Using a cash-back credit card for business expenses can give you an effective discount of 1% to 5% on the things you buy for your business or side hustle. When choosing a small-business cash-back card, take a look at your expenses. If you spend a lot in traditional business categories like office supplies, gas or telecommunications, consider a card that pays bonus rewards in those areas. If your spending is all over the place, you might be better off with a flat-rate card that pays the same percentage on everything.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
2% cash back on all purchases
NerdWallet rating: 5 (out of 5)
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business gives you unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, with no bonus categories to track or spending caps to worry about. That's pretty much the best you can do on a flat-rate card with uncapped rewards. The one complication: It has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, although you can offset that somewhat with the stellar bonus offer for new cardholders: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Keep in mind that the annual fee could also be a deductible business expense.
Discover it® Business Card
1.5% cash back on all purchases
NerdWallet rating: 4.8 (out of 5)
The Discover it® Business Card pays unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It also comes with Discover's signature bonus offer for new cardholders, which the issuer describes this way: "Get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically. And no limit to how much we’ll match. So you could turn $350 cash back into $700 with Cashback Match™." Although you have to wait a year to collect it, that could be more lucrative than the upfront bonuses offered by competing cards, depending on how much you spend.
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
2% cash back on up to $50K in purchases per year
NerdWallet rating: 4.7 (out of 5)
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card pays 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year and 1% after that. Terms apply (see rates and fees). The cap on bonus rewards reduces its appeal to high-spending entrepreneurs, but those with lesser expenses would be hard-pressed to find a richer flat rewards rate on a card with a $0 annual fee. There's no traditional bonus offer for new cardholders, though. Rewards are automatically credited to your statement each month.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
1.5% cash back on all purchases
NerdWallet rating: 4.6 (out of 5)
As the name suggests, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card pays unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It offers a doozy of a sign-up bonus for a card with a $0 annual fee: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Up to 5% cash back in bonus categories
NerdWallet rating: 4.4 (out of 5)
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card pays 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases each account year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services; 2% on the first $25,000 in combined purchases each account year at gas stations and restaurants; and 1% elsewhere. If those categories match your expenses, you can rack up serious rewards, although the spending caps put a bit of a damper on things. There's also a great bonus offer: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
1.5% cash back on all purchases
NerdWallet rating: 4.2 (out of 5)
The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business is the $0-annual-fee version of Capital One's business cash-back card. The rewards rate is lower at 1.5% on all purchases (although that matches the rate on competing no-fee cards), and the bonus offer is smaller: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. On the flip-side, there's a 0% introductory APR offer that the annual-fee version doesn't have.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Up to 3% cash back + customizable rewards
NerdWallet rating: 4 (out of 5)
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card stands out because it lets you pick where you earn the richest rewards. You get 3% cash back in a category you choose from a list of six, and 2% back on dining, on up to $50,000 a year in combined spending in those areas. Other spending earns 1% back. The 3% categories, which you can change once a month, are: gas stations (default category); office supply stores; travel; TV, telecom and wireless; computer services; and business consulting services. You can also earn a good bonus, described by the issuer with this language: "Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening – with no annual fee, no cap on the amount of cash rewards you can earn and they don't expire."
U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard®
Up to 3% cash back + annual rewards bonus
NerdWallet rating: 3.9 (out of 5)
If your business or side hustle has you paying a lot for gas, office supplies or mobile phone service, check out the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard®. It pays 3% cash back on net purchases at gas stations, office supply stores and cell service providers, and 1% back on everything else. You also get an annual bonus of 25% of your earned rewards (up to $250), which could push your effective rewards rate to 3.75% in the bonus categories and 1.25% elsewhere. Sign-up bonus: Earn a new cardmember bonus of $500 after you spend $4,500 in eligible net purchases on your card within the first 150 days of account opening.
NerdWallet’s credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.
To view rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, see this page.