The Best Business Credit Cards in 2016
Business credit cards can be an absolute necessity. They can redeem cash back and actually serve as a nice little rebate, allowing for a small business to generate some cash back which can then be used on resources or supplies for the office, or used to purchase necessary things like insurance policies. The scope of this review is to cover five credit cards that are namely meant for small businesses. They are the American Express SimplyCash card, the Capital One Spark Cash card, the Chase Ink card (and the Chase Ink Plus card), the American Express Business Blue, and the US Bank Business Edge.
The American Express SimplyCash card offers a great amount of cash back with no annual fee. There is also a limited time offer available – users who sign up before January 25, 2016 will receive a one-time $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 or more on qualifying purchases within the first 6 months. There is a 5% cash back on office supplies, of which the approved retailers can be found on American Express’s website under “more details” about the SimplyCash card. There are also select categories, which include categories like plane tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals, which will earn a 3% cash back. A user can select one category, and has the option to change it once every quarter to another category. Other eligible purchases will earn a 1% cash back. Employee cards will also generate cash back. Cash back is automatically credited to the card statement, serving as an instant rebate. The AmEx SimplyCash also includes fringe benefits, such as purchase protection, rental insurance, travel accident insurance and more.
Unfortunately, there are limits on the cash back categories – the 5% and 3% categories will only apply up to $25,000 in rebates per year, after which a cardholding firm will only earn 1% on all other purchases. After the 0% introductory period has expired, 9 months from when the account is stated, the APR will increase to a range of 12.24% up to 19.24%.
Capital One Spark Cash
The Capital One Spark Cash card offers no foreign transaction fees. There is a one-time cash bonus of $500 if $4,500 is spent on purchases during the first 3 months of opening the account. A cardholder will earn 2% cashback on each purchases, not requiring any special purchases or categories – ALL purchases will earn 2% cash back. Employee cards can also be received, and purchases made via employee cards will still generate cash back. There are also fringe benefits for the Spark Cash card, such as small business customer service/counselling, 90-day purchase protection, and travel and emergency assistance.
Unfortunately, there is a $59 annual fee to keep the card open (or, spending $2950 will generate $59 in cash back, making the account “free.”) There is no introductory APR period for balance transfers or purchases, meaning interest will immediately begin to accumulate once the cardholder is approved and purchases are made. The APR ranges from 13.24% up to 16.90%, depending on the cardholders’ credit history.
The Chase Ink card may be one of the best offered business credit cards for small businesses. To begin with, there is a rewards program available for the Chase Ink card, as well as an incentive – new cardholders will receive individual, customized bonuses, ranging from $200 bonus cash back to 60,000 points, which can be redeemed for business expenses such as travel and office supplies. There is a 1% cash back, or a 1 point per dollar rewards system – the cardholder can determine if the card will be a rewards system card or will be a cashback card. There is no limit to the amount of cash back or points redeemed, and the cash back/rewards points do not expire. Like most other business cards, additional cards can be received for free, and can even be receieved within 2 business days of requesting the additional cards by visiting a Chase Bank branch. There are also fringe benefits to the Chase Ink card, such as travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, roadside dispatch, baggage delay refunds, and more.
There are actually a variety of Chase Ink cards, which are meant to be for varying sizes of businesses. The amount of initial reward for opening the account (the initial cash back or bonus rewards points) varies based on what card a cardholder is approved for, and the variable APR will vary based on which card the user is approved for. The two cards are the Chase Ink card, and the Chase Ink Plus card. The Chase Ink card has a 13.24% variable APR, while the Ink Plus has an APR that ranges from 10.99% to 16.99%, based on the businesss’ credit history and available resources.
Amex Business Blue
The American Express Business Blue is a membership rewards card. There is an incentive to sign up of 10,000 membership rewards points after making an initial purchase within 3 months. The 10,000 rewards points translates in up to an amount of $100 at select merchants, which a list can be found on American Express’s website for more information and the conversion ratio. $5,000 can be spent on purchases within the first 6 months of opening the card for an additional 10,000 rewards points. The American Express Business Blue also rewards long term cardholders, offering up to a 30% “annual realtionship bonus” – up to 30% more points can be generated for longtime cardholders. 1 point is earned per 1 dollar spent, which can then be redeemed as either statement credit (set to do so automatically), or these points can be redeemed as gift cards for select retailers.
There is no annual fee required to keep the American Express Business Blue card open. In addition to no annual fee, there is a 0% intro APR on purchases made for the first 9 months. After that, there will be a variable APR ranging from 11.24% up to 19.24%, depending on the instituiton’s credit history. There are also fringe benefits to the American Express Business Blue, such as Receive Purchase Protection, Baggage Insurance Plan, and a 24/7 roadside assistance hotline.
US Bank Edge Select
The US Bank Edge Select Rewards is a rewards business credit card, offering significantly more points per dollar spent – 3 points are earned per 1 dollar spent in a selected category. The categories available are travel & entertainment, automobile, and day-to-day expenses. On top of that, there is a 10,000 bonus points reward incentive when $500 or more is spent within 90 days of the account opening. All other purchase categories will receive 1 point per dollar spent, and there is no limit to the amount of points available to be earned. These rewards can be redeemed as merchant gift cards, name brand merchandise (think of brands like Dell, HP).
There is no annual fee required to keep the US Bank Edge Select card open, as well as a 0% intro APR on purchases for the 9 billing cycles following the opening of the account. Unfortunately, there is no introductory 0% APR on balance transfers. The variable APR of the card ranges from 11.99% to 17.99%.