Best Business Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

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Update: These offers for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is expired. Learn more about the current offers here.

If you have a small business (be it a corporation, sole proprietorship, or any other type of business structure), business credit cards are one of the best ways to earn more bonus miles.

Points accrued using business cards can be utilized for airline tickets and hotel stays just like those earned through personal cards, which can be a great way to experience more premium products, or just to reduce costs for your small business.

Not only are business credit cards considered unique products from personal credit cards for the purposes of sign-up bonuses, but many of the cards have unique category bonuses that similar personal cards don’t have.

Some business cards also offer rebates and perks that aren’t offered on the personal versions, so having a combination of products can make a great deal of sense for small business owners.

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Grand Hyatt DFW – Redeem Ultimate Rewards points or receive a rebate through AmEx OPEN

With that in mind, I figured I’d recap the four small business credit cards that I consider to have the best sign-up bonuses as of now:

Each of these cards has a compelling sign-up bonus, though depending on the circumstances of your small business one card might make more sense than another.

1. Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Current offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer:  The big sign-up bonus and generous category bonuses, including 5x points at office supply stores, and on cell phones, internet, and cable TV, and double points on gas and hotels.

So this is a card that’s good for both for the sign-up bonus and for everyday spend. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5 cents each, so to me these points are worth $805.

There’s no doubt the value of Ultimate Rewards points has gone down a bit recently due to the devaluation of HyattSouthwest, and United points. That being said, there’s still a lot of value to be had from cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards points, especially given how easy they are to accrue.

I’m actually quite excited about transferring most of my Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt Gold Passport going forward, given the excellent redemption values for Points + Cash stays as a Diamond member.

There’s also no fee to add an additional cardholder, which is a great perk for small business owners who need cards for employees.

Also keep in mind that as of last September the Chase Ink Cards are issued by Visa, while previously they were issued by Mastercard (making this a new product).

2. CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Current offer: 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Why it’s a great offer: American miles are extremely valuable for OneWorld travel, and offer some of the best premium cabin redemptions out there, like first class between the US and Asia on Cathay Pacific for 67,500 miles one-way. I value American miles at 1.8 cents each, so this sign-up bonus is worth $900 to me. American miles haven’t been devalued yet either, unlike Delta and United miles.

There’s also a personal version of the AAdvantage Mastercard with exactly the same bonus and terms on the sign-up bonus.

3. Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa Card

Current offer: 50,000 points after the first purchase, and an additional 35,000 points after spending $2,500 on the card within 90 days.
Annual fee: $60

Why it’s a great offer: As I’ve written about previously, the Club Carlson card has a ton of value, including 85,000 points after completing the minimum spend, a 40,000 point anniversary bonus, Gold status for as long as you have the card, and most importantly, the second night of award redemptions are free, potentially doubling the value of your points.

You earn 5x points per dollar spent on the card, so once you’ve spent $3,000 on the card you’ll have 100,000 points. Club Carlson’s top category hotels cost 50,000 points per night, so that’s enough points for two sets of two nights at some of Club Carlson’s top properties.

There’s also a personal version of the Club Carlson Visa Card with exactly the same bonus and terms on the sign-up bonus.

4. Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express

Current offer: 10,000 Starpoints after the first purchase, 15,000 additional Starpoints after spending $5,000 within six months
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65

Why it’s a great offer: Starpoints remain the most valuable points currency out there to me, and are a great value for both hotel redemptions and airline mileage transfers. I value Starpoints at 2.2 cents each, so this sign-up bonus is worth $550 to me.

This card also gives small business owners access to the American Express Open program, which can provide significant savings and rebates, including rebates at Hyatt hotels.

There’s also a personal version of the Starwood American Express Card with exactly the same bonus and terms on the sign-up bonus.

Are there any small business credit cards with great sign-up bonuses that I left out?

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Comments

  1. Timely post for me Lucky. I’ve been put in charge of revamping our credit card rewards plan. We do about $20m annual with $500k cc spend ($100k travel related.) Based in the NE between PHL and EWR and not married to any airline or hotel brand. We have an AMEX biz account with 20 corp cards issued and a BofA cash rewards plan with 30 employee issued cards. We’d definitely want to get the most out of redeemable travel rewards (the cash back has really been 1% or less and we have those non-transferable MR points. Ugh.)

    We’re doing our own research but always like to hear from the people who are in it everyday. Ink seems to make sense to replace the BofA setup and it sounds like the framework is there to make the AMEX account work harder for us in terms of redemptions for employee travel expenses.

    Your thoughts are definitely appreciated.

  2. Annual fee on the Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa Card is actually $60. That makes it cheaper than the $75 personal card.

  3. Ben, nice post! If I already have another Club Carlson Business card for one business, can I get another for my other business? (And if I am, are there any banks that don’t allow duplication of a card type if it’s for a separate business?)

  4. @ Jared — Sorry, wish I had an answer, but I don’t have any experience with that. If I’m not mistaken, Chase will give you the sign-up bonuses on cards for multiple businesses, while American Express won’t, for example.

  5. Hi Ben,

    Great post!!I have one question though.
    Club Carlson card one night free benefit requires card holder to have the card active just at the time of booking the award stay OR its required on the actual stay dates?
    For e.g. If I cancel the card after booking the reward stay but before the actual stay.. does that work?

  6. @ Yashesh — Hmmm, that’s a great question, not sure, to be honest. The points are debited and discount is applied at the time of booking, so my guess is you could cancel. That being said, I don’t think it’s worth cancelling the card either way since you get 40K points on the account anniversary each year, which more than offsets the annual fee, in my opinion.

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