Our pick for

Flat-rate rewards

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Apply Now

on Capital One's secure website

Bonus value
$500
Annual fee
$59
waived first year
Recommended credit score
We like it for
Simple flexible rewards Sign-up bonus No foreign transaction fees

Benefits

Flat-rate rewards cards are a bit like khakis: a little boring, but they go with everything. When you pair this 2% cash-back card with a tiered rewards card, you’ll always earn more than the “1% back on everything else” that most cards promise. If you’re a one-credit-card type of entrepreneur, a flat-rate card like this will likely offer better long-term value than a tiered rewards card.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

0% APR period

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Apply Now

on Chase's secure website

Bonus value
$300
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
We like it for
Interest-free period No annual fee Flexible cash-back rewards Spending limits for employees

Benefits

Credit cards with 0% APR periods are always crowd-pleasers, but for small businesses, they’re especially valuable. If you need to make a major inventory purchase, this $0-annual-fee card lets you float that debt interest-free for a while while earning great cash-back rewards. Also nice: You can get additional cards for employees at no cost and set spending limits on those cards.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Airport lounge access

The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Apply Now

on American Express's secure website

Bonus value
$500
Annual fee
$450
Recommended credit score
We like it for
Premium travel perks No spending limit No foreign transaction fees Spending limits for employees

Benefits

Business travelers know there’s nothing quite like getting a free meal, a quiet place to rest and maybe even a shower at an airport lounge during a long layover. The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN provides access to more than 1,000 of these exclusive clubs worldwide, including Centurion lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Airspace Lounges and Priority Pass Select lounges. You’ll also get a $200 credit for airline incidentals, such as checked baggage fees.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Fair credit

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Apply Now

on Capital One's secure website

Bonus value
$0
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
We like it for
No annual fee Cash-back rewards Building business credit

Benefits

As long as you pay your balance in full every month, this card is a whole lot cheaper than many of the high-interest loans and other short-term financing offers marketed to entrepreneurs with fair credit. You earn cash-back rewards on your spending, too. With on-time payments, you can work toward strengthening your personal credit and business credit.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

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 update Jan. 27, 2017.

Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.