As a business owner, you can earn travel points and miles on your everyday expenses. But you don’t have to use those rewards for your business if you don’t want to.
Whether you have a business trip coming up or need a getaway to recalibrate, here are some things you can do to make the most of your credit card miles and points this summer.
1. Understand your redemption options
There are several business travel credit cards out there and many of them offer varying redemption options. And depending on the card, understanding how you can redeem can help you maximize the value you get from your rewards.
For example, the offers Ultimate Rewards points, which you can use for several different things. You can shop with your points on Amazon.com at a rate of 0.8 cents apiece, redeem them for cash back or gift cards at 1 cent per point, or use them to book travel through Chase at 1.25 cents per point.
Alternatively, you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel loyalty program partners and potentially get more value out of them.
Take some time to learn what redemption options your credit card rewards program offers and what kind of value you can get from each. Then try to get as much value out of each point as you can.
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2. Treat yourself
For many business owners, building a business teaches them the importance of investing as much as possible into the business, often at the expense of their personal lifestyle. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a decent vacation, consider using your credit card miles or points to book a nice getaway.
And since your rewards will help you get some or all of your trip covered for free, you may have some extra flexibility to splurge a little. For example, consider booking a first-class ticket or an upscale hotel or resort. It may take a while to rebuild your reserve of rewards, but the experience can be worth it.
3. Share the wealth
If you don’t feel like you need to use your credit card miles or points for yourself right now, you may want to consider using them to show your employees how much you care.
Sharing credit card rewards with employees can help boost morale and encourage your people to be more productive. Some examples include sending an employee on an all-expenses paid vacation whenever you have enough rewards built up, setting up a weekend company retreat, or hosting an incredible company party.
Whatever you do, sharing the wealth of your rewards can make it easier to recruit and retain top talent for your business.
4. Rethink your credit card strategy
Chances are that the card you’re currently using isn’t the best one for you and your business. Even if you’re racking up points or miles quickly, you may be able to earn even more with a card that offers bonus rewards tailored to your business’ expenses.
Take a look at your accounting for the year so far and determine which areas you spend the most money in. Then compare what your current card offers with some other top business credit cards to see if you might be able to earn more.
If not, you can continue using the card you have knowing it’s the best fit. However, if you do find a card with a more lucrative rewards program based on your spending, switching could allow you get the most bang for your buck. You may also be able to score a big sign-up bonus along the way.
5. Consider the costs
Racking up credit card rewards can be an exciting experience. But if you’re spending a lot in credit card fees and interest, the net benefit may be small or even non-existent.
If your business credit card charges an annual fee, take a look at the value you get from the card in the form of rewards and benefits and compare it to the card’s yearly cost. If you’re not getting a lot, it may be better to switch to a card with no annual fee.
Also, if you’re carrying a balance from month to month, calculate how much interest you’ve paid so far this year and compare it to the value you’ve gotten from the card during the same period. In an ideal world, you’d pay your balance in full each month and avoid interest altogether, even if it means putting fewer expenses on your card.
But if you’re not there yet, try to at least start paying down your balance to reduce how much you’re paying in interest over time.
The bottom line
Regardless of which credit card you use for your business, there are plenty of things you can do to make the most out of the miles or points you earn with it.
Whether it’s booking a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, sharing the value with your employees, getting a better card or reducing your costs, take the time to plan how you can maximize the value of what you’re getting from your credit card.
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