In the world of credit card rewards, there’s an old debate: points, miles, or cash back? The short answer is that it depends. While Cash Back is best for those looking for a low-maintenance rewards experience, Points is best for frequent travelers and those who don’t mind doing some research in exchange for a great deal.
If you’re a business owner looking for a points-earning card, know that you have plenty of solid options – whether you’re looking for loyalty points with a particular hotel or airline or points at general purpose that you can redeem in different ways. . Many of the best business credit cards are point cards built in with sign-up bonuses and other attractive perks.
Best business credit cards to earn points
Because there are so many options and offers change frequently, choosing a business card can be difficult. In addition to points per dollar spent, compare sign-up bonus offers and current benefits.
Here are Bankrate’s top picks for point-generating business credit cards.
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best Flat Rate Business Card
The Blue Business® Plus credit card from American Express is a great choice for business owners who want to use one card for everything. There are no bonus categories to follow, just 2X points on all purchases (up to $50,000 in purchases per year, then 1X). American Express Membership Rewards points are notoriously valuable, especially for travel redemptions. Redeem them for flights or hotel stays through Amex Travel, or transfer them to one of American Express’ travel partners, including Delta Air Lines, Marriott and British Airways.
Overall, this is a great card for budding businesses. The simple rewards structure not only makes it a low-maintenance card, but also means it’s one you can keep for years, even as you add more business credit cards to your lineup. If you later want to request a card with specific bonus categories, you can continue to use The Blue Business Plus for miscellaneous expenses, knowing that you earn a solid rewards rate on all purchases. The lack of annual dues makes this especially true.
Finally, consider the welcome bonus: 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases on the card during your first three months of membership. Bankrate values American Express points at 2.1 cents each, which makes this welcome bonus worth just over $300 – not bad for a no-fee card.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: Ideal for business-oriented bonus categories
Do you want to earn improved rewards rates on key spend categories like travel, restaurants, gas stations, and even shipping? The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers cardholders 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program, 4X points at restaurants worldwide and gas stations in the United States, 4X points on wireless phones purchased directly from US service providers and on purchases within the US for shipping and 2X points on all other purchases. If these categories cover many of your most common business expenses and you can also qualify for free stays at Marriott hotels, this card is ideal.
The current limited-time welcome offer is a solid one: 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $4,000 in purchases with your new card during your first three months of card membership (offer expires on 11/02/22). According to Bankrate calculations, Marriott points are worth about 0.7 cents each, which makes the welcome offer worth about $700 if you redeem them for Marriott stays. With an annual fee of $125, Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex offers a flexible rewards program that can take you a long way with the right amount of planning.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Best for Hotel Rewards
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card bonus categories are similar to the Marriott Bonvoy Card detailed above, but we believe that business owners who frequently stay in hotels will derive more value from this card by reason for reward rate. Cardholders can earn 12X points on hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, compared to 6X points offered by the Marriott card. According to Bankrate calculations, Hilton Honors points are worth slightly less than Marriott Bonvoy points: 0.6 cents versus 0.7 cents, respectively, but the doubled rewards rate means your hotel stays will ultimately earn more rewards. with the Hilton Card.
In addition to hotel stays, cardholders earn 6X points on select business purchases (US gas stations, US cellphone service providers, and US shipping purchases) and travel purchases (US restaurants, airline tickets). flights booked through Amex Travel and select car rentals) and 3X points on all other purchases. All of this comes with a $95 annual fee.
New cardholders can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership. Based on Bankrate’s valuation, Hilton Honors points are worth around 0.6 cents each, making the welcome bonus worth around $780.
Ink Business Preferred credit card: ideal for business trips
The Ink Business Preferred® credit card, which has a $95 annual fee, offers 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and certain business categories each account anniversary year (therefore 1X points), plus 1X points on all other purchases. 3X point bonus categories include travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media and search engines.
Additionally, cardholders who spend $15,000 within the first three months of account opening will earn a welcome bonus of 100,000 points. You can redeem them for cash, which equals $1,000, but if you book travel arrangements through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, the bonus is worth $1,250. The increased value of travel redemptions – combined with the increased rate on travel spend – makes it a great choice for business owners who travel frequently.
One final bonus feature: Chase Points are transferred to partners at a 1:1 ratio, meaning 1 point equals 1 transfer partner mile or 1 cent cash back.
How to maximize the points you earn for your business
After choosing and securing the right card for you and your business, develop a plan to accumulate the rewards. You can do this by charging as much spend as possible, especially in categories where the issuer will provide the highest reward values.
Second, it is very important to avoid debts. To offset the balance shock, you may want to waive your charges as you make them or on a weekly basis, but, as long as you pay the bill within the interest-free grace period (about 30 days) , the value of your reward will not be diluted by finance charges.
Another way to earn more is to make your employees Authorized Users since their fees will apply to the reward accumulation pool. Of course, this. requires a solid foundation of trust.
Finally, pay attention to the benefits built into the account. For example, many corporate travel cards offer free access to airport lounges and free checked baggage. And, if you’re traveling overseas, using a business credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees can save you a lot.
The key is to know and use all the features of the card, from bonus point categories to benefits. It never hurts to compare extensively before applying, then revise your cardholder agreement from time to time.