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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.
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.
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