Best Credit and Charge Cards for Small Businesses and Startups – 2016

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Editor's Best Card Picks

Jan 07, 2015 | Updated Jul 13, 2016

The cards on this page have been chosen from the widest possible selection of cards that we could find when the page was last updated on July 13, 2016. Although Credit Card Insider does receive compensation from some card issuers as advertisers, this does not in any way influence our choice of cards or the order that cards appear on the page. We have attempted to determine the best cards in this category, regardless of our advertising relationship with the issuers.

Learn more about how we rate credit and charge cards.

Small businesses benefit from credit cards in many of the same ways that an individual does, like being able to pay large purchases off over time, getting discounts on frequent purchases and travel, or gaining access to exclusive deals and events. Credit cards for LLC’s can be a great way to provide funding and certain protections, but there are some ways that business cards differ from personal cards.

Learn more about the differences between business credit cards and personal credit cards

3 Things to Know about Business Credit Cards

  • Business credit cards do not benefit from the protections of the CARD Act, which include mandatory grace periods and restrictions on fees
  • Business credit cards do NOT necessarily help your business credit. Learn more about how to build credit as a business here
  • Delinquencies on a business credit card can negatively impact your personal credit

Be aware of these differences when choosing and using business credit cards, and know how the cards you use are reported to the credit scoring agencies.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

Best for Small Business Advertising, Computing, Shipping Expenses

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a charge card, and provides a number of benefits to business owners.

Cardholders earn 3 points for every dollar spent on the category of their choice, and then 2 points in all of the other categories. The categories are:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Advertising in select media
  • Shipping costs
  • Purchases at gas stations
  • Direct purchases of selected computer hardware, software, and cloud computing services

These points (3x and 2x) are awarded for the first $100,000 spent in each category. 1 point is provided for all other purchases.

Take note that this is a charge card; learn how charge cards differ from credit cards

This card also comes with a number of benefits and insurance for shopping and traveling. Additional cards can be issued for a $50 fee after the first year, which will only apply to the first additional card.

American Express also provides several business-specific services, such as the ReceiptMatchSM with QuickBooks® program to make expense tracking easier, account spending alerts, a dispute resolution service, and access to the OPEN Forum®, a community for small business owners to exchange experiences and skills.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $175 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Quick Card Facts
  • Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • Redeem points for everyday business expenses, to help with travel costs or to reward employees and entertain clients
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • New: No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply

Chase Ink Plus® Business Card

Best for Small Business Travel and Office Expenses

The Chase Ink Plus® Business Card is similar to the Chase Ink Cash above but it was designed with frequent travelers in mind, providing rewards in the form of points instead of cash back.

5 points are earned for the same types of purchases outlined above (office supply stores, and phone, internet, and cable TV services) but this offer is good for up to $50,000 each year, twice that of the Ink Cash card. 2 points are earned for purchases of gas and at restaurants, up to $50,000, and 1 point is earned for all other purchases.

Points can be redeemed for statement credits but also for travel expenses, where they can be used directly or transferred to a number of frequent flyer programs. Cardholders also get 20% off travel expenses when using Chase Ultimate Rewards, will receive certain shopping and travel protections.

This card is also embedded with Chip-and-Signature technology, making it more secure and usable with more merchants abroad.

Chase Ink Plus® Business Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 15.49% - 19.49% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases-with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • Free employee cards
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

The information for Chase Ink Plus® Business Card has been collected independently by Credit Card Insider. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Best for All-Around Small Business Spending

The Capital One® Spark Cash for Business credit card doesn’t offer the same type of rewards as the previous cards.

Instead, it provides 2% cash back for every purchase with no annual limit, as well as the potential to earn $500 in bonus cash in the first 3 months (for spending $4,500 on purchases). Cash back doesn’t expire and can be redeemed at any time.

There’s no annual fee for the first year, but after that it is $59.

The APR is 16.9% (Variable).

There are no foreign transaction fees, and employee cards can be issued with individual limits.

A number of business benefits are available from Capital One and Visa, including $0 fraud liability, downloadable purchase records, travel and emergency assistance, and special discounts at certain retailers.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $59 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 17.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 2% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Cash rewards don't expire, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • Redeem cash rewards anytime, for any amount, even set up automatic redemption
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited cash rewards that don't expire
Looking for more? Check out our Business Credit Cards section

Applying For A Small Business Credit Card

Want to apply for these cards or learn more? Just click the name below.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $175 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Quick Card Facts
  • Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • Redeem points for everyday business expenses, to help with travel costs or to reward employees and entertain clients
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • New: No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply

Chase Ink Plus® Business Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 15.49% - 19.49% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases-with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • Free employee cards
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

The information for Chase Ink Plus® Business Card has been collected independently by Credit Card Insider. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $59 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 17.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 2% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Cash rewards don't expire, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • Redeem cash rewards anytime, for any amount, even set up automatic redemption
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited cash rewards that don't expire
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