I have a couple of businesses (or hobbies that can be explained as businesses), so I get to have a little stash of business rewards cards. Yeah, the sign-up bonuses are great, but there are some business cards that I have just to maximize my spending. Imagine that.
I get a lot of emails asking about what business cards I personally have or recommend. Business cards are always a good idea, both to maximize your spending and pad your bounty of miles. And it just so happens that there are currently some great offers to choose from. If you were quick and jumped in on the 75k Business Gold offer from last week that only lasted 12 hours, congrats to you!
As I mentioned earlier, I have a couple of hobbies that can be explained as businesses. I wouldn’t lie on a business application, but several side jobs/hobbies can make a case for the need to separate spending. That means you can apply as a sole proprietor if you don’t have an incorporated business. Here’s my full post on how to apply for a business card as a sole proprietor.
A great perk of business cards is that the only activity that will go on your personal credit report is the initial inquiry, which is only a 2-5 point ding. Your credit score will easily recover from this ding. All account history, opening, and closing will be tied to the business credit report, as long as you don’t default on your payments.
Here are the list of business cards that I currently have open.
Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus
No shocker here. I currently have 4 Ink cards open, making my wallet fat. And when I start a new venture, it’s the first card I will apply for, for that business. Since the Ink Bold® Business Card and Ink Plus® Business Card are different products, you can have each of them for an individual business. Winning.
I love Ultimate Rewards. So any time I can inject a hefty bonus into my UR account, I go for it. Currently, the sign-up bonus is 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months. I also use my Ink cards to maximize their 5x earning opportunities (which are: office supplies, phone services, internet, and satellite), and to earn 2x points on gas and hotels booked directly. And I love using my Ink cards while traveling internationally, since they don’t carry a foreign transaction fee.
The Ink Plus and Ink Bold are practically the same cards, but the Plus is a credit card, and the Bold is a charge card. Here’s my full review of the Ink cards.
If you’re looking for a business card, I would start with either the Ink Plus or Ink Bold. No brainer. See the full details below:
An old faithful card of mine is the Citibank AAdvantage business rewards card. Jordan was actually denied for it the last time she applied, so it appears that the card is harder to get multiple times. If you do hold the Citibusiness card, you can expect Citi to offer a retention bonus if you try to cancel. I’ve taken them up on their offers many times.
This is another 50,000 option, too. Can’t complain about that. The offer doesn’t show the sign-up bonus on the landing page, so it takes a little faith, but many people have been approved through the link. You get 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500 in 4 months and the annual fee is waived for the first year.
This isn’t a card that I put a lot of spending on, since growing my AAdvantage miles isn’t my top priority and there aren’t any lucrative category bonuses. But you do get 10% back on your award redemptions, priority boarding, and a free checked bag. So it’s worth holding at least one Citi AAdvantage card for those reasons.
Link: Citibank Visa
American Express Business Gold Rewards
You probably saw the craziness last week when the 50,000 The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN offer was showing 75,000 for most people after clicking through. That’s 25,000 more than the already increased offer of 50,000, and the minimum spend requirement stayed the same, at $5,000 in 3 months. But in true Amex fashion, the deal only lasted 12 hours.
The current LTO is still a very good offer, but if you’re flexible, you should wait and see if the 75,000 offer comes back around. I applied for the Business Gold card last year during another 50,000 offer, and you can’t have multiple American Express business cards for separate businesses. Well, they may approve you, but will most likely deny you the sign-up bonus. Does anyone out there have a different experience?
I use my Business Gold rewards card for spending because of the 3x on airfare and 2x on gas. And if your business advertises or ships a lot, you will earn 2x points on those purchases as well. You can see the full details below.
Southwest Plus Business
I love the Southwest business card Jordan applied for last year, because the 50,000 sign-up bonus bumped her to Companion Pass status. We have really maximized our travel by taking advantage of our Companion Pass. Whenever Jordan’s Companion Pass status runs out, I’ll be very tempted to apply for the Southwest Business card when there’s a 50,000 offer to help me reach the 110,000 threshold.
We primarily use our Southwest business card for Southwest airlines purchases. Unfortunately, there currently isn’t a 50,000 offer on the Premier or Plus versions, so I would hold out until the offer comes back around. 50,000 Southwest offers seem to always pop their heads up every couple of months, so stay tuned.
I want all my business cards to be Ink cards, but that’s just not feasible. The next business card that I’ve identified is the Starwood Preferred Guest card, but I may hold out until the end of the summer to see if they bring back the 30,000 offer like the last two years.
The Club Carlson Business Visa is always a very tempting option, but I’m not sure I want to mess with US Bank and the hassle of “too many inquiries.” I may give the Citi AAdvantage Business Visa another go around in a couple of months, but still not sure. I may just keep the one I have open. I’ll let you know.
But for now, I’m pretty happy with the business cards we’re using. The sign-up bonuses were a nice addition to our personal stashes, and the spending perks of the Ink cards and Business Gold cards work well with our spending habits. Plus, I’m all about Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards points.
Disclaimer: I receive a referral credit for the Ink and Business Gold cards, but not the SW, Club Carlson, or Citibusiness cards.)
— Noob MasterRead More
Update Alert: the 75,000 offer is no longer available, so I’ve removed the links for the offer from my post. The current offer is below:
Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product or any Business Gold, Green or Platinum Card account within the last 12 months.” So if it hasn’t been 12 months since you canceled your OPEN business card, you wouldn’t eligible for this one. Personal Amex cards don’t disqualify you, and it’s possible to get a personal Amex card and business card on the same day. Good personal American Express card offers are the:
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, Mercedes- Benz Platinum card, or you can see if you’re eligible for the 45,00o Delta offer through the CARDMATCHTM tool, but ymmv.
Make sure you’re signed out of your American Express account before trying to click on the link. Also, if it doesn’t pull up the first time, try clearing cookies, cache, or opening a different browser. Safari seems to work great, and don’t forget to take a screen shot.
This is my affiliated link, but I didn’t receive any information about the offer changing. I’m not sure how long it will be around, but if you were thinking about pulling the trigger on the Business Gold card then today might be a great day.
I hope this helps if you’re planning an App Party!
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(HT: Mommy Points)
his content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser’s affiliate programs.
— Noob MasterRead More
Membership Rewards points are best known for their transfer bonuses and wide range of transfer partners (see: 35% Transfer Bonus with British Airways, running through June 7th). Since many people have been accumulating Membership Rewards points through their random LTO offers (currently there’s a 50,000 offer after spending $5k in 3 months on The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN), we will continue our series on transfer options with Membership Rewards.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) is well known for their award search engine because you can search Star Alliance flights and you won’t see phantom First Class availability like United. It’s the search engine I use when I’m searching for Lufthansa First Class tickets. You do have to have some miles in your ANA account to search, though.
If you aren’t a member of ANA – you can join here.
I transferred over 1,000 Membership Rewards to ANA (lowest denomination possible) so I could search for Star Alliance flights on their site. This didn’t bother me because ANA has some good redemptions of their own, so I know I will eventually top off my ANA account for a booking. It does take up to 24 hours for Membership Rewards to be transferred.
Click the image below to transfer some Membership Rewards points over to ANA.
You do have to have enough miles in your account to see the taxes and fees for a specific booking. This is definitely not ideal. The Points Guy has an extensive 3 part series with many flight examples priced out for your reference.
Here’s a peek at the ANA Award chart.
ANA flights are distance based, so you can find some real value flying from the East Coast to Europe. I use gcmap to research the distance of my flights. But beware, there will definitely be some hefty fuel surcharges. However, Dans Deals reported in January that ANA has cut all fuel surcharges on United/US Airways flights. Balling. This means you can fly to Europe in business class for 63,000 or 68,000 miles *roundtrip* (depending on your destination) with little fees and taxes. Yeah, it’s United, but almost all of their transatlantic business class seats are lie-flat, and you can’t beat the no fuel surcharges.
A favorite of many people is to book Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic from New York to London for 63,000 miles + fuel surcharges. I’ve heard people rave about this product, but I’ve yet to fly it myself.
You can have up to 4 stopovers on an award ticket, but only two in Europe and none in the original country you’re traveling in. Open jaws are allowed but they will count as a stopover. Gotta love those options.
Membership Rewards points are definitely uber valuable and the more you learn how to use them, the more you will fall in love with them. You know I love my Ultimate Rewards points because of their transfer partners and how easy they are to use, but lately I’ve found myself lusting after American Express Membership Rewards points more and more. It’s all about diversity and options anyway when it comes to maximizing rewards miles for travel.
I hope this helps as you continue to accumulate Membership Rewards points and are looking for ways to use them. For now, I’m still hanging onto mine for another Singapore Suite class ticket, or to top off my Avios account, but ANA is definitely a great option and one that I would consider utilizing.
— Noob MasterRead More