Best Business Rewards Credit Cards

Small business rewards credit cards can help you make the most of everyday business expenses, including travel, office supplies, wireless and internet communications, and even purchases at gas stations and restaurants.

Maximizing rewards opportunities, however, means taking a careful look at all the available cards and selecting the one best suited for your specific need. To do that, it’s important to consider the following as they relate to your business:

  • Your spending habits
  • Rewards programs (e.g., miles, points, cash back) and redemption options
  • Bonus points & welcome offers
  • Introductory APR offers
  • Annual fees
  • Foreign fees
  • Additional perks or benefits (e.g., free night stay, exclusive memberships, business software, etc.)

Fortunately, we’ve selected what we consider to be some of the best business rewards credit cards.

Best Business Rewards Credit Cards

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for Big Spenders with Travel Needs

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express often holds a spot in “best business credit card” lists, and with good reason.  The card typically boasts a strong welcome offer; industry leading rewards earning potential; and a bevy of travel perks, including airline credits.

Business owners who frequently travel can also take advantage of a 35% airline points bonus when they book through Amex Travel, access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, and an annual $200 airline credit.  It’s also worth noting that Amex has some noteworthy airline partners, including Delta, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and ANA.

Of course, with a $595 annual fee, this card is really designed for businesses with significant expenditures, especially when it comes to travel.  However, when all perks, rewards, and statement credits are factored in, it certainly remains a top contender.

American Express® Business Gold Card: Most Flexible Rewards Program

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is certainly a solid card for specific users, but if don’t have a lot of travel needs or you’re not spending enough to outweigh the high annual fee, then you may want to consider American Express® Business Gold Card. It too has a lot to offer, and with a much lower annual fee.

This card doesn’t currently have a welcome offer, which won’t make it ideal for business owners looking to quickly earn and cash in on points, but it does have one of the most unique rewards programs.

With the American Express® Business Gold Card, you have a simplified but potentially lucrative points system. Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. These categories are revolving and will change monthly based on your spending patterns. Points, therefore, are earned retroactively. This is really a boon to business owners who won’t benefit from a single earning category, especially if spending needs change from month to month. 

Though cardholders will need to pay a $295 annual fee, there are no foreign transaction fees, and there are other perks, like Roadside Assistance, Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, and Travel Accident.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card – Best Hotel Rewards Credit Card for Small Business Owners

In the past discussions of hotel rewards, the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Business card held a regular seat at the “best of” table. Unfortunately, SPG was acquired by Marriott, and by January 2019, Amex no longer offered the SPG co-branded business card. It was, however, replaced by the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

As with most co-branded hotel cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card allows you to earn the most points on eligible purchases at participating Marriot Bonvoy properties. Earn 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.

There’s also a pretty long list of additional perks, including an annual free night award, complimentary silver elite status, and premium on-property internet access and Boingo Wi-Fi.  Plus, you can also transfer points to over 40 airline frequent flyer miles. And, while you’ll lose out on the standard 3:1 conversion, the blow is lessened with a 15,000-point bonus for when you transfer 60,000.

Though this card does not carry a foreign transaction fee, there is a $125 annual fee.  However, if you’re a Marriot, SPG, or Ritz-Carton loyalist, then this card really makes up for it in both rewards and travel perks.

Are business credit card rewards taxable?

Earning rewards can certainly save you money but are you responsible for paying taxes once you’ve redeemed them.  Generally, the rules governing rewards earned through a business credit card are similar to those earned through personal credit cards.  

For the most part, the use of miles, points, and cash back is considered as a discount and not taxable income. Therefore, there is no specific tax liability associated with most of the basic rewards programs available.

However, there are some considerations that should be made when it comes to dedications.  Typically, if you’re using rewards to cover all or a portion of a purchase, you should avoid writing it off as a business expense.

That said, there is one instance in which your rewards may become taxable. If you didn’t have to do anything to receive the reward, e.g., spend $3,000 in sixty days, then taxes may apply.

The best bet? Be diligent when it comes to recording your expenses and rewards redemptions, and when tax time comes, speak to your accountant so that they can offer the best advice for your specific situation.