Where Are the Biggest Bonuses? Try Small-Business Cards

Elroy Mariano

Credit cards for small-business owners differ from general consumer credit cards in many ways, including reward structures and how you qualify to get the card. Among the most eye-popping differences are the lucrative sign-up bonuses offered by business credit cards compared with their consumer counterparts. Business card bonuses are typically higher The […]

Credit cards for small-business owners differ from general consumer credit cards in many ways, including reward structures and how you qualify to get the card. Among the most eye-popping differences are the lucrative sign-up bonuses offered by business credit cards compared with their consumer counterparts.

Business card bonuses are typically higher

The more you spend on a credit card, the more the card issuer earns, and businesses tend to spend more than individuals and households.

If a business carries a balance, the issuer makes more in interest charges. Even if the cardholder never carries a balance and never pays interest, the issuer earns a percentage of each transaction through swipe fees.

Because businesses spend more, issuers can afford to be more generous — and enticing — with their sign-up bonuses. Qualifying for those bonuses, though, often requires a higher amount of spending soon after being approved for the card.

Examples

Sign-up bonuses can change frequently, but here are real examples of sign-up bonuses — sometimes called “welcome offers” — featured by business credit cards compared with a comparable consumer-level card.

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business vs. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

How you can capitalize

Even if you’re not a full-time entrepreneur and just have a side business, you may qualify for a business credit card and be eligible for these big sign-up bonuses. Just be aware that cardholder protections are weaker for business cards vs. consumer cards and you must agree to a personal guarantee, stating that you are personally liable for debt even if your business goes belly-up.

On a good note, if you’re using your card for business, its fees and interest count as business expenses. That means you can deduct those card expenses at tax time.

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