Every business has expenses, so why not take full advantage of every dollar going out, using credit cards that provide value back to you in some capacity? There are several points and rewards cards that you can use to earn cash back as well as other incentives, from airline miles to hotel points and other incentives.
If you aren’t currently taking advantage of credit card incentives this article is for you. To help you come up with the best option to explore, we spoke to several business owners and entrepreneurs to see how they were best using credit card reward programs.
Your expenses are going to happen month after month, and every transaction is an opportunity to get something of value, and put it back into your business. Here are some examples to get the ideas flowing.
Use cashback for health benefits premium.
“One of the most creative ways I’ve seen cash back used is to fund the employee health insurance. It’s a benefit that is appreciated by all, and it’s one that is a major cost for the company. Finding a card that provides a high cash back percentage across all transactions can put a major dent in your healthcare bill.
“You could even take it a step further, and upgrade to a better provider or one with a lower deductible, just to give your team better coverage for them and their family. This is a benefit that can really help create loyal employees that work extra hard for you.” – Paul Kelly, 247 CCTV Security Ltd
American Express Gold cards for ad spend.
“If your business is spending a lot on Google Ads and Facebook ads, then you need to open an American Express account and issue multiple Gold cards. They provide the most points on ad spend, which is multiple times more than any other credit card.While they limit it to 4X on the first $150,000 you can maximize that by opening up to 5 gold cards, which they allow you to do. This essentially covers $750,000 in ad spend, giving you 4X the point on this amount. This can add up quickly and American Express points can be used for anything imaginable, from hotel and air travel to Amazon purchases. Many businesses spend well over a million dollars on Facebook ads alone, so take full advantage of this opportunity.” – Pat Skinner of AnswerFirst
AAdvantage card for airline miles.
“If your main airline is American Air then there are many reasons to get their AAdvantage credit card. You earn points on all purchases that can then be applied to get flights and upgrades, but you also get a free lounge pass, which is worth about $550 and gives you access for you and a guest to all of the Admirals Club lounges, which most large airports have.
There are a lot of cards that have airline points, but most
are generic, therefore the value isn’t as much as an airline specific card.
American Air has a lot of hubs and if you fly them the most, this is one way to
drastically reduce your travel costs.” – Ignacio Soria, CEO of Cann & Co.
Give all employees a card to max point benefits.
“If you really want to maximize your points, there is a little hack you can do, which is extend a card to all employees. Rather than having them submit expense reports, give them a card to apply all purchases to. This not only reduces your accounting, but you get to earn points on all purchases.
A more traditional expense route has them pay, and then you reimburse them in their check. You gain no benefit doing it this way and it just requires more work from your accounting department. You can easily monitor their card activity and even set spending limits.” – Chris Moberg, President of Slumber Search
Expense company trips using points.
“There are a lot of benefits associated with team building trips, but a lot of companies don’t do it, or not often enough, because of the cost. If you locate the right rewards card you can rack up points and then apply them to cover things like hotels and travel, essentially making the trip free.
For large organizations spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, they are able to cover everything. This is a major benefit, as they get to develop their team, give their employees something special, and they don’t have to come out of pocket. You don’t have to tell them it’s covered by points. All they see it as is a trip you are making possible to benefit everyone.” – Chad Gaynier of Clarity Clinic
Reward employees with upgraded rooms.
“Do you have sales reps or certain team members that are always traveling and living out of hotels? If so, use some points to occasionally reward them with an upgraded room. This is a nice little ‘thank you’ that you can throw their way, which keeps them motivated and really doesn’t cost the company any additional money.
Something as simple as putting them up at the W instead of a Holiday Inn once in a while gives them a little incentive and motivation. It can be difficult constantly being on the road and living out of a suitcase, so anytime you can make their experience more comfortable and enjoyable, it’s going to have a positive impact on their performance.” – Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics
Cover your rental car expense.
“A lot of companies will limit the number of rental cars they line up in order to save money. This leaves everyone trying to pile in or use ride share apps, which in the end can end up costing just as much if not more.
There are many programs that run through Budget and Avis, which allow you to not only rent cars using points, but also take advantage of automatic upgrades and front of the line service. In order to fully leverage this perk, you will need to commit to one specific rental company. If you are using multiple options, it will take much longer to realize any benefit. Pick one and stick with them.” – Tad Thomas, Managing Partner of Thomas Law Offices
Help employees by adding authorized users.
“There is a way you can help your employees build their credit and also take advantage of their spending and earn points from it. By issuing them a card from your account, you are giving them the ability to build credit and improve their credit score, and you earn points for their use of the card.
TO protect you, you can require them to give you a deposit equal to the limit they want on the card, which you can set and control as the account owner. It’s a nice perk that can help a lot of people, which also gives you the benefit of earning more points you can then use for your business travel expense.” – Christopher Kerr, VP Marketing at Earnhardt Lexus
Fund team lunches with points.
“They say food is one of the most welcomed rewards at a company, and while it won’t break the bank, footing the bill for company-wide meals can quickly add up. There are so many credit card points programs, like American Express’ for example, that allow you to use rewards points at Grub Hub and other on-demand food delivery options.
So, not only do you get the benefit of having it delivered, but you can also switch it up and have lunch delivered from a wide variety of local restaurants. This is an added expense not many companies want to foot, but if you leverage it via credit card reward points it doesn’t sting as bad, and it can really help to keep the energy and morale high around the office.” – Hyung Park, President of Abraham Lincoln University
Reward gift cards as bonuses and use points to purchase them.
“What if you could hand out gift cards to store like Amazon, Apple and Best Buy to employees that have been doing an excellent job? Do you think that would go over well and cause everyone within your company to work a bit harder in hopes of getting one in the future? There are many points programs that allow you to cash them in for gift cards from hundreds of different stores. You can even poll your employees to find out what their favorite retail stores are. This way you know what gift cards will bring them the most satisfaction. They really don’t ‘cost’ you anything and a program like this will drive your productivity up across the entire company.” – Michael Herron, Law Offices of Michael R. Herron