If you are pretty sure that a business credit card is the solution for your business financial needs, the next question on your mind is probably whether or not paying an annual fee for a credit card is a good investment.
Many credit card companies offer the best benefits on cards that have an annual fee. So is getting a no-fee credit card an expensive bargain?
GET.com's Best Business No Annual Fee Credit Cards
|Best For||Credit Card|
|Miles||Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business|
|Rewards||The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser|
That depends a lot on how you spend, what your business involves, and how you finance your business. Some of our highly-rated business credit cards don't have an annual fee at all, and give you benefits that beat many cards with an annual fee.
Here are our 5 best rated no annual fee cards for businesses:
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, a GET.com advertiser
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express
U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard®
One of our favorite American Express business cards is no annual fee. SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express lets you earn 3% cash back on the category of your choice from a list of 8 select categories. You also earn 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. 5% and 3% cash back applies to purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year. You earn 1% cash back on your other purchases including those that exceed the $50,000 cap. Terms & limitations apply. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement. Plus you get 24/7 support and benefits like travel accident insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty and car rental loss and damage insurance.
You may get more exclusive benefits with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN but whether you need those extra benefits depends a lot on what you do. For example, if you don't travel on business often then the Platinum perks like access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, complimentary Boingo internet access and a 50% Airline Bonus won't do much for you. Terms & Restrictions Apply.
Capital One gives you the choice, offering cards with an annual fee, and similar cards with no annual fee. That means you can opt to get a card like Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business that lets you earn 2% cash back on every purchase you make every day, but has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $59 after that. Or you can get Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business which has a $0 annual fee, but lets you earn a lower 1.5% cash back on each purchase you make. Similarly, Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business offers a no annual fee alternative to Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business which has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $59 after that.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business gives you most of the same business benefits that you get with the paid version, including downloadable purchase records (formats include Quicken®, QuickBooksTM and Excel®), no foreign transaction fee, employee cards at no additional cost, and quarterly and year-end summaries. Spark cardholders also benefit from a $0 fraud liability policy, which is a big plus because business credit cards usually only come with the $50 limited liability for fraudulent transactions that you get with consumer credit cards.
So you can get a lot of great benefits for your business without adding the expense of an annual fee. If you want to maximize your business line of credit or save money on your business travel with free lounge access, hotel discounts or other specific perks, then paying an annual fee for a rewarding business charge card or business travel credit card might be a good idea.
If what you want is a business credit card that lets you earn rewards and enjoy perks designed for day-to-day business, check out our highly-rated no annual fee business credit cards.
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and comes with a special offer that lets you earn $200 statement credit, after spending $5,000 or more on qualifying purchases using your new Card within your first 6 months of Card Membership, plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership. You earn 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services that you purchase directly from U.S. service providers, and 3% cash back on the category of your choice (from a list of 8 select categories which include U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. purchases for shipping, U.S. restaurants, hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels, airfare purchased directly from airlines, car rentals purchased from select car rental companies and U.S. computer hardware, software and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers). You earn the 5% and 3% cash back on purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year (then 1% after that). You earn 1% cash back for other purchases you make with this card. There's no need to fuss with redeeming cash back, as it is credited to your statement automatically. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months (12.99% - 19.99% variable APR thereafter). Terms and limitations apply.
Read our SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express review here.
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business is a solid business credit card with a $0 annual fee that lets you earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you make $3,000 of purchases using this card within 3 months of approval. This is a good card if you want a simple and clear way to earn unlimited cash back on all purchases, as it lets you earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase charged to this card, every day. Rewards don't expire and there is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. You can redeem cash rewards or set up automatic redemption to avoid hassles. Benefit from online quarterly and year-end summaries, and a broad suite of Capital One Spark tools and benefits for your business. This card has no foreign transaction fees (a big saver if you make purchases outside of the US). Enjoy a 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months. After that there is a 13.49% - 21.49% variable APR.
Read our Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business review.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business is a miles credit card for business that has no annual fee. After you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, you can earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles. This card can help you earn miles fast for your regular business spending, as you earn unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, every day. Miles don't expire, and redemption is not limited to any specific category. You can redeem miles towards flights on any airline, anytime (no seat restrictions or blackout dates) which makes this a pretty flexible travel rewards card. If you plan to make a large purchase, you can benefit from the 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months that you get with this card (13.49% - 21.49% variable APR after).
The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has a $0 annual fee. This card comes with a bonus offer which lets you get up to 25,000 Membership Rewards® points: 10,000 points after you charge your first purchase to this Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership and an additional 15,000 points after you make $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of card membership. You earn a 30% annual relationship bonus, which is a nice boost for your rewards points. Every additional employee Blue for Business® Credit Card you get will also have no annual fee. Another benefit is that you get 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months followed by the regular 11.99% - 19.99% variable APR. Terms Apply.
Read our review of The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express here.
U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard® has no annual fee. As a new cardmember you can earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in net purchases on your card within the first 90 days of account opening. Earn 3% cash back on all cellular, gas and office supply store net purchases, and 1% cash back on all other net purchases (all purchases minus returns and credits). Plus, you get a 25% Annual Cash Rewards bonus. You can earn up to a maximum of $250 per year with this 25% annual bonus. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit, as a deposit into your U.S. Bank deposit account, or for a U.S. Bank Rewards card, so you have a lot of flexibility in how you can redeem cash back. This business card has 0% introductory APR on qualifying purchases for the first 9 billing cycles, followed by the standard 12.74% - 18.74% variable APR.
Read our review of U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard® here.
How We Rate No Annual Fee Business Credit Cards
At GET.com we know that time means money, especially in business. That's why we do the time-consuming work of reading through fine print, terms and conditions for you. We rate business credit cards based on value for money. Benefits we look for when rating business credit cards include time-saving accounting features like electronic spending reports, monthly and annual spending reports, mobile receipt capture technology and mobile access to your account.
Other features that impact our ratings include free or paid employee credit cards, control over employee spending, and limits on the number of employee cards you can get.
Access to credit is also reflected in our ratings, with cards that have lines of credit that can grow with your business receiving higher ratings in that field. Benefits like travel insurance, airport lounge access, airline credit, hotel and airline perks are also taken into account.
At GET.com we love rewards, and the way that a card lets you earn rewards along with the value of rewards earned per dollar play a key role in determining the final rating of a credit card.
The presence or absence of introductory APR periods (0% intro APR periods in particular) also impacts a card's rating. The overall cost of using a card, including APR, annual fees, foreign transaction fees, penalty fees and overlimit fees are also taken into account.
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