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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

How to Choose a Business Credit Card

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

As a small business owner, odds are there’s a lot on your plate. You have to deal with customers, employees, vendors, bills and more, to keep things up and running. Using a personal credit card for business expenses isn’t the wisest choice in the long-run and can lead to headaches come tax season.

That’s where a business credit card can be a great asset by simplifying your purchasing and bill paying. You can earn rewards, benefit from special financing and various protections and track employee spending if you choose to add employee cards.

We’ll review the basics of business credit cards and the key features you should consider before choosing one.

1. Understand how business credit cards work

Before deciding to apply for a card, you should familiarize yourself with several key characteristics of business cards:

Personal liability. In most cases, you — as the business owner — are personally liable for any charges made on your business card account. That includes charges employees make on the account.

Less protections than personal cards. Purchases you make with a business card are not protected under the laws of the CARD Act, so you may see sudden rate increases without notice or shortened grace periods. As a result, it’s very important to pay on time and in full every month.

Charge card vs. credit card. There are two types of business cards: charge cards and credit cards. A charge card has no preset spending limit (though that doesn’t mean unlimited spending) and you’re required to pay your balance in full each month. Meanwhile, a credit card has a preset spending limit, but allows you to carry a balance month-to-month, with interest. It’s also important to note business charge cards don’t offer introductory 0% APRs, while business credit cards do.

Employee cards. One of the main perks of a business card is the ability to streamline spending across your business. You can open multiple employee cards to help you track spending and avoid reimbursing them for business charges made on personal cards. Plus, most business cards provide employee cards at no additional cost. Just remember, you’re responsible for all charges employees make on your account, so have clear charging policies in place as well as procedures to review all employee card purchases.

2. Review your business’s spending habits

The next step is to evaluate your business’s spending habits. Look over your books from the past year to pinpoint common operating costs. Once you identify a repeating spending categories, you can search for a business card that will reward you for those purchases. For example:

Does my business require frequent travel? If yes, it can be a good idea to consider a card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee and rewards travel spending, such as the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.

Disclosures |
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99%-20.99% Variable
$95
Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 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
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Do I entertain clients at restaurants? Consider a card that rewards dining purchases, such as the American Express® Business Gold Card. Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month*.

Disclosures |
American Express® Business Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
14.24% - 22.24% Variable
$295
Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month—or pay over time with interest.*
  • *Terms Apply
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Is driving a big part of the day-to-day of my business? A card with higher rewards for gas purchases may help offset the cost, when cash back is redeemed as a statement credit. The Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining purchases and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. You'll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.

Do I spend on typical business purchases, such as at social media and internet advertising? Once again, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers a high cash back rate for this type of spending. Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.

Unclear spending habits? A flat-rate cashback card may be the answer. If your business’ needs are constantly changing and you can’t find specific categories that you spend in, a business card offering a straightforward cashback program can be a good choice. The Capital One Spark Cash Plus offers 2% cash back on every purchase.

Disclosures |
Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Capital One Spark Cash Plus
on Capital One's secure site
N/A
N/A
$150
2% Cash Back on every purchase
  • Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions
  • Earn an annual $200 cash bonus every year you spend $200,000 or more
  • Comes with no preset spending limit, so it can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment history and credit profile
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Add employee cards for free, and earn unlimited 2% cash back from their purchases
  • $150 annual fee
  • Spark Cash Plus has no APR because your balance is due in full every month
700 700

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

3. Consider added perks

Business cards can provide a wide range of benefits beyond streamlining business spending and earning rewards. Many of the best business cards have special financing offers, spending management tools, purchase protections and more. Here are some perks to consider when comparing business cards:

Free employee cards. It’s fairly common for a business card to offer employee cards at no additional cost, but just check the terms before you choose a card, since some premium business cards may charge a fee for employee cards.

Special financing. Many business credit cards offer intro 0% APR periods on new purchases that typically range from nine to 15 months. During this time period, you can carry a balance without incurring interest charges. If you need to make expensive purchases, such as laptops, printers or office furniture, choosing a card with a special financing period can be a great asset.

Spend management tools. Business cards often offer a suite of perks that make it easy to track spending. Some spending management tools include quarterly and year-end summaries, itemized receipts, the ability to export transactions to Excel or other accounting software and more.

Purchase protection and insurance. The additional benefits provided by business cards can provide you with added protection for unexpected events that would typically require out-of-pocket costs. Look out for business cards that offer purchase protection, extended warranty protection, travel insurance, auto rental damage collision insurance and more.

Airline fee credits. Select premium business cards offer the coveted airline fee credit, but beware that these cards typically come with steep annual fees. For example, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers an annual airline fee credit of up to $200 (terms apply), but has a $595 (10/14-1/12/22) annual fee. While the added perks of this card can outweigh the annual fee, do the math to make sure.

Disclosures |
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
See Pay Over Time APR
14.24% - 22.24% Variable
$595 (10/14-1/12/22)
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, 0% Intro APR for 12 months from the date of the account opening on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time. After that, your APR will be 14.24% to 22.24% based on your credit worthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Earn 1.5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else. Cap applies. 
  • Unlock over $1,000 in value per year for statement credits on select purchases with your Card, including up to $400 with Dell Technologies, up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • Access to more than 1,300 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting with The American Express Global Lounge Collection®. More lounge options than any other credit card on the market as of 8/2020.
  • $595 Annual Fee ($695 if application is received on or after 01/13/2022).
  • Terms Apply.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

The bottom line

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics of how business cards work and what they have to offer, you should be ready to choose a card. We’ve rounded up the best small business credit cards in several categories from travel and cashback rewards, to luxury benefits and borrowing, that can help your business streamline spending and save on everyday purchases.