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In the game of Rewards credit cards, you can plod along earning one point for every dollar you spend and eventually earn enough for trips, gift cards and cool merchandise. But when you’re using cards with annual fees in the hundreds of dollars, like many of the American Express business cards, earning bonus points is the way to make your card really pay off.
American Express has several offers going on right now that let you earn bonus points for using your card. Let’s take a look at each card.
If you already have this credit card, we hope you’ve been taking advantage of the opportunity to earn bonus points, because this particular offer expires in February 2011. Earn 5,000 bonus points each month you spend $10,000 on the card.
Earn 25,000 additional points each year if you spend $50,000 in a calendar year on the card. This is a great deal for smaller business owners, since the card has an annual fee of only $125. $50,000 works out to less than $5,000 per month you need to spend on the card to earn your bonus points, and your total is calculated for the whole calendar year, not monthly. (So you can spend $3000 one month and $7000 the next.)
Want to keep your rewards simple? With the classic Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points with your first purchase — no monthly minimums or charges to track. With an annual fee of just $95, this card is a good value for small business owners.
Of course, there are other ways to earn bonus points with your American Express card.
- Earn up to 10X points in the membershiprewards.com Earn Points section.
- Earn 3X points when you shop at any of 200 retailers through the Bonus Points Mall.
If you find you’re not making your minimum spending requirements to earn many of the bonus points with your Amex card, there are ways you can find to use your card more without actually increasing your spending. Here are a few ways.
- Use Automatic Bill Pay through American Express for recurring business expenses like utility bills, phone and Internet bills, lease or mortgage and even your payroll.
- Give your employees American Express cards of their own. Let your employees put all their business travel expenses on an American Express corporate card and the points they earn go toward your account. Then you can use your bonus points to treat your top earning employees to a nice lunch as a reward.
- Pay your payroll services through your American Express card to earn thousands per month.
Still feel you’re not earning enough points to make the annual fees worth your while? These tips to maximize your rewards come from Brad Minor, American Express Director of Public Affairs.
Learn more about your rewards. “Educate yourself on your existing rewards and benefits,” Minor says. “Cardmembers have access to an arsenal of benefits and rewards of which they may not be aware.” You can visit the American Express Membership Rewards website, call customer service, or check out this article at CreditShout about American Express Rewards for an overview of what’s available.
Reappraise your card to see if it’s the right one for you. Maybe the card you have offers bonus points for travel — but your business doesn’t require a lot of road trips. Maybe you’re paying too much for your annual fee based on your monthly spending. Minor advises, “Take a few moments to audit the rewards your card currently offers and see if they match your current needs and interests. There are helpful tools for this, including a card selector quiz on the American Express site.
Set goals for using rewards. You’ll be more likely to pay attention to maximizing your rewards points if you have a specific goal. “Once you have the goal in mind, you will be more likely to develop a game plan for reaching it,” he says.