Mo’ money, less problems
Sorry, but Notorious B.I.G. was wrong – more money doesn’t mean more problems, it means less problems like being able to pay staff and keep the lights on. When you lead a company, you’re responsible for squeezing every penny out of profits that you possibly can, so whether you’re a solopreneur or running a Fortune 500 brand, there may be one more stone unturned – credit cards.
When credit cards are issued for executives and various staff, there are rewards just waiting to be claimed that thousands fail to do. That just doesn’t make financial sense. So how exactly can you maximize credit rewards for your business? Matthew Goldman, CEO & Co-Founder, Wallaby Financial offers ten secrets below in his own words that you’ll only see here on AG:
- Charge everything you can: It sounds simple, but more than half of B2B payments are still done by check according to the 2013 AFP Electronic Payments Survey. Many vendors, large and small, will accept credit cards for purchases, sometimes up to $25,000 per charge. As we’ll see in the other tips, you can earn a lot of money with credit cards.
- Use a business card, not a personal card: For many small businesses, the owner makes most of the purchases and just uses his or her own credit card. These cards aren’t designed or optimized for businesses. The best business cards give bonus points at office supply stores, on gas and other big business expense categories.
- Know your travel and get the right card: If travel is part of your business, you probably find that you go to the same places on the same airlines and stay at the same hotels over and over. But do you have the right card? With a business airlines or hotel card, you will earn bonus points on those purchases which you can redeem for a well-earned vacation or to save costs at the office.
- Take advantage of built-in discount programs: There’s more than just rewards out there. American Express business cards come with OPEN, which offers cash back discounts at FedEx Office, Hertz Rentacar and HP, among other partners.
- Look for relationship benefits: Banks such as Bank of America, and some community banks, will boost your rewards (up to 75%) for having large deposits or investment accounts with them. This can make a mediocre card into an amazing rewards card.
- Redeem frequently: Points often lose value over time. As a business, you may be spending in excess of $250,000 per year on credit cards and earning hundreds of thousands of points. Don’t let them lose value or expire, use them frequently for travel, discounts, and cash back.
- Use transferrable points to stack up the rewards: Cards like American Express Membership Rewards Cards or Chase Ink business cards have transferrable points. This means you can take those Amex Membership Rewards Points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points and deposit them in another program (like American Airlines or Hilton Hotels). When you do this, the points stack up faster leading to bigger and better redemptions.
- Take advantage of built-in protections: Many business cards come with rental car, travel and other insurance protections. It’s not cash back, but it can save you big money to decline expense insurance and warranty coverage at the store and you can depend on your card issuer to take care of it.
- Have a solid 2% everywhere card: Whether you pursue the strategy of using multiple business cards to maximize your rewards or not, your everyday business card should be earning you 2% cash back on everything. Capital One’s Spark Cash Card just does this, meaning you pay less on everything you charge.
- Take advantage of lucrative sign-up bonuses: Now that you’re ready to go sign-up for some new credit cards, get the ones with the biggest sign-up offers. Many cards will waive a first year fee and provide 10,000 to 100,000 points for achieving spending in the first few months. These can be worth hundreds–even up to $1,000. These bonuses will get you kicked off to a great rewards start.
How many of these tips had you taken action on? And how many had you not considered? If you’re like most professionals, you just found some extra dollars to line the company pockets, congrats!