Best Small Business Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

best small business credit cards with no annual fee

Finding the best small business credit cards with no annual fee can be a smart financial move. While many credit card companies, whether for personal or business use, often charge annual fees ranging from $99 to several hundred dollars, is it really worth it?

We recommend considering cards without these fees. While it’s possible to compare the cost of the annual fee against the card’s rewards and perks, often, cards without annual fees offer benefits and rewards that are just as compelling, if not more so, than their fee-charging counterparts

What is a Credit Card with No Annual Fee?

A credit card with no annual fee, as the name suggests, allows users the advantage of enjoying the card’s benefits without the burden of an annual charge, at least for the initial year. However, while this might sound like an absolute advantage, there are nuances to consider.

As you approach the account anniversary, anticipate the imposition of an annual fee. Furthermore, maintaining punctuality in payments is essential.

If you don’t adhere to the payment schedule, or if payments are skipped (details of which are typically specified in the card’s terms), the issuer may impose an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) as a penalty or interest on your outstanding amount.

best small business credit cards with no annual fee

Why You Should Consider a Business Credit Card with No Annual Fee

Before you get a business you should ask what are business credit cards and why should I get a business credit card. With those answers in hand, take a look at why a no annual fee business credit card is a good option.

  • Do the math: With no annual fee, you’ll inherently save on card costs, especially considering some cards charge fees as high as $300 annually.
  • Simplified Decisions: Without the annual fee, you eliminate the need to constantly evaluate if the card’s rewards offset its yearly cost.
  • Perks Galore: Despite the absence of a fee, many such cards come with tempting welcome offers, cashback opportunities, and a variety of benefits.
  • Optimize Business Expenditures: These cards can be integrated seamlessly into daily operations, enabling you to earn rewards on routine expenses like utilities.
  • Balance Transfers: They often allow you to transfer balances from higher interest cards, potentially saving you on interest payments.
  • No Upfront Deposits: Typically, no security deposit or personal guarantee is required, though it’s essential to remember this doesn’t equate to zero liability for unpaid balances.
  • Opportunities for Upgrades: Maintain a stellar payment record, and you might find yourself eligible for a prestigious card upgrade, such as a business platinum card.
  • Travel Friendly: A significant number of these cards come with minimal or zero foreign transaction fees, making international business transactions smoother.
  • Safety First: Real-time fraud monitoring ensures that any suspicious activity on your card is promptly flagged and addressed.

best small business credit cards with no annual fee

Our Methodology: How We Chose the Best Small Business Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

For our selection of the best business credit cards with no annual fee, we carefully considered a variety of factors that are crucial for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Each criterion is assigned a scale from 1 to 5, reflecting its importance in our evaluation process, where 1 is less critical and 5 is most critical:

  1. Interest Rates and Charges (Rating: 5)
    • We focused on cards offering competitive interest rates and minimal additional charges to ensure affordability.
  2. Rewards and Incentives (Rating: 5)
    • Cards that offer valuable rewards and incentives, such as cashback, points, or travel benefits, were highly rated.
  3. Credit Limit Flexibility (Rating: 4)
    • We considered the flexibility of credit limits, important for businesses with varying spending needs.
  4. Ease of Application and Approval Process (Rating: 3)
    • The simplicity and speed of the application and approval process were key factors in our assessment.
  5. Customer Service and Support (Rating: 4)
    • We valued cards backed by reliable and accessible customer service for resolving issues and queries.
  6. Online Management Tools (Rating: 4)
    • Cards offering robust online management tools for tracking expenses and managing accounts were preferred.
  7. Security Features (Rating: 5)
    • Enhanced security features to protect against fraud and unauthorized transactions were considered essential.
  8. Reporting to Credit Bureaus (Rating: 3)
    • The card’s policy on reporting to credit bureaus, which can impact a business’s credit history, was an important criterion.
  9. Additional Perks (Rating: 2)
    • We looked at additional benefits such as insurance coverages, extended warranties, or free employee cards.
  10. Universal Acceptance (Rating: 4)
    • Cards that are widely accepted nationally and internationally received higher ratings.

A no annual fee doesn’t automatically make a credit card the best fit for every small business. With our comprehensive methodology, businesses can navigate the options, focusing on overall value and aligning with their operational goals.

best small business credit cards with no annual fee

8 Best Business Credit Cards: No Annual Fee Business Card

What’s the best no-annual-fee business credit card? Choose the one that’s the best fit for how your business spends. There are many different types of credit cards and you have options, so take your time.

At account opening, some introductory credit limits are stated. Some are set based on the financial information you provide and your credit record.

In either case, the spending limit will adjust as you make card transactions as part of your business spending on credit cards and pay your bill on time. The new limit will show on your statement.

Here are our choices for the best of the business cards. No matter what your financial resources are, these small business credit cards will give you expanded buying power, fraud protection, purchase protection and more.

1. American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card

  • Regular APR: 13.24 to 19.24% variable.
  • Credit Limits: Assigned on account opening.
  • Credit Needed: Good.

Benefits: You can earn a $500 statement credit in the first 6 months by spending and making the payments on $5,000 with Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express You can earn 15,000 in rewards points after spending and making the payments on $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months. You can get an account owner’s card plus employee cards. You can set individual spending limits on the employees’ cards. American Express is also known for its stellar customer service.

2. Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

  • Regular APR: 13.24 to 19.24% variable
  • Credit Limits: Starts at $3,000 and can adjust up to $25,000.
  • Credit Needed: Good.

Benefits: With Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card you can get $750 in Ink business cash credit rewards after spending and making payments on $7,500 in the first 3 months. Free employee cards. You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent. After a year (with good payment history) you’ll get an introductory 0% apr as part of Chase ultimate rewards. The 0 introductory apr is only offered if you have a stellar payment record. It’s also widely accepted and offers an easy-to-use online payments system.

3. American Express Blue Business Cash Card

  • Regular APR: 13.24 to 19.24%
  • Credit Limits: Preset according to your resources and adjusts up with good payment record.
  • Credit Needed: Good.

Benefits: Same as American Express Blue Business Plus credit card (listed above), but with Blue Business Cash Card card from American Express, you’ll get 2% cash back on all eligible net purchases annually, up to $50,000, along with top notch customer service and other financial products available through American Express.

4. Spark 1.5% Cash Select

  • Regular APR: 13.24 to 19.24%
  • Credit Limits: Starts with $2,000 and can adjust as you make purchases and pay the bill.
  • Credit Needed: Fair credit.

Benefits: With Spark Cash Select 1.5% Cash Select you can choose the 0% intro apr on purchases or choose a $500 sign up bonus. In addition to the sign up bonus you’ll get an unlimited 1.5% cash back on everyday business purchases. Capital One spark cash has no foreign transaction fee.

best small business credit cards with no annual fee

5. Capital One Club Business Credit Card

  • Regular APR: 15.24 to 26.99%
  • Credit Limits: Minimum $10,000.
  • Credit Needed: Good.

Benefits: Every $1.5 dollars spent on Capital One Club Business Credit Card equals one point. Rewards begin at 10,000 points. Points can be used as cash rewards (applied to bill). You’ll get 5% back in club points for purchases at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shoppes, and 1.5% cash back for all other purchases.

6. Discover IT Business Card

  • Regular APR: 11.99% introductory APR to 22.99%
  • Credit Limit: $500 then based on credit worthiness.
  • Credit Needed: Fair.

Benefits: With Discover IT Business Credit Card you’ll get 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases and 1.5% cash back on other eligible purchases. You’ll also get the 5% cash back on purchases at gas stations and when you choose the Discover Card when choosing payment options while using Pay Pal. You can customize spending limits on your 50 free cards for employees. At the end of the year, Discover IT will do annual fee redeem rewards by matching your cash back rewards. In other words, if you earned $600 cash back you’ll get another $600 cash back.

7. Amazon Business Prime Credit Card

If you shop at Amazon frequently, you’ll really love the cash back percentage for the Amazon Business Prime Card.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 14.24 to 22.24%

Benefits: 5% Back or 90 Day Terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, and Whole Foods Market. Earn 5% back on the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year with eligible Prime Membership, 1% back thereafter. 2% back on U.S. purchases at restaurants, gas stations and wireless phone services purchased directly from service providers. 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

8. Delta SkyMiles Gold Card

  • Regular APR: 15.74 to 24.74%
  • Credit Limits: Start at $5,000 and adjust up.
  • Credit Needed: Good.

Benefits: With Delta SkyMiles Gold Card you get 50,000 bonus miles in flat rate rewards and a $50 statement credit after spending and paying $2,000 in 3 months. Double miles with Delta. Double miles credits from shipping costs and restaurant tabs make this a great business cash credit card.

best small business credit cards with no annual fee

Comparing The Best Small Business Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Below is a table that compares the best small business credit cards with no annual fees. This will help you quickly assess their features and choose the one that fits your business needs.

Remember, this table is an overview and does not capture all the benefits and details of each card. Ensure you research each card individually to understand all the terms and benefits.

Credit Card NameRegular APRCredit LimitCredit NeededNotable Benefits
American Express Blue Business Plus13.24 to 19.24% variableAssigned on account openingGood$500 statement credit, 15,000 rewards points
Chase Ink Business Unlimited13.24 to 19.24% variableStarts at $3,000 and adjusts up to $25,000Good$750 cash credit rewards, 1.5% cash back
American Express Blue Business Cash Card13.24 to 19.24%Preset & adjusts with good paymentGood2% cash back on net purchases up to $50,000
Spark 1.5% Cash Select13.24 to 19.24%Starts with $2,000 & adjusts with usageFair0% intro APR or $500 bonus, 1.5% cash back
Capital One Club Business15.24 to 26.99%Minimum $10,000Good5% back at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shoppes, 1.5% cash back
Discover IT Business Card11.99% to 22.99%Starts at $500Fair5% cash back on Amazon, match end-of-year cash back
Amazon Business Prime Credit Card14.24 to 22.24%Not SpecifiedNot Specified5% Back on Amazon, 2% at restaurants and gas stations
Delta SkyMiles Gold Card15.74 to 24.74%Start at $5,000 and adjust upGood50,000 bonus miles, Double miles with Delta

Image: Depositphotos

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Lisa Price Lisa Price is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 4 years. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She is also a freelance writer and previously worked as a newspaper circulation district manager and radio station commercial writer. In 2019, Lisa received the (Pennsylvania) Keystone Award.