Business credit cards offer small business owners many opportunities to turn business expenses into amazing trips and family vacations. Just like the personal cards, business cards now offer generous welcome bonuses and great bonus spending categories.
Using a business credit card for your everyday business spend is also a great way to separate personal and business expenses while earning valuable points. And great news for consumers – a few banks have recently revamped their business card offerings and made the cards much more attractive.
In This Article
The Overall Champ: Chase Ink Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred card is one of our favorite business cards. There are plenty of reasons to get and keep Ink Preferred long term. The card comes with a great welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points, provides a variety of valuable benefits and has solid bonus spending categories.
The card earns 3X points on the first $150,000 in spending in the following bonus earning categories:
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable and phone services
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
If your business spends a healthy amount of money in these categories, you can earn a good stash of Ultimate Rewards points.
The card comes with a very reasonable annual fee of $95, which is not waived the first year.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 in 3 monthsLearn more
One of the card’s most valuable perks is cell phone protection. If you use Ink Preferred to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you get up to $600 per claim with a $100 deductible. All employees on the same plan are also covered up to $600 for covered incidents, such as damage or theft.
Other benefits include trip delay interruption, trip delay insurance and primary rental car coverage if the car is rented for business purposes.
Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to a multitude of great airline and hotel partners. You can also redeem Ultimate Rewards points through Chase travel portal at 1.25 cents per point.
Another perk of Ink Preferred is the ability to refer other business owners. If someone you refer is approved for this card, you’ll earn a 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points referral bonus. You can earn up to 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points a year for referrals.
Please note that the points you earn from referrals are taxable unlike the points you earn from earning welcome bonuses and on your everyday spending.
You have to be under Chase 5/24 to get approved for this card, but once you are approved, the card doesn’t add to the 5/24 count.
Chase 1-2 Punch
The Chase Ink Cash and Chase Ink Business Unlimited cards are great no-fee business cards. If you have the Chase Ink Preferred and add one of these cards then you have a great Chase business card combo.
The points earned with these two cards can be used as a cash bonus. However, if you also have one of the premium cards, i.e. a card with an annual fee, such as Ink Preferred, you can combine all the points under one roof and redeem them for travel. Savvy business owners will often carry Ink Preferred and one of the no-fee cards to maximize both cards’ earning and redemption options.
Chase Ink Cash comes with a 50,000 or $500 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and earns 5X on purchases made at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year. The card earns 2X at gas stations and restaurants.
The 5X office supply stores and internet bonus spending category is especially powerful. Office supply stores don’t just sell printer paper. You can buy pretty much anything there, from office furniture to computer equipment to Starbucks gift cards to give as holiday gifts to your clients and employees.
If you don’t anticipate spending a lot in the 5X categories, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited might make more sense for your business. It comes with a 50,000 or $500 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and earns 1.5X on all purchases. This is one of the best no-fee business cards because of its earning structure.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is one of the best cards to get for the perks and benefits that come with it.
The welcome bonus fluctuates, and right now you can earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000, and an extra 50,000 points after an additional $15,000 spend in the first 3 months. The spending requirements are steep, but the welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points is well worth it.
The card comes with $595 annual fee, not waived the first year.
The card earns 1X Membership Reward point on most purchases but there are couple of opportunities to earn bonus points:
- 5X on flights and prepaid hotels purchased on Amex Travel
- 1.5X on purchases of $5,000 or more
However, this is a card that you get and keep for the perks. Some of the best benefits include:
- A $200 annual airline fee credit
- Access to Centurion Lounges
- Access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta
- Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status
- Priority Pass Select membership
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Access to the Amex International Airline Program (IAP) – discounts on international premium economy, business class, and first class flights
- 35% points rebate on business and first class airfare on any airline, or any class of service on your selected airline, when you with Pay with Points
- TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, once every four years
Membership Rewards points transfer to many amazing partners, such as Aeroplan, Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic. This is a great card for a business owner who can really take advantage of all the card’s perks.
American Express Business Gold Card is another favorite among many business owners.
The annual fee is $295 and the standard welcome bonus on this card is 35,000 Membership Rewards points.
The card earns 4X points on two select categories where your business spends the most each month (the 4x points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year).
The bonus categories are:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
This card can make a lot of sense for a business that spends a good amount in the two categories on the list.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is one of the cards that can help you acquire the coveted Southwest companion pass.
The card comes with a 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. It earns 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and 1X on everything else.
60,000 points after $3k spend in 3 monthsLearn more
The annual fee is $99, not waived the first year.
Redeeming Southwest Rapid Rewards for travel is incredibly easy. The price in points depends on the cash price and there are no blackout dates. If the ticket is available for purchase with cash, you can use points to get a free flight. And the Companion Pass makes the deal that much better!
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card often comes with a generous welcome bonus of 125,000 Hilton Honors points. The card earns 12X at Hilton properties and 3X on other purchases. The greatest value of this card comes from the categories that earn 6X Hilton points per dollar:
- flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
- car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. gas stations
- wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service provider
- U.S. purchases for shipping
The card also comes with complimentary Gold status. My favorite perk of Hilton’s gold status is free breakfast for two people at any property. You can also earn a free weekend night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,00 in a calendar year. The free weekend night can be used at any Hilton property, even some of the most expensive Hilton resorts in the world!
The annual fee is $95 and is not waived the first year.
The welcome bonus alone is enough for a few night’s stay in the U.S. or abroad. You can book a lovely hotel, such as Hilton Berlin, for a few nights and enjoy the perks that come with Gold status.
About a year ago, Capital One really upped its game and shook up the credit card market when it revamped its most popular cards. The “purchase eraser” cards now have airline transfer partners and Capital One “miles” instantly became much more valuable.
To keep it really simple, you can use the miles you earn with Capital One to reimburse yourself for the travel purchases. Or, you can transfer the points to partner airlines, such as Aeroplan or Air France/KLM FlyingBlue.
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business earns unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase and 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel.
The standard welcome bonus is 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months.
One of my favorite business cards, and the one I always keep in my wallet is the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. The card has no annual fee and earns 2X on everything, up to 50,000 Membership Rewards points a year. I love the simplicity of the earning structure. This is a great no-fee card for any business owner.
Earn 2x points on eligible purchases up to $50,000 annually, 1x on all else. Terms apply.Learn more
When combined with the American Express Business Gold Card, it’ll make a very powerful Membership Rewards earning duo.
Business owners have lots of opportunities to earn great rewards and turn them into amazing vacations. It’s important to analyze how and where your business spends money and choose the card that will give you the best perks and the best rewards.
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