Choosing the Best Credit Cards for your Business (Focus on Travel & Cash-Back)

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Our Picks for the Top Small Business Credit Cards.

People often ask us – Which is the best credit card available? That’s like asking someone, what’s the best car? Well, it depends – for heavy commuting? for weekend fun? Hauling Cargo? Each business will have different needs, and that will determine which is the best card FOR YOU”

There are a number of variables that can determine which credit card would be the best option for your business including your business category type, how you use your credit card, what kind of purchases are made each month along with your total spend, and whether you or someone in your business travels often.

As such, there is no easy answer when it comes to determining which credit card product is best for you.

Therefore, the best way to determine which card works best for you and your business is to provide a breakdown of the offers and credit card options currently available, and to list those that we feel are the best options and the reasons why.

1st Place –  The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Similar to the personal Amex Platinum Card, the business version includes a few key elements that make it worthwhile for businesses and makes it unique in the credit card space.

This card is ideal for small businesses with significant travel budgets. Here’s why:

    • When you book flights and prepaid hotel stays through the Amex Travel Portal, you earn 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.
    • You also earn a 50% bonus — so effectively 1.5x points per dollar — on purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million extra points per year.

 

  • When you use points to book a flight through the Amex Travel Portal on your pre-selected — or business or first class flights on any airline — you’ll get 35% of your points back.

 

  • The card includes $200 in airline fee credits each calendar year, essentially rebating part of the annual fee, is used correctly.  (And because the airline fee credit is valid each calendar year, not cardmember year, you could qualify for the credit twice in your first 12 months of having the card).

Additionally, the card offers a slew of other benefits, including access to more than 1,200 airport lounges, including Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when you’re flying with the airline, and proprietary Amex Centurion Lounge locations.

For this reason, it is our view that for business who have employees traveling often or those who consistently have purchases of over $5,000 the Amex Business Platinum Credit Card is the best option for you.

2nd Place – The Chase Ink Business Preferred

Our second place for the best credit card for small businesses with significant travel needs is the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. That card earns valuable, flexible Ultimate Rewards points on your small business spending. These are the same points earned in the personal Chase Freedom and Sapphire cards.

These points can be traded for cash back, transferred to frequent flyer and hotel loyalty partners, or used to purchase travel with a 25% bonus (or a 50% bonus if you move your points over to your Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.

The card also earns 3x points per dollar on the first $150,000 your business spends on combined purchases each cardmember year in several categories, including travel, shipping, internet/cable/phone, and advertising on social media sites or with search engines, such as Google Ads.

Purchases after you reach $150,000, or in any other category, earn 1x point per dollar.

Among other benefits, the Ink Business Preferred offers cell phone protection. When you use the Ink Preferred to pay your cell phone bill, you’re covered for up to $600 for damage, loss, or theft of your cell phone — or your employees’ work-provided phones, if you provide them. You’re limited to three claims per rolling 12-month period, but this can save you a fortune.

The cell phone insurance alone makes up for the $95 annual fee.

3rd Place – The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Our third place goes to the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express. This can be the go-to for small-business expenses, especially since the card offers 3x points on expenses like Google advertising. With the $175 annual fee waived the first year, and plenty of great transfer options via the Membership Rewards program, this card might be the perfect option for small businesses who spend $100,000 in office and advertising expenses with travel needs. Those can be booked with the membership rewards points earned through the business spending.

4th Place – The Capital One Spark Cash for Business

The Capital One Spark Cash earns unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. No categories, no points values or conversions, no redemption minimums. Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem any amount of cash back.

The card has a $95 annual fee, waived the first year. At first glance, the Amex Blue Business Plus might seem like a better option, since it earns 2x points and doesn’t have an annual fee.

However, keep in mind that while 2x points may be more valuable than 2% cash if you redeem strategically for travel by transferring to partners, Membership Rewards points can’t be redeemed outright for cash. You can redeem them for a statement credit, but they’ll only be worth 0.6¢ each. That means that effectively, the Amex card only offers 1.2% “cash” back, compared to the no-strings-attached 2% from the Capital One Spark Cash.

Finally, credit lines are often limited with Capital One credit cards, and businesses with significant spend may wish to go with the Chase or American Express options.

Honorable Mention – The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

This card usually doesn’t have a welcome offer, and that might be enough to turn many people away from it. However, it’s currently offering a limited-time bonus of 10,000 points, and despite the fact that the welcome bonus is not that significant, you’ll earn more through regular spending: the card offers 2x points on every dollar spent, on your first $50,000 in spending every year (after that, it’s 1x point).

There’s also a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, and then a variable rate (currently 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99%). While funding your startup with a credit card may not be the best idea, the introductory APR can help if you have a few larger purchases coming up and are still working to get cash flow regular. Best of all, the card has no annual fee.

To learn more about your credit card options and for a free consultation, visit https://my.getpeyd.com/request-a-consultation

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