Congratulations on starting your money-making side gig! Now it’s time to explore the best credit cards for side hustles so you can maximize cash back and earn some sweet reward points.
We’ll lay out options for both personal and small business credit cards that might suit you. We’ll also cover the differences and other thoughts on applying for a business card vs. personal credit card at the end.
Best Credit Cards for Side Hustles – Business
- Chase Ink Business Cash 🏆
- Capital One Spark Cash Select
- The Blue Business Plus® Credit Card from American Express
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Best Credit Cards for Side Hustles – Personal
- Chase Sapphire Preferred 🏆
- Capital One Venture
- Citi Double Cash Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Ink Business Cash 🏆
Not only does the Chase Ink Business Cash have a mammoth sign-up bonus, but it gives huge cash back percentages for regular spending activities.
You’ll also love that there’s a $0 annual fee! So you don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket each year for this card if you have low spending.
Also, there’s a 0% APR for the first 12 months of spending. This is a huge benefit for people with side hustles need to pay for upfront start up costs and don’t have much revenue coming in just yet.
For the signup bonus, right now Chase if offering $750 cash back after spending $6,000 in the first 3 months after account opening.
Other Chase Ink Business Cash features:
- HUGE cash back sign-up bonus
- 5% cash back (up to first $25k) on office supply, internet, cable, phone bills.
- 2% cash back (up to first $25k) at restaurants and gas stations
- Also 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee, 0% APR for 12 months
It’s pretty easy to see why we picked this as the winner for the best cards for side hustles. Chase is an amazing bank to build your business relationship with. We are also big fans of their mobile app and online rewards portal.
Capital One SPARK Cash Select
The next best small business card is Capital One’s SPARK Cash Select. This one also has no annual fee, a huge cash bonus, and great cash back percentage for various purchases.
This card is best for sidle hustlers that spend big on travel, because it has great discounts for hotels and rental cars.
As for the welcome bonus, you’ll earn a $500 credit when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months after opening an account.
Overview of main SPARK Cash Select features:
- Huge $500 welcome bonus opportunity
- No annual fee
- Earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars (must be booked via the Capital One travel portal)
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other spending, anywhere
- Free additional users, which also earns 1.5% cash back
- All rewards and cash back never expire, for the life of the account
Depending on your spending profile, this card could be most valuable to you. Capital One also offer a similar card that includes a 0% APR introductory period, however it doesn’t have the welcome cash offer. If you prefer no interest payments, check out this card instead.
The Blue Business Plus® Credit Card from American Express
Woohoo! Here’s another card without any annual fee! The Blue Business Plus Card from American Express is a hidden gem, and perfect for those who prefer rewards travel.
Instead of cash back, this card accumulates American Express Membership Rewards points. You can think of each point being worth 1 cent each if redeemed for flights, and 0.7 cents for hotels via the Amex portal.
As a welcome offer, you’ll earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within your first 3 months.
Summary of the Blue Business Plus card benefits:
- 15,000 point welcome bonus opportunity
- Earn 2x reward points on every purchase (up to $50k each year)
- 0% APR on purchases within the first 12 months
- No annual fee!
One other cool perk to mention – American Express sometimes offer discounts to various retailers or even point conversions to travel partners. These are easy to find and manage in the Amex App or also on their online portal.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is the Mac Daddy of all business cards. You might faint when you hear the annual fee – it’s $695 🤯 – but it comes with a handful of rewards and perks that might make sense for all you big spenders out there.
Specifically, this card is best suited to frequent travelers that can take advantage of the airport lounges, flight credits, and other travel perks.
Here are the Business Platinum full features:
- 120,000 welcome points (must spend $15k in the first 3 months to qualify)
- Earn 5x points for every dollar spent on flights and hotels via Amex Travel
- 1.5x points earned on construction/hardware suppliers, electronic retailers, software providers, shipping, and also any purchase over $5,000 anywhere.
- $200 annual airline credit
- $189 CLEAR credit
- American Express Global Lounge Collection access at airports
- Also there’s about $1,000 in other value can be unlocked with discounts to partners.
If your side hustle is truly bustling and you have a hefty travel spend, this Amex card may make sense. There’s about $1,600 value in perks that you can take advantage of in Year 1, which more than covers the annual fee. But watch out for those remaining years – if you don’t have the continual spending it may cost more to keep the card active vs. the other cards we’ve mentioned.
Chase Sapphire Preferred 🏆
If you opt for a card in your personal name, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best credit cards for side hustles. Actually, it’s really good for regular personal use, too!
There is a $95 fee, but don’t let that scare you off. Because there’s a huge welcome offer that is worth $600 – $750 depending on how you want to redeem it. That more than covers the annual fee for many years.
Instead of cash back, using this card will generate Chase UR points. You can think of each Chase point being worth anywhere from 1 – 1.5 cents each.
Summary of Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits:
- A $50 hotel credit, annually
- 5x points on all travel booked via Chase
- 2x points on other travel (cabs, uber, travel booked on other sites)
- 3x points on other dining and take out
- Also 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Instacart free trial as well as DoorDash free trial subscription
Also, each anniversary you get a 10% points bonus for anything you spent on within the year. That’s pretty cool!
We’ve been singing the praises of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for years. It’s also a great all-around personal card as well as for business use.
Capital One Venture
For every Chase card, there’s an extremely similar Capital One card to mention. But each one has their unique advantages depending on your spending patterns.
The Capital One Venture credit card has a $95 annual fee, but its rewards can cover that easily and for years if redeemed properly. The signup bonus alone is worth $750 in travel credit!
Here are the main Venture credit card features:
- 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months
- 2x miles on every day purchases, everywhere
- $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
- 5x Miles on hotels and also rental cars, booked via Cap One portal.
- 2 x complimentary visits to Capital One airport lounges each year
Needless to say, if you are a big travel spender, these perks are quite good. Another thing we love about Capital One is how easy the point redemption system is. Their mobile app also has a sleek interface which can manage most tasks and navigate redemption options easily.
Citi Double Cash Card
You should know… this is one of the cards that WE have in our wallets and use on a daily basis! We also covered the Citi Double Cash credit card as part of the “super chill 3 credit card strategy”
The reason it’s a favorite of ours is because there’s no annual fee, and it’s a great “catch all” spending card that gives you a flat 2% cash back on everything you buy.
In terms of welcome offers, the Double Cash card now has an 18 month 0% APR on balance transfers. This is huge if you have prior credit card debt that you intend to pay down and need an interest free period to get ahead. (there is however a balance transfer fee to take into account, it’s 3%)
Summary of perks:
- No annual fee
- Earn 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay the bill)
- 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
We talk about the power of balance transfer cards in this article. If you currently have credit card debt, definitely look into this strategy as it could save you a meaningful chunk in interest as you seek to eradicate it.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The last of the credit cards for side hustles that we recommend is the American Express Platinum Card. This one is very similar to the business one that we detailed earlier, with slightly different perks.
For one, the welcome bonus of 80,000 points (valued at $800 in travel) is easier to attain. You earn it by spending $6,000 in the first 6 months, which is pretty doable.
American Express has stuffed so many perks into this package that the annual fee ($695) can cover itself in year 1 quite easily. We’ve also heard of people calling and getting reduced annual fees for the second year of ownership as Amex works hard to retain its loyal clients.
Here are some of The Platinum Card’s best features:
- $200 airline *incidentals* credit every year
- $200 hotel credit each year for Fine Hotels or Hotel Collection
- $240 digital entertainment credit annually
- $200 in Uber cash ($15/month and bonus in December)
- $300 Equinox credit annually
- $189 CLEAR credit for skipping airport TSA lines
- Free Walmart+ subscription
- Centurion lounge access at airports
- AND MORE!!!
With higher spending and frequent travel, this luxury credit card could make sense for you. There’s also the option to just own it for 1 year to take advantage of the welcome perks, and then downsize afterwards to a $0 annual fee card. It all depends on your spending!
Personal Credit Cards vs. Business Credit Cards
There’s no law against putting business expenses on a personal card, or personal expenses on a business card. Both card types function the same way, swiping (or tapping) to purchase things and then paying the bill later.
That being said, it’s handy for accounting and tax purposes to keep your business expenses separate from your personal ones. Here’s a table summarizing the key differences between personal and business credit cards:
Keep an open mind as you consider all these best credit cards for side hustles. Some of the less known perks might be most valuable to you 😉
A quick note on applying for a business card: If you don’t have an LLC or legal business name, that’s OK! Just enter your personal name in the business name section, and your SSN in the Employer Identification Number (EIN) section. This is common for freelancers as well as people using credit cards for side hustles.
The Bottom Line:
The best credit cards for side hustles are the ones that match your business spending and offer the features that are most important to you.
Whether it’s a business card with a 0% APR introductory period, or a personal card with killer travel perks, the choice is yours. You might even consider having a couple of cards up your sleeve (with no or low annual fees) to take advantage of multiple reward types as your business grows and changes.
**Feature pic by Chris Spiegl on Unsplash
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