December 1, 2022

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Business is my step

Best business credit cards of 2020

19 min read


a man sitting at a desk in front of a computer: You might already have a business and not even realize it.


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You might already have a business and not even realize it.

CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value, but does not review all financial companies or all available financial offers. We may receive compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com, and this compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site.



a man and a woman riding on the back of a bicycle: Now through April 30, 2021, you can redeem Capital One miles for many food delivery purchases.


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Now through April 30, 2021, you can redeem Capital One miles for many food delivery purchases.

While you might be looking to lower your business credit card expenses right now, it’s also a vital time to keep track of every dollar your business spends. Having the right credit card to separate your business expenses from personal expenses can make your life significantly easier.

Not only that, but business credit cards can also offer higher spending and credit limits, which might be a necessity to make those large business purchases. Some cards even have introductory interest rates on purchases and balance transfers, making them a helpful tool in the current economic climate.

Our comprehensive credit card methodology compares every aspect of each business credit card to our “benchmark credit card” — the Citi® Double Cash Card — to determine which cards can potentially bring you maximum value. And while the Double Cash is a personal credit card, a comparable business credit card is the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, as both cards earn flat-rate cash back at the same market-leading rate.

So take a few minutes to take a look at our list of the best business credit cards in 2020 and see if one might be useful to your business right now.

The best business credit cards of 2020

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for 0% interest



a car parked on the side of a road: Earn 4% cash back on gasoline purchases, both at Costco and other gas stations.


© iStock
Earn 4% cash back on gasoline purchases, both at Costco and other gas stations.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi: Best for gas purchases

American Express® Business Gold Card: Best for flexible bonus categories

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Best sign-up bonus

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Best for everyday business expenses

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for travel perks

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Best for airline elite status



a person sitting in a car: Bring a companion with you on a domestic Delta flight for just the cost of taxes with the Delta Platinum Business Amex card.


© iStock
Bring a companion with you on a domestic Delta flight for just the cost of taxes with the Delta Platinum Business Amex card.

Why did we select these cards as our best business credit cards for 2020? Dive into the details of each card with us, and see how they stack up.

Best for 0% interest: Blue Business Plus from American Express

Why it’s great in one sentence: For businesses looking to pay off large purchases with no interest for an extended time, the Blue Business Plus from American Express offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months you have the card (13.24%-19.24% variable afterward).

This card is right for: Small businesses with less than $50,000 in annual expenses who want to earn travel rewards for no annual fee, but who can also utilize an introductory interest rate.

Highlights:

  • Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on all purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through Amex Travel at a rate of up to 1 cent per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Amex’s 21 airline and hotel partners.
  • 0% interest on all purchases for the first 12 months (13.24%-19.24% variable afterward).
  • Terms apply.



a person sitting at a desk: US purchases for shipping is one of six select bonus categories on the Amex Business Gold card.


© iStock
US purchases for shipping is one of six select bonus categories on the Amex Business Gold card.

Welcome bonus: None.

What we like about the Blue Business Plus: If your business needs to make ends meet right now, the Blue Business Plus offers a 0% introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 12 months you have the card. Just be careful to pay off your debt in that time, because the rate jumps to a variable 13.24%-19.24% after the 12 months are up.

The Blue Business Plus also earns 2 points for every dollar your business spends on all purchases up to $50,000 each calendar year. After that, the rate drops to just 1 point per dollar, so this is a card that caters more toward small businesses who don’t have extraordinary yearly expenses.



a woman sitting on a sidewalk: Protect the cell phones of both you and your employees with the Ink Business Preferred.


© iStock
Protect the cell phones of both you and your employees with the Ink Business Preferred.

The Membership Rewards points earned with this card are both flexible and valuable, assuming you want to bank them for travel in the future. You can redeem them directly for flights or hotel stays at a rate of up to 1 cent per point via Amex Travel, or transfer them to any of American Express’s 21 airline and hotel partners for potentially even more value.

One thing that could be better: Although one of the perks of the Blue Business Plus is that you can earn points toward free travel, you may not have travel on your mind right now. And while you can convert the points earned on this card to cash, it’s a pretty poor value with each point worth only 0.6 cents apiece.

But if you’d prefer to earn cash back instead of travel rewards, you’ll want to look at the American Express Blue Business Cash Card instead. The card’s features are virtually the same as the Blue Business Plus, but you’ll earn cash back instead of points, which could be a better fit if you want to use your credit card rewards now rather than save them for later.



a person using a laptop computer: Get up to $200 in annual credits on eligible US purchases at Dell.com with the Amex Business Platinum card.


© Dell.com
Get up to $200 in annual credits on eligible US purchases at Dell.com with the Amex Business Platinum card.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Extensive airline and hotel transfer partners, some travel and purchase protections, introductory rate on purchases.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has an introductory interest rate on balance transfers.

Read our complete Blue Business Plus Credit Card review.

Learn more about the Blue Business Plus from American Express.

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Best for gas purchases: Costco Anywhere Visa Business Credit Card

Why it’s great in one sentence: For businesses with employees who will eventually be back on the road regularly, the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card is one of the best cards to maximize your return on gas purchases.



a person sitting at a table: The Blue Business Plus card is best for small businesses.


© iStock
The Blue Business Plus card is best for small businesses.

This card is right for: Businesses who want strong rewards when buying at Costco, as well as on gas, restaurant and eligible travel purchases.

Highlights:

  • Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year (1% thereafter).
  • Earn 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases.
  • Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases at Costco and costco.com.
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee (with paid Costco membership).

Welcome bonus: None.

What we like about the Costco Anywhere Visa Business: The best return on the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card is the 4% cash back you’ll earn on eligible gas purchases worldwide, including gas at Costco (capped at the first $7,000 in purchases per year, then 1% thereafter). Compared to many other business credit cards, you’ll find this to be one of the top bonuses for your company’s gasoline purchases.

Aside from that, you’ll also earn 3% cash back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on all Costco and costco.com purchases other than gas and 1% cash back on everything else. Although some of these categories might not help your business with purchases today, these are solid returns on common business expenses for when life gets back to normal.

We also like that the Costco Anywhere Visa Business card offers strong protection benefits — such as purchase protection and extended warranty coverage — which makes it a desirable credit card to use on many business expenses. The card also doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, which means it’s a good card to use on international trips in the future.

One thing that could be better: Instead of getting your rewards from the Costco Anywhere Visa Business after each monthly billing statement ends, you receive them for the entire year as a single certificate each February, and you have to physically go to a Costco store to swap them for cash back. You also only have until the end of the calendar year to use your earned rewards before they expire, and must have a Costco membership to get the card.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Solid purchase protection benefits, no foreign transaction fees.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash doesn’t require a Costco membership and earns easy-to-redeem cash back on each billing statement.

Read our complete Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi review (the personal version of the card offers many of the same benefits as the business card).

Learn more about the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi.

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Best for flexible bonus categories: American Express Business Gold

Why it’s great in one sentence: The Amex Business Gold card gives businesses the flexibility to earn bonus points on the two categories they spend the most money on in each billing period.

This card is right for: Businesses who spend money in varying categories over the course of the year and who want to be rewarded with extra travel rewards on their largest purchases each month.

Highlights:

  • Earn 4 points for every dollar you spend on two select categories you spend the most in each billing cycle (up to $150,000 in combined purchases per year, then 1x).
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Flexibility to redeem points through American Express Travel and receive 25% of the points back.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Amex’s 21 airline and hotel partners.
  • Trip delay protection.
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $295 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Welcome bonus: Earn 35,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.

What we like about the Amex Business Gold: The Amex Business Gold shines when it comes to earning the maximum number of points on varying business expenses, even if they aren’t in the same categories every month. You’ll earn 4 points per dollar on the top two categories where your business spent the most in each billing cycle, from a list of six possible categories:

  • US purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio).
  • US purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions.
  • US purchases at gas stations.
  • US purchases at restaurants.
  • US purchases for shipping.
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines.

The best part of this system is that American Express will automatically calculate your top two categories at the end of each billing cycle — you don’t have to speculatively select your categories in advance. This is great in the current economic environment, as you aren’t locked into two categories for the entire year, and your bonus points can change as your purchases change.

One thing that could be better: For a card with such a high annual fee, there aren’t too many travel benefits on the Amex Business Gold. You won’t get any luxury travel perks or even any travel statement credits. This means there aren’t many opportunities to offset the annual fee, so you’ll need to make sure the earning rate is worth it for your overall spend.

Also, it’s important to note that your 4x bonus point categories are capped at $150,000 in spending across the combined six categories each calendar year. Once you hit that threshold, the card only earns 1 point per dollar on everything you buy.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Welcome bonus, transferable points, trip delay protection, purchase protection, no foreign transaction fees.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee and an introductory rate on balance transfers.

Learn more about the American Express Business Gold Card.

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Best sign-up bonus: Ink Business Preferred

Why it’s great in one sentence: The incredibly high 100,000-point sign-up bonus on the Ink Business Preferred is one of the best you’ll find on a business card, especially for one that offers solid bonus categories and benefits — all for a low annual fee.

This card is right for: Businesses looking to earn flexible points toward travel, while also having access to unique benefits such as cell phone protection.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (up to $150,000 in combined purchases each card anniversary year, then 1x).
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Points can be redeemed with a 25% bonus when booking airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Chase’s 13 airline and hotel partners at a 1-to-1 ratio.
  • Cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your cell phone bill with your card.
  • Purchase protection against damage or theft.
  • Primary car rental insurance.
  • Trip delay protection and trip interruption/cancellation insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after you open the card.

What we like about the Ink Business Preferred: By far one of the best features of the Ink Business Preferred is its incredibly strong welcome bonus — currently at 100,000 points, although it does require a large spending commitment of $15,000 in the first three months after you open the card. However, many businesses have routine monthly expenses that can easily meet that threshold.

Chase’s Ultimate Rewards is one of the best loyalty points programs in the travel world. You can redeem your points through Chase’s travel portal and receive a 25% bonus, or you can transfer your points to 13 different partner airlines and hotels, such as Hyatt, United and British Airways.

The Ink Business Preferred also offers cell phone protection as a perk, covering both your own cell phone and everyone else listed on your monthly bill as long as you pay the entire bill with the card each month. This means your employees (or potentially even family members) can be covered for no extra cost. You can submit up to three claims every 12 months and be reimbursed up to $600 per incident, with a $100 deductible per claim.

One thing that could be better: Although the bonus categories on the Ink Business Preferred are quite generous, you won’t earn any bonus points on some popular everyday business purchases, such as gas, restaurants or at office supply stores. The 3x categories are also capped at a combined $150,000 in total purchases each year -— after that, you’re only earning 1 point per dollar spent.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Sign-up bonus, cell phone protection, purchase protections, travel protections, primary car rental insurance, no foreign transaction fees.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee and an introductory rate on balance transfers.

Explore the 8 main benefits of the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

Learn more about the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

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Best for everyday business expenses: Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Why it’s great in one sentence: The Capital One Spark Miles for Business earns an unlimited 2 miles for every dollar you spend on the card, and those miles can be redeemed for any travel purchase you make — plus, for a limited time, food delivery and phone services — at 1 cent per mile, or transferred to Capital One’s airline partners for potentially even more valuable redemptions.

This card is right for: Larger businesses that want easy-to-redeem credit card rewards, with the option to learn how to master transferable miles down the line for greater value.

Highlights:

  • Earn 5 miles for every dollar you spend on your card on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One travel.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases with no cap.
  • Redeem miles for any travel purchase at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
  • Now through April 30, 2021, redeem miles for food delivery and phone services at 1 cent per mile.
  • Miles can also be transferred to any of 15 airline and hotel partners.
  • Up to $100 credit when applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee for the first year, then $95 per year.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,500 in the first three months after opening the account.

What we like about the Capital One Spark Miles: This is a business credit card that makes earning and redeeming travel points incredibly easy. For starters, you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on the Capital One Spark Miles card with no cap. On top of that, if you book any hotels or car rentals through Capital One Travel, you’ll earn an extra 3 miles for a total of 5 miles per dollar.

You can redeem your miles any time for any travel related purchase at a fixed 1 cent per mile, or for a limited time from now through April 30, 2021, you can also redeem them for purchases of food delivery or phone services at the same rate. However, the miles can also be transferred to any of Capital One’s 15 travel partners for potentially even more value.

The Capital One Spark Miles card also comes with a decent sign-up bonus offer and a relatively low minimum spending requirement. The 50,000-mile bonus can be used to “erase” $500 of travel purchases on your monthly statement, which is better than many of the other business cards you’ll see on our list, and is especially good for a card with the annual fee waived for the first year.

As an added bonus, you’ll also receive a $100 credit when applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Although these programs aren’t as valuable right now since most people can’t travel, this perk will definitely be useful once we’re able to fly again.

One thing that could be better: Although you can redeem your miles for any travel-related purchase, if you prefer to maximize the value of your miles by transferring them to an airline or hotel program, the partnerships Capital One currently has available aren’t quite as robust as other flexible points programs. Most are international airlines and require an advanced knowledge of loyalty programs to maximize your value when utilizing them.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Sign-up bonus, purchase protections, travel protections.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee even after the first year and an introductory rate on balance transfers.

Earn $500 or 50,000 bonus miles with Capital One Spark credit cards.

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Best for travel perks: Business Platinum Card from American Express

Why it’s great in one sentence: Although it’s the most expensive card on our list, when travel returns to normal, the Business Platinum Card from American Express offers luxury travel perks such as airport lounge access, elite status and much more.

This card is right for: Business travelers who want a card that provides top-notch luxury perks, transferable travel rewards and travel protections.

Highlights:

  • Earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on flights and prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through Amex Travel at a rate of up to 1 cent per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Amex’s 21 airline and hotel partners.
  • Up to $200 in annual statement credits on eligible US purchases at Dell.com.
  • Up to $200 in annual statement credits for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta and Priority Pass airport lounges (not including Priority Pass restaurants).
  • Complimentary Gold Elite status with Hilton and Marriott hotel chains.
  • Complimentary Preferred Elite status with Hertz, Avis and National Car Rental chains.
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts.
  • Travel cancellation and trip delay protection.
  • Extended warranty and purchase protection.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $595 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of card membership.

What we like about the Amex Business Platinum: This is a card for the true road warrior who considers travel perks a necessity. Although many of the Amex Business Platinum card’s benefits are sitting on the sideline right now, they’ll be more valuable than ever once travel is back to normal.

The card’s lounge access is by far one of the best benefits, allowing you to relax in comfort at over 1,200 lounges worldwide, including Amex’s own Centurion Lounges. On the hotel front, you’ll also receive elite Gold status in both the Marriott and Hilton program, which can get you complimentary upgrades and breakfast at participating hotels.

To partially offset the card’s annual fee, you also get up to $200 in annual airline incidental credits, up to $200 toward eligible US purchases at Dell.com each year, and up to $100 for reimbursement of a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. In the first year alone, these credits are worth up to $500.

You’ll also earn 5 points per dollar on airfare booked via Amex Travel, which is one of the best earning rates you’ll find on a business credit card. Even better, the Amex Business Platinum has travel protections, including trip interruption and cancellation insurance. This covers your non-refundable expenses if your flight is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason, up to $10,000 per trip. (Unfortunately, pandemics aren’t a covered reason.)

Earlier this year, the card also added trip delay protection, providing up to $500 in reimbursement for unexpected expenses if your flight is delayed by more than six hours due to a covered reason.

One thing that could be better: With such a high annual fee, you’d expect to earn more points on your non-airline and hotel purchases, but that’s unfortunately not the case with the Amex Business Platinum. For everyday purchases, you’re much better off using another card, such as the American Express Blue Business Cash or Blue Business Plus, to maximize your rewards.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Welcome bonus, luxury travel perks and travel credits, travel protections, purchase protection, extensive airline and hotel transfer partners.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee and an introductory rate on balance transfers.

Read about the Amex Business Platinum card’s 75,000-point bonus.

Learn more about the Business Platinum Card from American Express.

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Best for airline elite status: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card

Why it’s great in one sentence: Airline credit cards like the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card offer specific benefits that you don’t get with flexible travel credit cards, such as free checked bags, priority boarding and points or miles toward status.

This card is right for: Businesses who expect to travel when airlines return to the skies, and who are looking to earn not only Delta SkyMiles but also airline-specific benefits that will make their flying experience more enjoyable.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 50,000 additional miles per year.
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Receive your first checked bag free on Delta flights for you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation.
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding on Delta flights.
  • 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on all eligible in-flight purchases of food, beverages and audio headsets.
  • Receive a domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your card.
  • $250 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening the account, plus earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your card within your first three months.

What we like about the Delta Platinum Business Amex: Although there are many airline credit cards on the market, we specifically selected the Delta Platinum Business Amex card for our list for two reasons.

First, the airline recently announced that it’s expanding the Status Boost feature of this card for 2021, making it easier to earn Delta elite status while you’re stuck at home. You can normally earn 10,000 bonus MQMs — which count toward Delta elite status — by spending $25,000 on the Delta Platinum Business Amex in a calendar year. But for 2021, you’ll get a 25% bonus on that boost, bringing it up to 12,500 MQMs. Even better, you can earn another 12,500 bonus MQMs in 2021 with a total of $50,000 in spending on the card.

Related: Earn Delta elite status without even flying by using this expanded credit card perk.

The second reason we chose the Delta Platinum Business Amex for our list is that, when you renew your card for a second year (and every year you renew it after that), you’ll get a companion certificate that can be used to fly a friend or family member with you on a domestic round-trip Delta flight in the Main Cabin for just the cost of taxes. If you can take advantage of this perk each year, it can easily offset the annual cost of the card all on its own.

Aside from the miles earned on the Delta Platinum Business Amex card, you’ll also get some airline-specific benefits, which can come in handy if you fly Delta often, including a first checked bag free on Delta flights for you and up to eight traveling companions on the same reservation, Main Cabin 1 priority boarding and a 20% savings on in-flight food, beverages and audio headsets.

One thing that could be better: Delta SkyMiles aren’t worth as much as many of its competitors, and when you earn a specific airline’s miles, you’re pigeon-holed into redeeming your rewards for just Delta or partner flights. That makes the rewards earned with the Delta Platinum Business Amex less flexible than those earned with credit cards that are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards programs, or business credit cards that earn straight cash back.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Welcome bonus, Delta travel benefits, Status Boost for earning elite status, annual companion certificate after the first year and no foreign transaction fees.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee even after the first year, has an introductory rate on balance transfers and earns easy-to-redeem cash back.

Learn more about the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card.

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Looking for a new credit card to help finance large purchases? Check out CNN Underscored’s list of the best 0% interest credit cards of 2020.

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