American Express

How I Maximize Credit Card Rewards as a Small Business Owner

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Are you maximizing the rewards your business earns from credit cards?  Business cards can be very lucrative and an important part of any award travel strategies.  Here are five tips to help you get the most from your business rewards.

You may have a business and you don’t already know it.

Even if you don’t have a traditional business, you may still be eligible for small business cards.  Do you sell a few items on eBay or Amazon?  Do you receive 1099 income?  Do you do any freelance work?  These are all considered businesses.  You do not need an EIN to apply for a business credit card, you can use your social security number instead.

Have a goal in mind for using the points

A good strategy is to have a goal in mind before signing up for any credit cards.  Do you prefer cash back or travel?  If travel, are there any specific locations you are trying to visit?  Once you know what you would like to do with the rewards, you can choose cards that fit those needs.

Ireland photo

On our recent trip to Ireland, all airfare, hotels and car rentals were booked 100% with points from my small business.

You can double up on sign-up bonuses

Many of the major credit card issuers offer the same or similar cards in both personal and business versions.  This allows you to apply and hold two different versions of the same card.  In addition, business cards usually offer more lucrative sign-up bonuses and benefits.

Most issuers do not report business cards to credit reports, so they will little to no impact on your credit score.  (Capital One and Discover are the exceptions to this).  Therefore, if you are concerned about any negative impacts from new lines of credit, you needn’t worry with business cards.

Strategically choose credit cards that match your spending habits

Many credit cards offer bonuses for expenditures in various categories.  Depending on which categories your business spends in the most, there are different cards that are best for each category.  For example, the Chase Ink Preferred card offered bonus points for travel and digital advertising, among other categories.  The Chase Ink Cash card offers bonus points for purchases at office supply stores.

A great strategy is to combine cards that offer category bonuses with a card that offers increased points on general purchases.  The Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card offers double the points on the first $50,000 each calendar year.

Stick to bank cards over airline or hotel cards

I would recommend sticking with cards that offer bank reward points over specific airline cards.  These cards offer the most flexibility and don’t lock you into a specific travel program.  The one exception to this would be the Amex SPG Rewards card.  This card allows transfers to numerous airlines, which makes it more versatile than a regular hotel card.  SPG points earn a 5000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred over.

The best three programs are Chase, Amex and Citi.  Cards from these banks allow you to earn points with their respective rewards programs, which can be transferred to many different airline and hotels.

What cards would you recommend?

Among the many business cards you’d find in my wallet are the Chase Ink Preferred and Amex SPG Rewards card.  The Chase Ink Preferred offers access to arguably the most lucrative of all reward programs, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.



There are many benefits to using reward cards with your small business, more numerous than I touched on here.  If you have a plan for your spending and choose your cards with intention, you can turn your typical business spending into cash or travel rewards for you and your family.

Learn more on credit cards by following our Facebook Page Credit Card 101

Categories: American Express, Business Cards, Chase, Ultimate Rewards Points | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Get 5 Hotel Nights + 50,000 Miles from Two Credit Cards

There is less than one week left for the temporarily increased 30,000 point sign-up bonuses for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card Amex and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Amex, and so to encourage those on the edge or planning a vacation I wanted to share what I think is potentially the very best use of those points in case it may help get your wheels turning on what you could do for your family.  Since we are firmly back in the “little kid” stage for many years to come, we are now focused on  easily attainable family-friendly options.

If you are in a similar position, or even in a totally different phase of life, the Starwood Nights and Flights program is something that might be the perfect way to cover a big chunk of hotel and airfare costs for your next vacation.


SPG Award Nights and Airline Miles via Nights and Flights:

I think that SPG “Nights and Flights” is the most under-discussed gem of all SPG point redemption options.  Nights and Flights allow you to redeem SPG points for a combination of frequent flyer miles and hotel nights.  It’s kind of like a vacation package of sorts using points.  With Nights and Flights, you can redeem 60,000 SPG points for 50,000 airline miles plus five award nights at a Category 3 hotel or resort.  With Nights and Flights II, you can redeem 70,000 SPG points for 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 4 hotel or resort.  There are Category 4 hotels located in lots of great cities like: Scottsdale, Avon/Vail Valley, San Diego, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Asheville, Vancouver, Los Cabos, Kailua-Kona, Orlando (on Disney property), Sydney, and Hong Kong.

Let me put this deal another way…you can use the 70,000 points to not only get five free nights at a Category 4 hotel or resort (normally 10,000 points per night), but you also get 50,000 airline miles.  If the hotel you want is in the contiguous US or Canada, that means that you and your partner can use the 50,000 miles to each fly for free on saver award tickets on an airline like American Airlines, and then have five free hotel nights at your destination.  That is incredibly valuable from roughly just two credit card sign-ups!  I think this truly is the “hidden gem” of all SPG redemption options.

Get Over $2,200 in Hotels and Flights From Two Credit Cards:

As an example, if you have been looking to take your family to Disney World you can use SPG points to stay at the Walt Disney Swan or Walt Disney Dolphin Resorts that are located on Disney property and within walking or boat distance of both Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios.


Walt Disney Swan Dolphin

Via Nights and Flights you can stay at either of those resorts for five nights and then have 50,000 airline miles deposited into your airline account of choice with a program such as Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, and more.  You can use the 50,000 airline miles for the same trip as your hotel redemption, or save them for whatever you want to use them on in the future.

I priced out a five night stay in a standard room at the Walt Disney World Swan (a Westin) from May 9 – May 14 2016, and the lowest price on the SPG website was a non-refundable stay that rang in at $1,740.  If you wanted a refundable reservation that would cost you $1,795.  Those are huge numbers!

Screenshot 2015-09-11 at 11.58.08 PM

Airfare for those same dates on American Airlines from Houston to Orlando currently starts at $275 round trip each, so $550 for two people.  However, there is saver award availability for 25,000 miles each on American Airlines flights.

In this very random example, using 70,000 SPG points via Nights and Flights would save you over $2,100 in hotel and airfare costs for a Disney vacation!

How to Quickly Get 66,000 SPG Points:

To get these SPG points quickly, if you and your partner both get the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card Amex while the sign-up bonus is at 30,000 points (through 9/14/15), you would each have at least 33,000 SPG points after meeting the minimum spending requirement.  Since SPG allows you to combine points for free with anyone who shares your household address, you and your partner could easily have at least 66,000 SPG points just from each getting one credit card.  Earn just 4,000 more points between the two of you and you would have enough for five nights of hotel and 50,000 airline miles as described above thanks to Nights and Flights!

Note that Nights and Flights are only available for Category 3 and 4 hotels, they must be requested at least 14-30 days in advance (depending on the airline of choice), and the selected airline must have a 1:1 points transfer option from SPG.

Categories: American Express, Citi Credit Cards, SPG | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Amex Plantium 100k Signup Bonus Offer

The public offer for American Express Platinum card is 40,000 but using the below link in incognito mode on several browsers you should see the 100K offer after sending 3K in three months. This is a fantastic offer for the Platinum card with some awesome benefits and for a very low spending requirement. You can read all the benefits here.

Here is the link to the offer to apply for credit card – LINK


You would have to refresh the window several times if you do not see the 100k Offer. I was able to see the offer on the first go every time in incognito mode. In the past offer has gone up as high as 150 K but I doubt it is ever coming back.

The Fine Print and benefits overview

  • Must spend $3,000 within 3 months
  • $450 annual fee, not waived the first year
  • $200 Airline credit every calendar year
  • $100 Global Fee Entry credit
  • Centurion Lounge access (They have awesome food and are one of the best lounges in the country although very limited locations)
  • Free Priority club Lounge access
  • Enjoy complimentary access to unlimited WiFi at more than a million hotspots worldwide via Boingo preferred plan
  • Automatic Starwood preferred guest Gold status – Welcome gift, Early check-in Late checkout and more….
  • There are several more benefits and you can read them all here 

My wife got approved for the card right away!!!! There is a lot you can do with 100 K Amex points and travel around in some business and first class using the points for almost free!!

Categories: American Express, Credit cards | Tags: , | Leave a comment

American Express Offers – Reebok,, Williams Sonoma, Yelp Eat 24 and many more!!

American Express offers are awesome as they can help you save money on purchases at several stores. You need to have an American Express credit card to receive these offers. Prepaid cards such as Bluebird and Serve are also qualified to receive Amex Offers. You may need a twitter account for several of these deals and it just takes a few minutes to create one. If you have multiple Amex cards then you will need  separate twitter account for each card.

Here is a list of current promotions –

  1. Click here and sync your Amex card to your Twitter account
  2. From your Twitter account, tweet the following handles listed below to add the offer to your synced Amex Card
    • Note, be sure that you receive an “@ reply” message from @AmexSync stating that this offer has been added to your synced Card
      • Reebok: (Online)
        • $25 Statement Credit on Purchases of $100 or More
        • Tweet #AmexReebok
        • Valid 8/3-10/3/15
      • Yelp Eat24: (Online)
        • $5 Statement Credit on Purchases of $25 or More
        • Tweet #AmexYelpEat24
        • Valid 8/3-9/30/15
      • Diapers: (Online): Family Brands: Wag, Soap, Yoyo, Beautybar, Afterschool, Vinemarket, Look, Casa are also valid
        • $10 Statement Credit on Purchases of $50 or More
        • Tweet #AmexDiapers
        • Valid 8/3-9/30/15
      • Williams-Sonoma: (Online or In-Store)
        • $10 Statement Credit on Purchases $50 or More
        • Tweet #AmexWS
        • Valid 8/3-9/15/15
      • West Elm: (Online or In-Store)
        • $10 Statement Credit on Purchases $50 or More
        • Tweet #AmexWestElm
        • Valid 8/3-9/15/15
      • Pottery Barn: (Online or In-Store)
        • $10 Statement Credit on Purchases $50 or More
        • Tweet #AmexPotteryBarn
        • Valid 8/3-9/15/15
      • Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen: (Online or In-Store)
        • $10 Statement Credit on Purchases $50 or More
        • Tweet #AmexPBKids
        • Valid 8/3-9/15/15
      • Mark & Graham: (Online)
        • $10 Statement Credit on Purchases $50 or More
        • Tweet #AmexMarkGraham
        • Valid 8/3-9/15/15
      • Henri Bendel: (Online or In-Store)
        • $50 Statement Credit on Purchases $200 or More
        • Tweet #AmexHenriBendel
        • Valid 8/3-9/2/15
  3. Make a single purchase from the list above with your synced card by the allocated date and receive a Statement Credit
  4. A statement credit should be issued within 90 days after the ending offer on your qualifying purchase

HT : Slickdeals

Categories: American Express, Amex offers, Deals | Tags: | Leave a comment

Problem Logging into your Redcard account ?- Don’t Panic

I was having issues this morning logging into my Target Redcard prepaid account. Definitely concerned me as Flyertalk recently reported some accounts being shutdown which turned out to be a “hoax”.

I called The American Express Target Redcard customer service at 1-855-306-7395 this morning and looks like the Redcard servers are undergoing a system upgrade and most if not all users will be unable to login for at least eight hours. Bluebird and Serve logins are working fine.

Hopefully, the servers will be restored by end of the day and life will be back to normal!!

Categories: American Express, Redcard | Tags: , | Leave a comment

$1500 + Cashback by signing up for two credit cards, $20 Amazon gift card using Western Union


1.  $1500 cashback by signing up for two Business Credit cards

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN is offering 1.5% discount on the portion of your eligible purchases that you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date, as long as you pay the minimum payment due. Plus, get an additional $200 statement credit for every $10,000 you spend on the Card, up to $600 back. That can be an extra 2%. So the bottomline is , after spending $30,000 in three months which may be ridiculous for a lot of folks you would earn approximately $1050 back in statement credits. If you need ideas on how to spend $30,000 in three months shoot me an email and dI will share with you some tips and tricks to get minimum spending done. There is no annual fees for the first year and the annual fees for second year is $250.


Also, the Capital One is offering $500 cash back on its Capital One Spark Cash for Business after you spend $4500 in three months. This should be an easy-peasy for most folks. The typical sign-up bonus on this card is $200 so it is a good time to sign-up and take advantage of this offer. This card also has 2% cash back everyday on all purchases with no unlimited cashback. There is no  annual fees the first year  and second year fees is $59. Also, there is no foreign transaction fees.


How to Qualify for Business Credit cards?

Some of the business cards banks issue requires you to have an EIN (Employee Identification number).

You may easily qualify for business even if you are selling things on ebay, Amazon etc or are just starting of a new business . You may speak with a qualified CPA to discuss further.

Apply for an EIN by following these steps and it’s totally free

  1. Go to the IRS EIN page and scroll down to the bottom and click the link that says “APPLY ONLINE NOW.” You will find the EIN number application.
  2. Click the “Begin Application” button to apply for EIN number
  3. Answer about 10-15 quick questions
  4. That’s it! You just got a free EIN number.

After you submit your application you will get a PDF document with your EIN and save it where you can retrieve it easily. You would have to call IRS and retrieve the EIN if you ever misplace it. You can also apply for EIN over the phone at (800) 829-4933 from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

2.  $20 Amazon Gift Card by signing up for Western Union and sending $50.

If you sign up for Western Union via my referral link and send or transfer $50 to anyone then WU will credit you with a $20 Amazon gift card within 2-4 weeks. Once you sign-up you are also able to refer others and earn $20 per referral up to $100. You would pay a $5 fee by sending money using your bank account so you would earn a net profit of $15 after receiving you Amazon gift card values at $15. You can easily send money to friends and family and take advantage of this offer. Remember, this offer is only good for new accounts.

Categories: Amazon, American Express, Capital one, Cashback, Credit cards, Western Union | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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