If you run your own small business, then you are probably making plenty of purchases each day. As a result, you have the opportunity to earn valuable points and miles from these transactions, but only if you use the right credit card.
Thankfully, the credit card industry is fiercely competing for your business and each bank is continuously trying to outdo its competitors by offering small business owners the most rewards. Here are five ways that you can maximize the value of the rewards you receive, just for making the purchases necessary to run your business.
1. Earn reward points in flexible reward programs.
Many of the popular credit cards for small businesses are designed to earn frequent flier miles and hotel reward points. While these rewards can be great, they have several disadvantages. For example, airlines and hotels are constantly devaluing their programs by requiring more points and miles for an award reservation, and by highly restricting the booking of awards during peak travel times.
To get around these issues, you should consider earning reward points in a flexible program such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards. For example, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card offers Ultimate Rewards points that are worth 1.25 cents each towards travel booked through Chase, or transferred to airline miles with six different airlines or points with four different hotel programs, allowing you to choose the type of rewards that work best for your needs.
2. Make sure to earn bonus rewards.
While purchases on most reward credit cards will only earn one point or mile per dollar spent, you should always try to earn multiple points whenever possible. Fortunately, these kinds of bonuses are targeted at frequent business expenses. For example, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories.. Cardholders simply pick the category they spend the most on, and watch the bonus points stream in.
3. Earn rewards from your employee spending.
Another way to multiply the rewards you receive is by adding your employees as authorized cardholders under your account. As the primary cardholder, you will then earn additional rewards based on their transactions. Finally, you can encourage or require your employees to use the cards you issue them, rather than their personal credit cards or other forms of payment. Just be sure to implement clear guidelines for the use of their cards.
4. Combine the rewards from your business and personal credit cards.
One of the keys to earning the most valuable rewards possible from your business spending is to create synergies between your business and personal credit card use, since business credit cards can earn rewards in the same programs used by your personal credit cards, and these balances can be combined. For example, the hotel points or frequent flier miles that you can earn from a business credit card go into the same account as those earned from your personal credit card. And when you use your small business credit card to earn points in a flexible rewards program such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, then you can easily combine your rewards with those that you earned from your personal credit cards that belong to the same program.
5. Receive a generous sign-up bonus.
Competition for new small business customers is so intense, that the banks will offer you tens of thousands of points and miles, just for the opportunity to earn your business. So when you are looking for a new small business credit card, make sure to take into account the size of the sign-up bonus offered.
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Jason Steele is an expert in the credit card industry. He is frequently quoted in national media and his work is regularly featured my mainstream outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and Business Insider.
This article was originally written on December 14, 2015 and updated on March 26, 2020.
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