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Most major credit card issuers are known for offering specific types of cards, whether that includes cards within their own loyalty program (i.e. Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards) or credit cards co-branded with specific airlines and hotel brands.
Citi, which first moved into card-based banking with Citicards (a card-based payment system) in 1974, is no exception. When it comes to Citi credit cards, most consumers know about the Citi ThankYou Rewards program, as well as the issuer’s relationship with American Airlines and Costco.
Citi also offers two business credit cards that are geared to specific types of customers. Both are rewards credit cards, meaning the cardmember can rack up points for their spending that they can use within a specific loyalty or rewards program.
If you’re a small-business owner who wants a business credit card from Citi, you’ll want to compare the available options to see which one might work best for your needs. Keep reading to learn about Citi credit cards for business, their main highlights and who they’re best for.
Bankrate’s picks for the best Citi business credit cards in 2020:
- Best for frequent flyers: CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
- Best for gas and bulk shopping: Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
- Earn 65,000 American AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $4,000 on your card within four months of account opening
- Earn 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and gas stations; also earn 1X miles on other purchases
- Qualify for a first checked bag free on domestic flights
- $0 annual fee the first year, then $99
- No foreign transaction fees
Why it’s best for frequent flyers
The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard is the only Citi business credit card co-branded with an airline, but it’s still an excellent option for frequent flyers. The initial bonus on this card is generous, and the fact you can earn 2X miles in so many categories is another major plus. Further, the sign-up bonus alone (currently 65,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first four months) on this card is enough for two round-trip MileSAAver domestic flights or a round-trip flight to Europe during peak season.
This card also comes with some unique benefits that can make travel more affordable. First, you’ll receive a free checked bag for yourself and up to four companions traveling on your itinerary. This perk applies to domestic flights marketed by American Airlines.
You can also qualify for a companion certificate, which lets you pay $99 plus taxes and fees for a domestic economy companion fare when you spend at least $30,000 or more on your credit card within a cardmember year and renew your card membership. You do have to pay for a qualifying domestic Main Cabin fare ticket and meet a few additional requirements to qualify.
Finally, this card waives the $99 annual fee for the first 12 months, and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees. If you want to earn the bonus and give the cardholder perks a try for 12 months without a fee, the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard makes it easy to do so.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
- Earn 4 percent back on up to $7,000 spent on eligible gas purchases per year (then 1 percent), 3 percent back on dining and eligible travel, 2 percent back on purchases made at Costco or Costco.com and 1 percent back on everything else
- No annual fee with your Costco membership and no foreign transaction fees
- Qualify for extended warranties of up to two years on eligible purchases
- Costco membership required
Why it’s best for gas and bulk shopping
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi is an excellent option if your business spends a lot on gas. You’ll earn 4 percent back on up to $7,000 spent on gas annually (then 1 percent), which works out to $280 in rewards if you’re able to max out this category each year. Earning 3 percent back on dining and travel is also a major plus, especially since this rate applies to purchases made through the highly valuable Costco travel portal. You’ll also earn 2 percent back at Costco and 1 percent back on other purchases, making this offer well-rounded and ideal for people who shop at Costco often.
The only real downside of this card is the fact there’s no initial bonus offer. Also, note that you can only redeem your rewards once per year when your February account statement closes and that rewards come in the form of a rewards certificate good for cash back or merchandise at Costco stores.
Consider pairing your card with consumer credit card from Citi
If you’re considering a Citi business credit card but are frustrated by your lack of options, you should also take a close look at personal credit cards from Citi. The Citi ThankYou Rewards program has some pretty valuable options, including the Citi Premier℠ Card and the Citi Prestige® Card. Both of these cards let you rack up points good for gift cards, merchandise, travel through the Citi portal and even transfers to Citi airline partners.
If you’re a frequent flyer, you could also pair your CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard® with an American Airlines credit card for consumers, like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. Keep in mind that you can have a personal and business American AAdvantage card from Citi, and pairing both options can help you earn the welcome bonuses on both cards and earn more rewards over time.
Finally, check out cash back credit cards from Citi, including the popular Citi® Double Cash Card. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, yet you earn a total of 2 percent back for each dollar you spend—1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off.
The information about the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard, the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi, the Citi Premier Card, the Citi Prestige Card and the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
How to choose a business credit card
Before you choose a Citi business credit card, you should explore your alternatives and decide which card might work best for your needs. Here are some tips that can help:
- Figure out the type of rewards you want to earn. Before you decide to earn rewards in a specific loyalty program, you should make sure you can actually use them. Compare frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty programs along with flexible rewards programs that let you redeem points in more than one way. You may find that a cash back credit card or flexible travel card makes more sense for your business than a card that is tied to a specific loyalty program.
- Compare annual fees. See how business credit cards stack up based on their annual fees and keep in mind that many business credit cards don’t charge one. If you decide to pay an annual fee for a credit card, you should make sure you’re getting plenty of value in return.
- See how earning rates align with your spending. Also, make sure any credit card you decide on lets you earn generous rewards based on how you normally spend. If your business typically spends a lot on Amazon.com or in office supply stores, for example, look for cards that offer bonus points in those categories.
Consider pairing cards to optimize your rewards. Decide whether you should only have one credit card or whether you should sign up for a few cards that offer complementary benefits. Sometimes pairing cards with different bonus categories is the best way to ensure your rewards haul grows