Last May, we looked at the best business credit cards with no annual fee as part of our Best Credit Cards in America series. This month, we are taking the gloves off and looking for the top business cards, including those that charge a yearly premium.
What business credit cards can offer
Credit cards for business users are much like those for personal use. Business users often want rewards for their spending in the form of valuable points, miles or cash back. In addition, business users will want more powerful reporting tools to track their spending as well as that of authorized users. (Though a word of caution, business credit cards are not covered by the consumer provisions of the Credit CARD Act like personal credit cards are.)
Once you have decided that your business needs justify a dedicated card with an annual fee, your next priority should be finding the product with the most features you want, but for the least price. Beyond rewards, a high end business card can offer perks such as airline business lounge access, free employee cards and high priority customer service.
Who can use a business card?
Business cards can be used by those who own businesses, are sole proprietors, or even by employees who want to track their expenses on a separate card. Those without an Employer Identification Number (EIN) can simply use their Social Security number when they apply.
Why it won: This flagship American Express card is simply the most feature-filled business card available.
The benefits: The complete benefits of this card are too numerous to list, but here are some of the highlights: Cardholders earn one Membership Rewards point per dollar spent, and 25,000 points as a sign-up bonus. These points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, or cash back but they can also be transferred to miles with 16 different airline programs. Cardholders also receive a membership in the airline business lounge programs of Delta, American, US Airways, and the Priority Pass network. Finally, cardholders receive a $200 annual airline fee credit and are reimbursed the $100 application fee for the Global Entry program operated by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The costs: These amazing benefits come at a price, but cardholders who travel frequently will find the $450 annual fee to be a justifiable business expense. As a charge card, cardmembers pay each balance in full, so there is no standard interest rate. Up to three additional cards can be added to an account for an additional $175 annual fee, and there are no foreign transaction fees for this card.
Why it won: Chase Ink Bold is a charge card while Chase Ink Plus is a credit card, but these cards both offer outstanding opportunities to earn valuable points in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program.
The benefits: Cardholders earn one point per dollar spent on all purchases, double points at gas stations and hotels, and an incredible five points per dollar spent at office supply stores and on telecommunications services. These points can then be transferred to airline or hotel programs or are redeemed for 1.25 cents per point when booking travel through Chase. Cardholders also receive a membership in the Lounge Club program that offers two free annual visits to a business lounge, and discounted access afterwards. Finally, new cardholders receive 50,000 points as a sign up bonus after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening an account.
The costs: This card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year, and there are no foreign transaction fees. Additional cards for authorized cardholders are free.
[Related Article: The First Thing to Do Before Applying for a Credit Card]
Why it won: Many business cardholders may want to avoid complicated point systems and simply earn cash back. This card offers the most cash back of any business credit card.
The benefits: Cardholders receive 2% cash back on all purchases made by themselves and their authorized cardholders. New applicants also earn $100 after spending $1,000 on purchases within three months, and another $50 when they add an authorized cardholder within 60 days. Cardholders also receive an itemized year-end summary of all of their charges.
The costs: There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and additional employee cards can be ordered at no added cost. There is no foreign transaction fees for this card.
Compare these to other business reward credit cards at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the American Express Business Platinum Card, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus and Capital One Spark Cash Business Credit Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com may be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.