A few weeks ago, I opened up a Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card. This is a business credit card from Bank of America that offers cash back on my everyday purchases and has a cash signup bonus after I hit the minimum spend requirement.
When it comes to credit cards and travel rewards, business credit cards are the secret sauce. That’s because most of them don’t appear on your personal credit report, which is important if you’re looking to maximize your ability to earn sign up bonuses by staying under Chase’s 5/24 Rule.
And I open a lot of business credit cards each year. The vast majority of these cards are from Chase or American Express, but if you’re going deep into the credit card world, you sometimes need to take a break from those two companies in order to stay in their good graces. That’s why every few months, I try to opt for a business credit card from one of the “other” companies. It’s why I went for that Bank of America card with my most recent application.
In this post, I want to go through some of the more popular business credit cards that you can get from the other credit card companies (i.e. that aren’t from Chase or American Express).
Why Get Business Credit Cards?
Before we continue, it would be helpful to briefly explain why business credit cards are so advantageous when it comes to earning credit card signup bonuses and travel rewards.
The most important reason, as mentioned in the introduction to this post, is that most business credit cards do not appear on your personal credit report (with some exceptions, which we’ll note at the end of this post).
Anyone interested in credit cards and travel rewards must learn about the Chase 5/24 Rule, which essentially states that if you have opened 5 or more credit cards from any company within the past 24 months, then you are not eligible for additional Chase credit cards. This rule is important because it can dramatically limit our ability to open up additional Chase cards, which are often some of the better credit cards out there.
The Chase 5/24 Rule, however, only counts cards that appear on your personal credit report. Because most business credit cards do not appear on your personal credit report, that means you can open as many business credit cards as you want without impacting your 5/24 status.
The fact that business credit cards do not appear on your personal credit report also comes with some other advantages. Since they don’t appear on your personal credit report, they don’t impact your average age of accounts. This is generally a good thing, although not as big a deal as some people make it out to be.
Not appearing on your credit report also means that business credit cards have no impact on your utilization rate. Again, this isn’t that big a deal generally so long as you pay your cards off in full each month, but it’s something that can be beneficial to not have on your credit report at all.
Note that when you apply for a business credit card, you’ll still get a hard pull on your credit report. The impact of these hard pulls is minimal, so I don’t worry about them too much.
The Business Credit Cards From The “Other” Banks
With that said, here’s a look at the major business credit cards from the banks that aren’t Chase or American Express. I’ll look at the important business credit cards from each bank and give a brief discussion about some of the idiosyncrasies that come with getting these cards.
Bank of America
Bank of America has a few business credit cards that are worth looking at. There are two or maybe three that are relevant for our purposes:
- Business Advantage Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card
- Platinum Plus Business Card
The Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card earns Alaska miles, which can be valuable if you fly Alaska Airlines or understand the best ways to use Alaska miles. I’m admittedly not that familiar with how Alaska miles work, which is why I’ve never gotten this card.
On the cashback front, the Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Platinum Plus Business Card both offer a statement credit after hitting the minimum spend requirement. These are both simple, no annual fee cards that are easy to use. Your bonus comes in the form of a statement credit, which you might value more than points or miles depending on your situation.
Things To Think About With Bank of America Business Cards. One thing to know about Bank of America business cards is that if you don’t have a bank deposit relationship with them, they may reject your business card application. Some people that attempt to open a card without a banking relationship with Bank of America are either rejected outright or are required to open a CD in order to get the card. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happens often enough that it’s worth knowing in advance.
The best way to avoid this potential problem is to have some sort of banking relationship with Bank of America before you open a Bank of America business credit card. Bank of America regularly offers bank account bonuses for new users for both their personal and business checking accounts. So, in my opinion, the best time to open a Bank of America business credit card is when you’re in the process of earning a Bank of America bank bonus.
This is exactly what I did. A few months ago, I opened a Bank of America business checking account that was offering a $500 new account bonus after meeting specific terms. After having this account opened for a couple of months, I then went ahead and applied for a Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Credit Card. The card was approved instantly and since it has no annual fee, I’ll keep it open in an attempt to keep my banking relationship with Bank of America strong.
Another benefit of Bank of America, at least for me, is that they pulled my TransUnion credit report and not my other credit reports. My TransUnion credit report is the one that gets the fewest inquiries, so I’m always happy when a credit card company pulls just that report.
Barclays has several business credit cards that are worth getting and is typically one I’d recommend getting earlier, rather than later in your credit card lifetime. That’s because Barclays has a sort of quasi-6/24 rule that is sometimes applied. Essentially, if you have 6 new cards in the past 24 months, Barclays might reject your application (but they also might not – it’s a soft rule).
Here are the Barclays business credit cards that we care about:
- AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
- JetBlue Business Card
- Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard
- Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card
Most people can take advantage of the AAdvantage Aviator Business card. This is an American Airlines card that typically offers a good signup bonus. If you combine this card with the Citi American Airlines cards, you can earn a lot of American Airlines miles in a short time. The AAdvantage Aviator Business card was one of the first non-Chase and non-American Express business cards I opened.
The value of the other cards likely depends on your specific situation. If you fly JetBlue or Hawaiian Airlines, then these two cards can obviously make a lot of sense. Hawaiian Airlines miles used to be able to transfer to Hilton, which made them a bit more valuable, but that option was recently removed. I opened the Hawaiian Airlines business card some time ago with the plan to convert the miles into Hilton points, but then that option was removed just before I earned the bonus, so that was a bummer.
The Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card is a new card that is interesting and is probably the next card I’d go after in the non-Chase or American Express ecosystem. You can probably get enough value from the Wyndham points it offers and the card offers hotel status as well, which can be parlayed into interesting uses.
Things To Think About With Barclays Business Cards. As mentioned previously, Barclays has a soft-6/24 rule, which essentially says that they won’t approve you for a card if you have 6 new accounts in the past 24 months. However, this doesn’t appear to be a hard rule – some people get rejected and others don’t. Still, given this rule, I’d typically recommend going for Barclays cards earlier rather than later.
The other thing is that for me at least, Barclays also only seems to do a hard pull on my TransUnion credit report. As I’ve mentioned before, TransUnion is my least pulled credit report, so it’s advantageous for me when a credit card company only pulls this report.
I consider Citi to be one of the big three credit card companies after Chase and American Express, but interestingly enough, they don’t have much in the way of business credit cards. At the moment, there’s only one business credit card that’s generally worth getting.
The Citi American Airlines business card earns American Airlines miles, so most people will be able to make use of the miles. The best bet is to combine this card with the Barclays American Airlines business card. If you do this, you’ll end up with a good amount of American Airlines miles that you can stretch pretty far.
Things To Think About With Citi Business Cards. One thing to know about Citi business cards is that you need to have 5 years of credit history before Citi will approve any business cards. What this means is that you need a credit report that is at least 5 years old. It doesn’t mean you need 5 years of credit history with Citi specifically, just 5 years of credit history in general with any bank.
U.S. Bank has two business credit cards that can be worth getting depending on what the current signup offer is. These include the following cards:
- U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card
- U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®
Both cards are essentially cashback cards and depending on your situation and what the current offer is, these cards can be worth getting if you’re looking to get a card outside of the main credit card companies. Other than there, there isn’t much else to say about these cards.
Things To Think About With U.S. Bank Business Cards. U.S. Bank is a little bit weird in that they sometimes seem to require some sort of banking relationship with them, but not always. I’ve never personally gotten a US Bank credit card, but one of my closest friends opened the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card and was approved without any sort of banking relationship with them. Other data points show people getting rejected because of no banking relationship with U.S Bank.
I’d simply say that U.S. Bank can be a little more stringent when it comes to approvals, so be aware of that when you apply.
Another thing to note is that, at least for my friend, U.S. Bank only pulled his TransUnon credit report. Again, this is generally advantageous for me because most banks pull my other credit reports, so it’s always a plus when only my TransUnion report gets the hard inquiry.
The final primary non-Chase or American Express bank to look at is Wells Fargo. There’s one main Wells Fargo business card worth getting:
- Wells Fargo Business Platinum Credit Card
Typically, this card offers a $500 bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months. That’s a 10% return on spend, so it’s a good card to get while taking a break from the main credit card companies.
Things To Think About With Wells Fargo Business Cards. The big limitation with this card is that you can only open this card online if you have a Wells Fargo bank account that’s been open for at least 12 months. The best thing to do here is to open a Wells Fargo checking account when they’re offering a good bank account bonus. They typically offer these bank account bonuses several times per year.
Once you do that, follow the steps to earn your bank account bonus and keep the checking account open for at least 12 months. Then apply for the card. Wells Fargo checking accounts do have a monthly fee, but that can be waived by doing a direct deposit of $500 or more each month or by keeping a minimum balance of $1,500 or more in the account.
The other way around this 12-month limitation is potentially opening your Wells Fargo business card in a Wells Fargo branch. You can often do this while opening a Wells Fargo business checking account, so if you’re opening a Wells Fargo business checking account, you might want to ask about getting this card as well.
I currently have a Wells Fargo checking account that I’m keeping open for 12 months solely so I can apply for this card later.
In contrast to the above banks, there are a few banks that do report business credit cards to your personal checking account. These include the following banks:
- Capital One
- TD Bank
- UBS Bank
Most people won’t have business cards from Discover, TD Bank, or UBS Bank, so in general, those don’t matter too much. Capital One business cards do have value, however, so if you’re going to get one of those cards, be sure to think about whether it makes sense for you.
For casual folks, business cards might not come into play at all. However, if you’re looking to really get into this world, you need to take advantage of business cards. And even if you don’t think you have a business, my guess is you probably do. If you do any side hustling, you likely do have a business that then makes you eligible for business credit cards. Be sure to read my post, Business Credit Cards: The Ultimate Tool For Travel Hackers, for more information about business credit cards and why you should consider them.
Most people might not need to think about these cards and will get enough value from just focusing on Chase and American Express cards. For me, as I’ve gotten deeper into this world and gotten more cards, I’ve had to diversify into some of these other banks. Hopefully, this post gives you some help with other business credit cards you can look at.
And if you need help choosing your next card, feel free to fill out my free credit card consultation form. Just give me some info about your current credit card situation and I’ll give you personalized advice about what cards to consider next.