5 Best Sole Proprietorship Business Credit Cards of 2024


As a sole proprietor, there is no legal separation between you and your business. Still, it’s beneficial to separate your business and personal expenses to simplify your bookkeeping and taxes.

Sole proprietors can use personal credit cards for business purposes, but it’s generally easier to separate expenses with a business credit card. With the right business card, you can earn rewards, finance larger purchases, build your business credit history and take advantage of other business-related benefits.

You have many options if you’re a sole proprietor seeking a small business credit card. To help you out, CNBC Select has narrowed down the best business credit cards for sole proprietors in a handful of practical categories. (See our methodology for information on how we chose the best sole proprietorship business credit cards.)

Best sole proprietorship business credit cards

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months from account opening on purchases; N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards
  • Simple cash-back program
  • Special financing offer for purchases

  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

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Who’s this for? The Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is ideal for sole proprietors who value simplicity because it offers a generous flat cash-back rate on all purchases and has no annual fee.

Standout benefits: All purchases earn at least 1.5% cashback. This allows sole proprietors to focus on what matters to their business instead of spending time navigating a complicated rewards program.

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Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in select categories each account anniversary year (travel; shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines), 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Read our Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card review.

  • Free employee cards
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase TravelSM
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Generous welcome bonus worth up to $1,000

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers

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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. Also, earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchases at US construction material, hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.

  • Welcome bonus

     Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

See rates and fees, terms apply.

  • Unlock over $1,000 in statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless in the first year of membership with the Business Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. See how you can unlock over $1,000 annually in credits on select purchases with the Business Platinum Card®
  • Get 35% points back when you use points to purchase all or part of an airline fare, up to 500,000 bonus points back per calendar year
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus where available and get up to $189 back per year on your membership when you use your card. (subject to auto-renewal)
  • Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your card

  • $695 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers

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Who’s this for? The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best options for sole proprietors who value luxury travel benefits such as airport lounge access and automatic hotel elite status.

Standout benefits: This card offers a long list of travel benefits, including access to over 1,400 airport lounges and a $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to the Card. Cardholders can enroll to receive Hilton Gold status, Marriott Gold status and premium rental car privileges with National, Avis and Hertz. Terms apply.

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U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Rewards Center, 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers and restaurants, 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $500 in cash back. Just spend $4,500 on the account owner’s card in the first 150 days of opening your account.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    19.24% – 28.24% (Variable)

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

See rates and fees, terms apply.

  • No annual fee
  • $500 welcome bonus offer
  • No limit on cash back earned
  • Interest-free period for the first 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual $100 statement credit for recurring software subscription services

  • 3% foreign transaction fee

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Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

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Information about the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    4% of each transaction (minimum $0)

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

  • No annual fee
  • Bad credit may qualify
  • Opportunity to transition to an unsecured card for qualified cardholders
  • Flexible redemption options

  • $1,000 minimum security deposit
  • No welcome bonus
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers

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The Ink Business Unlimited card is a rewarding cash-back business card with an unusually generous welcome bonus for a no-annual-fee card.

Rewards

  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through Mar. 31, 2025)
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn a $750 cash bonus after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account.

Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

New Ink Business Unlimited cardholders receive an intro 0% APR on purchases for 12 months (after that, a variable 18.49% to 24.49% APR applies). This is an excellent offer that makes financing important business purchases more affordable.

You can add employee cards for no additional fee and take advantage of benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty protection, roadside dispatch and travel and emergency assistance services.

If you have an eligible Ultimate-Rewards-earning card, like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, the cashback earned with this card can be converted into transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.

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The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a popular business rewards card with a reasonable annual fee, excellent rewards rates and useful insurance benefits.

Rewards

  • 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases in these categories each account anniversary year: Shipping, advertising (with select social media sites and search engines), travel, internet, cable and phone services
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $8,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Annual fee

$95

Notable perks

This card has no foreign transaction fees and does not charge extra to add employee cards. It also offers many built-in insurance benefits that apply to certain purchases, including:

This is a longer list of travel and purchase protections than many other sub-$100 annual fee cards. 

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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium card with an array of benefits that can easily offset its high annual fee (see rates and fees).

Rewards

  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com
  • 1.5X points on up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year of eligible purchases in the following categories: U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, software and cloud systems providers, shipping providers and on purchases of $5,000 or more
  • 1X points for all other purchases
  • Terms apply

Welcome bonus

Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $20,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. 

Annual fee

$695 (see rates and fees)

Notable perks

The Amex Business Platinum card offers a long list of valuable statement credit offers, including:

  • Up to $150 back for select Adobe auto-renewing annual business subscriptions through Dec. 31, 2024
  • Up to $120 back per year for U.S. wireless telephone service provider purchases
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to the Card.
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use the Business Platinum Card®.
  • Up to $100 back for application fees every four years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck ($85)

Cardholders enjoy automatic hotel elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy and have access to more airport lounges than any other card, including Amex Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges, Plaza Premium lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Lufthansa lounges.

The card also boasts no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and many insurance coverages including, *return protection, trip delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage insurance, extended warranty coverage, rental car insurance, cell phone protection and purchase protection.

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The U.S. Bank Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Business Card packs a lot into a no-annual-fee business card. Not only does it offer a competitive intro APR offer, but it also has a strong welcome bonus and great cash-back rates.

Rewards

  • 5% back on prepaid hotels and rental cars booked through the U.S. Bank Travel Rewards Center
  • 3% cash back on eligible purchases at gas and EV charging stations, office supply stores, cell phone service providers and restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Earn $500 cash back after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 150 days of account opening.

Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

Cardholders can earn a $100 annual statement credit for recurring software subscriptions. To qualify, you need to make 11 consecutive monthly payments for an eligible software service, such as QuickBooks or FreshBooks.

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FAQs

Can a sole proprietor get a business credit card?

A small business owner who is a sole proprietor is eligible for business credit cards. Many business card applications allow you to use your social security number as your business tax ID and don’t require you to have an LLC or other complicated business structure.

Can I use my EIN to get a business credit card?

You can use an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor. However, most business cards for sole proprietors require a personal guarantee, so reviews of your personal credit history and income are part of the application process.

Do business credit card applications verify personal income?

Most small business card applications require you to provide your personal income and social security number. The card issuer can use this information to determine your credit limit and whether you can afford the card’s monthly payments.

Sole proprietors are eligible for most types of small business credit cards, including cards that earn cash-back, travel rewards and offer no-interest intro periods. You’ll usually need a good to excellent credit score to qualify for the most rewarding cards, but if you have a lower credit score, some of the easiest business credit cards to get only require an average or fair credit score.

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every business credit card article is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card productsWhile CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best business credit cards for sole proprietors.

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To determine which business cards offer the best value for sole proprietors, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of major small business credit cards. We compared each card on a range of features, including the annual fee, rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR and foreign transaction fees. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is to redeem points.

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For rates and fees of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, click here.

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.





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