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8 Best Credit Cards for Freelancers & Side Hustlers of 2021

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

Driving for a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft or a food delivery app like DoorDash or Instacart. Working as a writer or graphic designer for hire. Teaching English online in your spare time. These are among the most popular side gigs and freelance opportunities for people looking to earn extra income.

These solopreneurs count as self-employed individuals — small-business owners, technically — and are typically eligible for many small-business credit cards. This is true even for those with no plans to turn their side business into a full-time enterprise.

What follows is a list of the best credit cards for freelancers and side hustlers hoping to earn rewards for business-related purchases and raise their business credit score in the process.

Best Business Credit Cards for Freelancers and Side Hustles

The best small-business credit cards for freelancers, sole proprietors, and side hustlers pair modest annual fees — if they have annual fees at all — with generous rewards programs whose bonus categories favor general spending or a broad range of everyday business expenses.

Many have attractive sign-up bonuses — also known as welcome offers, welcome bonuses, or early spend bonuses, depending on the issuer.

1. Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Sign-Up Bonus Worth $750; Earn Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Eligible Purchases

Ink Business Unlimited Card Art 7 30 21

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Chase Ink Business Unlimited® is a popular small-business cash-back credit card with no annual fee.

Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card, its roughly equivalent personal credit card, it earns unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on eligible purchases. Unlike Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Unlimited has no spending categories at all, so it’s very simple to calculate your expected return on spending.

Ink Business Unlimited also has an amazing sign-up bonus for cardholders able to spend $7,500 in eligible purchases during the first three months. The introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases is rare to find on a business credit card too, easily justifying its inclusion on our list of the best business credit cards.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash (bonus points) after spending $7,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months after account opening.
  • Key Fees: The foreign transaction fee is 3%, but there is no annual fee or fee for authorized users (employee cards).
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening.
  • Regular APR: Following the close of the promotional period, the regular purchase APR ranges between 13.24% to 19.24% variable. The exact rate depends on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates.
  • Other Perks: This card has some additional fringe benefits worth noting, including purchase protection on covered items (for 120 days after purchase, up to $10,000 per claim) and complimentary auto rental insurance when you pay for your rental in full with your card.

See our Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Apply Now


2. Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Sign-Up Bonus Worth $750; 5% Cash Back on Telecommunications Purchases & Purchases at Office Supply Stores; 2% Cash Back on Purchases at Gas Stations & Restaurants

Ink Business Cash Card Art 7 30 21

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The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is another Chase-issued business card with no annual fee.

Its sign-up bonus is identical to Ink Business Unlimited’s, and its rewards program is more generous for freelancers and side hustlers who frequent office supply stores, gas stations, and restaurants.

Its bonus categories break down as follows:

  • Earn 5% cash-back rewards on the first $25,000 in combined annual purchases at office supply stores and on Internet, cable, and phone services.
  • Earn 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 in combined annual purchases at gas stations and restaurants.
  • Earn 1% cash-back on all other eligible purchases, with no spending caps or restrictions.

Otherwise, this card has the same great lineup of perks and benefits as Ink Business Unlimited.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash back after spending $7,500 within three months of signing up for your account.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • Regular APR: When the introductory period ends, the regular purchase APR rises to between 13.24% and 19.24% variable, depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates.
  • Other Perks: Fringe benefits include Chase’s Purchase Protection plan, which covers new purchases against damage or theft for 120 days (up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 total per account). Plus, enjoy complimentary extended warranty protection for an additional year on items with original warranties of three years or less.

See our Chase Ink Business Cash Card review for more information. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now


3. American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Earn 2% Cash Back on the First $50,000 in Eligible Purchases

Amex Bbc Card Art

Apply Now

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has an excellent rewards program that favors everyday business spending, no annual fee, and a 12-month 0% APR introductory promotion for purchases. Terms apply.

For rewards-hungry side hustlers, the highlight of Blue Business Cash is its rewards program, which pays 2% cash back on the first $50,000 per year in combined eligible purchases. Purchases over this annual spending cap earn 1% cash back.

Terms and conditions apply — see rates and fees.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new card in the first three months.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee for this card. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%, and late and returned payments cost up to $39.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please visit this rates and fees page.
  • Regular APR: Following the end of the introductory period, the variable regular APR rises to a range between 13.24% and 19.24% variable, depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates. See rates and fees for more details.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply: See rates and fees.

See our American Express Blue Business Cash Card review for more information. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please visit this rates and fees page.


4. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Earn 2X Membership Rewards® Points on up to $50,000 in Purchases per Year

Amex Blue Business Plus Card Art 6 3 21

Apply Now

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is another no-annual-fee business credit card that’s ideal for freelancers.

Like Blue Business Cash, its rewards program favors everyday business purchases and pays double (2 Membership Rewards® points per $1 spent) on eligible purchases up to the first $50,000 in combined annual spending, after which eligible purchases earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent. Terms apply.

Also like Blue Business Cash, it has a solid 0% APR introductory promotion.

Terms and conditions apply — see the full list of rates and fees.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 15,000 bonus points (Membership Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on the Card within your first three months of card membership.
  • Key Fees: This card has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%, late and returned payments cost up to $39, and balance transfers cost $5 or 3%.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from your account opening date. After that, variable regular APR applies, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. Terms apply; for rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.
  • Regular APR: The variable regular APR for purchases rises to between 13.24% and 19.24% variable following the end of the introductory period. The exact rate depends on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. Please visit this rates and fees page for more detail.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply: See rates and fees.

See our Blue Business Plus Card from American Express review for more information. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now

For rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.


5. Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Unlimited 2% Cash Back on All Purchases; Up to $1,000 Bonus Cash As an Early Spend Bonus

Capital One Spark Cash Select Card Art 8 17 21

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Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a premium business cash-back card with a category-leading early spend bonus (worth up to $1,000 bonus cash) and a super-generous rewards program that earns a flat, unlimited 2% back on all eligible purchases.

Big spenders can take advantage of a $200 bonus cash offer after spending at least $200,000 in a year, though many small-time freelancers probably won’t get there.

  • Early Spend Bonus: This card has a two-part early spend bonus that earns up to $1,000 bonus cash. First, earn $500 bonus cash once you spend at least $5,000 in the first three months. Then, earn an additional $500 bonus cash once you spend at least $50,000 in the first six months.
  • Key Fees: There’s a $150 annual fee. There is no foreign transaction fee. 
  • Other Perks: Take advantage of a nice lineup of business perks at no additional out-of-pocket cost. Plus, employee cards are free and earn unlimited 2% cash back too.

See our Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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6. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Big Early Spend Bonus; 2 Miles per $1 Spent on All Purchases

Capital One Spark Miles Card Art 8 17 21

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The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card is similar to Spark Cash for Business.

The main difference: It has a mileage-based rewards program that’s great for travelers who’d prefer to redeem for credit against eligible travel purchases rather than general statement credits. It’s a travel rewards credit card, in other words.

All eligible purchases earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent, with no spending caps or categories. Redeem for airfare, hotel stays, and more.

  • Early Spend Bonus: After spending at least $4,500 during the first three months your account is open, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles — worth $500 when redeemed for eligible travel purchases.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 per year. There’s no balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fee.
  • Introductory APR: There’s no intro APR.
  • Other Perks: Seamlessly transfer your travel rewards miles to more than 10 leading travel programs, including JetBlue and Air Canada. Plus, enjoy the peace of mind that comes with reimbursement (subject to per-incident limits) for trips and reservations canceled due to illness, accidents, and other hardships.

See our Capital One Spark Miles for Business review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Learn More


7. Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business – $500 Bonus

$500 Early Spend Bonus; 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases

Capital One Spark Cash Select Card Art 8 17 21

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Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business – $500 Bonus has a lot in common with Capital One Spark Miles Select. Its rates and fees are very similar. The differences are largely limited to the rewards program, which trades in cash instead of miles. 

Spark Cash Select for Business – $500 Bonus has a very attractive early spend bonus, as its name suggests. Spend at least $4,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership and you’ll receive $500 bonus cash.

There’s also the ongoing rewards program, which promises 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases without caps or restrictions. Redeem in any amount. 

  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash after spending $4,500 on eligible purchases within three months of account opening.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee, balance transfer fee, or foreign transaction fee.
  • Introductory APR: None.
  • Other Perks: Get customized, fully itemized quarterly spending reports at no additional charge.

See our Capital One Spark Cash Select Business Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Learn More


8. Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business – 0% APR for 12 Months

0% APR on Purchases for 12 Months From Account Opening; 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases

Capital One Spark Cash Select Card Art 8 17 21

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Spark Cash Select – 0% APR for 12 Months has the same great ongoing rewards program as the “other” Spark Cash Select card.

But instead of an early spend bonus for cardholders who clear $4,500 in eligible purchases in the first three months, it has an excellent introductory APR promotion: 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening. 

  • Early Spend Bonus: None.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee, balance transfer fee, or foreign transaction fee.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening. After that, variable regular APR applies.
  • Other Perks: Get quarterly spending reports and other business-friendly perks courtesy of Capital One.

See our Capital One Spark Cash Select Business Card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Learn More


Final Word

Because freelancers and side hustlers are eligible for many credit cards traditionally marketed to small-business owners with employees or contractors on the payroll, this list overlaps considerably with our overall list of the best credit cards for small-business owners.

The lists aren’t identical, however.

Some of the top cards for small businesses, such as the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and the Amex Business Platinum Card, aren’t ideal for part-time entrepreneurship or freelance work due to some combination of high annual fees, strict credit underwriting requirements, and welcome offers that require heavier spending than most side hustlers can manage.

That’s not to say those cards don’t appeal to unusually prolific side hustlers.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to scale your side business into a full-time enterprise with a balance sheet to match, you might find yourself in search of a credit card with a credit limit to meet your spending needs. When that day comes, you’ll be only too happy to trade up.

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please visit this rates and fees page.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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