the best business travel credit cards

The Best Business Travel Credit Cards: Better Than Cash Back

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As a small business owner, you’re always looking to both save and earn more money wherever possible.  1% growth on your bottom line is more money in your pocket and therefore good for your business. If, for instance, you could sell your product for 1% more or manufacture it for 1% less, you’d probably be very happy.  One way that your business can earn more, is by getting a better return on all expenses.  The way to do that is through the best business travel credit cards and their introductory bonuses.  They will make you wonder why you were ever happy with that 1% cash back credit card.

More information on each card can be found below:

 

Are You Missing Out on Free Travel Rewards?

If you’re using cash, a debit card, or even the wrong credit card for business expenses, you are missing out on either cash back or free travel.  While cash-back can be great, most cash-back credit cards will only earn you 1-2% back on all purchases. If you were to get the right combination of business travel credit cards, you could instead be regularly earning 5-10% value or more back in travel points.  Even better, if you’re willing to apply for business travel credit cards continually earning introductory bonuses, you can often earn at least a 10-20% travel value return on your spending.

best travel credit cards for business

 

34% Value Back Using a Business Travel Credit Card

Is it really possible to get as much as 34% back on your business expenses?  It sure is.  I’ll give you an example with one of the current business travel credit cards offering a great opportunity.  If, for instance, you sign up for the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card and used it for your next $5000 of spend, you’d earn at least 85,000 points (introductory bonus plus at least 1x points on your spend).

How much is 85,000 points worth? On average, Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth about 2.0 cents (according to The Points Guy – Sept. 2018) each when used for travel. That means that your business spending of $5000 just earned you a potential travel value of $1,700.  A whopping 34% value back on your spending!!! No joke! That’s a lot more value than your average 1-2% cash back of $50-100… Think of the possible vacations you could be taking with all those points.

 

Travel More, While Spending Less

If you already travel a lot, you’re now going to be saving a lot of money using points, instead of your hard earned money.  If you don’t travel much yet, by now using business travel credit cards, you”ll have enough travel points to do it without spending much money at all.  Over the past few years, I have been able to travel as often as I can get time off, thanks to the abundance of points I’ve earned.  With all the hard work you’re doing on your business, I’m sure you could use a nice vacation!  Can you feel the warm sand between your toes yet?

best business travel credit cards airport

Best Business Travel Credit Cards Available Today

While the Chase Ink Preferred introductory offer is currently the best in the market at 80,000 points, there are plenty of other great business travel credit cards that can earn around $1000 of real world travel value.  There are also some extremely valuable benefits that come along with these business travel credit cards.  Some of them will save you money. Others will help you earn even more points through category spending bonuses.  I’ve compiled a list of the five best business travel credit cards that you should look into, according to their introductory bonuses and features.

 

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

80,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories (including social media advertising!) each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Other Benefits: Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards, or transfer your points to an airline or hotel partner.  You’ll get a cell phone protection plan of up to $600 when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.  You’ll receive rental car loss and damage coverage if your reservation is paid with the card.
  • Annual Fee: $95 Annual Fee

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

The Introductory Offer is one of the best we’ve seen for any credit card.  It’s a surprise how much value they give for a credit card with only a $95 annual fee.  We have this card and love the benefits.  We used the introductory offer bonus to purchase two round-trip flights to Hawaii, and still have 30,000 points left over.  That’s pretty impressive in itself.  On top of that, the spending category bonuses are worthwhile for most online businesses.

 


Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

50,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

Receiving this large of an introductory offer bonus on a no annual fee credit card used to be unheard of.  Now Chase has two of them.  I see this card as an excellent supplemental credit card to go along with the other Ink credit cards.  Because it earns 1.5 points per dollar on ALL purchases, it’s great for those purchases that don’t fall into a category bonus of the other cards.

 


Ink Business Cash Credit Card

50,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

I love this travel business credit card!  Why? Because it earns 5 points per dollar on multiple categories that I actually spend in regularly.  Phone bill, internet bill, and all office supplies earn 5X points!  On top of that, office supply stores sell gift cards that can be used for many of our other expenses.  Did I mention it currently has a huge introductory offer bonus and no annual fee?  I loved this card even without the bonus!

 


Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

60,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Southwest RR Premier Business Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months that your account is open.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Points Redemption: There are no blackout dates when you redeem points, no seat restrictions, bags fly free, and there are no change fees.
  • Annual Fee: $99 (Earn 6,000 bonus points after your Card member anniversary.)

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

Southwest’s reward booking process is by far the easiest to maneuver of all airlines.  Their points coincide with the dollar price of flights so you can get a great deal when they have sales.  I’ve flown round-trip for fewer than 7,000 points before.  The introductory offer bonus can go a long way.  Also, the introductory offer currently counts towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which is the absolute best deal in the traveling with points world.

 


CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

70,000 Point Introductory Offer *LIMITED TIME OFFER

CitiBusiness Aadvantage Platinum Select Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: (Limited time) You’ll earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening
  • American Airlines Benefits: Your first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines flights.  You’ll save 25% on American Airlines in flight Wi-Fi when you use your card. You’ll also receive preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.  You’ll earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.  You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $99 (waived for the first 12 months)

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

Wow! This introductory offer bonus is pretty special.  Plus, they’re still waiving the annual fee for the first 12 months.  It’s not every day you see an offer like this.

 


The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN – LEARN MORE

Up to 75,000 Point Introductory Offer

AMEX Business Platinum Credit Card LEARN MORE >

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Welcome Offer: You’ll earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points. You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. You’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (up to 1,000,000 additional points per year).
  • Flight Bonuses: 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards Pay with Points for a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year. You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • Airport Lounge Access: You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge CollectionSM offering access to the most lounges across the globe.
  • Other Travel Benefits: $200 Airline Credit per calendar year.  Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit.  Hilton & Starwood Gold Status.
  • Terms Apply

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

While this card isn’t for all businesses due to the high minimum spend to earn the welcome bonus, it has it’s valuable perks.  If you’re able to earn the welcome bonus, it’s very valuable with the Membership Rewards transfer partners.  The flying benefits of this card are what it’s all about in our opinion.  Lounge access, travel credits, free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for 5 years, and hotel status all comes with this credit card.  If it’s right for your business, it can make traveling a joy.

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How We Chose the Best Business Travel Cards

  • Introductory Bonus Value: Obviously, a large portion of the value in these credit card offers comes from the introductory bonus.  We like to use The Points Guy’s point valuations to calculate a more accurate dollar amount for each offer when used for travel.
  • Earning Potential: We researched which cards have true value in their category spend bonuses.  This means they have earning bonuses in categories that are often used by businesses.
  • Travel Benefits: We factored in annual travel credits, like the $200 airline credit and lounge access offered by the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN.
  • Annual Fees: While an annual fee can make sense, we only find it worth paying them if the benefits of the card far outweigh the yearly cost.

Are You Eligible For a Business Credit Card?

If you have a business or even just do some freelancing jobs as a side hustle, a small business credit card can help you separate your expenses, give you more buying power, and let you earn points from your business purchases. As you’ve seen, business credit cards offer bonus rewards on categories such as office supplies, airfare, advertising, dining and gas.  If you’re eligible through your business or side hustle, you could benefit greatly by having one or more business credit cards.

When you apply you will be asked for an EIN if your business has one.  Use this number on your application, which you should have received when you applied for your business.  If you are working as a sole proprietor, you won’t have an EIN and can simply use your social security number in this field when applying.  I have personally applied for and been approved for multiple business credit cards using both types of identification numbers.

Earn More Points Through Category Spend Bonuses

On top of the great introductory offers, category bonuses on spend make some of these business travel credit cards even better. Most of them have bonus spending categories that could make a lot of sense for your business. A couple of the category bonuses that I frequently take advantage of, are: 3X rewards for advertising on social media platforms from the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card, and 5X rewards on office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services from the Chase Ink Cash credit card.  Oh, and by the way, office supply stores happen to have a plentiful gift card selection… Wink, wink. This means that there is the potential of earning 5x points on almost all expenses that your business has.

vacation from business using points

Take More Vacations: It’s Now Possible

The conclusion of this story is that if you’re interested in traveling, and you’re currently making the mistake of using cash, debit card, or even cash back cards for your business expenses, YOU’RE PROBABLY DOING IT WRONG!!!  Find the right business travel credit card for your small business.  Then start earning something more valuable than 1-2% cash back. You can be getting much more value back from your business expenses.

If you’re not sure about the five cards we mentioned above, you can compare a larger selection of business travel credit cards here: Travel Credit Cards.  Take some time to review and compare what’s best for your business.  Imagine the vacations you and your family could be taking together…