Launch & Fly: Best Credit Cards for Startups

Finance25 days ago

Congratulations on taking the exciting leap of starting your own business! As you navigate the initial stages, a powerful tool can significantly aid your growth: a business credit card. But with so many options available, selecting the right card can feel overwhelming. Especially for new businesses, securing a credit card can present its challenges. Fear not, intrepid entrepreneur! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to choose the perfect credit card to propel your business forward.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Experience Users

Intro offer


Annual Fee


Recommended Credit



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Top Picks for New Business Owners:

Choosing the right credit card depends on your specific needs, but here are three options consistently lauded for their suitability for startups:

Amex Business Gold Card: This card shines for its high rewards potential. It offers a generous welcome bonus and earns points at an accelerated rate on common business expenses like advertising and shipping. These points are redeemable for a variety of travel and statement credit options.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: This well-rounded card offers bonus points on travel and select business categories, making it ideal for startups with travel needs or specific spending patterns. An added perk is access to select airport lounges, a valuable benefit for frequent flyers.

Amex Business Platinum Card: If you're looking for the most comprehensive rewards and benefits, the Amex Business Platinum Card might be the answer. It boasts an impressive welcome bonus, high rewards rates, airport lounge access, and many travel and purchase protection benefits. However, this premium card comes with a higher annual fee.


Alternative Options for Specific Needs:

Not all startups are created equal! Here are some alternative credit cards to consider based on your specific business needs:

Amex Blue Business Cash™ Card: This card is a champion for cash-back enthusiasts. With no annual fee, it allows you to earn cash back on everyday business purchases, offering a straightforward way to maximize your return on spending.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card: Another no-annual-fee option, this card offers a flat-rate cash back on all purchases, making it a simple and reliable way to earn rewards.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: This card caters to businesses with specific spending habits. It offers a higher cash-back rate on office supplies and internet services, making it ideal for startups with significant expenses in these areas. There's no annual fee to worry about either.


Business Credit Card Comparison for Startups

FeatureAmex Business Gold CardInk Business Preferred® Credit CardAmex Business Platinum CardAmex Blue Business Cash™ CardInk Business Unlimited® Credit CardInk Business Cash® Credit Card
RewardsPointsPointsPointsCash BackCash BackCash Back
Bonus CategoryAdvertising, ShippingTravel & Select Business CategoriesVaried (see website)Everyday PurchasesAll PurchasesOffice Supplies & Internet
Welcome BonusUp to 75,000 pointsUp to 100,000 pointsUp to 100,000 pointsN/AN/AN/A
Annual Fee$295$95$695$0$0$0
Travel BenefitsNoneAirport Lounge AccessExtensive Airport Lounge Access & Travel CreditsNoneNoneNone
Other BenefitsPurchase ProtectionPurchase Protection & Cell Phone InsuranceExtensive Business Insurance & BenefitsNoneNoneNone
Best ForHigh spenders with varied business categoriesTravel & specific business spendingBusinesses needing premium benefitsStraightforward cash back on all purchasesSimple cash back with no annual feeBusinesses with high office supply & internet expenses



  • This table is a simplified comparison and may not include all card details.
  • Be sure to visit the issuer's website for the latest information and full terms and conditions.
  • N/A = Not Applicable


Selection Criteria:

While the specific recommendations consider these factors, it's always wise to do your research. Here are some key points to consider when choosing a business credit card:

  • Bonus rewards categories: Do the card's bonus rewards align with your typical business spending?
  • Ease of qualification: Can your new business meet the card's creditworthiness requirements?
  • Annual fees: Weigh the annual fee against the potential rewards and benefits.
  • Benefits relevant to startups: Does the card offer perks like travel insurance or purchase protection that can be valuable for new businesses?


Additional Considerations for New Business Owners:

If you already hold personal Chase cards that allow points redemption for Southwest flights, you might be able to leverage those points for business travel. However, explore all available options before settling on a specific strategy.

While securing a dedicated business credit card is an excellent option, there are other strategies to consider during the initial stages of your startup:

Leveraging Existing Personal Cards (if applicable): If you hold personal credit cards that offer rewards programs transferable to business travel, you can utilize those points temporarily until your business qualifies for its card. However, be mindful of potential limitations on personal card use for strictly business purposes. Always check the terms and conditions of your personal cards before using them for business expenses.

Building Business Credit History: Since new businesses often lack a credit history, establishing one is crucial for securing future financing options. Responsible business credit card use can significantly contribute to building a strong business credit score. Start by making timely payments and maintaining a low credit utilization ratio (the amount of credit used compared to the total credit limit).

Exploring Alternative Financing Options: Business credit cards aren't the only financing game in town. Consider exploring other options like business loans, lines of credit, or angel investors depending on your needs. Each option comes with its advantages and disadvantages, so carefully evaluate your needs and research the available options before making a decision.

Consulting a Financial Advisor: Navigating the world of business finance can be complex. Consider seeking guidance from a qualified financial advisor who can assess your situation and recommend the most suitable credit card or financing options for your growing startup.


The perfect credit card can be a game-changer for your startup. By considering the top picks, alternative options, and key selection criteria, you'll be well-equipped to choose the card that best supports your business goals. Start your business journey on the right foot with the perfect credit card, and watch your venture take flight!


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