The 10 Best Store Credit Cards for Small Businesses
As a small business owner, you probably spend a lot of money on running your business, from office supplies to stocking up on inventory. Did you know that you can actually get business rewards credit cards or cash back credit cards at many of the stores you may frequent the most, all while building business credit? Indeed, opening a business store account or credit card can help you score discounts, great deals, and savings. Many of them are also okay with no credit or bad credit.
For small business owners that regularly shop for supplies at more established retailers, there are many stores that offer business credit cards and/or store accounts that come with useful rewards and benefits. For these stores, business credit cards are a great way to earn revenue and customer loyalty while giving back to customers. Most of these stores require some sort of membership to become eligible for the store credit card.
Build Business Credit With Store Credit Cards
In addition to the benefits and discounts, business credit cards are a great way to build a business credit history. If you are a new business owner, getting started on building credit can help you later on when you want to expand your business or face cash flow issues. Banks and lending institutions look at your business credit score to assess your creditworthiness before deciding whether to approve you for small business loans or other financing. From your spending and payment behavior, credit bureaus compile valuable information about your credit profile that can ease the process of getting funding for your business as it grows.
Tradelines, which refer to financial obligations that a business has to its creditors on agreed payment terms, appear on your business credit report. Unlike personal credit, there are different kinds of tradelines that count towards business credit, including supplier accounts. Credit cards fall under “financial accounts.”
Although tradelines have different classifications, they all count towards building a business credit history. As such, although we’ve mainly included store credit cards for business on our list, opening a NET-30 store account under your EIN that reports to the credit bureaus would also contribute to building business credit. Depending on your business needs, here are 10 online store business credit cards to consider.
General Retailers, Wholesalers, and Grocery Stores
Annual fee: $0
Other fees: Greater of $5 or 3% of the amount on each cash advance, late payment up to $39
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases: 14.24% to 22.24% based on creditworthiness.
With this card, business owners can choose either to earn cashback or get 60-day payment terms on purchases at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. This card is a great option for business owners at any stage of growth. The longer payment terms help businesses buy now and pay later to tide over when faced with cash flow issues. However, there is a minimum payment to meet within the billing period or a penalty APR of 29.24% will apply.
Card members can earn 3% back (5% for Prime members) when they spend $120,000 in the first calendar year. However, only 1% is earned every year after that. If the card is used at restaurants, gas stations and wireless phone services, you can get 2% in cashback.
Card users also have access to the American Express Business App and the more comprehensive financial management app, Quickbooks. Qualified individuals aged 18 and above can apply for the card here. You don’t need to have an Amazon Prime membership, but you can get better perks with one.
Annual fee: $0
Other fees: Greater of $5.00 or 3.0% of the amount of the Cash Advance, late payment up to $39.99
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on purchases: 15.65% (Account Type 1) and 23.65% (Account Type 2), account type is determined upon application review
The business version of the Walmart credit card is the Sam’s Club Business Mastercard. Sam’s Club is a membership wholesale club that offers small businesses quality products at a fraction of retail costs (even those at Walmart stores).
Depending on the type of Sam’s Club membership you hold, you can earn up to 3% cashback on Sam’s Club purchases. Sam’s Club Business Mastercard offers cashback opportunities include 5% on gas (on the first $6,000, thereafter 1%), 3% on dining and takeout and 1% on other purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted. Cashback rewards are received annually about 2 months prior to renewal date and loaded onto the membership card for use in club, or for online shopping use on SamsClub.com.
The APR rates differ according to your application, and only a limited number of applicants are expected to receive financing offers under Account Type 1. Business owners will be informed of your rates before charges on the card are permitted. Applications can be made here but you will first need to be a Sam’s Club member.
Annual fee: $0
Other fees: No foreign transaction fees, Greater of $10 or 5% on cash advance, $39 penalty fees
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases: 15.24%, varies with the market based on Prime rate
Have a Costco membership? Consider the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi. This card comes with an impressive rewards program and an array of benefits for Costco members. Cashback rewards include 4% on eligible gas stations (on the first $7,000 per year, 1% thereafter), 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, 2% on all Costco store purchases (and online purchases), and 1% on all other purchases. However, you will only receive your cashback annually once your February billing statement closes. As Citi is the card issuer, cardholders also get special access to Citi Entertainment’s events including presale tickets for concerts, sports, dining experiences and more.
If you are looking for a card that offers great protection, this is one to closely consider. The damage and theft purchase protection may cover you for repairs or refunds on damaged goods within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents). You also get extended manufacturer warranty on any purchases made with this card. Other security features include fraud early warning and Citi Quick Lock that instantly blocks new purchases but doesn’t disrupt recurring transactions.
Other than the contactless tap-and-go pay option, you can also activate the digital wallet for added convenience. Costco members can apply here.
Annual fee: $0
Other fees: Late payment $20- 35 on commercial account, $38 on Pro Xtra
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases: 17.99%, 21.99%, 25.99%, or 26.99%, based on creditworthiness
If your business provides construction, renovation, and other home improvement services (or if you’re redoing your office space), the Home Depot Business Credit Cards can offer you great financing opportunities and rewards on your frequent purchases. There are two types you can opt for:
- Pro Xtra Credit Card (Commercial Revolving Charge)
- Commercial Account
The Pro Xtra Credit Card allows for more payment flexibility with minimum or full payment each month. Users also get to earn points or Pro Xtra Perks 4x faster on up to $1,000,000 of Qualifying Purchases in any calendar year. These perks include tool rental, access to exclusive products, personalized offers, and discounts on paints, stains and primers. No cashback is offered but being a commercial revolving charge card, you can get a credit line starting at $500 based on your personal creditworthiness.
As for the Commercial Account option, users get a 2% early pay discount or 60-day payment term. There is no set APR on purchases or minimum payment. However, payments are due in full each month, meaning these operate a little more like charge cards. Apply for Home Deport Business Credit Cards here.
Annual fee: $0
Other fees: Greater of $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, late payment up to $39
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases: 15.74% to 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness
*The information above covers the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card
There are four types of business cards offered by Lowe’s - Lowe’s Business Advantage, Business Rewards Card, Lowe’s Commercial Account, Lowe’s PreLoad Discover Card. With such a vast range, business owners are bound to find one that fits their needs.
One that offers great overall value is the Business Rewards Card with 5% cashback (on purchases at Lowe’s for the first 6 months, 2% thereafter), rewards points that can be redeemed for statement credits or gift cards, and 1% cashback on other eligible purchases.
But if rewards are not the top priority for you, look into the Commercial Account for longer billing cycles or the PreLoad card for better expense management, discounts and no credit checks.
Annual fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases: 14.99%-29.99% on qualifying purchases
As a Staples More Account Business cardholder, you are entitled to special financing in the form of six, 12, and 18 month deferred plans, as well as 5% in cashback on eligible purchases. You also get free next-day delivery on goods with no minimum purchase.
Business owners who want to build business credit and practice good business financial habits should look into getting store accounts with the stores they frequent the most for their business. This card may not offer the most benefits, but you can get valuable savings on office supplies and take advantage of the flexible payment terms.
Annual fee: $0
Other fees: Late fees of $15 on balances up to $100; $29 on balances of $100-$250; $39 on balances of $250 and over. Returned payment fee of $39.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases: 23.99%; minimum finance charge $2.00
The Office Depot Business Credit Account is one of two types of business accounts available through the company. The alternative, the Office Depot Business Account, requires payment in full at the end of each month. It’s another option worth looking into, but for the purposes of covering accounts that allow you to carry a balance, we’ll stick to talking about the Business Credit Account.
This credit card is serviced by Citi. As of March 11, 2022, Office Depot is offering $50 back on your first purchase of $150 or more as a one-time sign-up bonus, when you qualify for and use the card. In addition, the Office Depot Business Credit Account offers automatic rewards for purchases. It’s not stated if these are in the form of cash back, gift cards, or points. If you frequent Office Depot often, this could be a good option to help you save some money and build business credit.
Gas and Fuel
The Shell Small Business Card lets you make gas purchases while reaping savings and rebates up to 6 cents a gallon on fuel at 14,000 Shell stations and discounts at nationwide participating automotive solutions provider, Jiffy Lube. As a business owner, you get clear oversight through online tools and can set limits on what, when, and how much can be purchased, and by whom. Trucking companies can probably make the most out of this card, but even if you’re simply on the road a lot for business, this is an easy way to get the most out of your fuel expenses. You will also receive reports straight to your email detailing areas of opportunities for savings.
If you are looking for a fuel card that does more, the Chevron and Texaco Business Card accepted at 8,000 fuel stations helps you save on tires, hotels, fleet tools and more. There are no annual, setup, or other card fees. Rebates start at 1 cent per gallon for a minimum of 500 gallons per billing period, and can go up to 6 cents per gallon for over 10,000 gallons. There is also the option of the Chevron and Texaco Business Access Card if your employees frequent other gas stations often and you need extra flexibility.
There are two cards business owners can choose from here. The Circle K Fleet Card can be used at 6,000 locations. On top of that, the easy-to-read monthly reports give you details of all your transactions and helps you save time with month-to-date and year-to-date reporting. You can also prevent unauthorized purchases and protect lost or stolen cards with the unique identification numbers assigned to each driver. If you need to adjust purchase limits, you can easily do so using the online tool.
As for the Circle K Universal Fleet Card, on top of all the benefits of the Circle K Fleet Card, you also can access 95% of fuel retailers nationwide and 45,000 service locations coast to coast. It is a great option to consider if your fleet often travels long-haul across the country.
Last Words on Store Credit Cards for Small Business
There are many store credit card offers for business on the market, and the best one for you mainly comes down to the purchases you make most often. When it comes to business accounts, there typically aren’t as great first-year promotions, intro APR’s, or other kinds of bonus rewards as is more common with consumer credit cards.
Store credit cards can help you get the most value from your frequent business purchases, but they can be limiting in certain aspects. For example, fuel cards bring you cashback on fuel purchases but may not offer you more flexible payment terms. Or, interest charges may not be favorable enough to justify carrying a balance.
Depending on your business needs and current spending patterns, weigh the strengths of each card to optimize your finances. If we were to give our two cents, we’d recommend viewing store credit cards as tools to help your business save money on everyday expenses, and to kickstart your business credit building. Need more recommendations, or looking for some honest reviews? Check out this Facebook group.