Disclosure: TRUiC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. TRUiC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are TRUiC’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

5 BEST SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS WITH NO ANNUAL FEE

With small business credit cards, you can earn significant rewards without even paying an annual fee. There are a couple of good reasons to avoid high-annual-fee cards.

First, not every small business needs a lot of perks. Your business may be new, and you might not even spend enough to take advantage of these rewards and benefits. Second, an annual fee of several hundred dollars—or even $95—might not be an expense your business can afford right now.

With that in mind, we have created a list of the most valuable small business cards with no annual fee.


1. AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS PLUS

Ideal for: Businesses that don’t run up a lot of expenses and don’t travel overseas.

The Blue Business Plus card is perfectly suited for freelancers and new owners. That’s because its 12-month 0% intro APR offer works well for those with irregular cash flow. The double points for the first $50,000 aren’t bad, either.

One drawback: A rather steep foreign transaction fee. At 2.7%, it’s one of only two on this list. A foreign transaction fee charges you for every purchase that has to pass through a foreign bank. What perks do you get for this charge? Nothing. So, avoid foreign transaction fees at all costs, or it’ll cost you.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)


  • 0% intro APR for 12 months.
  • 2x points on business purchases such as office supplies and client dinners.
  • 2x points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 for every calendar year.
  • 1x point per dollar spent after that.
  • Spend Manager: Use the American Express mobile app, which helps add receipts and notes to transactions.
  • Up to 99 employee cards for free.
  • Spend beyond your credit limit.
  • Exclusive access to ticket pre-sales and cardmember only events in your city.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Provides two-day shipping at participating retailers.
  • American Express personal loans: Apply for a pre-approved loan of $3,500 to $25,000.
  • Access to Quickbooks to label and transfer your transaction data from American Express.

FEES


  • No cash advance fee.
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
  • 3% or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is greater per transaction).

2. CAPITAL ONE® SPARK® CASH SELECT FOR BUSINESS

Ideal for: Businesses with a variety of expenses and not a lot of time to figure out their rewards program.

There are many small business credit cards that focus their best efforts on just one or a few categories, such as office supplies or travel. But this card gives you cash back on all purchases with no cap. That means big rewards without the headaches.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)


  • $200 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for nine months.
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Free employee cards.
  • Auto rental damage waiver.

FEES


  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • 3% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is greater per transaction).

3. CAPITAL ONE® SPARK® MILES SELECT FOR BUSINESS

Ideal for: The small business owner who travels a lot.

Travel cards often come with hefty annual fees, but this simple-yet-solid card offers 1.5x miles per dollar spent on every purchase with no spending limit. It stays simple with no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and you can fly any airline, anytime. In addition to no annual fee, any additional employee cards are free.

You also earn 20,000 bonus miles (equal to $200 in travel) once you spend $3,000 in the first three months—and your miles never expire.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)


  • One-time bonus of 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months.
  • 1.5x miles on all purchases
  • Free employee cards.

FEES


  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • 3% or $10 cash advance fee (whichever is greater per transaction).

4. CHASE INK BUSINESS UNLIMITED

Ideal for: The new entrepreneur who seeks cash back without too many worries, and doesn’t travel overseas.

You get 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no spending caps, but this card is most valuable to companies that spend less than $19,000 annually. If your business spends more than that, you may want to check out the Capital One Spark Cash, which offers more perks above that spending level.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)


  • $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months.
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • Primary car rental insurance. You’re covered first before filing a claim with your insurance company.
  • Purchase protection. You’re covered against damage and theft for 120 days—up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Extended warranty. Add a year to warranties of three years or less.
  • Lost Luggage. Coverage of up to $3,000 per person, with a separate limit of $500 per person for jewelry, cameras, and electronics.
  • Travel accident insurance. Up to $500,000 in coverage per insured person.

FEES


  • 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • 5% or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is greater per transaction).
  • 5% or $15 cash advance fee (whichever is greater per transaction).

5. CITI COSTCO ANYWHERE VISA BUSINESS

Ideal for: Business owners who are Costco members and drive a lot for work.

This card has ample cash back rewards, but you must be a Costco member to qualify for it. For the uninitiated, that costs $60 per year. But this isn’t just a store card. While you receive 1% cash back on any purchase, that doubles for Costco purchases. Best of all is the 4% cash back on gasoline.

REWARDS AND BENEFITS (TERMS APPLY)


  • 4% cash back on gasoline, including Costco gas purchases (up to $7,000 per year, then 1%).
  • 3% cash back on restaurant and travel-related purchases.
  • 2% cash back on purchases at Costco and Costco.com.
  • 1% cash back on purchases everywhere else.
  • Annual rewards coupons added to members’ billing statements that can be redeemed at local Costco stores in exchange for merchandise or cash.

FEES


  • No annual fee (with a Costco membership).
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • $10 or 5% cash advance fee (whichever is greater per transaction).
Recommended action box icon

Learn more about the Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card on their website.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST NO-ANNUAL-FEE CARD FOR YOU

As you can see, small business credit cards that have one thing in common—namely, no annual fee—can vary widely in the rewards and benefits they offer. So even though you’ll pay nothing for the privilege of owning such a card, you still have to pay attention to the rewards and benefits if you want to maximize your savings.

 

Editorial disclaimer: The 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 the author's alone.

OTHER RESOURCES