Posts Tagged With: Chase

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

Over 500 Marriott Hotels changing categories

Marriott just announced that over 500 properties are now moving to a different category (some higher and other lower).

Here is a link to the announcement from Marriott

http://www.marriott.com/marriott-rewards/member-benefits/2016-category-update.mi

Points Reward for 1 Night Stay

Marriott has 9 tier award and the tier 1 hotels can be redeemed for 7,500 points and saver awards for 6000 per night. The top tier category is tier 9 and a one night stay at these hotels cost a whopping 45,000 point and 40,000 point using saver awards. Also remember if you Redeem 4 Nights. Get the 5th Night FREE!

1 7,500 6,000
2 10,000 7,500
3 15,000 10,000
4 20,000 15,000
5 25,000 20,000
6 30,000 25,000
7 35,000 30,000
8 40,000 35,000
9 45,000 40,000
Harbor_East_0014_Marriott_evening

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront will now cost lesser points as it drops from Category 8 to 7

 

 

Right now is a good time to apply for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Credit card as it will earn you 80,000 bonus points after you spend $3000 in the first three months from account opening. Also,  earn additional 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening. That is almost 90,000 points which can be used for FREE 12 nights or more at Tier 1 Hotels worldwide. The card does have an annual fees of $85 that is not waived.  Another HUGE benefit from the card is that you Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date which very well justifies the $85 annual fees.

 

 

Categories: Chase, Marriott | Tags: , | Leave a 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.

 

Screenshot 2015-11-28 at 9.35.11 PM

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

CHASE INK PLUS OFFERING 60,000 BONUS POINTS and INK CASH $300 Bonus Cash back

As you may have seen, the Chase Ink cards have increased their sign-up offers today for a limited time.  Both of these cards have one of my very favorite bonus payouts for routine purchases at 5x points per dollar at office supply stores, on cellular phone charges, landline, internet and cable TV services (annual $25,000 5x max on the Cash version of the card, annual $50,000 5x max on the Plus version of the card).

chase 60 k

Ink-Cash-bonus

Ink Cash® Business Credit Card: Earn $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Ink Plus Business Credit Card: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5000 in the first 3 months, $95 annual fee

In my view, the main difference between the two cards (other than the sign-up bonus) is that the Ink Cash has no annual fee whereas the Ink Plus has a $95 annual fee.  Additionally, the points earned from the Ink Cash are transferable to Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline partners only if you also have the Ink Plus or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  If you do have one of those cards you can choose to use the $300 bonus cash back Ink Cash sign-up bonus as 30,000 points that you transfer to United, Hyatt, or your Ultimate Rewards partner of choice.

The most common sign-up bonus for the Ink Cash is 20,000 points while the most common sign-up bonus for the Ink Plus is 50,000 points, so this is a great time to pull the trigger on either if you want to get as many points for your sign-up bonus as possible.

Do keep in mind these are small business cards and that reports coming from those who have recently applied for Chase cards are that things are a bit tighter than they used to be.  That said, good luck if you choose to go for one of these cards – I know we love them both for their 5x bonus categories as well as of course for the increased sign-up bonuses!

Categories: Chase, Chase Ink, Credit cards | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

British Airways 100,000 Avios Offer is back!!

British Airways 100K Offer

For a limited time you can really earn some big miles and use them for a lot of free travel. Chase has raised the offer to 100,000 Avios on the British Airways Visa Credit Card

Screenshot 2015-09-17 at 11.03.47 PM

To receive the full 100,000 Avios bonus, there are three tiers of spending requirements to meet. You will receive 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 in 3 months, an additional 25,000 Avios if you spend $10,000 in 12 months, AND an additional 25,000 Avios if you spend $20,000 in 12 months. The annual fee is $95.

While I wish you could receive the full 100,000 with one simple minimum spend, it’s nice that you have 12 months to meet the 2nd and 3rd tiers. Even if you just committed to spending $10,000 in 12 months, you would receive 75,000 Avios. That’s a lot of Avios.

Can you apply? 

The terms on the application say that you’re eligible to apply and receive the bonus if you don’t currently hold the BA card, and it’s been 24 months from the last time you received a bonus on the card.

Note: If you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you may want to apply for it first, since it’s a harder card to get approved for now.

Other Benefits

You will earn 3x Avios per $1 on British Airways purchases and 1x on all other spending. There are no foreign transaction fees and it’s equipped with smart chip technology, so it’s good for international use. The British Airways card is also a Visa Signature card, which comes some sweet additional benefits likefree wine tastings.

If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on your British Airways Visa, you will receive the Travel Together Ticket. This ticket lets you bring a passenger on an award ticket for the Avios price of one, but you will still have to pay the fuel surcharges and fees.

Here are the full marketing details on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card:

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Plus earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend $10,000 on purchases for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.
  • Plus earn another 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend a total of $20,000 on purchases within your first year for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • In addition to the bonus Avios, you will also get 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Chip Technology allows you to use your card for chip based purchases in Europe & beyond, while still giving you the ability to use your card as you do today at home.

Why I love Avios

It’s true that British Airways has recently devalued their award chart for premium cabin flights. That being said, I usually only burn my Avios for short haul flights. BA has a distance =-based chart, so short flights are a darn good deal.

I can fly Richmond to New York for only 4,500 Avios and $5. Or, I can fly to Chicago for 7,500 Avios. I’ve also used my Avios for cheap flights to Mexico from Miami for only 7,500 Avios and $25 one-way. So basically you could earn 20 one-way tickets from Richmond to NYC from just one credit card sign-up.

cancun

Celebrating Babymoon in Cancun at Secrets Vine Resort. Thank you Avios Photo Courtesy : MonicaLopez Photography, Cancun

Avios are great for getting to Hawaii on Alaska or American airlines from the east coast. You book LAX to Maui for only 12,500 Avios and $25 one-way.

Screenshot 2015-09-17 at 11.16.31 PM

Get to Hawaii for just 12,500 miles one-way from West coast

You can also get cheap flights to the Caribbean from the west coast with Avios. Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico is only 7,500 Avios and $5.

And don’t forget the popular Boston to Dublin route on Aer Lingus that’s only 25k Avios round-trip in economy.

If you do now worry about the heft Fuel surcharge that British Airways charges on Award tickets you can consider using you Avios and the companion ticket to fly First Class From North American to Europe. The fuel surcharge will run approximately $1000 per award ticket and you would also pay the same on the free companion ticket. So basically two tickets in Firts Class will cost you 120,000 Avios and $2000. If you are an expert manufacture spender you know the tricks to drop the cost of $2000 to almost half. You can fly hapily in the BA First class and enjoy loungs access and other goodies as my friend Steve and his family did on a recent trip to Italy

Bottomline

Chase has raised the offer to up to 100,000 Avios on the British Airways Visa card for a limited time. If you’re eligible for the card, it’s one that deserves consideration since Avios can be very valuable. They aren’t my favorite award points, but they are up there because of how practical they are. If this offer is right for you, the link to apply and view all the details is below. Remember, only apply for credit cards if your credit score is in good condition, and you’re comfortable with the minimum spending requirements.

Categories: British Airways, British Airways Avios, Chase, Credit cards | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Stay 25 Free nights at Hotels worldwide using sign-up bonus from two cards!!

Introduction

By utilizing a couple of awesome limited time increased sign-up bonus offers from Citi and Chase you can score almost 25 FREE nights at Hilton and Marriott hotels worldwide. I will show you exactly how it can be done.

The Free Night Scoop

  • Chase Marriott Premier Rewards Card – Chase has increased the sign-up bonus on the Marriott Rewards card  to 80,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months. This is the highest point offer I’ve ever seen on the Marriott Rewards Premier card. This card does charge you annual fees of $85 and is not waived for the first year.

Here is the fine print of the offer –

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card Application
  • Limited Time! Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date!
  • For every $1 spent, earn 5 points at 3,800 Marriott locations, 2 points on airline ticket purchases directly with airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards points towards free nights
  • No limit to how many points you can earn
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees and enjoy wider acceptance when you travel with your embedded chip card and you make purchases at chip-enabled card readers
  • All for an $85 Annual Fee
Marriott category

Marriott Category and 5th night Free

You can book Marriott Category 1 hotel for 7,500 reward points or 6,000 PointSavers rewards.  The 75,000 points you earn from sign-up bonus can be used for staying 10 nights at a category 1 Marriott Hotel worldwide and if you are able to books rooms using the 6,000 PointSavers rewards that will be even more nights. But remember, Marriott has this awesome offer – when you redeem 4 award nights , your fifth night is free!!! To top it there are no blackout dates. With the 5th night free promotion you can maximize the redemption value and get most from this card. You can find all the category 1 Hotels that Marriott offers here – Link

There are more than 200 category 1 Marriott Hotels worldwide including several in Mexico, Caribbean and Europe

fairfield los cabos

Fairfield Inn, Los Cabos, Mexico is a Category 1 Hotel and looks very good!!

You could visit Los Cabos, Mexico and stay at the Fairfield Inn that has excellent reviews on TripAdvisor

Courtyard Marriott Banglore

Courtyard Marriott Bengaluru (Banagalore, India)

You could also visit India and stay at The Fairfield by Marriott in the vibrant city of Bengaluru (Bangalore). The list of category  hotel is quite extensive and I feel the increased sign-up bonus from the Chase Marriott Premier card can really help you save big money!!!

The card also offers  1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date that very well justifies the annual fees of $85. You could stay at the beautiful Marriott in Costa Rica, San Jose using your card anniversary free night certificate!!

costa rica marriott

Costa Rica Marriott, San Jose a great way to redeem your free Anniversary night

  • Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card – Citi has also increased the sign-up bonus on the HHonors Visa Signature card to 75,000 Hilton points. The typical offer on this card is 40,000 points and Citi did roll out another offer for 65,000 points few months ago which is when I signed up for the card so definitely this is one of the best offer on this card with NO ANNUAL FEES. 

Citi®+Hilton+HHonors™+Visa+Signature®+Card

Here is a summary of the card benefits –

  • Limited Time: Earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Silver status as long as you are a cardmember
  • No annual fee.

You may notice this no-annual fee card will automatically give you silver status (better chance for upgrade, some freebies and extra HHonors points). Also, no annual fees card are great as you don’t have to worry about cancelling the card when the annual fees is due that can help you establish long term relationship with the bank which is a key in this game!!!

fifth night promo hilton

Hilton 5th night promotion for Silver, Gold and Diamond members

Hilton offers free 5th night for Silver, Gold and Diamond member and by holding this card you automatically qualify for this promotion as you earn silver status. You can read more about the free night promo here – Link

Hilton-HHonors-Award-Chart

Hilton award chart

You can book category 1 Hilton Hotels for just 5,000 HHonors points. The  75,000 bonus points  equates to 15 nights at Category 1 Hilton Hotel worldwide. Here is a link to all the hotels in this category – LINKThere are almost 50 hotels to choose from. You should try to use the 5th night free promotion to gain most from this deal.

Hilton Pyramid Gold Resort

Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort, Cairo, Egypt

Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort in Egypt looks like a great property that you can redeem for only 5000 points. You may also consider visiting Turkey and stay at the Hiltom Garden Inn, Trabzon, Turkey for only 5,000 points

Hilton Garden Inn Turkey

Hilton Garden Inn Trabzon, Turkey

Conclusion

By combining the sign up bonuses from the Chase Marriott Premier rewards card (80,000 points) and the Citi Hilton Hhonors Visa Signature card (75,000 points) you can score more than 25 nights at Category 1 Marriott and Hilton hotels (combine). Also, both the hotel chains offer 5th night free promotion that can help you travel around the world paying pennies!!!!! With most hotels costing an average of $100 I value combined sign-up bonuses from the two cards worth at least $2500 and this is a fantastic deal. The Marriott card has an annual fees of $85 which is not waived and the Citi Hilton card has no annual fees. The Marriott card also offer free stay at any Category 1-5 hotel as an anniversary bonus which may justify paying the annual fees.

Want to learn more tricks and keep earning treats to travel around the world for pennies. Shoot me an email to join my Travel coaching program which for a limited time is totally free!!! I can make your travel dream turn into reality.

i want to travel the world

Categories: Chase, Citi Credit Cards, free travel, Hilton, Marriott | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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