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Best travel rewards business credit card 2021

ZDNet logo ZDNet 9/22/2021 Mandy Sleight
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It doesn't matter if you're self-employed, own a small business, or just travel frequently for work; your business spending should be rewarded. The best way to make the most out of your everyday business expenditures is by using a reward credit card. With the right travel reward business credit cards, you can earn cashback or points towards future travel plans without having to spend more than you normally do.

Ink Business Preferred® credit card

Best overall travel rewards business credit card

Features:

  • Annual fee: $95

  • APR: 15.99% - 20.99% variable thereafter

  • Business perks: Free employee cards, 24/7 business portal access, fraud liability protection, no foreign transaction fees, contactless pay, extended warranty protection, purchase protection, travel and emergency assistance services, referral bonus, purchase and travel protection, and more

  • Perks: 100,000 bonus points after $15,000 spend in 3 months

  • Rewards: Earn 3% cashback on internet, cable, and phone services, shipping, advertising, and travel; 1% cashback on other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus: Earn $1,000 cashback or $1,250 travel rewards after $15,000 spend in 3 months

The Ink Business Preferred® credit card is the best overall travel rewards business credit card because of its flexibility in using points for cashback or travel rewards. At Chase, you can get a 1:1 or points transfer to 10 airline travel partners and three hotel travel partners or redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, or the Apple store. When redeeming rewards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, your points are worth 25% more when redeemed directly for airfare, car rentals, cruises, and hotels.

There are other perks with the Ink Business Preferred® credit card, like trip cancellation and interruption insurance, roadside assistance, rental car insurance, purchase extended warranty protection. Your employees can also get free cards, which you can easily track online and set spending limits anytime. This travel rewards business credit card also offers cell phone protection, which offers damage and theft protection up to $500 per claim for all cardholders, including employees. And, if you like the card, you can refer other business owners and get up to 100,000 additional points each year when they are approved for a Chase business card.

Pros:

  • Introductory welcome bonus

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal

  • Tiered rewards program

  • Referral bonus

Cons

  • $95 annual fee

  • 5% balance transfer fee

  • Higher cashback rewards limited to the first $150,000 annual spend

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Best non-branded airline rewards card for business

Features:

  • Annual fee: $0 first year, then $95

  • APR: 20.99% variable

  • Business perks: Travel and emergency services, free employee cards, 24/7 business portal access, fraud liability protection, card lock, virtual card numbers, no foreign transaction fees, roadside assistance, extended warranty protection, zero liability protection, and more

  • Perks: $100 travel credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, earn 50,000 bonus miles after $4,500 purchase in first 3 months 

  • Rewards: Earn 2 points for every purchase

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after $4,500 purchase in first 3 months 

If you aren't loyal to one airline, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business may be the best travel rewards credit card for your business. The annual fee is waived in the first year, and you get 50,000 bonus miles -- equal to $500 -- after spending $4,500 in the first three months. You can easily download purchase records at any time in various formats, like QuickBooks or Excel, which can make accounting much easier.

Miles can be used to book hotels, flights, and vacation packages to over 15 travel partners, including Air France KLM, British Airways, JetBlue, and Qantas. There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and Capital One does not put a minimum on points redemption when redeemed for travel. When you have to renew Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can activate a $100 travel credit to offset the cost. There are no foreign transaction fees when using the Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card internationally, and the card also includes free roadside assistance you can use anywhere.

Pros:

  • The first year $0 annual fee

  • Free employee cards

  • Transfer miles to over 15 travel loyalty programs

  • No blackout dates or points minimums to meet

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee after the first year

  • No intro APR

  • Requires excellent credit

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Best branded airline travel rewards card for business

Features:

  • Annual fee: $250

  • APR: 15.74 - 24.74% variable

  • Business perks: Travel and emergency services, free employee cards, 24/7 business portal access, QuickBooks integration, fraud liability protection, dispute resolution, roadside assistance, extended warranty protection, purchase protection, no foreign transaction fees, and more

  • Perks: Up to $100 travel credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, companion certificate, Status Boost®

  • Rewards: Earn 3 miles on Delta and hotel purchases; 1.5 miles on eligible transactions of $5,000 or more; 1 mile on all other qualifying purchases

  • Welcome bonus:  Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after $3,000 spend in first 90 days

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card may come with a $250 annual fee, but the seasoned business traveler can easily make up for it with incentives. You can get a statement credit up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, 20% off on qualifying in-flight purchases, first checked bag free (up to $60 value), Cabin 1 Priority boarding, and the coveted Status Boost® to get you closer to Medallion® Status.

Each year when your card renews, you get a companion certificate to allow a person of your choosing to fly free with you. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees when flying internationally and get complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge when you purchase your Delta flight ticket with your business credit card. 

Pros:

  • Companion certificate

  • Travel credits and lounge access

  • Welcome bonus

Cons:

  • High annual fee

  • Low mile earn on purchases less than $5,000

Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®

Best 0% APR travel rewards card for business

Features:

  • Annual fee: $0

  • APR: 0% for first 9 billing cycles, 12.24% - 22.24% variable thereafter

  • Business perks: Travel and emergency services, free employee cards, 24/7 business portal access, fraud liability protection, no foreign transaction fees, zero liability protection, overdraft protection with linked Bank of America business checking account, contactless pay, and more

  • Perks: 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months 

  • Rewards: Earn 3 points on travel booked through Bank of America Travel Center; 1.5 points on other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after $3,000 spent in the first 90 days

If you have large business expenses coming up and want to save on interest, consider the Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®. It comes with no annual fee and a generous 0% APR on purchases for the first 9 months, the best of all travel business rewards credit cards. When you spend at least $3,000 in the first 90 days, you get 30,000 bonus points which can be redeemed for travel and dining purchases as a $300 statement credit.

With the Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®, there is no limit to how many points you can earn, and they don't expire. If you have a Bank of America business checking account and qualify for Preferred Rewards for Business, you earn up to 75% more points per purchase. This card has no annual fee or international transaction fees. Points can be redeemed for non-travel related incentives like cash back or gift cards. But if you want the most out of your points, book car rental, hotel stays, and plane tickets through the Bank of America Travel Center with no blackout dates.

Pros:

  • 0% intro APR for 9 months

  • Welcome bonus points

  • No annual fee

  • No limit to earning rewards

Cons:

  • Must have excellent credit to be approved

  • Existing Bank of America customers get the best perks

Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card

Best hotel travel rewards card for business

Features:

  • Annual fee: $95

  • APR: 0% for first 6 billing cycles, 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable thereafter

  • Business perks: Free employee cards, 24/7 business portal access, fraud liability protection, automatic Diamond level benefits, no foreign transaction fees, cell phone protection, extended warranty protection, contactless pay, and more

  • Perks: 0% intro APR for 6 months 

  • Rewards: Earn 8x on Hotels by Wyndham and gas purchases; 5x on marketing, advertising, and utilities; 1 point on all other purchases; 15,000 anniversary bonus points

  • Welcome bonus: Earn up to 90,000 bonus points (60,000 after $1,000 spend in first 90 days, 30,000 after spending $2,000 total in first 6 months)

The Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card is a great choice for business owners who frequent Hotels by Wyndham properties in over 95 countries worldwide. The Wyndham Rewards program offers a way for you to rack up points quickly with everyday expenditures like gas, marketing, and utilities. For spending $1,000 in the first 60 days and at least $2,000 in the first six months, you can earn 90,000 bonus points, which can mean up to 12 free nights at Hotels by Wyndham.

Being a Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card cardholder also gets you immediate Diamond level membership, which comes with its own perks, such as suite upgrades and welcome gifts at check-in. There is no limit to how many points you can earn in a year with the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card. If Wyndham properties aren't your thing, you can still use your points for several redemptions, including car rentals, plane tickets, airline partner transfers, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

Pros:

  • 0% intro APR for 6 months

  • Free employee cards

  • Annual bonus

  • Unlimited earning potential

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Transfer points outside hotel network

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee

  • Hotel awards may be subject to blackout dates

  • Low redemption value outside hotel redemptions

How did we choose these products?

When choosing the best travel rewards business credit cards, we considered several factors, like annual fees, APRs, redemption and introductory offers, earning structure, new cardmember bonuses, and other perks and benefits. Based on the information compared on dozens of business credit cards, these are some of the best available today.

The information referenced here may not be the most up to date. Fee structures, perks, special offers, rates, and requirements are subject to change without notice. Rates and fees are usually based on the prime rate and are subject to fluctuation.

Which is the best travel rewards credit card for your business? 

The best travel rewards credit card for your business is one that meets your purchase needs and goals for travel. The business credit cards featured here have a mix of benefits, perks, rewards, and fees to consider when deciding which is the best for your business. 

Before you apply for a business credit card, you should be prepared to provide both your personal and business information on the application. Using the card wisely and considering the additional cost of annual fees and accruing interest can help you make the right choice when compared to other perks and incentives.

If you don't already have a business checking account to keep your business and personal finances separate, you should consider which is the best option for your business before applying for a credit card. Separating your personal and business finances will protect your personal assets if the business were to default on a credit card or other loan agreement. 

The best travel rewards business credit card FAQ

What is the best business credit card for airline miles?

The best business credit card for airline miles depends on your preferred airline. If you have one, you may get the best perks from a branded airline card, like the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Card or United Business Mileage Plus. If you don't have a preference, we suggest the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card.

How to get points for business travel when you have to use a business credit card?

When you have to use a business credit card, the right card will get you points for business travel, even if the purchase isn't travel related. For example, the Ink Business Preferred Card offers 3x points on advertising, internet services, and cell phone service. For the best results, use your business travel rewards credit card for as many qualifying purchases as possible so you can get the most rewards available.

What are the best cash back business credit cards?

The best cashback business credit cards offer several ways to earn and redeem cash for everyday business purchases. The Capital One Spark Cards for Business is a suite of three cashback business credit cards to choose from based on your spending habits and credit history. With the Ink Business Cash by Chase, earn up to 5% in cashback on every dollar you spend. And the Discover It Business Credit Card matches all the cashback rewards you earn in the first year.

Are there alternatives worth considering? 

There are other noteworthy alternatives to consider. I didn't include these cards because they have high annual fees, require excellent credit to be approved, and may have restrictions on receiving rewards. 

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: This card has a steep $695 annual fee but includes a $200 airline fee credit and up to $200 in annual Dell credits per year. Airline lounge membership is also included, with Priority Pass access to American Express Centurion lounges and Delta Sky Clubs. If you spend $15,000 in the first 3 months of opening the card, you get an additional 100,000 points while regularly earning 5 points on American Express Travel bookings and 1.5 points on all eligible purchases of $5,000 or more.

  • United Club℠ Business card: This card comes with a hefty $450 annual fee and requires excellent credit. You can earn 2 miles per dollar spent on United Airlines purchases and 1.5 miles on all other purchases. The welcome offer is 75,000 bonus miles after $5,000 spent in three months. If you regularly travel United, this card gets you to access to the United Club, Premier airport access, and Hertz President's Circle status.
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