Posted on

Best Messenger Bag for Your Morning Commute

With companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple rising toward the top of Fortune’s 500, the rigid formality of the stereotypical office environment is relaxing. While there will always be a place for a traditional look, an increasing number of 9-to-5-ers at the top of their game are donning innovative, casual attire and accessories. These modern styles tend to be versatile, gender-neutral, and eco-friendly.

As a Gen-Xer who’s participated in this office evolution through the boom and into a millennium of younger, hipper, and more multicultural CEOs, I can appreciate this fresh view of professionalism. In tribute to the generation that brought you office sharing, webinars, and Mark Zuckerberg, I have delved into how the best and brightest are hauling their gear. It is my pleasure to present contenders for the title of the best messenger bag for your morning commute.

Best Messenger Bag (Best Casual Bag): [amazon_textlink asin=’B0136NC18G’ text=’Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’871b2333-b7bb-11e8-bb61-0b10f0770be6′]

Founded by San Francisco bike messenger Rob Honeycutt, bag manufacturer and marketer Timbuk2 has grown up in the true entrepreneurial spirit of the Left Coast. From its 1989 conception in Honeycutt’s garage, the company has embraced individuality, practicality, and environmental responsibility. Now the 2nd largest manufacturer in the Bay City, Timbuk2 maintains its focus on perfecting the quality of a select product line. As my pick for best casual bag: the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D1SO’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’97b837f1-b7bb-11e8-afba-370b385c3294′] leads the contenders for best messenger bag.

Packing and Organization

As the primary function of the best messenger bag is to carry your gear, packing, and organization top our considerations. By keeping close to their roots as a bike messenger bag company, the designers for the Timbuk2 Command have meticulously engineered its construction for maximum benefit.

Volume to Weight

While there are arguably more important characteristics when considering the best messenger bag, the volume to weight ratio is a good place to start. The Timbuk2 Command weighs 2 pounds, 11 ounces when empty, which is an average heft for a shoulder bag. Its fully expanded dimensions are 18.5” wide x 6” deep x 15.5” tall. This is an internal carrying capacity of 0.70 cubic feet and a volume to weight ratio of 0.26 ft3/pound.


The [amazon_textlink asin=’B0136NC18G’ text=’Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a689b578-b7bb-11e8-84bb-1f5866699dd5′] has an impressive eight total compartments. The space is dominated by one primary slip pocket capable of handling a 17” laptop.

The interior also includes a few smaller pocks for handling pens, change, and smaller electronics. The exterior has its own array of receptacles including a rear zippered pocket for a notepad or tablet and a secure water bottle holder. A padded front Napoleon pocket is also capable of accommodating a 9” tablet.


The main closures for the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag are simple, innovative hook and loop closures. These stylish aluminum hooks slide into any one of four sets of elastic loops for a versatile, secure close. Silencer strips cover these devices to keep the bag or its contents from rattling as you move. Zippers secure the back pocket and an interior pocket, guaranteeing the security of your most valuable items.


We’ve come a long way since a single compartment duffle bag or a hard-sided briefcase. Now that we’ve examined what the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D1SO’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b7def6d7-b7bb-11e8-8262-fb564ca94160′] can hold, let’s see what else it can do. In an era where going into the office sometimes involves a TSA checkpoint, the top contenders for best messenger bag sometimes have some impressive functionality.


The Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag is TSA compliant. This means that it opens in a way to pass your electronics, specifically a laptop, through an X-Ray scanner without taking them out of the bag.  This is a huge plus in terms of efficiency and protecting your gear.

This messenger bag is also the only one in our review that has the option for a cross-chest strap. This iconic carrying method, preferred by bike messengers, keep a tight center of gravity. It also decreases the likelihood that you’ll hit anything with the bag and makes it almost impossible to drop.


We’ve covered most of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D54Y’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’s’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ccd74fd5-b7bb-11e8-8bc2-9d32cae08ae2′] accessories in our description of the compartments, closures, and versatility. This exceptional messenger bag also features a luggage-handle pass-through so that you can secure it to the top of a rolling pullman. Finally, reflective contact points make the bag easier to spot and increase safety while traveling.


The Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag is an extremely durable messenger bag. The materials and construction protect both the bag itself and its contents.


The primary material for the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag is durable, weatherproof polyester. This contender for best messenger bag also incorporates Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU).  Considered the bridge between rubber and plastic, TPU is an extremely durable and versatile material for high-end accessories.

The TPU-lined main flap makes the entire bag weather resistant. While the contents might not survive a dunk in the San Francisco Bay, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D1SO’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e90b76ea-b7bb-11e8-91b5-bba2bf15b938′] will protect your laptop and important papers during a rain-soaked commute.

Overall Comfort

In terms of a messenger bag, comfort is closely tied to versatility. From its origins as a bike messenger bag company, Timbuk2 has prioritized both. The Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag has a padded handle for ease of carrying like a briefcase. The nylon main strap is fully adjustable. The cross strap enables the wearer to keep the bag closely restrained for the most rambunctious of travel.

Overall Style

Available in 12 color combinations and 3 sizes, the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag has a look to suit a wide variety of users. The general style gives an impression of conscientious worldliness, sophistication, and fun. Put bluntly, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D1SO’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’062172a7-b7bc-11e8-ac93-0f5480d5f6ec’] looks fantastic.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

Even the best messenger bag has its areas of concern.  Let’s take a look at two flaws for the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D1SO’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0d02c4c3-b7bc-11e8-b397-bf9fc83c4767′].

Doesn’t Stand Up on Its Own

Due to the tilted bottom, the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag does not stay upright if not supported, even when its full. While this is true of most messenger bags (compared to traditional briefcases), it’s worth noting.

Strap Doesn’t Cinch Tight Across a Narrow Chest

If you’re a petite person and intending to use the cross strap to convert the bag into a true bike messenger bag, you may have trouble. Even at its tightest, the cross strap for the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag won’t cinch around a narrow chest. If you still love the bag, consider buying an aftermarket strap to replace the one that comes with the bag.


[amazon_link asins=’B0136NC18G’ template=’Custom’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ text=” link_id=’407f0908-bb8d-11e8-9eae-3d0dcedfb14a’]

Best Messenger Bag (Best Business Bag): [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3c0a909a-b7bc-11e8-9a41-5b6abb910a25′]

Now that we’ve examined the best messenger bag for the casual commuter, let’s take a look back at something more traditional. Some carrying cases combine the ergonomic ease of the modern messenger bag with the class and sophistication of the board-room briefcase. My pick for one of the best business messenger bags, the Fossil Defender Messenger Bag, perfects this accommodation of old and new.

Probably best known for their iconic watches, the Texas-based Fossil Group has been setting the bar for stylish versatile accessories since the mid-1980s. With its emphasis on a marriage of vintage design and modern technology, it’s no wonder that Fossil presented a contender for best messenger bag (business bag) with the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4da9fac2-b7bc-11e8-9dd9-fb6c3bf4d3fa’].

Packing and Organization

Arguably, the packing science and content organization of a business-style messenger bag is not as critical as that of a more commuter-oriented bag. That said, in order for the Fossil Defender Messenger Bag to make our list, it needed to show some merit in this category.

Volume to Weight

At 2 pounds, 15 ounces, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’621ad39e-b7bc-11e8-a0ff-55c013e9d542′] is only slightly heavier than the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D1SO’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6b6f972a-b7bc-11e8-9768-55ad14bd7247′]. Its average dimensions are 16” wide x 4” deep x 13” tall. This brings its volume/weight ratio to 0.26 ft3. In terms of carrying capacity, the Fossil bag is less practical than its casual counterpart.


The Fossil Defender Messenger Bag has a simple, elegant design that still has plenty of functionality. The main compartment is capable of carrying a 15” laptop, which is an average size. With a maximum depth of 4”, the Fossil also has less capacity to carry other items alongside a laptop and its components. If you’re purchasing a messenger bag for this primary purpose, take careful measurements.

The Fossil Defender Messenger Bag also has two additional interior media pockets, one interior zipper pocket, and two exterior slide pockets that are covered by the flap.


The decorative belt-style closures on the front of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8126d30f-b7bc-11e8-a854-b5579d72768f’] are for show. They conceal the real mechanisms, a single snap with push-button release. This is actually a much more secure and convenient closure for the bag. The interior zipper provides further protection for your most valuable items such as keys, jewelry, or small tech.


The shining aspects of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’88e0d27a-b7bc-11e8-b494-8b94a81d159b’] are its elegance, durability, and comfort. As such, it doesn’t offer much more in terms of robust functionality.


The carrying strap of the Fossil Defender Messenger Bag is removable and fully adjustable down to a generous 27.5” shoulder drop.


In addition to its compartments, this messenger bag has a secure key ring and 4 elastic loops for holding pens or other small accessories.


Fossil prides itself on the workmanship of its products. As such the leather, cloth, and metal aspects of the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9c90a59f-b7bc-11e8-8f5c-f3333e1b63d2′] are built to last. While the defender is not weatherproof, the padded main compartment is designed to protect your laptop or other contents from impact and some environmental risks.


The main external construction of the Fossil Defender Messenger Bag is 100% leather. The strap is tough, braided synthetic, and the interior is a slick, synthetic textile. This reduces friction and enables quiet insertion and removal of contents.

Overall Comfort

While the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’af78e3a1-b7bc-11e8-b9c3-1bb6ed13195c’] does not have an array of carrying options, it is very comfortable with the strap over the shoulder and across the body. The long, adjustable strap enables the wearer to optimize the height of the bag to reduce uncomfortable jarring. The smooth, high-grade leather also makes for a pleasing feel while handling.

Overall Style

The high-end materials give the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b5d48ade-b7bc-11e8-b7c5-ddd1c553c09b’] an elegant, vintage look. Exemplified by the substantial primary flap, the lines are sleek and simple, accented by thoughtfully designed and well-placed hardware.  The stitching further signifies the high-end construction.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

As the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c81a2015-b7bc-11e8-806a-d57a43adcdd8′] is designed for a more limited sort of stylized use, its flaws relate primarily to a lack of versatility.

Too Small for Many Laptops

This is more of a limitation than a flaw. The 16” interior width only allows for a maximum carrying width of 15”, which rules out many laptops. If you have a larger laptop (or simply carry a lot of documents to and from work) consider a larger messenger bag.

Limited Zippered Compartments

Again, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ceaae16b-b7bc-11e8-af55-3ddfc2dc484e’] is not designed for a rigorous commute or substantial outdoor travel. While the one zippered interior pocket will provide increased protection for a few small things, the rest of your contents are more vulnerable to weather, theft, or simply falling out if the bag is overturned.

Best Messenger Bag (Best Rugged Bag): [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4dad88c9-bae7-11e8-bb76-cf5c1c60934e’]

Royal Robbins was one of the pioneers of American competitive rock climbing. He championed ‘clean climbing’: a battery of techniques that utilized natural rock formations instead of employing damaging climbing equipment. In the 1950s, Robbins developed the Yosemite Decimal System for categorizing the difficulty of climbs.

Later, he used the highest rating on this scale, 5.11, as the name of a clothing line designed for extreme naturalists such as himself. Sixty years later, 5.11 has developed into an incredibly well-regarded clothing line for military, police, and emergency responder gear. Among the high-endurance offerings of this incredible California company is my pick for best messenger bag (best rugged bag), the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’549013db-bae7-11e8-8738-71c67846c711′].

Packing and Organization

As its designed for operators with a heightened demand for speed and accuracy, the 5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag is the best messenger bag for a highly organized outing.

Volume to Weight

The 5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag is the ‘Large’ size of the Rush Delivery series: larger than the Mike (medium) and smaller than the XRay (extra-large). At 17” wide, 11” high, and 4” deep, it is a comparable size to our other competitors for the best messenger bag. Two pounds, 7 ounces of empty weight gives it a volume to weight ratio of 0.18 ft3 / lb.


This tactical bag has more compartments than both of our other messenger bags combined. On the exterior, it has 3 individual zippered pockets (one on the back, two under the flap) and one large water bottle holder capable of carrying a quart bottle. The underside of the flap is festooned with roughly a dozen small holding mechanisms designed for anything from a K-Bar knife to a flashlight. The interior is subdivided by several flaps and additional mesh pouches but still leaves one principal cavity large enough for a 15” laptop.


The primary bag closures are substantial plastic clips. Zippers and Velcro provide many secondary solutions for security property within or on the bag. The multitude of closures enables the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 Rush Delivery Lima’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6d8897c2-bae7-11e8-a36f-f3c9861d204c’] to provide a high degree of security for valuables, including weapons or other sensitive materials.


Advertised specifically as a ‘Tactical’ bag, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 Rush Delivery Lima’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7414ec8d-bae7-11e8-8e12-fb1c67874992′] receives top marks for functionality.


The extremely high number of compartments and closures make the 5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag an extremely versatile messenger bag. The bag is designed to simultaneously and safely hold a water bottle, a laptop, small firearms, and fragile accessories. You will not find a more versatile bag for high adventure or quick response to volatile situations.


In addition to the functionality I’ve already detailed, the 5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag has a few simple yet highly useful accessories. A concealed compartment to the rear of the main cavity cleverly hides contents from initial inspection. A series of reinforced loops along the top can be used for carabiners, car keys, or handcuffs. The front of the bag is MOLLE compatible. This military system of heavy-duty nylon loops can secure various additional attachments.


Both in terms of protecting its contents and the bag’s own longevity, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 Rush Delivery Lima’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8951efbc-bae7-11e8-b40d-d5f493f3da4f’] is the most durable messenger bag in our review.


Thick, water-resistant 1050D Nylon holds up under a variety of conditions, including aggressive handling.

Overall Comfort

While the 5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag isn’t specifically built for comfort, it travels well. The well-padded, removable cross-body strap provides enduring relief from muscular bruising and skeletal strain. This bag also has a rear panel for attachment to luggage such as a rolling Pullman.

Overall Style

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 Rush Delivery Lima’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’94aedec7-bae7-11e8-b67c-4d31aa9451a6′] isn’t designed to be a fashion accessory. It is a basic earth-tone to blend into its surroundings or the rest of the wearer’s gear. It is a subdued and dignified piece of equipment.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

Fabric Does Not Flex

Because this bag is designed to protect its contents, the stiff sides do not allow for much flexibility. At only 4” deep, once you’ve tucked a laptop and a few other contents side by side, you may be maxing out the capacity.

May Be Too Complicated

Depending on your intent for its use, the multitude of pockets and accessories may be overwhelming. If you only need a gym bag or a document briefcase, all of the fabric taken up with dividers and closures may even be a hindrance.

All the Nitty Gritty

  [amazon_textlink asin=’B00M48D1SO’ text=’Timbuk2 Command’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’73b98f87-b7be-11e8-b561-ff5efd874471′] [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7955b7bb-b7be-11e8-8b9a-85c0416518ec’] [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 RUSH Delivery Lima’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’aeef4d07-bae7-11e8-b1f0-5d68b963751c’]
Exterior Material Polyester Leather 1050D Nylon
Interior Material Polyester Textile Nylon
Closure Hook & Loop Push-Button Snap Plastic Snaps / Zippers
Weatherproof Yes No Yes
Weight 2 lbs 11 oz 2 lbs 15 oz 2 lbs 7 oz
Dimensions 18.5″x 6″ x 15.5″ 16″ x 4″ x 13″ 17″ x 4″ x 11″
Volume to Weight Ratio 0.26 cu ft / pound 0.17 cu ft / pound 0.18 cu ft / pound
Cross Strap Yes No No
Tech Compatibility 17″ Laptop 15″ Laptop 15″ Laptop
Number of Pockets Eight Six Ten +

The Bottom Line

Since graduating high school, I’ve favored a messenger bag over any other day bag probably 90% of the time. I love them. And as an aficionado of the European Carry-All, I know that there are a wide variety all with a different user in mind. For me, the more specific the bag is, the better it is.

For urban-dwellers with a youthful spirit, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0136NC18G’ text=’Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’92ee9b08-b7be-11e8-a660-878a3bf6eeaf’] is an ultra-stylish bag with unmatched punctuality.  It’s also fantastic for jet-setters, cyclists, and other nomads.

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B01DWNSYHC’ text=’Fossil Defender Messenger Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’99732725-b7be-11e8-96be-6fa6ff68892e’] is a traditional, high-end bag with equal parts vintage and cutting-edge. It’s a perfect match for anyone looking to outmatch contenders in the boardroom or the bar afterward.

If you are in the military, public service, or simply have the need for an exceedingly tactical bag, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FD7YP56′ text=’5.11 Rush Delivery Lima Tactical Messenger Bag ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b8325c78-bae7-11e8-a855-0d1edc0c70d5′]is a great choice. It is well-designed, rugged, and highly versatile.

Pick the bag that suits your style and fill it with your favorite things. Whether your adventure is to the urban jungle or the real one, attack it with vigor and optimism and, of course, the best messenger bag on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I learn more about product recycling and sustainable materials?

What a very astute and earth-conscious question! As you know, the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00S8LPWHE’ text=’Timbuk2 Command Laptop’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’walletpath-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’be1e0421-bae7-11e8-bab3-f3c094b6260d’] is produced by a company that values maintaining a high regard for environmental factors. The most important thing is to purchase from companies that honor sustainable practices.

Why do I need a messenger bag in the first place?

Besides the fact that they look spiffy? Messenger bags are a great compromise between the utility of a backpack and the formality of a briefcase. They are versatile, they protect their contents, and they generally preserve the apparel of the user.

Ready to pick out a laptop to slide inside that snazzy messenger bag? Check out my article on the Best Laptop for Freelance Writers.

Posted on

The New Hawaiian Airlines Business MasterCard Review

Who doesn’t like Hawaii?  Besides those afraid of islands and beautiful surroundings, Hawaii is a dream vacation for many on both sides of the Pacific.  With great water, beaches, pineapples, and great golf, it’s a major vacation destination for not only mainlanders but also Japanese tourists due to its ‘Middle of the Pacific’ location.

Hawaiian Airlines seems like a natural airline to fly to the Aloha state, doesn’t it?  But, how do you get the points necessary to fly on Hawaiian?  With a credit card, of course!  And, if you are a small business owner, you can apply for the New Hawaiian Airlines Business MasterCard, in addition to the personal version.  Let’s check out some of the benefits below!

Apply Now: The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®


The Benefits

Sign Up Bonus

Everyone loves a good sign up bonus.  Thankfully, Hawaiian’s business credit card delivers.  By meeting the spend requirement of $1,000 of purchases in 90 days, you will earn you 35,000 miles.  Not too shabby (and, if you pair it up with the personal credit card, that’s another 35,000 miles!).

Bonus Miles

You’ll earn lots of bonus miles with this card if you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines often.  Every dollar spent with the airline will earn two miles, and one mile will be earned for every other purchase.  In addition, special partners on their website can earn you ten points per dollar.  Furthermore, if you spend $50-99,000 in the year of your card, you’ll receive an extra 20,000 miles.  Spend over $100,000, and you’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles.  This is available every year that you own the card, so if you have a business that spends over $100,000 a year, you’ll have plenty of bonus points!

Other Benefits

Are you someone that takes their entire closet with them when they travel?  Well, you’re in luck.  With this credit card, you’ll receive a free checked bag when flying on Hawaiian.  For me flying to Hawaii, all I need is a backpack and a swimsuit, but for others, their entire wardrobe is necessary.

For one-time only, you’ll receive 50% off a companion ticket when you fly from North America in coach.  That’s pretty nice if you want to fly to Hawaii immediately after receiving the card, instead of waiting for the points to deposit into your account.  You’ll also receive 5,000 point discount on all Hawaiian Airlines award redemptions from North America to Hawaii.  Anything helps!


The Nitty Gritty

The card does levy an $89 fee per year, which is not waived.  However, the card does have ‘SmartChip’ technology, which is becoming more and more popular stateside.  Furthermore, if you use the card abroad, there are no foreign transaction fees.   And, the card includes the new “ChipCard” technology, making it easy to use the credit card in places like Europe and South America.



Earning miles in such a niche program may not seem to make a lot of sense to you, but with roundtrips running just 40,000 miles (and sometimes less with discounted awards), a signup bonus is essentially a flight to Hawaii.  Furthermore, with partners like Membership Rewards, which can help you top off your account, and the ability to book awards on ANA, Delta, Korean Air, JetBlue, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia makes this program make sense.  In addition, if you’re on a longer Hawaiian vacation and would like to island hop, intra-island flights run just 7,500 miles.  What do you think?  Is this card worth it?  Let us know in the comments!

Apply Now: The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard®

Posted on

US Bank Business Platinum Credit Card Review

Everyone loves a credit card.  But, with more and more credit cards coming out by the week (or at least it seems like that), which ones are worth it?  Which ones deserve to be in your wallet?  We have a new credit card to take a look at from US Bank this week, the US Bank Business Platinum Credit Card.  Let’s take a look below at some of the benefits and see if it’s worth our time!


Apply Now: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa® Card



First off, the card is offering a 0% introductory APR for all purchases and balance transfers for the first twelve months of card membership.  This is a great way to pay off any large purchases you make over the first year you have this card.  But, be careful about your spending, because you’ll have a variable APR at the end of that first twelve months- anywhere between 9.99% and 17.99%, based on your credit worthiness.

There are no points or miles that can be earned with this card.  Rather, the card is connected in with Visa SavingsEdge, which can net your business up to a 15% discount on business purchases at name-brand merchants.  For example, you’ll save 1% at Texaco stations, 5% at La Quintas, the list goes on and on.  You can check out that list here.

So, that’s the bad news.  No points or miles earned for your business purchases.  But, there is no annual fee for the card, so if you pay your bills monthly, you won’t have any cost of card ownership.

In addition, this card offers up free employee cards for your business, which other cards often charge you for.  This could be a benefit for your small business, depending on the size of it.

Furthermore, you’ll have 24/7 customer service, bill pay online (but what card doesn’t these days) and access to something called Connect, which can give your small business ‘helpful information, tools and resources.’

Other than that, this credit card doesn’t have any other benefits.  Business credit cards, if you didn’t know, do not go on your ‘personal’ credit, but on your business’ credit.  That means, you can get a personal and a business credit card product, of the same brand, and not have any problems.



There are other business credit cards out there besides this one.  They offer up points, miles, more benefits for your business, and may not charge you a large fee to do so.  This card just doesn’t wow me.  The APR introductory offer is something, but there are other cards that offer the same thing!  Other than that, there are no discernible benefits to this card.

The SavingsEdge may save you money here and there, but nothing compared to a card that gets you 3%-5% back on office supply stores, or gas and groceries.  That said, if you are a US Bank loyalist and this card makes sense for you, by all means, apply away!

So, did you see something that I missed?  Do you think that the US Bank Platinum Business Credit Card is a more worthy card than I wrote?  Then let me know below in the comments!  I love healthy discourse!

Apply Now: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa® Card

Posted on

U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa Credit Card Review

Business owners looking for smart ways to save money and increase convenience of spending will find the US Bank Business Platinum card intended for small businesses to be a great choice. Finding a great business card is not always easy, so let us help you sort through the options until you find the perfect card for your situation. Here are some of the benefits of this great card.


No Annual Fee

Of course, this one is always a biggie. When there are cards with no annual fee available, they are often front runners when individuals and business owners are looking for the perfect credit card.

0% Intro APR

Pay no interest for a full year on purchases and balance transfers when you are approved for the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa card. At the conclusion of the introductory period, the APR will be between 9.99-17.99%, which is extremely competitive. To qualify for the 0% rate, balance transfers must be made within the first 30 days. Your credit history will determine where you are in that range.

Total Fraud Liability Coverage

Should you be the unfortunate victim of fraudulent activity on your U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa card, you will not be held responsible for any transactions that you do not authorize, as long as you notify the credit card company promptly at the time of the unauthorized use of the card.

Add Employees as Authorized Users for Free

No more worrying about gathering receipts and reimbursing your employees when they have to make purchases on behalf of your company. Now, you can add authorized users for free whenever you want, allowing you to totally streamline your spending and recordkeeping and keep track of everything more carefully.

Unique ScoreBoard Reporting System 

ScoreBoard is an online service created by U.S. Bank that helps you track your company’s spending and monitor the budget. Not only can you keep track of your spending closely, but you can get comparisons to national averages and trends that are current, helping you stay within your budget and know what your competition is doing, too! You will get a customized report on a monthly basis, complete with easy to read and helpful graphs that illustrate your spending trends and habits. This will help you plan your budget moving forward, and make the necessary adjustments in your spending to stick to them!

Convenient Customer Service

Get easy access to customer service, whenever you need it—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can get in touch with a live person to answer your questions and address any issues you have, without having to wait for traditional business hours to fix things!

The Nitty Gritty

Just to summarize, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa card has no annual fee. Add as many additional employee cardholders as you need at no additional cost. Pay no interest for 12 full months on all purchases and any balance transfers made within the first 30 days with the 0% introductory APR, which will go up to between 9.99-17.99%, depending on your credit.

Balance transfer fees are 3% within the first 30 days, and 4% thereafter. Cash advance fees are 4%, and the APR for cash advances is 23.99%. Foreign transaction fees of 2% for transactions in USD and 3% for transactions in foreign currency apply.



The U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa card is a great card for those small business owners looking to get a great interest rate and lower fees. The great introductory period can save you tons of money, and the APR after the introductory period is very competitive. With no additional charges to add users, this card is great if you have a few employees that need to be authorized users.


Posted on

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for Your Business

Searching for the perfect credit card for your business? Let us help.

Small business owners face many challenges during the start up process – developing a business plan, creating sales leads, planning marketing and branding, to name a few. There are plenty of other important decisions to make, too especially when it comes to finances. Choosing the right business credit card as a small business owner or entrepreneur is critical—and, with so many choices, it will take some time to sort through the options. Here is some advice before you begin the process!

[Check out our page with the Best Business Credit Cards.]


Watch Out For High Fees

Some business credit cards charge higher fees than those credit cards intended for personal use. Read the fine print and make sure that you are not being charged any “special” fees just because it is a credit card for a business. Often, the charges are higher, especially for a new business, because the business itself does not have any established credit. You may want to consider getting a business credit card that is also in your personal name, if you have good credit, to get the benefit of a lower APR or better perks. After all, you want to have a business credit card that may allow you to make certain purchases and perhaps pay them off over a period of time, as your business becomes more established, so you do not want to begin incurring large amounts of interest debt in the process!

Business credit cards often have higher annual fees, as well as higher APRs. Although you may get a great introductory APR, it may spike dramatically at the end of the introductory period. Know exactly how long the period lasts and what will happen when it ends. If your APR or fees fluctuate, this is something you want to know and keep track of, to avoid paying too many fees and charges. Look for business credit cards that offer no annual fees and low APRs (or extended introductory rates!) for best results.


Evaluate Rewards and Compare

Many credit cards offer great rewards programs, including many business credit cards. Take the time to comparison shop, don’t just jump at the first offer you see. Decide whether discounts on certain categories, cash back or travel rewards might be best for you and your situation, and then shop around for the best cards in that category. We offer a great database of credit cards that can help you compare the front runners you are considering!


How Will You Use the Credit Card?

Not all small business owners are going to use a business credit card in the same way, which is why there are so many different ones to choose from. Think about what your purpose for the credit card will be—do you do a lot of business traveling and need a credit card to cover the expenses? Are you looking to establish credit so that you can qualify for a commercial loan? Do you want a great cash back program?

Business credit cards can help you spread out your expenses over time, and help you to maximize your profits, but you need to be thoughtful and responsible when choosing the credit card and using the credit card.

If you are just starting out in the business world, you may want to avoid a card with no limit—it might be too tempting to overspend, assuming your business will be extremely successful. Just like in your personal life, business spending should be realistic and not exceed what you can pay back. Because, just like in your personal life, your business finances can fall into ruins if you are not responsible and disciplined!


Link: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa® Card

Posted on

Earn more Membership Rewards with the AmEx OPEN Savings Program

Have you heard of the American Express OPEN Savings Program? If not, listen up!

Everyone loves a good deal.  And for those who run a small business, every percentage discount counts.  But, many may not know that their business credit card from American Express can save them some money (or earn them some more Membership Rewards points), just by shopping at certain merchants over others.  So, let’s review the OPEN Savings Program from American Express and see what’s going on!


How It Works

The OPEN Savings benefit comes automatically with any OPEN American Express credit card.  These cards include:

  • The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
  • The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

First, you’ll have to decide whether you’d enjoy a 3 to 10 percent discount at your merchants that you are shopping at, or one to four extra Membership Rewards points.  Basically, this will come down to what you value, and how much value you can extract from Membership Rewards points, which are a very valuable points currency.

Then, you just use your card at the merchants listed by American Express.  These include Hyatt Hotels, Hertz, Fedex, HP, FedEx Office, Barnes and Noble, and 1-800 Flowers.  Any other discounts you may receive through other offers can be used with this benefit, which is great!

So, a 5% cash back offer would translate into two additional Membership Rewards points, if you selected that option.  A 10% cash back option would translate into four points per dollar spent.

Also, if you do not already have a Membership Rewards account with American Express, then the discount is your only option on your OPEN enabled business credit card.  So, the only cards that could work for both would be the Platinum or Gold Business Charge Cards from American Express.  All of the discounts will appear on your statement as a statement credit, so it’s really a discount off of your purchase.

If you have one of these credit cards, navigate to and make your selection for which benefit you would like to receive.  This must be done in order to receive benefits.  You can change which type of benefit you’ll receive once per month, and it will take effect within 72 hours of your selection.



Isn’t this a great ‘secret’ benefit American Express has cooked up?  Not only are you saving money or earning more Membership Rewards points, you’re also getting more out of your cards in your wallet!  This is yet another reason why I really love American Express.  Their benefits are at times unparalleled, their customer service exquisite, and they’ve got some great award programs!

So, have we convinced you that an OPEN Savings credit card is right for you?  Then, let’s apply for one!  Remember, these are the cards that qualify: the Business Gold Rewards Card, the Business Platinum Card, the Plum Card, the Gold Delta Skymiles Business Credit Card, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card, or the SimplyCash Business Card.


Posted on

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

With travel credit cards seeming to only be increasing restrictions and limitations, it is important to choose exactly the right one that works for you. Each will have different benefits and advantages, or certain restrictions that would make it less desirable for your unique situation.

For business travelers, the choice is easy: the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express offers plenty of great features for today’s busy traveler.


Link: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express


Sign-Up Bonus Offer 

Once you make your first $1,000 in purchases (within the first 3 months) you will earn a huge bonus of 30,000 miles. This bonus can certainly help put a dent in your travel expenses! These miles can be redeemed through for booking flights and more.

Book a Trip Through Delta and Get a $50 Statement Credit

Another great perk for the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express is that when you book your first trip through Delta, within the first three months of having the card, you will receive a $50 statement credit. When you combine this great rebate with your bonus miles, you will find yourself well on your way to your first free trip using this credit card.

Earn Double Miles with All Delta Purchases

For any purchase you make through Delta Airlines, you will earn two SkyMiles points. For example, if you spend $400 on an airline ticket, you will earn 800 SkyMiles points to use at a later date. For those who are frequent business travelers, these miles can add up to free boarding passes in no time at all. While you are working, you can be earning a great personal vacation for yourself!

Earn Miles on Every Purchase

For all of your purchases, with the exception of the Delta purchases which will earn you two points per dollar spent, you will earn one point for every dollar you spend. If you use the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit card for all of your everyday purchases, you will accumulate a large number of SkyMiles quite quickly.

No Annual Fee for the First Year

Enjoy a special offer of NO annual fee for the first year that you have the card. After the introductory period expires, you will be charged an annual fee of $95, which is certainly competitive with other credit cards that charge annual fees.

Enjoy Delta Perks!

Use your Gold Delta SkyMiles for all of your in-flight purchases, which will earn you double miles. Every in-flight purchase you make (such as food, beverages, or entertainment) will earn you a 20% statement credit! Plus, as an added great benefit, you will get priority boarding options for all Delta flights. For business travelers, any time not spent waiting in line is a gift!

Another great perk offered to users of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit card is complimentary bag checks. Your first checked bag will be free. With so many airlines increasing the baggage check fees, this can be a huge savings!

Delta Airlines is known for its commitment to customer satisfaction and for going the extra mile when it comes to pleasing customers. Privileges for SkyMiles business customers are many, and include preferential booking with no blackout dates as well as seat upgrades for more legroom and the ability to redeem SkyMiles for car rentals, hotels and other travel expenses that can be booked or purchased through

Spend Money on Partners and Earn Statement Credits!

The Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit card from American Express offers you extra deals when you shop with any of their partners, such as FedEx, Hertz, and more. Earn 20% statement credits when you shop with the authorized partners!

Travel Easy with Great Protection

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit card holders are eligible for all of the great protection that is offered through American Express. Travel comfortably knowing you are covered in the event of emergency, such as card loss, lost luggage, roadside assistance, purchase protection, extended warranty options, car rental loss and any damages that may be incurred during travel. When you know you are safely covered, traveling is a breeze.

Business travelers need every advantage. When traveling for work, things can often feel rushed and stressed, but when you are earning many miles that you can then use for personal travel at a later date, and earning statement credits at the same time, traveling becomes less of a chore. American Express makes it easy for its Delta SkyMiles customers at every turn, ensuring easy and comfortable travel with plenty of great benefits.


Apply Now: Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

Posted on

Business Green Rewards Charge Card from American Express

Membership Rewards points are some of the most valuable points out there on the market.  Its transfer partners, spanning some of the most elite airlines on earth (Emirates, anyone?) and hotel properties around (Starwood!), make it so.  Earning more of these points in a quicker way can benefit a business owner looking to take a quick break from the mess of business.  Let’s check out the Business Green Rewards Business Charge Card to see if it’s right for your business!



  •  Annual Fee

As is the case with many American Express credit cards, you’ll receive a waiver of the annual fee during the first year.  For every year after that, you’ll pay an annual fee of $95.

  • Sign-Up Bonus

In what is, I believe, the smallest sign-up offer for a Membership Rewards earning credit card I’ve seen, you’ll receive 5,000 Membership Rewards points after your first purchase.  Most other offers expect some sort of minimum spend, so, in that sense, the reduction in points is made up for with the lack of stress meeting the requirements to spend a certain amount in three months.

  • Bonus Points

In addition, there are no “bonus” categories to speak of with the Business Green Rewards Business card.  You’ll only receive one (1) Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on the card.  Not terribly exciting…

  • Additional Benefits

As is the standard with American Express cards, you’ll receive Purchase Protection of up to 90 days on items bought with the card, an extended warranty of a year for products that have five years or less of warranty, car rental loss and damage insurance, and you can authorize an account manager to handle expenses for you.


The Nitty Gritty

This is a charge card, so you’ll have to settle up all bills when the statement is due each month.  No interest charges, at least!  In addition, this card has foreign transaction fees of 2.7%.  Any late payments will have a $35 fee or 2.99% of any past due pay in full amount, whichever is greater.  In addition, a returned payment carries a fee of $35 as well.



The Business Green Rewards Business Charge card may seem like a good card at face value, earning one point per dollar spent, but in reality, there are far, far better Membership Rewards credit cards out there to earn more Membership Rewards points than this one.  With only a 5,000 point bonus offer, it’s hardly worth wasting the added credit on.  The lack of real benefits beyond earning Membership Rewards points doesn’t seem worth an application to me.  However, for small businesses that spend only a little each month, this could be an option for them.



Posted on

The Plum Card from American Express Open Card Review

There are many options for credit and charge cards out there for business owners.  Between the major issuers, there are literally dozens.  However, each is targeted at a different business owner, as each business is uniquely different.  The Plum Card from American Express may be a card that you have not heard of before, so let’s dig into the benefits and see what it has in store!


Apply: The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

Full marketing details:

  • Get a 1.5% discount for paying early or up to 60 days to pay without interest, or both each month.
  • Do business on your terms.
  • Pay no annual Membership fee for your first year. Then, pay $250 annually.
  • No annual fee for Employee Cards.
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply.


  • Annual Fee

The annual fee of $250 is steep, but for card members in their first year, the fee is waived.  This is great for people looking to just try out a credit card first to see if its right for them.

  • Charge Card versus a Credit Card

One “benefit” is that you’ll be forced to pay off this card each month.  There are no interest charges as a result.

  • Deferred Payments

One unique feature of this card is that you can defer payment across months.  All you must do is pay 10% of the new charges of the month, plus all other deferred payments from previous months.  Then, you can defer the other 90% to next month’s bill.  None of these deferments are charged any interest, so that’s a major plus for business owners.

  • Early Payment Discount

For all people that pay within 10 days of your statement due date, you’ll earn a 1.5% discount on all purchases that month.  That’s a great benefit for those that are on top of their finances and can handle large credit.

  • Choosing Your Due Date

Another great option for business owners is the ability to choose when to pay your bill when you open your card, to fit your business needs.  This is a great option, because every business is different.

  • No Pre-Set Spending Limit

You can run up the bill, but you’ve got to pay it at the end of each month, remember!

  • Additional Benefits

The American Express standard “additional benefits” come standard on this card as well.  You’ll receive travel accident insurance and roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty, and a baggage insurance option for when you travel.


The Nitty Gritty

As stated previously, there is no APR on this card, since you pay your bill each month.  In addition, you’ll pay $250 a year when after your first year to hold the card in your wallet.  Foreign transaction fees are at 2.7% for every dollar spent abroad, so be careful if you bring this card with you to foreign countries.  Penalty fees, if for whatever reason you do not pay your bill on time, is 1.5%, plus 2.99% of the past due amount.   The minimum charge is $35.



The Plum Card from American Express has some great benefits for business owners.  Between the deferred payments from month to month, to the discount for early payment, this card rocks.  The steep annual fee may be too much for some, but for others, the benefits may justify the price.



Posted on

American Express Blue Business Card Review

American Express, after taking a look at all of their options, must have 1,000 different business credit card offers.  If one of your businesses can’t be assisted by one of their cards, are you sure it’s a business?  Only kidding.  There’s another option out there for people who enjoy low hassle business credit: the Blue for Business Credit Card.  Let’s check out the benefits below to see if they are right for you!

 Apply: The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express



Sign-Up Bonus

This card earns Membership Rewards points, one of the most attractive points currencies out there, with great redemption partners that make earning points worth it in the long run!  With this credit card, you’ll receive 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you make your first purchase within 3 months.  There’s no minimum spend on this credit card!

Annual Fee

Another great benefit of this credit card is that there is no annual fee for holding it in your wallet.  Many other business credit cards that American Express issues have annual fees after the first year.  Not the Blue for Business Credit Card!

Relationship Bonus

In a very different benefit not featured on other Membership Rewards credit cards, you’ll receive a “30% Relationship Bonus” at the end of each year.  That means a 30% bonus on all points earned on the card in the last calendar year, which you can then use on gift cards!

Introductory APR

Depending on your credit worthiness, you’ll receive an APR on the card of 11.24%, 15.24% or 19.24%, but there is NO APR for the first nine months of card membership!

Bonus Points

For every dollar you spend, you’ll receive one membership point back.  In addition, for every dollar you spend on the American Express Travel, you’ll receive two Membership Rewards Points.

OPEN Benefits

This card is part of the OPEN network for American Express, so you’ll get account alerts, dispute resolution assistance, identity theft assistance, and can use ReceiptMatch, which can digitally store receipts to your online profile.

OPEN Savings

In addition, you can earn up to 4 points per dollar spent at OPEN Savings partners like Hertz or FedEx.

Additional Benefits

The American Express standard “additional benefits” come standard on this card as well.  You’ll receive travel accident insurance and roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty, and a baggage insurance option for when you travel.


Below are the full bullet points on the card:

  • Earn a 30% annual Relationship Bonus – without an annual membership fee
  • Get 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after making your first purchase on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • No annual fee for Additional Cards for Employees
  • Get a low introductory APR on purchases for 9 months
  • Use points to reinvest in your business and reward your employees and clients
  • Choose rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply


The Nitty Gritty

As this is a credit card, and not a charge card, you’ll have a variable APR between 11.24% and 19.24%.  In addition, cash advances are charged a 21.24% rate, and a penalty APR of 27.24% happens if you miss two or more payments.  Foreign transaction fees of 2.7% apply abroad, and late payments face a $35 fee.



This card rocks for having no annual fee.  The 30% relationship bonus at the end of each year can really add up if you’re a big spender, and the 10,000 Membership Rewards points bonus is a nice bonus as well.  Furthermore, I believe the no APR at sign-up can benefit many who need more than a month to pay off a big purchase!


Apply Now: The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express