The 16 best startup business credit cards in 2024

A review of business credit card options for startup businesses.
Author
Ken Boyd
Writer
Published
June 17, 2024
read time
1 minute
Reviewed by
Rho editorial team
Updated
July 15, 2024

Startup founders often apply for business credit cards as the company grows. Entrepreneurs can build strong credit scores and earn rewards using credit cards.

This post is helpful for business owners evaluating business credit cards. You’ll learn about the application requirements, fees, and reward programs for 16 credit card options. Use this review to determine the best startup business credit cards for your business needs.

Key highlights: 

  • A business credit card helps companies manage their business expenses and budgets.
  • Business credit cards can be a useful spend management tool for finance teams, especially when paired with expense management software. 
  • Rho provides business credit cards, checking accounts, payable automation, and treasury management in a single platform.

Automate and enforce your expense policy with ease.

Eliminate late receipt submissions and streamline transaction reconciliation with Rho.

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What is a business credit card?

A business credit card helps companies manage their business expenses and budgets. It’s often used for expenses like travel, digital ads, office supplies, client entertainment, cloud computing, and SaaS software subscriptions. 

Small business owners typically use business credit cards. Companies that issue cards to the owner and multiple employees use corporate credit cards. These factors impact credit card use:

  • Interest rates: Higher interest rates increase interest expenses on credit card debt. Businesses may avoid card use when interest rates go up.
  • Availability of credit: A business with access to a line of credit (LOC) can pay cash for expenses and minimize credit card usage.  The LOC may charge a lower interest rate than a credit card.                                                                                                                          
  • Types of business: Companies with large travel budgets may use business credit cards to accumulate travel rewards.

The best card for your startup depends on your specific needs and goals.

Why do startups need a business credit card?

The best business credit cards can be a useful spend management tool for finance teams, especially when paired with expense management software

Businesses typically use corporate cards to centralize spend management and to control or prevent unnecessary or out-of-policy employee spending.

Additional benefits include: 

  • Potential alternative to employee reimbursements for business expenses
  • Improves cash flow depending on the credit terms offered
  • Business card policies and spend controls can help mitigate fraud 
  • Support efficient accounting processes, including month-end close
  • If the creditor chooses to report credit activity to credit bureaus, businesses can build a credit history that can be beneficial when seeking financing or negotiating with suppliers
  • Cashback or other spend-based rewards

This review covers both business credit cards and some corporate charge cards. 

Corporate charge cards are a type of credit card with an important caveat: they do not provide a revolving line of credit but require the outstanding balance to be paid in full by a predetermined date. 

As you read through the card options, consider whether or not your startup can pay every card balance in full each month. If not, look into credit card options.

The 16 best startup business credit cards in 2024

1. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Backed by 24/7 customer support, Rho offers business checking accounts, treasury capabilities, and enterprise-grade spend management – accounts payable, corporate cards, and expense management – with no monthly fees.

Rho is the business banking platform with everything companies need to manage their cash and grow their business. 

At a glance

The Rho Corporate Credit Card helps businesses manage spending, process expenses, and simplify their T&E accounting. Startup founders can create unlimited virtual and physical corporate cards and assign strict spend controls, including dollar limits, merchant controls, and category controls. 

Checking and card services provided by Webster Bank, N.A., member FDIC; savings account services provided by American Deposit Management, LLC and its partner banks.  Investment management and advisory services provided by RBB Treasury LLC dba Rho Prime Treasury, an SEC-registered investment adviser. Treasury services provided  through Interactive Brokers LLC.

Annual fee

Rho Cards have no annual fees, subscription fees, or per-card fees. Rho cardholders do not pay interest or foreign transaction fees.

Regular APR

Not applicable. Card balances are paid in full each month.

Intro APR

Not applicable

Rewards type

Cashback

Rewards rate

Earn up to 1.25%

Intro offer:

None

Recommended credit score:  

Rho’s holistic approach to underwriting allows us to find you a higher, scalable credit limit that increases with your company’s growth – even if you don’t have an extensive credit history.

Your credit limit is not tied solely to your cash balance or last year's revenue. Instead, your credit limit depends on several factors, including revenue growth, business spending patterns, and balance sheet liquidity. 

Pros

  • Rho App: The app gives our customers full visibility into team spend any time, any place, removing friction for all kinds of business.
  • Holistic spend management: With T&E expenses and AP automation in one platform, organizations using Rho get a full picture of spending. 
  • Cardholders notifications: Employees receive notifications via SMS or the Rho mobile app to upload their receipts and other transaction data
  • Free service: The Rho platform is free to use.

Cons

  • Straight cashback vs. points: Some companies prefer legacy corporate card solutions like Amex or Capital One for the point rewards they offer, even if that impacts process speed. 

Best for

The Rho Card is a low-cost option that provides cashback. The platform integrates payables, expenses, treasury, banking services, and accounting software in a single platform. 

2. Capital One Spark 1% Classic for Business

Capital One offers several types of credit cards, including the Spark 1% card. This card provides attractive features, including generous auto rental collision coverage, purchase assurance for up to 12 months, and extended warranties on card purchases. Fees and interest rate costs can be high.

At a glance

The Spark 1% card offers fraud protection, free employee cards, and other benefits. Rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit on your card account or by check. However, the high APR makes card use expensive for startup businesses.

Annual fee

None

Regular APR

29.99% variable APR 

34.65% variable APR rate may be applied to your account if you make a late payment

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Cashback

Rewards rate

Unlimited 1% cash back. Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Intro offer:

None

Recommended credit score:  

The Spark 1% card accepts applicants with a fair or average credit score.

Pros

  • Rewards: Rewards never expire. 
  • Spend management tools: Itemized transaction reporting and the ability to manage recurring payments.
  • Travel points: Additional rewards through Capital One travel.

Cons

  • Late payment costs: Capital One charges a $39 late payment fee.
  • High variable APR rate: High APR rate on account balances. Higher rates may be charged for late payments.

Best for

Startup businesses with a fair credit rating may be approved for the Spark 1% card. Cardholders can build a strong credit history by using the card and making timely payments. Startups with good credit or excellent credit scores should use another card.

Capital One Spark Classic for Business vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

The Spark 1% card has a high APR rate and Capital One’s expense management and payment integrations are limited. Rho provides corporate cards and an integrated financial solution with banking and treasury capabilities.

3. Capital on Tap Business Credit Card

The Capital on Tap Business Credit Card is a traditional credit card, not a corporate card, so users can carry a balance from one month to the next if necessary. The company offers two different cards and provides several accounting integrations.

At a glance

Capital on Tap offers the Free Rewards card and the Business Rewards card. The Business Rewards card offers bonus rewards, and users can redeem points to book travel through Avios. Capital on Tap provides auto-sync integrations with Sage and Xero.

The company has several application requirements. The applicant must be an active director or meet minimum ownership requirements. The business must be based in the UK and generate at least £24,000 in annual revenue. 

Annual fee

The Free Rewards card has no annual fee, and the Business Rewards card has a £99 fee annually.

Regular APR

Variable rates from 18.49% - 35.99% 

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Cardholders earn cashback through a points system. Customers earn 1 point for every £1 spent using a Capital on Tap Business Credit Card. You can redeem points to reduce the card balance, for cash, or in exchange for gift cards.

Rewards rate

Both cards offer 1% cashback on all card spending.

Intro offer:

The Business Rewards card offers 10,000 bonus points when you spend £5,000 in your first three months. 

Recommended credit score:  

Applying for this card requires your personal finance data. Capital on Tap performs a soft credit check on your personal credit history and a hard credit check on your business credit history. 

Pros

  • Customer support: 24/7 phone support, along with email and chat support during business hours
  • Exclusive offers: Cardholders can earn discounts on Dropbox, Slack, Superscript, and other services.

Cons

  • UK-only businesses: The business must be based in the UK.
  • Minimum revenue requirement: A business must generate revenue of at least £24,000 per year. 
  • High APR rates: The APR range of rates is higher than some other cards in this review.

Best for

UK-based businesses that can meet the minimum revenue requirements. It is not a suitable card for companies that must carry a large balance because the APR may be high.

Capital on Tap business credit card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Capital on Tap is only available for UK businesses. U.S. customers and firms in other countries can use Rho. The Capital on Tap Business Rewards card has a £99 fee annually. The Rho Card does not charge annual fees or interest fees.

4. Ramp Visa Corporate Card

Based in New York, Ramp is a fintech company initially launched in 2019 as a corporate card and expense management platform. The company has since expanded its product capabilities to include bill payments, procurement, and accounting integrations. 

At a glance

Ramp’s products include corporate cards, expense management, procurement, accounts payable, vendor management, working capital, a mobile app, and other core features built into their platform. 

Annual fee

None

Regular APR

Not applicable. Balances must be paid in full each month.

Intro APR

Not applicable 

Rewards type

Cashback

Rewards rate

Earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases. 

Intro offer:

None

Recommended credit score:  

Ramp card application requirements:

  • Registered as a business in the U.S.
  • Must be a corporation or limited liability company and have at least $75,000 in cash in any U.S. business bank account linked to your application.
  • Have most of your operations and corporate spend in the U.S.

Pros

  • Expense management users can upload a snapshot of receipts using the mobile app. 
  • The platform auto-collects and matches receipts in minutes with integrations for Gmail, Uber, Amazon Business, and Lyft.  
  • Ramp’s automation handles approvals, global reimbursements, and AI-powered reconciliations.

Cons

  • No banking or treasury management capabilities in the platform.
  • Ramp charges user subscription fees to access dedicated customer support.
  • Customers must have at least $75,000 in cash in any U.S. business bank account linked to their application.

Best for

Ramp is a strong spend management platform if you have a narrow set of needs related to your finance stack. Ramp may be a fit if you need a corporate card solution with some expense management capabilities. 

Ramp Visa Corporate Card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Ramp issues charge cards, and the balance must be paid in full. Rho offers credit cards and extends credit to businesses. Both cards have low costs and offer cashback.

Ramp does not offer an integrated financial solution with banking and treasury capabilities. Ramp won’t completely unify your finance stack, which could create SaaS overload. What’s more, some processes, like accounts payable, benefit from a banking connection (e.g., no payment delays) like the services offered by Rho. 

5. Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

American Express Company is an American bank holding company and multinational financial services corporation. The bank has a large focus on credit cards.

At a glance

Cardholders earn reward points on each employee’s card use. Transactions are automatically categorized for QuickBooks users.

The original manufacturer's warranty can be extended up to one additional year on purchases. Purchase Protection can protect covered purchases for up to 90 days if the item is stolen or accidentally damaged.

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

18.49% to 26.49%

Penalty APR

29.99% rate applies if a payment is returned, the cardholder makes two late payments within 12 billing periods, or if the minimum payment due is not paid. Note that the penalty APR will apply for at least 12 billing periods in a row.

Intro APR

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

Rewards type

Points

Rewards rate

2X points on purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1X points above $50,000.

Earn at least 1 additional point for each dollar of eligible travel purchases made on amextravel.com on a Membership Rewards program-enrolled American Express Card.

Intro offer:

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards Points® after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your card in the first three months.

Recommended credit score:  

Startup businesses need a good to excellent credit score.

Pros

  • Warranties and purchase protection: Generous warranties and attractive purchase protection.
  • Travel rewards: Travel rewards are attractive, particularly if cardholders book travel through AMEX Travel.

Cons

  • Penalty APR: The penalty rate applies for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Cap on 2X points rewards: 2X points on purchases is capped at $50,000 annually.
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39.

Best for

Startups with strong credit scores and travel budgets can benefit from using Blue Business. Keep in mind that rewards are capped, based on annual card use.

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Blue Business travel rewards are attractive, but users must monitor card use and payments to maximize benefits and avoid the penalty APR rate.

Rho offers a more straightforward cashback reward and integrations with accounts payable, business checking, and treasury management functionality.

6. Brex 30 Card

Brex provides small business credit card, expense management, travel, and bill pay software solutions.  The platform offers real-time expense tracking and variance reporting. Brex’s customers can do business in several different currencies.

At a glance

Brex corporate cards can be issued digitally or in physical form.  Spending limits can be set by dollar amount or vendor, and cards can be used for recurring payments. Brex can also pay reimbursements in many local currencies.

Annual fee

None

Regular APR

Not applicable. Brex is a charge card.

Intro APR

Not applicable. 

Rewards type and rate

Brex cardholders earn a different number of points for different types of spending:

The number of points rewarded also depends on how often the card balance is paid. Cardholders have perks for AWS spending, Apple purchases, QuickBooks, UPS, Gusto, and Slack. You can redeem your points in several ways:

  • Flights and hotels booked through Brex travel 
  • Gift cards 
  • Statement rewards credit
  • Redeem points for miles with an airline partner 

There are additional conditions businesses must meet to earn rewards. The company must spend at least 30% of the credit limit in a given month, and there may be dollar amount limits on certain bonus categories. 

Brex Exclusive offers the highest reward per dollar spent, and you must make the Brex 30 Card the exclusive corporate card for your business to apply for this program.

Intro offer:

30,000 points after spending $3,500, or 50,000 points after spending $9,000 in the first 30 days.

Recommended credit score:  

Brex does not provide a specific credit score range to get approved. However, the Brex 30 card requires a business checking account with at least $50,000 deposited.

Pros

  • Mobile functionality: Users can easily take photos of receipts and upload them for expense coding with the mobile app.
  • Expense processing: The corporate card streamlines expense processing and receipts can be easily posted as card expenses.
  • Reimbursements: Brex makes employee reimbursements easier to process.

Cons

  • Complex rewards structure: Brex has a complicated card rewards structure based on payment frequency and card use.
  • Customer support: Several reviews point out that customer support needs to be more responsive.
  • Balance reporting: Some reviewers feel that they need better reporting on Brex card available balances.

Best for

Brex largely targets VC-backed startups. Brex is not a good choice for bootstrapped startups, because spending limits and benefits are designed for funded growth companies. In June 2022, Brex announced it was leaving the small and medium-sized (SMB) market.

Brex 30 Card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Brex has a complicated card rewards structure, while Rho offers up to 1.25% cashback through statement credits, and customers clearly understand rewards.

While Brex largely targets VC-backed startups, Rho’s expense management solution is purpose-built to scale with both growth-stage and middle-market companies. 

Several Brex users report problems with access to customer service. Rho, on the other hand, provides effective phone support. 

7. U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®

U.S. Bank is the fifth largest bank in the United States. The company provides personal and business banking services, wealth management, and trust services to customers.

At a glance

The bank allows startups to transfer and redeem rewards between personal and business Altitude cards. Businesses receive free employee cards, and reward points never expire.

Business Altitude cards provide an auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage insurance, and travel assistance services. 

Annual fee

$0 for the first year, then $95 per year moving forward

Regular APR

20.24% to 28.24%

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Points are earned on purchases, and cardholders earn 1 cent per point. Points are redeemable toward merchandise, gift cards, cash back, and travel.

Rewards rate

Startups can earn up to 5X points on business travel (hotels and car rentals) when booked directly in the Rewards Center. Travel expenses not booked through the Rewards Center earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined annual spend.

Cardholders earn 2X points on dining, takeout, restaurant delivery, and cell phone services. All other purchases earn 1 point.

Intro offer:

Earn $60,000 (worth $600) if you spend $6,000 on the Account Owner’s card in the first 180 days of opening your account.

Recommended credit score:  

Startup firms need a good to excellent credit score to be approved.

Pros

  • Travel rewards: Startups can earn 2X to 5X rewards points on travel and entertainment expenses.
  • Benefits for travelers: The card provides an auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage insurance, and travel assistance services. 

Cons

  • Good to excellent credit score: Startups that do not have a good to excellent credit score may not be approved.
  • Annual fee: Cardholders are charged a $95 annual fee after the first year.
  • 4X rewards dollar limit: This rewards level only applies to the first $150,000 in combined annual spend.

Best for

Startup businesses with strong credit scores and travel budgets can benefit from the card’s rewards for business travel. Cardholders pay a $95 annual fee after the first year, however.

U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®  vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

The Business Altitude card is a good choice for startups with a good to excellent credit score, and firms with large travel budgets. Cardholders can’t access tools for expense management, payables, and treasury functions.

Rho provides business checking accounts, corporate cards, and AP automation in a single platform. In addition, Rho does not charge platform fees.

8. First National Bank Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® credit card

First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) is an independent, family-owned bank founded over 165 years ago. The bank has locations in eight states and over $30 billion in assets.

At a glance

Your credit limit is determined by providing a deposit between $2,000 and $10,000 when you apply, subject to credit approval. 

Businesses earn interest on security deposits. You must deposit $2,000 to open an account and maintain a minimum balance of $2,000 to earn interest. The current rate on deposits is 0.05% APY.

Annual fee

$39 annual fee

Regular APR

Variable 25.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers. 

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Mastercard Easy Savings program: Earn automatic rebates with over 40,000 participating merchant locations.

Rewards rate

Mastercard Easy Savings rebates differ by merchant.

Intro offer:

None

Recommended credit score:  

This secured card requires a personal credit check and a security deposit between $2,000 and $10,000, which dictates your credit limit. 

Pros

  • Bank assets: The bank has over $30 billion in assets and a long history.
  • Interest on deposits: Businesses earn interest on security deposits.

Cons

  • Security deposits: Deposits are required for the card.
  • Credit check: The secured card requires a credit check.
  • Fees: FNBO charges late payment fees and fees for spending over the credit limit.

Best for

A sole proprietor or a new business without a financial track record can build a credit history using the FNBO card. Applicants must be able to make a security deposit and cash flow the business.

First National Bank Business Edition® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

FNBO is a secured credit card that does not extend credit, and cardholders are charged fees. Growing businesses can use the Rho Card and Rho’s banking, treasury, and AP automation integrations in a single platform. Rho does not charge card annual or per card fees.

9. BILL Divvy Corporate Card

Following BILL’s announced acquisition of Divvy, BILL rebranded the Divvy credit card and expense management platform as BILL Spend & Expense. The company provides the BILL Divvy credit card, an AP automation solution, and accounts receivable software.

At a glance

Account admins can distribute corporate cards to employees and set spending budgets directly in the BILL Spend & Expense platform. Clients receive rewards based on spending as long as they meet certain spending thresholds.

The BILL Spend & Expense platform allows managers to monitor all transactions in real-time to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions, and card activity is linked to BILL Divvy software. 

Annual fee

None

Regular APR

Not applicable. Balances must be paid in full each month.

Intro APR

Not applicable.

Rewards type

Your BILL Divvy credit card rewards change based on how quickly you make payments.

Users who pay their balance in full each week earn points for every dollar of spending:                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  • 7 points on restaurant spending 
  • 5 points for hotels
  • 2 points on recurring software subscriptions 
  • 1.5 points on all other purchases 

Companies that pay their balance twice a month earn these points:

  • 4 points on restaurant spending 
  • 3 points for hotels
  • 1.75 points on recurring software subscriptions 
  • 1 point on all other purchases 

If the customer pays off the balance once a month, BILL only pays 2 points per dollar on restaurant and hotel spending, 1.5 points on recurring software subscriptions, and 1 point for all other purchases. 

Rewards rate

The value of each rewards point varies depending on how the points are redeemed. Here are the point values for travel-related point redemptions:

  • 1 cent per point when redeemed for travel directly with BILL 
  • 0.52 cents per point when redeemed for cash back
  • 0.51 cents per point when redeemed for gift cards
  • 0.49 cents per point when redeemed for a statement credit

Intro offer:

None

Recommended credit score:  

For the Divvy credit card, businesses need a good to excellent credit score (670 to 850) for approval. 

Pros

  • User experience: Users comment that the app is easy to use and navigate.
  • Rewards: Founders who can monitor the complex rewards system can earn high reward levels.
  • Expense management: The BILL Divvy credit card is integrated with BILL’s expense management platform, BILL Spend & Expense.

Cons

  • Required cash balance: BILL may expect the business to have at least $20,000 in available cash to receive credit approval. 
  • Conditions to earn rewards: The company must spend at least 30% of the credit limit in a given month to earn rewards. There may be dollar amount limits on certain bonus categories. 
  • Delays in accessing rewards: Before you can start redeeming your points, you must wait until you've had the card for 12 months and accumulate at least 5,000 points.
  • Customer support: Some Divvy customers feel that the quality of customer service has sharply declined after the purchase by BILL.

Best for

Some businesses like the appeal of earning point-based rewards when spending, particularly for restaurant and hotel expenses. Several reviewers point out that BILL Divvy credit card rewards are hard to track. 

The BILL Divvy credit card is integrated with BILL’s expense management platform, BILL Spend & Expense. The integration makes it easier to process BILL Divvy credit card activity.

BILL Divvy corporate card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

BILL gets mixed reviews on customer support performance, and the rewards program confuses cardholders. Rho offers straightforward cash back, responsive customer service, and integrations with accounts payable, commercial banking, and expense management functionality. 

10. Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

Bank of America is a multinational investment bank and financial services holding company. The bank provides services to individuals, small businesses, and larger institutions. Customers can access checking and savings accounts, loans, and investments.

At a glance

Businesses can open an account with a minimum $1,000 security deposit. Your credit line will be equal to your deposit amount. The bank will periodically review your account, and if your overall credit history improves, you can transition to an unsecured card.

Bank of America will not charge you any interest on purchases if you pay your balance in full by the due date each month.

Annual fee

None

Regular APR

28.49%

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Cashback

Rewards rate

Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. You can redeem your cash rewards as a deposit into your Bank of America® checking or savings account, as a card statement credit, or by check.

Intro offer:

None

Recommended credit score:

None  

Pros

  • Multinational bank: Bank of America offers a variety of services that business owners can use as they scale.
  • Cashback: 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • Cash rewards do not expire: As long as your account remains open, cash rewards do not expire.

Cons

  • Security deposit: You must submit a security deposit to open an account. Your credit line will be equal to your deposit amount.
  • Fees: Large legacy banks have an expensive infrastructure and may charge higher fees.
  • Underwriting: If you eventually want to apply for a business loan, legacy banks have stricter underwriting standards.

Best for

Founders who prefer a national bank offering multiple services and businesses that can meet requirements to minimize fees are a good fit for Bank of America.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Mastercard® Credit Card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Bank of America is an option for owners who want to establish a relationship with a national bank. The bank is also a solution for sole proprietors and small business owners who want to build a credit history using a secured credit card.

11. Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card

At a glance

Cardholders have several options for redeeming points:

  • Redeem points for a statement credit to offset travel and dining purchases and travel with no blackout dates through the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Cashback
  • Gift cards

Annual fee: 

None

Regular APR: 

After the intro APR offer ends, businesses pay a variable APR of 18.49% to 28.49%.

Intro APR: 

0% on purchases for the first nine billing cycles 

Rewards type: 

Bonus points

Rewards rate: 

Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases, and points don't expire.

You can earn up to 75% more points on every purchase if you have a business checking account with Bank of America and qualify for the Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier. That means you could earn up to an unlimited 2.62 points per $1 spent on all purchases.

Intro offer:

The 0% intro APR is explained above. 

In addition, you can earn 30,000 online sign-up bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. Points can be redeemed for a $300 statement credit towards travel or dining purchases.

Recommended credit score:  

None

Pros and Cons

Bank of America offers dozens of services that many business owners use as they scale. However, large legacy banks have an expensive infrastructure and may charge higher fees. Legacy banks also have stricter underwriting standards.

Best for

Startups that want a national bank that offers multiple services and businesses that can meet requirements to minimize fees are a good fit for Bank of America. 

Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Bank of America is an option for owners who want to establish a relationship with a national bank. The bank’s card provides an attractive intro offer, and cardholders can earn bonus points.

The Rho Card offers up to 1.25% cashback on qualifying purchases. The card is integrated with banking, treasury, and AP automation on a single platform.

12. Wells Fargo Business Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

Wells Fargo is one of the largest U.S. banks, offering banking services, lending, investments and wealth management, and investment banking. Wells Fargo provides many banking services that startups may eventually need, such as SBA loans and merchant accounts.

At a glance

This credit card is no longer available to new applicants.

Wells Fargo has ERP integrations with Xero and QuickBooks. However, Wells Fargo uses Web Connect to integrate with QuickBooks. This extra step slows down the integration process. Cardholders can deposit $500 to $25,000 to create a credit line.

Annual fee

None

Regular APR

None. This is a secured credit card.

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Cardholders can choose cashback or earn 1 point per dollar spent. Customers receive 1,000 bonus points each month the company spends $1,000 or more.

Rewards rate

1.5% cashback

Intro offer:

None

Recommended credit score:  

None

Pros

  • Customer support availability: Phone support is available until 11 pm EST on weekdays, and customer support is available on weekends.
  • Build credit rating: Making timely payments on a secured credit card can improve your firm’s credit rating.

Cons

  • Deposit limit: The deposit cap is $25,000, and a growing business may need a larger credit line.
  • Access: This card is no longer available to new applicants.

Best for

Existing cardholders can build business credit using the Wells Fargo secured card. Smaller businesses with lower credit needs may be a fit.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Mastercard® Credit Card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Owners looking for a new credit card should consider the Rho Card for its ease of use, cashback option, and finance integrations. The Wells Fargo card is no longer available to new applicants.

13. World of Hyatt Business Credit Card by Chase

These credit card offers are through JPMorgan Chase, one of the oldest financial institutions in the United States, with more than $2.6 trillion in assets under management. The bank offers checking accounts, small business loans, business credit cards, and other services. 

At a glance

No cost for employee cards. World of Hyatt provides:

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver 
  • Travel & emergency assistance 
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance Purchase Protection 
  • Extended warranty protection

Annual fee

$199

Regular APR

21.49%–28.49% 

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Points

Rewards rate

  • Bonus points: If a business charges $50,000 or more in a calendar year, the company can receive 10% of their redeemed points back as bonus points for the remainder of the year. 
  • Hyatt Hotels: Earn up to 9 total points per $1 spent at Hyatt Hotels.
  • Top spending categories: Earn 2 bonus points per $1 spent in your top three spending categories each quarter. Eligible categories include dining, shipping, and car rental.
  • Fitness club and gym memberships: Earn 2 bonus points per $1 spent.
  • All other purchases: 1 bonus point per $1 spent.

Intro offer:

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Recommended credit score:  

JPMorgan Chase does not provide a recommended credit score, but several other card reviews note that applicants need a minimum credit score of 670-700.

Pros

  • Bonus point rewards: Spend $50,000 or more in a calendar year, and businesses can receive 10% of their redeemed points back as bonus points.
  • Travel and entertainment rewards: Bonus points for Hyatt Hotel spending and entertainment expenses.
  • Travel benefits: Travel & emergency assistance, and Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance.

Cons

  • Annual fee: $199
  • Credit score: Startups need a good to excellent credit score to be approved.

Best for

Startups that maintain a good to excellent credit score and spend on travel and entertainment can benefit from using the World of Hyatt card. Cardholders who stay exclusively at Hyatt Hotels generate large rewards. The $199 annual fee is expensive, compared to many other cards.

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card by Chase vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Startups that require large travel and entertainment spending can generate reward points using the World of Hyatt card. However, only startups with high credit ratings will be approved. The card does not offer integrations with other financial tools.

Rho’s users enjoy frictionless spend management using the Rho Card, and Rho provides treasury management and other services. Rho does not charge platform fees.

14. Capital One Venture X Business Card

Capital One offers several types of credit cards, including the Spark 1% (discussed above) and the Venture X card.  The Venture X card provides attractive rewards for travel, but the balance must be paid in full each month.

At a glance

Redeem miles on flights, hotels, and vacation rentals, with no restrictions or blackout dates

free employee and virtual cards. Cardholders can redeem miles by check, account credit, or gift cards.

Credit limits are determined by spending behavior, payment history, and credit profile.

Annual fee

$395

Regular APR

Not applicable. Balance must be paid in full each month.

Intro APR

Not applicable

Rewards type

Miles

Rewards rate

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase. Book through Capital One Travel to earn 5X on flights and 10X on hotels and rental cars. Receive an annual $300 credit for bookings through Capital One Travel. You will also get 10,000 bonus miles every year, starting on your first anniversary

Intro offer:

Earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months (equal to $1,500).

Recommended credit score:  

Excellent

Pros

  • Transfer miles: Cardholders can transfer accrued miles to more than 15 travel loyalty programs.
  • Attractive intro offer: Earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Rewards policies: Your rewards are yours for the life of the account. There is no cap to the rewards you can earn on purchases.

Cons

  • Credit score required: Startups need an excellent credit score to be approved.
  • Balance payments: A balance must be paid in full each month.
  • Late payment fee: 2.99% of the unpaid portion of your minimum payment.

Best for

Startups with an excellent credit score and a travel budget can accumulate miles using the Capital One card. Reward miles never expire, and cardholders can transfer miles to other travel loyalty programs.

Capital One Venture X Business Card ® vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Venture X offers a variety of travel rewards programs, and rewards never expire. Startups that need payable automation and treasury management must add other platforms.

Growing startups can use the Rho Card and Rho’s banking, treasury, and AP automation integrations. Capital One has a $395 annual fee, and Rho does not charge an annual fee.

15. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Ink credit cards are offered through JPMorgan Chase, one of the oldest financial institutions in the United States, with over $2.6 trillion in assets under management. The bank offers checking accounts, small business loans, business credit cards, and other services. 

At a glance

Chase Ink offers several types of credit cards, including Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited, and Chase provides several attractive reward programs. Several reviewers point out that Chase Ink rewards are more generous than many competitors.

Annual fee: 

$95

Regular APR: 

21.24% to 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR: 

None

Rewards type: 

Points earned on purchases

Rewards rate: 

Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories each account anniversary year:

  • Shipping purchases
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Travel

Earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Points do not expire as long as your account is open. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel. You can earn 40,000 bonus points for referring a business approved for any Chase Ink credit card.

Intro offer:

Ink cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points for spending $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The bonus is either $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Recommended credit score:  

Not provided

Pros

  • Variety of rewards: Chase Ink offers a variety of rewards, such as 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2025 with your Chase Ink Preferred card.
  • Spending controls: Employee cards let you set individual spending limits.

Cons

  • Annual fee: Cardholders pay annual fees.
  • Intro bonus: Chase Ink does not offer an intro bonus.

Best for

Businesses can find multiple ways to benefit from using Chase Ink. Companies that monitor spending and potential rewards can accumulate points quickly. Chase Ink is useful for firms with larger travel budgets.

Startups that want a national bank with dozens of services and businesses that can meet requirements to minimize fees are a good fit for Chase.

Chase Ink Business Preferred® credit card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

Chase provides several attractive reward programs for business travel and other expenses, and Chase changes an annual fee. The Rho Card does not charge annual fees, and the Rho platform offers integrated financial software solutions.

16. American Express® Business Gold Card

American Express Company is an American bank holding company and multinational financial services corporation. The bank has a large focus on credit cards.

At a glance

The American Express® Business Gold Card charges a much higher annual fee than other credit cards in this review. The website explains that cardholders can earn back the annual fee by using the card and earning rewards.

Annual fee

$375 Annual Fee

Regular APR

Variable APR of 19.49% - 27.49%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. 

Intro APR

None

Rewards type

Points based on purchases

Rewards rate

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points in the two select categories where you spend the most each month. 
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com.

Intro offer:

70,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.

Recommended credit score:  

Not provided

Pros

  • Intro offer: The intro reward offer has a relatively low spending requirement.
  • Perks and discounts: Perks are offered by dozens of companies, including FedEx, Grubhub, Walmart, and other businesses. 
  • American Express Experiences: Pre-sale ticket access and member-only events, concerts, and Broadway shows.

Cons

  • Annual fee: Much higher fee than other cards in this review.
  • Underwriting: Large legacy banks often have stricter underwriting requirements.

Best for

Businesses with larger budgets and frequent card use can generate substantial benefits over time. Smaller companies may not spend enough to justify the high annual fee.

American Express® Business Gold card vs. Rho Corporate Credit Card

The American Express annual fee is hard to justify compared to the Rho Card. Rho offers cashback and other benefits and does not charge an annual or per card fee. Customers can also use the financial software solutions on the Rho platform.

How should startups evaluate business credit cards?

Startup founders must consider these factors before choosing a business credit card. Use this list to evaluate your credit card needs.

Identify your business goals

Your growth plans, industry, and position in the marketplace all impact your spending plans.

What growth rate are you projecting? If you forecast a 50% growth in sales over the next year, your expenses will increase at a similar rate. 

What type of expenses will you incur? If you operate a SaaS business, you’ll make a big investment in IT and marketing costs. A manufacturer budgets large amounts for fixed asset repair and maintenance, and may hire a sales staff to distribute products.

Calculate your expenses

Determine your budgeted expenses for the year by account category. A startup with a small travel budget will not benefit from using the travel-related reward plans in this review. 

Determine if the reward levels are capped by a dollar amount. If you have a $70,000 travel budget, don’t use a card that caps travel rewards at $50,000.

Determine which benefits are worthwhile

What type of rewards are most valuable to you? If you travel internationally to see customers airline-focused rewards may be most important. Access to an airport lounge and trip cancellation insurance are valuable perks if you travel frequently.

Understand the cardholder policies and protections

When evaluating cardholder policies, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Expense policy in place: Do you have a written expense policy, and has the policy been communicated to your staff? Employees must use cards responsibly to avoid fees and penalties.
  • Financial discipline: Would your business benefit from repaying your balance at the end of each month? Will carrying a balance contribute to poor spending decisions? 

Invest time to read the card agreement’s fine print. When you fully understand the card issuer’s policies, you can maximize benefits and avoid costs.

How to apply for a business credit card

Credit card applications typically require this information:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Business type (Partnership, LLC, etc.)
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN): A TIN is used to identify individuals and is similar to a Social Security Number. An EIN (discussed below) is used to identify companies.
  • Annual revenue
  • Years in business
  • FTE count
  • Company articles (business formation documents, business license, etc)

Ask each credit card issuer if they perform a hard check or soft check of your firm’s credit. You may be familiar with credit checks after applying for personal credit cards.

  • Hard check: The lender’s credit check affects your credit score, and your score will decline slightly. 
  • Soft check: When a lender reviews your credit for pre-approval, your credit score does not change. When an individual checks his or her credit report, the review is also a soft check.

As discussed in this review, some card providers require a minimum bank balance before approval. Card issuers may also require the business to be based in a specific country.

FAQs about startup business credit cards

What is the easiest business credit card to get for startups?

Card issuers that approve startups with a fair or average credit score, and issuers that do not require a minimum bank deposit. Each card review listed above is different, and the approval requirements vary.

Can startups get an EIN-only business credit card?

An Employee Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit tax identification number issued by the IRS that identifies a business entity.  It is difficult to secure a business credit card with an EIN only. Card issuers may require a personal credit check and a personal guarantee. 

Business owners and founders do have some limited options.

  • Rho, Ramp, BILL Divvy, and Brex offer EIN-only business credit cards. 
  • Some fuel card issuers, including Shell, will approve EIN-only cards for businesses that meet revenue minimums and other financial requirements. 

What should a SaaS startup look for in a credit card?

Startups need a credit card that generates enough rewards and benefits to justify the costs and fees. Founders should plan carefully before applying for a card that must be paid in full each month. 

Conclusion: Choose the right startup business credit card 

Startups can benefit from using the best startup business credit cards, but owners must understand the application requirements, rewards and restrictions on card use.

Many businesses need additional capabilities, including multi-entity support, AP automation, and other important features of financial operations. The best fintechs offer great service at a low cost.

Rho's scalable platform provides an end-to-end solution encompassing corporate cards, expense management, AP automation, business banking, and treasury management under one roof. 

This means businesses do not have to juggle multiple services as they grow, saving time and streamlining operations. 

Schedule time with a Rho expert today to learn more about Rho!

Competitive data was collected as of June 14, 2024, and is subject to change or update.

Checking and card services are provided by Webster Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. Savings account services provided by American Deposit Management, LLC, and its partner banks. All Rights Reserved. © 2019-2024 Under Technologies, Inc. DBA Rho Technologies. Rho is a trademark of Under Technologies, Inc. Rho is a fintech company, not a bank. 

Investment management and advisory services provided by RBB Treasury LLC dba Rho Prime Treasury, an SEC-registered investment adviser. RBB Treasury LLC facilitates investments in securities: investments are not deposits and are not FDIC Insured. Investments are not bank guaranteed, and may lose value. Investment products involve risk and past performance does not guarantee future results. Registration with the SEC does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Treasury services provided  through Interactive Brokers LLC.

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Rho is a fintech company, not a bank. Checking and card services provided by Webster Bank, N.A., member FDIC; savings account services provided by American Deposit Management, LLC and its partner banks.