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Why You Should Apply for a Business Credit Card

If you own a small business, you probably should consider establishing some credit in the name of the business, rather than relying entirely on your personal credit. You might be surprised to know that fewer than 50% of small business owners are using business credit cards that are in the name of the business and not their personal name! Keeping everything in your own name may put your personal assets at risk, so read on and consider these great reasons to apply for a business credit card!

Tips For When You Apply For A Business Credit Card

So what should you look out for when you apply for a business credit card? Here are a couple of tips to consider.

Keep Business Expenses Separate

Keeping business expenses separate not only comes in handy at tax time, but it helps you stick to both a business AND a personal budget. When you are simply comingling all of your money and spending it as needed, it can be difficult to know how much money you are making from your business and how much you may be investing towards the future.

When you carefully keep everything separated, you are protected by a “corporate veil,” which allows you to be separately responsible for profits and losses. Your personal assets will have protection. Having a business credit card helps you to reinforce that protection, and reduce the risk to your personal assets.

Details, Details, Details

When you use a business credit card, it is far easier to keep detailed records of any expenses related to running your business. Whether you keep your own books or use a bookkeeper, the tasks will be monumentally easier when you keep your finances seperate. Business credit cards often offer you special spending reports and graphs that can help you build a balanced budget and stick to it. It also makes it easier for you to quickly see your profits and losses.

Establishing Credit

One final, and very important reason for getting a business credit card is that you can establish a credit history for your business. When it comes time to apply for a loan or any other kind of financing, you will have a solid credit history and be able to show that your company is credit-worthy. You won’t have to worry about depending on your personal credit history. Plus, you will be eligible for different rates and terms for loans as they pertain to a business, rather than an individual.

Additionally, it is important to keep your business credit separate from your personal credit, especially if you are going to incur any significant business debt. You don’t want this appearing in your personal credit history and bringing down your credit score.

Here’s what you need to know before you apply for a business credit card:

Consider the type of business credit card that you need.

How much of a credit limit do you need? Will you be considering a secured or unsecured card? Are you hoping to get a rewards credit card? There are many things to think about before applying!

Find out your credit score.

This means you need to know your personal credit score, as well as any credit score for your business if you have any credit established yet.

Don’t be blinded by perks.

Sure, special benefits and great perks can draw you to a particular card. But, don’t rely only on the perks. Know the actual terms of the credit card—annual fees, APRs, any other charges, and fees, etc., before applying. Make sure you know whether or not any special offers are going to expire after an introductory period, too.

Be selective.

Don’t apply for a ton of business credit cards. In most cases, one is probably sufficient. If you have employees, then make sure you look for a business credit card that offers low cost or free additional users, because these are the kinds of charges that can add up quickly.

Always be careful when applying for credit, whether for business or personal use. You need to protect your personal—and business—assets and maximize profits. When you are educated about the various terms and conditions, and understand what you are getting into, you will be able to make the right decision for your company.

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How To Improve Your Small Business Credit Score

It’s probably very likely that you know that you have a personal credit score, and, if you are really on top of things then you probably even know what that score is. But, as a small business owner, do you realize that your business also has a credit score?

Is a Business Credit Score the Same as a Personal Credit Score?

A business credit score does not follow the same index as a personal credit score, typically FICO. Your personal credit score is a three-digit number that ranges from 400-850 (ideally much closer to the top of that range!). Your business credit score is probably based on the most common business credit score system, called Paydex. This index gives your business a score between 0-100, with 75 or above being considered the “good to excellent” range.

Why Do I Need a Business Credit Score?

Building up your business credit score is just as important as your personal credit score. It will help you expand your business over time by being able to secure business loans or get financing for expansions, equipment, and investments. Instead of relying on your personal credit score to get loans and financing, you can get the financing you need based on your business credit score.

Also, it is important to be able to separate your business and personal finances. This is not only important for tax purposes, but also for liability and other reasons. In the event that your business fails, your personal credit will not be affected. That may allow you to head in a different business direction or rebuild, without harming your personal credit. If you had to file bankruptcy because of a failed business, you may have that follow you for up to 10 years.

How Can I Raise My Business Credit Score?

There are several important things that you should do if you want your business credit score to stay strong or improve. Here are four great tips:

  1. Make every payment on time. Just like your personal credit, your business credit score will be affected by your payments. Making every payment on time will help keep your business credit score strong. It will also help it continue to rise as your business looks like a good credit consumer. Not only does this help your credit, you also avoid penalties and late fees!
  2. Keep your debt at a manageable level. Even if you need to take out a loan, you want to make sure that you are not overutilizing your available credit. Monitor any revolving debt to make sure that your ratios stay in a healthy range. If your credit utilization becomes too high, your credit score will drop.
  3. Use the credit that you do have. Don’t just let your business credit card sit there and gather dust. It should not be reserved just for emergencies! Make regular purchases and payments. This will help you to establish and build credit. Plus, if you use the right business credit card, you can accumulate rewards points and get cash back or other rewards!
  4. Monitor your business credit report. Just like your personal credit report, you need to monitor your business credit report. Make sure that the information contained within it is accurate and current. Any inaccuracies should be immediately reported.

When you can build up a great credit score for your business, it becomes easier to separate your business and personal expenses, taxes, and liabilities. Build a stronger business by developing a credit history specific to the business. You will find it easier to invest, build, and watch the business grow.

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American Express Business Gold Rewards Credit Card Review

American Express has long been a leader as a credit card issuer. They give customers a unique experience with points accumulation and redemption through their Membership Rewards program. They also have great ongoing customer service. While in-the-know card members are privy to these perks on the individual consumer credit card side of the coin, business owners can take advantage as well. With the American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card, business owners have a smart way to fund company spending while still getting in on the benefits offered through the American Express Membership Rewards program.

 

Card Basics

The American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card is a charge card. This means that balances accrued each billing cycle are required to be paid in full each month. A charge card is ideal for businesses with high, consistent cash flow. It’s also good for owners who want the ability to earn rewards on business-related purchases. The Business Gold Rewards card offers a slew of rewards options that are truly unique from other credit card points programs.

Membership Rewards are earned at a rate of 3 points per one dollar spent on purchases made with the Gold Rewards card. But card members have their choice as to which category the additional are earned. Business Gold Rewards card members can choose to earn three times the points on one of the following categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from an airline
  • Purchases made within the U.S. for advertising in certain media categories
  • Gas station purchases made within the U.S.
  • Shipping expenses within the U.S.
  • Computer software, hardware, or cloud computing service purchases within the U.S. made directly from select providers

Reward Accumulation

While most other cards would reduce the rewards earning potential down to one point per dollar spent on remaining purchases, the American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card goes one step further. Any categories not chosen by the card member for the triple rewards earn two points per dollar spent, making the accumulation of valuable rewards easier than comparable business credit cards. For all other purchases that do not fall within these specific categories, card members earn the standard one point per dollar spent.

Membership Rewards earned in the three times and two times categories are applicable to the first $100,000 spent on the Business Gold Rewards credit card. All other rewards earned on ancillary purchases do not have a cap. New cardmembers have the opportunity to earn even more rewards with a bonus offer of 75,000 rewards points. However, this only applies when a minimum of $10,000 is spent within the first three months after the account is opened.

Redeeming Membership Rewards through American Express is simple. Business owners have the ability to cash in points for gift cards, travel, entertainment or dining experiences, or shopping directly through partner merchants.

American Express Benefits

Cardmembers with American Express have more to look forward to. For business owners, the ability to accurately track and manage spending limits on company cards is an important factor in ongoing expense monitoring. American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card members have the ability to earn additional points by activating employee cards with pre-set limits. Any activated employee credit cards also come with real-time alerts that provide insight into who is spending and in what amount.

American Express also offers cardmembers the ability to establish account managers for the Business Gold Rewards credit card. Trusted individuals, such as an executive level employee or business partners, can easily and quickly manage spending on the card, with either full or limited access. Tasks, like reviewing purchases and monthly statements, disputing charges and adding employee cards, are a breeze with this feature unique to American Express.

ReceiptMatch is also made available to Business Gold Rewards credit card members. This program allows business owners to manage expenses through the desktop or mobile application. Receipts can easily be added, tagged, or noted within this helpful feature. This creates a simple way to streamline monitoring and tracking. American Express provides additional benefits to card members, including:

  • Premium Roadside Assistance
  • Global Assist Hotline
  • Baggage Insurance Plan
  • Purchase Protection
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
  • Extended Warranty
  • Travel Accident Insurance

The Costs

Although the American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card is a charge card and therefore has no interest rate applied to purchases, there are some costs associated with its use. As a current promotion, new card members are not assessed an annual fee for the first year of membership. After the first year, an annual fee of $175 applies. Cardmembers who shop outside the United States do not have to be concerned with foreign transaction fees.

Cardmembers who are late remitting payment are charged a $38 fee, or 2.99% of the past due “Pay in Full” amount, whichever is higher. Additionally, any returned payments cost the card member a $38 fee. Cardmembers do not have pre-set spending (credit) limits with the American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card, so no over the limit charges apply.

The Verdict

The American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card is an ideal choice for business owners who want customizable options for rewards. The ability to select certain high-spending categories to capitalize on rewards is a feature unique to American Express. Cardmembers who spend heavily in the three times categories can accumulate a substantial rewards balance over time. The ability to earn an additional two times each dollar spent is a nice added bonus. Without a credit or spending limit, a waived first-year annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees, business owners have a smart choice in the Business Gold Rewards credit card.

Business owners who do not spend enough in the three times categories to justify the annual fee may want to look elsewhere for a company credit card. Also, companies with less than consistent cash flow each month, or seasonal dips in revenue, may want to consider a business credit card that allows for repayment over time instead of the pay in full monthly schedule set forth by American Express. Overall, the American Express Business Gold Rewards credit card is a solid choice for business owners who fit the spending and cash flow bill.

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Amex Business Green Rewards Card Review

For any business owner, having affordable access to funding is a key to ongoing success. The additional of a credit card geared specifically toward operating a business is ideal for making major purchases for the company without having to tap into precious cash on hand. Having the opportunity earn rewards on those credit card purchases for the business is beneficial as well, as it ultimately leads to valuable points that can be used for a variety of business – or personal – redemption.

American Express offers a number of credit cards designed with the business owner in mind. The Business Green Rewards credit card is a simple business card that provides a number of benefits and perks only found under the American Express name. But first, the card basics.

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The Ins and Outs of Business Green

True to the American Express way, the Business Green Rewards credit card is not truly a credit card. Instead, it operates as a charge card for business owners. This means that any purchases made with the Green Rewards card are to be paid in full by the time the due date rolls around, and balances are not carried forward from month to month. This allows American Express to offer the Business Green Rewards credit (charge) card to business owners without the confines of a spending or credit limit, and without any interest charges each billing cycle.

The absence of a spending limit is beneficial to business owners in times where cash flow is tight, but the Membership Rewards offered through American Express provide an additional perk to utilizing the Green Rewards card for the majority of business-related spending. Card members earn one point for each dollar spent on qualifying purchases. The spending categories that qualify for rewards points are generally in the realm of business purchases, making this card a great fit for business owners who buy often, or buy heavily for the company.

In addition, card members earn two points for each dollar spent on travel accommodations booked through the American Express Travel website. For business owners always on the go, the bonus points earned for travel purchases are a valuable added benefit. Regardless of how they are earned, accumulated Membership Rewards points can be used toward over a million reward options through American Express. Shopping and gift cards at partner merchants, restaurants, retailers and travel can all be purchased with Membership Rewards points. Card members also have the newly added option of paying with accumulated points through the American Express travel site when reservations or bookings are made.

Currently, American Express is offering a welcome bonus for new card members who apply for an accept the Green Rewards card. After the first qualifying purchase is made with the card within 365 days of account opening, 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points are added to the account automatically.

Green Rewards Benefits

Business owners who are Green Rewards card members have access to a wide range of additional perks offered through the American Express program. Both mobile and tablet applications are available that make paying monthly bills, checking an account balance, reviewing benefits and general card management simple on the go. Card members can also establish account alerts that provide real-time information on payment due dates, irregular spending activity or purchases.

To assist business owners in maintaining a solid grip on purchase habits and total spending each bill cycle, American Express Business Green Rewards card members also have access to free features that include the ability to add a trusted partner as account manager. Green card account managers can handle everyday tasks related to the credit card, like making payment and disputing charges. ReceiptMatch is another great tool offered directly to Business Green Rewards card members that allows card members the ability to easily add receipts to an account and tag, note or manage transactions to ensure spending is monitored and controlled.

Additional cards can be authorized for use by card members, giving them the opportunity to earn additional rewards through employee spending. Fret not, however; employee cards can be set-up with specific spending limits and account alerts that let the business owner know who is spending on what each month, and to what extent.

One of the most helpful features of American Express is the OPEN Forum – a repository of articles and educational information focuses on financial management for business owners. Tools and advice are available at no additional cost to card members.

Finally, Business Green Rewards card members have built in purchase protection and extended warranty provisions up to certain limits on qualified purchases. Card members also have travel accident insurance, baggage insurance coverage, rental car loss and damage insurance as well as access to the Global Assist Hotline.

Green Rewards Card Costs

As a chard card, the American Express Business Green Rewards card does not accrue interest on outstanding balances; instead, card members are required to pay any accumulated spending in full each month. The Green Rewards card does carry an annual fee of $95, but the charge is waived for the first year for new card members. For business owners who plan to spend or travel heavily outside the United States, the Green Rewards card may not be the smartest option as it does impose foreign transaction fees of 2.7% on purchases made outside the country.

The American Express Business Green Rewards card does not have a spending or credit limit as a charge card, but card members should be aware that late payment fees apply. A charge of $38 or 2.99% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater, is due on any payments made past the due date. Additionally, a returned payment fee of $38 applies.

Final Thoughts

The American Express Business Green Rewards charge card is a smart choice for business owners who like simplicity in a card and in their rewards program. The ability to earn two times the points on certain business-related categories allows card members to accumulate valuable points that can be redeemed for a wide range of rewards. Even more value is attached to travel purchases when made through the American Express Travel sit. However, for business owners who have concerns over steady cash flow and do minimal spending on travel, another business-focused credit card may be a better, more suitable choice.

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Simply Cash Business Card Review

Finding the right business credit card is a strategic step in shoring up cash-flow for a large number of small companies. A revolving credit account with a relatively high limit, comparably low interest rate and a solid rewards program can be a lifesaver for entrepreneurs when revenue does not perfectly align with cash outlay over a given time frame. The Simply Cash Plus Business credit card offered by American Express has the potential to be the saving grace for certain business owners who need or otherwise want access to credit for their business spending needs.

 

American Express has a consistent reputation among business owners for providing credit accounts that are not only simple to manage, but also offer a wide range of perks that can be used in a myriad of ways. The Simply Cash Plus Business card is a strong contender among business credit cards because of its cost effective maintenance, cashback rewards program, and a slew of added benefits not found with similar business credit cards. Let’s first take a look at the basics of the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card.

Card Basics

The best feature of the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card by American Express is there is no annual fee assessed for cardholders. For the cost-conscious business owner, not needing to pay for use of your credit card each year is a helpful perk. In addition, the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card currently offers up to a $500 cash back bonus for purchases made within the first six months after account opening. This equates to a 2% cash back bonus, paid via statement credits, on up to $25,000 in purchases made with the credit card. Cardholders qualify as long as the account is opened on or before August 3, 2016.

The upfront benefits of the Simply Cash Plus credit card are attractive to business owners who utilize credit for the majority of their spending, but the ongoing rewards are what make the credit card shine. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from service providers (within the United States), as well as any office supply store purchases. Cash back of 3% is also earned on a category of the cardholder’s choice, including the following options:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Gas station purchases
  • Advertising
  • Shipping
  • Restaurant meals
  • Computer hardware or software

If a category is not selected, gas station purchases are the default option for earning the 3% cash back. For both the 5% and 3% cash back categories, cardholders receive a statement credit for accrued rewards at the end of each monthly billing statement, and earnings are limited to $50,000 of purchases annually. All other purchases that do not fall into the higher percentage categories will earn 1% cash back with no spending limit.

Added Perks

Simply Cash Plus Business credit cardholders have a number of additional perks on top of no annual fee and high cash-back potential. For a limited time, American Express is offering a 0% introductory interest rate on all purchases for a period of nine months after account opening, saving account holders who spend heavily on the card a great deal in interest charges. Additionally, the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card allows cardholders the ability to repay over time, instead of requiring the full charged amount to be paid in full at the end of each billing cycle. This flexibility is an important feature for business owners with substantial spending in certain months, and smaller charges in others.

Cardholders also gain access to helpful business management tools when utilizing the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card. American Express offers a tool called ReceiptMatch, which helps business owners keep track of transactions in a clear, concise way. Also, employee cards are available at no additional cost, and account alerts can be easily added to control spending for all authorized users. American Express also offers account manager access through the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card, which allows either a trusted employee or an outside business partner full access to previous statements, payments, and charge dispute processes. Finally, cardholders also receive a year-end overview of all charges, making accounting for spending a breeze.

The Fine Print

For business owners considering the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card offered by American Express, it is necessary to understand the fine print. First, American Express requires excellent credit to qualify for the credit card, so business owners with lackluster credit scores or personal credit history may not be best suited for the card. For those who qualify, the regular purchase APR ranges from 12.49% up to 19.49% after the nine-month introductory rate expires. A rate of 25.49% applies to any cash advances taken against the credit card, and the penalty APR is 29.49%. American Express does not offer a balance transfer feature with the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card, so business owners seeking that benefit should look elsewhere.

While there is no annual fee associated with the Simply Cash Plus card, there are other transactional charges of which cardholders should be aware. Any foreign transactions are assessed a 2.7% fee, regardless of the denomination in which the purchase the made. Cash advances also bear fees – the greater of $5 or 3% of the total advance amount. Any late payments or returned payments for insufficient funds result in a $38 fee.

The Verdict

The Simply Cash Plus Business credit card offered by American Express is a strong business credit card for business owners who plan to spend frequently on wireless telephone service providers or on office supply store purchases within the United States. For those who want additional flexibility in cash back earnings, the Simply Cash Plus card is a great choice given its 3% cash back categories available to cardholders. No annual fee and relatively low interest rates make the card an affordable choice – an added perk for cost-conscious business owners. However, because the cash back rewards are paid through a statement credit only, and earnings are capped at $50,000 of annual spending, this business rewards card may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Prior to applying for an utilizing the Simply Cash Plus Business credit card, business owners should weigh these options against other available cards on the market.

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Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards Card Review

Small businesses are the bloodline of the economy, making up 46% of all non-farm gross domestic product within the United States and employing more than 48% of private sector employees, according to the most recent Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy report. As vital as small businesses are to a growing economic state, financing challenges are a prominent concern. A business credit card is often the first line of defense against cash-flow shortages and seasonal downturns in revenue. The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards Card is one of the most popular on the small business circuit given its plethora of perks.

Chase Ink Plus Business

Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards cardholders are privy to some of best benefits in terms of rewards potential available to business owners. Let’s take a look at how the Ink Plus Business card stacks up.

The Basics

The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card has an impressive rewards program for cardholders, touting the opportunity to earn five rewards points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases at office supply stores, on cable television services, on cellular and landline phone services and on Internet services. Rewards are also earned on combined purchases made at gas stations and hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel each anniversary year. For both the five times and the two times reward categories, cardholders earn points on the first $50,000 spent in any given year. All other purchases earn one reward point per dollar spent with no annual or lifetime limitations. Rewards do not have an expiration date as long as the credit card account remains open and in good standing.

Chase is well-known for offering strong rewards programs, and the Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is no different. Rewards points can be redeemed for a number of different options, including cash back at a one to one ratio, meaning a 100 rewards equates to $1 in cash back. Cardholders can also redeem rewards for vacation packages, flights or cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. Gift cards are available from major retailers and merchants, and account holders have the option of shopping through the Amazon partner site with earned rewards as an alternative.

One of the most attractive features of the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is the bonus offer available to new applicants. Currently, new cardholders have the opportunity to earn up to 60,000 bonus points when a minimum of $5,000 is spent on purchases within the first three months of account opening. When the bonus rewards are used to book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards partner site, redeemed points are worth 25% more than other redemption outlets. For example, a flight or hotel accommodation purchased with 60,000 rewards points and redeemed through the site is worth $750 – a great way for business owners to put the Chase Ink Plus card to work for them.

Cardholder Extras

The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card offers additional perks to business owners above and beyond the rewards program. First, cardholders are not assessed any foreign transaction fees, a feature not found with all business credit cards. Business owners also have the option of adding an unlimited number of authorized users at no additional cost, saving both the time and hassle of giving certain employees access to spending on the card. Employee cards also come with individualized spending limits that can be changed at any time. As an added security feature, the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card comes with embedded chip technology, perfect for the business owner who travels outside the country on a regular basis.

Ink Plus cardholders also have the benefit of specialized account management only available to certain Chase customers. Account balances can be paid in full or over an extended period of time, based on the specific needs of the business and available cash-flow. Also, the Chase mobile app offers an easy, streamlined way to capture and tag business receipts on the go, in an instant. The combination of these additional perks gives the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card an advantage over comparable business credit cards.

The Fine Print

Credit cards can be lifesavers for small businesses, but it is important to understand how fees, restrictions and interest rates impact cardholders. The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card comes with an annual fee of $95, making is less attractive than some competing business credit cards with lower or no annual charge. Any business owner planning to utilize the Ink Plus credit card for a balance transfer should be aware that a greater of $5 or 5% of the total amount transferred is applicable, and cash advances incur a $15 or 5% fee, whichever is greater. Late payments may result in a fee, ranging from $15 up to $39, per payment.

The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card does not offer an introductory interest rate or any balance transfer offers at this time. Instead, the standard annual percentage rate for purchases ranges from 15.49% up to 19.49%, based on the credit quality of the applicant; balance transfer rates fall into the same range. Interest rates on cash advances are a stark 25.24%, in addition to the aforementioned fees. Cardholders should know that because all interest rates associated with the credit card are variable from the onset, shifts in the market may have an impact on the actual interest rate applicable at any time. Chase states that the most qualified applicants are those with excellent personal credit history.

The Verdict

While the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is an attractive solution for business owners in need of an accessible credit line with ample rewards, this card is best suited for individuals who are capable of earning enough in rewards to offset the $95 annual fee. For businesses who spend a substantial amount of cash on office supplies, cable and Internet services and travel, the rewards program is second to none. However, if your business does not spend much on these specific categories, or has relatively low spending on all other purchases, a card with no annual fee or a cash-back only rewards program may be a better solution.

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5 Best Business Cards for Travel Rewards, Winter 2014

Some might argue that the recent announcement by Chase offering a bonus of 70,000 points for signing up for the Ink Plus business card makes it the greatest offer out there. But, don’t be afraid to explore the options, there are currently some great deals floating around that you might want to take advantage of. Here are just a few of the top business cards that we have found.

Ink Plus Business Card

As mentioned, this current offering from Chase gives cardholders a bonus of 70,000 points after they spend $5,000 within the first three months of having the card. Cardholders earn a whopping 5 points per dollar spent on office supplies, cell phone services, internet services, and cable and landline services. Earn 2 points per dollar spent at hotels and gas stations, and one point per dollar elsewhere. All points can be redeemed through the very flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards online portal, for a wide variety of options.

With an annual fee of $95, some may shy away from this card, but the many perks, including complimentary Lounge Club membership for several airlines. Recent news indicates that this offer may be ending soon, so if it interests you, then you had better act fast to take advantage.

Citi Business AAdvantage World MasterCard

This business card offers cardholders a bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months after approval. You can earn 2 AAdvantage points per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, and also when you spend money on office supplies, car rentals and telecommunications services. There is an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year. With a high sign-up points bonus, this is a great card. When you consider this bonus, plus the first year’s annual fee waived, the Citi Business AAdvantage World MasterCard ranks high among the best business cards available this season.

United MileagePlus Explorer 

The United MileagePlus Explorer Business card not only has a great sign-up bonus of 50,000 after spending $1,000 in the first three months, but you also get a free checked bag when traveling on United flights, which can be up to a $50 savings every time you fly. Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases at restaurants and gas stations, as well as on business supplies at office supply stores. Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on United Airlines purchases.

Get an additional bonus of 10,000 miles when you spend $25,000 in one calendar year. There is an annual fee of $95, but this is waived during the first year. With no foreign transaction fees, this card is great for international travel.

Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers a great sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of having the card. There are occasional offers that are even better, sometimes up to 75,000 or 100,000 points for sign-up. With additional perks including Priority Pass membership, Delta SkyClub benefits, a $200 airline rebate, TSA PreCheck application and more, this card is worth considering.

It does have a hefty annual fee of $450, but if you play your cards right (pun intended), then you can make the most of the perks and make it worthwhile. Travel rewards are available at a rate of 1.25 cents per point, so each point has a great value. Tons of extra discounts are also available, including discounts for Hertz, Hyatt, FedEx and Barnes & Noble.

Starwood Preferred Guest 

Amex has a great business version of its popular Starwood Preferred Guest card, the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Business Card. This great business card offers a 25,000 point sign-up bonus in the form of 10,000 points after cardholders make their first purchase and an additional 15,000 points after cardholders spend $5,000 in the first 6 months that they have the card.

Enjoy two points earned for every dollar spent on Starwood purchases, and one point for every dollar spent elsewhere. One of the great benefits is the ability to earn elite status qualification after 2 stays, and redeem that for 5 nights credit at any Starwood location. Gold Status is achieved when you spend $30,000 in the first year that you have the card. The annual fee is $65, which is not only reasonable, but also waived for the first year. Because Starwood Preferred Guest points are considered to be among the best in the industry right now, and it is easy to earn elite status, this is a card that you might want to seriously consider.

Do You Need a Business Card?

Not everyone needs a business card, but there certainly are many advantages. These advantages may be magnified when a person has a personal and a business version of the same card and can combine points and rewards to really maximize the returns. Often the sign-up bonuses are much larger for business credit cards and can help you build up a large rewards account. You don’t have to own a large company to get a business credit card, most allow you to sign up as a sole proprietor using your own credit history and social security number.

Conclusion

If you have been thinking about exploring the benefits of getting a business credit card, now is a great time with several terrific offers out there for you to check out. Your business credit can be separate from your personal credit, allowing you to build credit for your business, just like you would for yourself. This may ultimately lead to some new business opportunities for you! Check out these offers today!

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Limited Time 70,000 Ink Plus Offer!

Those interested in becoming Chase Ink Plus cardholders have a limited time to take advantage of a great new offer that will get them 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points. When this offer was initially released, you could only sign up by getting a referral from a current cardholder, but, now the public can sign up for this terrific deal.

 

The Benefits

Stellar Bonus

In order to get the 70,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points, you must be approved for a Chase Ink Plus business credit card, and then spend $5,000 within 3 months of having the card.

Limited Time Offer!

This offer is only available for a short time, so don’t delay! It appears you have to apply for the card by October 10, 2014 in order to get the 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points bonus.

Great Perks

This is one of the top rated business credit cards, and there are several good reasons. Although there is a $95 annual fee, the perks that come with the card far outweigh the cost of the annual fee. The 70,000 bonus points alone are worth more than that when you redeem them for rewards—up to $875 in travel rewards, just from that bonus alone!

Big Points Earning Potential

Cardholders will earn 5X points for every dollar spent, up to $50,000 per year in spending, for all office supply stores, cellular phone service, internet service, landline phone and cable television service. Use your InkPlus card to pay for all of these expenses, and watch your Ultimate Rewards account grow!

Earn 2X points for every dollar spent, up to $50,000 per year in spending, for all purchases made at gas stations and hotels, when booked through your Ultimate Rewards account.

Added Value

Get a 20% discount when you redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards online portal and really maximize your points! And enjoy the flexibility of transferring your points out to 11 travel partners. The options are there!

 

The Nitty Gritty

Just to recap, the Chase InkPlus Business card has a $95 annual fee. There is no introductory APR, and the APR is currently 15.24%, and varies according to the prime rate. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a 3% balance transfer fee. Balance transfer APR is 15.24%, and variable. Cash advance fees are 4%, with a 19.24% APR for cash advances.

Late payment fees range from $19-39, depending on the balance you carry. Additional cards for employees are free. Cardholders are eligible for customary Chase benefits, including 24/7 customer service availability, extended warranties on purchases, auto rental insurance, zero fraud liability, purchase protection and travel insurance.

 

Conclusion

We think that the Chase InkPlus Business card is one of the best in the business, pun intended! Even with a $95 annual fee, this card really hits a home run when it comes to benefits and rewards. Using the Ultimate Rewards portal to redeem your rewards is the best way to maximize your earnings, as you will get a 20% discount when you book your travel rewards this way!

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Will You Lose Your Ultimate Rewards Points if You Cancel Your Credit Card?

One of the great things that Chase has to offer with their rewards credit cards is the ability to combine points from their different Ultimate Rewards points earning cards, including personal cards and business cards, so that you can redeem them for bigger rewards. But, it is important to realize some of the fine print!

You Will Lose Points if You Close Your Card

It is possible to lose all of your accumulated Chase points if you close your credit card, unless you first transfer them to another card that is eligible for earning Ultimate Rewards.

It is also important to know that there is no grace period, and you cannot use the points once you cancel the card that earned them (unless you first transferred them). You also cannot transfer them once you close the card. So make sure that you take care of the transfer, or redeem the points before closing the card.

No Fee to Transfer Points

Transferring points to another card is free, and very simple to do. It is well worth the few minutes that it takes to preserve the points in your account. One of the good parts about being able to transfer points is that you can transfer them to any card that is eligible for Ultimate Rewards.

So, if your spouse has a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, you can actually transfer to that account. You can only use this option with spouses or domestic partners, so don’t try to send them to a friend’s account.

Special Options

Chase will allow you to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to certain airline partners or hotel partners before you close your card and lose them. So, if there is a particular travel partner that you like, it is wise to move the points into that account. This is a perk available for those with Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus cardholders.

How to Keep Earning

Closing credit cards can be a big decision, but might make sense in certain cases. For example, if you choose to become an authorized user on your spouse’s Chase Ink Bold card, your combined points earning potential can stay the same while only having to pay one annual fee. This is a way that both of you can continue to take advantage of bonus spending categories and rack up the UR points.

Conclusion

Be careful that you never close any card that has a balance of rewards points, because you run the risk of forfeiting those points, which would be a shame when there are so many great ways to use them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Consider all of the options before closing a card, including what the closure might do to your credit score.

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New Limited Time Delta Card Offers

Now is the time to get on board with Delta SkyMiles with the latest offer from American Express. For a limited time, until September 8, 2014, you can get a signup bonus of 35,000 miles (instead of the usual 30,000) when you are approved for one of three different cards, the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card (personal or business cards) or the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card.

Let’s take a look at the three different offers and you can decide which one fits you best. Each offer is a little different, and you might be drawn to earning more Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), a companion ticket, or you may prefer a free checked bag. There are different perks associated with each offer.

 

Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express

This card is available in either personal or business versions. This offer gives you 50,000 SkyMiles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Plus, you earn a $50 statement credit when you make your first Delta purchase within the first 3 months. With this credit card, you earn double miles for any Delta purchase, and one mile per dollar spent on everything else. Get a free checked bag on every Delta flight, for up to 8 people in your party. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Get Priority Boarding perks, too, as well as in-flight discounts of 20%.

The business version of the Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express gives you all of the above perks, plus an additional savings of 3-10% on business expenses for spending at FedEx, Hertz and Office Max. OPEN Savings offers are also available. There are no additional fees for extra cards.

 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles American Express

Again, there are personal and business versions of this card, but we will focus on the personal version because the current business version offers a lower signup bonus. With this card, you get 50,000 bonus SkyMiles when you spend $1,000 within the first three months, plus a $100 statement credit with your first Delta purchase within the first three months.

In addition, you get 15,000 MQMs for the same spending levels. Similar to the Gold versions, you get double miles for all Delta spending, and one SkyMile for every dollar spent on other purchases. Earn an annual bonus of up to 20,000 SkyMiles and 20,000 MQMs each year, at a rate of 10,000 of each for every $25,000 spent annually.

A free checked bag for every member of your party is included. Priority Boarding is available, as well as the 20% in-flight savings. Another great perk is that you get a companion certificate each year for a roundtrip flight within the United States. The annual fee is $195 for this card, and is not waived during the first year.

 

Conclusion

Although you are limited to using SkyMiles on Delta and their partners, which is a drawback for some, the perks and miles that you earn with these cards, particularly with the current bonus offers, are pretty fantastic. Companion certificates are not widely offered right now, and you can get your money’s worth out of the annual fees just with this perk alone, should you opt for the Platinum version.