Editor’s note: This is a recurring post with regularly updated card details.
Whether you’re self-employed as a freelancer, independent contractor, or owner of a small business, the most valuable card for you is one that gives back each time you use it. When you’re running your own shop, the most beneficial credit card offers attractive rewards as well as low interest rates and low fees. We looked at all these features to determine the best card for you.
Here are the seven best business credit cards for self-employed business owners:
- American Express Blue Business CashTM Card: Best overall for self-employed business owners
- U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa®: Best for 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR)
- American Express Blue Business® Plus: Best for points-based rewards
- Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®: Best for frequent travelers
- Chase Ink Business Cash®: Best for home offices
- Discover it® Cash Back: Best for double cash rewards for the first year
- Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: Best for recurring Amazon purchases
American Express Blue Business CashTM Card: Best Overall for Self-employed
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
Earning 2% cash back every time you swipe and 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) for 12 months
- Earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months.
- 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.
- From workflow to inventory to floor plans, your business is constantly changing. That’s why you’ve got the power to spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power.
- Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express and other factors.
- 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
- No Annual Fee
- Terms Apply
- No interest for 12 months
- Earn consistent 2% cash back rewards on every purchase
- Offers no cash sign-up bonus
- 2% cash back category is capped at $50,000 in annual spending
- Extended warranty protection: American Express provides up to an additional year of coverage on warranties of up to 5 years. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per account each year.
- Purchase protection: The issuer will repair, replace, or reimburse you for an item purchased with the card that was damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase. Coverage is limited to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per account each year.
- Baggage insurance: If your luggage is damaged or lost when you travel on a common carrier, such as a plane, trip, ship, or bus, American Express will reimburse you for losses not covered by your own personal insurance.
Why we like it: Simplicity is key with the American Express Blue Business CashTM Card. Since there’s no need to keep track of spending categories or where you shop, feel free to use this card for all of your business expenses. Receive 2% cash back when you spend up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% after that. Once you reach the $50,000 spend limit, you’ll receive an impressive $1,000 cash back as a statement credit. In addition, you get a $250 credit after spending $3,000 in the first three months, a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months, and no annual fee. It’s a great card for easy financing, and it’s our number-one selection for best small business credit card.
U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa®: Best for 0% Introductory APR
U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards Visa®
0% APR for 15 Billing Cycles
- Introducing the U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® the card that gives back on all your eligible business needs.
- Limited time offer: Earn $500 in cash back. Just spend $4,500 on the Account Owner's card in the first 150 days of opening your account.
- Earn 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations, office supply stores, cellphone service providers. and restaurants.
- 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
- No limit on total cash back earned.
- Rewards never expire
- Earn an annual $100 statement credit for recurring software subscription expenses like FreshBooks or QuickBooks.
- 0% Intro APR on purchase and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR that is currently 13.99% to 22.99%.
- No annual fee.
- Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2021 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2021.
- 0% APR applies to both purchases and balance transfers
- Unlimited cash back rewards
- No annual fee
- Balance transfer fee is charged even during the introductory period
- Intro APR does not apply to cash advances
- MasterRental car rental collision damage waiver: When you rent a car using your U.S. Bank credit card, you’re covered in case of accident or theft on all rentals made worldwide. Coverage is primary, which means you won’t need to use your personal auto insurance or accept the insurance offered by the rental agency. Coverage is capped at $50,000.
- Purchase assurance: U.S. Bank may repair or reimburse for items purchased with your U.S. Bank business credit card that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase. Coverage is limited to $1,000 per loss, up to $25,000 per year per account. Lost items and items left out of reach that others can see are not covered.
- Extended warranty protection: U.S. Bank will double the manufacturer’s warranty up to an additional 1 year from the expiration of warranties of 5 years or less. An item with a 6-month warranty would be backed for an additional 6 months, for example. The issuer will replace the item or reimburse you up to the amount charged on your U.S. Bank card up to $10,000.
Why we like it: If you have high balances on other cards, consider transferring those balances over to the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa®. This card offers a 0% introductory APR for both balance transfers and purchases for 15 billing cycles. If you budget your payments over those 15 months, by the time the introductory APR ends, you’ll have paid those high balances down to zero. If you spend $4,500 within the first 150 days of opening your account, you’ll receive $500 cash back. Ongoing rewards included with this card are 3% cash back at eligible gas stations, office supply stores, mobile phone service providers and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
American Express Blue Business® Plus: Best for Points-based Rewards
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Pocketing 2x points per $1 and 0% introductory APR for 12 months
- Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
- You’ve got the power to use your Card beyond its credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
- *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express, and other factors.
- 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening.
- No Annual Fee
- Terms Apply
- 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfer
- Earn 2x points on all spending
- No lucrative welcome offer
- 2x points rewards are capped at $50,000 in spending
- Extended warranty protection: American Express will match the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty if it’s less than 2 years. It provides an additional 2 years if the original manufacturer’s warranty is between 2 and 5 years. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per account each year.
- Purchase protection: The issuer will repair, replace, or reimburse you for an item purchased with the card that was damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase. Coverage is limited to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per account each year.
Why we like it: Most of the cards on this list offer cash back rewards, but if you prefer points, you can redeem them for a variety of high-quality merchandise from American Express. Use Membership Rewards® points to purchase hundreds of technology, sports, game, fashion, home, and office products. You can even use your points to support other small businesses. The introductory bonus gives you 15,000 points after you spend just $3,000 in the first three months. When you need the flexibility of unlimited purchases, the American Express Blue Business® Plus card offers 2x points on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each calendar year, then 1x after that.
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®: Best for Frequent Travelers
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card
Earning top rewards on travel purchases booked through Bank of America
9 billing cycles
- Earn 30,000 bonus points when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel purchases.
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases everywhere, every time-no matter how much you spend. Points don't expire.
- Earn 3 points per every dollar spent on travel purchases (car, hotel, airline) booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center.
- No annual fee and no international transaction fees.
- 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
- Redeem points for travel with no blackout dates, cash back or gift cards.
- Get 75% more points on the base earn of every purchase you make when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you will earn 2.62 points for every $1 you spend and 4.12 points per every $1 you spend at the Bank of America® Travel Center.
- 3x points on travel
- 0% APR on purchases
- No blackout dates on travel
- Low ongoing rewards on non-travel
- Low introductory bonus
- No 0% APR on balance transfers
Bank of American does not disclose details of its additional card features. To find out more about these additional features, review your guide to benefits when you receive your card in the mail.
Why we like it: If you travel often for business, you can earn 3 points for every $1 spent on flights, rental cars, and hotels booked through the Bank of America Travel Center when you use the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®. Also, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 on any purchase, anywhere. To boost your rewards power, if you already have a business checking account with Bank of America and qualify for Preferred Rewards for Business, you can earn up to 75% more points on every purchase. To become eligible, you’ll need a three-month combined average daily balance of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America business deposit accounts and/or Merrill® business investment accounts. Once you sign up, you can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days. There’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and you get a 0% introductory APR for the first nine months.
Chase Ink Business Cash®: Best for Home Offices
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Office-based businesses that want top cash back rewards
- Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- 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
- Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
- With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
- With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
- No Annual Fee
- Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
- Top rewards for office supply spending
- Introductory APR on purchases
- Cash sign-up bonus
- 0% APR doesn’t apply to balance transfers
- High balance transfer fee of 5%
- Designed mainly for office-oriented companies
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Coverage is primary—meaning it replaces any coverage your personal insurance might offer—when renting for business purposes. It provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most cars in the United States and abroad.
- Purchase protection: Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account per year.
- Extended warranty protection: Extends the time period of the US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of 3 years or less.
Why we like it: If you’re self-employed and work out of a home office, the Chase Ink Business CashSM card may be a good fit for you. It offers a fabulous 5% cash back on the first $25,000 towards internet, phone, cable bills, or office supplies, along with 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants and 1% on everything else. There’s no limit to the amount you can earn. Plus, you get $750 cash back after spending $7,500 in the first three months. It’s our top overall choice for best credit card for startup businesses.
Discover it® Cash Back: Best for Double Cash Rewards for the First Year
Discover it® Cash Back
Double cash back on the first year’s purchases
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more, up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
- Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — automatically.
- We'll automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much we'll match.
- Excellent rewards rate on rotating bonus categories
- Double the highest rate for the first 12 months
- 0% APR period that’s longer than most cards
- Cardholders must enroll each quarter
- Bonus rewards are capped at $1,500 each quarter
- No purchase protection or extended warranty protection
- Account lock: Freeze your account in seconds to prevent new purchases with an on/off switch available on both the mobile app and website.
- Late fee waiver: You won’t pay a late fee the first time your payment is late. Late fees are up to $39 thereafter.
Why we like it: Even though this isn’t a business credit card, as a personal card, it has one of the most generous rewards programs available. At the end of the first year, get an unlimited cash back match of all the rewards you earned throughout the year. Not only that, but you can earn 5% cash back on purchases from a revolving selection of shops that Discover selects quarterly. For example, from October through December of 2021, you can earn 5% at Walmart, Amazon, or Target, up to a maximum of $1,500 for the quarter. You can also earn 1% back on all purchases at any time. When you add no annual fee, a 0% introductory APR for the first 14 months, and the lowest starting interest rate on this list, you can see that the Discover it® Cash Back card just keeps on giving.
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: Best for Recurring Amazon Purchases
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
5% back or 90-day repayment terms
- Eligible Prime Members get a $125 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval for the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card.
- Take advantage of 5% Back or 90 Day Terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon.com, Amazon Business, AWS and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership. You will earn 5% Back on the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year, 1% Back thereafter
- 2% Back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- 1% Back on other purchases
- $0 Annual Fee
- Back your business with a broad product selection on Amazon and Amazon Business, and the service of American Express. Stay focused on your top business priorities, knowing we’re behind you.
- With rewards that don’t expire, you choose when to redeem. Redeem rewards on millions of items during checkout at Amazon.com and Amazon Business (U.S.) or apply towards a purchase on your statement.
- Terms apply.
- $125 Amazon gift card upon approval
- 5% rewards or 90 days of no interest at Amazon-owned businesses
- Mediocre rewards outside of Amazon-owned businesses
- 0% APR offer is short compared to other business credit cards
- Return protection: American Express will provide a refund for an item purchased within 90 days that cannot be returned to the merchant. Refunds are limited to $300 per item, up to $1,000 per cardmember, per calendar year.
- Baggage insurance: Get reimbursed for lost, damaged, or stolen luggage is damaged, lost, or stolen when you pay for your trip with your card, American Express will pay up to $1,250 per covered person for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage.
- Car rental insurance: Get coverage for theft or damage of a car rental, up to $50,000. Cardholders can waive the collision insurance offered by the auto rental agency.
Why we like it: If you regularly make business purchases through Amazon, you could significantly benefit from the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card. There’s no annual fee outside of the business prime membership fee, and you have your choice of two options with each purchase: 5% cash back that you can spend on Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market or a 90-day interest-free billing cycle. Plus, you’ll get 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and wireless phone services and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. To top it off, you’ll receive a $125 bonus gift card when your card application is approved.
Qualification Requirements for Self-employed Business Owners
If you’re self-employed, you’re eligible for a business credit card, whether you’re full-time or part-time. You can apply using your Social Security number if you don’t have a tax identification number (TIN) or employer identification number (EIN). Unless you already have a business credit history, your personal credit score will be a major determining factor in whether you’re approved, so it’s best if your personal credit is in good standing before applying for a card.
How We Evaluated the Best Business Credit Cards for Self-employed Business Owners
When evaluating the best credit cards for self-employed business owners, we prioritized 0% APR introductory offers, no annual fees, sign-up bonuses, and ongoing rewards, as well as cards with specific spending categories and unlimited use cards.
The cards we’ve selected can all give your business a boost when you’re self-employed. Whether your most frequent purchases are for travel or home office needs or your purchasing pattern changes every month, select the card that can help you keep more of your earnings in your pocket.