Credit card reader question: A complementary business card to help fund a post-pandemic vacation
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Editor’s note: This article is part of a new weekly column to answer your toughest credit card questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com.
When you have multiple credit cards, annual fees start adding up and balancing which cards to use on which purchases can get hectic. That’s why it’s important to make sure that any new credit cards you’re adding to the mix provide enough value to be worth it. Today we answer a question from reader Allison about choosing the right business card to help fund a post-pandemic vacation.
I have 10 credit cards and I’ve had most of them for at least 40 years, so I really don’t want another one — unless it is really worth it. I want to take my two adult sons on a vacation I could never take as a single mom. I’ve accumulated more than 180,000 miles on my Amex Delta SkyMiles card and I have 77,000 points on my Amex Gold card. For 2020, I want to choose a third card to use on a regular basis (for my business), I’m but not sure which one I would gain the most from.
The additional cards I presently have are:
– Chase SLATE
– Bank of America
– Capital One Spark
– Citi Preferred
– LLBean Mastercard with Citi
– AAdavantage AVIATOR with Barclays
– Wells Fargo Business PlatinumALLISON P.
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As someone who got her first credit card in college a mere five years ago and is still comparatively new to the points and miles game, such a long-standing credit history is impressive. Age of accounts and payment history are both large factors in determining your FICO score. Having card accounts open and in good standing for 40+ years is a huge advantage.
Looking at the cards and rewards Allison has already accumulated, I think there are four business card options that could be a great fit for her. Since she has a concentrated amount of both Amex and Delta rewards, another Amex or Delta card is the most obvious choice.
However, there is another option that could be worth considering so long as she’s willing to maximize transfer partners when booking that post-pandemic vacation with her sons.
The Amex Business Gold Card is a solid option for any business owner looking to earn Membership Rewards points. Cardholders get 4x on the two spending categories you spend the most on each month ($150,000 rewards spending cap per year). Amex retroactively awards these bonus points, meaning you don’t have to plan ahead or choose which categories you want to earn rewards on ahead of time. The eligible categories include the following:
- Airfare purchased directly with airlines
- U.S. advertising purchases for TV, radio or online
- U.S. tech providers for computer hardware, software and cloud solutions
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. shipping purchases
That’s a pretty wide range of categories where you could potentially earn 4x. The card also comes with a 25% redemption rebate (up to 250,000 points back per year) when using your Membership Rewards points to book an award flight with your selected qualifying airline or a First or Business class flight. You can get up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.
The card’s welcome bonus of 35,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months isn’t spectacular, and it does charge a $295 annual fee (see rates and fees). But if Allison spends within those 4x bonus categories for her business, this card could help her rack up quite a few Membership Rewards points on top of her personal American Express® Gold Card.
Check out our full Amex Business Gold Card review.
APPLY HERE: American Express® Business Gold Card
If Allison’s business has a smaller budget or spends in a wider range of categories, a fixed-rate business credit card might be a better fit. The Amex Blue Business Plus offers 2x across all purchases (up to $50,000 in spend per year; then 1x) and charges no annual fee (see rates and fees).
The card does earn Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to Amex’s extensive list of partners (including Delta SkyMiles). The Amex Blue Business Plus currently has a limited time offer welcome bonus: Earn up to $300 in statement credits when you make eligible purchases with Dell Technologies, DocuSign and FedEx within the first three months of Card Membership (up to $100 in statement credits per merchant). This offer will run through November 4, 2020.
Since Allison already has a sizable number of miles in her SkyMiles account, it makes sense to look at another Delta Amex card to give her account an extra boost. The Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex bonus will allow you to earn 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months for a limited time, offer ends 10/28/20.
When it comes to earning miles, you’ll earn 2x on all Delta purchases, U.S. advertising, U.S. shipping and restaurants worldwide. For only a $99 annual fee that’s waived the first year (see rates and fees), that’s quite an extensive rewards structure. Of course, you’ll also get Delta-specific perks such as a $100 Delta flight credit (if you spend $10,000 in a calendar year), first checked bag free, priority boarding and more.
Check out our full Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Amex review.
Some readers are probably wondering why on earth I’d recommend a Chase Ink Business card when Allison currently uses Amex and Delta cards for earning rewards. But hear me out.
The Ink Business Preferred is easily one of the top business credit cards available. It comes with a 100,000-point sign-up bonus (after spending $15,000 in the first three months), which TPG values at $2,000. When it comes to everyday business spending, the card doesn’t disappoint, with 3x on the first $150,000 spent annually in these combined categories:
- Travel (including airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis)
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable and phone services
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
Plus, the card’s annual fee is just $95, which makes it one of the most rewarding business cards on the market at this price point.
Now, Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t transfer directly to Delta like Amex Membership Rewards do. But both Amex and Chase do transfer to Virgin Atlantic, which is a Delta partner. In fact, you can often book Delta flights with Virgin Miles at a fraction of the cost you could book the same itinerary with Delta miles.
Delta operates a dynamic pricing system rather than operating on a static award. And while that gives you access to some incredible flight deals on occasion, it can also mean having to pay ridiculously high prices for an award flight. Virgin Atlantic, on the other hand, still uses a static award chart for Delta-operated flights.
There are some concerns about Virgin Atlantic’s future in light of the COVID-19 crisis, which might impact its partnership with Delta SkyMiles. Luckily, having Chase Ultimate Rewards points won’t impact your ability to book Delta flights. Points can be redeemed for flights on many airlines (including Delta) through Ultimate Rewards Travel at a rate of 1.25 cents each.
Allison could also use the Ink card to book accommodations while using her current Amex and Delta rewards to book flights. Chase has three hotel transfer partners — Hyatt, IHG and Marriott — or she can always book a hotel through the Chase portal with a 25% redemption bonus.
Check out our full Ink Business Preferred review.
APPLY HERE: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Allison can’t go wrong with any of these business credit cards — they all offer great value and cost less than most premium travel cards. It all comes down to looking at what expenses she hopes to put on the card and what redemption strategies she’s looking to employ for her post-pandemic vacation with her sons.
Allison, happy travels and I hope this helps you book an amazing family trip to somewhere unforgettable. (And make sure to send us pics!)
Featured image by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy.
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- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
- More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
- **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
- Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
- Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
- *Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees