First off, let’s discuss what business spend is. Business spend is anything that you need to spend for your business. This can range from food to office supplies to cell phones to toys to travel. For the purposes of this article, we focus on what most consider “typical” business spending and how to maximize flexible currencies, rather than any co-branded cards.
Chase Business Cards
Chase Ink Preferred (CIBP) is a great card for many business owners. You earn 3x Chase Ultimate Reward® points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable & phone, and advertising purchases. Shipping includes UPS and FedEx while advertising focuses on social media sites and search engines rather than print media. The CIBP also provides cell phone insurance in addition to the 3x earn. It has a $95 annual fee.
Chase Ink Cash (CIC) is a go-to card, as it has no annual fee and great earning potential. It currently earns 5% cash-back on office supply stores (i.e. Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot) and on internet, cable & phone services, thus making it a better earner than its’ partner, the CIBP. Additionally, the CIC earns 2% on gas stations and restaurants. This earn is up to $25,000 combined spend each anniversary year, then 1%. Remember, if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve or a Chase Ink Preferred, you earn Ultimate Reward points, rather than cash-back.
Chase Ink Unlimited (CIU) is another no annual fee card from Chase. It earns 1.5% across the board like its’ personal card equivalent of the Chase Freedom Unlimited. This is a great “catch-all” card for business spend that is not covered in other areas. Again, like the CIC, if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve or a Chase Ink Preferred, you earn Ultimate Reward points, rather than cash-back.
American Express Business Cards
Amex Gold Business earns 4x points in your two biggest areas of spend. These areas only include spend within the United States and include: (1) airfare (purchased directly from the airline), (2) advertising (online, TV, radio), (3) technology providers of computer hardware, software & cloud solutions, (4) U.S. gas stations, (5) U.S. restaurants, and (6) shipping. This card has a $295 annual fee.
Amex Platinum Business earns 5x on travel (flights and prepaid hotels) booked through amextravel.com. It also earns 1.5x points on all purchases over $5,000 as well as 1.5x on purchases in the following categories: US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers. If you book your travel using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points, at a value of 1.0 cents per point, you receive 35% of those points back. This card has a $695 annual fee.
Blue Business Plus is essential for every small business! This no annual fee card is a straightforward 2x MRs on the first $50,000 in spend each calendar year. Thereafter, the card earns 1x.
Capital One Business Cards
Spark Miles from Capital One earns 2x miles on all spend, plus 5x miles on hotels and rental cards booked through the Capital One Travel. These miles can be used as a statement credit for travel purchases at a rate of 1.0 cents per point or can be transferred to 16 different travel partners (many at a 2:1.5 ratio). The annual fee is waived for the first year and then is $95 per year.
Spark Miles Select from Capital One earns 1.5x miles on all spend, plus 5x miles on hotels and rental cards booked through the Capital One Travel. These miles can be used as a statement credit for travel purchases at a rate of 1.0 cents per point or can be transferred to 16 different travel partners (many at a 2:1.5 ratio). This card has no annual fee.
These are just a sampling of the business cards that are available for spend, as we did not discuss any co-branded credit cards that earn points for hotels and airlines. Don’t limit yourself to just one card as having a combination can truly enhance your ability to earn large amounts of points and miles, since many of the cards earn in different areas. These cards can be great for ongoing spend and not just their welcome offers. Come join our Facebook group to learn more tips and give us feedback on your favorite card for business spend. Don't forget to check out our Instagram too!
Special Thanks to Shira Sliffman for writing this article.