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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Business Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.
Update: The offer mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.
TPG reader Cory is thinking of changing up his business credit card and tweeted me the following question this wee:
“I have a quick question and that is which is really the best card that I should have. I spend about $20K month on company expenses and I have the Platinum Delta card but it’s not really giving the best bang for my money. I have seen that you talk about the Citi cards. Can you tell me which one is the best to have?”
Thank goodness you realized that Cory! Admitting it is the first step. The problem with putting all your spend on a single card like the Delta one you mention, you’re just putting all your points in one basket, but what you really should be doing is diversifying your points-earning – especially with monthly spending like that.
So now that you know you want to get a different business credit card, the question becomes, which one? If you still want to be able to accrue Delta miles, keep in mind the program is a 1:1 instant transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, which you can rack up on the Business Gold Rewards card. Right now the sign-up bonus is just 25,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months. However, the bonus has gone up to 50,000 and even 75,000 points in the past, so you might want to wait and see if one of those offers comes around again.
The Business Gold Rewards card would be a great choice because it gives you 3x points per $1 on airfare as well as 2x points per $1 on advertising in select media, at gas stations, select computer hardware, software and cloud computing providers, and shipping and 1x points on other purchases. Now, I don’t know exactly what you’re spending that monthly $20,000 on, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to rake in some bonus points in some of these categories.
In my opinion, the best all-round business cards are the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold. The current sign-up bonus on each of those is 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months and their $95 annual fees are waived the first year. They also earn 5x points per dollar at office supply stores and on telephone and internet bills, and 2x points per $1 on hotels and gas. The issue you might have is that, though Chase points are very valuable and can be transferred to any of 10 travel partners like United and Hyatt, Delta is not one of them. So if you want to stick with Delta miles, you might want to think twice. However, Korean Air is a partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, so you could always make redemptions through them.
I would probably go with the Ink Plus because it’s a credit card, but if you need a charge card where there is no set credit limit and you are sure you will be paying off the balance each month, then you might want to go with the Ink Bold. The Ink Plus gives you a little more flexibility to pay off your balance if you need to carry one, and won’t slam you with huge late fees like a charge card typically will. For more on differences between the cards, check out my post on Which Chase Ink Card Is Best For You.
My final business card recommendation is the Starwood Preferred Guest business card. The current sign-up bonus is 25,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 6 months. You don’t get any category spending bonuses (except 2 points per dollar at Starwood), but even earning 1 Starpoint per dollar on most purchases is worth it to me because Starpoints are extremely valuable thanks to great hotel award redemptions as well as the ability to transfer them to over 30 airline partners (including Delta) and to get a 5,000-mile bonus on 20,000-point transfers. Amex’s business cards also offer savings through the OPEN program, like discounts at Fedex, Hyatt and Hertz, and
So those are three of the best business cards out there, and then I’ve listed a few more below. You’ve got the right idea, though – you should diversify your points and put your spending on a card that will earn you the most depending on what purchases you make. For more information, check out my post on the Top 10 Reasons To Get a Business Credit Card.
Business Platinum Card from American Express: Welcome Offer: Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months and 1 point for each dollar spent on eligible purchases. While the Business Platinum card has a hefty annual fee of $450, there are several benefits that will bring you much more value than $450 like the $200 airline rebate, airport lounge access, and reimbursement for Global Entry.
Citi Business AAdvantage World Mastercard: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership with the provided link. You will also earn 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases at certain office supply, telecommunications and car rental merchants. With this card the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard: Earn 35,000 bonus miles after your first purchase. Receive a one-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii & North America on Hawaiian Airlines. Earn 2 points per dollar on purchases directly from Hawaiian Airlines and 1 point per dollar on all other transactions. You can earn up to 10 points per dollar with participating partners and receive a bonus of 40,000 miles when you spend $100,000 or more on your card in a calendar year. This card has no foreign transaction fees although it has an $89 annual fee.
United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card: Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. $95 annual fee waived the first year. Earn 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $25,000 in a calendar year. Earn 2 miles for each $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores and on tickets purchased from United. First checked bag free. No foreign exchange fees.
Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa: Earn 85,000 Bonus Points, 50,000 of which will be earned after the first purchase and the remaining 35,000 will be earned when you spend $2,500 within 90 days. You will earn 10 points per dollar spent at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels and 5 points per dollar spent everywhere else. Although there is a $60 annual fee, Club Carlson cards come with Gold status and a bonus award night. Read this post to find out more about these two great perks.