This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
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.
Featured photo by Hero Images / Getty Images.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees