The Highest Rebates on Spend are Often With Personal Cards, But You Can Generate 2% Return for Business Too

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I usually talk about the best points-earning small business card being the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card which offers 80,000 points after $5000 spend within 3 months and earns triple points on the first $150,000 spend on travel, telecommunications, shipping and advertising on social-media and search engines. It even comes with protection for your cell phone if you buy it using the card.

And if you want to best premium benefits that make business travel better, get the the Business Platinum® Card from American Express which has a limited-time offer of up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points: 50,000 points after $10,000 spend within 3 months and an additional 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 within those first 3 months. (Offer expired) It gets you lounge access — Priority Pass, Delta lounges when flying Delta same-day, and their own Centurion lounges. And it gets you elite status — Hilton Gold and Starwood Gold which matches to Marriott Gold.

American Express Centurion Lounge Houston

I’ve personally been a fan of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express since it came out, and have held the personal card for 16 years. The business card even gets you club lounge access when staying at Sheraton hotels on a rate booking directly through Starwood (this includes award bookings).

And while I don’t love it as much, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® has a limited time offer earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. That’s the biggest public offer they’ve ever had for the card, it has an annual fee is $0 the first year then $95. Definitely worth it for that bonus and at that cost, plus it gives you preferred boarding and a free checked bag when flying American. (Offer expired)

New American Airlines B/E Aerospace Super Diamond Business Class

However Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points are best for people who want the flexibility to transfer to a variety of different airlines and redeem for international premium cabin travel.

And many small businesses are going to value immediate rebate return over making the travel experience better or giving business owners luxurious flights to foreign lands.

So there are two Capital One products worth highlighting for those who want immediate strong rebates, either to cover domestic coach travel with a minimum of hassle or to generate cash back into the business.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business lets you buy any flight without worrying about restricted award availability. There’s a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. and you 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, every day. (Offer expired)

The card has a $0 annual fee the first year, then $59, and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is a strong cash back card. You can get a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. And you earn unlimited 2% cash back. (Offer expired)

The card has a $0 annual fee the first year, then $59, and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

These two cards are very similar, and comparing 2% cash back to 2% travel rebate I’d take the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business which is a far more flexible currency. But the travel rebate is going to appeal to those who don’t want to put the cash straight back into the business, since it’s a bit easier to use the rewards as a gift or promotion for employees, friends, or family.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. i think Amex’s strategy with the Everyday Preferred product, with the 1.5 earn on all spend, and attractive bonuses for groceries, and gas, and the 2 point earn on all spend to 50K with the Blue Business Plus is smart, they get minimum of 50K on the Blue, and 30 transactions a month on the EDP. And of course the Plat for 5 times airfare, and amex travel for hotels, to conquer the CSP, and CSR. Amex would do well to include a 3 point on restaurant spend on one of those three cards. i don’t want to carry more than three amex products.

  2. I have the Spark card, and was hesitant to use much, for just the reason that you called out. However, they will issue a check payable directly to me. I find 2% cash is nearly unbeatable for the categories that I spend in.

    In terms of approval, my credit is solid, but have a short sale in my past, and was approved immediately.

  3. Gary do you see the Blue Business Plus card getting an annual fee eventually? 2x points with not categories sounds overly generous with no annual fee.

  4. @Max – I don’t think so. The strategy here is to attract small business spend, small businesses spend heavily on their cards compared to individuals, and the 2x applies only to the first 50k spend, great for individuals but a lot of businesses will max that out quickly. And no bonus categories…

  5. I’m considering trying to apply, and my “small business” be the extra income my gf gives for rent at our house…. Worth a shot? I only have one Amex card, and have never gone for a business one.

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