Best Business Credit Cards For Travel Of January 2024

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There are many different types of business credit cards available, but the best ones are generally those that earn travel rewards.

The rewards you earn with business travel credit cards can be used to book flights or hotel stays for your employees or even fund your next vacation. These cards may also offer statement credits, no foreign transaction fees and travel or purchase protections, which provide additional value outside of the rewards you can earn.

Below, CNBC Select details the best small business travel credit cards. We look at the rewards and costs of each card, so you can make the best choice for your small business or side hustle. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best business credit cards for travel.)

Best business travel credit cards

Best for travel overall

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in select categories each account anniversary year (travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines), 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $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 TravelSM

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Free employee cards
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase TravelSM
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Generous welcome bonus worth up to $1,000

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers

Who’s this for? The Chase Ink Business Preferred is an ideal fit for businesses that spend heavily on travel, shipping, internet, advertising (with social media sites or search engines) or cable and phone services.

Standout benefits: What makes this such a great business card for travel is the options you have for redeeming the points you earn. You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to book travel through the Chase TravelSM at a rate of 1.25 cents per point (25% more value than redeeming for cash back) or transfer them to 14 airline and hotel partners. The Ink Business Preferred also has a variety of travel insurance and purchase protection benefits, which can save your business money when things go wrong.

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Best for no annual fee

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1X point per dollar

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    18.49% – 26.49% variable; APRs will not exceed 29.99%

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Straightforward rewards program

Cons

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Best for premium travel perks

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. Also, earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each 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.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Enroll to receive up to $400 in annual statement credits on Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually), up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases
  • Get 35% points back when you use points to purchase all or part of an airline fare, up to 500,000 bonus points back per calendar year
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus where available and get up to $189 back per year on your membership when you use your card. (subject to auto-renewal)
  • Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your card

Cons

  • $695 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers

Best for domestic flights

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 4X points on Southwest® purchases; 3X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners; 2X points on rideshare; 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services; 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Annual fee

    $199 applied to first billing statement

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Bonus counts toward earning a Southwest Companion Pass
  • Generous ongoing benefits
  • Free employee cards

Cons

  • Higher annual fee
  • No intro-APR offer
  • Not as rewarding as other cards for certain purchases

Best for hotels

IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel, 5X points per dollar spent on travel and at gas stations, restaurants and dining, social media and search engine advertising and at office supply stores, 3X points per dollar spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Member FDIC. Terms apply.

Pros

  • Annual free night
  • Great for spending with IHG hotels
  • Reasonable annual fee

Cons

  • Not as rewarding for most spending
  • No intro-APR offer
  • Hefty balance transfer fee

Who’s this for? The to IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card can help small business owners quickly turn their expenses into free nights across IHG’s 18 hotel brands, such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®.

Standout benefits: The biggest benefit of this card is an annual free night certificate valid and IHG hotels costing up to 40,000 points per night. Cardholders also enjoy VIP treatment with IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status, as well as up to $50 worth of United TravelBank Cash each year and a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS application fee credit. Plus, cardholders get a fourth night free when redeeming points for stays of three nights or more.

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Best for flexible rewards

American Express® Business Gold Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap. 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $295 ($375 if application is received on or after 2/1/24)

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Get 25% points back when you use points for flights
  • Flexible solutions for managing cash flow
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No cost to add up to 99 employee cards

Cons

  • $295 annual fee
  • No introductory APR offer

Who’s this for? The American Express Business Gold Card is ideal for businesses whose primary expenses change month to month. Rather than having fixed bonus categories, with this card, you’ll automatically earn elevated rewards for your 2 highest-spend categories each billing cycle from six eligible categories, allowing for maximum flexibility. While your top two categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap.

Standout benefits: The six categories in which you can potentially earn bonus points, including airfare, U.S. advertising, U.S. shipping, computer purchases from U.S. providers, U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants. The card also provides a 25% airline bonus that lets you get some of your points back when you use Pay with Points to book flights, access to various expense management tools, *baggage insurance, trip delay insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

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Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Preferred is an excellent business card with useful benefits, valuable rewards and a generous welcome bonus.

Rewards

  • 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in select categories each account anniversary year (travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines)
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 100,000 points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee

$95

Notable perks

You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to book travel through Chase TravelSM at a rate of 1.25 cents per point, which is a 25% increase in value compared to using the points for cash back.

The Ink Business Preferred also gives you the ability to transfer Chase points to numerous hotel and airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. Having the ability to transfer your points unlocks all sorts of redemption possibilities. For example, you could transfer points to World of Hyatt and book an all-inclusive resort stay in the Caribbean or transfer points to Aeroplan, Avianca or United and book cheap business-class flights to Europe on Star Alliance carriers.

This card also has built-in insurance coverage that automatically applies to eligible purchases, such as cell phone protection, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. When you pay for eligible travel with the card, you’ll also get insurance for rental cars (collision only), trip delays, trip cancellations/interruptions and baggage delays.

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The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee (see rates and fees) and earns an above-average return on general, everyday expenses.

Rewards

  • 2X points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent per year on everyday business purchases (then 1X point per dollar thereafter)
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership.

Annual fee

$0 (see rates and fees)

Notable perks

The American Express points you earn with this card transfer to 19 airline and hotel loyalty programs. With so many travel partners, there are lots of possibilities for maximizing your Amex points. Plus, American Express frequently offers transfer bonuses, which further increase the value of your points.

Other perks of the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express include access to expanded buying power, extended warranty coverage, purchase protection, rental car insurance and the ability to link with Quickbooks for simplified accounting.

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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a premium business card loaded with perks that help justify its steep annual fee.

Rewards

  • 5X points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com
  • 1.5X points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at U.S. 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)
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 120,000 points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Annual fee

$695 (see rates and fees).

Notable perks

The Business Platinum Card from American Express has a long list of notable perks, including the following statement credits:

  • Up to $400 in annual statement credit for Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually). Enrollment required. 
  • Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck® (up to $85) application fee credits
  • CLEAR® Plus membership fee credit (up to $189 annually)
  • Up to $90 per quarter for all Indeed products and services (up to $360 annually)
  • Up to $10 per month in credit for purchases with U.S. wireless phone providers
  • Up to $150 for select Adobe prepaid annual plans for teams with Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro DC. Enrollment required. 
  • Up to $200 in airline fee credits per calendar year

It also grants cardmembers access to over 1,400 airport lounges through the American Express Global Lounge Collection gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors (enrollment required) and rental car benefits with National, Avis and Hertz. The card also offers *cell phone protection, trip delay insurance and trip interruption/cancellation coverage. Plus, cardholders can receive a 35% points rebate (up to 1,000,000 points per calendar year) on eligible airfare booked through Amex Travel using Amex’s Pay with Points program.

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Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is Southwest’s most premium business credit card and can be incredibly rewarding for frequent flyers, especially those chasing the Southwest Companion Pass or other Southwest elite status.

Rewards

  • 4X points per dollar spent on Southwest® purchases
  • 3X points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners
  • 2X points per dollar spent on rideshare
  • 2X points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee

$199

Notable perks

The Southwest Performance Business Card’s annual fee can easily be offset if you take full advantage of its many benefits:

  • 9,000 Rapid Rewards points every account anniversary (worth roughly $135)
  • Up to 365 in-flight WiFi credits per year with Southwest Airlines (worth $8 each)
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year (when available)
  • Up to $100 in application fee credit for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry
  • Up to $500 in Rapid Rewards transfer fee credits each membership year

This card is also useful in giving you a leg up on earning Southwest elite status. For every $10,000 you spend on the card, you’ll earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points.

Plus, the Rapid Rewards points you earn from spending and the welcome bonus count toward earning a Southwest Companion Pass, which allows you to bring along a companion on any Southwest flight for just the cost of taxes and fees. If you live near an airport Southwest serves, the Companion Pass is one of the best travel deals because it works with points flights and flights paid with cash.

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IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

The IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is a hotel business card with a reasonable annual fee that can be easily justified by its ongoing benefits.

Rewards

  • Up to 26X points per dollar spent at IHG Hotels and Resorts (10X points for being an IHG Rewards Member, 10X points per dollar spent at IHG hotels as a cardholder and up to 6X points for having Platinum Elite status)
  • 5X points per dollar spent on travel, dining, select business purchases and at gas stations
  • 3X points per dollar spent on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 140,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee

$99

Notable perks

Cardholders receive an annual free night certificate valid and IHG hotels costing up to 40,000 points per night (though the certificate can be combined with IHG points to book more expensive properties). Cardholders also receive automatic IHG Platinum Elite status and the fourth night free when booking IHG points stays of four nights or more. Benefits of IHG Platinum Elite status include complimentary room upgrades upon availability, late checkout and a welcome amenity at check-in.

Other perks include up to $50 worth of United TravelBank Cash each year and a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to put toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS membership. Cardholders also earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement after spending $20,000 on the card within the account anniversary year.

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The American Express® Business Gold Card

The American Express Business Gold Card is one of the best business cards for maximizing your spending. It offers flexible bonus reward categories based on where your business spends the most.

Rewards

  • 4X points per dollar on two select categories where you spend the most each month (on up to $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year)
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Annual fee

$295 (see rates and fees)

Notable perks

In addition to transferring their points to Amex’s various airline and hotel partners, cardholders can redeem their points toward eligible airfare booked through the Amex Travel Portal and receive a 25% points rebate (up to 250,000 points per calendar year). The rebate applies to business and first class tickets on any airline, or any class on your selected qualifying airline.

Cardholders can also take advantage of expense management tools like the American Express® Business App, year-end summaries and Vendor Pay by Bill.com and enjoy peace of mind with coverages like *baggage insurance, trip delay insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance.

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Find the best credit card for you by reviewing offers in our credit card marketplace or get personalized offers via CardMatch™.

FAQs

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Bottom line

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*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/ benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company; Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.


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