Best Business Credit Card Sign Up Bonus
A business credit card with a generous sign-up bonus can be tempting. Whether the welcome offer is a generous amount of cash back or a whole bunch of reward points, it can cause us to stop and take a second look at a particular credit card.
If you are in the market for a new small business credit card, which credit cards are offering the best sign up bonuses for business owners? And more importantly, how do you decide whether it’s worth it?
What is a Business Credit Card Sign Up Bonus?
A business credit card sign-up bonus is also known as a welcome bonus, bonus points, bonus cash, welcome offer, or limited time offer. These are offers designed to entice prospective new cardholders to apply for that specific card.
A bonus offer is different from regular credit card offers because it is often a one-time deal, unlike rewards that exist as long as you have the card. Some credit card issuers may try to keep your business by offering an additional bonus each year the card renews, but that’s typically not as attractive an offer as first-time bonuses.
Sign-up bonuses are available on certain personal credit cards and business credit cards. In either case, they are typically tied to qualifying purchases made within a certain period of time. For example, a credit card may offer a sign-up bonus of $500 cash back but in order to get the $500 you have to spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months.
But because sign-up bonuses are often a one-time deal you really want to make sure you are balancing them against ongoing rewards. Rewards will be there as long as you have the card so it is a good idea to make sure they line up with your business spending so that you can get the most out of the card.
Some cards may not even offer a sign-up bonus, but offer a great rewards program overall. If that is the case, depending on your business and your needs, you may be better off skipping the business credit card with the sign-up bonus and going straight to the card with good rewards or other features.
Types of Business Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses
Sign-up bonuses will be different from card to card but generally, they will fall into the following categories:
Bonus cash back rewards
Bonus rewards points
As mentioned previously, these bonuses will generally require you to make a certain amount in qualifying purchases during a specific time period. Fail to do so and you miss out on the reward. Depending on how much your business spends, and in which categories. you may be better off with a credit card that offers unlimited cash back.
The 12 Best Business Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses
Note that the following bonuses are current as of the time this story was written but card terms may change. The following information was gathered independently from card issuer’s websites.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Credit Card
Sign up bonus: Earn 130,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on business purchases in the first three months along with up to $130 in statement credits when you make qualifying purchases at Hilton family hotels during the first year. Plus, earn a free weekend night after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.
12x points on Hilton rewards and points
6x points on U.S. gas stations, shipping, telephones, flights, car rentals, and restaurants
3x points on other eligible purchases
Hilton Gold status
10 Priority Passes for airport lounge access
Hilton Diamond Elite status when you spend $40,000 on the card
Annual Fee: $95
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
Sign up bonus: 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points when you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
4x points on Southwest Airlines purchases
3x points on Rapid Rewards hotels and car rentals
2x points on transit, social media/search engine advertising, internet, cable, phone
1x points on other eligible purchases
Free employee cards
TSA/Global Entry credit
365 inflight wifi credits
9,000 bonus points every account anniversary year
Annual Fee: $199
The Business Platinum Card From American Express
Sign up bonus: 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible business expenses in the first three months of account opening. It is currently also offering 0% APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening. This card carries a steep annual fee, but it comes with some great rewards.
5x Membership Rewards points on flights and hotels booked through AmexTravel.com
1.5x points on eligible purchases in bonus categories including construction suppliers, electronic retailers, software providers
1.5x purchases of $5,000 or more up to $2 million a calendar year
1x points on everything else
Statement credits for certain types of purchases
$200 airline fee credit and $189 Clear credit
Elite status with Marriott and Hilton
Travel perks such as access to thousands of airport lounges and a 35% airline bonus on certain tickets
0% intro apr for 12 months then the interest rate becomes a variable apr between 14.99%-22.99%
Annual fee of $695
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Sign up bonus: 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
3x points on purchases in bonus categories: travel, social media/search engine advertising, internet, cable, shipping, and phone services for the first $150,000 in annual spend
1x on other eligible purchases
Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Car rental coverage
Cell phone protection
Free employee cards
Annual fee: $95
United Business Card
Sign up bonus: 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
2x miles on United purchases, dining, gas stations, office supply stores, transit/commuting
1x miles on other eligible purchases
1st checked bag free on United Airlines flights
$100 United flight credit
Free employee cards with spending limits
2 United Club lounge one time passes
25% back on United inflight purchases
Earn up to 1,000 Premier qualifying points
Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee then $99
Capital One Spark 2X Miles For Business
Sign up bonus: 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first three months.
5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
2x miles on business purchases
$100 travel credit for TSA Pre/Global Entry
Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee then $95
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card
Sign up bonus: 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months.
2x miles on purchases with Delta, restaurants, shipping, and certain advertising purchases
1x miles on other eligible purchases
$100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 on the card in a year
Car rental insurance
Priority boarding on Delta
First checked bag free on Delta
No foreign transaction fees
Annual Fee: $0 annual fee for the first year then $99
American Express Business Gold Card
Sign up bonus: 70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months
4x points on your top two business spending categories
1x points on other eligible purchases
25% airline bonus when you use points to book (capped)
Trip delay insurance
Rental car insurance
Annual fee: $295
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
Sign up bonus: 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points when you make $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months.
6x points on eligible purchases made at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
4x points on U.S. purchases at restaurants, gas stations, shipping, wireless phone services
2x points on other eligible purchases
No foreign transaction fees
Premium internet at Marriott Bonvoy properties
Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
Free night for your card anniversary
Annual fee: $125
U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card
Sign up bonus: $750 bonus in rewards when you spend $7,500 on the account owner’s card in the first 120 days.
5% back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through Travel Rewards Center
2% back on top two highest spend categories each month
1% back on other eligible purchases
Pay over time for large purchases (fee applies)
Annual Fee: $0 annual fee the first year then $95
Wells Fargo Business Elite Signature Card
Sign up bonus: Either $1,000 cash back or 100,000 bonus points when you spend $15,000 in the first three months.
1x points or 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases
5,000 bonus points when company spend is $10,000 or more in any billing period (for businesses choosing points)
Up to 200 employee cards
Travel incident fee reimbursement of up to $100 a year
Annual Fee: $0 annual fee for the first year then $125
Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Sign up bonus: $1,000 total - $500 when you spend $5,000 in the first three months; plus $500 if you spend $50,000 in the first six months
2% unlimited cash back on all other eligible purchases
5% unlimited cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel
$200 bonus every year you spend at least $20,000
Annual Fee: $150
Purchases must be paid in full each month
What to Look for in a Business Credit Card Sign Up Bonus
Business credit cards allow small business owners to separate their business and personal finances, provide a convenient and safer way to make purchases, and can help business owners manage cash flow.
The first thing you’ll need to consider when choosing a small business card is which cards you’re likely to qualify for. Most small business credit cards will check the owner’s personal credit report with one of the major credit bureaus, and will require a good personal credit history.
There are exceptions: some cards will not require a Social Security Number on the credit card application, however those cards are usually reserved for businesses with high spending and strong business revenues.
Some cards are available to a wide range of small business owners, including independent contractors and sole proprietors. Others may only issue cards to businesses that are structured as an LLC or corporation. An Employer Identification Number may be required for either type of business so it’s a good idea to get one.
Most of the cards listed in this article require good credit or even excellent credit scores. For many cards that means credit scores of 680–700 or above.
Questions to Ask
Once you understand which cards are available to your business, you’ll want to consider the following factors when evaluating sign-up bonuses:
How much will you need to spend and in what period of time to get the bonus? For high spending businesses, it may not be hard to meet required spending levels to receive bonuses. For sole proprietors or very small businesses, it may be more challenging. Keep in mind you’ll want to use your business credit card for business purchases, and not personal ones.
What are the bonus categories and do those match your business spending? Many small business rewards credit cards offer higher rewards for spending in certain categories. Airline or hotel credit cards, for example, are heavily geared toward business travel purchases; if you don’t travel frequently (or aren’t loyal to specific brands) you may want a more flexible card.
How can points or miles be used? Points or miles can often be used for travel purchases but can also be used toward gift cards, merchandise or other purchases.Also keep in mind that points generally don’t expire as long as the card is active, but once you close it you may lose miles. This may tie you to a card you’re not excited about. If you’re not certain you can use points you may want to consider a cash back card. Cash is the most flexible reward.
What is the card’s annual fee? You’ll want to compare the annual fee with the rewards you’ll earn to make sure it’s worth it based on your business spending. If you don’t expect to spend a lot on the card, a no-annual-fee card may be a better choice.
What are the interest rates? If you plan to carry a balance you’ll want to understand the interest rates including: introductory APR, ongoing APR, penalty APR and balance transfer APR. If you will pay your balance in full, you can avoid interest.
Credit limits. Will the card allow you to make the purchases your business needs to make without getting declined? Some high-spending businesses find their business bumping up against credit limits very quickly, and will want a card that will let them focus on their business, rather than trying to juggle cards so that purchases go through.
The bottom line is that introductory and welcome offers can be appealing. But ultimately you’ll want to make sure you choose a card that meets the spending needs of your business over time. Welcome bonuses end, but your need for a business credit card will continue. Choose wisely.