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The Best Business Credit Cards for a New Business in 2021

Business credit cards aren’t reserved for enterprise owners with glass-tower offices and hundreds of employees: In fact, many freelancers, sole proprietors, and even new business owners are excellent candidates for these financial instruments.

Not only can owning one or more business credit cards for your new business help you draw the line between your personal and business finances, but these cards can also come in handy when building a credit score or covering cash flow issues. At the same time, they’ll save you time and money through numerous perks, rewards, and bonus opportunities.

The business credit card market is highly competitive, and looking for the right option can be a daunting prospect. To help you make a quick but educated decision, we’ve compared dozens of offers and made a list of our favorite credit cards for startups and new businesses.

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Business Credit Cards for New Businesses - Top Picks

Top 3 Picks

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Business-related bonus rewards

No foreign transaction fees

Checked bag benefit

Apply Now READ REVIEW

Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Remarkable sign-up bonus

High rewards rate

Free additional employee cards

Apply Now READ REVIEW

Capital One® Spark Classic for Business

Flat-rate cashback rewards

Automatic cashback redemptions

No annual membership fees

Apply Now READ REVIEW

4 Top-Rated Small Business Credit Cards for New Businesses

1. Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

Business-related bonus rewards

No foreign transaction fees

Checked bag benefit

Apply Now

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As a business rewards credit card offering a generous welcome bonus, substantial rewards rates, and no annual fee in the first year of card membership, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express is one of the market’s best options. Given its travel perks, this credit card is best suited for business owners who are also frequent Delta flyers.

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Rewards rate:

1-2x miles

Welcome offer:

40,000 bonus miles

Intro APR:

N/A

Regular APR:

15.74%- 24.74% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0 for the first year, then $99

Other fees:

Cash advance, late, and returned payment fees

Recommended credit score:

670-850

2. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Remarkable sign-up bonus

High rewards rate

Free additional employee cards

Apply Now

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A Chase product, the Ink Business Preferred is an excellent all-round business credit card. It offers one of the highest welcome bonuses we’ve come across, generous rewards in popular travel- and business-related spending categories, and flexible redemption options.

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Rewards rate:

1-3x points

Welcome offer:

100,000 bonus points

Intro APR:

N/A

Regular APR:

15.99% to 20.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$95

Other fees:

Balance transfer, cash advance, late, and returned payment fees

Recommended credit score:

670-850

3. Capital One® Spark Classic for Business

Flat-rate cashback rewards

Automatic cashback redemptions

No annual membership fees

Apply Now

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Accessible to business owners with imperfect credit histories, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business can be an excellent way to get your company the financing it needs and build your credit profile at the same time. The card also offers a flat-rate cashback program and charges no annual membership nor foreign transaction fees.

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Rewards rate:

1% cash back

Welcome offer:

N/A

Intro APR:

N/A

Regular APR:

26.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0

Other fees:

Cash advance and late payment fees

Recommended credit score:

350-850

4. Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Simple but generous rewards program

Spend over your credit limit

0% intro purchase APR

Apply Now

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Ideal for small-business and startup owners who enjoy flat-rate rewards and an introductory 0% APR, but are looking to avoid annual fees, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is one of the market’s top competitors. Thanks to the Expanded Buying Power feature, it won’t punish you for spending over your credit limit whenever you need to.

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Rewards rate:

1-2x points

Welcome offer:

N/A

Intro APR:

0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months

Regular APR:

13.24% - 19.24% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0

Other fees:

Cash advance, balance transfer, late payment, and returned payment fees

Recommended credit score:

670-850

Finding the Best Credit Cards for New Businesses - Our Methodology

If your business is newly-established and you’re looking for a credit card to match your spending style, this article is for you. The following are the most important factors to take into account while looking for a suitable card:

Bonuses and Rewards

The credit card market is highly competitive and issuers often have trouble with enticing their target audience. Thanks to that, business credit cards usually include generous welcome offers. For example, a sign-up bonus is a relatively quick way to earn a few hundred (if not more than a thousand) dollars with your business credit card for a new business within a few months of account opening.

Still, keep in mind that the largest bonuses have the largest spending requirements, as well. In other words, make sure that you opt for a realistically attainable offer.

Most cards have some sort of bonus point, bonus mile, or cash back scheme in place, giving you an opportunity to earn something back each time you make a purchase within a certain spending category. Some options offer flat-rate rewards, while others have tiered rewards-earning systems.

No matter which solution you opt for, make sure that you understand its redemption policy. The best business credit cards for a new business offer flexible ways to redeem your rewards.

APR and Fees

While generous welcome bonuses and lucrative rewards programs may grab your attention, remember to look at the rates and fees you’ll be charged as a cardmember before deciding between the best business cards for your needs.

Credit Score Requirement

Not many credit cards are created specifically with newly-established businesses in mind. Most financial instruments have wide target audiences and the chances of getting approved for any of them largely depend on the business owner’s personal credit profile. In other words, most credit card issuers won’t consider your application unless your credit score reflects a series of good financial decisions in your past.

However, this doesn’t mean that finding business credit cards for those with no credit is out of the question. Although your choice may be limited to cards with high APRs and modest rewards programs, you should still be able to find a source of revolving credit for your business, and build up your score along the way.

In addition to the APR charged on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers, there will probably be penalty annual percentage rates to think about. Make sure to understand when such charges apply. On the plus side, some business credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR on all transaction types for a limited period, usually 12 to 15 months.

As far as fees on a new business credit card go, the most important ones are those for annual card membership, foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, penalty costs for late and returned payments, and over-limit fees.

Additional Benefits

This list varies greatly, not only from issuer to issuer, but also from card to card. Still, there are three main perk types to consider in most cases:

  • Expense management tools that help you organize and keep track of your business finances, along with security features
  • Travel-related bonuses which include flight upgrades, airport lounge access, free hotel stays, roadside assistance, and different travel insurance types
  • Shopping-related benefits, such as purchase protection and extended warranty

Some business cards, such as startup business credit cards for people with no credit history, won’t offer as many features, so you’ll have to prioritize those tailored to your needs.

Further Reading

Business Loans for Startups in 2021: Detailed Reviews

2021’s Best-Rated Business Credit Cards for New Businesses:

At a Glance

  • Rewards rate: 1-2x miles
  • Welcome offer: 40,000 bonus miles
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.74%- 24.74% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $99
  • Other fees: Cash advance, late, and returned payment fees
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850

If you are a loyal Delta Air Lines customer looking for a business travel credit card, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express could be the perfect choice.

As one of the best business credit cards for startups and small businesses, this AmEx option packs plenty of value – from Delta-exclusive perks such as checking your first bag for free and priority boarding, to a $0 annual fee for the first year of card membership, a lucrative sign-up bonus, and generous rewards on business expenses.

Bonuses and Rewards

First, you get the opportunity to earn 40,000 bonus miles on your Delta SkyMiles Gold Business AmEx: All you have to do is spend $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months since account opening. This first-business credit card can also get you a $100 Delta flight voucher if you spend $10,000 in purchases each year.

Every dollar spent on US shipping purchases, US advertising with select media companies, and restaurants (including takeaway) will earn you two miles. Cardholders also receive one mile per dollar in all other purchasing categories. You can also save 20% on purchases made with your card on Delta flights, in the form of a statement credit.

Miles can be redeemed via phone, Delta’s website, or at a Delta ticket counter. The rewards balance can go towards airfare, seat upgrades, Sky Club membership, Delta vacation packages, experiences, and gift cards.

As possibly the best credit card for a new business – or an established one – the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business from American Express lets you transfer your miles to employees, friends, and family, or even donate them to charity.

APR and Fees

This AmEx card doesn’t have an introductory APR offer, and the regular rate ranges between 15.74% and 24.74% (variable). Should you make two or more late payments throughout a 12-month period, fail to make at least a minimum payment, or have your payment returned, you’ll have to face a penalty APR of 29.24% (variable).

What puts the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express among the top-rated business credit cards for startups and new businesses is its lack of annual membership costs in the first year. After that expires, you’ll be charged a $99 annual fee, which is still the most affordable option among Delta’s small-business credit cards.

You’ll also be charged either $5 or 3% of each cash advance, $39 for returned payments, and up to $39 for late payments. There are no over-limit or foreign transaction charges, however.

Additional Benefits

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express card entails several additional member perks to enhance not only your travel experiences but also your business operations.

As one of the best business credit cards for a new business or a startup, this Delta card lets you add employees to your account, thus accumulating even more rewards on qualifying purchases.

Since it belongs to the AmEx network, this credit card also grants you access to the American Express Business App: You can easily manage your business expenses by adding notes, tags, and receipts to your transactions. As a card member, you can also make the most of Vendor Pay, a service offered by Bill.com, for free.

The Bottom Line

While the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business AmEx may not be the easiest business credit card to get – most cardholders have an excellent personal credit score – it’s a great option for qualified business owners who travel exclusively with Delta.

In addition to travel-related perks, this card also comes with the opportunity to earn rewards on business-related purchases and tools to help you manage your credit card spending.

However, given that the highest rewards rate on Delta SkyMiles Gold Business AmEx is two miles per dollar spent, we suggest you explore other options if your top priority is to maximize rewards on your starter business credit card.

Reasons to Apply

Business-related bonus rewards

No foreign transaction fees

Checked bag benefit

At a Glance

  • Rewards rate: 1-3x points
  • Welcome offer: 100,000 bonus points
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.99% to 20.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Other fees: Balance transfer, cash advance, late, and returned payment fees
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850

Offering one of the market’s most generous sign-up bonuses and rewards opportunities on a variety of business-related purchases, the Ink Business Preferred credit card is a robust new-business credit card.

Thanks to its long list of perks, even annual fee-averse consumers can easily justify getting one. If your business involves a lot of travel, advertising, and shipping expenses, this Chase credit card may be the perfect fit.

Bonuses and Rewards

Quite a few unique features make the Ink Business Preferred card attractive for both new and established business owners. However, it’s the huge welcome bonus that makes it stand out: Ink Business Preferred offers new cardmembers 100,000 bonus points if they spend $15,000 within three months of account opening.

This new small-business credit card also gives you a chance to earn $1,250 in rewards if you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

This business credit card won’t disappoint you in terms of ongoing bonuses, either. Cardholders earn three points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on purchases in select spending categories each year. Eligible categories include travel, shipping purchases, phone, cable, internet services, and advertising purchases made with search engines and social media sites.

As one of the most generous starting business credit cards, Ink Business Preferred also lets you earn unlimited 1x points on all other purchases.

You can redeem your rewards for travel, cash back, statement credit, gift cards, or merchandise. The points are worth 25% more (1.25 cents per point) when redeemed for travel-related expenses. There is no redemption minimum and the rewards you’ve accumulated won’t expire as long as you keep your account open.

APR and Fees

The Ink Business Preferred has a variable APR that ranges between 15.99% and 20.99% based on the cardmember’s creditworthiness. This business credit card for a new business (or an established company) also charges a 24.99% cash advance APR and a penalty APR that can go up to 29.99%.

The card has an annual membership fee of $95, a cash advance fee of either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, and a balance transfer charge of either $5 or 5% of the transfer amount. There are no foreign transaction fees, but late payment and returned payment fees will set you back $39 each.

Additional Benefits

As one of the most popular starter business credit cards, Ink Business Preferred comes with a few additional perks. The list includes the opportunity to get employee cards at no extra cost and to monitor and protect your business with features such as purchase protection, fraud protection, and personalized alerts.

The Bottom Line

The Ink Business Preferred is a great all-round small business credit card. Not only does it provide an unmatched sign-up bonus opportunity, but its generous rewards policy is nothing to sneeze at, either. As one of the most popular unsecured business credit cards for startups, this Chase card lets business owners add employee cards and set their spending limits at no extra charge.

On the downside, the card charges an annual fee and above-average cash advance and balance transfer costs.

Reasons to Apply

Remarkable sign-up bonus

High rewards rate

Free additional employee cards

At a Glance

  • Rewards rate: 1% cash back
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 26.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other fees: Cash advance and late payment fees
  • Recommended credit score: 350-850

Although a rare credit card for a new business with no credit requirements, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business still comes with a long list of features a business owner would appreciate.

The lack of an annual fee, a straightforward cash-back rewards program, and several payment-management and protection features make this card a solid choice for business owners with fair or average credit scores.

Bonuses and Rewards

Unfortunately, New Capital One Spark Classic for Business card holders don’t get a welcome bonus. On the plus side, there’s an admirable rewards program for those who choose this no-credit business credit card.

Users earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase they make. Compared with the market’s top small-business credit cards, this rewards policy may seem underwhelming, but the flat-rate cash back on every purchase actually means you won’t have to worry about meeting a threshold in a particular spending category.

Capital One Spark Classic for Business lets you generate a flow of cash back while helping you build your credit to eventually qualify for more generous credit card offers.

As one of the most sought-after credit cards for new businesses with no credit history, Capital One’s Spark Classic for Business doesn’t impose any redemption minimums. You can get your cash back in the form of a paper check, request general statement credit or statement credit for a particular purchase, or purchase gift cards.

Capital One also lets you set up automatic redemptions once or twice a year, or each time your balance reaches a particular threshold.

APR and Fees

It should come as no surprise that this card has no introductory APR offer, considering it’s one of the easiest business credit cards to get. The ongoing rate for purchases and cash advances is 26.99%, although it may vary based on the Prime Rate. If you make a late payment, you’ll face a penalty APR of 29.4%.

On the other hand, what makes the Capital One Spark Classic for Business appealing to new business owners is that it doesn’t charge annual membership, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees. The only potential additional costs include cash advance fees (either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance) and late payment fees – up to $39 per item.

Additional Benefits

Although marketed to those looking for easy-approval business credit cards, Capital One Spark Classic for Business is far from lacking when it comes to additional benefits. In addition to the standard travel- and protection-related perks such as roadside assistance, $0 fraud liability, extended warranty, security alerts, and card lock, this card also comes with several business-specific features.

These include free employee cards with spending limits, itemized year-end reports, purchase records, and due-date flexibility.

The Bottom Line

We can highly recommend the Capital One Spark Classic as one of the best business credit cards for new business owners with limited or fair personal credit. It offers a solid rewards program and the opportunity to build your credit as long as you use it responsibly. Moreover, there are no annual membership or foreign transaction fees – even more appealing!

Reasons to Apply

Flat-rate cashback rewards

Automatic cashback redemptions

No annual fee

At a Glance

  • Rewards rate: 1-2x points
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Intro APR: 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months
  • Regular APR: 13.24% - 19.24% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other fees: Cash advance, balance transfer, late payment, and returned payment fees
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850

As one of the best-rated credit cards for a new small business – or an established company – the Blue Business Plus credit card from American Express is an excellent way to earn rewards and avoid annual membership fees. Its 0% introductory APR is also ideal for businesses with unsteady cash flows.

Bonuses and Rewards

If the lack of a sign-up bonus is a deal-breaker for you, the AmEx Blue Business Plus credit card probably isn’t the right choice. However, before you cross it off your list of credit card deals to apply for, take a quick look at its rewards policy.

As one of the best new small business credit cards, this AmEx product earns you two Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on qualifying business purchases, up to $50,000 each calendar year. After you reach that, all other purchases will also get you one point per dollar.

There are several redemption options: Book travel tickets, purchase gift cards, get statement credits, or use them to pay for Amazon and BestBuy purchases.

This unsecured business credit card also lets you make business purchases over your credit limit whenever you need to. Not only will you be able to do so without having to face penalty fees, but you’ll still earn rewards on those purchases.

APR and Fees

Unlike many other business credit cards for a new business, the AmEx Blue Business Plus offers a 0% introductory purchase APR for the first 12 months of account ownership. After that, you’ll face a variable rate between 13.24% and 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness.

If you make two or more late payments over a 12-month period, make a payment that gets returned, or fail to make at least a minimum payment by due date, you’ll be charged a penalty APR of 29.24% (variable).

On the other hand, this unsecured business credit card for a new business charges no annual membership fee. Still, there are some costs to look out for, including foreign transaction fees (2.7% of each transaction), balance transfer fees – the higher of either $5 or 3% of each transfer amount – as well as late and returned payment fees that can go up to $39 per item.

Additional Benefits

The long list of useful perks is just one of the things that make the Blue Business Plus credit card from American Express stand out from other new-business credit cards. Users can make the most of expense management tools such as additional employee cards, online statements, account alerts, year-end summaries, Vendor Pay by Bill.com, and the American Express business app.

As an AmEx cardmember, you can also count on travel assistance, rental car coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty, and 24/7 support.

The Bottom Line

Provided that you can qualify for it, this card will offer you one year of 0% introductory APR, a simple but generous rewards structure, and the ability to spend above your credit limit when you need to, without having to face any consequences. However, the AmEx Blue Business Plus isn’t one of the startup business credit cards that accept bad-credit applicants, although it’s tailored to small business owners.

Reasons to Apply

No annual membership fees

Simple but generous rewards program

Spend over your credit limit

Things to Look for in a Business Credit Card

By now you probably know that business cards are among the best tools to access the revolving credit you need for growing your business, while also enjoying valuable benefits that may help your new company thrive. In addition to making sure that you can qualify for one of the business credit cards for new business ventures, we suggest you look for the following specific features when weighing your options:

An Introductory 0% APR Offer

Intro 0% annual percentage rate offers are particularly useful for business owners who plan on making large purchases within the first months after opening their account. If you opt for a credit card with this feature, your credit card balances won’t carry any interest for a while – usually 12 to 15 months – as long as you make on-time minimum payments.

A Business-Optimized Rewards Program

The best small-business credit card for a new business should include a business-related rewards program. In other words, you should opt for a card that will earn you the highest rewards in spending categories such as travel, dining, advertising, purchasing office supplies, and buying equipment.

An Easily-Attainable Sign-Up Bonus

No matter how great a welcome offer may sound, it won’t do you any good if you’ll need to change your business’s spending patterns just to be able to claim it. Make sure that you opt for a card with a spending threshold that you can meet comfortably.

FAQ

What is the best business credit card for a new business?

If you’ve been wondering how to choose the best credit card for a new small business, we suggest you start by looking into our top picks: Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Capital One Spark Classic for Business and Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. Any one of these could help you cover business expenses, and some will even help you build up your credit while making your venture thrive.

What is the easiest business credit card to get?

Most business credit card providers require an above-average credit score, but you might qualify for options such as Capital One Spark Classic for Business even if you need to rebuild your credit history.

Does a business credit card affect my personal credit score?

As long as your credit card issuer reports your payment information to consumer credit bureaus, your business credit card activity will be a part of your credit history and affect your credit score. In fact, FICO treats the reported activity on business credit cards for a new business the same as any other credit card debt.