) If you don’t already have an established business credit history, lenders will factor in your personal credit history when reviewing your application.
  2. Identify a business card to apply for. To narrow the field, use the investor.com business credit card calculator to generate a customized list of no-annual-fee cashback cards based on how much you’ll earn from each. Keep applications to a minimum. Each one generates a “hard pull” in your credit file that can temporarily lower your score by a few points, which may hurt your chances of approval.
  3. Fill out the application. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number or tax identification number (TIN), information about your business (name, revenue), personal income, etc. (Read more details on the application process below.)
  4. Pay your bills on time and be a model credit customer. Just like with a personal credit card, heed all due dates, avoid overextending yourself (keep well within your credit limits), and generally mind your Ps and Qs. As time passes, your stellar behavior will lead to higher spending limits and eligibility for better borrowing terms.

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Can I use my EIN to get a credit card?

Yes, you can get some types of business credit cards — mainly corporate cards — using just an EIN (employer identification number). But this privilege is typically only extended to C-corps, S-corps, LLCs and LLPs registered in the U.S.

The majority of business credit card companies require small-business applicants — even ones that have an EIN — to also provide a Social Security number as a personal guarantee for any debts. That essentially makes you a co-signer for your business’s credit card. If your business is unable to pay back any debts, you are personally on the hook to make good on the money your business borrowed. Similarly, sole proprietorships can qualify for a business credit card using only a Social Security number, which is used to run a personal credit check and secure the line of credit. Only businesses with a well-established, long-term business/commercial credit history are able to qualify for a credit card (usually a corporate charge card) with only an EIN.

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How to apply for a business credit card

To apply for a business card, you’ll be required to provide both business and personal information. A typical business credit card application will ask for:

  • Your legal business name: If you haven’t set up an LLC or are the sole proprietor, you can just use your name and Social Security number (as your business tax identification) on the credit card application. Don’t make up a business name on the spot. You may be asked for proof (and, no, Photoshopped letterhead doesn’t count). You can also apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS, which you should do if you have or plan to hire employees.
  • Company size, structure and type of business: You’ll be asked the number of employees (count yourself), the type of business you’re in, how long you’ve been in business, and to describe your company structure. Indicate “sole proprietorship” if it’s just you, “partnership” if you’ve got a partner, or “corporation” if you set up an LLC. Some lenders may ask for a business checking account.
  • The money stuff: What is your business’s annual revenue? Here they’re looking for gross revenue — what your business pulls in before taxes and expenses. As tempting as it may be to exaggerate your business prowess, save that for networking events. Tell the truth and nothing but the verifiable truth on your business credit card application. The lender may ask for confirmation and you’ll need documents to back up your bragging. Also be prepared to provide an estimate of the monthly spending you’ll put on the credit card.
  • Personal information (and more money stuff): What is your annual household income? This is different from your business revenue. Lenders use information about your cash flow and existing credit obligations to calculate how much of a default risk you are, especially if you’re running a small business or lack a business credit history. If a spouse or partner helps cover the household bills, you can include their annual income in your answer if the application allows it.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out these shots of business credit card applications for examples of the information lenders ask you to submit:

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How much does a business credit card cost?

Pshaww… put your wallet away. Like regular credit cards, there are plenty of business credit cards that charge no annual fees. Even better, you can get a no-annual-fee business credit card that pays you money via a sign-up bonus and cashback or points on your spending.

There are, however, potential transaction fees:

  • Interest: If you carry a balance on the card, you’re responsible for any interest charges.
  • Balance transfer/cash advance fees: Even if a business card offers an introductory 0%-interest period, the administrative fees — typically around 3% to 5% of the amount transferred or advanced — will add to your card costs.
  • Penalty fees: Be careful about late payments, returned payments and other untoward actions, all of which trigger penalty fees. (The actual fees are spelled out on every credit card’s terms and conditions sheet.)
  • Redemption options: Is flexibility important to you or will cashback (literally, getting cash paid back to you) do? A card may award “points,” “miles” or “cashback” on your spending but allow you to convert or redeem your bounty in other ways. Weigh your redemption options to eke out the highest dollar value when you cash in.
  • Foreign transaction fees: Purchases from businesses that operate outside of the U.S. may be subject to this fee, which is usually around 3% of the transaction amount. Some business cards waive this fee.
  • Third-party subscription fees: Most business cards offer free synching with bookkeeping software like QuickBooks. You’re responsible for any subscription fees charged by third-party providers.

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What business credit card gives the highest limit?

With few exceptions, most lenders do not advertise maximum credit limits for business credit cards because the amount is based on each applicant’s qualifications. Even cards that advertise no pre-set spending limits — like a few from American Express — impose limits on an account-by-account basis. (So don’t get any crazy ideas, hotshot.)

Based on the most recent credit card data available from Experian, the average amount of credit extended to small businesses is $56,100. For comparison, the average consumer credit limit is $30,233.

When it comes to business credit limits, the better question to ask is this: What credit limit will I be granted? As a starting point, check out a card issuer’s terms and conditions where, in the fine print, many reveal minimum credit limits.

Our research found that no-annual-fee business cards aimed at those with good or excellent credit have minimum starting credit lines in the $2,000-$5,000 range. Then there are the outliers. For example, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business card disclosure states that customers may have to settle for a low $300 initial credit limit. On the flip side, when you see a card like the Capital on Tap Visa touting “credit limits up to $50,000” in its marketing materials, take a beat: “Up to” is lawyerspeak for “there are no guarantees you’ll be approved for that much spending power.”

If you’re looking for a card with more spending leeway, the American Express Blue Business Cash card has an “Expanded Buying Power” feature that allows business owners to spend beyond the credit limit based on payment history, credit record and other factors. The overage is added to your minimum payment due. Make sure to pay it back in full by the due date, or American Express will apply the penalty interest rate to your entire balance, including the amount spent above the credit limit.

Ultimately, the answer to how much spending power you’ll be granted is a credit card Catch-22 — you won’t know what credit limit you’ll get until after your business card application is approved. But … you’re not completely at the mercy of a random shake of the credit line Magic 8 Ball.

Small-business credit card limits are based on an individual applicant’s creditworthiness. Lenders use a standard list of factors to determine how high of a credit line to extend, taking into account:

  • Personal and/or business credit score
  • Payment history
  • Business and personal income
  • Cash flow
  • Existing credit utilization
  • How much credit you’ve applied for recently

Anything you can do to gussy up your credit profile will help you qualify for a larger line of credit. For example, try not to look too thirsty: Refrain from applying to multiple credit cards at once, keep any existing balances below 30% of your available credit limit (10% is even better), and shoot for an unbroken streak of on-time payments.

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Will a business credit card affect my personal credit?

There are two times when a business credit card will impact your personal credit score:

  1. When you apply for the card. If you don’t have an established business credit history — or even if you do, but have a small or newer business — lenders will check your personal credit file to determine if you qualify for a business credit card. This formal inquiry (called a “hard” inquiry) will temporarily shave a few points from your credit score. The impact isn’t huge, since inquiries for new credit account for only around 10% of your overall credit score.
  2. If you default on payments or are late paying your bill. Business credit card delinquencies don’t just impact your professional credit image. Since most lenders require small businesses to sign a personal guarantee during the application process before they’ll extend credit, you are personally responsible for repaying debts on a business credit card. Defaults and late payments can have a big impact on your personal credit score, since payment history weighs in at a hefty 35% or so of the overall score calculation.

Whether other business credit card data — such as monthly credit activity, on-time payment history — is reported to consumer credit bureaus varies by lender. The best way to prevent business credit use from negatively affecting your personal credit score is to keep your account in good standing.

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Does an LLC have its own credit score?

It sure does! Setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) legally separates your business and personal finances and makes it possible for your LLC to have its own credit score. But you don’t need to set up an LLC, S-corp or C-corp to have a separate business credit score.

To have a business credit score, a business need only have an EIN (employer identification number) — which you can get for free from the IRS — and accounts in its name that are reported to the credit bureaus. If you run a sole proprietor business that’s not registered as a separate legal entity, your personal credit score is a stand-in for your business credit score.

The same way your personal credit score acts like your financial GPA, your business’s credit score grades how you’ve handled financial relationships in the past. It’s a way for interested parties to measure risk — specifically, the likelihood a business will miss payments or default on a loan. Also, just like some employers will run an applicant’s credit as a general reputation check, some vendors will use an LLC’s credit score to decide whether or not to do business with a potential client.

Five key factors determine a business credit score:

  1. Payment history: Does the business make consistent, on-time or early payments on loans and/or trade accounts? How quickly are balances are paid off, and are there any late payments or accounts sent to collections?
  2. Length of credit history: This is based on the average age of accounts reported.
  3. Debt usage: Based on types of loans/lines of credit and credit utilization trends (how much of the lines of credit are tapped).
  4. Industry risk: Whether your business is in an industry that has a high failure rate (based on a business’s Standard Industrial Classification, or SIC code, and/or North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS code) and how likely it will be to experience financial distress within the next 12 months.
  5. Company size/public records: Based on the age of the business, annual revenue, assets and any public financial records of liens, judgments or bankruptcies.

There are three main business credit reporting agencies: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian. Each uses its own proprietary formula to calculate a business’s credit score. Business credit scores have different ranges (E.g., 1-100, 0-300), versus 300 to 850 for personal credit scores. The higher the score, the better the credit rating.

Here’s how Experian defines risk on its 1 to 100 business credit score scale:

Experian business credit risk ranges
Interest rate Annual return
1-10 High risk
11-25 Medium to high risk
26-50 Medium risk
51-75 Low to medium risk
76-100 Low risk

Source: Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

“Proprietary formula” means that each bureau uses business credit data slightly differently in its credit scoring recipe. For example, Dun & Bradstreet’s Paydex score is based on just one factor: your payment history; whereas the FICO Small Business Scoring Service (FICO SBSS) range is 0-300 and is derived from data provided by multiple credit reporting agencies. This is why it’s a good idea to review your business credit files from all the reporting agencies.

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How do I check my business credit score?

There are four main business credit scores used by lenders, vendors and other suppliers with which you might do business: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Experian and FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS).

Like personal credit scores (such as a FICO score or Vantage Score), business credit scores are based on the information in your business credit files. Unlike consumer credit reports — which are available for free from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at annualcreditreport.com — there is no law mandating free access to business credit scores or reports. (Translation: Have your wallet handy, operators are standing by!)

Here are business credit score ranges, how they’re derived, and how to get free business credit scores (if available):

Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Paydex Score. Score range: 1-100 based on dollar-weighted payment performance (overdue, in collections, on-time/early payments) reported to D&B over the past year. Requires getting a D&B number, or D-U-N-S number (data universal numbering system) to establish a file for your business.

Where to get a free D&B Paydex Score: Dun & Bradstreet’s CreditSignal provides 14 days of free access to four D&B business credit scores and ratings: D&B Paydex, Delinquency Predictor Score, Financial Stress Score, Supplier Evaluation and Risk Rating. You’ll also get alerts (though no details) when there are changes to your D&B score or ratings, as well as a monthly high-level summary of activity. Small businesses can get unlimited access to D&B scores starting at $15 a month.

Equifax Business Credit Scores. Equifax offers three scores: The Equifax Credit Risk Score (score range: 101-992) measures a company’s creditworthiness; the Equifax Business Failure Score (score range: 1,000-1,610) calculates the likelihood a business will go bankrupt or shutter in the next 12 months; and the Equifax Payment Index Score (score range: 1-100) is based on the business’s payment history.

Where to get your Equifax scores: Since March 2020, Equifax has waived the $99.95 fee on its small business credit reports. To request a free report, email your name, business name, EIN or federal tax ID, address and phone number to commercialdisclosures@equifax.com with “business credit report request” in the subject line. Equifax business reports include Equifax Business Credit Risk, Business Failure and Payment Index scores, public records and payment trends for the past 12 months.

Experian Intelliscore Plus. Score range: 1-100 based on credit obligations (payment habits, balances, credit utilization, number of trade experiences), public records (recency, frequency and dollar amounts of liens, judgments or bankruptcies), company information (years in business, size, industry).

Where to get your Experian Intelliscore: For $39.95, Experian offers one-time access to your business’s CreditScore Report — a single report that reveals your Experian Intelliscore Plus score, financial stability risk rating, and general background on your business. A more detailed Experian ProfilePlus report is available for $49.95. Annual subscriptions are available starting at $189. Businesses that do not have a score (because you’re too new) can purchase a BizVerify report for $10 to see if your company is in Experian’s National Business Database and what — if any — other information is being reported.

FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS). Score range: 0-300. FICO’s commercial scoring system is designed to measure the likelihood a small business will make on-time payments. It’s calculated using data reported to business and consumer credit reporting agencies. The scoring formula can also factor in financial and loan application information on the business. The U.S. Small Business Administration requires lenders to run a company’s FICO SBSS score for certain types of small-business loans.

Where to get your FICO SBSS credit score: Your FICO SBSS score isn’t for sale. At least not to you, the business owner. (Your banker and other commercial entities are FICO’s target customer.) But you can get your FICO SBSS score via the third-party provider Nav for $49.99 a month. This bundled report also includes full business credit reports and scores from other commercial credit bureaus — D&B, Experian and Equifax — and personal credit reports and scores from Experian and TransUnion. Nav assigns a letter grade (A-F) for each report. Nav also offers bundled reports (minus the FICO SBSS score) with various levels of detail starting at $29.99 per month.

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How to build business credit for your startup

  • Create a separate identity for your business. Apply for a business tax identification number (TIN). You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is free to get through the IRS, and available even if you run a sole proprietorship.
  • Set up a business bank account and put any work-related accounts – like utilities and leases – in the business’s name.
  • See if the main business credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Dun & Bradstreet) have existing files on your business. If not, you’ll have to set them up with each bureau.
  • When opening credit lines, put them in your business’s name. However, don't open loans, establish trade lines with suppliers, or load up on small-business credit cards simply in the name of establishing credit.
  • Ask your suppliers to report payment activity to the business credit bureaus if they don’t already. They’re not required to, so ask nicely.
  • Play with Experian's Business Credit Score Planner on your lunch break to see how various scenarios might affect your business credit rep.
  • Give it time. With good behavior — making on-time payments and keeping outstanding debts under control — your business will have a brag-worthy score in no time.

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Tips for finding the best business credit card

There are a lot of issuers that offer solid credit card options for startups, new businesses and established companies. Look for a business credit card that:

  • Rewards your spending. A card that pays you back on purchases is like getting a discount on business-related expenses. Look for a reward structure that aligns with (aka pays the highest cashback rates on) your biggest spending categories, such as office supplies, business internet, cable and phone services, travel, gas, and so on. Use the Back to topcashback business card calculator above to see how much your everyday spending could earn.
  • Offers a sign-up bonus. This is your chance to earn a pile of cash for meeting certain spending requirements during the first several months of using the card. Investor.com found more than a dozen no-annual-fee business credit cards that offer new cardholders statement credits that range from $200 to $750.
  • Charges 0% APR on new purchases or balance transfers. Paying no interest on charges at the outset can help you manage cash flow and keep business financing costs in check. It’s not hard to find a business credit card that provides no-interest financing for nine to 12 months, or more.
  • No annual fee — or an annual fee that’s easily offset by the rewards you earn. There are plenty of no-fee business rewards cards. See the extensive list above, hint, hint.
  • Free cards for employees. Most lenders allow the primary accountholder (the business owner) to add up to 99 employee cards for no additional charge. As the card boss, you’re given the power to set spending limits and alerts on authorized user accounts.
  • Business tools to help you track expenses. Integration with commonly used accounting software like QuickBooks makes doing the books easier. Be aware there may be a third-party software subscription cost.
  • Discounts on business-related products and services. Cards by established business lenders like American Express, Chase and Capital One have bargaining power with vendors that small businesses lack. They’re able to secure discounts for cardholders on things like accounting/payroll software and shipping services.
  • Reports positive credit card usage to business credit bureaus. If you’re trying to establish a business credit track record, a card that reports on-time payments and debt usage to business credit reporting agencies is a plus. (Read the lender’s terms and conditions or call and ask about its reporting policies.) Since most business credit cards require small businesses (sole proprietors and even LLCs) to personally guarantee the debt, just assume that negative information like late payments and defaults will be reported in your personal and business credit files.

And now, some business credit card gotchas to watch out for:

  • Balance-transfer fees. Consider this a reminder that good things, like 0% financing), often come in pricey packaging, like 3% to 5% balance transfer fees. (Gift horse metaphors also apply here.)
  • Cash-advance fees. Using a business credit card at an ATM (or other cash-advance access point) is like flicking a match onto a powder keg. Fees and high APRs — with interest that starts accruing immediately — are a combustible combination.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Four out of the five cards we identified as top picks based on their cashback rewards charge foreign transaction fees that average around 3%. NBD for some businesses, but a costly extra if you rely on foreign vendors or use the card in foreign lands.
  • Rewards spending caps. The term “spending cap” is a bit misleading. What’s really capped is the rewards rate — how much you can earn on purchases in the bonus cashback tiers. Once you hit the monthly, quarterly or annual allowance, subsequent purchases are rewarded at a lower rate, typically a flimsy 1%. Bigger businesses with multiple employees using cards can bump up against this ceiling pretty quickly.
  • Fewer cardholder protections. Business credit card issuers are not bound by the same consumer protection laws that went into effect with the CARD Act of 2009, although some may apply them voluntarily. For example, there’s no requirement to provide at least 45 days of advance notice for any interest rate increases. Companies are also free to apply card payments to balances with the lowest interest rate first (thus extending the cost and timeframe of debt payoff). Also missing are caps on some fees. As with most things, the fine print in the card’s terms and conditions reveals all.

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Methodology

Our mission at investor.com is to provide thorough and unbiased reviews of financial products and service providers. The results from the investor.com Business Credit Card Calculator are based solely on data, and not advertiser dollars. None of the issuers pay for preferential placement in the results list.

This version of the investor.com Business Credit Card Calculator includes cashback business credit cards that charge no annual fee, waive the annual fee under certain conditions, or are free to existing customers (e.g., the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi). Cards are listed in descending order according to how much each program would pay out in cashback rewards each year based on the spending inputs you enter.

To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year per $1 spent for each business credit card, we factor in:

  • Reward dollar value: Credit card companies often express rewards payouts as a percentage (such as 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (like 1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted these to a dollar amount to make it easier to compare programs.
  • Reward tiers: Some business cards pay a flat cashback rate on all purchases. Others pay higher cashback rates on purchases that fall under specific spending categories. The investor.com algorithm incorporates each issuer’s unique reward’s program to determine the “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
  • Spend categories: Based on the rewards cards in our database, gas, dining, travel, office supplies, and cell phones are the categories most often used by business credit cards that feature tiered rewards programs. (Note that these are slightly different spend categories than cashback cards aimed at consumers.)
  • Monthly spend: The default dollar amounts for each spend category in the Business Credit Card Calculator are based on average small-business spending data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources. Click the arrow on the “Spend Categories” to customize the monthly spend inputs and find the business card with the highest payout rate for your small-business spending.

What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total:

  • The cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus: Welcome bonuses are highlighted at the top of each card writeup, but are not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new business credit card with rewards, applicants do not automatically earn this extra cash. (It requires charging a minimum amount during a specified time period after card activation.) For more information about welcome bonus requirements for the cards that offer them, click “Card Deets” on the individual card reviews.
  • Rewards spending caps: Some cards have rewards spending caps wherein purchases that exceed a certain dollar amount are subject to a lower default rewards rate, usually 1% or 1.5%. We point out in the individual credit card reviews any monthly, quarterly or annual spending caps that may affect the amount in rewards you can earn. (A future version of this calculator will automatically factor rewards spending caps into the results.)

Other data points we collect on each rewards card include:

  • Fees (annual, balance transfer, cash advance, late/returned payment, foreign transactions).
  • Reward redemption options.
  • Introductory APRs and terms for purchases and/or balance transfers; minimum and maximum APRs, regular APRs.
  • Card perks, quirks, and our own take on the merits of each card.

Note: Issuers regularly update credit card offerings and terms. We strive for perfection on these pages and conduct regular data audits to ensure accuracy. But occasionally an actuary at one of the issuing banks deigns to move a decimal point on a balance-transfer APR without a courtesy heads-up. To prevent unconscionable incidents like this from ruining your day, too, we include links in each business credit card review to the offer and terms and condition sheets.

Drop us a line: We regularly add new cards to our database. Let us know if there’s a credit card rewards program you’d like to see included by emailing suggestions@investor.com.

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About the author:

Dayana Yochim has been writing (articles, books, podcasts, stirring speeches) about personal finance and investing for more than two decades, focusing on bringing clarity and the occasional comedic aside to what is often a murky, humorless topic. She’s written for NerdWallet, The Motley Fool, HerMoney.com, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Newsweek and others, and been a guest expert on The Today Show, GMA, CNN, NPR and wherever they’ll hand her a mic. Read more about Dayana

About the editor:

Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on investor.com. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money. Read more about Carolyn.

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