Updated: 9/14/2023 | September 14th, 2023
One of the best parts about running a business is the cool business travel credit cards you get access to. These cards tend to have a lot better points-earning abilities and perks than consumer cards. I’ve been running this website for eleven years and have tried a lot of cards during that time.
I’m often asked by other bloggers, creators, and entrepreneurs which business travel credit card is the best.
Well, first, let me say, there is no “best.”
Every business is different, and everyone has different needs. For example, I love the Amex Platinum card’s Delta lounge perk since I fly Delta a lot. (The Centurian Lounges are wonderful too.) Similarly, I love the Delta card because the Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) bonus helps me maintain my status. But if you aren’t a Delta flier, then that card doesn’t make sense for you. I also use Chase Ink a lot because their Ultimate Rewards points transfer to a lot of airlines I want to fly. But maybe you like to fly other airlines.
Everyone is different. I have friends who live by American Airlines card, Citi Cards, American Express, and so forth. We’re all different.
So ask yourself, “What is my goal?”
Are you interested in loyalty to a brand, free rewards, or avoiding fees? Do you want to milk the rewards and bonus system to get free flights, or do you just want a card that won’t charge you a fee for using it at that restaurant in Brazil? Is elite status the most important perk for you? Do you want points you can use like cash for anything?
Get the card that aligns with your goals.
But, while there is no one “best” card, there are some that are better than others. Here is my list of favorite travel-related business credit cards.
MY FAVORITE: Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
This is my favorite all-around business card. I really like transferring Chase points for Star Alliance flights and Hyatt hotels, I love the 3x points on digital ad spends (we run Facebook ads), and when you throw in 3x points per dollar spent on travel and you have everything I need. Plus, with an annual fee of only $95, it’s really unbeatable value for money. When you get this card, you’ll get:
- 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases within the first three months
- 3x points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent each year on shipping, internet, phone, travel, and online advertising
- 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
This card should be in every business owner’s wallet. I can’t recommend it enough.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
This is one of the best cards out there, especially if you’re a Delta flyer or make a lot of large purchases. American Express is known for their perks. If you want quality customer care and lots of benefits, you’ve got to get this card. With this card, you can earn:
- 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months
- 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com.
- 1.5x points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more
- 1.5x points per dollar on eligible purchases in key business categories (cap applies)
- 35% of points back when you use points for booking flights (if the flight is either First or Business class or on your selected qualifying airline, up to 1 million bonus points back per calendar year)
- $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline
- Up to $400 in credit with Dell, $360 credit with Indeed, $150 credit with Adobe (enrollment required)
- Lounge access with the American Express Global Lounge Membership and Priority Pass membership
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Hilton Honors Gold status
- $100 credit for Global Entry and $85 credit for TSA Pre-Check
- $189 yearly CLEAR® Plus credit (subject to auto-renewal)
- No foreign transaction fees
While the annual fee is pretty high, it does come with a lot of travel benefits that I tend to use a lot. The added statement credits and lounge access make the card worth carrying for me.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
I like this card because you get two points on everything. It’s simple. So I use this for the non-bonus categories like paying vendors, restaurants, and whatever else doesn’t come with a bonus from Amex or Chase. Whatever I can’t get 3 points per dollar on them with, I use this card for. When you sign up, you get the following benefits:
- 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 within the first three months
- 2x miles on every purchase
- 5x miles on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One travel
- Points transfer to any of their 15+ travel partners
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 intro for the first year, $95 annually after that
American Express® Business Gold Card
This is a great card to earn extra points on your biggest spending categories. You can get up to 4x points on selected categories so I will put my two largest spending categories on this card. This card comes with a $295 yearly fee (Rates & Fees; Terms Apply). With this card, you can earn:
- 70,000 points when you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months
- 4x points on the select 2 categories where your business spent the most each month (1x earned for other purchases). This applies to the first 150,000 combines purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.
- 1x rewards on other purchases
- 25% points back after you book a flight on Amex Travel with points (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year)
- No foreign transaction fees
Airline and Hotel Cards
What about airline and hotel cards? Well, you should get the card for the airline and/or hotel you’re loyal to because they come with free checked bags and preferred boarding and a few other perks. I tend not to use them for my everyday spending since you get better value per dollar spent with Chase or American Express.
I always get the cards for the bonus offer and then keep the cards for the everyday perks so I ensure I get free checked bags, priority boarding, and upgrade opportunities. Most fees are only $95 a year so it’s an easy business expense.
Here are my favorite business cards for various airlines and hotels along with some of their main perks:
card_name – Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Earn 3x points on Southwest purchases, 2x points on Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners as well as on local transit and commuting (including ride sharing). 6,000 point anniversary bonus.
card_name – Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Receive complimentary Hilton Honors(TM) Gold Status, 12X directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X at U.S. gas stations, on U.S. purchases for shipping, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants, 3X on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply. Rates and fees.
card_name – Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after making $8,000 in purchases within the first 6 months (offer ends 11/1/23). Certain hotels have resort fees. Earn 6x Marriott Bonvoy® Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program, 6X at U.S. gas stations, on U.S. purchases for shipping, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants, 3X on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply. Rates & fees.
card_name – Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 per year. Earn 2x points on United purchases, dining, gas stations, transit, and office supply stores. 2 free United Club passes per year and free checked bag.
card_name -Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $8,000 in purchases in your first 6 months. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 Bonus Miles after you make an eligible Delta purchase with your new card within your first 6 months (Offer ends 10/25/23.) Earn 3x points on Delta purchases, 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 50,000 additional miles per year), free checked bag, priority boarding, Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal. Terms apply.
There are a lot of options for business cards, so you can always find something to meet your needs. I usually split my spending between a few cards and then shift my spending if I need to hit any bonus requirements. I have a Delta card for the pay-with-points option, a Marriott card because I stay there a lot, and Chase and American Express cards for everything else.
If you don’t want this many cards and want to keep things simple, stick to a hotel or airline card for the perks and then pick whatever one other card has the most perks you need and just use those!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- SafetyWing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Want to Travel for Free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.
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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. This page does not include all card companies or all available card offers.