Why you should trust us:
We spoke with dozens of entrepreneurs using these business cards and spent way too many hours going down the Rabbit Hole of reading Nerd Wallet and The Points Guy articles (for a fascinating look at the history of the modern credit card points industry and the Founder of The Points Guy we recommend this NYT article).
Why do you need a business credit card?
If you’re already going to be spending money as a business, why not benefit by getting some perk in the form of cash back or points? A business credit card will also help you separate the expenses of the business from your personal expenses in addition to offering higher credit limits than personal cards could offer. In speaking with eCommerce operators, many noted credit card cash back and points as one of the best unspoken perks of the job. We know of some operators who have earned as much as 7 figures through credit card rewards from their business!
What we like about Capital One Spark Cash Plus card:
This card lets you spend more time focused on your business and less time worried about Game Theory Optimal Points Strategy™. 2% cash back on all spend and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (too much hassle in our eyes, but go for it if you want). Business owners loved that they don’t have to think about optimizing their credit card points in addition to every other concern that comes with running a company.
Redemption is easy and you can set your cash to automatically redeem once your balance reaches a certain dollar threshold or at certain dates. Redemption doesn’t require translating points into dollar value equivalents and analyzing the optimal partner to redeem points with.
There is also a $1,000 cash bonus ($500 after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, and $500 after you spend $50,000 in the first six months of account opening).
What we don’t like about Capital One Spark Cash Plus card:
There are a couple of drawbacks. One is that it is a charge card so your balance is due every month. If you plan on using the credit aspect of a credit card (rolling over your charges at high APR %s), then this card isn’t for you. This card also requires a personal guarantee, so if you have bad credit or no credit, this won’t be the card for you. Check out the cards that won’t require a personal guarantee in our competitors section.
Redemption is a breeze, but there is no option for a direct bank account deposit of your cash back. Instead, a statement credit or check are the easiest redemption options.
Capital One Spark Cash Plus pricing:
The credit card has a $150 annual fee and that’s it. Since it’s a charge card, it will not let you revolve a balance at high APRs.
For the ultimate maximizers the Game Theory Optimal Points Strategy™ likely involves using multiple cards based on unique benefits.
American Express Business Gold Card – This card has a 4X point bonus on ad spend and shipping (two of the highest expense categories for new eCommerce brands) so might be worthwhile to get and just spend on those two categories
Chase Ink – This is the best card if you are excited to play the points game. And lets be honest if you are excited about the points game you will likely have multiple cards because there is no single best and are likely only hate reading this article for its poor advice. All jokes aside, the Chase is a great card if you want to experience First Class flights or five-star hotels as your reward for spending money through your business. You can game these to receive more benefit than the average person.
A brief primer: most credit card points transfer one to one to other point currencies (airline points hotel points etc.) but for some partners the transfer rate could be 8:1 so in a hypothetical example you could transfer your Chase points to Alaskan airlines points for a really cheap First-Class flight to Anchorage.
Corporate cards (no personal guarantee):
Ramp Card – Unlike our recommended card, this card does not require a credit check or personal guarantee and is a true corporate card. Unfortunately, this card is not available for Sole Proprietors. Companies that use ramp love its ability to price compare SaaS pricing to ensure you are getting the best deals. Ramp cards offer 1.5% cash back and have no annual fees. In order to qualify for a Ramp card, you must currently spend more than $10k per month on corporate cards and must have at least $75k in a US bank account.
Brex Card – Similar to the Ramp card the Brex card doesn’t require a personal guarantee and you can apply with an EIN only. However, Brex has recently pivoted away from servicing SMBs so many businesses won’t qualify for a Brex card unless you have raised money from accredited investors. Brex cards offer a point-based reward system.
Parker Card – Parker was designed with eCommerce companies in mind. Parker can be used to finance your business and scales as your business does. eCommerce companies use Parker to finance large spend categories (typically paid ads, inventory POs, and shipping costs). Each day represents its own statement and companies have access to 30, 45, or 90 day lines of credit depending on their size. Stores connect their eCommerce platform (Shopify, Amazon, etc.) to quickly gain access to credit. There’s no interest charges or fees on lines of credit. In order to use Parker, you’ll need 6-12 months of operating history and $10k cash balance. While the cash back amount is only 1%, the ability to finance your business using Parker might be worth it for some.
Co-branded Business Cards:
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
United Business Card
These cards are great if you want to get to the highest status of an airline or hotel. Since each dollar translates to an airline mile or hotel point these can be a way to reach an airlines highest status without flying a single mile or a hotels highest status without staying a single night in the chain’s hotel.