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Running your own business can be one of the most rewarding experiences. Maximizing your business purchases using the best credit cards for self-employed professionals (like yourself) is one benefit. Earning bonus points on your most common business purchases makes it easier to redeem points for cash or travel rewards and can be super helpful come tax season. Additionally, they come with benefits that can help add more value to your business needs.
Best Credit Cards for Self-Employed Professionals
The best credit cards for self-employed professionals depend on a few factors. These include your purchase types, average purchase size, and if you want cash or travel rewards. The best rewards credit cards allow you to earn on specific purchases that are relevant to what you need.
Here’s a preview of what you’ll find:
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- And the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
- Capital One Spark Business Credit Cards
- Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
- Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
If you frequently fly and can benefit from free airport lounge access and other travel benefits, you might appreciate The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
You earn 5x Membership Rewards points on flights and hotel stays booked on AmexTravel.com. It’s also one of the best metal business cards making it aesthetically pleasing.
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.
Additionally, cardholders can get a 35% airline bonus when using their points to pay for all or part of a flight with a qualifying airline booked on amextravel.com, up to 500,000 bonus points annually.
Cardholders can take advantage of the Pay Over Time Option, a flexible payment option to help manage cash for purchases of $100 or more (terms and conditions apply).
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).
Welcome Bonus Offer
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 Business Platinum Card is one of the best premium business rewards cards and therefore one of the best cards for self-employed people. Here’s how hard it is to get the Amex Business Platinum.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Interested in credit cards for self-employed but also want to a Chase option? The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is probably the best all-around credit card for self-employed people. It has a reasonable $95 annual fee, and you earn the highly-regarded Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. On the first $150,000 in combined spending, you earn 3 points per $1 on these purchases:
- Shipping Purchases
- Internet, Cable, and Phone Services
- Advertising on Social Media and Search Engines
Your points are worth 1 cent each for cash back, gift cards, and Amazon.com credits. Saving your points for award travel can be more valuable. They are worth 25% more booking travel on Chase. Plus, you can transfer them on a 1:1 basis to airline and hotel travel loyalty programs like United, Southwest Airlines, and World of Hyatt.
The Ink Business Preferred Card also has the most valuable signup bonus for a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card. Your 100,000 bonus points are worth $1,250 when redeeming your points for award travel. To earn the bonus, spend $15,000 in the first three months of account opening.
One downside of this card is that it’s subject to the infamous Chase 5/24 Rule. If you have applied for or have been listed as an authorized user on at least 5 credit cards in the most recent 24 months, Chase will decline your application, regardless of your credit score.
Related: How Hard Is It To Get the Chase Ink Business Preferred?
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Chase offers two Ink business credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee: Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash Credit Card offers tiered purchase rewards where you earn either 5% or 2% back on select purchases. You get 5% back on the first $25,000 in combined spending on office supply stores and phone, Internet, and cable services. And, you get 2% back on the first $25,000 for gas stations and restaurant purchases.
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.
You earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that are worth 1 cent for cash and travel redemptions. Since this card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you don’t have access to the 1:1 travel transfer partners. But, if you also own the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or a Chase Sapphire product, you can pool your points. This is why it is one of the best Chase business credit cards.
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Business Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There are no limits to how much cash back you can earn for your business.
It is also a no-annual-fee card.
New Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card cardholders can earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The Ink Cash and the 1.5x flat rewards Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card are both subject to the Chase 5/24 rule too. It’s good to remember this rule when considering the best credit cards for self-employed folks.
Capital One Spark Credit Cards
The information for the Capital One Spark Cash for Business has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
You might prefer a flat-rate rewards card. The Capital One Spark card family lets you earn either travel rewards or cash rewards similar to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
With the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, you earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, everywhere. You can redeem your miles for award travel or transfer to one of the Capital One airline transfer partners (which have recently added more partners and two new airport lounges). You will also receive up to a $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. New Capital One Spark Miles for Business cardholders can earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
For cash rewards, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business earns an unlimited 2% back. You can redeem your cash back at any time and in any amount. New Capital One Spark Cash for Business cardholders can earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once they spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee. However, both cards have an annual fee of $95 that is waived for the first year. These are also some of the best business credit cards with no annual fees.
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
The information for the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
If Amazon receives a sizable portion of your business spending, you might like the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card. It doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
You can choose between 5% back on the first $120,000 spent in a calendar year or 90 days of interest-free financing on these U.S.-based Amazon purchases:
- Amazon Business
- Whole Foods
You earn 2% at the U.S.-based locations:
- Gas Stations
- Wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
All remaining purchases earn 1% back.
You can redeem your points for Amazon.com or Amazon Business shopping credit. Alternatively, you can request a purchase statement credit. There are no foreign transaction fees and no annual fees (See Rates & Fees)
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
If you live near a Southwest Airlines hub and fly regularly with another person, consider the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
The signup bonus is the ability to earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in three months gives you a healthy jumpstart on earning the 135,000 points required to earn the Southwest Companion Pass®. Or, you can fly 100 one-way flights in a calendar year. Once you earn the Companion Pass, your travel companion flies for the prices of fees and taxes for the rest of the year you earn the pass as well as the next year (so long as you fly with them).
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card earns:
- 3x points on Southwest Airlines® purchases
- 2x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners
- 2x points on rideshares
- 1x point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cardholders also get access to 2 EarlyBird Check-In® abilities each year, plus they can earn unlimited tier qualifying points towards A-List status.
Plus, you get a 6,000-anniversary point bonus with each card renewal. You can read more about all of the notable perks that come with this card in our in-depth Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card review.
It is one of the best Southwest credit cards available.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card earns some of the most valuable hotel rewards points available. Cardholders can earn 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program. Plus, they earn 4 points per $1 on these U.S.-based purchases:
- Gas Stations
- Wireless service providers
- Shipping purchases
Restaurant purchases worldwide earn 4x points.
All non-bonus purchases earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent.
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.
The annual fee is $125 (See Rates & Fees).
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.
Note that this is one of the best credit card offers available now.
In conclusion, the best credit cards for self-employed professionals give you the option to earn bonus points on your largest and most common purchases. You can hopefully see why some of these cards are considered the best small business credit cards available. These cards also provide some of the best redemption values for cash or travel rewards but also come with perks for your business.
- How to Qualify for a Small Business Credit Card?
- Best Business Credit Cards for Advertising Spending
- Best Business Credit Cards For Shipping Purchases
- The Best Business Credit Cards For Office Supplies
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, please click here.
And for rates and fees of the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, please click here.
- 1 Best Credit Cards for Self-Employed Professionals
- 2 The Business Platinum Card from American Express
- 3 Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- 4 Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- 5 Capital One Spark Credit Cards
- 6 Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
- 7 Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- 8 Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
- 9 Summary