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WFH winners: Use these 5 cards when furnishing your home office

July 16, 2020
10 min read
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At TPG, we’ve been working from home for around four months now. While some of us already had home office areas set up for working remotely, a number of us either had a minimal setup or no office area designated at all. And I’m sure the TPG staff isn’t alone in that.

Many office workers continue to work from home, and some companies are even debating whether to keep WFH a permanent option even after the coronavirus pandemic passes and it’s safe to be back in the office. With that in mind, you might be looking at ways to maximize your home office purchases as you buy new furniture, tech and software to help you be effective in a work-from-home environment.

Here are the best cards for furnishing your home office:

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The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: $750 back after you spend $7,500 in the first three months of account opening

Rewards: 5% back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; 1% on everything else.

What to use it on: The Ink Business Cash earns a solid 5% back on both office supply stores and internet, cable and phone services — two categories that encompass the majority of what you’ll need in a home office. Most office supply stores also sell office furniture including desks and chairs and tech hardware such as computers and printers. And since the card comes with no annual fee, it won’t hurt to keep in your wallet after you use it to get your home office in top shape even if you don’t use it quite as much.

If you also have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is even more valuable. Then those rewards can be pooled into your UR account to be used with transfer partners or redeemed through the Chase portal at a bonus rate. Then instead of a 5% return on purchases, you’ll be getting a 10% return, since TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each.

Check out the full card review for more details

American Express Business Gold Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees)

Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.

Rewards: 4x on the two select categories where you spend the most each month (up to $150,000 spent annually; then 1x).

What to use it on: Categories you could earn 4x on include U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, gas stations, restaurants, shipping and select tech providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions. This is a great card to use on all of your tech purchases for your home office — computer upgrades, monitors and more. You do have to buy direct (meaning an Apple iMac bought through Office Depot wouldn’t earn bonus rewards).

The nice thing about this card is that it automatically rewards you in your top categories. At the end of the month, you’ll retroactively be rewarded for the purchases made in the categories you use the most. This makes it easier to justify having this card long term. Use it for tech purchases needed the next few months, then switch to using the card for things such as gas.

Check out the full card review for more details

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months of account opening

Rewards: 3x on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet cable and phone services and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

What to use it on: The Ink Business Preferred is a great card for handling all of your home internet, phone and cable needs. The card comes with cell phone protection, too. And while you won’t earn bonus points on things like office furniture or tech hardware, keep in mind that those purchases could help you hit the steep sign-up bonus threshold. TPG values 100,000 points at $2,000, meaning it could be worth it to use this card for your full home office renovation.

Keep in mind that this card is currently requiring a Chase sign-in to apply.

Check out the full card review for more details

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95 (waived for the first year)

Sign up bonus: 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

Rewards: Unlimited 2x on all purchases

What to use it on: If you have purchases across multiple categories, this might be the best card for you. You’re getting 2x across every purchase, office supplies, furniture, tech, internet services and everything in between. Those miles can then be used to transfer to one of Capital One’s airline or hotel partners, or you can use them at a fixed value.

Check out the full card review for more details

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa 

(Photo by Eric Helgas/ The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/ The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $0 (but a $129 annual Amazon Prime membership is required to apply)

Sign-up bonus: $100 Amazon gift card upon approval

Rewards: 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1% on all other purchases

What to use it on: If you plan on buying what’s needed to furnish your home office on Amazon, this could be a good option. For those who already have a Prime membership, the Amazon card is a no-annual-fee card that gives a pretty solid cash back return across a wide range of purchases for your office. If you enjoy shopping on Amazon, it’s easy to find pretty much everything you need — office furniture, office supplies, tech hardware and more. TPG Credit Cards Editor Benét Wilson upgraded her decades-old office chair for this beauty, complete with lumbar massage.

While this card may not be worth applying for just to use for furnishing your home office, if you are a frequent Amazon and Whole Foods shopper who’s interested in cash-back rewards, it’s worth considering.

Check out the full card review for more details.

Honorable mention: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

While it doesn't quite make the top five, the Amex Business Platinum is worth mentioning. You'll get 1.5x points on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more; on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year and the card comes with an annual Dell statement credit for U.S. purchases (up to $400). Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related reading: 10 items you can get using your increased Amex Biz Platinum Dell statement credit

Check out the full card review for more details.

Using shopping portals to double-up on rewards 

If you’re shopping for your home office online, make sure you’re checking out shopping portals before buying. You can double dip rewards by using the right credit card and the right shopping portal.

For example, let’s say you are hoping to buy a new Apple monitor for your home office. At the time of writing, both United and Alaska Airlines were offering 5x miles on Apple purchases. If you use the Amex Business Gold and go through the shopping portal to earn, that’s 4x in Membership Rewards plus 5x miles on that one purchase.

Personally, I always search for the merchant I’m shopping with on CashBackMonitor.com. An aggregator like that will help you figure out which portals are offering bonus rewards and link you straight to the portal’s page on that merchant.

Related reading: TPG Talks episode one: Use online shopping portals and apps to save money and earn miles from home

Buying gift cards with grocery credit cards

Another thing to consider is using a grocery store credit card. Most grocery stores have a number of gift card options that you can buy at the store, including Apple gift cards, Amazon gift cards and some office supply stores. You can technically earn bonus rewards on non-bonus purchases by using your grocery store card to buy the merchant’s gift card to then make your in-store or online purchase.

For example, let’s say that you have the American Express® Gold Card, which earns 4x on U.S. supermarket purchases (on the first $25,000 in purchases each calendar year; then 1x). You can use your Amex Gold to buy a gift card to Amazon at the grocery store, and then use that gift card to purchase your office supplies from Amazon. Then, you’re actually getting an 8% return (based on TPG valuations) on whatever you get from Amazon.

Bottom line 

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of all the cards that could earn rewards on purchases for furnishing your home office. But these are a few of the top business credit cards (plus one personal card) that will earn you the best return on your home office expenses while still being low-cost for your wallet and easily utilized beyond just home office purchases.

For rates and fees of the Amex Biz Gold, please click here.

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

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees