Find Out the Best Business Credit Cards for 2018

​Find Out the Best Business Credit Cards for 2018

By separating your business spending from your personal spending on credit cards, you can earn loads of rewards or incentives by maximizing different credit card spending categories. But there are a vast array of options when looking for the best small business credit cards out there — picking the right one can seem confusing and a little overwhelming.

Here we’ll discuss several ways to evaluate business credit cards, so you can decide which one would be the best fit for your small business.

Business Credit Cards vs. Charge Cards

Credit cards are “revolving” credit accounts that allow cardholders to carry a balance. You only have to make a low minimum monthly payment to keep your account in good standing, but you are usually held to a strict spending limit. As long as minimum payments are made each month, you would not be subjected to any penalties (though you may end up owing interest on any unpaid balances).

A charge card is a little different, in that you have to pay off the full balance each month. There are no preset spending limits on charge cards. However, failing to pay off the balance by the monthly due date results in late fees and a negative mark on your business credit history. Also, you usually need excellent credit to qualify. Late fees can be up to 3 percent of your balance, or $40 plus a penalty rate as high as 30 percent.

Business Rewards Credit Cards

If you’re looking to receive rewards from your business card, there are plenty of options such as cash, trips, travel points and other rewards you can earn by using your card for business purchases. Card companies find different ways to structure rewards and incentive programs to attract many different customer segments.

To decide between these programs, think of the earning potential. It’s best to select a business credit card that offers rewards coinciding with your interests. For example, do you anticipate traveling often in the following year? If so, look for a business credit card that would contribute rewards to your travel plans.

Sign-up Bonus

Some credit cards offer a sign-up bonus to attract new customers. For example, Southwest partners with Chase to provide a special offer for its Rapid Rewards Program. After signing up for this branded credit card, you’ll receive 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Annual Fees

Almost every credit card has annual fees; they typically range from $59 to $175 (or higher depending on the benefits offered).

Best Small Business Credit Cards

Based on the above criteria, we’ve selected our eight picks for the best business credit cards of 2018. Check them out below.

1. Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Best for Travel and Larger Office Spending

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 17.4% – 22.24%
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits:
    • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from opening the account. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent
    • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
    • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Points do not expire as long as account is open

2. CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select

Best for Travel (Domestic and International)

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 16.99% – 24.99%
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits
    • 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account activity
    • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights
    • Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on select business categories, including gas stations
    • Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on other purchases

3. Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Best for Travel

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 17.24% – 24.24%
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits:
    • 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months upon account activation
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest flights, hotel and car rental partners
    • All other purchases earn 1 point per $1
    • 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary

4. American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

Best Charge Card for Smaller Spending

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $175
  • APR: N/A
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits:
    • 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months from account activation
    • Get 3x the points in your choice out of 5 business-related categories, and 2x points on the other 4 categories

5. Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

Best for Business Loyalty Rewards

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 16.49% – 20.49%
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits:
    • 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
    • Earn 2 Starpoints for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG Marriott Rewards hotels, and 1 Starpoint for all other purchases
    • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1 million hotspots worldwide

6. American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card

Best for Telephone Expenses and Choice of Incentive Category

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 13.49% – 20.49% variable
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%
  • No annual fee
  • Benefits:
    • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your card within the first 6 months of account activation
    • Earn an additional $250 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 within the first year of account activation
    • 5% cash-back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from a U.S. provider
    • 3% cash-back on incentive category of your choice (from a list of business-related categories), and 1% cash-back on everything else

7. Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World MasterCard

Best for Travel

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 12.49% – 22.49%
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits:
    • No annual fee, 0% introductory APR for 9 billing cycles from account opening
    • 25,000 bonus points after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 60 days of your account opening, and $250 statement credit towards travel purchases
    • Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on purchases, and 3 points per every $1 spent when you book travel through Bank of America Travel Center (powered by Orbitz)

8. Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Best for Hotel Spending

  • Credit score: Excellent
  • Annual fee: $99
  • APR: 16.49% – 23.49%
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits:
    • Marriott Rewards Gold Elite benefits when you spend $50,000 on purchases each account year
    • Free night stay in a Category 105 hotel each account year
    • Trip and luggage insurance
    • Trip delay and lost luggage reimbursement

Best Business Credit Cards for Bad Credit

If your credit score falls around a 640 or lower, your credit rating is considered poor. This can make it more challenging to get approved for a credit card. However, there are still some solid credit card options for your business:

1. Primor Secured Visa Gold Card

Best for a Low Interest Rate

  • Credit score: Bad
  • Annual fee: $49
  • APR: 9.99%
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Benefits
    • This is a secured credit card, which means it’s supported by a savings account to be used as collateral on credit available with the card. Money is deposited and held in the account backing the card. This card’s minimum deposit is $200.
    • Credit lines available from $200 – $5,000
    • Low fixed APR and no penalty rate

2. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit

Best for Rebuilding Credit

  • Credit score: Bad
  • Annual fee: $0 – $99
  • APR: 19.15% – 25.24%
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% or $1, whichever is greater
  • Benefits:
    • 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases
    • 0% fraud liability
    • See if you pre-qualify without impacting your credit score
    • Great option to get an emergency loan with bad credit

3. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

Best for Recent Bankruptcy

  • Credit score: Bad
  • Annual fee: $35
  • APR: 18.64%
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Benefits:
    • This is also a secured credit card with a minimum deposit of $200. The deposit is refundable.
    • Instant approval; no credit check required.
    • Ability to build and improve credit score.

4. Discover It Secured Card

Best for Rewards

  • Credit score: Bad
  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 26.24%
  • Foreign transaction fee: No
  • Benefits:
    • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; 1% cash back on all other purchases
    • Get a dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year
    • No annual fee

After reviewing this list, make sure you understand how applying for new credit cards can affect your credit score and what mistakes to avoid. Applying for and using multiple credit cards can boost your credit score eventually, but be sure you’re doing it responsibly.

Do you use any of these business credit cards? What do you do with your business credit card rewards? Let us know on Twitter @Revenued_com.

Chris Keller is a veteran in business finance. Prior to starting and managing his own business, he managed product lines at two Fortune 500 companies focusing on their Profit & Loss statements.
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