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Best cash back credit card 2021: Top cards compared

These credit cards give the best cash back rewards for businesses.

Maximizing every penny spent on your business is essential for growing it. One of the best ways to do this is by redeeming rewards on a business cash back credit card. With one of these cards, you can receive a percentage (between 1% and 5%) of each qualifying transaction refunded.

Some cards give you a percentage of cash back incentives regardless of what you buy. Others offer tiered rewards based on where you use them. Some even offer you bonus cash if you spend a specific amount within the first few months of opening an account. 

Moreover, if you pay off your balances in full every month, the cash back incentives equate to free money. All told, there are many different options available to help your business maximize rewards. Here are the best cash back credit cards for business.

Capital One Spark Cards for Business

Three cash back options

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Capital One offers three cash back options for your business. If you need to build your credit, the Spark 1% Classic might be the best option. As its name implies, you earn 1% cash back on all purchases, with no limitations or annual fees. The 26.99% variable APR is a little high. However, if you pay off your balances every month, it will not matter.

Another option is the Spark 1.5% Cash Select card. With this option, you earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You also receive a $200 bonus when you spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of opening the account. And you gain a 0% APR for the first nine months. From there, your rate varies between 13.99% and 23.99%. Also, there is no membership fee, making this the perfect credit card for companies wanting to purchase often and pay in full each month. 

Meanwhile, if your company wants more buying power, the Spark 2% Cash card is the right option. Your business earns 2% cash back on all purchases made with the card. You also receive a $500 bonus when you spend at least $4,500 within the first three months of opening the account. After the first year, Capital One charges a $95 annual fee that is tax-deductible. The rate for this card is 20.99% APR. 

Pros:

  • Three options to meet your company's cash back needs
  • Unlimited cash back rewards
  • No annual fees on the Spark 1% Classic and the Spark 1.5% Cash Select
  • Cash rewards for spending within the first three months 

Cons:

  • High variable rate on the Spark 1% Classic
  • $95 annual fee after the first year for the Spark 2% Cash

Ink Business Cash by Chase

Earn cash back rewards of 5% on every dollar spent

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With Ink Business Cash, your business can earn cash back rewards of 5% on every dollar spent on internet/cable services and at office supply stores. Chase caps this generous incentive to the first $25,000 you spend. After each year, this rolls back over, so you are free to take advantage of it again. 

Moreover, you also earn 2% back at restaurants and gas stations, with a cap of $25,000. And for all other purchases, you receive 1% back with no limitations. There are no annual fees, and Chase gives you a $750 cash back bonus when you spend at least $7,500 within the first three months of opening the account.

Sweetening the deal is a 0% introductory APR for the first year. It allows you to finance higher purchases and gives you time to pay them off before interest fees kick in. Overall, it is a versatile business card that works well for companies looking to save money on their office supplies, internet, and restaurant expenditures. 

Pros:

  • 0% introductory APR for the first year
  • 5% cash back on office supplies and home internet service for the first $25,000 spent each year
  • No annual fees
  • Cash bonus of $750

Cons:

  • Lower cash back incentive on all purchases relative to other offerings

Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Back Rewards Mastercard

Perks if you have a BoA business checking account

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This card offers you the choice of which category you earn 3% cash back in. It includes gas, travel, office supply stores, business consulting services, computer consulting services, and internet/wireless service providers. You also have the option to change this category once a month as business needs dictate. 

Furthermore, you also earn 2% back on dining. Bank of America caps these generous incentives at $50,000. It means once you exceed this through your selected category and dining, you earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You can also maximize rewards by spending at least $3,000 within the first 90 days of opening an account. Doing so nets you a $300 cash back bonus. Bank America also gives you a way to earn more through its Preferred Rewards for Businesses.

If you have a business checking account with Bank of America, the company offers more cash back incentives on your credit card. There are three tiers based on average daily balances. If you qualify for the highest tier (Platinum Honors with a three-month balance average of at least $100,000), you earn even more cash back incentives. 

With your choice category, you earn 5.25% cash back (with dining it's 3.25%). All other purchases are 1.75%. As you can see, the more you bank with Bank of America, the more cash back incentives you receive. 

Pros:

  • Ability to choose a 3% bonus category
  • No annual fees
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 9 months
  • Preferred Rewards for Businesses give you more ways to maximize incentives

Cons:

  • Cap on highest cash incentives (first $50,000 combined in the chosen category and dining)

Discover It Business Credit Card

Will match all the rewards earned in your first year

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This business card from Discover touts simplicity. Your business earns 1.5% cash back rewards on unlimited purchases. 

Another benefit of going with Discover is they will match all the rewards earned in your first year. So, if your company earned $400 in incentives, Discover will give you another $400. It is a simple way to receive cash for making the purchases your business requires.

You also receive up to 50 free credit cards with your company account. For employees in charge of purchasing or having an expense account, it is a free way to build rewards. 

Discover does not charge an annual fee for its business card, and with a low introductory rate of 0% APR for the first year, you can finance larger purchases and have more time to pay them off.

It is also simple to manage expenses with your card. Discover allows you to download your transactions into Quicken, Excel, and QuickBooks. 

Pros:

  • 1.5% unlimited cash back rewards
  • No annual fees
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months
  • Discover matches your cash back rewards for the first year
  • Up to 50 credit cards free

Cons:

  • There are no bonus categories where you can earn higher cash back incentives

US Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard

$500 cash bonus

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This card entitles you to 3% cash back on purchases made at gas stations (for transactions under $200), cell phone providers, and office supply stores. For the rest of your expenses charged, you earn a 1% bonus with unlimited rewards.

Another benefit is the $500 cash bonus. All you have to do is spend $3,000 within the first 90 days of opening the account. US Bank also provides a 25% cash back bonus (up to $250) on the anniversary of your account opening.

Further, there is no annual fee for this card. And upon opening it, you receive an introductory rate of 0% APR for the first year on purchases and balance transfers. Overall, it is a wise choice for companies looking for simple, easy-to-understand terms and cash back bonuses. 

Pros:

  • 0% APR for first year on all purchases and balance transfers 
  • 3% cash back bonuses on purchases at office supply stores, cell phone service/providers, and gas stations
  • No annual fees
  • 25% cash back bonus (up to $25) on purchases made the previous year
  • Cash bonus of $500 when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days of account opening

Cons:

  • Some cards offer higher cash back incentives 

Blue Business Cash Card from American Express

Flexibility in purchasing power

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One distinction between this credit card and some of the others is flexibility in purchasing power. American Express allows you (in certain circumstances) to spend more than your credit limit. They base it on factors like your credit, history of use of the card, payment history, and more.

Not only does this allow you to make larger purchases as you need (if approved), but you can also take advantage of the generous rewards. You earn 2% on all qualifying transactions for the first $50,000. For every purchase after this threshold, you receive 1% back. American Express credits every cash back to your statement automatically.

Moreover, there is no annual fee. And with a 0% APR rate for the year, it gives you more wiggle room in how you repay your expenses. 

Pros:

  • 2% cash back on the first $50,000 of qualified purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for first 12 months
  • Flexible purchasing power
  • No annual fee

Cons:

  • You do not have a choice in how to redeem cash back rewards (American Express credits them to your statement as they come due)

How do I redeem my cash back rewards?

Redeeming cash back incentives depends on your credit card provider. Some issuers (like American Express) credit your cash back rewards to your statement, while others offer choices. You can transfer your rewards to a bank account, have them issue a check, apply them as statement credit, or use the points for purchases for specific retailers.

How do I choose my bonus category?

For cards that allow you to choose your bonus category, you want to log into your account. On the dashboard, there will be a tab allowing you to select the bonus category. Your account allowance for changing it varies by issuer, so be sure to double-check with them on how often you can adjust it.

When do my rewards appear?

For American Express users, they will appear as statement credits each month. For other issuers, it can vary from a few business days to a week.

How did we choose these products?

These cards represent some of the best cards you can use. In each case, they deliver generous incentives, simple terms, year-end cash back rewards, bonuses for spending a specified amount when you open an account, and low introductory rates. 

Moreover, some of these options also include higher cash back incentives for specific categories (office supplies, home internet, cell phone, etc.) So, if your company uses these services often, it is a convenient way to maximize cash back rewards.

Which card is right for you?

Since needs can vary, not every card making this list will be a suitable option in your case. With this in mind, here are some of the best choices based on uses:

Best card for home office rewards: Ink Business Cash by Chase

If you make many home office purchases, this is a smart credit card to have. Ink Business Cash by Chase gives you cash back rewards of 5% on home supplies and home internet service for the first $25,000 spent each year. Whether you need new computers for your staff or a way to cut internet expenses, the cash back rewards help you achieve what you need. 

Best card for flexible rewards: Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Back Rewards Mastercard

Most business credit cards categorize cash back rewards for you. With this card, you have the power to choose the category that best fits your needs. You can earn 3% cash back on categories like computer consulting services, office supply stores, travel, and more. Overall, this card offers unrivaled flexibility in helping your business gain incentives. 

Best card for simplicity: Discover It Business Credit Card

With this business credit card, you earn an unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases. After the first year, Discover matches all the cash back you received for that year. And with simple terms, it is the perfect credit card for companies looking to maximize cash rebate incentives.

Best for building credit with cash back incentives: Capital One Spark 1% Classic

If you need to build your company's credit, the Capital One Spark 1% Classic is a wise way to do so. While you need excellent credit for most cards making this list, you only need fair credit to qualify for this one. Along with building your credit, you also earn an unlimited 1% cash back reward.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

There is one credit card worth exploring in addition to the ones listed above. The reason I chose not to include it is you have to be a Costco member to apply for the card, and you receive your cash back certificate annually (not monthly).

  • Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi: You earn 4% cash back rewards on gas at Costco for the first $7,000 spent. The 3% cash back incentives on restaurants and eligible travel expenses are hard to beat for business travelers. Then there's the 2% bonus on all purchases made at Costco or Costco.com. All other purchases qualify for 1% cash back. There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction charges.