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The best business credit cards in September 2019

best business credit cards
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If you run a business then a credit card is a great way to help cash flow freely. But finding the best credit card for business is a job in itself. Thankfully you've found us and we've done the work for you already. 

Credit cards are ideal for smaller businesses that haven't yet built enough of a business credit profile to claim a corporate credit card. These cards can help you build a credit history while keeping business expenses separate from personal - and racking up some added bonuses along the way.

These cards allow businesses access to credit in order to pay for purchases, manage spending better and save money in the long run. You'll recognise some big names who offer top credit options including Chase, American Express and Capital One, to name but a few. But with each offering a different type of card, and each of those offering specific benefits, there's likely a perfect business credit card for you. We've narrowed down the list to the best of the best so you can find your perfect credit card for your specific business.

TechRadar has partnered with The Points Guy Affiliate Network for our coverage of credit products. TechRadar and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Top 5 best business credit cards in the US today

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
$2,000 bonus value* | $595 annual fee
American Express leads the way in our list of recommended best business credit cards. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 on all qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. You just need to watch that beefy annual fee.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
$1,600 bonus value* | $95 annual fee
This is a really tempting credit card if you're a small business owner - the reasons are many. It starts with the meaty 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months - estimated to be worth $1,600. And there are plenty more points to be earned when you spend on travel, taxis, shipping, internet, phone services, advertising...the list goes on!

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
$700 bonus value* | $95 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months)
Looking for a card to keep you topped up with air miles? Well this Capital One business credit card offers 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account - that equates to $500 in travel. You also get 2x miles on every purchase with your card with no blackouts or seat restrictions and no minimum to redeem.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
$800 bonus value* | $125 annual fee
This could be a great option if your business takes you from Marriott hotel to Marriott hotel. You can earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points if you spend spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. On top of that, there's 6x points available for every dollar of eligible purchases spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 4x for money spent in participating restaurants and gas stations in the US.

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
$500 bonus value | $0 annual fee
Another entry on the list from Chase, but this time with absolutely no annual fee - so ideal if you're not sure whether you'll really end up using it that much. It makes for a great cashback credit card as there's $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening and then unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase made for your business thereafter.

* Bonus value is based on valuations from The Points Guy 

Business credit card FAQ

What are business credit cards?

Business credit cards are very much like regular credit cards only – you guessed it – these are designed for business. So while that will help you building a credit rating for your company, it will also offer a safety buffer that separates work cash flow and your own personal credit history.

There are lots of perks that can help you save money in the long run while still growing that credit rating. Of course you also have the cover of spending with a credit card which can help keep your business spending secure. This is also a great and safe way to help spread cashflow to employees without too much red tape getting in the way.

Do I really need a business credit card?

The reason you need to ask this question first above any other is because there is risk involved here. Credit cards are loans and you need to pay them back or you could get further into debt. So make sure you have a reliable source of income so that you can afford to pay back your credit cards on time so you don't end up paying extra fees and end up sliding down a spiral of debt.

If you're happy that a credit card is for you then perhaps consider why this is better than, say, a bank loan. Credit cards are helpful for quick and easy payments making them great for businesses that need to make regular purchases. Equally they offer lots of benefits like points for flights, hotels and fuel. So if your staff do a fair amount of travelling you might actually be able to save money by using a credit card to pay for the business travel essentials. With some cards offering benefits like lounge access they could also help make those trips far more comfortable, too.

Some cards even offer benefits like access to work rental spaces, so if this is also on your shopping list then perhaps a credit card could work well for you. 

Ultimately, business cards will help you build a credit history with the bank allowing you access to further funds in the long run. This could be all part of your longer term business plan so getting the best credit card to maximise your goal outcomes is key.

How do business credit cards work?

Much like regular products (and you can head to our list of the best credit cards for personal use here), business cards can be used in person, online, over the phone, online and so on. Since you can get multiple cards in some cases, this allows you to give cards out to your employees for easier spending.

Since there are lots of credit card options you will need to find the best one to suit your needs. That could be one that is great for frequent flyers, or perhaps regular hotel users, or big spenders in a short space of time.

Business credit cards will have rates to pay if you don't pay off in time. Others might have a fee for the right, so you'll need to take that charge into account also.

How do I get a business credit card?

You don't have to be a bustling business to apply for a business credit card - any type of business could qualify you for one. So anything from an online business or baby sitting service to a freelance writer or handy-man. You will need a few things in order to apply however, including:

  • An EIN or SSN
  • Basic business information. like name and type
  • Personal information, like social security number
  • A personal guarantee. So if the business fails and there is outstanding debt it's that personal account that will need to pay it off

Some tips of standing the best chance of getting a business credit card include:

  • Pay off debt
  • List your income
  • Build your personal credit score
  • Be honest
  • Start a relationship with the bank

Business credit cards: what else should I consider

Make sure that you know the fees a card is charging. You might jump on a certain perk or benefit but in the long run may not save money if the fees end up costing you more than you earn back. Paying off the card in time each month is one way to help avoid paying extra fees.

Up front costs are another issue you need to consider. While it may cost you more up front, that could be offset against the longer term savings so be sure to do the math on this.

Read the smaller print benefits as some cards will help with everyday expenses and others will not, so be sure to assess what you're spending on.

How are these business credit cards ranked?

Lots of criteria are taken into consideration when creating the list of the very best business credit cards. The many cards out there are analyzed and within those take into consideration factors like reward rates, fees, security, sign-up bonuses, reward types, perks, credit needed, application ease and plenty more.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.