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Being a freelancer gives your lifestyle an edge of flexibility your friends may not have. Because each freelance business has different spending and travel habits, you may need help maximizing your purchases. These credit cards for freelancers let you get the best perks for your business spending.
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Best Credit Cards for Freelancers
Here’s a preview of some of the best credit cards for freelancers:
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- And The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
- Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
Many of these credit cards are also some of the best small business credit cards you can own. Keep reading to learn why they are great for freelancers and how they may be beneficial to you.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
If you travel or run an online business, the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card can be your best option. Your earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on the first $150,000 in combined annual purchases for:
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Social media and search engine advertising
All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1. You can pool your Ultimate Rewards with your other Chase credit cards. Charging your monthly cell phone bill to the Ink Business Preferred gives you up to $600 per claim protection.
Your points are worth 1.25 cents each when booking award travel on Chase Travel℠. You can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to airlines and hotels, including United, Southwest, and World of Hyatt. If you prefer cash rewards or gift cards, each point is worth 1 cent each.
This card is also one of the best credit cards with travel insurance benefits. They include primary rental car collision coverage and trip cancellation or interruption insurance up to $5,000 per trip.
Another reason to consider this card is its hefty signup bonus. New Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card cardholders can earn 100k bonus points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
The annual fee is $95, but additional employee cards are free. And there is no foreign transaction fee.
Related: Best Small Business Credit Cards
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
A better fit for local business purchases is the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. It doesn’t have an annual fee but has a 3% foreign transaction fee. All purchases either earn 5%, 2%, or 1% back:
- 5% back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services
- 2% back at gas stations and restaurants
- 1% back on everything else
You get 5% back on the first $25,000 in combined annual spending and 2% back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases for those categories.
Your points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash, gift cards, or award travel on Chase. The Ink Business Cash credit card doesn’t offer 1:1 point transfers to travel partners. However, you can transfer them to your Ink Business Preferred if you happen to own both cards.
New Ink Business Cash® Credit Card cardholders can earn a $750 bonus cash back after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Related: Best Chase Business Credit Cards
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Maybe you’re a freelancer who is also a frequent flyer. Putting The Business Platinum Card® from American Express at the top of your list can be a wise choice.
This is one of the most feature-packed rewards cards (and one of the best metal cards):
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Marriot Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold loyalty status
- Earn 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com; Earn 1x points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases
- Get 35% points back on select award flights on AmexTravel (up to 500,000 per year)
- Transfer points to airlines at a 1:1 ratio
Also, cardholders can take advantage of the Pay Over Time option, a flexible payment option to help manage cash for purchases of $100 or more.
Cardholders earn 1.5x points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
Plus, get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your Card.
Additionally, unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
Cardholders can get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when they use their Business Platinum Card®.
With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, with The American Express Global Lounge Collection®. You have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023. Enrollment is required for some lounges.
Your Membership Rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for award flights. Amex Business Platinum card airline transfer partners include Delta, Emirates, FlyingBlue, Singapore Airlines, and others. If booking flights on AmexTravel, each point is worth 1 cent. For all flights on your airline of choice and any premium cabin flights, you get 35% of your points back, up to 500,000 points per year.
New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have the opportunity to earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees).
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
A $0 annual fee business card that lets you transfer points to airline partners is a rarity. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express does just that (See Rates & Fees). Your Membership Rewards® points are worth 1 cent each for award flights on Amex Travel. Or, you can transfer them to the various American Express airline transfer partners.
Your first $50,000 in annual business purchases earn 2x Membership Rewards® points. All remaining spending earns 1 point per $1.
Cardholders can also enjoy more flexibility to use their card for more purchases and rewards when buying above their credit limit. The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express, and other factors.
New The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express cardholders can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after they spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within their first 3 months of Card Membership.
The American Express Blue Business Cash Card
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is one of the best cash rewards credit cards for freelancers.
Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
It also comes with Expanded Buying Power which gives cardholders the ability to spend beyond their credit limit.
Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express, and other factors.
New The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card cardholders can earn a $250 statement credit after they make $3,000 in purchases on their Card in their first 3 months.
This card has a $0 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is the most lavish Southwest Airlines business card. This card is worth checking out if you live near a Southwest hub.
Key benefits include:
- Free in-flight WiFi credits (up to 365 per year)
- 4 Upgraded Bookings per year (when available)
- 9,000 Rapid Rewards points anniversary bonus
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- 4x points on Southwest® purchases
- 3x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners
- 2x points on rideshares
- 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services
- 1x points on all other purchases
Cardholders also get unlimited tier qualifying points (TQPs) that can be earned toward A-List status. There is also a $500 annual fee credit for Rapid Rewards points transfers.
New Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card card members can earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Every point you earn from purchases and the signup bonus apply toward the annual Southwest Companion Pass® point requirement. You will need 135,000 Rapid Rewards to earn the Pass.
Related: Best Southwest Credit Cards
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is one of the best hotel credit cards for business travel.
Here are a few reasons why:
- 15 Elite Night credits per year
- Premium on-property internet access
- 5,000 bonus points when transferring 60,000 points to airline partners
- 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card cardholders can receive 1 Free Night Award annually after their Card renewal month. Plus, they can earn an additional Free Night Award after spending $60k in purchases on their Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
Your points are worth the most when redeemed for hotel nights within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. The annual fee is $125 (See Rates & Fees).
If you have a stack of points you need to unload, you can transfer them to over 40 airlines at a 3:1 ratio. While this isn’t the best ratio, transferring at least 60,000 Bonvoy points at a time gives a 5,000-airline mile transfer bonus.
Cardholders can also enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.
Plus, receive a 7% discount on eligible bookings as a benefit of being both a Marriott Bonvoy® member & a Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Member when you book directly with Marriott through an eligible channel for a participating property under the Amex Business Card Rate.
Limited time offer! New Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card cardholders can earn 5 Free Night Awards after using their new Card to make $8,000 in eligible purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Redemption level up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points for each bonus Free Night Award, at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer Ends 3/20/24.
Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Freelancers
The best credit cards for freelancers make it easy to earn bonus points for online and local purchases. If you like to travel, several cards offer redemption bonuses for booking award travel and other fringe travel benefits. As your business grows, these cards help make your efforts more rewarding.
Can I get a credit card if I’m self-employed?
Yes, it’s possible to get a credit card if you’re self-employed and earn taxable business income. Most small business credit cards are available to sole proprietors (i.e. freelancers) and incorporated businesses like an LLC.
When you apply, you will need to submit your business income and personal income details. This also means the bank does a hard pull on your personal credit report to make an application decision. If approved, the bank will require a personal guarantee to use your personal assets to repay any business credit card balance that’s charged off. The bureau may also report your payment history to your personal credit report as well.
To boost your approval odds, include as much annual income as possible. And also try to get your personal credit score as high as possible to qualify. Here are some of the best credit cards for self-employed professionals if you want to read more.
How many credit cards should a small business have?
It’s not a bad idea for a small business to have multiple credit cards if you have large monthly expenses. Another reason can be when the additional card benefits (like free checked bags for airlines) are worth more than the annual fee.
At first, you may start with one card that best matches your regular purchase habits. After earning the signup bonus or waiting at least 30 days (ideally at least 3 months), you can consider applying for another card.
You may first consider applying for another card that earns the same award currency to pool your points. For instance, owning the Chase Ink Business Preferred and Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. Also, the Business Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Blue Business Plus are options.
Another option for owning multiple business credit cards are to get co-brand airline and hotel travel credit cards. The airline and hotel cards that charge an annual fee usually offer fringe benefits that can quite valuable if you use that carrier several times a year.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please click here.
And For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, please click here.
And For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.