Ultimate Rewards Points

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

$100 Lowes Giftcard for $90 at Staples starting Nov 29th

I love shopping st Staples and especially using my Chase Ink Business card because it earns me 5X Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases at office stores. Ultimate Rewards are awesome and extremely valuable as you can transfer them to several travel partners such as United, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Amtrak, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air and hotel programs such as Hyatt and IHG.

Starting tomorrow Staples will be selling $100 Lowes GC for $90 – a saving of 10% plus you will earn 450 UR points on purchases. You can further maximize your earning by using shopping portals, checkout best rates at cashbackmonitor.com. I will probably use the UR portal as it will let me earn additional 2X at Staples making it a 7X return which is awesome with a $10 discount on each GC.

 

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If you have home renovations or other expenses coming up at Lowes then it may be worth stocking up on these GC.

Earn a lot of UR points every year and do what I did – Transfer them to Hyatt and IHG to stay at Hotels around the worldwide for FREE!!

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Our  “almost free” Oceanfront Suite at Holiday Inn Montego Bay Jamaica. Some of the points where earned using UR

 

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Enjoying a fancy meal at one of the restaurants in Holiday Inn Montego Bay

BTW, if you are looking to apply for new credit cards all Chase cards that earn UR have increased sign up offer for a limited time –   Chase Sapphire Preferred (bonus 50,000 points), Chase INK PLUS Business Card (60,000 points)

I offer FREE Credit Card Consultation to help you plan your next trip. Feel free to contact me using the form below.

Categories: Chase, Staples, Ultimate Rewards Points | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Fly Business Class One-way to Europe under $350 using this strategy

Introduction

Staples recently started selling $300 visa gift cards online and this is great news for folks who have the Chase Ink Business Credit Card as it earns 5X on office supplies for the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. For a limited time Chase Ink Plus card is  offering 60,000 sign-up bonus after spending $5000 in three months which is almost $800 in Travel rewards (annual fee $95 not waived) if you use the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal. However, you can further maximize the bonus by transferring UR points to other partners such as United, Southwest and many more.

So now I will show you how you can use a simple manufactured spending strategy to reach Europe for under $350.

The Scoop

For every $300 visa gift card you purchase from staples you will pay a fees of $8.95 earning 1545 Ultimate Rewards points. These Visa gift cards are pin-enabled and can be loaded onto any prepaid cards such as Bluebird, Serve or Target Redcard. You may use the prepaid cards to pay other bills such as mortgage, utility bills etc or turn around and pay back the Chase Ink card you used to purchase the gift card from Staples at first place.

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Now, remember United Airlines is transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards for transfer ratio of 1:1. Let’s price out an award ticket from North America To Paris for sometime next year. For reference I am using Dulles Airport, Washington DC (IAD) but you can try other airports.

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One-way flights from IAD to Paris are available for 57,500 United Miles or Ultimate Reward points. If you are signing up for the Chase Ink Business Card then the sign-up bonus of 60,000 points  is enough to score one business class ticket to Paris from IAD on United Airlines, but who likes to travel alone!!! Lets see how we can use the Staples $300 Visa to our earn this business class ticket for cheap.

As each $300 visa gift card with $8.95 purchase fees will earn you 1545 UR points, you will need 38 gift cards to earn 58710 UR points while paying $340 in purchase fees. Now you can easily transfer the points to United and book the award tickets by just paying another $25 for award fees.

Would you like to see what is the retail price if you were to buy these tickets using straight cash? Hold your breath ladies and gentlemen!!!

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Staggering $7000 + one way business class ticket to Europe can be bought for under $350

WOW!! $7991 for a one way ticket to Paris from IAD.

paris happy girl eiffel

You will be jumping after reaching Paris in Business class for $350

Conclusion

Using the Chase Ink Business credit card and a little bit of manufactured spending by purchasing the $300 Visa gift card from Staples you can score business class tickets to Europe for under $350. You can get creative using UR points and  transfer them to Singapore Airlines to fly the suite for pennies!!

Categories: Gift Cards, Manufactured Spending, Staples, Ultimate Rewards Points, United | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

How I earned 723,000 miles and points in 2014 and where all did we travel

Where all did we travel in 2014?

I am glad to end 2014 on a very happy note . By implementing several strategies, credit card sign-up bonus and bonus miles via referral I was able to acquire more than 700,000 miles and points without flying.We used some of these miles and points to travel for almost free  to destinations like Washington D.C, Myrtle beach, Miami, NYC, Baltimore, Cancun and the highlight of this year was our 10 days Trip to Europe (Spain and France) which costed me barely  $500 (airfare+ lodging) for two people while flying business class on US Air (more details in next week posts) and staying at some top-notch five star hotels in the best of the locations. A one way-business class from North America to Europe itself  costs average $5000 per person for which I paid 50,000 miles and $15 in award fees . You could easily earn 50,000 US Airways miles by applying for the soon to be discontinued US Airways Premier World MasterCard

View from the revolving restaurant at Double Tree Crystal City we stayed in August 2014

US at The Eiffel Tower, Paris

Enjoying authentic delicacies in Madrid

Yum Yum Chocolate raspberry cake in business class of US Air travelling from Philadelphia – Madrid

Segwaying in Madrid with the Royal palace in background

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Enjoying drinking Bailey’s in US Air business class while watching Dawn of the planet of the Apes

 

Can I get one of everything please???? – Business Class US Airways

View from our beautiful suite at Le Meridien Barcelona right in the heart of La Ramblas

How I earned 723,000 miles and points in 2014?

The question you may ask – did you sign-up for like 20 credit cards? The answer is NO!!! Between my wife and I we signed up for a total of nine credit cards in 2014. As we also purchased a house I did not want a lot of hard inquiries before securing our most important investment and I also recommend you do not apply for any credit cards or loan applications at least six months leading into any home or car mortgage. Read more about it on my post on Credit 101. Here is a summary on how I earned all those miles –

Credit Card, Account or Spend Miles or Points Type Cost / Minimum Spend
Citi AA Executive Card X 2 (Expired now)

220,000

AA miles $450 account fees, $200 statement credit
United MileagePlus Explorer

55,000

United miles $1000 spend in 3 months, annual fee waived 1st year
Barclaycard Arrivalplus Mastercard x 2

88,000

Travel Credit of $880 $3000 spend in 3 months, annual fee waived 1st year
US Airways Premier World Mastercard x 2

100,000

US Airways miles After 1st purchase, no minimum
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card American Express

35,000

AA miles $3000 spend in 4 months, annual fee waived 1st year
Chase Ink Plus business card

55,000

UR points $5,000 spend in 3 months, annual fee waived 1st year
Chase Ink Plus Refer a friend promo

50,000

UR points None. I referred five friends who all got approved
British Airways VISA Signature

50,000+70,000+Free Companion Ticket

BA Avios $3000 spend in 3 months, 50 K bonus (after 20 k spend) and companion ticket after spending total of $30,000 in one calendar year, $95 annual fees not waived

The total comes out to be 723000 miles. I would have to circle the earth many a times  if all those miles were to be earned via flying. I also earned several thousand miles and points (not accounted above)  via shopping through online portals  my personal favorites being  the Ultimate Rewards mall and BarclayBoost.

Questions?

Would you like to earn over 500,000 miles in 2015? Don’t know how to redeem the miles to get best value? How to get upgraded to a suite? I’d love to show you how you can implement several strategies to get to your dream destination for real cheap. Follow my blog or drop me a line and I’d love to answer your questions and help you plan your next trip.

Bucket List – Mystique Hotel Santorini where a room typically costs $600/night I plan on staying for almost free in 2015.

Bucket List 2015- British Airways B777-300 First Class – Retail cost $10,000 per person round trip from IAD to most places in Europe. I plan to redeem 120,000 British Airways Avios along with the free companion ticket to travel in this beauty for pennies!!

Bucket List 2015 – Andaz Maui, Hawaii yet another top class hotel where you can easily score free nights

PS – I get commission from some of the links mentioned in the post here. You don’t have to but I am grateful if you plan to  use my referral link to sign up for any of these cards

Categories: British Airways Avios, Credit cards, Ultimate Rewards Points | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

70K Ink Plus Bonus Refer a Friend Offer: Up to 50K Points for Referring Friends

70K Ink Plus Refer a Friend Offer - Earn Up to 50K Bonus Points

The 70K Ink Plus  Bonus Offer is not new, it’s been available at Chase bank branches for awhile. But now there’s an Ink Plus Refer a Friend targeted offer for some Ink Plus cardholders, that may enable you to refer friends to the 70K Ink Plus offer and earn up to 50K Ultimate Rewards points for successfully referring 5 friends.

1. Go to Chase Refer a Friend

Enter your last name, zip code and last 4 digits of your Ink Plus card number to see if you’re eligible to refer friends.

2. Invite Friends Who Want the Ink Plus Business Credit Card

If you’re eligible, you’ll see a screen such as the one below, where you can enter the first name, last name and email address of your friends to send them an emailed invite.

I recommend instead that you click on the Facebook/Twitter link to get your own personal referral link and send that to your friends, so that they don’t have to wait and can apply right away.

70K Ink Plus Refer a Friend Offer

3. Feel Free to Use My or Others’ Referral Links

If you don’t already have a spouse, partner or friend with the Ink Plus and would like to help someone out with referral points, feel free to apply either via my link Chase Ink 70 K Offer

FAQ

When Must I Invite Friends Who Are Business Owners By?

The deadline to invite other business owners is by October 10, 2014

When Must My Invitees Apply By?

Those you invite have until October 20, 2014 to apply, and if they are approved, must use the card byJanuary 21, 2015 in order for you to receive referral credit.

Are My Invitees Eligible for the 70K Ink Plus Bonus?

The terms of the offer state: “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this business credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this business credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this business credit card within the last 24 months.” Hence, I would recommend that you not encourage colleagues to apply if they already have the Ink Plus card, even if it’s for another business.

Instead, you might want to encourage them to apply for the 50K Ink Bold Visa, especially if they have never had the Ink Bold or previously had the Ink Bold MasterCard, since Chase considers the Visa and MasterCard variants different products (Chase has since switched all its cards to Visa).

What’s the Maximum Number of Ultimate Rewards Points I Can Receive By Referring Others?

You can receive 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points per approved applicant up to 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points per calendar year. Note that the 50,000 limit applies across all Chase refer a friend opportunities, not just the Ink Plus.

When Will the Bonus Ultimate Rewards Points Post to My Account?

Allow 6-8 weeks after the first purchase of a successful applicant that you referred.

Is There a 70K Ink Plus Offer with $95 Annual Fee Waived? I Want My Invitees to Get the Best Offer.

No, to my knowledge there are no 70K Ink Plus bonus offers with the $95 annual fee waived. Assuming your invitees know how to use Ultimate Rewards points well, the extra 20,000 points are well worth the annual fee.

What Are the Best Ways to Use Ultimate Rewards Points?

Ever since the United Award Chart Devaluation and with Singapore KrisFlyer Now a Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner my favorite use of Ultimate Rewards points has been transferring them to KrisFlyer, to be able to redeem for  Singapore Suites on the A380 or Singapore New First Class. Another good use if flying to North Asia is to transfer to Korean Air Skypass. Also see Book Korean Air Skypass Awards Online.

Categories: Ultimate Rewards Points | Tags: | 1 Comment

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