Establishing credit is important for any business — whether you own an LLC, corporation, or are self-employed. Finding a credit card that fits your business needs while offering helpful incentives can also help your money go further.
If you’re a business owner who travels frequently, finding a top-rated business card with travel perks allows you access to a line of credit while rewarding you with miles, travel points, or cash back rewards.
Find out everything you need to know about the top business credit cards for travel below.
Overview of the best business cards for travel
|Credit Card Issuer||Best For|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||Best overall|
|Business Platinum Card American Express||Luxury travel|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card||Hotel stays|
|AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard||American Airlines travelers|
|Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World||No annual fee|
|American Express Blue Business Plus||0% intro APR|
|United Business Card||United Airlines travelers|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||Hilton hotel fans|
Best business cards for travel
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred business card is one of the top options for any business owner who travels frequently. This card is loaded with features including 3x points for travel purchases (up to $150,000 per calendar year), 1x point on all other eligible purchases, and 25% points value increase if cardholders redeem points to pay for travel and select business expenses.
The perks don’t end there. Right now, Chase is offering an additional 100,000 points if you spend $15,000 within your first few months of opening an account (comparable to $1,250). Chase also allows you to redeem your points in many different ways — for travel expenses, as cash back or gift cards, or transferred to select airline mileage reward programs.
On the downside, Chase Ink Business Preferred does have an annual $95 fee, though I don’t mind this extra expense for business owners who make large purchases often, since the rewards you’ll receive will quickly surpass this fee.
Overall, it’s one of the best, low-cost rewards cards for business using credit for travel expenses often.
The Business Platinum Card American Express
The Business Platinum Card by American Express is one of the best options for companies that travel frequently. This card offers 5x membership rewards on select travel expenses (including airfare and pre-booked hotel rooms), 1x rewards on all other purchases, as well as complimentary access to select airport business lounges. You can also earn 75,000 in welcome bonus rewards points if you spend $15,000 within the first three months of account opening.
The Business Platinum Card offers even more benefits, including a $200 yearly airline credit that can be used to cover food, drinks, or entertainment costs. In addition, you’ll receive VIP treatment at Hilton and Marriott hotels where you’ll receive complimentary room upgrades (as available) and late checkout options. You can also reduce your time in line at the airport by applying for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and American Express will reimburse you up to $100.
One major downside to this card is its steep price — $595 per year. While it’s a hefty expense to pay if you love being pampered when traveling (and if you travel often) it may be well worth its price tag.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
If you frequently travel overnight for work trips, you can take advantage of hotel discounts and free stays with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. This card offers 6x membership reward points on Marriott Bonvoy hotel purchases, 4x the points on restaurant, gas, shipping, and wireless telephone services, and 2x points on all other purchases.
When you sign up, you’re eligible for an additional 100k points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months (worth $1,111). You’ll also be eligible for one free night hotel stay per year on your account anniversary and an additional night if you spend more than $60,000 per year. This is a great option for anyone frequently booking hotel stays or fans of Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
This American Express card has a $125 annual fee, which is on the lower end when compared to the company’s Business Platinum Card, but slightly higher than competitors.
Amex also has a partnership with Delta Airlines, which could lead to miles for flights, Delta Sky Club lounge access, elite status opportunities, and more.
AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
The AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard can help you save money on business flights booked through American Airlines. Cardmembers will earn 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines airfare and purchases, car rentals, and office supplies, and 1 mile per $1 for all additional purchases.
Additional benefits include a 65,000-mile signup bonus if you spend $1,000 in your first three months of opening an account. You’ll also be eligible for extras like free checked bags, companion passes, and priority boarding status.
This card has a $95 annual fee, which is slightly lower than American Express credit cards, but higher than other competitors. While this card is also great for airfare perks, it doesn’t offer the same level of rewards as other business travel cards.
Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard
The Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard by Bank of America is a no-frills travel business card that offers decent perks without an annual fee. You’ll enjoy 3x points on any travel you book through the Bank of America Travel Center and 1.5x points on all additional purchases.
New customers can receive up to 30,000 additional points by spending $3,000 in the first three months of membership. Bank of America also has an easy rewards program redemption process. Simply book your travel and request a statement credit for any qualifying expenses.
While I do love that this business card is free to use, it doesn’t offer as many benefits as other cards with an annual fee. I’m also not a fan of requiring users to book travel through a specific platform in order to earn 3x points. This might be a great option for existing Bank of America business customers and is a good starter card for small businesses.
American Express Blue Business Plus
American Express offers a no annual fee business card with perks that will help companies with frequent travel expenses. This card offers 2x membership reward points for all purchases up to $50,000 (per year) and 1x points on all subsequent purchases.
While there are no Amextravel perks specific to this card, the flat-rate reward offering can benefit small businesses spending $50,000 or less per year in credit purchases (including travel). This card also offers 0% APR for the first year.
If you’re looking to cash in on rewards specific to traveling, this card might not be a great fit. There’s also no sign-up bonus for new members and redeeming your points for cash can severely decrease their value.
United Business Card
Most of us have airline preferences and if you’re a fan of United Airlines, you might want to look into their business credit card. This card offers 2 miles per $1 spent through United Airlines and as gas stations, restaurant, office supply stores, and select transit purchases. You’ll receive 1 mile per $1 on all additional purchases.
This card also offers 60,000 bonus points (worth ~$1,314) for new customers who spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account. You’ll also receive free checked bags and travel perks, as well as an annual loyalty mileage bonus.
This rewards credit card might not be for you if you don’t fly often for business or if you aren’t a fan of United Airlines. This is definitely geared to business travelers and if you’re looking for more general travel perks, you’ll fair better paying the annual fee with a card company offering benefits that better fit your business’s needs.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Another top credit card you should look into if you’re a fan of Hilton Hotels is the Hilton Honors American Express Card. This card offers 12x points on all Hilton purchases, 6x points on business and travel purchases, and 3x points on all additional purchases.
You’ll also receive 130,000 when you sign up as a new member if you spend $3,000 in qualifying Hilton purchases within the first three months. Other perks include airport lounge access, free weekend night stays when you reach annual spending minimums, and additional Hilton hotel perks.
This card is really only beneficial to business owners who would be staying in a Hilton hotel out of brand loyalty. Although the points seem higher than most other business cards, their actual value translates to much lower than other comparable hotel cards (like the Marriott Bonvoy card) and even lower than other leading business travel cards.
Best business travel credit cards summary
|Credit Card Issuer||Rewards||Annual Fee||APR||Sign-up bonus|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||3x points per $1 spent on travel expenses (up to $150,000 per year); 1x points on all other purchases||$95||15.99% - 20.99% (variable)||100k bonus points ($1250) if you spend $15,000 within 90 days of opening your account|
|Business Platinum Card American Express||5x points per $1 on qualifying hotel and airfare purchases,1x on all other purchases||$595||14.24% - 22.24% (variable)||75k bonus points if you spend $15,000 within 90 days of opening your account|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card||6x points per $1 spent at Marriott Bonboy hotels, 4x points at U.S. gas stations, restaurants, and shipping services, 2x on all other purchases||$125||15.74% - 24.74% (variable)||100k bonus points if you spend $5,000 within 90 days of opening your account|
|AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard||2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines, car rental, and office supply purchases; 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases||$95||15.99 - 24.99% (variable)||65,000 bonus miles (~$1,700) when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account|
|Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard||3x points per $1 spent on Bank of America Travel Center bookings; 1.5x points on other purchases||$0||12.24%- 22.24% (variable)||30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account|
|American Express Blue Business Plus||2x points on business purchases up to $50,000 (1x after this threshold)||$0||13.24% - 19.24% (variable)||N/A|
|United Business Card||2 miles per $1 on United Airlines, gas, restaurant, office supply, and some transit purchases; 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases||$99||16.49% - 23.49% (variable)||16.49% - 23.49% (variable)|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||12x points on Hilton purchases, 6x on business and travel purchases, 3x on all other purchases||$95||15.74% - 24.72% (variable)||130,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account|
Who can apply for a business travel credit card?
Anyone who owns a business is eligible to apply for a business credit card. Even freelancers and sole proprietors are eligible for business cards. Your approval will be based on your individual credit score.
What are the different types of business travel credit cards?
Business travel credit cards offer perks for money spent on business travel expenses. There are a few different kinds:
- General - Cards that offer general travel awards for business travel expenses including airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, gas, restaurant visits, and more.
- Hotel-specific - Cards that offer rewards and benefits with a specific hotel.
- Airline-specific - Cards that offer rewards and benefits with a specific airline.
Do I need to pay an annual fee for business travel cards?
Many business travel cards do have an annual fee you’ll need to pay to retain your membership. However, there are a few general cards without fees that could make great starter cards for small businesses or sole-proprietors.
How do I choose the right business travel card?
Finding the right business travel card requires you to look at how often you travel and what those expenses look like. If you only fly once or twice a year, a more general business card might offer you better perks. However, if you fly frequently, a card offering airline-specific or general airfare rewards might make sense. Likewise, if hotel visits are common, opting for a specific hotel-branded card could earn you more rewards.
When you should use a business travel credit card
Business travel credit cards aren’t always right for every business owner. Here are a few factors to consider before opting to open a business travel card account.
Frequency of travel
You might think that even if you only travel a few times a year, you can benefit from a travel credit card. However, only businesses that travel frequently each month are likely to benefit from this particular type of card. Many business travel cards offer the best value for points when they’re redeemed for airfare and other travel expenses. If you don’t have a travel need, it could take you quite a while to redeem your points. Likewise, if you opt for cash back (when applicable) your points could drastically drop in value.
Type of travel
It’s important to consider the type of traveling your business does most often before applying for a card. For instance, if you fly once or twice a year, but routinely drive short and long distances for work, general business travel cards with car rental and gas rewards might appeal to you. If you frequently rent hotel rooms for business purposes, a general or hotel-branded card might also be the best option. Consider how you travel to help you find your best business travel card.
Some of the best business travel cards come with steep fees that small business owners might not be able to afford — particularly if they do not travel very often. Consider what it will take to start acquiring travel rewards and bounce this off the cost of the card to decide if it’s worth your money. You’ll also want to look into other transaction fees, to ensure you know exactly what you’ll be required to pay ahead of time, including foreign transaction fees you may be charged on international business trips.
Depending on your business, there are some additional considerations you might want to keep in mind. If your employees also frequently travel, having the option to add employee cards might be important to you. You might also want access to airport lounges or might be interested in cards offering free hotel stays and perks.
The bottom line
When you own your own business, keeping your company’s finances from your personal accounts is extremely important. If you travel often, you might want to find a business travel card that offers benefits that will cater to your business needs. Consider whether a general, hotel-specific, or airline-branded card might be a better fit for your company.
Most of the business travel cards offering the best perks and discounts have an annual membership fee, but you can find some no-frills options available without this yearly fee. Do your research and consider how often you travel so you can find the right card for the way you do business.