Not everyone likes working for someone else. If you are one of 36% of Americans are freelancers and own your own business, you might find it useful to have a business credit card to separate your personal expenses from your business expenses. While some business credit cards are aimed at large or medium-sized businesses, there are plenty of credit cards for freelancers that can help you earn rewards and manage small business finances.
The 4 Best Credit Cards for Freelancers
Here are the best credit cards we’ve identified to help freelancers or freelance consultants run their small business and earn perks at the same time.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
If your expenses as a freelancer are spread across many categories – or are too general to identify – then the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card can help you reap decent lump sum rewards for your spending. There’s no annual fee and offers a simple, unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, making it a solid first card for general freelancers.
For example, a freelance designer can use this card for recurring subscriptions to software or cloud services and other annual business expenses. Since there is no annual fee, there is no need to worry about recouping the cost of carrying the card.
The card is even suitable for spendthrift freelancers who want to avoid an annual fee, as there is no spending cap on the 1.5% reimbursement rate. However, if you have large expenses throughout the year, you might get better overall value from a card with an annual fee and better rewards rate.
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
What’s great about the Amex Blue Business payment card is its 2% cash back on all purchases up to $50,000 in spend per year, then 1% after that. This card is ideal for freelancers who have very general expenses, but still want to get high rates on their cash rewards. The Amex Blue Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited cards are similar in that they have no annual fee, but both come with limited cardholder benefits and statement credits.
If you think you’ll be spending a lot more than $50,000 a year on business expenses, this card’s potential is limited. Freelancers planning to put more than $100,000 in spend on a card are better off with Ink Business Unlimited or another card with better overall benefits. Otherwise, it’s a solid choice for your company’s financial toolkit.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Custom Cash Rewards Mastercard®
For freelancers who work primarily online, the Bank of America Business Advantage Personalized Cash Rewards Card is worthy of consideration. It has a tiered cash back structure of 1% on general purchases, 2% on meals, and 3% on a category of your choice (up to $50,000 in combined 2% and 3% category spend per calendar year, then 1%).
Of the six customizable categories, three stand out: IT Services, TV/Telecom Services, and Business Consulting Services. IT services include recurring software subscriptions like Adobe and merchants like Dell and Intel so tech-savvy freelancers can earn 3% cash back on spending. The business consulting services category includes LegalZoom and One Legal, so freelancers can draft contracts and legal documents while earning 3% on those costs.
You can change the 3% cash back category each calendar month. For example, if you’re planning an upgrade to your IT equipment, you can upgrade to the IT Services category to earn 3% off that purchase for the month. Next month, you can change categories to choose the one where you will earn the most.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Business Platinum is the only card on this list with an annual fee – and a hefty one. At $695 per year, it’s one of the most expensive American Express business cards. However, high earning freelancers and independent consultants can reap plenty of rewards with its multitude of reporting credits and high reward categories.
This card is ideal for self-employed travelers as it earns 5X points on prepaid flights and hotels and 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com. Plus, with Amex Business Platinum, key purchases of $5,000 or more on electronics, retailers, software and cloud service providers earn 1.5x the points (up to $2 million per calendar year). General purchases are worth 1X fixed points.
In addition to these pay rates, this card comes with statement credits for modern business spending, such as $150 on Adobe Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC annual subscriptions, $10 per month on vendor purchases US cordless phones and up to $400 ($200 semi-finished). -annually) on Dell purchases. Add them to the card’s many travel-related statement credits, and it can be easy for a freelancer to recoup the hefty annual fee.
Should I get a business credit card as a freelancer?
The short answer: It depends. If you’re an occasional freelancer and only make a few hundred dollars a year, it might not be worth getting a business credit card.
On the other hand, if your income is solely from self-employment, getting a business credit card for your freelance expenses can help you in the long run. First, a self-spending credit card can help separate personal and professional purchases, making it easier to file taxes each year. Also, if your business is growing and you are hiring employees, many business card issuers offer employee cards at no additional cost.
You can also enjoy rewards on business-related purchases. Most business credit cards are designed to earn rewards on software subscriptions, hardware purchases, consulting services and more. With these rewards, you can earn some extra cash back, points for travel, or get discounts on your business expenses.
How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Freelancers
When you’re ready to get a business credit card, it can be difficult to choose from the many options available. Here are some questions to keep in mind when deciding:
Is there an annual fee?
Full of business cards with no annual fee facilitate net rewards with no annual fee. However, business cards with annual fees usually come with higher statement credits and pay rates. If you’re considering a freelancing credit card with an annual fee, make sure you can recoup the cost and then some through your expenses.
In which categories can I earn rewards?
You may find that standard business cards have expense categories that you don’t need if you’re working from home, such as gas, flights, and hotels. Compare the reward categories for the business cards you’re considering to see where you’re spending and earning the most and. For example, a freelance web developer may have recurring software and service subscriptions, so they should target cards that offer high points or cash back in that category.
How does the card help me run a business?
You run a business as a freelancer or independent consultant, and your credit card should help, not get in the way. Look for business credit cards with features like expense tracking and account management to make running your business easier. Common credit card benefits, such as purchase protection and cell phone insurance, can kick in if your new equipment is faulty or your cell phone is stolen.
The bottom line
Business credit cards for freelancers are a solid option for earning rewards and enjoying benefits while managing your business expenses. If you are a full-time freelancer, consider using one of the best business credit cards to earn rewards on your business spend. Just be sure to separate personal and business expenses to save yourself headaches come tax season.