How a business owner uses credit cards to avoid paying for hotels

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  • If you personal a business, you are lacking out on precious factors, miles, or money again for those who’re not charging your work bills to a rewards credit card. 
  • Don Venderbush, a small business owner and salesperson in Cincinnati, says he hasn’t paid for a resort when touring for pleasure for greater than 20 years thanks to the factors he is earned from charging bills to his Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. 
  • Venderbush additionally uses airline credit cards to buy airfare, however the bulk of his bills go on the Hilton Surpass card to maximize his resort rewards.
  • While this technique works will for Venderbush, not everybody will need to put business bills on a private credit card. This might complicate issues when it comes time to spherical up your business deductions for tax season.
  • See Business Insider’s checklist of the perfect business credit cards.

For small business homeowners, utilizing a business credit card is a wonderful means to hold bills organized, earn precious rewards, and avoid the dangers of a debit card. But what does that seem like while you work in gross sales?

To get a higher concept of how this works in observe, I spoke with Don Venderbush, head of business growth for an unbiased producer in Cincinnati and owner of a producers’ consultant group, to be taught extra about what’s in his pockets and the way he uses credit cards for his business.

We’re targeted right here on the rewards and perks that include every card. These cards will not be value it for those who’re paying curiosity or late charges. When utilizing a credit card, it is vital to pay your steadiness in full every month, make funds on time, and solely spend what you possibly can afford to pay.

Maximize rewards, with out an excessive amount of effort

“I currently have 4 credit cards and use them each depending on the circumstances,” says Don. His credit cards embody the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World Elite™ Mastercard®, a Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card, and the PNC Bank Cash Rewards Business Visa.

“I don’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out which card is best,” says Don. “American Airlines tickets are charged to the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum card, Delta tickets are charged to the Delta Gold Business card, and some selected business expenses are charged to my PNC Bank Cash Rewards Business Visa,” he says. Everything else goes on his Hilton Surpass card.

Use credit cards every time potential

“My wife and I charge everything and rarely pay cash,” says Don. “I charge about $25,000 per year on business expenses and about $30,000 per year on personal expenses.”

That provides up to some main rewards over time. For instance, the Hilton Honors Surpass card earns 12 factors per greenback on Hilton purchases, 6 factors per greenback at US eating places, US supermarkets, and US fuel stations, and three factors per greenback in all places else. Those bonus classes embody fairly widespread family bills, so it isn’t tough to rack up a six-figure rewards steadiness in a single yr.

Read extra: four the reason why you must use a credit card as an alternative of a debit card

Redeem factors for vital worth

Indeed, Don says that Hilton Honors factors have helped him save a lot of cash on private journey. “I haven’t paid for a hotel when traveling for pleasure with the family in over 20 years,” he says. “At one time, I had about 1.2 million Hilton Honors points.” He’s not hoarding these factors although – Don says he is now “down” to about 300,000 factors.

The 900,000 Hilton Honors factors Don’s used over the previous few years have undoubtedly helped him safe some nice holidays. While Hilton now not publishes an award chart, a lot of the chain’s properties provide commonplace rooms for between 5,000 to 95,000 factors per evening. On high of that, members with Hilton Honors elite standing get their fifth evening free on award reservations of 5 nights or extra. All of the Hilton credit cards from American Express include Hilton Honors elite standing, so having a Hilton credit card ensures that you will have entry to this precious perk.

Keep your technique easy

Don says he would favor to spend his time operating his business – and having fun with holidays – somewhat than growing a complicated credit card technique. “Most card decisions are made without much analysis,” he admits.

“For example, I used to stay at Marriott hotels, but then about 20 years I saw that Hilton had a nice incentive to sign up for the Hilton Surpass card. So I did that, and then stopped staying at Marriott. At the time I had just spent most of my Marriott points on a great vacation, so there really was no reason to stay with Marriott as my balance was almost zero.”

There are upsides to leveraging a number of credit cards to maximize rewards, however that is a helpful reminder that you do not essentially have to turn into a credit card professional or spend a ton of time studying about credit cards to earn and luxuriate in vital rewards out of your spending.

Think laborious earlier than mixing private and business bills

While some small business homeowners are intentional about separating business and private bills, that is not a precedence for Don. “I mix business and personal on all the cards, as I’m trying to maximize the points,” he says. “Since I own my own company, I’m not limited to putting business expenses on only the business cards. The business is an LLC, so it’s OK to mix/match expenses on the different cards.”

However, Don cautions that this strategy is not proper for all business homeowners. “As my accountant states, If I had an S corporation it would not be a good idea to place business expenses on the personal cards.” Keep in thoughts many credit cards can be found in business variations; for instance, there’s the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

And after all, mingling private and business bills on the identical credit cards makes maintaining observe of bills tougher — particularly when it comes time to file your tax return. So be sure to seek the advice of a tax or accounting professional earlier than following Don’s instance. 

See Business Insider’s checklist of the perfect small business credit cards »

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