Tons of Miles You’re Probably Missing Out On

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If you’re not signing up for small business credit cards you’re missing out on a lot of miles. And with many issuers the cards don’t report to your personal credit, don’t count towards the “5/24” total Chase calculates when deciding whether to approve you for some of their cards.

One of the very first things you do when you start a business, whether it’s part-time or full time, is set up a credit card (in no particular order, the credit card can come first). Even before you do any business you want to clearly separate out personal and business finances. It will keep things clean for tax reporting, and also help bolster your case that it’s a legitimate business and not a hobby, something that’s key to be able to write off your expenses.

If you do consulting work on the side, or you sell items on eBay or craigslist it can be a good idea to set up a business card.

Now I I like the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card for fastest earning [though it depends what your spending is mostly on]. However the best one for spending is not the best one for lounge access and travel benefits.

There are several amazing offers right now.

  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers 80,000 points after $5000 spend within 3 months and earns triple points on the first $150,000 spend on travel, telecommunications, shipping and advertising on social-media and search engines. It even comes with protection for your cell phone if you buy it using the card.

    Most customers need to have had fewer than 5 new cards in the last 24 months to be approved for this one.

    best credit card bonus offers
    Transfer Points and Redeem for Singapore Airlines A380 Suites

  • Chase Ink Business Unlimited(SM) Credit Card is a no annual fee card that offers $500 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months of cardmembership. Have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card? You can transfer the initial bonus from Business Unlimited to your Sapphire Preferred and from there to miles and points. And oh by the way the card earns 1.5 points per dollar on all spending.

  • The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN now has a limited-time 100,000 point initial offer — valid through August 8, 2018 and with a high spend requirement. You earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 & an additional 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of cardmmbership.

    Amex’s Business Platinum comes with a $200 airline fee credit. It gets you lounge access — Priority Pass, Delta lounges when flying Delta same-day, and their own Centurion lounges. And it gets you elite status — Hilton Gold and Starwood Gold which matches to Marriott Gold.

    American Express Centurion Lounge Houston

    You get to pick an airline for a $200 fee credit per year and get 10 Gogo inflight internet passes annually. You earn 1.5 points per dollar on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more up to 1 million additional points per year.

  • Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN lets you earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend on purchases with the card within your first 3 months of cardmembership. There’s a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175.

    You get to choose your triple points category (and the categories you don’t choose earn double points) from: Airfare purchased directly from airlines; U.S. purchases for advertising in select media; U.S. purchases at gas stations; U.S. purchases for shipping; U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers.

    American Express Points Can Be Transferred to Etihad

  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: 70,000 mile initial bonus after spending $4,000 within the first 4 months of account opening. This card has a $0 annual fee the first year (then $95).

    Cardmembers receive one free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines flights and a companion ticket after $30,000 in spend each year. The 60,000 point offer is gone from both the Citi and Barclays personal AAdvantage cards so I’m surprised to see this Citi bumping up their bonus to a best-ever offer.

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is offering 125,000 points after you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months of cardmembership. This is a limited-time offer that ends June 27, 2018.

    The card earns 12X at hotels & resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on select business and travel purchases, and 3X everywhere else. You’ll get complimentary Hilton Gold status just for having the card. $15,000 spend in purchases in a calendar year earns a weekend night reward as well, and another weekend night after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year. The card comes with Priority Pass Select including 10 visits each year — not bad for a $95 annual fee card.

  • Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business gives you 2% cash back on your business spend (unlimited) and has an initial bonus of $500 once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. There’s a $0 annual fee the first year; $95 after that.

  • Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is maybe the best no annual fee card around, it earns double points on all purchases up to your first $50,000 in spend (one point per dollar after that).

    These are real Membership Rewards points that transfer to a variety of airline frequent flyer programs. This is the best most rewarding card for otherwise-unbonused spend.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card has an offer to earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

    You earn 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, a nice incentive to keep this $99 annual fee card.

    While you can no longer get two different personal Southwest cards, you may be approved for a personal and a small business card, the fasted way to a Southwest Companion Pass which is earned after 110,000 points in a year (credit card points including signup bonus points count).

There’s no one best card, but you can choose to get several. Chase Ink Business Preferred Card has the best signup bonus and is great for spend. Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has a good signup bonus and is great for spend in your chosen category.

Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is good for spend and so is the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express simply because Starwood points are so valuable.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. The 60,000 AAdvantage Miles Citi personal card bonus is still live on the AA’s homepage as of this posting. Plus, it now earns double miles on restaurant and gas station spending.

  2. I agree, if I am selling stuff on ebay or consulting, it is a good idea to have a business card. My question is: how do you convince the credit card company that you are a legitimate business? What do the credit card companies look for in your application (eg how do I make a compelling case?)?

    Has anyone written on this topic?

  3. We’ve applied for 15 small business cards, since December, and been accepted by 12 of them.
    Fortunately, I was turned down by Capital One Sparks Business, which I now know reports on your personal credit report and thus, the Chase 5/24.

    Some of the not so mainstream cards we got were the Barclay JetBlue Business (40k), BoA Alaskan Business (30k), Asiana Business (only 10k, but cancel before the $80 annual fee becomes due, keep the 10k, credit the annual fee), First National Bank of Omaha Best Western Business (48k) and Wells Fargo Business Platinum ($500).

    Plus, multiple Amex Business cards and Chase Business cards (not excluded by the 5/24 for me, as I’m going to be down to 1/24 on Aug 2nd and can apply for any chase card again), because they are NOT reported to your personal credit report.

  4. @matt, if you want to convince them you’re legitimate, go legit. Register your business with the state you live in, get an IRS EIN, file tax returns each year, etc. If you don’t want that hassle, then you don’t want the bonuses.

  5. I got the Barclay Aviator Business card but had to send them copies of my Schedule C because I own rental properties but they could not verify it otherwise.

  6. As a CPA with 30 yrs experience to have a business card the FIRST thing the credit card company wants is the owner’s Social Security Number. This is because every bank knows that a business (LLC, C Corporation, S Corporation, LLP) has Limited Liability AND poor credit! I mean NO CREDIT. Thus the applicant must use their social Security number in the application of their business in the credit card..

  7. I have the original Chase Ink and now the Chase Ink Biz Cash Ink. Before getting the Biz Cash Ink I closed my Ink Biz Preferred. The credit lines were all between 12,000 – 17,000. I have been focusing on Biz cards lately to get below 5/24. Now that I am below, I am not getting approved for Chase personal cards. I applied for Chase Sapphire Preferred twice in the last 4 months and have been declined. I currently have Chase Freedom ($5800 limit) and IHG ($3800 limit). After applying for Sapphire, I was contacted by an agent to verify my income. He then told me I would have to get rid of the Freedom card if I wanted the Sapphire, which requires a minimum of $5000 credit limit. I have had IHG for 3 years and Freedom for 25 years. I closed out Chase United 4 months ago with a $5000 credit limit so I don’t understand why they are reducing my limits for personal cards. My FICO is 820 and salary is 60K. My usage among 8 personal cards is less than 5%. What can I do?

  8. Tim, your stated income is likely too low. Do you have pooled income from a household/spouse you could claim? You could lower your credit limits on the cards themselves before applying also and that may help. When you have around 1.5x your income in credit lines you may start to have problems.

    Also, I would never act on what one agent says, call a dozen times and see what the majority consensus is instead.

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