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Running your own business can be a rewarding experience. Maximizing your business purchases using the best credit cards for self-employed professionals (like yourself) are one benefit. Earning bonus points on your most common business purchases makes it easier to redeem points for cash or travel rewards.
Best Credit Cards for Self-Employed Professionals
The best credit cards for self-employed professionals depend on a few factors. These include your purchase types, average purchase size, and if you want cash or travel rewards. The best rewards credit cards allow you to earn on specific purchases that are relevant to what you need.
Chase Ink Business Cash
Chase offers two Ink business credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers tiered purchase rewards where you earn either 5% or 2% back on select purchases.
You get 5% back on the first $25,000 in combined spending on office supply stores and phone, Internet and cable services. And, you get 2% back on the first $25,000 for gas stations and restaurant purchases. This is why it is one of the best Chase credit cards.
You earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that are worth 1 cent for cash and travel redemptions. Since this card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you don’t have access to the 1:1 travel transfer partners. But, if you also own the Ink Business Preferred or a Chase Sapphire product, you can pool your points.
The Ink Cash and the 1.5x flat rewards Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card are both subject to the Chase 5/24 rule too. It’s good to remember this rule when considering the best credit cards for self-employed folks.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is probably the best all-around credit card for self-employed people. It has a reasonable $95 annual fee and you earn the highly-regarded Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
On the first $150,000 in combined spending, you earn 3 points per $1 on these purchases:
- Shipping Purchases
- Internet, Cable, and Phone Services
- Advertising on Social Media and Search Engines
Your points are worth 1 cent each for cash back, gift cards, and Amazon.com credits. Saving your points for award travel can be more valuable. They are worth 25% more booking travel on Chase. Plus, you can transfer them on a 1:1 basis to airline and hotel travel loyalty programs like United, Southwest Airlines, and World of Hyatt.
The Ink Business Preferred also has the most valuable signup bonus for a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card. Your 80,000 bonus points are worth $1,000 when redeeming your points for award travel. To earn the bonus, spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.
One downside of this card is that it’s subject to the infamous Chase 5/24 Rule. If you have applied for or have been listed as an authorized user on at least 5 credit cards in the most recent 24 months, Chase will decline your application, regardless of your credit score.
Business Platinum Card from American Express
If you frequently fly and can benefit from free airport lounge access and other travel benefits including free Global Entry and a $200 airline fee credit, you might appreciate the Business Platinum® Card from American Express.
You earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and hotel stays booked on AmexTravel.com. Big spenders can also earn 1.5x points on all purchases larger than $5,000. It’s also one of the best metal business credit cards, making it aesthetically pleasing.
Your rewards points can be redeemed for cash or travel rewards. As this card earns Membership Rewards, you can transfer them to multiple 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners.
American Express is adding new benefits to this card. You can get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork which includes access to 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. However, you must enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019 to get access.
Another benefit is a $200 Dell statement credit. You must enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms do apply so be sure to check the fine print.
New cardholders have the opportunity to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards as part of the welcome offer.
To earn the 100k, you’ll first have to spend $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of card membership, which will earn you 50,000 points. Then, spend an extra $15,000 on qualifying purchases during the same 3 months to earn the additional 50,000 points.
This means you’ll need to spend $25,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months of account opening in order to earn the 100,000 points.
The Business Platinum Card is one of the best premium business rewards credit cards and therefore one of the best credit cards for self-employed people.
Capital One Spark Credit Cards
With the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, you earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, everywhere. You can redeem your miles for award travel or transfer to one of the 10+ Capital One airline transfer partners. You will also receive up to a $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
For cash rewards, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business earns unlimited 2% back. You can redeem your points cash back at any time and in any amount.
Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee. The annual fee is $0 the first year and $95 each year after that. These are also some of the best business credit cards with no annual fees 2019.
Amazon Business Prime Card
If Amazon receives a sizable portion of your business spending, you might like the Amazon Business Prime Card. It doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
You can choose between 5% back or 90 days interest-free financing on these U.S.-based Amazon purchases:
- Amazon Business
- Whole Foods
And, you get 2% at the U.S.-based locations:
- Gas Stations
- Wireless Telephone Services
All remaining purchases earn 1% back.
You can redeem your points for Amazon.com or Amazon Business shopping credit. Or, you can request a purchase statement credit.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
If you live near a Southwest Airlines hub and fly regularly with another person, consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
The signup bonus of 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in three months gives you a healthy jumpstart on earning the 110,000 points required to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. Or, you can fly 100 one-way flights in a calendar year. Once you earn the Companion Pass, your travel companion flies for the prices of fees and taxes for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020 when you fly with them.
You also earn 2 points per $1 on all Southwest and Rapid Rewards partner purchases. Plus, you get a 6,000-anniversary point bonus with each card renewal.
You can learn more here: Airline Credit Cards
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express is now the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. With the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, you can earn some of the most valuable hotel rewards points available.
You earn 6x points at Marriott Bonvoy properties. Plus, you earn 4 points per $1 on these U.S. based purchases:
- Gas Stations
- Wireless service providers
- Shipping purchases
All non-bonus purchases earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent.
Each card anniversary, you earn one free hotel night valid at any property that costs 35,000 points or less. Plus, you can earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases within the calendar year. Awards can be used for one night at participating hotels (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points). Note that certain hotels have resort fees.
The welcome offer for this card is 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Summary of Best Credit Cards for Self-Employed Professionals
The best credit cards for self-employed professionals give you the option to earn bonus points on your largest and most common purchases. You can hopefully see why some of these cards are considered the best small business credit cards available. These cards also provide some of the best redemption values for cash or travel rewards.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum® Card from American Express, please click here.
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