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Credit cards are an integral component of any small business owner’s utility belt. Not only do they provide quick access to funds and increased purchasing power, but they can actually function as money-saving tools. There are certain expenses businesses cannot avoid, and it’s certainly advantageous to receive money back on the essential purchases. Travel is one such category crucial to the success of many businesses and cash back on flights, hotel stays, gas and dining can be a great boon. Here are our top picks for the best business credit cards for travel.
Chase Ink Plus
A far more attainable card, the Chase Ink Plus carries a rewards program that aligns with the needs of many a small business. Operating under a tiered system, the program offers return rates ranging from 1% to 5%. Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores and on cellular phone, land line, internet and cable TV services. Meanwhile, hotel and gas station purchases earn 2 points per dollar. We should mention that these two accelerated categories carry earning limits of $50,000 in spending annually. All other purchases earn a flat 1% back. The signing bonus is currently None, worth 25% more if used for travel booked through Chase. Points can be redeemed for any travel purchases or transferred to a number of frequent flyer programs at a 1:1 ratio. And like any topnotch travel card, the Ink Plus carries no foreign transaction fee.
Capital One Spark Miles
The Capital One Spark Miles offers a much more streamlined rewards system, kicking back a flat 2% on every purchase. Few cards offer such a high base rate–even among the most elite travel cards. The signing bonus, however, is less than titillating: Get a one-time 25,000 bonus miles - just spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. You do, however, have the option of signing up for additional employee cards for another 5,000-mile bonus. Miles can be redeemed for any flight with any airline without blackout dates or restrictions. If you have no immediate travel needs, there are other available redemption options like cash back, gift cards and merchandise. The annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $59 after that.
American Express Business Platinum
We’ll preface this with an admission: the American Express Business Platinum isn’t for everyone. It is difficult to get approved, and the benefits are less than universal. However, for the few who can qualify and make use of the full range of perks, the Platinum is second to none. For $450 a year, cardholders receive access to over 1,000 American, Delta, and US Airways airport lounges worldwide. Every year, you also receive a $200 credit to offset incidental airline fees like baggage and in-flight meals. The Platinum comes with premium car rentals, free hotel upgrades and complimentary companion tickets when you purchase a business or first class international ticket. To secure its position as the most impressive business travel card, there is no foreign transaction fee or preset spending limits.
Designed for businesses with an established credit history, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage is tied to the American Airlines frequent flyer program. Rewards accumulate at 2% on American Airlines purchases and 1% everywhere else. While the rewards rate is nothing to marvel at, some of the ancillary perks may make the AAdvantage worth your while. The signup bonus is 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. The card gets you and up to 4 companions a free checked bag on every flight–a value of $125 at $25 per bag. Cardholders also enjoy Group 1 boarding and 25% off in-flight purchases. All in all, not a bad card if you don’t mind being tied to one particular airline.
Check out our list of no foreign transaction fee credit cards, and stop paying unnecessary fees!