Banking

Here are the 7 best business credit cards with no annual fee

Business credit cards give small business owners the opportunity to build their credit scores, as well as earn valuable rewards on their everyday purchases.

As with consumer credit cards, some business cards come with pesky annual fees. Although the fees are tax-deductible and the perks usually make up for them, for some businesses, it might still be easier to get a no-annual-fee business credit card.

Luckily, there are a number of business credit cards with no annual fee on the market that still earn points, miles or cash back and offer features like an introductory 0% APR period. These credit cards are also useful for businesses looking to add additional employee cards for no charge.

Select analyzed the best no annual fee business credit cards available, and how your company can maximize each one.

The best no annual fee business credit cards

FAQs

Winner

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months from account opening on purchases; N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who’s this for? The Chase Ink Business Unlimited tops this list because of its generous welcome offer and 1.5% cash back earning rate. This card is great for business owners who don’t want to track spending categories to maximize their rewards.

To get started, you can earn $750 in bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. And as you spend, you will earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases. Better yet, cash back from this card can be converted into transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points if you have an eligible Ultimate-Rewards-earning card, like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

The card also comes with a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on new purchases (after, 15.49% to 21.49% variable APR) and you can add employee cards at no additional cost.

Runner-up

Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    15.49% – 23.49% variable 

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Straightforward rewards program
  • Spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power

Cons

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Who’s this for? The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a great pick for small businesses looking for solid cash back across all of their purchases.

Upon approval, you can earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on the card in your first three months. And as you spend, you will earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases of up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back after that. What’s more, the cash back you earn isn’t considered taxable income.

However, the real power of this card is the ability to spend above its credit limit through Expanded Buying Power. Other perks include extended warranty coverage and purchase protection and the ability to add up to 99 employees free of charge.

New cardholders can also take advantage of a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening (after, 15.49% to 23.49% variable APR see rates and fees).

Best for welcome bonus

Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select for Excellent Credit

Who’s this for? The Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select for Excellent Credit has a solid welcome offer with a more modest minimum spend threshold to meet.

When you’re approved for the card, you can earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. And as you spend, you will earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

It’s also a great travel credit card as the card offers roadside assistance and doesn’t incur any foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside of the U.S.

The standard Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select for Excellent Credit charges a variable APR of 14.74% – 20.74%. However, if you sign up for the Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select for Good Credit, you can take advantage of a 0% introductory APR offer for the first 12 months of card membership (after, 17.49% – 25.49% variable).

Learn more about the Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select

Best for office supplies

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year (then 1%); 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year (then 1%); 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months from account opening on purchases; N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who’s this for? The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card is a great option for small businesses who regularly make purchases from office supply stores or have significant bills from their internet, cable and phone services providers.

The card earns:

  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year (then 1%)
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year (then 1%)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

This card also comes with a significant welcome offer: $750 in bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Cardholders can benefit from a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on new purchases (after, 15.49% to 21.49% variable APR). Other perks include purchase protection, extended warranty protection, various travel protections and employee cards at no additional cost.

Cash back from this card can also be converted into transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points if you have an eligible Ultimate-Rewards-earning card, like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Best for 0% intro APR

U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card

On U.S. Bank’s secure site

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles

  • Regular APR

    14.24% – 23.24% (Variable)

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who’s this for? The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card is ideal for businesses that need to finance significant purchases with the option to pay them back at their own speed.

When you’re approved for the card, you will get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, there’s a variable APR of 14.24% to 23.24%.

This allows you to make purchases as needed, and as long as you make the minimum payment each month — you won’t incur any interest charges or fees. So if you need a new iPhone for your business, or need to make some equipment upgrades, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card could be a great pick.

The only major drawback is that this card doesn’t earn any rewards.

Best for travel rewards

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1X point per dollar

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 15,000 Membership Reward Points® after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    15.49% – 23.49%  variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who’s this for? The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is for business owners who want to earn travel rewards.

It’s almost identical to the American Express Blue Business Cash Card above, but instead of cashback, it earns American Express Membership Rewards points. These are some of the most valuable rewards around due to the ability to transfer them to 21 airline and hotel partners, such as Delta SkyMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy.

When you’re approved for the card, you can snag a welcome offer of 15,000 Membership Rewards® points by spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of account opening. Then, as you spend on the card, you’ll earn 2X points per dollar spent on all purchases, up to $50,000 per calendar year. After that, all purchases earn 1X points per dollar spent.

New cardholders can also take advantage of a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening (after, 15.49% to 23.49% variable APR see rates and fees). The card also comes with several cardholder protections, including rental car insurance, extended warranty and purchase protection.

Best for building business credit

Capital One Spark 1% Classic

Who’s this for? The Capital One Spark 1% Classic is a solid choice for business owners looking to improve their credit scores.

The card doesn’t come with a welcome bonus, but users can earn an unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for their business, and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

The card has few benefits, so if you apply for this card, your goal should be to build your credit score and move on to a new card. It charges a steep 26.99% variable APR so you’ll want to pay your balance off in full each month.

Learn more: Capital One Spark 1% Classic

FAQs

How many business credit cards can you apply for at once?

It’s usually not recommended to apply for more than one line of credit at once. But you could potentially apply for multiple credit cards at once and still get approved for all of them.

Is it better to have no annual fee?

Credit cards with annual fees tend to have more benefits and features. However, that doesn’t necessarily make them ‘better’ as you should pick a card that matches your needs. Also, remember that credit card annual fees can be deducted as business expenses.

What does it mean if a credit card has no annual fee?

Many credit cards come with an annual fee charged to cardholders for simply having the card active in their wallet. If it has no annual fee, you could hold the card forever and not incur any fees.

What are the benefits of cards that don’t charge an annual fee?

Having no annual fee can be helpful for credit card holders who simply want to save on their purchases by earning rewards. Annual fees are typically for users who want to extract value from the card benefits offered.

Bottom line

A business credit card with no annual fee can be a valuable tool to pay for your business expenses and earn rewards without hurting your bottom line. And qualifying for one may be easier than you think — even a side hustle can make you eligible for a business credit card. However, before you apply for a new card, it’s best to check your credit score and analyze your budget to see if it’s the right move for your business.

Our methodology

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.


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