A charge card is a good alternative to a credit card. It gives your business most of the same advantages you get with a business credit card, but does not include the option to carry a balance (you need to pay your balance off in full each month).
For many small businesses, a credit card provides a convenient way to access capital and balance their cash flow. A report by the Small business Administration (SBA) named inadequate capital as a major constraint limiting the growth, expansion and wealth creation of small firms.
A flexible business credit card like Ink Cash® Business Credit Card can provide an immediate solution to cash flow problems.
But if your business is eligible for a low interest business loan, or has enough capital to steady your cash flow, then you don't necessarily need a business credit card. In this case you could consider a business charge card.
Just like good credit cards, rewarding charge cards come with a long list of benefits and help you save money for your business by earning rewards, benefiting from perks like insurance coverage, and paying for large purchases without cash. The only difference is that you will have to make your payment in full every month.
Here is our pick of our best rated business charge cards in the US. You will need excellent credit to apply for most of these cards:
GET.com's best rated business charge cards
|Best For||Credit Card|
|Travel||The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, a GET.com advertiser|
|Categories||The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN|
|0% intro APR||The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN|
|Double rewards||Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN|
The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is one of our highly rated business charge cards that comes with a broad range of business benefits (over 40 benefits altogether). The limited time offer lets you earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points (offer ends on January 25, 2017). This is how it works: you will earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 plus an extra 50,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases with this Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. If you travel a lot on business, the complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide is definitely a nice perk. Get 10 Gogo inflight internet passes when enrolling your card with Gogo and unlimited complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi access (upon enrollment) at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. You can get up to a $200 Airline Fee Credit (in statement credits) per calendar year on an airline you select. These credits can cover incidental fees such as baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more. Get assistance for all kinds of daily tasks from the Business Platinum Concierge. Purchase limits of this card can be adjusted over time to suit the needs of your business. This card comes with a new offer that lets you earn 50% more Membership Rewards® points (which makes 1.5 points per $1), on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more (get up to 1 million additional points per year with this offer). You will earn 1 point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases under $5,000. Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with a qualifying airline, and you can get 50% of the points back. You will also get 50% of your points back each time you fly Business or First class on all the airlines available through American Express Travel. In my opinion, the $450 annual fee could be well worth the cost if you take advantage of the many benefits this card offers. Terms & Restrictions Apply.
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is another rewarding charge card from Amex. This card is designed to help your business save money by earning rewards on purchases. You get 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. What we like about this card is that it lets you choose how your business earns rewards. You can earn 3X points on either:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases for shipping
- US computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You will earn 3 points for purchases in the category you choose (from the categories above), and 2 points on purchases in the other 4 categories. Keep in mind that there is a cap: you can earn 3 points and 2 points on the first $100,000 spent on purchases in each of the 5 categories per year. So you earn points on many of the things that your business is likely to spend money on. You can then redeem points for everyday business expenses or for travel, merchandise, dining and gift cards. Earn 1 point per $1 on other purchases and those that exceed the cap. This card has no foreign transaction fees. This card comes with business tools that help you track your expenses and get organized. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. Terms & limitations apply.
The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN is a very flexible charge card. It lets you get up to 60 days to pay without interest or get a 1.5% discount for paying early, or both each month. That means you do get some of the cash flow flexibility that you get with a credit card. If you prefer to pay early then this is also a good card for you, because every time you pay early you will get 1.5% back with no cap. This card could work well for you if you need some flexibility in paying for your purchases. Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $250. Terms & restrictions apply.
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN could work for you if your business spends a lot of money on travel bookings. You earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every dollar that you spend on purchases, and 2 points for each dollar of eligible purchases made when booking through the American Express Travel website. You earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the Card. This card has a flexible spending limit that can be adjusted over time. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms & limitations apply.
How We Rate Business Charge Cards
At GET.com we analyze each charge card's benefits (rewards, bonus offers, flexible spending limits and other business-specific benefits) and weigh them against the fees and charges (annual fee, foreign transaction fees, ATM fees, and other fees). We also look at the card's flexibility, specifically how users can earn and redeem rewards and if there are earning or spending caps.
Flexible cards with solid rewards will usually receive a better rating than cards designed for customers that are loyal to a specific brand (e.g: airline or hotel cards for customers that normally use that hotel/airline). We also value perks and benefits that make life easier for business owners (perks like free WiFi, lounge access and concierge services).
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Ivan Daniel is a writer at GET.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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