4 Smart Ways Business Owners Maximize Credit Card Rewards

Credit cards can make it all too easy to rack up fees and interest rates when we don’t pay off our balances, but for many entrepreneurs, they are what keeps cash flowing into our business. And with so many business credit cards offering cash back, travel redemption and other rewards, using a credit card can actually pay off, if used responsibly.

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Here’s how the following business owners and entrepreneurs get the most out of their credit card rewards:

Use cash rewards to pay down your balance

Arlene H. Henderson, certified life coach and founder of Hear My Cry LLC, says the business credit cards she uses have proven to be the best methods of funding for her business.

The two cards she uses offered a good initial credit line, and Henderson was able to immediately start earning cash rewards. She recommends business owners use cards that offer cash rewards on all purchases.

“The cards I use give me money back that I can apply to my balance, and also offer rewards for payments. Any payment made will get you cash back. I pay my balance in full to get the max amount on my cash back,” Henderson said.

Remember to read the fine print so you don’t miss out on any available savings or rewards. Henderson says it’s also important to pay close attention to introductory offers, as transfer balance and cash back offers are only available for a specific timeframe.

Related: 8 Reasons Every Startup Needs a Business Credit Card

Take advantage of introductory offers

If you are strategic about the business credit cards you apply for, you may be able to reap major savings and rewards.

Sergei Belous, CEO of Upflip, recently opened a credit card that offers savings and rewards:

“This is a new account for me, so I am most excited about the opportunity to earn $500 for spending $5,000 on the card within the first 90 days,” Belous said. “That additional cash flow can always go to good use when you’re an entrepreneur!”

He says that while it can be tempting to open multiple business credit card accounts at one time, you should really consider the time it will take to earn a valuable reward with your startup’s current spending routines.

Instead, focus on one or two cards that offer the best rewards to suit your company’s needs, and place all of your spending on those cards, he advises. Rather than earning a reward in six months, you’ll be able to take advantage of your rewards much sooner and much more often.

Use points for travel

If you travel for business, a rewards credit card can help you spend less on flights and hotels, among other travel perks.

Kristine Thorndyke, founder of Test Prep Nerds, uses a travel rewards card for her business:

“(The) credit card includes things such as flight insurance, car rental insurance and more. It just makes sense to have this kind of added protection with my purchases,” Thorndyke said.

She makes sure to pay for everything business-related with a business credit card, as in doing so, she continues to earn points that go toward business travel and hotels.

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Get your card to pay you

After years of maximizing travel credit cards and the resulting mileage perks, Belinda Rosenblum, CPA and founder of OwnYourMoney.com, shifted gears to focus on cash-back cards instead.

“I was now married (at 39) and wanting to grow a family quickly, and valued cash in hand over seeing the world. I figured, ‘If I wanted to see the world, now I could have some extra cash to do it!’ And I loved the idea of my main credit card paying me instead of always feeling like I owed the company,” Rosenblum said.

All of Rosenblum’s key team members use a cash-back credit card for business purchases, as well.

Whether you use cash-back rewards or accrue points for business travel, the right business credit card can help you get ahead. The key is paying off your balance in full each month, so you don’t accumulate interest and find your business in debt.

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