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Historically personal credit cards have been much more competitive than business credit cards, though that trend is slowly changing. Issuers have been introducing new benefits to existing business cards, and also introducing new products altogether. In many cases the most lucrative cards out there are now business cards, which wasn’t the case previously.
In this post I figured I’d look at seven business cards that I consider to be incredibly lucrative, for a variety of reasons. Some are valuable for the return on non-bonused spend, some are valuable for their category bonuses, and others are useful for their perks. In no particular order, here are my seven favorite business cards:
Sign-up bonus: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95
What makes this card awesome: Huge sign-up bonus, generous return on everyday spend, great protection benefits
In addition to the single most valuable sign-up bonus being offered by any card at the moment, the card offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent per anniversary year on combined purchases of travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. On top of that, the card offers a unique cell phone protection plan that isn’t offered by any other card that I know of.
Sign-up bonus: $300 cash back after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: $0
What makes this card awesome: No annual fee card with great bonus categories
This is basically the no annual fee version of the Ink Preferred Card, and this card has some mega bonus categories. It offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent per anniversary each on combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services.
While this is marketed as a cash back card, the good news is that in conjunction with a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, each cent of cash back can be converted into one Ultimate Rewards point, making this a great complement to a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Sign-up bonus: $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 within three months
Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
What makes this card awesome: The best business cash back card
If you’re looking for a cash back business credit card, this one is tough to beat. It offers a flat 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limits. If you spend a lot in non-bonused categories, this is fantastic.
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 within three months, plus an additional 25,000 points after spending another $5,000, also within three months
Annual fee: $450
What makes this card awesome: The best perks of any business card
While this card has a hefty annual fee, it also comes with all kinds of perks that help offset it. These include a $200 annual airline fee credit (which is based on calendar year rather than cardmember year, meaning you’d get two of them before you have to pay your first year’s annual fee), access to Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs, a Priority Pass membership, 10 Gogo wifi passes every year, Hilton Honors and SPG Gold status, and much more. To me this card is well worth it for the perks, even though I’d direct most of my Amex business spend onto the below three cards instead.
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $175, waived the first year
What makes this card awesome: Great return on everyday spend and big sign-up bonus
This card has a big sign-up bonus, and also offers a generous return on spend. You earn 3x points in one of the following categories of your choice:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
Then you earn 2x in the remaining four categories. The bonus points apply to the first $100,000 spent annually in each of the five categories, so that’s potentially a lot of bonus points.
Sign-up bonus: none
Annual fee: $0
What makes this card awesome: The single best return on everyday, non-bonused spend
This card was just recently introduced, and offers 2x points on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year. This is by far the best business card for the first $50,000 of non-bonused business spend each year, in my opinion.
Sign-up bonus: 25,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year
What makes this card awesome: Solid everyday return on spend
If you want to earn hotel or airline points and want the card that offers the best return on non-bonused spend, this card is tough to beat. You earn one Starpoint per dollar spent, and I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so to me that’s like getting a 2.2% return, which is great. The card also offers club lounge access when staying at Sheraton properties, which is a nice perk.
It’s great to see how much business cards have improved over the past few years, as they didn’t used to be this lucrative. From cards offering double points on all purchases, to 2% cash back cards, to cards offering up to 5x points in select categories, there are a lot of business cards to love nowadays.
What’s your favorite business card?