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When the government was busy handing out money in 2009, small business owners never received a bailout. So small business owners and solo-preneurs have to take what they can get in terms of perks, benefits and (if we’re smart!) cash back programs. That means careful spending and even more careful use of our credit cards to maximize our credit card rewards.
Here are eight tips to maximize credit card rewards with your small business.
1. Shop carefully to select the best rewards credit card for your small business.
Do you want a card that rewards you for business travel? Or maybe you’ll benefit more from cash back on office supplies? First, take a look at your expenses over the past 6 months or so and decide where you’re spending the most money. Then check out CreditShout’s recommendations for the best cash back credit cards for businesses to make an informed decision about how to maximize your credit card rewards.
Some factors to consider include:
- Expiration dates on points
- Maximum points you can earn
- Maximum bonus points you can earn
- How you earn points
- What you can redeem rewards points for
2. Choose your rewards wisely.
Getting cash back is always nice — especially when it comes in the form of a statement credit, as it does with CreditShout.com’s top-rated American Express SimplyCash Plus Business card. But often, you can make your rewards points go further by cashing them in for gift cards or merchandise. If you have a specific purchase in mind, first shop around for the lowest price, and then see if you can cash in your rewards points for a gift card to that store. Also consider making a purchase through the online shopping portal affiliated with your credit card. If your rewards points are less than the price of the merchandise, you may be able to earn up to 5X rewards points on the credit card portion of your purchase.
3. Make sure employee cards earn rewards, too.
In some cases, additional cards don’t have the same rewards structure as the primary cardholder. Factor this in when you select your business rewards credit card, especially if you have a lot of employees who use company credit cards on the road.
4. Take advantage of bonus points offers.
Some business credit cards have rotating bonus categories, where you can earn extra rewards points on specific purchases. Time expenses (such as stocking up on office supplies) to take advantage of these bonus offers.
5. Always read the fine print.
Some business credit cards offer bonus points when you first sign up for a new credit card — but only if you charge a certain amount within a specific amount of time. Don’t lose the chance to earn these free bonus points. Read the fine print to find out how much you have to spend on the card, and how quickly, to get all the rewards points you’re entitled to as a new cardholder.
6. Pay monthly, recurring bills with your rewards credit card.
One way to be sure you’re earning the maximum rewards points on your small business credit card is to use your credit card monthly for recurring bills, including your rent and utilities (electric, phone, cable, etc.)
7. Use your credit card for payroll.
Payroll is often a business owner’s largest expense. If you use a payroll company, you should be able to pay the company monthly using your business credit card and rack up rewards points quickly.
8. Pay your balance in full each month.
Don’t let your cash rewards get eaten up by interest payments. Always pay your balance in full each month to avoid paying interest on your purchases. Your cash back rewards won’t make up the interest you pay, in most cases.