Low-interest business credit cards are ideal because they allow you to make purchases for your business on credit without paying large sums of interest. Don’t be blinded by cash deals or membership reward offers—always look at the APR.
There are many factors when comparing different cards.
If you’re seeking a low-interest business credit card, the most important factor in deciding between your options will be the APR, which is the interest rate you’ll pay on your bill every month if you don’t pay off your balance every cycle. If you want to keep your credit card balances as low as possible without paying them off, then APR is the biggest factor.
Business credit cards offer a whole bunch of other benefits, too, like membership points, cash back, and travel miles. Some have a 0% APR for a specified period. Others have annual fees.
No matter what, always read the terms and conditions of any credit card you’re interested in before applying.
What Impacts Your APR?
Most credit cards offer a varying range of interest rates based on several factors that they believe decide your creditworthiness. Essentially, the more creditworthy you are, the more likely you will receive the best APR offered by the credit card company.
Your creditworthiness is mostly defined by your credit score and your credit history. Your credit score, which is decided by the 3 major credit bureaus, is based on 5 factors: your repayment history, your debt-to-utilization ratio, the length of your credit history, the amount of new credit you have taken on recently, and the mix of credit types you have. The most important factors are your credit history and debt-to-utilization ratio—basically how much debt you have versus the amount of credit you have available to you.
Along with your credit score, credit card companies look at your annual income and employment history when deciding your APR.
American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
If you have a good handle on paying off your business credit card balance every cycle, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card is a good option because you earn points with every purchase for your business. In this way, you can use it for everyday business needs and rack up points. Then, these points can be used like membership points earned through other American Express business credit cards for travel, gift cards, and cash back.
Unlike many other American Express business credit cards, however, the Blue Business Plus card doesn’t have an annual fee or introductory costs. The card offers a 0% introductory APR for any purchases and transfers during the first 12 months. After that, the APR for this card is 14.74%, 17.74%, or 20.74%, depending on how American Express views your creditworthiness. These interest rates are some of the best that American Express offers, although some cards have longer introductory APR offers.
The most notable feature of the Blue Business Plus card is how it earns points—cardholders earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent up to $50,000 per calendar year. After $50,000, you earn 1 point per dollar spent, all without category restrictions. Some American Express business cards offer more points per dollar spent, but they also come with much higher annual fees and interest rates.
If you’re interested in straightforward cash back toward your statement balance, the Blue Business Cash Card from American Express (described below) may be a better fit.
Unlike many other business credit cards that offer points, though, there’s no introductory bonus for signing up for this card. American Express offers expanded buying power with this card, meaning you can go over your maximum credit line to a certain extent, although you have to pay whatever amount is over your credit limit in full at the end of the billing cycle.
We like this card because it’s a low-stress way to start racking up American Express membership points without paying hundreds of dollars every year in fees. After the first year, the interest rates are favorable, too.
American Express Blue Business Cash Card
American Express recently launched its American Express Blue Business Cash Card, so the card’s a relative newcomer to the business credit card realm. It’s similar to the bank’s popular Blue Business Plus Credit Card, except that the latter earns membership points, while the former earns cash back. The Blue Business Cash Card’s reputation is rising because cardholders earn 2% cash back on all purchases instead of select categories of goods and services.
The interest rate is also turning heads—the card offers an APR of 14.74%, 17.74%, or 20.74%, based on your creditworthiness, for purchases and balance transfers. This rate applies after a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months. There are no introductory or annual fees to possess the card.
The card offers a $250 statement credit if you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months. American Express offers an additional $250 if you spend another $10,000 within the first year. The card doesn’t offer any cash back, points, or miles upon signing up.
Along with the low APR, the cash back offered by this card is a very appealing feature. The Blue Business Cash Card offers 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. The cash back is automatically credited to your statement balance.
The card offers flexible spending capacity that allows you to spend above your card’s maximum limit on occasion. The spending capacity isn’t unlimited, though, and is impacted by your repayment history, credit history, and card use.
The flat cash back and lower APR are the best selling points for the Blue Business Cash Card, although the 12-month introductory period of 0% APR is shorter than some other cards. The lack of an annual fee is another benefit compared to some other business cards with similar APR.
This card can work well if your business would make a lot of purchases on the card, which would result in spending less, in theory, because the cash back is automatically deducted from your statement balance. If your business spends $50,000 in a year, using the Blue Business Cash Card would result in a total savings of $1,000 off your bill.
American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
American Express has built its reputation around membership points while being instrumental in popularizing the notion that you should earn something extra every time you use your credit card. The banking company’s partnership with Delta Air Lines has been fruitful for many cardholders. If you’re interested in starting to earn miles with your purchases, the Gold Delta Skymiles Business Credit Card from American Express is a fine way to start with its low barrier to entry.
The card earns 1 mile per dollar spent on purchases. These miles can be used toward flights on Delta and more than 30 of its airline partners. If you use the card directly with Delta, like booking a flight through Delta’s site, you earn 2 miles per dollar. Starting in 2020, American Express said that United States cardholders will also earn 2 miles per dollar spent on domestic shipping and advertising, as well as at restaurants.
At an interest rate varying from 17.24% to 26.24%, the APR for the Gold card’s on the lower side for business credit cards. Notably, there’s no introductory 0% APR period, unlike other business credit cards from American Express.
As a bonus, though, the Gold Delta Skymiles Business Credit Card doesn’t have an introductory fee, and the annual fee is waived for the first year. After that, the card charges $95 per year, significantly lower than other American Express Delta credit cards.
You will also receive 30,000 miles after making just $1,000 in purchases on your card within 3 months of receiving it.
If you use Delta often for travel, you should take a close look at the Gold card. You will receive a $50 credit toward your statement balance if you make a purchase through Delta with your new card within 3 months.
American Express also said that beginning in 2020, cardholders will receive a $100 credit toward Delta flights after making $10,000 in purchases during a calendar year. Cardholders also receive main cabin priority boarding and 1 free checked bag per flight. Another important feature for jet-setters is that the card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
Although Amazon has been around since the 1990s and is now a dominant force for all retail, the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, launched in late 2018, is the first co-branded Amazon business credit card. If your business makes a large amount of purchases through Amazon or Amazon subsidiaries like Whole Foods Market, this card can leverage spending you’re already doing into cash back.
It’s also made of metal, which, admittedly, is pretty cool.
The APR is pretty low as far as business credit cards go—a variable rate of 15.74% to 23.74% based on your creditworthiness. However, there’s no introductory 0% APR period.
There’s no annual fee to be a cardholder, but you do have to be a member of Amazon Business Prime, which starts at $179 per year for up to 3 users. The Amazon Business American Express Card (described below) doesn’t require a Prime membership, but the bonuses aren’t as bountiful.
The bonuses of the card can help defray this cost, especially if you’re on the fence with joining Business Prime. Upon approval, cardholders are sent a $125 Amazon gift card. You can also earn another $100 credit toward your statement balance after spending $3,000 on the card within your first 3 months. Theoretically, then, getting an Amazon Business Prime American Express Card can pay for your first year of Business Prime and then some.
Beyond the introductory offer, cardholders can choose 5% cash back or a 90-day interest-free repayment term for Amazon purchases, which includes spending at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market.
The card also gives 2% cash back for purchases in categories like US restaurants, gas stations, and wireless telephone services, with 1% cash back on everything else.
If you’re already a Business Prime member and use Amazon often, this card and its rewards are built for you. You may find the card benefits you even if you’re not buying many physical products for your business but your business utilizes AWS. Regardless, the card helps defray the cost of a Business Prime membership at a decent interest rate.
Amazon Business American Express Card
If you’re not a Business Prime member but still shop Amazon often, the Amazon Business American Express Card is a good option. It’s not made of metal and the benefits aren’t as good, but the interest rates are acceptable and there are no annual fees. Even if you’re a casual Amazon user for your business, this card will give you some bonuses just for purchases you would already be making.
The APR is on the lower side of average, ranging from 15.74% to 23.74% based on your creditworthiness. Combined with the fact that there are no introductory or annual fees and you don’t need an Amazon Prime membership, the costs of the card are relatively low.
Upon approval, cardholders receive a $100 Amazon.com gift card—no spending necessary. You’ll earn an additional $100 credit toward your statement balance after spending $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months. In essence, you can earn $200 pretty easily and you don’t have to pay for a Prime membership.
After the introductory offer, cardholders receive 3% cash back or a 60-day interest-free repayment period for US purchases at Amazon, AWS, or Whole Foods Market, which is similar to the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card but with reduced benefits.
The card also gives 2% cash back for purchases in categories like US restaurants, gas stations, and wireless telephone services. It gives 1% cash back on everything else.
The APR isn’t fantastic, but it ‘s becoming rarer and rarer to receive a bonus like a $100 gift card just for signing up. If you spend a lot on Amazon purchases but haven’t shelled out for a Business Prime membership, this card at least gives you a way to earn some cash back. If you spend $1,000 at Amazon.com in a year, you’ll earn $30 back, which is definitely enough for a few bottles of kombucha at Whole Foods.
Overall, this card is a decent way to either earn cash back from Amazon purchases or enjoy extended repayment terms without paying fees every year.
Bank of America Platinum Plus Mastercard Business Card
The Platinum Plus Mastercard Business card is a relatively simplistic option, but the APR can be particularly low for those with excellent credit. This card can be a good option if you’re very responsible with your credit card repayment and don’t necessarily desire the ability to earn airline miles, membership points, or Amazon gift cards. The introductory offer and lack of an annual fee can make this card a sufficient choice if you’re just starting with business credit card applications.
The APR for the Platinum Plus Mastercard Business card starts at 11.99% and ranges to 22.99%, which is one of the best available for business cards. Of course, whether or not you receive the best APR depends entirely on your creditworthiness. The card also comes with a 7-month 0% APR introductory offer, which isn’t as generous as most other business cards, but the lower overall APR could make it worth it if you have a high credit score. Cardholders don’t pay an annual fee.
One major benefit of applying is that cardholders receive $300 in a statement balance credit if you spend at least $3,000 in purchases on the card within 90 days of your account opening. This perk amounts to 10% cash back for that first $3,000 in spending.
Membership rewards programs can offer many benefits—American Express has built much of its marketing around this idea. Many small business owners see that they’re spending a lot of money every day anyway and think that they might as well earn some extra travel miles, cash back, rewards points, or other benefits on top of it all.
However, if you just pay the minimum payments and let the interest grow on your credit card bill, the interest can easily outweigh any benefits a card provides. Therefore, the low interest rate offered by the Bank of America Platinum Plus Mastercard Business card can be ideal if you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles with your business credit cards. If you know your credit score puts you in a good position to get the best APR for this card, it’s definitely worth applying.