Top 5 Business Cards Available For December 2018


Forbes has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. Forbes and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Maximize your business spending with a business credit card.Hero Images / Getty Images

The end of 2018 has seen a huge number of new and improved business credit card welcome bonuses, including updates to a few of my favorite cards. If you’re looking to broaden your horizon and help manage your business spending a little better, here are 5 of my favorite current offers:

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Annual fee: $95

Welcome bonus: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

Stand-out perks:

The Chase Ink Business Preferred has offered one of the most valuable credit card welcome bonuses for a long time. The 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points you can earn after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months are worth $1,600 to me, 60% more than you’d earn by signing up for Chase’s ultra-premium Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Ink also offers business friendly bonus categories, letting you earn 3x on your first combined $150,000 in annual spending on travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. When it comes time to redeem your points, you’ll have access to Chase’s incredible collection of hotel and airline partners, and you’ll also enjoy a 25% bonus when redeeming your points directly through the Chase portal.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Annual fee: $95 (waived first year)

Welcome bonus: Limited Time Offer – Earn up to 200,000 miles, 50,000 after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months plus another 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 total in the first 6 months

Stand-out perks: Capital One recently joined the ranks of transferable points currencies with the announcement that beginning in December, miles earned on the Venture and Spark cards will transfer to the following 14 airline partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • Hainan
  • Qantas
  • Qatar
  • Singapore KrisFlyer

This is an incredibly exciting list spanning all three major airline alliances and giving you plenty of options to choose from whether you’re looking for first class travel or domestic economy redemptions to help your employees get where they need to be. If you’re looking to get in on this new transfer action, there’s no faster way than with the tiered 200,000 point welcome offer on the Spark Miles for Business card. In addition to the bonus itself, which I value at $2,800, you’ll earn another 100,00 miles on the $50,000 you spend since the Spark earns at a fixed 2x rate. You can check out this guide for suggestions on how to redeem that huge stash. The Spark Miles card also comes with a number of tools to help you manage your spending, including free employee cards.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Annual fee: $450 (increasing to $595 in February 2019)

Welcome bonus: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points – 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months and another 25,000 points after spending $20,000 total in the first 3 months

Stand-out perks: If your business can handle the $20,000 minimum spending requirement in the first three months, the Amex Business Platinum can be an incredibly valuable card. The 75,000 point tiered welcome bonus is worth $1,500 to me, but you’ll really end up with at least 95,000 points (worth $1,900) after spending $20,000. If you apply before February 2019 you’ll be able to get this card while it’s still cheaper than the personal version, The Platinum Card® from American Express, with only a $450 annual fee. That’s increasing to $595 in February, though the card is also getting up to a year of free WeWork access and up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits. The Business Platinum card also comes with a whole host of other perks, including a $200 annual airline incidental credit, Centurion Lounge access, Gold elite status with both Hilton and Marriott, and access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program. To learn about the rest of the benefits that come with the Business Platinum Card you can check out our full review here.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Annual fee: $95 (waived first year)

Welcome bonus: Limited Time Offer – Earn up to $2,000, $500 after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months plus another $1,500 miles when you spend $50,000 total in the first 6 months

Stand-out perks: While transferable miles are the best way to get outsized returns from your credit card spending, some businesses are more focused on their cash balances than on getting free travel. If that resonates with you, consider getting the Capital One Spark Cash for Business instead of the Spark Miles. The cards are nearly identical, except one earns cash where the other earns miles. The Spark Cash has the same tiered spending bonus as the Spark Miles, letting you earn up to $2,000 after spending $50,000 in your first 6 months, as well as a continued and uncapped 2% back on all purchases. The card comes with a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year, so just make sure you’re earning at least that much in rewards before you renew your account for a second year.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Annual fee: $295

Welcome bonus: Up to 1 free year of ZipRecruiter Standard and G Suite Basic, worth up to $3,100

Stand-out perks: Amex’s decision to eschew a traditional points based welcome bonus in favor of offering software services ruffled some feathers, but for certain types of businesses the revamped Gold Card makes a lot of sense. Amex restructured the bonus categories so that you’ll automatically earn 4x points (or an 8% return based on my valuations) in your two biggest spending categories each month from the following list:

  • Airfare purchased from airlines
  • US purchases for advertising in select media
  • US purchases for shipping
  • US purchases at gas stations
  • US purchases at restaurants
  • US purchases made from select technology providers

This decision to automatically reward you where you spend the most, even if that changes month to month, means you won’t have to work as hard to maximize your credit card earnings. Your 4x earnings are capped at $150,000 a year across all categories, with the card earning 1x on all other purchases. If you can max out that $150,000 each year you’ll walk away with 600,000 Membership Rewards points, which I value at a nice $12,000. In addition to benefits when booking stays through the Amex Hotel Collection (double points and a $75 property credit on stays of two nights or more), you’ll also enjoy business friendly perks such as the ability to designate an employee as account manager, up to 99 employee cards for a flat fee of $50 (waived first year), and the ability to easily sync your transaction data with QuickBooks.

Forbes has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. Forbes and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

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