The best credit cards of 2020

Julian Kheel, CNN Underscored
Updated Wed January 29, 2020

CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value. Sometimes we receive a commission through The Points Guy affiliate network if you apply and are approved for a card, but our reporting is always independent and objective.

There's no perfect answer to the question "What's the best credit card?" The right credit card for you depends on how you spend money and what you want from a credit card — rewards, travel perks, purchase protections and so on. But while we can't offer one overall best credit card, we can definitively say that some credit cards are better than others. Our comprehensive methodology compares every aspect of each credit card to our "benchmark credit card" to determine which cards can potentially bring you maximum value.

If you're thinking "But I already have a credit card," remember that unless you got your card recently, it's highly likely the credit card you have is outdated and no longer the best choice to serve your needs or current spending habits. So make 2020 the year you're going to get a better credit card, and take a look at our list of the best credit cards in 2020 to decide which one might be best for you.

The best credit cards of 2020

Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for flat-rate cash back
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Best for easy travel redemptions
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best for flexible rewards
BankAmericard® credit card: Best for introductory rate on purchases
Citi Simplicity® Card: Best for balance transfers
American Express® Gold Card: Best for food perks
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for travel perks
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for small businesses
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Best for larger businesses

Why did we select these cards as our best credit cards for 2020? Dive into the details of each card with us, and see how they stack up.

Best for flat-rate cash back: Citi Double Cash Card

Why it's great in one sentence: The Citi Double Cash Card is both simple and lucrative, offering a market-leading 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% when you buy, 1% when you pay your statement — for no annual fee.

This card is right for: People who want a card that will work for them but don't have the time, patience or interest to chase bonus categories or figure out complicated travel loyalty programs.

Highlights:

  • Earn 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • 0% interest for 18 months on balance transfers made in the first four months after you open the card (15.49%-25.49% variable afterward).
  • Cash back can be converted to Citi ThankYou travel points at a ratio of 1 cent per point when combined with the Citi Premier or Citi Prestige card.
  • No annual fee.

Sign-up bonus: None.

What we like about the Citi Double Cash: Life is complicated enough — not everyone wants to make their credit cards complicated as well. If you don't want to deal with bonus categories, transfer partners or spending caps, you can't get much simpler than the Citi Double Cash. But "simple" doesn't have to mean "weak." In fact, you'll get 2% cash back on practically everything you buy with this card, which is the best ongoing flat-rate return you'll find on any no-annual-fee credit card out there. Yes, if you want to put in extra effort to maximize bonus categories or if you're willing to pay an annual fee, you can absolutely get more in overall rewards or perks. But if you don't want to make your credit card another thing in your life to worry about, you can put the Citi Double Cash in your purse or wallet, and set it and forget it.

What could be better: The Citi Double Cash is a no-frills credit card, so you won't find any fancy travel or dining perks on it, nor are there any significant travel or purchase protections. The 0% balance transfer offer does come with a 3% fee, though that's comparable to other credit cards with similar balance transfer features. You also won't want to use this card for overseas purchases, as the 3% foreign transaction fee will offset the 2% in rewards you earn. Having the option to convert the card's cash back to Citi ThankYou points when you have certain other Citi cards is an impressive recent addition, but the ThankYou program's airline transfer partners can be challenging to leverage. Finally, the Citi Double Cash doesn't offer a sign-up bonus, which means other cards might be more rewarding right out of the gate, though the Double Cash will catch up with long-term use.

Why it's our "benchmark" credit card: The ease of use and straightforward top-of-market cash-back earning rate of the Citi Double Cash are why CNN Underscored currently considers the Double Cash our "benchmark" credit card. We use it as our benchmark card to compare the features of other credit cards and determine if they're better or worse overall. You can read more about our benchmark credit card concept and our methodology here and can find our complete review of the Citi Double Cash here.

Learn more about the Citi Double Cash Card.

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Best for easy travel redemptions: Capital One Venture Rewards

Why it's great in one sentence: You'll earn 2 Capital One miles per dollar on every purchase with the Capital One Venture Credit Card, and you can redeem those miles for any travel purchase you make at 1 cent per mile, or transfer them to Capital One's airline partners for potentially even more valuable redemptions.

This card is right for: People who want to travel for free using easily redeemable miles, but with the option to learn how to master transferable miles down the line for even greater value.

Highlights:

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases with no limit.
  • Redeem miles for any travel purchase at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
  • Miles can also be transferred to any of Capital One's 15 airline partners.
  • Up to $100 credit when applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee for the first year, then $95 per year.

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account.

What we like about the Capital One Venture: Some people want easy-to-redeem travel rewards. Others don't mind more complicated redemptions that can increase the value of their miles. The Capital One Venture card gives you the best of both worlds. For folks who don't want to deal with complex charts or award availability, you can use the Venture's "Purchase Eraser" feature to wipe away any travel purchases that you make with the card at a rate of 1 cent per mile, making the 50,000-mile sign-up bonus worth at least $500 in travel. For others who want to put in the time and research to find first- or business-class flight redemptions, Capital One's 15 airline transfer partners provide another option. You can transfer miles to most of those partners at a 2-to-1.5 ratio (meaning for every 2 Venture miles you transfer, you'll get 1.5 airline miles on the other end), while Emirates, Singapore Air and JetBlue transfer at a 2-to-1 ratio. You'll also get up to a $100 fee credit when applying for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, no foreign transaction fees, and a year with no annual fee to try out the card.

What could be better: You'll forgo any bonus categories with the Capital One Venture card — it's 2 miles per dollar, no matter what you buy. There's also no balance transfer or introductory interest rate on purchases, so don't plan to carry a balance with it. And if you're only planning to redeem your miles using the "Purchase Eraser," you could be better off with our benchmark Citi Double Cash card, since you'll be effectively earning 2 cents per dollar spent either way, but the Venture card has a $95 annual fee after the first year. Capital One's transfer partners also include only one U.S. airline option (JetBlue), though advanced cardholders will be able to leverage international airline alliances to score domestic redemptions. But if you think you'll mix in some airline transfers even down the line, the Venture card serves as a great beginner gateway to the world of transferable points.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Sign-up bonus, purchase protections, travel protections.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee and an introductory rate on balance transfers.

Learn more about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

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Best for flexible rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Why it's great in one sentence: The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases, plus 1 point per dollar on all other purchases; points can be redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1.25 cents per point, or transferred to the program's airline and hotel partners for potentially even more valuable redemptions.

This card is right for: People with larger than average travel and/or dining expenses who want to use a basic transferable points program to redeem their credit card rewards for free travel.

Highlights:

  • Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Chase's 13 airline and hotel partners.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.

Sign-up bonus: 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

What we like about the Chase Sapphire Preferred: It may not seem like it, but at over 10 years old, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is practically the granddaddy of travel rewards credit cards. WIth classic travel and dining bonus categories, a recently added bonus category that earns 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides, and a 60,000-point sign-up bonus, it should be easy to quickly score plenty of points, especially since Chase defines "travel" very broadly to include purchases like mass transit, tolls, parking and even rideshares. But the real power of the CSP is in its redemptions. You'll get 1.25 cents per point when redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, and can get potentially even more value when transferring points to one of Chase's 13 travel partners. In fact, the Ultimate Rewards program still features some of the best transfer partners, including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Hyatt Hotels, and all Chase partners transfer at a 1-to-1 ratio. To top it off, you can safely use the Sapphire Preferred overseas, since it has no foreign transaction fees on international purchases. It even provides primary car rental insurance, so you don't have to look to your own auto policy first if you have an accident with your rental car.

What could be better: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a classic, but in some ways it's starting to get long in the tooth. Other credit cards now offer bonus points or cash back in those same travel and dining categories, and in some cases at higher rates (though usually accompanied by higher annual fees). Even our benchmark Citi Double Cash card earns 2% on all purchases, not just travel and dining, though you can get more value when redeeming your Sapphire Preferred points than you can with simple cash back. You also no longer get the first year's $95 annual fee waived with the CSP, so you're paying for the card right out of the gate. For many people, the Sapphire Preferred isn't as flashy as its big brother, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which comes with travel perks, higher bonus rates and a $300 annual travel credit (but also a $550 annual fee). But if you don't need or won't use all those extra perks, you may be better off with this significantly less expensive version.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Travel and dining bonus categories, excellent travel protections, solid airline and hotel partners, sign-up bonus.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee, an introductory rate on balance transfers and easy cash back.

Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

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Best for introductory rate on purchases: BankAmericard credit card

Why it's great in one sentence: For those who'd rather pay no interest on purchases for as long as possible instead of earning cash back or travel rewards, the BankAmericard credit card offers 0% interest on all purchases for the first 18 billing cycles you have the card (the interest rate rises to 14.49%-24.49% variable after the introductory period ends).

This card is right for: People who want the longest introductory interest rate period on purchases when they first get the card.

Highlights:

  • 0% interest on all purchases for the first 18 billing cycles (14.49%-24.49% variable afterward).
  • 0% interest for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 60 days after you open the card (14.49%-24.49% variable afterward).
  • 3% of each transaction on balance transfers (minimum $10).
  • No annual fee.

Sign-up bonus: None.

What we like about the BankAmericard credit card: Credit cards are generally known for having sky-high interest rates, making them terrible for financing large purchases. But the BankAmericard is an exception, at least for the first year and a half after you get the card. During that time, you can charge purchases to the card and pay them off slowly without incurring any interest at all. That's a longer intro period than almost any credit card on the market, so it's a good way to finance that engagement ring or second-hand car if you're in a pinch. But be careful! Once the introductory 0% interest period ends, any balance remaining on the card jumps to an interest rate of 14.49%-24.49%, depending on your creditworthiness. If you haven't paid off all those purchases in full by then, you'll be on the hook for some giant interest payments. Still, if you have a major purchase coming up that you'd prefer not to pay for all at once, this is a card that can be a useful tool in your toolbox.

What could be better: Beyond the introductory rate on purchases as well as a similar 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers (which comes with a 3% fee), this isn't a card that's going to do a lot for you. It doesn't earn any rewards at all, doesn't come with a sign-up bonus and doesn't have any other significant perks. It has no annual fee but charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you definitely won't want to use it overseas. In fact, aside from using it to finance purchases at 0% interest during the introductory period, it's not a card that we'd recommend for long-term usage. And if you're willing to trade a slightly shorter introductory period in exchange for earning rewards, you might consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which offers 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months you have the card (the variable interest rate rises to 16.49%-25.24% after the introductory period ends), but also offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases (though balance transfers don't earn cash back).

Where it beats our benchmark card: Introductory 0% interest rate on purchases for the first 18 billing cycles (then a variable APR of 14.49% to 24.49% applies).

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash earns rewards on all purchases.

The information for the BankAmericard credit card has been collected independently by CNN Underscored. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Best for balance transfers: Citi Simplicity Card

Why it's great in one sentence: If you're laser-focused on getting rid of your debt in 2020, the Citi Simplicity credit card offers 0% interest on balance transfers for a whopping 21 months for transfers completed in the first four months after you open the card (the interest rate rises to 16.24%-26.24% variable after the introductory period ends).

This card is right for: People who want to consolidate their existing debt at a low interest rate for the longest possible period of time.

Highlights:

  • 0% interest for 21 months on balance transfers made in the first four months after you open the card (16.24%-26.24% variable afterward).
  • 0% interest on all purchases for the first 12 months (16.24%-26.24% variable afterward).
  • No late fees and no penalty interest rates for late payments.
  • No annual fee.

Sign-up bonus: None

What we like about the Citi Simplicity: The first step to getting out of credit card debt is to stop the bleeding by putting a halt to the exorbitant interest you're paying on your accumulated debt. A credit card with a long introductory balance transfer offer is exactly what the doctor ordered. The Citi Simplicity comes with a lengthy 21-month introductory period, during which you'll pay 0% interest on any balance transfers made during the first four months you have the card. But you'll want to make sure you pay off your entire balance transfer during those 21 months, because when that introductory period ends, the rate will jump to between 16.24% and 26.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. The Citi Simplicity also features a pair of consumer-friendly features in that it has no late fees and no penalty interest rates, meaning you won't get hit with an extra fee for being a few days late. But be forewarned that "no late fees" doesn't mean "no interest" — you'll still pay interest if you're late with a payment. And if you're utilizing the introductory balance transfer feature and miss a payment, you'll lose your 0% interest rate, so you need to be extra careful in that case.

What could be better: Aside from the balance transfer option and lack of late fees or penalty interest rates, there's not a ton of exciting features with the Citi Simplicity. There are no rewards on the card and no important other perks. The introductory interest rate on purchases isn't as impressive as the balance transfer offer, since it only lasts for 12 months. Even the balance transfer offer has a downside — you'll be charged a 5% fee for any transfers you make, which is at least 2% more than many other credit cards with low-interest balance transfer offers. If you can give up a few months at 0% interest, consider our benchmark Citi Double Cash card, which will give you 0% interest on balance transfers for only the first 18 months you have the card (then a variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49% applies), but with just a 3% fee, and it also offers 2% cash back on all purchases (though balance transfers don't earn cash back). Still, if you need to pay no interest on your debt for the maximum amount of time possible, the Citi Simplicity is potentially worth the extra cost to buy yourself time to get back on track and firm up your financial picture.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Introductory 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 21 months (then a variable APR of 16.24% to 26.24% applies), no late fees, no penalty rates.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash earns rewards on all purchases and has a lower balance transfer fee.

Learn more about the Citi Simplicity Card.

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Best for food perks: American Express Gold Card

Why it's great in one sentence: The American Express Gold Card is a perfect fit for foodies, with up to $120 in annual dining credits, 4 Membership Rewards points earned for every dollar spent at restaurants worldwide with no limit, and 4 points per dollar spent at US supermarkets up to $25,000 per year (1x thereafter).

This card is right for: People who spend a significant amount of money on eating in or dining out and want to be rewarded with refundable dining credits and transferable travel rewards.

Highlights:

  • Earn 4 points for every dollar you spend at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 4 points per dollar at US supermarkets up to $25,000 per year (then 1x).
  • Earn 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or at Amex Travel.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through Amex Travel at a rate of up to 1 cent per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Amex's 21 airline and hotel partners.
  • Up to $10 in statement credits every month when you pay with the card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits annually for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $250 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Welcome bonus: 35,000 points after you make $4,000 in eligible purchases in your first three months.

What we like about the American Express Gold: Whether it's at home or out on the town, you're earning a boatload of points every time you use this card to eat. And the Membership Rewards points you'll earn with the American Express Gold are extremely valuable when you take the time to redeem them via transfers to the program's 21 airline and hotel partners, which include US carriers like Delta and JetBlue, plus valuable international airline programs such as British Airways Executive Club and Air Canada's Aeroplan, just to name a few. On top of that, the up to $100 incidental airline fee credit can be useful if you want to check a bag for free several times a year, and the up to $120 in dining credits is great if you live in an area where you can use them. For those who are able to maximize those two credits for a combined $220 annually, you'll pay an effective annual fee of only $30, which is a no-brainer given the earning rates on this card.

What could be better: Those previously mentioned credits aren't as easy to use as they should be. Amex airline credits on the American Express Gold are restricted to the one airline you choose each year, and then only for specific purchases on that airline like checked bag and seat upgrade fees (the credit does not work for buying tickets). The dining credits are also restricted to a list of specific restaurants and delivery services, which might make them easy or hard to use depending on where you live and where you like to eat. But the real rub is that the dining credits are doled out in $10 monthly increments over the year instead of one $120 pot, and if you don't use the $10 in a given month, you lose it — the credits don't roll over to the next month. Finally, following Amex's trend of making benefits more difficult or expensive to use than necessary, the issuer passes along an annoying 0.06 cent per point federal excise tax, up to a maximum of $99, when transferring points to US programs.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Dining and supermarket bonus categories, dining credits, solid travel protections, extensive airline and hotel partners, welcome bonus.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee, an introductory rate on balance transfers and easy cash back.

Learn more about the American Express Gold Card.

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Best for travel perks: The Platinum Card from American Express

Why it's great in one sentence: It's definitely not cheap, but the famous American Express Platinum card is a heavyweight when it comes to travel perks, with up to $200 in annual airline fee credit, up to $200 in annual Uber credit, access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide including Amex's own Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta, elite status with Hilton, Marriott, Hertz, Avis and National Car Rental, and many other luxury travel benefits.

This card is right for: People who want top-notch luxury travel perks, refundable travel credits and transferable travel rewards.

Highlights:

  • Earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through Amex Travel at a rate of up to 1 cent per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Amex's 21 airline and hotel partners.
  • Up to $200 in statement credits annually for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Up to $15 in statement credits every month ($35 in December) when you pay for your Uber rides with the card.
  • Complimentary access to American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta, and Priority Pass airport lounges (not including Priority Pass restaurants).
  • Complimentary Gold Elite status with Hilton and Marriott hotel chains.
  • Complimentary Preferred Elite status with Hertz, Avis and National Car Rental chains.
  • Complimentary Shoprunner membership.
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Welcome bonus: 60,000 points after you make $5,000 in eligible purchases in your first three months.

What we like about the American Express Platinum: If you want to feel like a true VIP when you're traveling, take the plunge and get an Amex Platinum. For some road warriors, access to so many airport lounges — and especially to Amex's own Centurion Lounges, which are considered some of the best domestic airport lounges in the US — is worth the cost of the card all by itself. But if you can also take advantage of the card's up to $200 annual incidental airline fee credit as well as the up to $200 annual Uber credit, plus the up to $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit (which you can use to buy anything at Saks, either in-store or online), you'll be scoring up to $500 worth of annual credits for a card that costs $550 a year, leaving a net cost of only $50. The cherry on top is the 60,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $5,000 on the card in your first three months, which at the very least you should be able to redeem for a pair of domestic airline tickets for you and a companion, or even a trip to Europe in coach for yourself.

What could be better: For an annual fee of $550 a year, you need to be able to really take advantage of the perks of this card to make it worth the cost. And surprisingly, the American Express Platinum isn't a terrific card when it comes to earning points. It's strong when you're booking airline tickets, since you'll earn an impressive 5 points for every dollar you spend directly with airlines. But to earn 5 points per dollar at hotels, you'll need to book only prepaid hotels, and only through Amex Travel. For such an expensive card, those aren't exceptional bonus categories. And as with the Amex Gold, the credits on the Amex Platinum can be a challenge to maximize. Unlike travel credits on cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the up to $200 airline incidental fee credit is only good on the one airline you choose each year, and then only for certain fees like checked baggage or in-cabin pet fees. The up to $200 Uber credit doesn't come as one big credit, but instead as a monthly series of $15 credits, with an extra $20 in December to get to the $200 total. Even the Saks Fifth Avenue credit is split in two, with $50 available in the first six months of the calendar year and the other $50 in the second half. In the end, the Amex Platinum isn't really designed for everyday use — rather, you need to be a regular traveler with a desire to be treated better during those long days on the road for the cost of the card to make sense.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Luxury travel perks and travel credits, airline and hotel bonus categories, solid travel protections, extensive airline and hotel partners, welcome bonus.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee, an introductory rate on balance transfers and easy cash back.

Learn more about the American Express Platinum Card.

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Best for small businesses: The Blue Business Plus Card from American Express

Why it's great in one sentence: For businesses with less than $50,000 in annual expenses, the Blue Business Plus from American Express is a great and simple choice, since it earns a flat rate of 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar you spend on all your business purchases up to $50,000 a year, then 1 point per dollar spent thereafter, and all with no annual fee.

This card is right for: Small businesses that want transferable travel rewards and no annual fee.

Highlights:

  • Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on all purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel through Amex Travel at a rate of up to 1 cent per point.
  • Points can also be transferred to any of Amex's 21 airline and hotel partners.
  • 0% interest for 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 60 days after you open the card (14.74%-20.74% variable afterward).
  • 0% interest on all purchases for the first 12 months (14.74%-20.74% variable afterward).
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Welcome bonus: None.

What we like about the Blue Business Plus: For small businesses looking for a business credit card comparable to the personal Citi Double Cash, our benchmark card, the Blue Business Plus is worthy of consideration. It earns 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on all purchases up to $50,000 each calendar year, and the points can be redeemed directly for travel at a rate of up to 1 cent per point, or transferred to any of Amex's 21 airline and hotel partners for potentially even more value. Your business can also take advantage of the card's 0% introductory interest rate on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months you have the card — just make sure it's paid off by the end of that time, or you'll find yourself facing an ongoing interest rate of 14.74%-20.74%, depending on your creditworthiness. Overall, it's a pretty sweet package for small businesses, and all for no annual fee.

What could be better: Membership Rewards points earned with the Blue Business Plus can be converted to cash back, but at a poor rate of 0.6 cents per point, so small businesses focused on earning cash back instead of travel rewards should instead choose the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card, which has all the same features as the Blue Business Plus but earns cash back instead of points. You also won't want to use either card for international purchases, as both carry a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on overseas transactions. And larger businesses with more than $50,000 in credit card expenses each year will find the Blue Business cards limiting, as all charges beyond that amount in a calendar year earn only 1 point per dollar. (Businesses with bigger annual expenses should instead look to our option for larger businesses, below.) Finally, the Blue Business cards don't have any sort of welcome bonus, so your business will need to earn its points or cash back purely from spending, instead of counting on a quick haul of early bonus points.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Extensive airline and hotel partners, some travel and purchase protections, introductory rate on purchases.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has an introductory rate on balance transfers and easy cash back.

Learn more about the Blue Business Plus Card.

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Best for larger businesses: Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Why it's great in one sentence: The Capital One Spark Miles for Business card earns an unlimited 2 miles for every dollar you spend on the card — plus 3 additional miles for hotel and car rentals booked through Capital One travel — and those miles can be redeemed for any travel purchase you make at 1 cent per mile or transferred to Capital One's airline partners for potentially even more valuable redemptions.

This card is right for: Larger businesses that want easy-to-redeem travel rewards miles, with the option to learn how to master transferable miles down the line for greater value.

Highlights:

  • Earn 5 miles for every dollar you spend on your card on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One travel.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases with no cap.
  • Redeem miles for any travel purchase at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
  • Miles can also be transferred to any of Capital One's 15 airline partners.
  • Up to $100 credit when applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee for the first year, then $95 per year.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of your account opening.

What we like about the Capital One Spark Miles: Businesses with large expenses than can be charged to a credit card will love the unlimited 2 miles per dollar of the Spark Miles for Business card, along with the extra 3x miles bump they'll get when booking hotels or car rentals through Capital One Travel. Capital One miles are easy for businesses to redeem on any travel purchases made with the card at a rate of 1 cent per mile. Or the miles can be transferred to any of Capital One's 15 airline partners for potentially higher value with some extra work. The Spark Miles card also comes with a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus after you spend $4,500 in the first three months you have the card, which is a pretty low threshold for any business with significant monthly expenses. Plus, since you earn at least 2 miles for every dollar you spend on the Spark Miles, you'll end up with at least 59,000 total miles between the bonus and the miles you'll earn from spending $4,500. The best part is the card's $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, so you can try it out for 12 months and see if it works for your business needs.

What could be better: Capital One deserves credit for expanding its mileage program in 2018 to include transfer partners, but since it's a relatively new part of the program, the Spark Miles for Business airline partners aren't quite as lucrative as those from Chase and American Express, though with some effort you can still find terrific value. It's also not ideal that you have to book through Capital One Travel to earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals, especially since most hotels won't honor earned elite status or award elite nights or points for reservations booked through third-party sites. The up to $100 application fee credit for one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership is a fine perk, but not of much use to businesses with multiple employees who travel regularly. The $95 annual fee you'll pay for the Spark Miles after the first year makes this a more expensive card than our benchmark Citi Double Cash, so businesses will want to make sure they're getting enough extra value from their miles to make the cost worth it.

Where it beats our benchmark card: Sign-up bonus, purchase protections, travel protections.

Where our benchmark card is better: The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee and an introductory rate on balance transfers.

Learn more about the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.