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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.
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
- 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 the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. 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 for its hefty signup bonus. You can earn 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth $1,250 in award travel.
The annual fee is $95 but additional employee cards are free. And, there is no foreign transaction fee.
Learn more: 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 $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
- 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, select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card or any of the Additional Cards on your Platinum Card account.
Additionally, unlock over $1,000 in value per year for statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting, and wireless with the Business Platinum Card.
Cardholders can get up to $189 back per year to enroll in CLEAR® membership when they use their Card to enroll. CLEAR® uses biometrics to assign you a touchless ID, allowing you to move faster through security at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. You can cover the cost of a CLEAR membership with up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year after you pay for CLEAR with your Business Platinum Card®.
Also, get access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting with The American Express Global Lounge Collection®. You’ll have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market (as of 9/2021).
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).
Related: How hard is it to Get the Business Platinum Card?
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
A no annual fee credit 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 earns 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 spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within their first 3 months of Card Membership.
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 American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card cardholders can earn a $250 statement credit after making $3,000 in purchases on their Card in the first 3 months.
This card has no annual fee (See Rates & Fees).
Related: Best Business Credit Cards With No Annual Fee
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
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card earns:
- 4x points on Southwest® purchases
- 3x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car 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 cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of 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 off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when booking directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
Limited-time offer! New Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card cardholders can earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $5,000 in purchases on their new Card within their first 3 months of Card Membership. This offer ends on 05/03/2023.
Related: Best Hotel Credit Cards
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.
- 1 Best Credit Cards for Freelancers
- 2 Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- 3 Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- 4 The Business Platinum Card from American Express
- 5 The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
- 6 American Express Blue Business Cash Card
- 7 Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
- 8 Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
- 9 Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Freelancers
- 10 FAQs
It would be useful to know the annual fee charged for each card mentioned.