Best Cash Back Business Credit Cards

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 29, 2023

Business credit cards can help you spread the cost of your business purchase, control your company's cash flow, simplify staff costs, borrow money and build your company credit history. Although these benefits can better help you protect your company finances, you can do more by leveraging the rewards offered by most business credit cards

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The Best Cash Back Business Credit Cards:

Chances are that you've used or are still using credit cards. That means you're well acquainted with the benefits and rewards they can offer. Well, with business credit cards, the reward offerings are much more attractive. Typically, these rewards may include cash back on purchases, discount purchases on selected retail outlets, lower fees or free membership in business organizations and membership points or air miles.

It all depends on the credit card issuers. Different credit card issuers offer different reward programs. While some offers discounts on certain purchases, others might provide redeemable points. Cash back credit cards reward you with dollars. Cash back rewards can be nice, but some card users need membership rewards that serve themselves or their businesses. Plus, there might be a loyalty program that makes more sense for a business cardholder.  

Understanding how to exploit these reward offerings will free up your business finances and help your business operations run more smoothly. However, choosing the best cashback credit card for your business can be challenging, especially with different credit card options available. 

To help you make a more informed choice and avoid browsing a long list of business credit cards and their offerings online, Benzinga compiled a list of some of the best cash back business credit cards and their best attributes.

Best Overall: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

New cardholders can earn a one-time $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 within the first three months. Other benefits include no annual fees and alternative rewards redemption for gift cards, cash back and travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card offers fraud protection that monitors your account for fraudulent activities. In the case of fraud, you have zero liability, which means that unauthorized charges made with your card or account details are not your responsibility.

Pros

  • The welcome bonus helps you put some money back into your account
  • Chase takes fraud prevention very seriously and doesn’t force you to manage fraudulent transactions

Cons

  • While the card monitors your activity to protect you, at times, it may flag real transactions you’ve authorized as you travel for work
  • Many travelers may not want to book travel through Chase

Best for High-Sales-Volume Businesses: Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card®

Cardholders can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back or one bonus point on every $1 spent. For every card facilitating monthly company expenditure greater than $10,000, you'll earn a cashback reward of 5,000 bonus points. Aside from the regular cashback rewards, you also enjoy a one-time $1,000 cashback (equivalent to 100,000 bonus points) welcome bonus for a $15,000 worth of expenditures in the first three months as a new cardholder. The providers also offer up to 200 employee cards at zero additional charge.

Other benefits include travel incidentals insurance that pays up to $100 yearly, zero foreign transaction fees and a one-year waiver for annual fees.

Pros

  • Coverage for travel incidentals and the lack of foreign transaction fees is extremely important for businesses that travel for work
  • The welcome bonus is quite robust, especially if you use this card for daily purchases

Cons

  • The level of rewards recovery might not be as high as you would prefer

Best for Added Value: Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Cardholders can earn a 5% cash back each account anniversary year on the first $25,000 spent on business-related expenses, including business purchases at office supply stores and cable, internet and phone services.

Other bonus reward categories include a 2% annual cash back on the first $25,000 spent at restaurants and gas stations and a 1% cash back on all other purposes.

With no annual fee, you can get in on a card that helps you purchase your business forward. Plus, affordable APRs make it easier to pay off your balance and keep costs down.

Similar to the Ink Business Unlimited credit card, this credit card also offers fraud protection with a provision for zero liability in the event of unauthorized withdrawal or card usage. You can redeem your cash back rewards using Chase Ultimate Rewards. Suppose you have a small business that spends big on the card's top reward category (office supplies, internet, cable and phone services). In that case, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is the best choice for you.

Pros

  • Fraud protection is good for businesses that use these cards to manage cash flow
  • There is no annual fee, ensuring that you are not laying out cash just to open the card

Cons

  • The anniversary bonus might not align with your spending patterns

Best for Expenses: Amazon Business Prime American Express Card

  • Regular APR

    14.99% – 22.99% Variable | See Rates and Fees

    Rating:

    *Terms apply ** Be advised that applicants who do not have a credit history in the U.S. but have had credit cards or loans in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland or the United Kingdom will need to provide a SSN or ITIN during the application process.

The 5% cash back applies to the first $120,000 purchases per calendar year. Other benefits include a 2% cash back for purchases made at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and wireless telephone services acquired directly from service providers in the United States. And it pays a 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Amazon Business Prime American Express integrates with payment processing software Quickbook and Bill.com. The integration fast-tracks auto-expense categorization and helps you make the most of your business bill payments.

Pros

  • 5% cash back on spending that climbs over $100k is more than enough for many businesses
  • You can earn rewards on all purchases, meaning that nothing is excluded

Cons

  • The tie-in with Amazon can be helpful when businesses use Amazon often, but it might not appeal to everyone
  • There are some limits on who accepts American Express cards because of the backend fees that might be involved

Best for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

  • Regular APR

    18.49% – 26.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors determined at the time of account opening. APRs will not exceed 29.99% | American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card – Rates & Fees

    Rating:

    *Terms apply ** Be advised that applicants who do not have a credit history in the U.S. but have had credit cards or loans in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland or the United Kingdom will need to provide a SSN or ITIN during the application process.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card allows you to spend reasonably above your credit limit and awards freebies for utility. Cardholders can earn 2% cash back on combined purchases not more than $50,000 in a calendar year. Additionally, you earn 1% cash back on other eligible purchases using your card after the first $50,000, which are tangible dollars that go into your account.

While this business credit card typically allows you to spend above your credit limit, the extra spending allowance isn't unlimited. You set the limit, and the card uses your credit record and payment history to adjust accordingly. The credit card doesn't charge annual fees. It also integrates with Quickbook and Bill.com to help you make the most of your bill payments.

Pros

  • Integrations make it far easier for startup owners to manage their money when they cannot afford to hire a hige staff
  • An extra spending allowance could help business owners in an emergency

Cons

  • The cash back rewards might be more valuable to you as travel rewards, so choose your card wisely
  • There is a limit on rewards spending, and that might cause issues for some startup owners

Features to Look for in the Best Cash Back Business Cards

Understanding key features to look out for when shopping for a business credit card is the key to choosing a credit card that aligns with your business interests. Key features you need to consider before making a choice follow. 

Low Annual Fees

A credit card's annual fee is the cost the card issuer charges a cardholder to keep their credit account open. It is money you'll be paying to enjoy the credit benefits of your credit card. 

Some credit cards charge low annual fees, and others charge high ones. And some, of course, don't charge at all. So, regardless of other benefits providers offer, it won't be worth it if they charge a budget-breaking annual fee.

Rewards

Business credit cards offering a reward on purchases can potentially put significant dollars into your business account. However, when reviewing and comparing reward programs for a business credit card, you need to consider whether the card earns points or cash back. 

Ideally, cash rewards are preferable as they’re easier to manage — your business account automatically gets credited once you complete a purchase. In contrast, points, although potentially more lucrative, are a bit more challenging to manage. For instance, while you can leverage points to travel, you'll need to do some airline research to bag the best possible point value.

Extra Services

Your card's extra services are additional perks and add-on benefits you can enjoy for free or at a specific price. Different credit card companies provide various complimentary services. 

For instance, a travel-oriented business credit card may offer no foreign transaction fee, complimentary airport lounge access and free checked baggage. In contrast, cash back or traditional reward cards may offer bonuses on purchase protection or rotating business categories. Extra services can also be in the form of a first late payment fee waiver or exclusive event access. 

Either way, extra services can add up to sound money. Check the landing page of the credit card issuer to know what extra services it offers and compare them with others before making a choice. Extra services could differentiate between a good card and a great one.

Welcome or Sign-Up Bonuses

Although choosing a business credit card based on a single, one-time offer is not advisable, a great sign-up bonus remains a powerful, enticing feature worthy of consideration. Welcome bonuses can rack up thousands of dollars for your business. Traditional welcome or sign-up bonuses are straightforward, offering you cash back or a reward once you meet the spending requirements. 

You can easily bag such an offer if you're in the process of making a significant business investment, like purchasing pieces of machinery and pieces of furniture. Another great option in the sign-up bonus space is the introductory APR offer which can take the form of a 0% balance transfer APR or introductory 0% APR on purchases. You can save considerable interest by leveraging either depending on your precise need. Either way, choosing a business credit card that offers sign-up bonuses can significantly help your finances.

Free Employee Card

Different credit card issuers handle additional employees' cards differently. Sometimes this depends on the card type and unique features. Most issuers are willing to offer an unlimited number of employee cards at no additional cost to your account. Others provide a free card to a specific limit and subsequently charge you. Yet others don't offer free cards. Suppose you're planning to provide your employees their own credit cards to handle business purchases, which is a great way to earn a reward on business purchases. In that case, you need to consider how the issuers charge employee cards.

How to Get Approved for a Credit Card

Knowing the specific features to look out for in a credit card is a significant step toward getting a credit card that perfectly aligns with your business needs. Unfortunately, applying for a credit card doesn't automatically qualify you for approval. Let's review some approaches to help improve your chances for approval.

Knowing Your Credit Score

Whether you are applying for a credit card, mortgage or loan, your credit score is a crucial determinant of your application’s approval. You can check your credit score via your credit report. Yes, this can include your business credit score. Business owners need to stay on top of these figures as they can greatly impact spending power, which could be used to manage projects or travel.

Knowing your credit score allows you to see where you stand. It'll help you avoid taking the long route of applying for a credit card you don't qualify for. Most vitally, knowing your credit score will help you take a constructive step towards building your credit to match the credit requirements of your choice.

Build Your Credit

Suppose you don't have enough credit history or credit score to match the business credit card requirements. In that case, you need to build your credit report to increase your credit score.

Business credit card options can help you build a report that looks good to lenders and card issuers. However, you should do your best to pay off business expenses, not carry balances, use travel perks quickly and apply statement credits where possible.

Several other tools can also help you achieve better results. For instance, you can consider using a secured card that'll allow you to deposit funds as credit or ask to be an authorized user on someone else's card. However, if you prefer to build your credit score without a credit card, you might give a credit-builder or secured loan a shot.

Good Spending Habits

How you spend your money reflects directly on your credit report. Good spending habits tell your potential credit issuer that you won't be spending borrowed credit on non-essentials and that you'll prioritize paying back your credit on time.

You don’t want to reach your spending limit consistently, and you should do your best to use membership rewards or perks where possible to save money. You may even go so far as monitoring spending and capping spending on certain employee cards.

However, aside from increasing your credit card approval chances, good spending habits are a responsible behavior you should adopt. It is especially essential if you wish to improve your personal finances.

Clear Existing Debt and Avoid Financial History

Existing debt is a recipe for outright rejection, especially if you owe more than a certain percentage of your income. So work to clear your debt. You should also avoid payday loans and unauthorized overdrafts as these can fast-track your rejection.

How You Can Improve Your Credit Score

An excellent credit score unlocks financial opportunities for you, especially those related to credit. Unfortunately, growing a credit score from baseline grade to excellent grade can be challenging. Nevertheless, it can be done. Here are a few tips that'll help you improve your credit score going forward.

Pay Credit Balances Systematically

Your credit utilization is the percentage of your credit limit you spent in a given period. Although you needn't aim for 0% utilization, you must keep it below 30% to have an excellent credit score. To achieve this, always pay your balance before the end of the billing cycle. That way, you ensure that your credit balances are low when the card issuer reports it to the credit bureau, which is how your credit score is tabulated.

Pay Your Bills on Time 

Regardless of your approach to improving your credit score and how you do, it won't matter if your payments are late. Late payments are a glaring red flag for creditors. And they will reflect on your credit report for at least 7.5 years, which means a constant red flag that'll perpetually decrease your chances of increasing your credit score. Therefore be sure to pay your bills on time.

Use a Secured Credit Card 

A secured credit card is an alternative credit card that uses your cash deposit as its credit limit. You'll be able to use the card like a regular credit card. Your default on-time payment will go a long way in building your credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is credit card cashback taxable?

A

No, credit card cash backs are not taxable. The IRS considers cash back and other rewards as rebates, not income. Hence they are non-taxable.

Q

Do business credit cards offer the most credit?

A

Usually, business credit cards offer higher credit limits than personal credit cards. Nevertheless, it’s hard to say which business credit card gives the highest possible credit limit. Instead, your credit limit will ultimately depend on your credit profile.

Q

What is the best business credit card for cash back?

A

Benzinga lists the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card as the best business credit card for cash back. It has a comprehensive reward and bonus program structure that offers many benefits for businesses at little to no cost.