Points Intervention: Using a Cash-Back Business Credit Card

May 28, 2015

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In Points Intervention, I help people get their awards earning on track. This month I’m working with small-business owners — just in time for them to take advantage of the Chase Ink Plus Business card’s current offer of 50,000 bonus points after a spend of $5,000 within the first three months.

Intervention: Christophe Carón Episode 2

This week I am working with Christophe Carón, owner and manager of Délice and Sarrasin, a crêperie in the West Village in New York City. He wants to choose the right business credit card for his spending and traveling patterns to maximize the accrual of points and miles, as well as benefits for his business. In yesterday’s video, I learned some key facts about Christophe’s needs and uses.

  • The cafe uses ingredients imported from Europe on a monthly basis, so Christophe will need a credit card that avoids foreign transaction fees.
  • Christophe flies Delta most often when traveling, and currently holds a Delta Platinum Card from American Express.
  • The family-owned business is only four months old, so there are still start-up costs associated with running it. Christophe wants to run as much cash flow through a business credit card as possible to get the benefits of the spend.

In today’s video, I have two main recommendations for Christophe.

If Christophe wants to stick with Delta, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express brings plenty of perks to the table. He would get lounge access when traveling, not only to Delta lounges but also to American Express’s Centurion lounges. There’s one at LaGuardia and there’s one opening up this summer in Miami, both places that Christophe travels through.

This card has a $450 annual fee, which may seem like a lot, but every year you get $200 in airline fee rebates, and on many airlines you can get gift cards rebated to you. So it’s really like paying $250 a year, plus that lounge access, which would normally cost $50 per visit, eventually makes that fee worth it if you’re traveling several times a year. This card also carries perks at luxury hotels, which makes travel even sweeter. If Christophe learns how to leverage the perks, the Business Platinum card might make sense.

points intervention

There are a few drawbacks to using this card, however. Christophe does want to have additional cardholders on the account, which comes with an additional $300 annual fee each. And also, as I often warn people, you don’t want to put all your miles or points in one basket.

Because Delta has sadly changed the game in terms of how many miles it requires for awards, I recommend that Christophe avoid earning all of his miles with Delta. For that reason, I would not advise him to get a Delta business credit card. In fact, the best bet for Christophe is a cash-back credit card.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Capital One has a Capital One Spark Cash for Business that gives you cash bonuses just for signing up and meeting a minimum spend requirement. The annual fee is only $95 and it’s waived the first year, and additional cardholders are free. For every dollar you spend you’ll get 2 percent back, which is actually really valuable. When you compare that to getting one Delta SkyMile per dollar, it’s better to get the cash back and book whatever flight you want on whatever airline you want, or even just add that cash to your bottom line. If you’re spending a lot of money, especially when starting a small business, every dollar makes a difference. After all, cash gives you the most flexibility.

For Christophe to rake in some decent cash back for his spending, avoid foreign transaction fees and add cardholders with no additional annual fee, this card could be a great choice.

Tomorrow Christophe and I will talk about the benefits of paying utilities with a business credit card. And if you or your small business needs a Points Intervention, email intervention@thepointsguy.com.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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