Best Business Credit Cards For Young Professionals


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If you’ve started a business, you may be wondering whether you need a business credit card, and, if you do, which one.

The difference between a personal card and a business card is not terribly large. You’re still liable for any charges put on the card; if you’re operating as a sole proprietorship, it’s still going to be your Social Security number they ask for.

The best cards for business aren’t necessarily business credit cards

Nor are business cards the best answer for everyone. Unlike personal cards, they don’t fall under the aegis of the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act, which was passed in 2009 by Elizabeth Warren to protect borrowers from predatory practices. This means that banks can still arbitrarily increase your interest rate on a business card. (Under the CARD Act, interest rates on personal cards can only be increased if a borrower has missed two consecutive payments, and those rates cannot be applied retroactively. Borrowers must be given 45 days notice of any rate increase.)

For this reason alone, business cards aren’t a good option if you need to carry a balance. And they certainly aren’t a good way to finance your business. Their interest rates, on average, tend to be higher than those for personal cards (the current average is 16 percent), and, without CARD act protection, those rates can jump at any time and for almost any reason. Credit cards should be a last resort for financing, and, if you have no other choice, then you should pick a personal card with a long introductory period of 0 percent APR.

That said, there are some good cards out there that could help you earn cash back or travel rewards for just paying your bills.

Capital One Spark Cash For Business

  • 2 percent cash back on all purchases with no maximums
  • $95 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • $500 credit for spending $4,500 in your first three months
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Capital One Spark Cash For Business has gotten good reviews for its simple terms: 2 percent cash back on everything, and with no limits. With other cards, reviewers complained that they easily hit the maximum amount allowed for certain points categories, after which cash back rates reverted to a measly 1 percent. That won’t happen with this card.

This offer requires Excellent/Good credit.

    Card Highlights

    • Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
    • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
    • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
    • View Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business details and how to apply »

Bank of America Cash Rewards For Business MasterCard

  • Introductory 0 percent APR for the first nine billing cycles
  • 2 percent cash back on restaurants, 3 percent cash back on office supply stores and gas stations (up to $250,000), and 1 percent back on everything else
  • $200 statement credit bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 60 days of your account opening
  • No annual fee
  • 3 percent foreign transaction fee

Bank of America is the only card issuer we found to voluntarily extend CARD protections to its business credit cards. It also comes with a high maximum on its rewards categories ($250,000, which is about 2.5 to 5 times what some competitors offer), and no annual fee. That said, it has no fancy sign-up bonus, and does have a foreign transaction fee. But if you want to know that your interest rate won’t suddenly shoot up, and you balk at an annual fee, then this is a nice cash back card.

Chase Ink Plus Business Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5 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 2 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
  • $95 annual fee

This card might be best suited for the traveler, or someone who’s already invested in the Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem. The tradeoffs are pretty obvious: an annual fee, a mid-range APR, and limits to points categories in exchange for a sweet sign-up bonus and no foreign transaction fees. The complaints I’ve seen about this card are that it’s relatively easy to hit the category maximums if you’re a business of any size, and then you’re stuck with one point returns for the rest of the year. Chase, unlike Bank of America, hasn’t extended CARD protections and I saw users who complained of rising APRs.

That said, if you’re a smaller business, and don’t expect to hit those maximums too quickly (or at all), the points are undoubtedly generous. And if you pay your balance off in full every month, a higher interest rate won’t be a concern.

The information related to the Chase Ink Plus credit card has been collected by Money Under 30 and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best cards for financing (if you absolutely HAVE to do it)

Now, if you’re an entrepreneur who simply has no other financing options, and is going to have to use credit cards for some of your startup capital, then it’s best to go with a personal card with a long introductory period and a low, low rate.

Citi Diamond Preferred

  • Introductory 0 percent APR for 21 months
  • No annual fee
  • No sign-up bonus
  • No rewards
  • 3 percent foreign transaction fee

This card has literally no frills, and is only really useful if you’re looking for a way to carry some debt without drowning in interest. Use it, pay it off, and then get a different card for your expenses.

BankAmericard® credit card

  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 18 months
  • No annual fee
  • No sign-up bonus
  • No rewards

The BankAmericard® credit card doesn’t offer rewards, either, but has a competitive intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. If you’re currently paying interest on another credit card balance, the card has 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days.

BankAmericard® credit card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • NEW OFFER: 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.99% – 24.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR on purchases 18 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days 18 billing cycles 14.99% – 24.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers $0

Best card to earn rewards on your reimbursable expenses

Now, let’s say you’re not an actual business owner, but rather someone who incurs business expenses regularly—for trips to conferences, or as a member of a sales team—and is later reimbursed by your company.  Using the right card for those expenses could net you a ton of rewards, all essentially free.

The best card will be the one that rewards the categories you use the most and whose points can be used for the stuff you want the most. For someone who flies by plane, train, and automobile, and who finds themselves eating out at restaurants and staying in hotel rooms, the Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you two points back on each dollar spent on travel (including airfare, rental cars, hotels, parking garages) and dining, and one point on each dollar spent on anything else.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
  • Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader

Chase Sapphire Preferred is really big with the travel hacking set, like The Points Guy. The tradeoffs here, as with every card, are obvious: an annual fee and a relatively high APR in exchange for generous rewards and a great sign-up bonus. Great for people who fly a lot for work, and would like to use their points to fly for pleasure.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Credit Needed: Excellent Credit
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card’ by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
N/A N/A N/A N/A 17.74% – 24.74% Variable $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

Best cards with no annual fee

Chase Freedom Card

  • Earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases — it’s automatic
  • 0 percent Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Balance transfer fee is 5 percent of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No Annual Fee

This is a good card if you don’t mind keeping track of what categories are earning bonus points that quarter, or if you don’t care about bonus rewards and are happy with one point on each dollar spent.

Chase Freedom®

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0% 15 months 0% 15 months 16.74% – 25.49% Variable $0

Capital One® Quicksilver® Card–0% Intro APR for 15 Months

  • Introductory 0 percent APR for 15 months, the regular APR will apply after that
  • No annual fee
  • 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, with no limit
  • $150 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in three months

This card is good if you don’t want to bother with categories, and you want to get a little bit more bang for each additional buck you spend.

Alternatives to business credit cards

If a business card isn’t right for you, there are many other cards on the market that offer attractive rewards packages.

Finding the right credit card is much simpler if you know your credit score and can narrow your search to only the cards you know you’ll get approved for. We’ve made it easy for you. If you don’t already know your score, use our quick and free Credit Score Estimator tool – then find the perfect card for you!

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