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Best Credit Card for Contractors [2024 Review]

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Looking for the best credit card for contractors? It can be overwhelming with so many options out there. As an expert in credit solutions, I’ve narrowed down the choices to help you find the perfect card for your contracting business. In this article, we’ll dive into the top cards catering to your professional needs. Let’s find the ideal card for your business.

Our Top Contractor Credit Card Recommendations

As a credit card expert, I understand how vital the right card can be in your contracting business. It’s not just about making purchases; it’s about smart financial management. I’ve looked closely at various credit cards, each offering unique benefits tailored for contractors like you. 

A man holding three different credit cards

Whether you’re after rewards for your daily expenses, flexible payment options, or tools to build your business credit, I’m here to guide you to the perfect card that fits your professional needs. Let’s dive in and find that ideal financial companion for your contracting business.

Here’s a quick summary of our top picks:

  • Best Overall: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
  • Best for Home Improvement Purchases: Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express
  • Best for Introductory APR: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
  • Best for Travel Rewards: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • Best for Flexible Payments: The Plum Card® from American Express
  • Best for Costco Shoppers: Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
  • Best for Unlimited Cash Back: Capital One Spark Cash Plus
  • Best for Building Business Credit: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Best Overall Credit Card for Contractors: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is ideal for contractors looking for financial simplicity. With no annual fee and a variable APR of 18.49% – 24.49% (see rates and fees), it suits those with good to excellent credit (670 – 850). (Expensivity credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.)

Its standout feature is the $750 cash-back welcome bonus after spending $6,000 in the first three months.

This card’s straightforward rewards program offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, perfect for contractors with diverse spending needs. The 0% Intro APR for the first year (which then reverts to a variable APR of 18.49% – 24.49%) aids in cash flow management, especially for growing businesses. Combining cash back with other Chase Ultimate Rewards® accounts adds more value.

While the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card excels in simplicity and rewards, its higher foreign transaction fees are a setback, especially compared to the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card’s travel-friendly features. It also lacks the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express’s specialized cash back on home improvement purchases.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back: This flat-rate reward on all purchases simplifies expense management, making it ideal for contractors with varied business expenses.
  • No Annual Fee: A great cost-saving feature, especially beneficial for small to medium-sized businesses watching their bottom line.
  • Generous Welcome Bonus: Earning a $750 bonus cash back is a significant incentive for new cardholders.
  • Introductory 0% APR: The 12-month period without interest charges can be crucial in managing initial business expenses or investments.

Cons

  • High Foreign Transaction Fees: Not the best choice for contractors with international dealings or frequent travel.
  • Variable APR Post-Intro Period: After the initial 12 months, the variable APR might be high for some, depending on their creditworthiness.
A man holding a yellow credit card while tapping his phone

Best Contractor Credit Card for Home Improvement Purchases: Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express

All information about Lowe’s Business Rewards Card has been collected independently by Expensivity. Lowe’s Business Rewards Card is no longer available through Expensivity.

The Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express is a standout choice for contractors who frequently shop at Lowe’s. With no annual fee and a variable APR of 20.99% – 29.99%, it’s tailored for those with good to excellent credit (700 – 749). (Expensivity credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.)

The card’s highlight is its welcome offer: earn $100 back as a statement credit and enjoy 5% cash back on Lowe’s purchases for the first six months, then 2% back thereafter.

This card is ideal for contractors frequently shopping at Lowe’s, offering 5% cash back on purchases for the first six months and 2% back at U.S. restaurants, office supply stores, and wireless services. With 1% cash back on other purchases and rewards redeemable for Lowe’s gift cards or statement credits, it’s a practical option for daily business expenses.

The Lowe’s Business Rewards Card is a top pick for home improvement purchases but falls short with its higher APR, especially compared to the lower APR of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. It also doesn’t offer the same level of travel rewards as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Pros

  • Specialized 5% Cash Back at Lowe’s: Ideal for contractors who frequently purchase from Lowe’s, maximizing rewards on regular business expenses.
  • No Annual Fee: Economical for businesses looking to optimize expenses without additional costs.
  • Diverse Cash Back Categories: Besides Lowe’s, earn cash back on dining, office supplies, and wireless services.
  • Welcome Bonus: $100 back as a statement credit upon approval, adding immediate value to the card.

Cons

  • High APR: The variable APR is higher, which might concern those carrying a balance.
  • Limited Reward Redemption: Rewards are primarily redeemable for Lowe’s purchases and statement credits, lacking the versatility of other business cards like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Best Contractor Credit Card in Introductory APRs: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is an excellent option for contractors looking for a no-annual-fee card (see rates and fees) with a beneficial introductory APR. With a variable APR of 18.49% – 26.49% after the intro period, it’s ideal for those with excellent to good credit. The card offers a $250 statement credit as a welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

A man getting money on her black wallet with some cards in it

This card is particularly advantageous for contractors with annual expenses up to $50,000, offering 2% cash back on all eligible purchases (then 1% after the cap). The introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months (which then reverts to a variable APR of 18.49% – 26.49%) is a significant benefit for managing initial expenses or investments. Additionally, the card includes extra benefits like purchase protection and car rental insurance, adding to its appeal for business use.

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The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card’s high foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) limit its utility compared to the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. Additionally, it doesn’t provide the payment flexibility found in The Plum Card® from American Express nor offers the specialized cash-back benefits of the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express.

Pros

  • No Annual Fee: Cost-effective for budget-conscious businesses.
  • Introductory 0% APR: Aids managing cash flow during the first year.
  • 2% Cash Back: On up to $50,000 in annual spending, then 1%.
  • Expanded Buying Power: Flexibility to spend beyond the credit limit.

Cons

  • Cash Back Cap: The highest earning rate is capped at $50,000 in annual spending.
  • High Foreign Transaction Fees: Not ideal for international transactions.

Best Travel Rewards Credit Card for Contractors: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is an excellent choice for contractors who travel frequently or have significant business expenses in the card’s bonus categories. With a $95 annual fee and a variable APR of 21.24%-26.24%, it suits those with good to excellent credit. The card’s major draw is its substantial welcome bonus of 100,000 points after spending $8,000 in the first 3 months.

This card is a boon for frequent travelers, offering 3 points per $1 on travel and select business categories and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. The points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, making it a highly valuable card for those who spend heavily in its bonus categories. Additionally, the card has no foreign transaction fees, making it a great companion for international business trips.

A person holding a blue card in front of a laptop

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card’s $95 annual fee and higher APR can be a deterrent, unlike the no-annual-fee structure of the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card. However, it excels in travel rewards compared to the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi and offers more value in bonus categories than the Capital One Spark Cash Plus.

Pros

  • Generous Welcome Bonus: 100,000 points offer significant value, especially for frequent travelers.
  • Rewarding Bonus Categories: Earn 3 points per $1 on travel and select business categories.
  • Travel Redemption Bonus: Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Ideal for contractors who travel internationally.

Cons

  • Annual Fee: The $95 fee might be a consideration for cost-conscious businesses.
  • Higher APR: The variable APR is on the higher end, which could be a concern for those who carry a balance.

Best for Flexible Payments Credit Card for Contractors: The Plum Card® from American Express

The Plum Card® from American Express is a standout option for small businesses seeking payment flexibility. With a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) and no regular APR (as it’s a credit card), it’s geared toward businesses with good to excellent credit. The card may not offer a welcome bonus, yet it makes up for this with its unique payment terms.

This card is particularly appealing for its payment flexibility. Businesses can benefit from up to 60 days to pay without interest or opt for an unlimited 1.5% Early Pay Discount on eligible charges paid within 10 days of the statement closing date. This feature is especially useful for managing cash flow in businesses with fluctuating income.

While the Plum Card® from American Express stands out for its payment flexibility, its high annual fee and lack of a rewards program are drawbacks compared to the more reward-centric Capital One Spark Cash Plus and the no-annual-fee structure of the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business.

Pros

  • 60 Days Interest-Free Payment Term: Offers significant flexibility in managing cash flow.
  • 1.5% Early Pay Discount: Encourages early payments with a cashback incentive.
  • No Preset Spending Limit: Allows for larger or unexpected business expenses.
  • Expense Management Tools: Helps in tracking and controlling business spending.

Cons

  • High Annual Fee: The $250 fee might be prohibitive for smaller businesses.
  • No Traditional Rewards Program: Lacks the typical points or cash-back rewards system found in other business cards.
A man smiling while looking at his laptop and holding his credit card

Best Costco Shoppers Credit Card for Contractors: Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi is a perfect match for contractors who are frequent Costco shoppers. With no annual fee (with a paid Costco membership) and a 20.49% variable APR, it’s best suited for those with excellent credit. While the card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, its rewards structure is tailored for Costco members.

This card offers 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases (up to $7,000 per year, then 1%), 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, and 2% on purchases from Costco and Costco.com. It’s an excellent choice for contractors who already benefit from Costco memberships, maximizing rewards on regular business and travel expenses.

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card is ideal for Costco shoppers, but its reliance on a Costco membership and annual rewards payout may be less appealing compared to the universally accessible Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and the flexible cash-back options of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card.

Pros

  • High Cash Back on Gas: 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases is ideal for contractors with significant fuel expenses.
  • Rewards on Costco Purchases: 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases aligns well with the shopping habits of Costco members.
  • Diverse Reward Categories: 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases broadens its appeal beyond just Costco purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: This makes it a practical option for contractors who travel internationally.

Cons

  • Costco Membership Requirement: The card is only available to those with a paid Costco Business membership, limiting its accessibility.
  • Annual Rewards Payout: Rewards are paid out once a year in February, which may not suit businesses preferring more frequent access to their rewards.
A customer swiping his credit card on a terminal payment on a grocery store

Best Unlimited Cash Back Credit Card for Contractors: Capital One Spark Cash Plus

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is an excellent choice for contractors seeking a straightforward, unlimited cash-back program. With a $150 annual fee and no specified regular APR (as it’s a credit card), it’s best suited for businesses with excellent credit. The card’s highlight is its generous $1,200 cash bonus after spending $30,000 in the first three months.

This card stands out for its high 2% cash-back rate on all purchases, with no category restrictions or limits. This simplicity is a major advantage for contractors with varied spending patterns and who prefer a no-hassle rewards program. The card also offers free employee cards, which earn unlimited 2% cash back, enhancing its value for businesses with multiple spenders.

While the Capital One Spark Cash Plus offers a straightforward unlimited cash-back program, it is hampered by its annual fee and the lack of an intro APR offer, unlike the introductory benefits of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card and the no-fee convenience of the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

Pros

  • Unlimited 2% Cash Back: This offers straightforward rewards for all purchases.
  • Generous Welcome Bonus: A one-time $1,200 cash bonus once you spend $30,000 in the first three months enhances the card’s initial value.
  • Free Employee Cards: Expands earning potential across the business.
  • Annual Fee Refund: Refunded for spending over $150,000 annually, adding to its value.

Cons

  • Annual Fee: The $150 fee might be a consideration for some businesses.
  • No Intro APR Offer: Lacks the introductory interest-free period offered by some other business cards.

Best Building Business Credit Credit Card for Contractors: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is an excellent choice for contractors with average, fair, or limited credit looking to build their business credit. With no annual fee and a 29.99% variable APR, it’s designed to be accessible to a wider range of credit profiles. While not offering a welcome bonus, the card provides a straightforward 1% cash back on all purchases.

A man wearing formal green suit holding his mobile phone and credit card

This card stands out for its inclusivity, offering businesses with less-than-perfect credit an opportunity to manage their expenses and simultaneously increase their credit score. The unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases and free employee cards make it a practical tool for everyday business spending.

While the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is great for building credit, its high APR and limited rewards are less competitive compared to the more comprehensive rewards structure of the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and the specialized category bonuses of the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express.

Pros

  • Accessible to a Wider Range of Credit Profiles: Ideal for businesses with average, fair, or limited credit.
  • No Annual Fee: This makes it a cost-effective option for small businesses.
  • 1% Cash Back on All Purchases: A simple and consistent reward structure is offered.
  • Free Employee Cards: Enhances the card’s utility for managing business expenses.

Cons

  • High APR: The variable APR is quite high, which could be costly for businesses carrying a balance.
  • Limited Rewards: The 1% cash-back rate is lower than other business credit cards with more lucrative reward structures.

Features to Consider for the Best Credit Cards for Contractors

When you’re in the contracting business, the right credit card isn’t just a spending tool; it’s a part of your financial toolkit. Let’s break down the key features you should look for in a credit card, keeping it real and straightforward.

Annual FeeIntro OffersCashback RewardsAdditional Perks
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card$0$750 bonus after spending $6,000 in 3 monthsUnlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchasesCombines rewards with other Chase accounts
Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express$0$100 statement credit5% at Lowe’s, 2% on select categories, 1% on othersRedeemable for Lowe’s gift cards or statement credits
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card$0$250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in 3 months2% cash back on up to $50,000 per year, then 1%Car rental insurance, purchase protection
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card$95100,000 points after spending $8,000 in 3 months3 points per $1 on travel and select business categories up to $150,000, 1 point per $1 on others with no limitTravel perks, no foreign transaction fees
The Plum Card® from American Express$250None1.5% Early Pay Discount60 days interest-free payment term, no preset spending limit
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi$0 (with paid Costco membership)None4% on gas and EV charging, 3% on restaurants and travel, 2% at Costco, 1% on othersNo foreign transaction fees
Capital One Spark Cash Plus$150$1,200 bonus after spending $30,000 in first three monthsUnlimited 2% cash back on all purchasesAnnual fee refund for spending over $150,000 annually
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business$0NoneUnlimited 1% cash back on all purchasesFree employee cards, builds business credit

Reward Structure

Why is this important? Well, as a contractor, your spending can be quite varied – from buying materials at hardware stores to filling up the tank for site visits. A card that offers cash back or points on these purchases can be a real game-changer. Look for cards that offer higher rewards in categories where you spend the most. 

Some cards offer flat-rate rewards on all purchases, ideal for simplicity, while those who spend heavily in specific categories may find a card with tiered rewards to be more lucrative. For example, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, with its unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, is a solid choice for varied spending.

A man holding his blue credit card and mobile phone while smiling

Introductory Offers

Introductory offers can be pretty attractive, right? They’re like a welcome handshake, enhanced with benefits. These can range from a 0% APR period, which helps manage cash flow when starting a big project, to a hefty welcome bonus after meeting initial spending requirements. However, it’s important to look beyond the initial sparkle. 

Annual Fees

Here’s the deal with annual fees – they can be worth it if the benefits outweigh the costs. If you’re racking up significant expenses as a contractor, a card with a higher annual fee and better rewards or benefits, such as travel perks or insurance, might make sense.

However, if your expenses are more modest, a no-annual-fee card could be the way to go. It’s all about balancing the cost against the perks. Take the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi, for instance – it has no annual fee with a paid Costco membership, making it a cost-effective choice.

Additional Perks

Credit cards aren’t just about spending; they come with a suite of perks. These can include things like rental car insurance, extended warranties on purchases, or even access to a concierge service. For a busy contractor, these perks can save time and money. 

A cashier on a grocery store holding a terminal payment with a card in it

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Credit Cards for Contractors?

Yes, accepting credit cards as a contractor is beneficial, particularly as your business grows. It allows you to accommodate clients’ preferred payment methods, potentially increasing your client base.

Can Credit Cards Help Contractors Track Expenses?

Yes, credit cards help contractors track and manage expenses efficiently. They offer itemized statements, making monitoring and categorizing business expenditures easier.

Can Contractors Use Business Credit Cards for Personal Expenses?

It’s generally advisable to keep business and personal expenses separate. While you can use a business credit card for personal expenses, it’s better to maintain clear financial distinctions for accounting and tax purposes.

Conclusion

In summary, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is the best choice for contractors, offering a solid 1.5% cash back on all purchases and an attractive welcome bonus. When choosing a card, consider both immediate needs and long-term benefits to ensure it supports your business’s growth and success.

Editorial Disclosure

The opinions expressed in this article are those of our editorial team and no one else. Please consult your financial advisor before making any major financial decisions. This content is not reviewed or endorsed by any partner or external entity. Our editorial team spends hours of time researching and developing each article with the goal of providing helpful guidance but still, errors may remain.