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- If you’re a business owner or you do some freelancing on the side, it helps to keep your personal and work-related expenses separate.
- Luckily, there are plenty of great small-business credit cards — many of which offer bonus rewards or cash back on categories like office supplies and travel.
- If you prefer earning cash back, the Ink Business Cash℠ credit card and the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business are among the top options to consider.
- If you want to see regular cash-back credit cards, see Business Insider’s list of the best options here.
If you have a business, or even if you have a freelancing gig that you do on the side, using separate credit cards to keep your business and personal expenses separate will streamline your finances and save you some headaches when it comes time to prepare your taxes.
When it comes to business credit cards, there are a lot of great options out there, which makes it difficult to choose “the right one.” Business owners who don’t want to think about maximizing points and deciding between hotel points vs. airline miles might find cash back to be the best value.
Cash back is simple and you can use your rewards for virtually anything you want. If that sounds good to you, here are the four best business credit cards for earning maximum cash back.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
13.24%–19.24% variable APR
- The information related to the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card
- Earn $500 in bonus cash back when you spend $3,000 on your card within the first three months
- Earn 5% back on up to $25,000 spent at office supply stores and internet, cable, and phone services combined each year, 2% back on $25,000 in combined spending at restaurants and gas stations each year, and 1% back on everything else
- Redemption options: Cash in rewards for gift cards statement credits, merchandise, and travel
- Broad 5% and 2% cash-back categories (you can earn bonus cash back at office supply stores and at gas stations and restaurants)
- Intro APR offer for purchases
- No annual fee
- You can pair this card with a card that earns Ultimate Rewards to redeem your cash back for travel
- Annual cap on bonus categories
Annual fee: $0
The Ink Business Cash card from Chase has several things going for it that earn this top ranking. To start, the card offers a $500 welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months after account opening. That’s pretty solid for a cash back card with no annual fee.
Beyond the welcome bonus, cardholders earn 5% cash back on the fist $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phones services every account anniversary year (then 1%). Additionally, the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants earns 2% cash back every year (then 1%).
These are pretty lucrative categories for many business owners. If you want extra employee cards to help you earn even more rewards, there’s no additional fee for that.
Annual fee: $0
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has no annual fee and offers a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening. But what makes this such a great cash-back business credit card is that it earns 2% on dining and 3% in one of the following categories (you get to choose which):
- Gas stations
- Office supply stores
- TV/telecom and wireless
- Computer services or business consulting services
Bonus cash back on the above spending categories is limited to the first $50,000 in combined purchases every calendar year. You can switch your 3% bonus category on a monthly basis. All other purchases earn 1% cash back, which is fairly standard.
What makes the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card potentially lucrative is that if you’re a preferred Business Platinum Honors member in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you’ll get 75% more cash back.
For example, if you manage to earn $1,000 worth of cash back in a year, Bank of America will give you a $750 bonus. That’s incredibly generous, especially considering you can easily change your bonus categories on a monthly basis to ensure you’re earning the most rewards possible.
13.24% to 19.24% variable APR
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from account opening
- Good choice for earning 2% cash back on all your purchases up to $50,000 a year
- Intro APR offer
- No annual fee
- If your business spends more than $50,000 a year, you’ll want to use a different card to earn bonus cash back once you meet that threshold
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express is a great choice if you value simplicity. The card earns has no annual fee and offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year. After you hit that threshold, you’ll earn 1% cash back.
While it lacks a welcome bonus, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has a unique feature that could be worth more: Amex Offers. Amex Offers is an exclusive American Express cardholder benefit that consists of cash-back and statement-credit offers at popular merchants like Adidas, J. Crew, and Macy’s. These include retailers, travel merchants, and even insurance and utility companies.
Read more: The best Amex Offers available now
I once saved over $440 in a single month from statement credits through Amex Offers — that’s higher than the welcome bonus on the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card. The Blue Business Cash card can be a great way to earn lots of rewards and score substantial discounts on necessary business expenses.
$0 intro for the first year, $95 after that
20.99% variable APR
$500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
- Unlimited 2% cash back and you could be putting thousands of dollars back into your business. Redeem at any time with no minimums
- One-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Add employee cards for free and earn all the rewards from their purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Download your purchase records quickly and securely to multiple formats including Quicken®, Quickbooks™ and Excel®
- 2% cash back on every purchase with no cap
- Annual fee waived the first year
- Other cards can get you higher cash-back rates, but only in bonus categories or on a capped amount each year
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all spending, offers free employee cards and a $500 welcome bonus after you spend $4,500 in the first three months after account opening. So why is it the last card on this list? For starters, the spending requirement is quite high for a $500 bonus. The Ink Business Cash℠ credit card requires just $3,000 to be spent for the same amount.
Another downside of this card is that while the annual fee is $0 during the first year, it goes up to $95 after that. Paying $95 per year for a 2% cash-back card isn’t ideal, especially since the Amex Blue Business Cash card offers the same rewards without an annual fee.
Some business owners may prefer this over the Blue Business Cash card for a pretty valuable benefit: Auto rental damage waiver. Essentially, this provides primary coverage for your rental car in case of an accident or theft. For those who travel often for business, the savings from declining this coverage at the rental car desk can be worth the $95 annual fee.
If you’re looking to earn maximum cash back, the best business card for you ultimately depends on your spending patterns. If you have substantial expenses that fall into the office supply store, internet, cable, and phone services categories then the Ink Business Cash℠ credit card‘s 5% category bonus is tough to beat.
If you want more flexibility to choose your bonus category based on varying spending patterns, then the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards card could be your best bet. For those who don’t like to think about category bonuses and just want to earn a generous flat cash back rate across the board, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card or the Spark® Cash from Capital One® could make the most sense.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.