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In Points Intervention, I help people get their awards earning on track. In the episodes below, I worked with a New York City restaurant owner, helping him to maximize points and miles to get the best return for his business.

My second Points Intervention was with Christophe Carón, owner and manager of Délice and Sarrasin, an authentic French crêperie in New York City’s West Village. The cafe, where Christophe’s mother is the chef, has been open for four months, and he is curious to see if he should switch credit cards to maximize the business’s future spending.

Episode 1: Saving on Foreign Transaction Fees

Christophe uses a Delta Platinum Card from American Express. Yes, the increasingly devalued Delta, because of its partnership with Air France.

After chiding him for his airline choice, we also got into the thorny world of foreign transaction fees. Christophe imports many of the cafe’s ingredients directly from France every month, which can be brutal on the bottom line when foreign transaction fees are factored in. So in addition to trying to get him to jump the Delta ship, I’m challenged with finding him a good credit card for foreign purchases.

Episode 2: Using a Cash-Back Business Credit Card

In this episode, I made two card recommendations for Christophe based on how he runs his business, and his three goals: he wants travel perks, he’s looking to avoid foreign transaction fees and he wants to add additional employees to whichever card he chooses.

If Christophe wants to stick with Delta, The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN currently offers 40,000 points after $5,000 spent within three months and features plenty of benefits, from lounge access at airports he uses often to perks at luxury hotels. If Christophe learns how to leverage these advantages, the Business Platinum card might make sense — but it costs $300 for each additional card holder, which can add up.

So my top recommendation for him was actually a cash-back credit card; Capital One has a Spark Cash for Business Card that gives you a cash bonus of $500 after $4,500 spent in the first three months just for signing up and meeting a minimum spend requirement — and additional cardholders are free.

Also, for every dollar you spend you get 2% back, which means that in addition to Christophe avoiding foreign transaction fees and adding cardholders with no additional annual fee, he can actually make the card work for him based on his spending.

Episode 3: Paying Bills with a Credit Card

For my final episode with Christophe, we talked about paying bills online via credit card. Christophe mentioned that if he doesn’t pay certain vendors using Automated Clearing House (ACH), they charge him a fee.

So once again, it looks like the Capital One Spark Cash for Business is the winner in Christophe’s case — and probably in the case of many other small business owners, too. With the 2% cash back on his spending, it would at the very least cover the fee, and anything else on top of that is gravy.

Do you or your small business need a Points Intervention? Be sure to email to share your detailed story.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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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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