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Of all the loyalty perks available to small business owners, you'd be hard-pressed to find one more relevant than cash. But like the unique needs of entrepreneurs, not all cash-back credit cards are created equal.

Here's a rundown of some of the better options out there for small businesses.

SCOTIA MOMENTUM VISA INFINITE

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Annual fee: $99, but the fee is waived the first year.

Interest rate: 19.99 per cent

Credit limit: Starts at $5,000

Other stipulations: To qualify, you'll need a minimum annual income of $60,000 and excellent credit.

Features:

  • A top pick for anyone who spends time on the road, the Infinite offers 4 per cent back on gas and groceries.
  • Cardholders receive 2 per cent cash back on recurring bills paid, such as for Internet and phone.
  • Everything else gets 1 per cent.
  • Emergency medical, trip interruption and other travel-related issues are usually covered under the card’s insurance policy. Some purchases are also covered for certain periods.

Tip: Work-trip abroad? Infinite cardholders receive a 20-per-cent discount on car rentals from Avis.

CAPITAL ONE ASPIRE TRAVEL WORLD MASTERCARD

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Annual fee: $120

Interest rate: 19.8 per cent

Credit limit: Starts at $5,000

Other stipulations: To qualify, you'll need a minimum annual income of $60,000 and excellent credit.

Features:

  • For the jet-set entrepreneur who also wants cash-back rewards, the Aspire Travel is a nice compromise that allows you to collect travel miles and seamlessly convert them to cash as you go.
  • You’ll bank two reward miles for every dollar on all purchases – travel, gas, groceries or otherwise. Don’t want the reward points? Convert the card to cash-back.
  • Earn 35,000 bonus miles for the first purchase and 10,000 anniversary bonus miles every year.

Tip: Give employees their own supplementary card at no extra cost.

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MBNA SMART CASH MASTERCARD

Annual fee: No annual fee

Interest rate: 19.99 per cent

Credit limit: Varies depending on the cardholder

Features:

  • For the first six months, the Smart Cash offers 5 per cent cash back on gas and groceries. Beyond that it’s 2 per cent.
  • Other purchases return 1 per cent.
  • When you hit $50 in cash back by the end of the month, MBNA automatically mails you a cheque.
  • Additional cards are free.

Tip: If you need cash flow for your business, the Smart Cash offers a 1.99-per-cent annual interest rate on balance transfers and deposits for the first 10 full months.

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HSBC PREMIER WORLD MASTERCARD WITH CASH-BACK

Annual fee: No annual fee

Interest rate: 12.9 per cent

Credit limit: Varies dependent on the cardholder

Other stipulations: To qualify, you'll need a minimum annual income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000 and excellent credit.

Features:

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  • For small business owners heading abroad, the Premier World offers 2 per cent cash-back on foreign currencies. At home, you receive 1.5 per cent on gas, groceries and at the drugstore.
  • The card comes with travel and medical insurance coverage of up to $1-million.
  • Items bought with the card – such as laptops and other office equipment – will be covered for loss, theft and damage for 90 days from purchase.
  • Card also doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty on purchases up to one year.

Tip: The HSBC Premier Privileges program offers discounts and gift cards for restaurants and sporting goods – use the rewards to treat your employees without paying too much out of pocket.

SIMPLYCASH PREFERRED CARD FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS

Annual fee: $79

Interest rate: 19.75 per cent

Credit limit: Varies dependent on the cardholder

Other stipulations: To qualify, you need a personal annual income of just $15,000.

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Features:

  • For the small business owner just starting out, this card hits the ground running, paying back 5 per cent on purchases made during the first 6 months (capped at $400).
  • After six months, earn 1.5 per cent back on all purchases across the board up to $100,000, then 1.25 per cent thereafter.
  • Rewards are pretty clear-cut. If you spend $1,250 a month, you’ll earn $225 annually.
  • Trip, travel and buyer’s insurance on most things purchased with the card.

Tip: American Express's "Front of the Line" access to concerts and sports events can help you woo any client playing hard to get.

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