As a private business owner since 2009, I use my Chase Ink Business Cash private business credit card for every expense possible. Not only are expenses a necessary part of growing my business, expenses are also great for lowering my taxable income.
When you can then add on charging all your expenses on a rewards credit card to get valuable points, owing a private business credit card is one of the most important and gratifying financial tools to have.
Imagine this scenario: Jane is a private business owner with a large upcoming expense. One friend tells Jane to use her emergency fund, another tells Jane to use the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card, which comes with an 80,000 points introductory offer for spending $5k in the first 3 months of activation.
Using the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card would let Jane cash in those rewards points for $1,000 in airline miles to go on a speaking tour about printmaking in Japan.
Clearly the second friend is business savvy and shares Jane's love of free rewards that help her business grow while simultaneously having fun. So Jane applied, was approved, and watched the bonus reward miles roll in!
Best Private Business Credit Cards
Here are the best private business credit cards available today.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase
- The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card from Chase
- The Business Platinum Card from American Express
The Joys Of Getting A Private Business Credit Card
Getting a private business credit card is straightforward. Your application will be evaluated based on your personal credit history, e.g. your credit score and your credit report.
Generally, the minimum credit score you need is usually 700+. After all, the average credit score in America is roughly 720 as of 2023. It is up from 204 in 2018.
During the application process, the private business credit card issuer will determine your line of credit. This is established, in part, by the annual revenues of your business. Note: You don't need to have an Employer Identification Number or business credit history to get a business credit card.
It is also very important to get a private business credit card that is separate from your personal rewards credit card. Always separate business expenses from pleasure, not only for your record keeping, but also for tax purposes.
As a business owner, sometimes there are grey areas. For example, every year you are required to have at least one director meeting to discuss business activities. If you decide to have the business retreat in Hawaii at a 5-star resort, that's your prerogative. If you decide to have fun while on business, nobody is stopping you either.
In such a case, it's probably best to put your business retreat on your private business credit card to keep your records organized and gain maximum rewards points.
And when it comes to getting a private business credit card, the potential benefits are limitless and wonderful.
Related: Important Benefits Of Small Business Credit Cards
The Best Private Business Credit Cards
1) Ink Business Preferred Credit Card From Chase
My current favorite private business credit card available today is the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card.
Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months (that’s $1,250 in redemption value in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal
Perks of the Bonus: When you redeem your 100,000 bonus points you could get the equivalent of $1,250 back to cover travel expenses. That covers two roundtrip tickets to Hawaii for your business offsite. Not bad! Or you can use the rewards to buy the latest iPhone or Macbook, for more business expenses.
Basic Perks: You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent using the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card on all non-travel related purchases on an unlimited basis. These points definitely add up over time.
You also get 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories.
Annual Fee: $95, which is obviously a business expense.
2) Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
The Chase Ink Business Cash credit card makes the number two spot in my favorites list for small business owners. I've had this card for over 10 years and love it.
Get $750 cash back if you spend $7,500 in the first three months
Perks of the Bonus: Great way to earn $750 in bonus cash if you know there’s a big business purchase on your horizon.
- Earn 5% cash back on office supplies, internet/cable/phone each year ($25,000 combined limit)
- 2% cash back rewards on gas and restaurants each year ($25,000 combined limit)
- 1% on all other purchases, unlimited rewards
- No annual fee to worry about
- Employee cards are free
- Set personalized account alerts and spending limits for each employee
- Flexible rewards can be redeemed for cash, travel, gift cards, Apple purchases and more
- Built-in fraud and purchase protections covering newly bought items for 120 days against damage or theft (up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account).
- As a cardmember you’ll also enjoy extended warranty for eligible purchases, as the card extends the US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year (on eligible warranties of three years or less).
- A final perk of holding the Ink Business Cash Card is that it offers an auto collision damage waiver. Essentially, when you rent a car for business purposes and charge it to this card, you can decline the rental car company’s collision insurance and be covered by the card in the case of theft or collision damage. This is valid on most rentals both in the US and abroad — make sure to check the fine print for more details.
3) Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
My third favorite private business credit card is the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card. As a long-term Chase client for over a decade now, I'm a huge fan of their credit cards and services.
Here are the card's fantastic features:
- Get $750 cash back if you spend $7,500 in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- Enjoy a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months
- No annual fee to worry about
- Employee cards are free
- Flexible rewards can be redeemed for cash back, travel, gift cards, Apple purchases, and more
- Rewards don’t expire if your account is active
- Built-in purchase, travel and fraud protections
- Set personalized account alerts and employee spending limits
4) The Business Platinum Card from American Express
American Express is the premier corporate business card platform that has been traditionally tailored for larger businesses. I owned an AMEX Corporate Card for 13 years while I worked in investment banking and regularly charged close to $100,000 a year in business expenses.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is the top private business credit card due to all its exclusive features. I recommend you have a private business that's generating over $500,000 annual in revenue with over $100,000 in annual expenses to make the card worthwhile.
Sign Up Offer: Earn 85,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new Card to make $15,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Bonus Rewards: Put your 85,000 Membership Rewards points to work and redeem for travel and hotel stays, plus enjoy relaxing in the American Express Global Lounge Collection. Plus, redeem 15% back on your Membership Rewards when you book through American Express Travel.
Rewards Points: You get 5X membership rewards on all flights and travel for your business when you book on amextravel.com. Therefore, if you are a frequent flier, The Business Platinum Card will really help, especially since you'll also gain access to The Centurion Lounge and other major lounges.
Annual Airline Credit: $200. Not bad to use for wherever you want to go.
Annual Fee: $595. This is on the higher end of annual fees, which is why I recommend having a business with more than $500,000 in revenue and $100,000 in expenses to justify this card. If you do have such business numbers, then The Business Platinum Card is worth it because it provides closer to $2,000+ in annual benefits if you use it regularly. Terms apply.
Best Private Business Credit Card
With a private business, not only do you earn a salary, you also own all the equity which you could one day sell for multiples of revenue or operating profit. Owning and growing a private business is truly one of the best ways to build wealth.
Take a look at the chart below that shows net worth composition by levels of wealth. Business Interests is in blue. Notice how the larger one's net worth, the larger the business interest. If you have a business, you are on the right track to building wealth.
The Best Private Business Credit Cards Have Many Benefits
Owning a business credit card is important for separating business expenses from personal expenses. It's so much easier to do your books if you put all your expenses on your business credit card because your expenses are recorded together and are downloadable.
But the best thing about having a business credit card is all the rewards points you'll accumulate. I personally spend way more on my business than I do personally.
And that's partly because I've created a lifestyle business where many of my expenses are also quite pleasurable e.g. traveling to Hawaii for our business offsite, entertaining clients at a Warriors basketball game, and so forth.
Rewards For Your Journey
Owning a business credit card with tremendous cash back and rewards benefits is like having icing on the cake.
May you all grow your private businesses into bigger businesses. Enjoy the journey!
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About the Author
Sam worked in investment banking for 13 years at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $350,000 a year in passive income.
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Disclosure: Credit card terms and features are subject to change.