American Express

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Many people can get a small business credit card. Opening small business cards roughly doubles the number of amazing miles and points cards available to you.

Every small business credit card I’ve gotten I opened by putting my social security number as the tax ID, and by saying that my business is a sole proprietorship. I got many of the cards when my business revenue was very low.

Check out my post on How to Be Approved for Business Cards.

If you have a business, make sure you are opening the right business credit cards to maximize your free, discounted, and luxury travel. Here are the top four cards, broken down by Best Sign Up Bonus, Best Category Bonuses, Best for Everyday Spending, and Best for Perks.

Best Sign Up Bonus

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® offers 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months.

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American Airlines miles are currently the most valuable because United and Delta jacked up the number of miles needed for premium cabin awards last year, but American Airlines has not.

Just the sign up bonus on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® is enough miles for a roundtrip to Europe, South America, or Asia.

The card offers double miles at office supply merchants, telecommunications merchants, and car rental merchants and a 5% mileage bonus every year you renew.

The card also comes with a free checked bag and priority boarding on American Airlines flights.

The annual fee of $95 is waived the first 12 months.

Application Link: CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard 

Best Category Bonuses

The Chase Ink Plus offers 5x Ultimate Rewards per dollar for purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services. The card also offers 2x points at gas stations and hotels.

The Ink Plus offers 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the card. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, and more.

The annual fee of $95 is waived the first 12 months.

(Note that Chase is split testing higher annual fees for the card, so make sure you get the best offer.)

Best for Everyday Spending

The Starwoord Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express OPEN earns 1 Starpoint per dollar on all purchases.

Starpoints transfer to over 30 airlines, most at a 1:1 ratio. Whenever Starpoints transfer at a 1:1 ratio, you always get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points transferred. That effectively means that you are earning 1.25 airline miles per dollar on all purchases with this card. Key 1:1 transfer partners:

  • American Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Many More, but NOT United

Here is how to transfer Starpoints to airline miles.

The card comes with 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first six months. Points can also be used for free hotel nights, Cash & Points stays, and Nights & Flights awards.

The annual fee of $65 is waived the first 12 months.

Best for Perks

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is the king of perks for business cards. The card comes with:

Here is how to set up and maximize those benefits.

The card comes with 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months. It earns 1 Membership Rewards per dollar on all purchases with no category bonuses.

The card has a $450 annual fee that is NOT waived.

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2015 means a new $200 airline fee credit for anyone with an American Express Platinum card. This is one of the biggest benefits of the card, and one you can turn into $200 worth of airline tickets.

I have a Platinum Business card that I opened in September 2013.

  • In 2013, I bought $200 worth of American Airlines gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.
  • In 2014, I bought $200 worth of American Airlines gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.
  • This week, I bought $200 worth of Delta gift cards and was rebated $200 on my statement.

American Express makes you pick one airline on which to receive your airline fee credit, so to change mine from 2014 to 2015, I had to go to this page and make my new selection.

The American Express Platinum airline fee reimbursement is only meant to reimburse airline fees not ticket purchases or gift card purchases. However, the decision of what to reimburse is left to a computer algorithm, so some gift card purchases are reimbursed. The reports of FlyerTalkers should be your guide, but your experience may vary.

This FlyerTalk thread explains how to turn the $200 airline fee credit into $200 worth of Delta gift cards. The process is different for gift cards from each airline, so check out this post where I link to threads on each airline.

According to the FlyerTalk thread, only $50 Delta gift cards were being reimbursed by American Express, so I bought four in one $200 purchase on January 8, and my $200 was reimbursed on January 10.

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You have to wait 72 hours after purchase to redeem a Delta gift card. About 73 hours after my purchase, I purchased a $121.60 one way flight from Greensboro to Tampa in March with my gift cards. I still have $78.40 worth of Delta gift cards.

The FlyerTalk thread also explains that you can only use three forms of payment on a single Delta purchase. That means you can use three $50 gift cards like I did or two plus a credit card to pay the amount greater than $100.

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Further Reading

Keep in mind that with the Citi Prestige® Card your annual airline fee credit is $250, that this credit does apply to ticket purchases, and that this credit applies to all airlines instead of just the one you select. For these reasons, I plan to get a Citi Prestige® Card soon. My review of the Citi Prestige® Card.

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Some folks who type their information into the Card Match tool are getting offers for the:

  • American Express Platinum with 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • American Express Premier Rewards Gold with 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $1,000 in the first three months
  • Amex Everyday Preferred Credit Card with 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $2,000 in the first three months.

Hat Tip The Points Guy and View from the Wing

Head to the Card Match tool, and you’ll find out if you’re matched in just a few seconds. Although it asks for your Social Security Number, the tool does not generate a hard credit pull, and creditcards.com is a large and reputable site.

It appears that very few people are being targeted, leading to a lot of angry people in the FlyerTalk thread discussing the deal. From that thread I learned that some people are being targeted for the 100k offer, but if you are not targeted and try to change the online application to your name and information, you will get an error when you try to submit the application. From the comments on The Points Guy’s thread, I’ve learned that calling American Express and asking for the 100k offer doesn’t work.

Bottom Line

You probably aren’t targeted for three amazing American Express offers by the Card Match tool, but why not take a few seconds to find out if you are.

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Uber is my favorite way to get around. I no longer call or flag down taxis. On a recent trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles, I didn’t rent a car, using Uber to get around instead.

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Uber is the world’s best taxi service because it has clean, courteous drivers and the easiest ride-ordering app imaginable. Tap, tap, tap, and a car whose progress you can track towards you is on its way.

American Express is currently running a promotion with Uber during which new and existing Uber customers can get a $10 American Express statement credit. Sync an American Express card to Twitter and use it to pay for an Uber ride in 2014 to get the $10 credit.

This $10 credit for new or existing users is in addition to the massive $30 in free credit to new users who sign up through a referral link. (Sign up with mine and I’ll also get one free ride up to $30. Leave your referral link in the comments if you’d like.)

Here’s how to get the $10 credit:

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American Express Small Business Saturday is back the Saturday after Thanksgiving–November 29, 2014.

This year, you can get up to three $10 statement credits per American Express card. Since I have five American Express cards, I could get $150 in statement credits, but I’ll be out of the country. Don’t miss out on your free $150.

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  • When can you register for Small Business Saturday?
  • How do the statement credits work?
  • What counts as a small business?

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The J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study concludes that American Express and Discover have the highest customer satisfaction of any credit card issuers.

The study measures customer satisfaction with credit card issuers by examining six factors:

  • interaction
  • credit card terms
  • billing and payment
  • rewards
  • benefits and services
  • problem resolution

American Express has been #1 for all eight years of the study, and this year for the first time, it was tied for the top spot with Discover.

Interestingly, overall satisfaction with credit cards is at a record-high, surpassing last year’s record high. “Much of the bump is likely due to issuers piling on rewards, hoping to stand out from competitors, says Jim Miller, senior director of banking services at J.D. Power.”

The study has some very interesting nuggets for those of us who primarily use credit cards to earn miles and points.

  • What are my favorite findings of the study?
  • What is my ranking of issuing banks?

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Two amazing JetBlue promotions are stackable today and tomorrow that allow you to fly JetBlue Mint Class, the best Business Class Suite in the United States for only 26,250 points Membership Rewards.

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Enclosed Suite, Live TV, Free WiFi
  • What are the two stackable promotions?
  • How good of a deal is this?
  • How can you ensure that you get an enclosed suite (not all Mint seats are)?

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I have talked about how Uber is the world’s best taxi app because it has clean, courteous drivers and the easiest taxi-ordering app imaginable. Tap, tap, tap, and a cab whose progress you can track towards you is on its way with a constantly-updated ETA.

And now it has gotten even better. Uber just announced that Americans with iPhones will earn 2x Membership Rewards when they pay with an eligible American Express card (a great deal) and can even use Membership Rewards to pay for their ride at a rate of 1 cent per point (not a great deal.)

Uber Rewards Email Screenshot

 

This is in addition to the current offer where new Uber users can get $20 in free rides when they sign up through my referral link. You need to sign up and take your first ride by June 16, 2014 for the $20 credit. If you miss that deadline though, you’ll still get $10 in free rides.

(I know that clicking that link takes you to a page that says $10 free credit. But I can confirm it is paying out $20 until June 16, 2014 as my targeted Uber email claimed.)

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  • Why is Uber the best taxi service?
  • Why is paying with Membership Rewards not a good deal?
  • What are the best current offers for American Express Membership Rewards cards?

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This is your last chance to get repeat bonuses on your favorite American Express personal cards.

Currently you can get the sign up bonus on an American Express personal card every 12 months. So if you got the bonus on, say, the SPG card in February 2013, you can get it again today.

Starting May 1, you will not be able to get a sign up bonus on an American Express personal card if you have ever gotten that bonus in the past. (American Express Business Cards will still follow the 12 month rule for now.)

In fact, language has already been added to American Express personal card applications that “This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”

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But, according to American Express chat reps, that language has been added in advance of the May 1 change only in case you apply today and your application isn’t approved until after May 1. According to those chat reps, you can still be approved for an American Express personal card until May 1 and get its bonus even if you got it in the past.

I am planning to apply today for a few American Express personal cards, which I have previously opened. I figure that applying now gives me the maximum chance to approved before May 1 if I am not approved instantly.

Leave your experiences in the comments.

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The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN is now offering a sign up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards after spending $5,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership.

Plus The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN has the best perks of any rewards card like:

  • Up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits to offset airline fees.
  • Free Delta SkyClub lounge access and a free Priority Pass Select membership, which I use frequently when traveling economy class to get free lounge access.
  • A $100 statement credit to offset the cost of a Global Entry application. Global Entry has saved me at least four hours of my life, not waiting in immigration lines upon returning to the United States, and will save me even more in the next two years, so this is an incredible benefit.
  • Free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status. I’m earning more points on my SPG stays while getting free internet and late checkout, the two benefits of status that I most enjoy.

Furthermore the 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards now puts the card among the highest sign up bonuses for business cards. Membership Rewards are one of my favorite types of flexible points because the program has 21 airline and hotel partners.

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And the card is automatically enrolled in the OPEN Savings Benefit, which offers you discounts or bonus Membership Rewards for using your American Express business card at various, generally business-related, merchants.

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The bottom line on this card is that it’s so good that I got it with only a 25k point sign up bonus, and now that sign up bonus has jumped to 40k points. (Here’s my experience with the Business Platinum Card.)

Why did I get The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN? How can you make the most out of the Business Platinum Card? What types of people will get the most value from the card? Who shouldn’t get the Business Platinum Card?

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Whether you’re looking for free luxury hotel stays, first class flights, flights home to see family, or big rewards on gas or groceries, there are some fantastic credit card bonuses out there.

I’m writing this post from Raleigh, North Carolina near the end of a six-week world tour that would have been completely impossible without miles and points earned from credit cards.

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My trip is taking advantage of American Airlines miles, Starpoints, Ultimate Rewards, Lufthansa miles, and Arrival miles, all of which I got from credit cards.

How can you earn rewards for the trip of your dreams? What are the best credit card offers for March 2014?

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I really like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express quite a bit as a rewards card.

The card offers an unbeatable 6% cash back in the form of statement credits on your first $6,000 annually at grocery stores (then 1% back). And it offers 3% back at US gas stations and select US department stores.

To me it is an ideal card for families who want to take domestic vacations.

Instead of earning airline miles from an airline card and then having to hunt for award space, you can earn cash back in the form of statement credits on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and put that in a piggy bank for your next vacation.

Last year, the Blue Cash Preferred® added an Amazon Prime benefit. Since I don’t have the card yet, I don’t have first hand experience with the benefit, and I couldn’t fully understand how the benefit was implemented. I’ve now gotten some more information on the benefit from American Express:

You can receive a statement credit of $99 plus applicable taxes for the initial annual membership fee of a new Amazon Prime membership if, during your first three months of Card Membership, you:

As an Amazon Prime member, you get: unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, and one Kindle book to borrow for free each month.

  • Offer only available for new Amazon Prime memberships
  • Amazon Student, Amazon Mom, and other promotional or discounted Prime memberships are not eligible for this offer.
  • Any trial membership must be upgraded to a paid membership for you to be eligible to receive the statement credit.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.

For reference, the full offer on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is:

  • Get 100 Reward Dollars, redeemable for a $100 statement credit, after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
  • Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period.
  • As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $75 annual fee.

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The Platinum Card® from American Express is now offering a sign up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership.

 

Plus the Platinum Card® from American Express has the best perks of any rewards card like:

  • Up to $200 per calendar year in statement credits to offset airline fees.
  • Free Delta SkyClub lounge access and a free Priority Pass Select membership, which I use frequently when traveling economy class to get free lounge access.
  • A $100 statement credit to offset the cost of a Global Entry application. Global Entry has saved me at least four hours of my life, not waiting in immigration lines upon returning to the United States, and will save me even more in the next two years, so this is an incredible benefit.
  • Free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status. I’m earning more points on my SPG stays while getting free internet and late checkout, the two benefits of status that I most enjoy.

Furthermore the 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards now puts the card among the highest sign up bonuses. Membership Rewards are one of my favorite types of flexible points because the program has 21 airline and hotel partners.

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While I absolutely love the Platinum Card® from American Express, it has two weaknesses:

  • $450 annual fee
  • Earns one point per dollar on all purchases (no category bonuses)

Why did I get the American Express Platinum Card? How can you make the most out of the Platinum Card? What types of people will get the most value from the card? Who shouldn’t get the Platinum card?

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Three weeks ago, I wrote How to See if You’re Targeted for the 50k Bonus Point Sign Up on the Premier Rewards Gold Card through CARDMATCH.

The targeted sign up bonus is an extremely exciting offer because it adds a headline figure of a 50,000 point sign up bonus to the Premier Rewards Gold Card, which always has one of the best earning structures of any card:

  • 3X points for flights booked with airlines
  • 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets
  • 1X points on other purchases
  • 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards in any calendar year in which you spend $30k on the card

But most folks told me that they weren’t being targeted for the card when they entered their info at CARDMATCH.

That seems to be changing. More people have been emailing me to report that they were targeted at CARDMATCH lately for the 50,000 bonus point offer on the Premier Rewards Gold Card. So if you wanted the 50k point offer three weeks ago and weren’t offered it, it may be worth typing your info into CARDMATCH again. (No guarantees of course.)

Key Links

  • CARDMATCH to see if you are targeted for the Premier Rewards Gold Card with 50k bonus Membership Rewards after spending $1k in three months
  • American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card with 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $2k in the first three months of card membership in case you aren’t targeted

Keep reading for full details on the CARDMATCH offer and more info on how to see if you are targeted for it.

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