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One of the key tenets of maximizing miles and points is that you should try to get something back for every dollar you spend- whether that be miles, points or cash. Personally, I like racking up miles and points because I know how to maximize redemptions and get more than 2% back for every dollar I spend.
However, with all of the program devaluations we’ve seen over the past year, I’ve started to diversify- recently getting the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Capital One Venture cards, since those points can be used toward travel expenses like taxis, car services, trains, amusement parks, fuel surcharges on award tickets, bed and breakfast stays and more – costs that traditional miles and points generally don’t cover.
As the owner of several small businesses, I also have a number of business credit cards, and recently wrote about the top points-earning business cards back in March. Since then, business credit card sign-up offers have been heating up, for both points earning and cash-back cards.
American Express Plum Card New Offer
In the cash-back business card space, American Express OPEN recently launched a limited time sign up bonus for The Plum Card, which gives up to 3.5% cash back on up to $30,000 on your card within the first 3 months. If you’re able to spend $30,000 within three months, you’d net statement credits worth $1,050, which is even more substantial since the $250 annual fee is waived the first year.
The bonus works out like this: you always earn a base discount of 1.5% “on the portion of your eligible purchase balance that you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date as long as you pay at least your Minimum Payment Due.” On $30,000 that would be $450 back.
Plus, the current limited-time offer provides a $200 statement credit for every $10,000 you spend on the Card within the first 3 months of card membership, up to $600 back. $30,000 within three months would trigger the full bonus of $600, so in addition to the base 1.5% early payment discount, you’re looking at $1,050 back on $30,000 in spend (3.5%), which is pretty generous. This offer expires on October 27, 2014.
The card also does not have foreign transaction fees, provides employee cards for free, and is a part of OPEN Savings, which gives additional discounts at certain vendors like FedEx, Hertz and Hyatt. Note: the welcome bonus offer is not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.
The Plum Card is a charge card, which means you’re supposed to pay off your statement balance in full each month. However, this card gives you up to 60 days to pay with no interest as long as you pay at least 10% of the balance from new activity on your billing statement, plus the entire amount of any previously deferred payment by payment due date.
Is It Worth It?
$30,000 may seem like a lot to spend in three months in order to get just $1050 back in statement credits, but cash back can be a better option for some businesses instead of earning points in a certain program. For strict cash back, this is one of the top business credit cards if you can hit the max spend. Other top competitors are Ink Cash which offers $200 cash back after $3,000 spent within the first 3 months, and the Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card that offers $250 cash back after $5,000 spent in the first 3 months plus a $50 cash back bonus when you sign up an employee card within the first 60 days. The Amex Simply Cash Business credit card doesn’t offer a signup bonus, but there’s no annual fee and good earning categories like 5x points on office supply stores and telephone services from US providers.