The 3 Best Small Business Credit Cards for Earning Cash Back

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The 3 Best Small Business Credit Cards for Earning Cash Back

I’ve been a business owner for nearly 6 years and in that time I’ve learned the importance of cash flow and running a lean business. So today I’m sharing the best small business credit cards for earning cash back.

It’s the best way to maximize all the money you spend investing in your small business. I mean, you work hard for our money!

You deserve to make the most of business expenses by earning cash back on all your purchases.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

I’ve been a long-time customer of Capital One for many years (like back in 2008 — yes, I’m a money nerd). I have multiple savings accounts with Capital One 360. I also have a business bank account with Capital One Spark Business.

Needless to say, the Spark Cash for Business credit card is going to be at the top of this list.

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card offers a lot of amazing features that you as a business owner will find useful. For one, you can earn $500 bonus cash after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months of opening your account.

All purchases yield unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases (up from 1.5% cash back for the Capital One Quicksilver personal credit card).

The nice thing about this card is that there are no rotating categories to keep track of. You simply earn a flat 2% cash back on everything you buy for your business.

Last year I earned a whopping $383.20 cash back on purchases I made for my business. I cashed it in for a statement credit (you can also request a deposit into your bank account), and then I put the savings towards buying a new laptop.

Score!

And the great thing is that the amount of cash back you can earn is unlimited and the rewards never expire. Right now, Capital One Spark Cash for Business is waiving the annual fee for the first year. This normally costs $59 so that’s a big savings. Still, this isn’t a bad annual fee for a small business credit card.

Click here to try the Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card for yourself.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Before I started using Capital One for my business banking I was a customer of Chase. In fact, I still have a credit card and savings account with Chase that I use specifically for business purposes (like paying estimated taxes).

Chase offers a wide variety of credit cards that can all be linked into the Ultimate Rewards portal. So it doesn’t matter how you earn points! Your rewards can be combined and cashed in for various airlines, travel, gift cards or items you want to purchase on Amazon.

In contrast to the Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card the Chase Ink Business Cash card offers a tiered cash-back earning system. This is a bit more complicated and requires a bit more thinking to keep track of, but could be worth the extra effort.

With the Chase Ink Business Cash card you’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores, cell phones, landline, internet and cable TV services.

You’ll also get 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants with 1% cash back earned on all other purchases.

The good news though is that there’s no limit on the amount you can earn. And there’s no annual fee for being a card member. So what have you got to lose?

Click here to try the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card and watch your rewards grow.

American Express SimplyCash Plus Business

American Express SimplyCash Plus Business

The American Express SimplyCash Plus Business credit card kind of mixes the other two credit cards into a great alternative. You get the perks of a cash back card that allows you to pick your preferred cash back category, all without paying an annual fee.

Let’s say you spend the majority of your small business expenses on office supplies and shipping costs. You can choose the postage and shipping category to start earning 3% cashback on all related purchases.

On top of this you’ll earn 5% cashback on wireless telephone services and at office supply stores within the U.S. I don’t know about you, but these are some of the categories where I have the highest business spending and definitely want to capitalize on the purchases.

Still not sold? Well the real reason that I like American Express’ family of products is that they work seamlessly with QuickBooks. You can connect your QuickBooks Self-Employed account and import transactions that are made with your American Express SimplyCash Plus Business credit card.

And if that’s not enough of an incentive, you’ll earn a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 in qualifying purchases within the first 6 months of opening your account. And there’s no annual fee. None. Zip.

Click here to try the American Express SimplyCash Plus Business credit card for your small business.

Getting the most of your small business credit card

Now, I’m not always big supporter of relying on credit cards to run a business as it’s easy to get into debt. But I do now that cash flow is an important part of keeping a small business up-and-running and a credit card can help with this.

To that end, here are four tips for getting the most out of your small business credit card and avoiding too much debt.

1. Pay attention to caps on rewards and points

Credit card companies are always changing and updating their terms, so it’s hard to keep up with the new rules.

But that isn’t an excuse for you to avoid paying attention to the fine print and updating yourself on any recent changes — in fact it should become more of an incentive.

Of course they’re in the business to make money, which means they often have to cap the amount of rewards and points you can accumulate within a given period. But most of the time the rewards are still a pretty decent deal, you just gotta sure you’re aware of any limits.

2. Beware of the pros and cons

Using a small business credit card has pros and cons. This also applies to using any type of credit card or line of credit.

But in some cases they can be helpful in protecting your personal assets, organizing your business transactions and assist in keeping a solid record.

Not all credit cards are created equal. So take time and sift through small business credit card offers to find the one that’s the best fit for your business (or not).

The 3 Best Small Business Credit Cards for Earning Cash Back

3. Don’t let your cash back rewards expire

As you can see, most credit cards advertise that points never expire. But the majority of these programs do have a time limit on redemption — typically 36 months or less.

Make sure you understand when your points, miles, or cash back will expire. And that you don’t wait until last minute to cash them in.

It takes a long time to rack up a good amount of points, and you don’t want to lose them because you weren’t paying attention to the expiration date.

4. Avoid misleading “pre-approved” offers

Credit card offers can vary widely and may be disguised as something better than they actually are. I know you’ve seen this before, when you get a credit card offer in the mail saying you’re “pre-approved” for a new credit card.

However, being “pre-approved” doesn’t actually mean you’ll get approved for the card. In fact, it doesn’t mean much of anything. You’ll still have to go through the approval process, apply for the card and wait to accepted or rejected.

Don’t be swayed to choose a card just because of it’s “exclusive” special offer since it’s most likely a sneaky way of tricking you to sign up.

Is a small business credit card right for you?

Small business credit cards can sometimes not be the best idea. This of course, depends on the type of business you run and how responsibly you use the card. However, if you’re looking for the best small business credit cards, consider these options!

If you know what to avoid and handle them wisely, they can be used to help your business run better! It’s just a matter of being smart with them, comparing the best small business credit cards for your business and using them wisely.

12 comments

  1. Modest Money says:

    Wow I didn’t realize the card act didn’t apply to business credit cards and I bet most other people didn’t know this either.  Leave it up to sneaky credit card companies to exploit those kinds of loopholes.  I just wonder why they weren’t included in the act.  Why would they decide that consumers need to be protected, but not those operating a business?

    • Carrie Smith says:

      I was wondering the same thing. I don’t know if they purposefully left out businesses or if card companies just found a sneaky way around and exploited it. I didn’t know some of these risks, and I’m sure other small business owners/entrepreneurs didn’t realize it either.

  2. Kevin Yu says:

    I like to think about business credit cards as personal credit cards in disguise.  Almost every single time you have to personally guarantee it, unless your business has been operating for atleast 3+ years typically.  Might be two, but point is, it’s dangeorus! 

  3. This is a great post and a good word of caution to small business owners. I guess the biggest takeaway is to not get a card with a credit limit higher than you could personally pay off if  you had to do so personally. My fiancee is starting a business, and has a business credit card. The limit is low, far lower than any of my debts, and they only use it to purchase supplies for jobs before they get paid. Business credit cards are just like personal credit cards, they need to be used responsibly.

  4. I agree with the previous comments concerning responsability.  Only get business cards if your personal cards are under control. Otherwise you will just be getting in deeper.

  5. Shawanda says:

    You’re not selling me on business cards. (Not that that’s your objective.) I’m trying to figure out what would be the purpose of having one. Why not just use a personal credit card if you’re going to be liable for it anyway?

    • Carrie Smith says:

      That’s what I’m doing Shawanda, using my personal card – which is tied to a separate account – to pay for business expenses. To me it’s easier and has the same benefits.

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