Best Business Credit Cards

Our objective rating of the best business credit cards

Sponsored by What's this?

We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

Business credit cards are designed for the unique credit requirements and spending patterns of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Like their consumer counterparts, these products leverage business spending to earn significant cash back, airline, or hotel rewards.

The best business cards deliver additional lines of credit, low fees, business-category discounts, and strong rewards programs. This list represents our top-rated cards across a number of categories, all driven by our rating methodology, comprehensive card database, and proprietary points valuation models.

Best Business Credit Cards for April 2021

Best Overall, Best for Travel Rewards : Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Rating as a Business Card
4.8
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card:

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is our pick for best overall business card and best for general travel because it offers a massive one-time bonus worth an estimated $1,250 when redeemed for travel, along with triple points on travel and other eligible business expenses. The annual fee is quite reasonable at $95, and employee cards are free. Qualifying for the bonus requires a substantial $15,000 in spending during the first three months, so this card is best-suited to small businesses that can easily meet that requirement through planned capital or operational expenditures.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Potential to earn a large bonus

  • Flexible rewards program

  • High rewards on select business expenses

Cons
  • Low base rewards rate

  • Not a lot of business-related benefits

  • Chase card service to businesses has been below par

Best Business Hotel Card : Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card

Rating as a Business Card
4.7
Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card
Current Offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $125
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 4X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping, and 2X points everywhere else.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card:

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is our choice for the best business hotel card due to its strong bonus rewards on Marriott expenditures as well as those at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations, making it an ideal business travel and entertainment card. It has a $125 annual fee but that is easily justified by the benefits of automatic Silver Elite status and the annual free night certificate (worth up to 35,000 points). We value the 75,000 one-time bonus at $833 (once initial spending requirements of $3,000 in the first three months are met) when redeemed for stays at Marriott properties.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Outstanding rewards on Marriott stays and select spending

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status

  • Bonus night on card anniversary

Cons
  • Dismal rates on non-Marriott redemptions

  • High spending required to earn second free night

  • Cannot earn higher elite status based on spending

Best Business Airline Card : United℠ Business Card

Rating as a Business Card
4.5
United℠ Business Card
Current Offer

60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 23.49% variable
Annual Fee $0 Intro fee for the first year. After that, $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, eligible local transit, and office supply stores. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. 5,000 mile loyalty anniversary bonus.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card:

The United Business Card tops our rankings of business airline cards due to the superior value of its miles and multiple routes to earn them. With a signup bonus of 75,000 miles, this card's bonus is worth about $975 in flights for the average traveler. Purchases from United, along with other popular spending categories, earn double miles, providing an ongoing opportunity to accumulate mileage wealth. Card benefits include two one-time United Club lounge passes, priority group 1 boarding, primary auto insurance coverage, and a fee waiver on your first checked bag. The $99 annual fee is waived the first year. Paying an annual fee is worth it for most United travelers because you'll save far more than that with the free checked bag benefit since United charges up to $35 each way per checked bag.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Huge bonus

  • Annual miles bonus if you also own a personal United card

  • Annual statement credit opportunity and complimentary United Club passes

Cons
  • Fewer free checked bags than other airlines

  • Grace period of only 20 days from statement close

  • Balance transfer fee of 5%

Best Business Cash Back Credit Card : Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Rating as a Business Card
4.4
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Current Offer

Earn $500 when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.
Balance Transfer Fee There is no standard balance transfer fee for this card.
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card:

With unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business is our natural choice for best cash back business card. Its excellent and broad rewards offer a compelling alternative to cards that offer high bonus rewards in select spending categories, often with spending caps. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year, which allows you to test-drive the card to gauge whether its cash back earnings justify paying the annual fee in subsequent years.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Decent bonus, albeit for commensurate spending

  • Simple rewards program

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons
  • Capital One reports business credit cards to your personal credit report

  • No bonus categories for higher rewards

Best for American Airlines : CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

Rating as a Business Card
4.1
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Current Offer

Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $99
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines, telecommunication, cable and satellite providers, car rentals and gas station purchases. Earn 1 mile per $1 on other purchases.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

Business travelers can save money and time with the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard. As the best business credit card for American Airlines, it offers the first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines flights, preferred boarding, and a 25% savings on in-flight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases. Plus, when you spend at least $30,000 in a year, you'll also receive a Companion Certificate. Spending $30,000 will also help elites earn or retain status by eliminating the Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) requirement. Although it has a $99 annual fee, the fee is waived the first year so you can try the benefits without any cost.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Flight perks to save money and time

  • Easier to earn elite status with MQD waiver based on spending

  • Spending can earn a Companion Certificate

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons
  • Annual fee applies after 12 months

  • Limited travel benefits

Best No Annual Fee Business Card : Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card

Rating as a Business Card
4.1
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card
Current Offer

Get a one-time $500 cash back bonus or 50,000 bonus points when you enroll in the Business Card Rewards Program and spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.24% - 21.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 9 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 9 Months
Balance Transfer Fee See Bank Terms
Cash Advance APR (%) 23.99%
Cash Advance Fee See Bank Terms
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card:

The Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card is our choice for the best business card with no annual fee due to its generous one-time bonus and the flexibility of its rewards program—allowing an unusual choice between earning cash back or points with business spending. No foreign transaction fees also make it a good choice for business travel and purchasing goods and services outside of the U.S.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Flexible rewards structure

  • 0% introductory APR

  • No annual fee

Cons
  • Limited benefits

  • High spending required to earn bonus

  • Short balance transfer promotional period

Best for Low Regular APR : Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card

Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card
Current Offer

Get a one-time $1,000 cash back bonus or 100,000 bonus points when you enroll in the Business Card Rewards Program and spend $25,000 in the first three months of account opening

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.24% - 7.24% variable
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $125
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 9 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 9 Months
Balance Transfer Fee See Bank Terms
Cash Advance APR (%) 23.99%
Cash Advance Fee See Bank Terms
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

Business owners looking for a low regular APR on purchases can save money on interest with the Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card. Purchases are charged a rock-bottom interest rate of Prime + 3.99%, which is significantly lower than a majority of its competitors. Additionally, you'll earn your choice of unlimited 1% cash back or 1 point for every dollar you spend. A bonus of 5,000 points is added whenever you spend $10,000 in a month. The $125 annual fee is waived the first year and is partially offset by the annual travel reimbursement of up to $100.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Extremely low regular APR

  • Strong bonus opportunity

  • 1.5% cash back on all spending

Cons
  • High spending requirement to earn bonus

  • Annual fee of $125 charged in second year

Best for Office Supply Purchases : Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Rating as a Business Card
3.8
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Current Offer

$750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.24% - 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and eligible phone and internet services. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined gas station and restaurant purchases. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

When your business spends a lot of money on office supplies, it pays to have a card with a high bonus for this spending category. The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend each anniversary year on office supplies, internet, cable, and phone service. Plus, you'll receive $750 bonus cash back when you spend at least $7,500 within the first three months of opening your account. Best of all, there is no annual fee, so all of the cash back you earn is yours to keep.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 on purchases in the first three months

  • Strong cash back rewards structure

  • No annual fee

Cons
  • Bonus cash back spending categories are capped

  • No balance transfer offer

Best for Airport Lounge Access : The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Rating as a Business Card
4.0
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Current Offer

Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards(R) points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $595
Rewards Earning Rate Get 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. 1x for each dollar spent on other eligible purchases.
Cash Advance Fee This card does not offer cash advances.
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

Airport lounges make the flying experience so much more enjoyable. We picked The Business Platinum Card from American Express as the best business credit card for airport lounge access because you receive complimentary access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world. Flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel earn 5x points and you'll get back 35% of your points when redeeming with your selected airline. Plus, you'll get 50% more points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more. There is a $595 annual fee for the primary cardholder and a $175 annual fee for all authorized users, so the fees can get expensive quickly. To reduce the net cost of the card, you'll receive up to $200 of statement credits each year when you spend up to $100 semi-annually with Dell.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Travel perks, such as airport lounge access and elite status at some hotels

  • High rate of rewards on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com

  • Get some points back when redeemed for first or business class airline tickets through American Express

Cons
  • High annual fee

  • Employee cards are not free

  • Limited bonus categories

Best for Amazon Business / AWS Cloud Hosting : Amazon Business Prime American Express Card

Rating as a Business Card
3.4
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
Current Offer

$125 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval with an eligible Prime membership.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $0, Prime Membership Required
Rewards Earning Rate Get 5% back on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership, on up to your first $120,000 in purchases each year. 2% at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. 1% on other purchases.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

Businesses that use Amazon for purchases or cloud hosting can earn 5% on their purchases with the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card with an eligible Amazon Prime membership. Alternatively, they can choose 90 days of no interest instead of the rewards. That flexibility can be valuable to many businesses. The card also earns 2% at U.S. restaurants and gas stations, as well as wireless phone services from U.S. providers. The card has no annual fee, and new cardholders will receive a $125 Amazon gift card upon approval without a minimum spending requirement.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Strong returns on your choice of Amazon rewards

  • Decent rewards at restaurants, gas stations, and wireless phone service

  • No minimum spending requirement to earn bonus

Cons
  • Must have an active Amazon Prime membership

  • 5% bonus capped at $120,000 of spending

Best for Bad Credit : Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Rating as a Business Card
3.4
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.15% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back or earn 1X point and receive 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.
Balance Transfer Fee 4%, min, $10, max $175
Cash Advance APR (%) 23.99%
Cash Advance Fee 4%, min, $10, max $175
  • Why We Chose This Card:
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card:

The Wells Fargo Business Secured card is our pick for best business card for bad credit because it is uniquely positioned in the market to provide credit card access to small business owners with impaired personal or business credit. It also allows the flexibility to earn cash back or points rewards along with a business-friendly credit line up to 25,000 depending on the security deposit amount.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Flexible rewards structure

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Free employee cards

Cons
  • Minimal benefits

Final Verdict

Business owners want a credit card to make running their businesses easier. These cards offer an easy way to pay vendors while earning rewards and perks on that spending. The right card for your business varies based on how you spend and how much, the rewards and benefits that are important to you, and if you're willing to pay a fee for those features.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is our top choice for the best credit card and the best travel credit card. It earns bonus points on popular business categories and offers a high redemption value for travel. Although you have to spend $15,000 within three months to earn it, the welcome bonus of 100,000 points is one of the largest we've seen. It is worth up to $1,250 in travel through Chase or potentially more with its hotel and airline partners.

Compare the Best Business Credit Cards

Credit Card Annual Fee Top Feature
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card Best Overall, Best for Travel Rewards $95 3x on travel; Points worth 25% more when booking travel
Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card Best Business Hotel Card $125  Silver status and up to 2 free nights annually 
United℠ Business Card Best Business Airline Card $99, waived the first year  Flight perks and 5,000-mile annual bonus 
Capital One Spark Cash for Business Best Business Cash Back Credit Card $95, waived the first year  Unlimited 2% cash back 
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Best for American Airlines $99, waived the first year  Flight perks and Companion Certificate 
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card Best No Annual Fee Business Card $0  Choose cash back or points on purchases 
Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card Best for Low Regular APR $125, waived the first year  Prime + 3.99% on purchases
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Best for Office Supply Purchases $0  5% on first $25,000 at office supply stores
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Best for Airport Lounge Access $595  Centurion and Priority Pass access
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card Best for Amazon Business/AWS Cloud Hosting  $0 5% on AWS, Amazon, and Whole Foods
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card Best for Bad Credit $0  Choose cash back or points on purchases

Editorial Picks for Best Business Credit Cards

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Best Overall, Best for Travel Rewards

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is our best overall and the best business credit card for travel rewards because of its earning power and the value of its rewards. Businesses can earn 3x points on the first $150,000 they spend on travel and select categories each year, then the points can be used for cash back, to book travel at 1.25 cents a point, or to transfer to hotel and airline partners for a potentially higher value.

Read the full Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Review.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card

Best Business Hotel Card

Business owners looking for the best business hotel card will enjoy the benefits of this Marriott card. It includes automatic Silver Elite status and an annual free night worth up to 35,000 points, plus the ability to earn a second free night based on your spending.

Read the full Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Review.

United℠ Business Card

Best Business Airline Card

The United Business Card offers valuable benefits for business travelers, such as priority boarding, free checked bags, and two complimentary airport lounge passes each year. You'll also receive 5,000 bonus miles every year that you renew the card.

Read the full United Business Card Review.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Best Business Cash Back Credit Card

Cash is king with the Capital One Spark Cash for Business and its unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. It offers a large cash bonus for new applicants and the first year's annual fee is waived.

Read the full Capital One Spark Cash for Business Review.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

Best for American Airlines

Frequent fliers on American Airlines will benefit from free checked bags, priority boarding, and 25% discount on in-flight purchases. Big spenders can earn a MQD waiver for elite status and a Companion Certificate when they spend $30,000 each year.

Read the full CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard Review.

Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card

Best No Annual Fee Business Card

Business owners that want to avoid annual fees, but still earn rewards on their spending should apply for our best no annual fee business card. They have the choice between unlimited 1.5% cash back or earning 1x points with a bonus based on monthly spending.

Read the full Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card Review.

Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card

Best for Low Regular APR

Our selection for the best low regular APR card is the Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card. It offers an ultra-low Prime + 3.99% interest rate on purchases plus the choice of cash back or rewards points on each charge.

Read the full Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card Review.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Best for Office Supply Purchases

The best credit card for office supply purchases is the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card. It earns 5% on the first $25,000 in combined purchases for office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services each year for a potential of $1,250 in cash back annually.

Read the full Ink Business Cash Credit Card Review.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Best for Airport Lounge Access

The best business credit card for airport lounge access is the Amex Business Platinum. Between Amex Centurion Lounges and the complimentary Priority Pass membership, you'll have access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world.

Read the full The Business Platinum Card from American Express Review.

Amazon Business Prime American Express Card

Best for Amazon Business / AWS Cloud Hosting

Businesses that spend regularly with Amazon or Whole Foods will benefit from this card's unlimited 5% rewards. It has no annual fee and new cardholders receive a $125 Amazon gift card upon approval.

Read the full Amazon Business Prime American Express Card Review.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Best for Bad Credit

Business owners with a thin credit file or a troubled credit history have a lot to like with the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card. It offers a secured credit line up to $25,000 with no annual fee. Plus, cardholders can choose between cash back or points on purchases, have no foreign transaction fees, and can add up to 10 employee cards for free.

Read the full Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card Review.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Business Credit Cards?

Business credit cards are designed for the needs of small businesses organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, or LLCs. They allow business spending to be leveraged to earn valuable rewards in the form of cash back, points, or miles. Other business-friendly features include providing a separate credit line to help fund business operations and tools to easily segregate business expenses from personal ones.

Who Qualifies for Small Business Credit Cards?

Anyone with a registered business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or LLC) or a side gig may apply for a small business credit card. You may apply for a business credit card with your personal Social Security number as a sole proprietor or an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you have a formal business structure.

Each bank has different qualifications for how long you must be in business before you are eligible to be approved. While some banks require two years in business, others will consider you from the beginning. Having an office, store, or other dedicated headquarters is not required, nor must you have any employees other than yourself.

Until your business reaches a certain level of success, most banks will ask for a personal guarantee for repayment of any charges. They'll analyze both the business's credit and financials, as well as your personal credit score, debt levels, and income when reviewing your application.

How Do You Apply for a Business Credit Card?

Once you've selected the right card for your business, it is time to apply for your credit card. Each bank's application process is a little different, but they generally ask for the following information. Having this information readily available while applying will make the process go smoothly and quickly:

  • Business name
  • SSN (sole proprietor) or EIN (formal business entity)
  • Business owner(s) names, titles, and SSNs
  • Personal information for each owner: date of birth, mother's maiden name, address, income
  • Business address and phone number
  • Annual revenues
  • Number of employees
  • Business established date
  • Industry that the business operates in
  • Estimated monthly spend on your new card

Expect to spend 10 to 20 minutes completing the business credit card application, depending on how much information you need to provide.

Depending on your application details, you may receive immediate approval for your new business credit card. The application may go into a pending status for a manual review. If you don't receive an automatic approval, you should receive a decision in the mail within one to two weeks.

Before applying for your business credit card, think through these questions:

  • How much do you spend each month?
  • Are you able to pay the balance in full or will you carry a balance?
  • What types of stores do you spend at the most?
  • Are you willing to pay an annual fee?
  • Do you want to earn rewards? If so, do you prefer cash back, airline miles, hotel points, or flexible bank points?
  • What credit card benefits appeal to you?
  • Is a 0% APR promotion on purchases or balance transfers important?
  • Will you add employees to the card?

Knowing your answers to these questions will help you narrow down your choices to pick the best business credit card for you.

Can Business Cards Be Used for Personal Expenses?

Generally, no. While card terms and conditions vary, they usually stipulate that only legitimate business expenses can be charged to business credit cards. Additionally, it is a best practice to keep your personal and business charges separate to make accounting easier and to maintain liability protections of your business structure.

With that being said, as long as your card is used responsibly and remains in good standing, most banks will not audit your spending to determine what are personal versus business charges.

Can a Personal Credit Card Be Used for a Business?

While many small business owners start out using their personal credit cards for business expenses, it is ideal to have separate cards for your personal and business expenses. The IRS considers segregation of business expenses to a separate card important to validating that purchases claimed as business expenses are just that, rather than for personal use. As soon as you are eligible to get approved for a business credit card, you should get one to create the separation between your business and personal life.

How do Business and Consumer Credit Cards Differ?

While business and consumer credit cards often look and work in similar ways, there are distinct differences between the two. Here's a rundown:

Small Business Credit Cards:

  • Require business-related usage
  • Usually have higher credit limits than consumer cards
  • Report activity to business credit bureaus rather than to consumer ones
  • Bonus rewards rates, if offered, are often for business-related spending categories, such as office furniture and supplies, shipping, and digital advertising
  • Sometimes provide 30-day trade terms
  • May not have the same protections as consumer credit cards

Consumer Credit Cards:

  • Can be used for either personal or business-related expenses
  • Report activity to consumer credit bureaus
  • Don’t help build a credit history for your business
  • Usually have lower credit limits than business cards
  • Focus their best rewards on consumer expenditures, such as spending on groceries or gas

How Do Small Businesses Use Business Credit Cards?

Our research of the small business community suggests that most entrepreneurs and business owners use business credit cards primarily to help manage cash flow. That is, they mostly depend on the card at times when they've incurred charges in order to provide goods and services but are yet to get paid by clients. They also appreciate, and even rely upon, leveraging business spending to earn card rewards.

Also important is the quality of customer service—particularly, how well issuers resolve complaints—since card fraud is a frequent headache for small businesses.

Lower in priority, say many businesses, is the card's interest rate, whether during introductory promotions or over the long term. In large part, that's because businesses are less inclined than consumers to carry balances from month to month. Business card clients, we observe, are also less sensitive than regular consumers to cards' annual fees and about meeting the spending requirements for a card's one-time bonus.

What Should You Consider Before Applying for a Business Credit Card?  

Before diving into the rich array of choices in business credit cards, take stock of some attributes of your enterprise and how well they align with the features and benefits of cards on the market. Here are some key considerations:

Credit Score: Issuers of business credit cards evaluate an enterprise’s creditworthiness just as they do for individuals who apply for consumer cards. If your business is at least a few years old, expect its business income and expenses to be evaluated as part of the issuer's approval process.

That said, a key data point for a new enterprise is likely to be the personal credit record of the principal owner. While standards vary by the card and issuer, approval for a business credit card generally demands good to excellent credit. That translates to a credit score of roughly 700 to 720 or better.

Rather than simply taking your chances on a card, it’s best before applying to research your current credit score or to go through a card-matching or pre-approval process. That exercise will provide a preliminary take on your likelihood of approval before you risk submitting a full application, which can reduce your credit score, albeit only slightly.

Business-Related Spending Patterns: The better you understand what you'll buy with a business card, and where, the better you can tailor the card you choose to your spending. Some business credit cards provide extra points, miles, or cash back for certain categories of spending, such as phone bills, shipping, or office supplies. Others offer discounts on purchases from specific business-focused retailers, such as Staples.

If your spending ranges too widely to suit a card that emphasizes specific categories or retailers, you can instead choose one that provides a set percentage of cash back or number of points or miles on all spending.

Ancillary Card Features and Benefits: Since businesses present a higher risk to lenders, interest rates on business cards tend to be a bit higher than for regular consumer cards. That said, rates do vary among business cards. If you anticipate carrying a balance, seek out a card with a lower APR or an initial period when purchases can be carried without interest. If you are already carrying business debt on another card, seek out cards with offers that allow balances to be transferred to the new card and carried at 0% APR for a period.

Some premium travel business cards offer luxe benefits such as airport lounge access and concierge services. These cards, though, tend to have steep annual fees. Assess carefully whether the card's extras merit the extra cost you'll likely pay. Unless you're a true road warrior, a card with few or no travel benefits and a small or no annual fee may be a better choice for your business.

What Are the Different Types of Business Credit Cards?

Credit cards for small businesses are as varied in type as their consumer counterparts. In fact, many consumer credit cards have a business-card sibling, typically with similar features and rewards.

As with personal cards, the choices in business cards run the gamut from no-frills/no-fee options to rewards cards with complex tiered rewards based on travel, airline, issuer, or hotel loyalty programs.

Here's a quick primer on the main card types available to small business owners:

Business airline credit cards: These cards offer rewards—usually in miles—for regular card spending, along with bonus miles for purchases from their co-branded airline. Miles earned with the card are pooled with those earned by flying. The cards may also offer benefits such as early boarding, a free checked bag, or discounts on in-flight purchases.

Pros
  • Ability to earn airline-specific miles on a favored carrier

  • Bonus miles usually offered for airline purchases and other travel-focused categories, like dining or hotels

  • Often confers elite status in the airline's frequent-flyer program

Cons
  • Annual fees are often high

  • Limited options for redeeming or transferring miles

Business hotel credit cards: Similar to their airline counterparts, these cards offer rewards—usually in points—for regular card spending, along with bonus miles for purchases from their co-branded hotel chain. Points earned with the card are pooled with those earned through hotel or resort stays.

Pros
  • Ability to earn bonus points at preferred hotel chain on hotel nights and other spending

  • Often confers elite status in the hotel's loyalty program

Cons
  • Annual fees can be high

  • Limited options for redeeming or transferring points

Business general travel credit cards: Branded to card issuers, rather than airlines or hotels, these rewards cards offer points or miles from the issuer that can be redeemed for travel through the issuer's rewards portal. Some provide automatic statement credits for travel-related purchases.

Pros
  • Certain cards offer exceptional benefits, like airline lounge access, priority boarding, and primary rental-car insurance.

  • Many cards offer bonus miles or points for spending in categories such as airfare, restaurants, and gas.

  • Some cards offer additional incentives, like bonus points multipliers, for booking travel through the issuer's reservation portal.

Cons
  • Annual fees are common.

  • No automatic elite status in an airline or hotel loyalty program, unlike with many cards that are co-branded with carriers or chains.

Business cash back credit cards: These offer a fixed percentage of cash back on all purchases, or in certain categories like restaurants, travel, and office supplies. Or often both.

Pros
  • Rewards are in the most usable of currencies—cash

  • No hassle of redeeming points or miles

  • Rewards value is clear and transparent

Cons
  • Few or no redemption options except cash

  • May provide lower rewards value than certain points and miles programs

Business non-rewards credit cards: As with the simplest consumer credit cards, some business cards have few or no rewards, discounts, or benefits. Such cards provide small businesses with basic credit card functionality, generally for no annual fee.

Business secured credit cards: A few national card issuers offer secured business cards aimed at those with no credit history or who are seeking to repair damaged credit. Like their consumer counterparts, these cards require a security deposit that the issuer holds in order to extend a credit line of equal value, and can often be upgraded to a non-secured card after a history of on-time payments.

Business General Travel Credit Cards vs. Business Airline Credit Cards and Hotel Credit Cards

Deciding between a general travel rewards credit card or one allied to a specific airline or hotel chain is a common dilemma for small businesses. While some small business owners have preferred airlines and hotel chains, others have no particular brand loyalty, and instead seek out the lowest ticket and room prices on every trip.

Choose between general and co-branded travel cards based on your priorities and past behavior. If you already have a significant number of miles or points accumulated with an issuer, carrier, or hotel chain, you might favor a card that allows you to continue earning those. If you have no such legacy, and no affinities to particular airlines or hotels, you may prefer to pass on partner-specific perks and status in favor of earning the more flexible rewards of a general travel card.

Business Travel Credit Cards vs. Business Cash Back Credit Cards

The key difference between business travel credit cards and business cash back credit cards is the type of “currency” they earn.

Business travel cards earn miles or points that can be used to redeem for free travel through certain card issuer reward platforms or, in the case of co-branded cards, with specific airlines or hotels.

By contrast, business cash back cards earn a percentage rebate on purchases, paid in the form of statement credits, gift cards, or a check directed to the small business owner. (Some supposed cash back cards actually earn “points” that are then converted to statement credits, gift cards, or checks on a penny per point basis.)

The types also differ in their annual fees. As a rule, business travel cards (whether general travel, airline, or hotel) have fees, and most business cash back cards do not. One exercise to help decide between a travel card with an annual fee and a no-fee cash back card is to calculate whether your yearly spending will generate enough value to fully offset the travel card's annual fee.

If the rewards are sufficient, and the card's extras contribute additional value for you, the travel card may be the better choice. However, you might favor a no-fee cash-back card if you're uncomfortable with paying for a card. That is especially the case if the fee for the card is on the high side and its benefits aren't especially compatible with your travel preferences and style.

How Do You Compare Business Travel Credit Cards?

As with assessing consumer travel cards against one another, it can be complex to compare the rewards and benefits of competing business travel credit cards. Here, to help simplify the task, is a rundown of the main attributes you should size up when deciding between business travel cards:

Annual membership fees: While several business travel credit cards charge no annual fee, those are the exception rather than the rule. When considering a card with a fee, it's helpful, naturally, if the rewards you expect to earn on a card over a year will fully offset the expense. But if it won't, consider how valuable—financially or in terms of comfort and convenience—the card's extras are to you. In other words, an annual fee shouldn’t necessarily be a deterrent to choosing a particular card. It should, however, be a key factor in your choice.

Rewards earning structure: Do the math based on your business spending patterns to see what you would likely earn each year relative to other types of cards in the category. Keep in mind, though, that the best-laid spending plans sometimes fall short, and there's a risk a card won't generate the rewards value you expected in a given year.

One-time bonus: With an airline or hotel card, determine what the bonus is worth, in either dollars or in free award flights or nights. You may also want to keep that value in mind when you consider the card's annual fee, since generous bonuses can help offset that cost, sometimes for years to come.

Foreign transaction fees: Most business travel rewards cards waive foreign transaction fees, which are usually 3% of the transaction value. However, some do not, which should be a major decision factor if your business travel often takes you outside the country.

Global acceptance: While Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are highly accepted at merchants around the world, American Express lags behind in its global footprint. However, the acceptance of all networks varies by country. If you're a frequent traveler to particular destinations, consult the acceptance maps on the networks' websites to confirm you'll be able to easily use the card at the places you visit.

Travel-related insurance: Business travel rewards cards can eliminate the need for employees to pay to insure various aspects of their trips. Important and useful insurance protections that many cards offer on a complimentary basis include coverage for trip cancellation/interruption, lost luggage or flight delays, and travel accidents. Most also offer rental-car insurance coverage, and select premium travel cards even offer coverage that's primary rather than secondary. (That is, it covers the cost of all damage to the car in a collision, rather than only expenses your own vehicle insurance won't reimburse.)

How Do You Choose the Best Business Travel Rewards Credit Card?

Ask yourself the following questions before deciding which travel rewards card best suits your goals and spending:

  • Can the spending requirements for the card's one-time bonuses be realistically met with expected business-related purchases?
  • Are you loyal to a particular bank card issuer (like Chase, Citi, Capital One, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo) because of an existing financial relationship, such as a savings, checking, or loan account, whether business or personal?
  • Are you loyal to a particular airline or hotel, and belong to their loyalty program? Have you a substantial number of points or miles in that account?
  • Is it important for you to keep spending in order to reach or maintain elite status in an airline or hotel loyalty program?
  • Do you plan or expect to travel to international destinations?
  • How important are certain special benefits like airport lounge access or primary rental-car insurance?
  • What's the maximum annual fee you're comfortable paying?

What Are Business Charge Cards?

Business charge cards are select cards issued by American Express (which also offers business credit cards) that don’t allow balances to be carried from month to month. Instead, each month’s charges must be paid in full on or before the statement due date. Business charge cards also lack the preset spending limits of credit cards, their APRs (since no balances are carried), and late fees (although fees can still ensue if a balance is left unpaid).

How Do You Build Business Credit?

When first starting a business, you must rely on your personal credit history to get a business credit card or any other type of credit for your venture. Over time, though, the business will build its own credit history and business credit score with the rating agencies that track business credit. You can help facilitate this process with the following steps:

  • Choose an initial form of business entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC)
  • Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) for IRS purposes
  • Apply for a Dun & Bradstreet (D-U-N-S) Number in order to register with the business credit agencies
  • Open a business-specific checking/savings account with a bank or credit union
  • Apply for, and responsibly use, a small business credit card—including always making on-time payments
  • Avoid making personal expenditures with that business credit card

What Are the Types of Business Credit Score?

Two types of business credit scores should be monitored if you plan to apply for business loans in the future: Experian’s Intelliscore Plus score and Dun & Bradstreet’s Paydex score. Both have score ranges of 0 to 100.

Intelliscore Plus: Scores of 76 or higher are considered good to excellent.

Paydex: Scores of 80 or higher are considered good to excellent.

How Do You Optimize Business Credit Card Rewards? 

Whether you get a business credit card or a separate personal card for your business expenses, you'll maximize rewards by choosing a card that's well-matched to your anticipated spending. If you are an Uber driver, for example, first consider a card that offers bonus rewards for gasoline and other driving expenses such as tolls. Alternatively, if you're mostly office-bound, find a card that provides discounts or bonus rewards on your leading business expenses—shipping or office supplies, for instance.

Another strategy for making the most from cards is to get a number of them, each rewarding different categories of business spending with their richest rewards. That way, you'll optimize your rewards on almost any purchase you make. Some who are adept at this strategy even affix a label to each reward card that lists its premium spending categories.

With all that's involved in starting a business, the rewards you'll earn from credit cards probably won't be your first concern. But they should receive some of your attention. Over time, the value of card rewards and perks can provide a nice bonus for yourself or to reinvest back into your business. Card use also helps build a credit profile for your venture. Assuming that track record is positive, it will help you secure even-better cards along with further forms of credit, such as small business loans.

How We Chose the Best Business Credit Cards

We constantly monitor credit card offers from card-issuer websites and publicly available sources to find the best business credit cards for our readers. Each credit card is evaluated based on its fees, rewards, welcome bonuses, introductory offers, features, and benefits so that we can determine a winner for each category. Card issuers update their cards on a regular basis and, when that happens, we update our card listings, reviews, and recommendations so our readers have the most reliable information and advice.

MEET OUR CREDIT CARDS EXPERT

Ben Woolsey is Investopedia's Senior Editor for Credit Cards. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including marketing for banking and financial institutions such as Associates First Capital and Bank One. Prior to Investopedia, he managed credit card content for CreditCards.com and Bankrate.com.