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There are two types of business credit cards. The most common are small business credit cards issued by most major card issuers. The owner of the company is the primary cardholder and is responsible for the repayment of all charges. The other type is corporate cards, which are issued in the name of medium and large businesses, as well as government and nonprofit organizations.
Business Credit Cards
With small business credit cards, any rewards earned are retained by the business owner who is the primary account holder. Thankfully, many small business credit cards earn bonus rewards for common business purchases such as office supplies, telecommunications services and travel expenses.
Keep in mind, you will want to examine the rates and fees that a card has to ensure that you are not overspending to receive these rewards or other benefits. This is important any time you’re considering some new plastic, but even more so when shopping for a business credit card since they’re exempt from many CARD Act provisions. (Some do comply anyway.) You can find more information on the best business credit cards in America here.
A handful of major banks issue corporate credit and charge cards designed for medium and large organizations, and these rarely offer rewards. American Express does offer corporate charge cards that allow authorized cardholders to earn rewards, however. In particular, American Express Corporate Green and Gold Cards allow cardholders to earn points by paying a one-time $90 fee, while there is no fee for its Corporate Platinum and Centurion cards.
American Express points are generally worth about one cent each toward gift cards, merchandise and travel reservations. And these points can be transferred to 17 different airline programs. When miles are redeemed for expensive flights in business, first class or flights with little advance notice, it’s possible to realize several cents in value per mile.
American Express notes on its website that individual corporate cardholders can enroll in the rewards program, though companies do have the option of blocking enrollment — in which case you wouldn’t be able to sign up and earn rewards.
In fact, it’s a good idea generally to check with your employer before you try to cash any points you may have earned with a corporate card in. Some companies may have policies regarding whether or not employee cardholders can use these rewards.
Other Ways to Earn Rewards
If you don’t have corporate card, you may still be able to earn rewards from company purchases. Many businesses give employees the option of charging expenses to their personal credit cards, which can work well when employees are able to pay each month’s statement balance in full and avoid interest charges. (Again, check with your employer about their specific policies around rewards earned on business expenses, so you don’t unwittingly violate any.)
Remember, business credit cards and even charge cards aren’t always totally separate from your personal credit. Their impact on your consumer credit rating depends on the card agreement. You can see how your credit card use, for business or personal expenses, is affecting your credit by viewing two of your credit scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com.
At publishing time, American Express cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these products. 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.