Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2018

Claire Tsosie

Last updated on November 20, 2018

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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

As an entrepreneur, you value every dollar you make. These cards make those dollars go farther.

Our pick for

Big sign-up bonus

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

on Chase's secure website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

17.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Cash sign-up bonus

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

on Chase's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Customizable rewards

American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card Credit Card

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 15 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$95

Waived first year

Regular APR

18.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Flat-rate travel rewards

Capital One Spark Miles Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$95

Waived first year

Regular APR

18.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

No-fee travel rewards

Bank of America Travel Rewards World Mastercard® for Business Credit Card

on Bank of America's secure website

on Bank of America's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 9 billing cycles

recommended credit score

Our pick for

0% Intro APR period

American Express The Blue for Business® Credit Card

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Airport lounge access

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$450

Regular APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Fair credit

Capital One Spark Classic Business Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Summary of Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2018

Credit CardBest ForIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeLearn More
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

Big sign-up bonus

N/A

17.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

$95

on Chase's secure website

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

Cash sign-up bonus

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

15.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

$0

on Chase's secure website

American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card Credit Card

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Customizable rewards

0% on Purchases for 15 months

14.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

$0

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

on Capital One's secure website

Flat-rate cash back

N/A

18.74% Variable APR

$95

Waived first year

on Capital One's secure website

Capital One Spark Miles Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

on Capital One's secure website

Flat-rate travel rewards

N/A

18.74% Variable APR

$95

Waived first year

on Capital One's secure website

Bank of America Travel Rewards World Mastercard® for Business Credit Card

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

on Bank of America's secure website

No-fee travel rewards

0% on Purchases for 9 billing cycles

13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR

$0

on Bank of America's secure website

American Express The Blue for Business® Credit Card

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

0% Intro APR period

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

13.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

$0

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Airport lounge access

N/A

N/A

$450

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Capital One Spark Classic Business Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

on Capital One's secure website

Fair credit

N/A

24.74% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

Credit CardBest ForIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeLearn More
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

Big sign-up bonus

N/A

17.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

$95

on Chase's secure website

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

on Chase's secure website

Cash sign-up bonus

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

15.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

$0

on Chase's secure website

American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card Credit Card

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Customizable rewards

0% on Purchases for 15 months

14.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

$0

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

on Capital One's secure website

Flat-rate cash back

N/A

18.74% Variable APR

$95

Waived first year

on Capital One's secure website

Capital One Spark Miles Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

on Capital One's secure website

Flat-rate travel rewards

N/A

18.74% Variable APR

$95

Waived first year

on Capital One's secure website

Bank of America Travel Rewards World Mastercard® for Business Credit Card

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card

on Bank of America's secure website

No-fee travel rewards

0% on Purchases for 9 billing cycles

13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR

$0

on Bank of America's secure website

American Express The Blue for Business® Credit Card

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

0% Intro APR period

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

13.24% - 21.24% Variable APR

$0

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Airport lounge access

N/A

N/A

$450

on American Express's secure website, or call (866) 512-6673

Capital One Spark Classic Business Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

on Capital One's secure website

Fair credit

N/A

24.74% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

HOW THEIR REWARD RATES STACK UP

Card Best for ... Rewards
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card Big sign-up bonus • 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 a year spent on travel and select business categories
• 1 point per dollar on all other spending
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Cash sign-up bonus • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 a year in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services
• 2% cash back on the first $25,000 a year in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants
• 1% cash back on all other purchases
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express Customizable rewards • 5% cash back on the first $50,000 a year spent at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
• 3% cash back on the first $50,000 a year spent in the category of your choice (from eight options)
• 1% cash back on all other spending
• Terms apply
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business Flat-rate cash back • 2% cash back on all purchases
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business Flat-rate travel rewards • 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card No-fee travel rewards • 3 points per $1 spent on travel booked through Bank of America®
• 1.5 points per dollar on all other spending
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express 0% APR period • 2 points per dollar on first $50,000 a year in spending
• 1 point per dollar after that
• Terms apply
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express Airport lounge access • 5 points per $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
• 1.5 points per dollar on eligible purchases of more than $5,000
• 1 point per dollar on all other spending
• Terms apply
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business Fair/average credit • 1% cash back on all purchases

Understanding business credit cards

At first glance, small business credit cards seem a lot like consumer cards. They come with similar sign-up bonuses, rewards and fees. But business and consumer cards differ in a few key ways. Here’s what you should know before applying.

You’ll have to sign a personal guarantee. Virtually all small business credit card applications include personal guarantees, or clauses stating that you are personally liable for the debt accrued. This means you’re responsible for the balances even if your business goes belly-up. Keep this in mind when applying and avoid borrowing more than you’re able to pay back.

Your personal credit may be affected. When you apply for a small business credit card, the application will probably show up as an inquiry on your personal credit report, which can cost you a few points on your credit scores for a short time. That’s because your issuer wants to make sure that you, the business owner, are personally on solid financial footing before letting you borrow money. 

After that, small business cards generally fall into two categories: some report your account payment history only to commercial credit bureaus, while others report to both consumer and commercial bureaus. In the latter case, your good or bad spending habits on your small business credit card could affect both your personal and business credit.

These cards generally aren’t covered by consumer protection laws. As a courtesy, issuers today generally extend many consumer protections for personal credit cards to small business credit cards. But the law doesn’t require them to do so. The consumer-friendly Credit Card Act of 2009 set important limits on fees, interest calculations and disclosures for personal credit cards, but it doesn’t cover small business credit cards.

Small business cards aren’t corporate cards. There are two types of business credit cards: small business cards and corporate cards. If you’re just starting out and your revenue is in the thousands, not the millions, you’ll likely want to go with a small business credit card, the kind featured on this list. Once you hit the big time, you might want to switch over to a corporate card. This would limit your personal financial liability for the account.

How to choose a small business credit card

Chances are, you'll use your small business credit card quite a bit, so make sure you’re getting one with favorable terms. Here’s how:

Take stock of your business’s spending habits. If you plan on carrying balances from month to month, getting a card with a 0% APR period or low ongoing interest is more important than searching for generous rewards. Alternatively, if you plan on paying in full every month, a card with a big sign-up bonus and lucrative rewards could be a perfect fit.

Figure out what type of rewards you should go for. If earning big rewards is your goal, start by looking at your costs. For businesses that spend plenty on travel and office supplies, a card that gives bonus rewards in those categories would be an excellent choice. And for companies with spending that doesn't fit into the usual categories, a flat-rate rewards card would fit the bill.

Look for business-friendly benefits. Some cards come with programs that allow you to match photos of receipts to your card purchases in-app. Many also offer free employee cards and itemized end-of-year statements that help at tax time.

For more, see our guide to choosing a business credit card

Getting the most out of your small business card

Pay with your credit card whenever possible. For entrepreneurs who pay in full every month and don't overspend, using a rewards credit card for everything makes those points, miles or cash back add up fast. Avoid paying with a credit card when a convenience charge is added, if possible.

Know when your introductory 0% APR ends. Read your credit card statements and make a note of when your promotional offer expires to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Lock down that sign-up bonus. To get your card's sign-up bonus, you typically need to make a few thousand dollars' worth of purchases in the first few months after opening the account. Check your card's terms and track your spending to make sure you don’t miss out.

Deduct interest and fees on your taxes. If you’re using your card for business costs, fees and interest count as business expenses. That means you can deduct them at tax time. 

Methodology

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.

Last updated on November 20, 2018

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2018