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TPG reader Nancy emailed me to ask:
“My business partner and I are looking for a business credit card that earns miles, but we want to share them. All of the companies I’ve contacted allow miles to be shared only with a spouse or domestic partner — not a legally documented business partner! Do you have any suggestions?”
Nancy, you can absolutely get a business card like the Chase Ink Plus (which has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months) and add your business partner as an authorized user so you accrue points in the same account. When you want to redeem for flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards or transfer points to airline or hotel partners, you can do that directly from the account. Combining points from personal accounts or transferring them is technically dicey, because Chase says you can only transfer points to a spouse or a domestic partner. However, since your business partner would be an authorized user on the account, you should be able to transfer points from the business account to his/her other loyalty accounts without an issue.
Alternately, you could keep all the points in one account, since you can always use your miles to book tickets in someone else’s name, whether it’s your business partner, employees, grandmother, or someone else.
What the credit card companies are really concerned about is fraud or violations of the program rules, like people selling points and miles to third parties (which can get your account shut down). But I’ve had business accounts and used those points for authorized users, employee travel and employee gift cards, and never had an issue.
If you’re trying to move points from your personal account into your business partner’s personal account, that could cause problems, but in general if the addresses match for the office, I doubt you’ll encounter any problems. Assuming you and your business partner trust each other, you can both be authorized users, each have your own login information, and use your Chase Ultimate Reward points as needed. The same goes for Amex Membership Rewards. If you want to confirm, you can always call Chase and run this by them. Business accounts were created to help people travel and deal with business expenses, so you should be fine.
If anyone has any other tips on pooling points for business expenses, please share in the comments section below.