Despite all the dizzying changes that keep coming from banks when it comes to rewards cards, there are still a spectacular amount of points on the table to be raked in with only a little effort on your part. Sure it can be harder to get approved than before (think Chase’s new 5/24 rule). But even with the Chase “rule” some are getting approved anyway. To me, a few point hit to your credit score for a short period of time may well be worth testing the waters, if you will, during your next round of cards. But that is not what today’s post is all about.
You would not believe how many points enthusiasts I talk to have never EVER had a business travel card. I just look at them and see the massive huge spectacular pile of points just waiting to be harvested. All they have to do is get to work. But what does it take to get a business card you may ask? Or, but I don’t run a business? Great questions. Let’s look at some real world examples for ideas.
Take for example this still ongoing amazing Chase INK business card offer <-LINK. Really impressive. Once you spend 5k you are talking a total of 65,000 Ultimate Rewards points that you could cash out (worst case) for 1 cent each making this worth $650 in your hand or (for much better value) spend at 1.25 cents per point booking air or hotel or such and even transfer to a bunch of partners for potentially maximum value for those bonus points. But you say, that sounds sweet but I don’t have a business. So start one. Look at what I did.
In addition to running my blogging business I tinker in other things like technology but I am also a HUGE golf fan. So much so that I build my own golf clubs (using clone type heads). Not only that but you may not know that a new, never used, golf club shaft has a “spine”. That spine can even change once a shaft is cut to length. I have a jig I purchased that I put each shaft into before club assembly is done to make sure the shaft is neutral to avoid a chance the head will favor a twist to the left or right to impact ball flight. I could go on and on about grips and so much more but the point of all of this is, during the summer time, I take some time and build and sell online sets of wedges for a small profit. Well after all my costs, not much of one, but I enjoy this. I got an INK card a while back just to keep these seasonal costs and spending separate from my other endeavors. Chase approved me despite a neutral to even negative income from this side seasonal business basing approval on my other income (I did have to call after I applied and move credit lines around, but I am fine with that).
And that is the point. You can get approved based on your total income and credit worthiness. But what if you don’t build golf clubs during the summer? Did you know you may be running a business you did not know about? What? No really, let me explain with some questions.
I am making the assumption that most folks you know come to YOU with questions about award travel or how to get upgrades or stay in hotels or just about anything travel right? They maybe ask you about this whole gift card thing and how it works. They ask you a ton of travel questions. You spend the time learning all this and then share the knowledge and maybe explain how, when you get new travel cards, you spend some of your free time driving around town buying and liquidating things to make your new card spend without it impacting your budget. Let me tell you, for most “normal” people this is mind blowing. Are you not acting as a consultant to your friends and family sharing what you do? Are there not costs involved when you do all this. Now you may not make much income from your “ABC Consultants” part time biz, but some may enjoy keeping the spend for such activities and travel consulting costs on a separate card.
The bottom line is if you are NOT applying for business travel cards each time you go for a new round of cards you are simply leaving a boat load of points on the table you could be cashing in! Not just that, many cards have a once in a lifetime shot at points and you may have had “all” the personal cards for whatever offer. Why not now then go for the business card offers as they are many times nearly the same as the personal card offers that come out.
Lastly let’s talk about EIN numbers. I have a post detailing what it takes to get one. Should you get one? Up to you. Do you need to get one? No. Most times you can be approved on just your SSN as I was for my golf club part time biz with Chase. Now I do have an EIN and have also been approved for yet another Chase INK card for that business. So, it can, maybe, give you additional opportunities but again not always and is not needed (most times).
So if you have not considered business cards in your mix of travel cards you go for please do. Not just for the bonus points but for the perks. Take the current SPG AMEX offer. The business version of this card comes with free Sheraton Club access when staying at a Sheraton. ONLY the business card has this feature/perk. See why going for this card could be so smart and not just for the points but for the perks? And that is just one tiny quick example.
I hope I have today opened your eyes to so many new point opportunities you never thought existed and will help you reach whatever point goal you have for that next amazing trip! – René
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