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Some of the best credit cards for freelancers give you rewards for common business purchases, don't have annual fees and offer introductory bonuses.
An estimated 59 million people did freelance work in the U.S. in 2020, according to Upwork, an increase from the previous two years. If you count yourself among the growing independent workforce, you may want a credit card to earn rewards while keeping your business expenses organized.
With freelancers in mind, here are top consumer cards and small business cards to consider.
4 Partner Offers
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another consumer credit card without an annual fee. For freelancers who tend to spend a lot on travel and dining with prospects or clients, the card's tiered bonus rewards could be a good match. It does have a 3% transaction fee, however, so it's not the best choice if you do most of your travel outside the U.S.
You can earn 5% cash back when you make travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% cash back on dining and at drugstores. The card also offers a good 1.5% cash back rate on all other purchases. However, it might not be the best fit if most of your business expenses aren't in these bonus categories.
New cardholders could be eligible for a $200 bonus after making $500 worth of purchases within 3 months of opening their account. And all the cash back rewards you earn are Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can redeem in other ways as well.Read full review
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
3% cash back on Dining & Drugstores
1.5% cash back on All Other Purchases
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
- No annual fee.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which is a good (but not great) rate. But it also only requires fair credit, while many of the other cards listed here may require good to excellent credit. And the card doesn't have a foreign transaction fee.
You'll pay a $39 annual fee, and there isn't an intro bonus for new cardholders. The high variable interest rate is also a drawback if you carry a balance. Still, it may be a good option if you're looking for a rewards card for your business and don't have good credit.Read full review
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
- Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
- Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
- Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
- $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
- No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
- Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
- Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app
The Blue Business Plus® Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Business Plus® Credit Card from American Express is a small business credit card that doesn't have an annual fee and offers 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on your first $50,000 in purchases each year. You can earn 1 point per dollar on additional purchases. Terms apply.
You can also get additional employee cards to go with your account without paying an additional annual fee. And American Express offers business-specific tools that can help you run your business, such as automatic QuickBooks categorization (enrollment required) and card management with the American Express Business App.
Freelancers who don't want to track bonus categories may enjoy the flat rewards rates. And new cardholders may also be eligible for an intro bonus. But the card does have a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is a small business credit card from Chase. New cardholders may qualify for an intro bonus, there's no annual fee and you can request free employee cards. But it has a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Using the card, you can earn 5% cash back (as Ultimate Rewards Points) on up to $25,000 in combined purchases for internet, cable and phone services, and at office supply stores. You also earn 2% cash back on up to $25,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants—and 1% cash back elsewhere. The spending limits reset with your account's anniversary date.
For freelancers who tend to make business purchases in these bonus categories (especially the 5% categories), the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card could offer lots of rewards. However, the 1% rewards rate on non-bonus purchases might be a drawback, as could the spending limits for some freelancers.
Can Freelancers Open a Business Credit Card?
"Freelancer" is a fairly broad term that could include someone who takes on an occasional side gig to a full-time freelancer who hires contractors or employees.
A freelancer likely won't qualify for a corporate card, which are for companies that have high annual revenues and many employees. But freelancers can get business credit cards.
A freelancer who runs a sole proprietorship—the default business structure—can open a consumer or small business card and use it solely for their business expenses. But freelancers who formed a limited liability company or corporation may want to solely focus on small business cards that can be opened in the business's name.
How to Choose the Best Credit Card
There are a lot of cards available to freelancers—especially if you're considering consumer and small business cards. Before applying for a new card, consider:
- Fees: Look for the card's annual fee, foreign transaction fee and other fees that may be applicable to how you'll use the card.
- Rewards: Consider how your business expenses match cards' bonus categories or whether you'd prefer a card with flat-rate rewards. You could also lookup card issuers' rewards programs to learn about their pros and cons.
- Interest rate: Unless you always pay your credit card bill in full, the card's interest rate could be important as well. Freelancers should also consider how a late-paying client could impact their finances.
- Intro bonus: A large intro bonus can make a card appealing, but make sure you can meet the spending requirement with your usual spending. If you get a small business credit card, you might want to use it solely for business expenses.
- Business benefits: Small business cards may offer business-specific benefits, such as employee cards.
- Credit requirements: Credit card issuers generally don't tell you an exact credit score requirement. But they may indicate a credit score range that applicants generally need to fall within.
Keep these considerations in mind as you pick your next credit card. And know that you might need to accept some trade-offs if you don't find a perfect fit.
Check Your Personal Credit
If you're a freelancer looking for a new credit card, your personal credit could impact your options. Check your credit score to find out where you're currently at, and learn what you can do to improve your credit before you apply. You can also use Experian CreditMatch™ to find additional card options based on your preferences.
All information regarding Blue Business Plus® Credit Card from American Express and Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has been gathered independently by Experian and has not been provided or reviewed by the issuer.