Our List of the Best Credit Cards for Contractors [2022 Edition]
You know that pinching pennies is a part of financial success, especially when you’re an independent contractor. When you save where you can, you can put the funds where it counts. That’s why the best credit cards for contractors come in handy.
Some savvy financial strategies can help you save money, like using credit cards to earn rewards. Since you have to pay the expenses anyway, you may as well get some benefits out of it, right?
The trick is to find the best credit card program for your line of business.
Contractors can spend a hefty amount of money on resources, and if you can get cash or discounts on those expenses, you could earn some serious rewards.
This guide breaks down the best credit cards for contractors in 2022. Depending on your business rating, you could qualify for some or all of them.
1. Best Cards for Small Businesses
Small business owners in every industry can qualify for some decent rewards cards. Whichever one you pick (and get approved for), the trick is to make sure you read all the terms and make optimal use of the card.
We’ve broken down our top two choices of the best card offers for small businesses.
First Pick: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
If you know your creditworthiness is decent, you can aim for some of the top cards, like the Blue Business Cash. Some of the benefits you’ll receive include:
- A $250 credit on your statement after you purchase $3,000 within the first three months
- 2% cashback on eligible purchases, up to $50,000 per year (1% cashback applies after meeting the maximum)
- Expanded buying power options for businesses that need higher limits
- 0% APR for purchases made and paid within the first year of account opening
On top of all these rewards, and unlike most cards, there is no annual fee. Of course, terms and restrictions apply.
While the company does have some startup cards, the Blue Business Cash requires good or excellent business credit and generally one or two years in business.
If your independent contracting business is just starting, put this AmEx card on hold. But if you have good credit and have been in business for a few months, give it a shot!
Second Pick: Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Chase is right behind American Express in the rankings of the top credit card issuer companies. Chase’s Ink Business Cash Credit Card is our second pick.
Small business owners, like independent contractors, can get approved relatively easily for this Chase card. Your credit doesn’t have to be excellent, but you do need proof of your income.
If you qualify, here are some of the benefits you’ll get:
- $750 sign-up bonus as a welcome offer if you spend $7,500 within the first three months of account opening
- 5% cashback on $25,000 per year spent on office supplies, cable, phone, and internet services
- 2% cashback on $25,000 per year spent in gas stations and restaurants
- 1% cashback on all other purchases with no capped spending limit
If you have subcontractors, each person can have a card at no extra cost. Giving them each a card with individual spending limits helps you earn more rewards. Redeem rewards for cash, gift cards, travel vouchers, and more.
Need Help Pricing Your Goods and Services? We offer some tips.
2. Best Cards for New Cardholders
First-time cardholders get access to some of the best benefits out there.
Here are the two cards that offer the best benefits for first-timers.
First Pick: Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash card is our second pick for overall value but our first for new cardholders.
Cashback increases when you buy things like gas, office supplies, and phone services, so your rewards points accumulate fast. The cashback you get can add up to thousands of dollars during your first year!
There’s no annual fee to deal with, either, so there is no reason not to use this card like a debit card, as long as you pay off the balance.
New account holders can earn reward points by transferring other balances to the Ink Business Cash Card. And when you head to the office supply store, you can feel good about your business purchases, knowing you’re getting some of that money back.
Second Pick: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The AmEx Business Platinum Card offers hefty rewards for new members. They’re weighted down slightly by the $595 annual fee, but that’s standard for many business cards.
If the yearly fee doesn’t deter you, check out the benefits you’ll get with this card:
- 120,000 Membership Rewards® welcome bonus points once you spend $15,000 in three months
- 0% intro APR for the first 12 months you have your card, and a reasonable interest rate after that (14.24% – 22.24%, pending credit score and overall credit history)
- High credit limit if you qualify
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and hotels booked through amextravel.com
- 1.5X Membership Rewards® points for purchases in specified business categories or transactions of $5,000 or more anywhere else
This AmEx card also entitles you to discounts through companies like Dell, Indeed, and Adobe. You can also get up to $200 in statement credits to use towards baggage fees and other airline expenses. And you get access to the luxurious American Express lounges in 140+ countries.
3. Best Cards for Cashback
Points are great, but there’s nothing better than getting cashback rewards for your spending. These funds can help you increase your business’s cash flow margin.
Here are the best business credit cards for cashback offers to boost your company’s financial success.
First Pick: Discover It Business Credit Card
Discover It is the company’s line for small and large businesses, and the benefits are impressive:
- Unlimited dollar-for-dollar cashback match for all your first-year purchases paid out on the account anniversary year
- No expiration dates on earned cashback
- Instantly redeemable rewards points (via Amazon or Paypal)
It’s easy to see that Discover has been working hard to eliminate its old reputation. Now, the myths are long in the past, and Discover is a solid choice for cashback business rewards.
Second Pick: Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
Business credit cards are becoming Capital One’s forté. The bank offers several straightforward credit options, including its Spark card line.
The Cash Select for Business option is our second favorite credit card for cashback.
Some of the benefits users receive:
- $500 cash bonus rewarded when you spend $4,500 in the first three months, or
- 0% introductory APR for one year, including balance transfers, with interest charges of 15.99% – 23.99% afterward
Plus, members get to choose from these two bonus packages:
- $500 cash bonus rewarded…
- 0% introductory APR for one year…
Members also receive these benefits:
- 1.5% cashback on all purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee
- Bonus categories that include an itemized year-end spending report
The rewards don’t get complicated as some other cards do.
4. Best Cards With No Annual Fees
A low-interest credit card sounds like a great deal — until you peep at the annual fee.
American Express, for instance, has some business cards with a $595 fee (see above). The perks may be worth it, but only if you use them to their maximum value.
If you’re looking for a decent card without an annual fee, try these options.
First Pick: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash Card by Chase has already made our list twice, but the Unlimited card is our top favorite for no annual fees.
You get all the benefits listed above, but they’re unlimited. There’s no cap on the points and cash back you get for your purchases.
And there’s no fee you have to pay to enjoy the perks!
Exchange Chase Ultimate Rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards, and many other perks.
Second Pick: Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card
Bank of America is a massive corporation with branches all over the country. Now, their business cards are expanding their reputation even further.
If you qualify for this card, you get the following benefits:
- A $300 online statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases within 90 days
- Unlimited 1.5% cashback on all of your purchases anywhere in the world
- Cash rewards have no expiration date
If you have a business checking account with the bank, you get even more benefits. Qualifying account holders earn the Preferred Rewards for Business tier, netting them up to 2.62% cash back for every purchase.
The Bank of America business card has no annual fee, either. And you get a 0% intro APR for nine billing cycles after opening the account.
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5. Best Fuel Cards for Small Businesses
Depending on your line of work, you might spend a lot of time on the road. It makes sense to have some perks to go along with the long haul and daily expenses you incur.
So you’re on the road again … and at the gas station, again.
Wouldn’t it be great to get some of that money back? Well, with these fuel-centric credit cards, you can!
First Pick: 76 Universal Gas Cards
In most cases, gas cards are easier to qualify for than business or personal credit cards.
You need to be cautious about which company you go with when you get your credit card offers. If you travel a lot, you’ll want the 76 Universal Gas Card. It’s accepted at 95% of all retail fueling stations in the country.
When you use the card, you can save up to 7¢ per gallon. The savings can add up fast, especially with the price of fuel constantly rising.
Instead of an annual fee, there’s a $2 monthly card fee. Rebates are credited to your account on the next billing cycle.
Second Pick: U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards World EliteTM Mastercard®
It’s not solely a gas card, but the U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards by Mastercard gives excellent gas perks.
Members receive 3% cash back on eligible purchases at all gas stations. This rate also applies to money spent at office supply stores, phone service providers, and restaurants.
As a cardmember, you’ll also get $500 cash back when you spend $4,500 within 150 days of opening your account.
6. Other Ways to Save Money as a Contractor
If your job requires a lot of equipment, overhead expenses can add up.
Take photography, for example:
If you’re a photographer, you not only need equipment, but the software is always evolving. Your business needs top-of-the-line editing programs to stay relevant.
With equipment expenses on top of your other bills, you need to save money where you can.
Independent contractors have lots of resources available to them, but you might not know about them. Check out these methods to save money and improve your business’s financial success.
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Discounted Business Loans
Credit cards with rewards can be helpful for regular purchases, but sometimes you need a lot of cash. As an independent contractor, it can be hard to qualify for traditional business loans.
However, you’ll find lots of resources designed exactly for people like you. Whether you’re hoping for a line of credit to draw from or you need a lot of money at once, some lenders can help.
This resource will show you where to go, how to qualify, and what’s available for your unique financial picture. Lenders will look at the whole picture, not just your credit report.
Best Credit Cards for Contractors Conclusion
Ready to get smart about your business finances?
Find one of these cards in 2022 to use for your business expenses, then nab a monthly membership with Selfgood with the cash perks you earn!