2021

The Best
Small Business
Credit Cards

Trending in Credit
Verified by Fiscal Tiger experts
Author: Patty Lamberti

Most of the credit cards in your wallet are for personal use — like buying a new TV you haven’t saved enough cash for but want. 

Business credit cards are different. Here are the main things to know:

  • Charge cards and credit cards are the two main types of business cards. While business credit cards work more like typical personal credit cards, charge cards are more like debit cards linked to your checking account. You do not have a spending limit but you are required to pay your bill in full each month.
  • While you’ll likely enjoy more spending power with a business credit card, you may also encounter higher interest rates and larger fees.
  • You may be held personally liable for charges on a business card that you don’t pay.
  • Unpaid balances and late payments may ding your credit score. 

 

Organizations of all sizes can benefit from a business credit card. Such cards mean you don’t have to apply for a loan from a bank or tap into your accounts. Depending on how you use it, and if you can pay the balance off monthly, the right card may even help you reduce your expenses and increase your profit.

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Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.8/5

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is best suited to travelers who enjoy staying at Hilton properties, though its rewards program makes it a great choice for anyone who travels frequently for business.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
15.74% to 24.74% (variable)
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
3 to 12 points per dollar

Credit Card Basics

  • Introductory bonus offer: 130,000 points.
  • Annual fee: $95.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (700-850).

Pros of This Card

In addition to its fantastic rewards program and myriad travel perks, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card makes it easy for you to manage your business finances on the road. With the mobile app, you can track employee spending, make payments, and create expense reports.

Cons of This Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card does carry a $95 annual fee, so it’s important to weigh that fee against the rewards that you will earn by using the card.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.7/5

The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is ideal for small business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to build their business credit. A strong credit score can help you secure loans from banks, better interest rates on future cards, and negotiating power with vendors and landlords.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
13.24% to 19.24% (variable)
Purchase intro APR
0% for the first 12 months
Rewards
1% to 2% cash back

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (690-850).

Pros of This Card

The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is perfect for new business owners or beginner business credit card users. If you don’t want to keep track of rewards, this is a simple cash-back card. In addition to a solid rewards program and decent APR, its mobile app and website make managing business expenses and employee accounts a breeze.

Cons of This Card

There is a cap on how much you can spend per year. If you want to put more than $50,000 per year on a card, you may want to look for another option.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.5/5

The American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card has a straightforward rewards program and no annual fee, which makes it a smart option for small business owners who want to earn rewards without paying annual fees.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
13.24% to 19.24% (variable)
Purchase intro APR
0% for the first 12 months
Rewards
2 points for every $1 spent

Credit Card Basics

  • Introductory bonus offer: Up to $300 off of eligible purchases.
  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: $25.
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (700-850).

Pros of This Card

The American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card offers a decent rewards program and helps manage your spending — all without an annual fee. It’s great for small business owners and entrepreneurs who don’t want to make any upfront investments in a credit card. You can spend a certain amount over your credit limit in case you have an unexpectedly expensive month.

Cons of This Card

The American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card is best for those who want rewards, not cash back. There is not a “welcome bonus” for new members, a perk some other cards offer.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.3/5

The Brex Corporate Card for Startups is a charge card, rather than a traditional credit card. This means it was designed for startups and entrepreneurs who have already secured real money from venture capitalists or their savings. Your credit score isn’t the only factor in determining eligibility for this card — so it’s OK if you don’t have a great credit score, or a thin credit profile.

Annual percentage rate (APR):
None
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
1, 2, 3, 4, or 7 points for every $1 spent

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: N/A.
  • Credit score: Very Poor to Excellent (300-850).

Pros of This Card

Because it’s focused on your current business, you can benefit from the Brex Corporate Card for Startups even if you don’t have a great credit score or spotless financial history. All you need is a great business idea and cash in the bank (at a minimum, you’ll need $50,000).

Cons of This Card

While a Social Security number isn’t needed, you must give access to your bank information, and profit and loss reports. There’s a nice bonus to signing up — you’ll get 75,000 in Brex Rewards points upon signup and waived card fees for life (equal to $750-plus value).

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.2/5

The Fuelman Simple Saver Fleet Card is ideal for fleet owners who are looking to track business spending while saving money on fuel.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
32% and up
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
1 to 2 points per gallon

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $48 to $144.
  • Late fee: $75 or 12.25% of the late balance.
  • Credit score: Fair to Good (580-739).

Pros of This Card

Managing a fleet of vehicles all over the country can be tricky, but the Fuelman Simple Saver Fleet Card makes it as easy as possible. With spending monitoring tools, gas rewards, and 24/7 roadside assistance, you can make sure your drivers and finances are in good working order.

Cons of This Card

This card can carry steep annual fees and a high late fee. Be sure to carefully manage your spending and avoid carrying a balance on this card to get the most out of its gas rebate program.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.0/5

The Brex Corporate Card for E-commerce is a charge card specifically designed for e-commerce business owners, particularly those who have poor credit or don’t want to deal with additional fees.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
None
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
Points, perks, and discounts

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: N/A.
  • Credit score: No credit check.

Pros of This Card

Brex understands that e-commerce businesses have completely different needs from brick-and-mortar organizations. It’s a non-traditional card that offers many of the same benefits as typical credit cards, but without any requirements based on your personal finances.

Cons of This Card

Compared to some other cards, the Brex Corporate Card for E-commerce offers a less robust rewards program. It’s best for companies that don’t have a strong credit history and are looking for a reliable card to start with.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.0/5

The Universal Premium Fleet Card works well for individuals who want to earn gas rewards, but also keep a close eye on drivers’ spending.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
Prime rate plus 23.99%
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
1 to 2 points per gallon

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $48 to $144.
  • Late fee: $75 or 12.25% of the late balance.
  • Credit score: Fair to Good (580-740).

Pros of This Card

Businesses can save an average of 15% on fuel when using the Universal Premium Fleet Card — and the more you spend on fuel, the more you save. The card is accepted at 160,000 gas stations throughout the United States. If you have a lot of employees who drive, you can limit their use of this card to pump-only purchases.

Cons of This Card

Because you don’t need a stellar credit score for this card, the annual and late fees are steep.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
4.0/5

The BP Business Solutions Mastercard is best for established small businesses that manage a fleet of vehicles, need to save money on fuel, and manage transportation expenses.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
None
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
6-cents-per-gallon rebate on gas

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $10 per month.
  • Late fee: $75 or 7.25% to 12.25% of the late balance.
  • Credit score: Good to Excellent (700-850).

Pros of This Card

The BP Business Solutions Mastercard provides helpful tools to manage your fleet, grow your organization, and save money on one of your biggest business expenses.

Cons of This Card

This card can carry high fees, with a $10 a month recurring fee. Be sure to weigh the fees that you’ll pay against the potential savings that you’ll get from the card’s gas rebate program. You can also mitigate fees by paying down the balance on this card month over month and making sure that you’re on-time with your payments.

Fiscal Tiger's Score
3.9/5

The BP Business Solutions Fuel Plus Credit Card is ideal for business owners with small fleets who exclusively refill their vehicles at BP gas stations.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
18.24% to 27.24%
Purchase intro APR
None
Rewards
6-cents-per-gallon rebate on gas

Credit Card Basics

  • Annual fee: $0 to $10 per month.
  • Late fee: $75 or 5% of the late balance.
  • Credit score: Fair to Excellent (580-850).

Pros of This Card

If you can refill your vehicles at BP gas stations, the BP Business Solutions Fuel Plus Credit Card is a simple way to enjoy fuel rewards, oversee your fleet regardless of their location, and protect your business finances.

Cons of This Card

With somewhat high fees and a high APR, it’s important to pay down the balance on this card month over month. Otherwise, interest and fees can quickly get out of control.

How to Choose a Business Credit Card

Because business credit cards are such a valuable asset, it’s crucial to find one that works well for your organization’s needs. Compare more business credit cards here

 

Learn About Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards share similarities with personal credit cards, but there are several fundamental differences:

  • Business credit cards still have a credit score, but the range differs. Your business credit score may be reported to one of the three consumer bureaus or a different agency entirely.
  • Charge cards and credit cards are the two main types of business cards. While business credit cards are more like a typical personal card, charge cards do not have a spending limit and require you to pay your bill in full each month.
  • Business cards do not report to the major credit bureaus in the same ways as personal credit cards.
  • They also do not offer the same level of consumer protection.
  • While you’ll likely enjoy more spending power, you may also encounter higher interest rates and larger fees.
  • You may be held liable for charges on a business card; if your organization is unable to pay off the balance, you may have to use personal funds.

 

You may realize you aren’t ready for a business credit card — or that you don’t need one — after doing some research. The more you can learn about business credit cards, the better off you’ll be.

 

Consider Your Plans for the Card

Do you need to make some hefty upfront investments for your business? If so, you may want to look for a card with a 0% intro APR, so you don’t accrue high-interest charges.

However, if you know you’ll likely carry a balance each month, it may be better to find a card with a lower overall APR.

On the other hand, if you plan to use this card to track small amounts of employee spending or to avoid the hassle of reimbursement, you should probably look for a card that offers additional employee cards and plenty of account management tools. 

Consider what you plan to use this card for, as this will help you decide which card to apply for. If you don’t consider your plans for a business card, it could end up costing you in the long run.

 

Examine Your Business Finances

Next, look at your business finances. Consider your existing spending habits, as well as your biggest expenses, to determine what spending limit you need or what kind of rewards program would be best.

For instance, if you travel by air frequently, you may need a card that offers rewards on flights or hotels. If your business travel typically happens by car, you may get more out of a card with a gas rewards program. If you make a variety of different kinds of purchases or are just starting your business, you may want to get a card with a flat cash-back or rewards program until you discover your largest expenses. 

 

Weigh the Cost of Annual Fees

Some business cards charge an annual fee, while others don’t. It may be tempting to spring for a card with no annual fee, but these cards often have basic rewards programs. Cards that charge an annual fee tend to have more comprehensive rewards programs and better signup bonuses.

Depending on how much you spend and how many rewards you earn, paying an annual fee may be worth your while. If you don’t earn as many rewards, you may do just fine with a simpler rewards program that doesn’t require an annual fee.

 

Factor in Additional Benefits

Finally, factor in any additional card benefits that interest you. These benefits could include:

  • Special financing and promotional offers;
  • Access to an online account or mobile app;
  • Employee cards at no extra cost;
  • Business management tools;
  • Data organization and reporting;
  • Fraud prevention tools;
  • Travel perks;
  • Additional discounts, coupons, or offers.

 

These benefits may not be the primary reason you’re interested in a certain credit card, but they can still be nice for you and your employees to have. If you’re interested in two cards that have similar rewards programs but different perks, those perks could be the deciding factor. Further, knowing exactly what you want from your business credit card will help enjoy your card to the fullest extent once you do find the right one.

Learn more and compare other business credit cards today!