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The Best Credit Cards for Business

business-credit-card-100712-02 Credit: Dreamstime

Unexpected expenses pop up all the time, and business owners know that reality better than anyone. To protect themselves when unplanned costs arise, many owners turn to credit cards. Business credit cards are tools that can cover unexpected, unforeseen and incidental costs – and can also boost a company's credit score and earn the business rewards. All told, they hold a number of advantages over cash and check transactions.

With so many different cards available, it's important to know which features each include.

Our sister site, TopTenREVIEWS, does extensive in-depth reviews of business credit cards. Here are the Top 3 recommendations for business credit cards:


#1 American Express Business Platinum Card

The Business Platinum Card by American Express earned this year's TopTenREVIEW'S Gold Award for featuring unrivaled travel and hotel benefits. The card is designed to allow businesses to focus on existing and prospective clientele and leave the tiring odds and ends of travel, hotel and entertainment reservations to the professionals. For businesses with heavy travel needs and the necessary credit and business history, there is no other card in regular circulation that does more for its members and their businesses. However, the card is not recommended for new and emerging businesses or those with poor credit history.

Features: Cardholders can upgrade to exclusive amenities at hotels and resorts and gain access to Airport Clubs. Other perks include rental car upgrades, complimentary breakfast and late check-outs. With the card's Platinum Office Program, members gain complimentary access to more than 1,000 internet-enabled business lounges in more than 450 cities around the world, as well as two months' no charge on any 12-month office lease. The program also offers savings of up to 35 percent on everyday business needs, including answering services, web conferencing suites, and local phone and business addresses. Members are also entitled to travel accident insurance, baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, as well as event ticket protection.

Customer Service: Members can access support through a special telephone extension. Business Platinum Card accounts can be accessed, managed and monitored online and through PDA devices and mobile phones.

Costs: To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS best credit cards for business.


#2 AT&T Universal Business Rewards Card

The AT&T Universal Business Rewards Card earns high marks for combining robust rewards programs and membership benefits and giving cardholders the necessary tools to succeed and expand their business while taking care of everyday expenses and issues. Its account management, expense monitoring and employee-related tools and features make it ideal for businesses with successful and fiscally responsible strategies that want a card that lets them remain flexible for everyday expenses, both planned and unplanned.

Features: The most attractive feature is the card's rewards program.With 5:1 rewards points-to-dollars available for eligible purchases and 3:1 available for purchases on select office supply, gas stations and other professional services, points accrual is accelerated, with points also being accrued through employee spending. The Personal Business Assistant enables cardholders a one-stop destination for business-related functions like marketing and administrative referrals, office management needs, travel arrangements and hotel reservations, as well as a variety of dining, entertaining and shopping services. In addition to prescription discounts, cardholders enjoy automatic travel accident insurance for all plane, train and bus tickets purchased on the account, and automatic car rental insurance and travel and emergency assistance for medical, legal, emergency transportation, lost luggage and even translation services when traveling abroad or at home.

Customer Service: Cardholders have online access that allows them to view and manage expenses, monitor employee spending and set limits, add cardholders, make payments and receive notifications. When calling for help, cardholders can bypass the "phone trees" and speak directly to a customer service representative by simply pressing "2."

Costs: To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS best credit cards for business.


#3 American Express Business Gold Card 2010

TopTenREVIEWS ranks the American Express Business Gold Card highly for offering a rewards program that stands head and shoulders above virtually all business credit cards. Members can quickly accumulate an unlimited amount of rewards points and redeem them on the widest offering of retailer, airfare and hotel options and more. The card is not the best fit for new and unestablished businesses that are likely to carry revolving balances for more than a few billing periods, since balances must be paid in full each billing cycle.

Features: With an uncappedrewards program that accumulates two points for every net dollar spent, cardholders and employees can quickly generate and redeem an unlimited amount of points. Through American Express' OPEN Savings Program, Business Gold Card members can save upwards of 25 percent on everyday business expenses ranging from travel and car rental to office supply, retail and dining expenses. Benefits range from the standard car rental loss and damage insurance to higher-end travel death and dismemberment insurance and baggage loss insurance. Members are also entitled to roadside assistance anywhere in the country, with towing, flat tire repair, battery jump, fuel delivery and locksmith services offered at no cost.

Customer Service: Members can access and manage their account entirely online, even receiving regular updates and account activity notifications on their mobile phones or PDA devices. For customer service, members are provided 24/7 assistance with an American Express representative.

Costs: To compare costs, visit TopTenREVIEWS best credit cards for business.

See full business credit card reviews on background check services at TopTenREVIEWS. See BusinessNewsDaily’s Small Business Resource Center for more business reviews.

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance business and technology writer who has worked in public relations and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter. You can reach him at chadgbrooks@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.