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9 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 ride-hailing (rideshare) 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 Credit Cards for Freelancers and Side Hustles

The best small-business credit cards for freelancers 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

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 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.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $750 bonus cash after spending $7,500 in 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

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 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 range 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.

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3. American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

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

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.

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.

  • 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 % 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.

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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 Points on up to $50,000 in Purchases per Year

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 points per $1 spent) on eligible purchases up to the first $50,000 in combined annual spending, after which eligible purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. 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.

  • 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. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. 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 range 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 for Business

Earn $500 Bonus Cash as an Early Spend Bonus; Earn Unlimited 2% Cash Back on All Purchases

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card has an attractive rewards program and a very generous early spend bonus that’s worth $500 when you meet the spending requirement. Moving forward, the return on spending couldn’t be simpler to understand: unlimited 2% cash back, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn.

  • Early Spend Bonus: After you spend at least $4,500 in eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening, you’ll earn $500 bonus cash.
  • Key Fees: The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. There is no balance transfer or foreign transaction fee.
  • Introductory APR: There’s no introductory APR promotion.
  • Other Perks: You’ll receive a customized, itemized quarterly spending report four times per year with your credit card statement.

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

Apply Now


6. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

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

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. 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 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.

Apply Now


7. U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®

Earn Up to 3% Cash Back on Eligible Purchases and 25% Annual Bonus on Cash Back Earnings (Up to $250 Bonus Cash)

The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® is a no-annual-fee business cash-back card that earns 3% cash back on eligible purchases in the following categories:

  • Gas stations
  • Office supply stores
  • Cellphones and service providers

All other eligible purchases earn 1% cash back. And, unlike most no-annual-fee cash back cards, U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards delivers a 25% annual cash-back bonus that can add up to $250 to your total cash back haul for the year.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: After you spend at least $4,500 on eligible purchases during the first 90 days after opening your account, you’ll earn $500 bonus cash back.
  • Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2% to 3% of the transaction amount, depending on denomination.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles your account is open. Then variable regular APR applies.
  • Other Perks: This card comes with a standard lineup of World Elite Mastercard protections and benefits.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Apply Now


8. Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

Earn a $300 Statement Credit When You Make $3,000 in Eligible Purchases in the First 90 Days; Earn Up to 3% Cash Back on Select Purchases

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card has a generous rewards program, an attractive sign-up bonus, and no annual fee.

On the rewards front, you’ll earn 3% cash back on eligible purchases in your choice of six spending categories: gas stations (the default if you don’t make another choice), office supply stores, travel, telecommunications and wireless, computer services, or business consulting services. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on eligible dining purchases. Bonus earnings in the 2% and 3% categories are capped at $50,000 in combined annual category spending, after which purchases in those categories earn 1% cash back along with all other eligible spending.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Spend at least $3,000 in net eligible purchases in the first 90 days to earn a $300 statement credit bonus.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the total transaction amount.
  • Introductory APR: See terms for the latest APR information.
  • Regular APR: See terms for the latest APR information.
  • Other Perks: This card comes with a host of business tools, including a cash flow management suite.

See our Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Apply Now


9. Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card

Earn a 30,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus (Worth $300) With Qualifying Spend; Earn 3 Points Per $1 Spent on Eligible Travel Purchases

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® Credit Card is the travel rewards equivalent to the Business Advantage Cash Rewards card. It’s another no-annual-fee Bank of America card with a strong sign-up bonus and a generous rewards program for frequent travelers.

How generous? Eligible travel purchases made through the Bank of America® Travel Center earn unlimited 3 points per $1 spent. All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent, and you can redeem points for credits against virtually any travel or dining purchase.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: After you spend at least $3,000 in eligible purchases during the first 90 days your account is open, you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points — worth $300 when redeemed toward eligible travel or dining purchases.
  • Key Fees: The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
  • Introductory APR: See terms for the latest APR information.
  • Regular APR: See terms for the latest APR information.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy complimentary travel coverages and cash flow management tools at no additional out-of-pocket cost.

See our Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Apply Now


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 for 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.



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