Can I Separate Points From My Business and Personal Credit Cards?

Jul 30, 2019

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Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

Business owners have a unique advantage when it comes to accumulating points, as they can put a wide range of company expenses on their rewards credit cards and use those points for company travel or personal vacations. TPG reader Frank wants to know if it’s possible to separate points earned on business and personal credit cards …

Is there a way to keep my Amex points separate between my personal and business credit cards?

TPG READER FRANK

Frank’s problem is certainly not unique, as plenty of business owners want to use points accumulated from business expenses to help the business out and use their personal points for vacations. The exact policies vary by issuer, so let’s take a look at how the most popular transferable programs (Amex, Chase, Capital One and Citi) handle this.

We’ll start with Amex, since that’s what Frank asked about. No matter which card you earn your Membership Rewards points on, they’ll all be pooled into a single points account under your name. This is true if you have personal cards, business cards or a mix of both. Unfortunately there’s no way to change this, but if Frank’s business is large enough he might consider getting an Amex corporate card. While this won’t let him separate rewards between his personal and business cards, it will give him the option to let his employees earn points directly into their personal Membership Rewards account. He could also choose to consolidate points under the corporate Membership Rewards program, but this is a much less valuable option than what we’re used to.

Chase does things a little differently and keeps your points attached to the card you earned them on, as you can see from this screenshot from TPG Editor Nick Ewen‘s online account:

As you can see, Nick has what he calls the “perfect” Chase quartet of cards, consisting of three personal cards and a business one. And each one has a separate balance based on his spending.

However, with Chase, it’s important to note why you might not want to keep your personal and business points in separate accounts. The issuer allows you to transfer points among all of your cards, and if you have any cash-back, small-business cards — like the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card — you can send those points to a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve to unlock the ability to transfer them to partners. This is a key step to redeeming Chase points for maximum value.

Capital One is the newest entrant to the world of transferable point programs, as you can transfer earnings from cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business card to over a dozen transfer partners. While you can combine these mileage balances if you have both personal and business card — and can even share them with any other Capital One account holder — they are kept separately for ease of management.

Finally, Citi doesn’t issue any small-business cards that earn ThankYou Points, but if you have multiple Citi cards, your points will be held separately like with Chase. However, Citi also makes it easy to pool your points between cards either by going online or by calling in, and doing so can unlock higher redemption rates and better perks for all of your points.

Bottom Line

While Amex offers some terrific small-business cards, Frank won’t be able to keep his business points separate from his personal points. He can keep a running tally of how many he earns for his business each month, but that’s about the best he can do. While Chase and Capital One make it much easier to keep your points separated based on the card you earned them with, you may not want to do that, especially if you can leverage transfer partners to book a fantastic award by combining accounts.

Thanks for the question, Frank, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo by Hero Images / Getty Images.

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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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