11 Best First Time Business Credit Cards of 2023

11 Best First Time Business Credit Cards of 2023

11 Best First Time Business Credit Cards of 2023

There are key steps you don’t want to overlook when starting a new business, and one is  setting up your business financial systems to track business expenses, monitor cash flow and complete your taxes on time. 

Business credit cards can be a great tool to manage business spending. Not only are credit cards the safest way to pay for purchases, they often offer excellent rewards and higher credit limits. They are also easier to get than small business loans for startups.

Here’s the good news. Many of the most business credit cards are available as soon as you start your business. That’s true even if you just start as a freelancer or independent contractor. 

Why wait? Here’s how to get a first time business credit card. 

11 Best First Time Credit Cards For New Businesses

Here are eleven of the best business credit cards for small business owners starting a new business. 

1. Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

With this card you can get 0% for 9 billing cycles on purchases. It also has a solid welcome offer: $300 online statement credit after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.  Plus it offers ongoing rewards of 3% cash back in the category of your choice (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter), 2% cash back on dining purchases (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

2. Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit

A low introductory rate can be helpful for cash flow, and this card offers 0% on purchases for 12 months. For an ongoing basis, you’ll earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase and 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.. Plus, the annual fee is $0.


If your business plans to shop on Amazon the  carries an annual fee of and there’s a welcome bonus.  .

4. Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Costco Business shoppers will want to consider the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi. It’s especially valuable for fuel purchases. Costco is already known for its lower cost gas station prices. With this card, get 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter. 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases. 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com. 1% cash back on all other purchases..

5. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

With 0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening this card can be helpful for financing start-up business expenses. And it offers a solid rewards program. 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.

6. Capital One Spark Classic for Business

If your credit is fair to good, or you are new to credit, this card may be a good fit. The annual fee is $0. And the foreign transaction fee is None

7. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

This card offers a trifecta of solid benefits. Get a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

And then earn ongoing rewards on all eligible purchases. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business.

8. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

If you know you’ll have a chunk of startup expenses in your first three months, the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has a very good welcome offer. New Cardmember Offer! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..

The annual fee is just $95 which can easily be offset by the sign up offer and ongoing points. Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases-with no limit to the amount you can earn.

9. BILL Divvy Corporate Card

The  BILL Divvy Corporate Card combines a business credit card with a robust expense management platform. It can be especially useful if you plan to issue employee cards, as it offers free employee cards with excellent spend management tools. And it offers rewards: Up to 7% points, based on payment settings..

10. Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

Another option for new small business owners, this card features a rewards rate of 1.5% unlimited cashback with no annual fee.

11. U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card

Earn $500 in cash back if you spend $4,500 on the account owner’s card in the first 150 days after account opening. Earn 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers, and restaurants. And you can earn an annual $100 statement credit for monthly software service purchases such as FreshBooks or QuickBooks.

*All information about the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card has been collected independently by Nav. This card is not currently available through Nav. To see what business credit cards are available, please visit the Nav Credit Card Marketplace.

Features To Consider When Getting A New Business Credit Card

When it comes to choosing the best business credit card for your new business, you’ll want to consider both costs and perks:  

Annual Fee

Annual fees on business credit cards range from nothing to hundreds of dollars. Higher annual fees are associated with premium cards with more benefits. Some cards waive the annual fee the first year, which an be helpful when you’re just starting out. 

But higher fees can be well worth it, especially for businesses that charge a lot on their cards and earn significant rewards. A new startup business with relatively low expenses may want to start with a card with no annual fee, or a lower annual fee. 

Intro APR

Most credit cards allow you to borrow money and repay that debt by making monthly payments. (Charge cards require payment in full each billing cycle.) Credit card interest rates typically run in the low double digits (in the range of a 14—22% variable Annual Percentage Rate depending on borrower qualifications). But cards with low intro APRs— including 0% introductory APRs— allow businesses the opportunity to finance purchases inexpensively for nine to twelve months or more. 

Cash Back Rewards

Cash back is a popular credit card reward, as it’s easy for businesses to put cash back to good use. Some cards offer cash rewards as a specific percentage of eligible purchases; for example 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Others offer tiered cash back, with higher cash rewards purchases in certain spending categories like office supply stores or restaurants, for example. 

Travel Rewards

Travel rewards on business credit cards can be lucrative, and may include rewards points that can be redeemed for travel, as well as travel benefits like car rental insurance, status on airlines or hotels, access to airport lounges, free checked luggage on flights and more.

Sign up Bonus

Many small business credit card offers feature sign up bonuses or welcome offers that allow the cardholder to earn bonus cash back or bonus points by spending a certain amount within a specific time period. (For example, earn $400 bonus cash back when you spend $3000 within the first three months after account opening.) 

Other Perks

Travel perks aren’t the only ones cards offer. Purchase protection, extended warranties, higher spending limits and free employee cards are just some of the other benefits offered by many business credit card issuers.

No Personal Guarantee

With a personal guarantee, the cardholder can be personally liable for the debt if the business can’t repay it. Most small business credit cards do require a personal guarantee (PG). A few small business credit cards and most corporate cards do not require a PG, but those cards are not typically available to new businesses as the business will need strong revenues to qualify. 

Qualifying For Beginner Business Credit Cards

Here’s the good news. If you have good personal credit and sufficient income (not just from the business), you may qualify for many of the most popular small business credit card. That’s because many of these card issuers base approval on the applicant’s personal credit score, and income from all sources, which can even include household income that’s available to pay the debt. 

Personal creditworthiness is a factor here; most cards require good to excellent personal credit scores.

How To Apply For A First Time Business Credit Card

The application process for a business credit card for a new business is similar to that of applying for a personal credit card. You’ll include personal information (name, social security number, address, phone number etc.). When you apply for a business credit card you’ll also be asked for information about the business, including the name of the business, Employer Identification Number (EIN) if available, business revenues or projected revenues. 

Most business credit card issuers don’t check business credit, but they do report to business credit bureaus. That means using one of these cards responsibly can help you establish business credit.

How To Get A Business Credit Card As A New Sole Proprietor

If you operate your business as a sole proprietorship, freelancer, or independent contractor, you can apply for many of the most popular business credit cards. While a few credit cards are only available to businesses that are formed as an LLC or corporation, most are available to business owners who haven’t yet taken that step. With those cards, if you apply and don’t have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) you can list your social security number.

How To Get A Business Credit Card After Setting Up A New LLC

If you plan to form an LLC or a corporation (C corporation or S Corporation), you may want to wait until you have formed your business entity and received your EIN. When you start to build business credit in the name of your LLC or corporation, this will be helpful.

How To Get A First Time Business Credit Card For A Startup

You may be able to get a business credit card the day you start your business—even if it hasn’t made any money yet. Again, most credit card issuers will consider personal credit and income from all sources when evaluating credit card applications for business credit cards. 

Why A Business Credit Card May Not Be The Best Fit As A First Time Credit Card At This Time

If you qualify for a business credit card with good terms, it is often preferable to using a personal credit card for business purchases. However, if you are starting a business as a sole proprietorship or independent contractor and you plan to form a business entity, such as an LLC or corporation soon, you may want to wait until you form your business to get a business credit card. 

FAQs for First Time Business Credit Cards

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