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Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – November 2018

Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Do you have side hustle either by yourself or via a company like Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb, and so on? You are eligible to open a small business credit card, which offers the benefit of keeping your personal and business expenses separate. You can use the rewards earned for a company retreat (even if you’re the only employee) or simply to offset some business expenses. If you are not a corporation or LLC, you can apply as a sole proprietorship, with your name as the business name as your Social Security number as the Tax ID number. I did this for years successfully before incorporating my business.

Small business credit cards are offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single new card during the first year to try out a new card. These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would apply for in November 2018, if I didn’t already have many of them. Please see links provided for full details. Recent changes:

  • Updated Hawaiian Airlines Business card – Bonus increased to 60,000 miles after $1,000 within 90 days (was 50,000 miles after any purchase).
  • Removed American Express Business Gold card.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for personal cards. Notice that small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

  • 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 towards travel!) after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard

  • 70,000 American Airlines miles after $4,000 in purchases in the first 4 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic flights perk ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points (redeemable for $900+ in Wanna Getaway airfare) after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • $99 annual fee.
  • Combine with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Consumer Card to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

American Express Plum Card

  • $600 cash back. Earn a $200 statement credit after each $10,000 you spend in purchases, up to $30,000, within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 1.5% early pay discount on all purchases which stacks on top of the bonus above.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $250.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card

  • 75,000 bonus points after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Points can be used towards Starwood and Marriott hotel stays, or converted to select airlines miles.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95. Receive free night award (up to 35,000 points) upon card anniversary.

Capital One Spark Cash Business Card

  • $500 cash bonus after $4,500 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard (Barclaycard)

  • 60,000 Hawaiian miles after $1,000 in purchases with the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and the Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card (Bank of America)

  • 32,500 Hawaiian miles + Companion Fare after $1,000 in purchase within 90 days. See link for details.
  • Companion fare voucher is “Buy one ticket, get one for just taxes and fees” ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22).
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • $50 annual fee for company, plus $25 per card.

Morningstar Top 529 College Savings Plan Rankings 2018

Investment research firm Morningstar has released their annual 529 College Savings Plans analyst ratings for 2018. While the full research paper appears restricted to paid premium members, this is still useful as while there are currently over 60 different 529 plan options nationwide, the majority are mediocre and there is really no reason to put your hard-earned money into them since anyone can invest in any state’s 529 plan.

Here are the Gold-rated plans for 2018 (no particular order). Morningstar uses a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating scale for the top plans and Neutral or Negative for the rest.

All 4 of these plans were Gold last year as well. There were no new additions or subtractions.

Here are the consistently top-rated plans from 2011-2018. This means they were rated either Gold or Silver (or equivalent) for every year the rankings were done from 2011 through 2018. These were also the same as last year. No particular order.

  • T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan, Alaska
  • Maryland College Investment Plan
  • Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, Nevada
  • CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan, Ohio
  • CollegeAmerica Plan, Virginia (Advisor-sold)
  • My529, formerly the Utah Educational Savings Plan

The “Five P” criteria.

  • People. Who’s behind the plans? Who are the investment consultants picking the underlying investments? Who are the mutual fund managers?
  • Process. Are the asset-allocation glide paths and funds chosen for the age-based options based on solid research? Whether active or passive, how is it implemented?
  • Parent. How is the quality of the program manager (often an asset-management company or board of trustees which has a main role in the investment choices and pricing)? Also refers to state officials and their policies.
  • Performance. Has the plan delivered strong risk-adjusted performance, both during the recent volatility and in the long-term?
  • Price. Includes factors like asset-weighted expense ratios and in-state tax benefits.

State-specific tax benefits. Remember to first consider your state-specific tax benefits via the tools from Morningstar, SavingForCollege, or Vanguard. Morningstar estimates that an upfront tax break of at least 5% can make it worth investing in your in-state plan even if it is not a top plan (assuming that is required to get the tax benefit).

If you don’t have anything compelling available, anyone can open a 529 plan from any state. I would pick from the ones listed above. Also, if you have money in an in-state plan now but your situation changes, you can roll over your funds into another 529 from any state. (Watch out for tax-benefit recapture if you got a tax break initially.)

My picks. Overall, the plans are getting better and most Gold/Silver picks are solid. If your state doesn’t offer a significant tax break, I would recommend these two plans to my friends and family:

  • Nevada 529 Plan has low costs, solid automated glide paths, a variety of Vanguard investment options, and long-term commitment to consistently lowering costs as their assets grow. (It is not the rock-bottom cheapest, but this is often because other plans don’t offer much international exposure, which usually costs more.) This is only plan that Vanguard puts their name on, and you can manage it within your Vanguard.com account. This is the keep-it-simple option.
  • Utah 529 plan has low costs, investments from Vanguard and DFA, and has highly-customizable glide paths. Over the last few years, the Utah plan has also shown a history of passing on future cost savings to clients. This is the option for folks that enjoy DIY asset allocation. Since I like to DIY, I have the majority of my family’s college savings in this plan.

Morningstar offers their own additional insight into the Gold-rated plans. I feel that a consistent history of consumer-first practices is most important. Sure, you can move your funds if needed, but wouldn’t you rather watch your current plan just keep getting better every year?

Sam’s Club 1-Day Sale 11/10 : $100 Face Value Gift Cards for $70 + Groupon Membership Deal

Sam's Club is having a one-day sale on Saturday, November 10th. There are the usual discounts on huge TVs and the latest Apple products, but what caught my eye was that all of the "Extreme Value" gift cards that are usually $40 for $50 face value … [Read the rest]

Garden Savings Federal Credit Union: 4-Year CD at 4.08% APY

(Update: "Due to the tremendous success of our certificate promotion, we have concluded the special rates that were being offered as of the end of business on Friday, November 9th." Reader Ryan adds that as long as you started the application … [Read the rest]

Best Interest Rates on Cash – November 2018

Here's my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash for November 2018, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. Check out my Ultimate Rate-Chaser Calculator to get an idea of how much extra interest you'd earn if you are moving … [Read the rest]

Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express – 60,000 Miles Referral Offer ($600 in Delta Airfare)

The Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express Credit Card has a limited-time offer if you are referred. It's a lot better than the standard offer, but it ends very soon on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018. Highlights: 60,000 bonus Skymiles after … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – November 2018

Are you fully aware of how valuable that space in your wallet or purse is? Credit card companies are in heated competition right now, offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to encourage you to apply and try it … [Read the rest]

Voyager Crypto Trading App: $25 Free Bitcoin Each For New Users and Referrals

Voyager is a new trading app that intends to offer commission-free trading of least fifteen different cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). It hopes to differentiate its service by offering more access to different exchanges … [Read the rest]

Download Audible App on Fire TV, Get Free $5 Amazon Credit

If you have a Fire TV, start up the device and download the Audible app for free before 11/13/18. Amazon will give you a free $5 Amazon credit for doing so (expires in 30 days, only good for products "Sold by Amazon"). There is no activation … [Read the rest]

Savings I Bonds November 2018 Interest Rate: 2.32% Inflation Rate, 0.50% Fixed Rate

Update 11/1/18. The fixed rate will be 0.50% for I bonds issued from November 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019. The variable inflation-indexed rate for this 6-month period will be 2.32% (as was predicted). The total rate on any specific bond is the sum … [Read the rest]

Send $50 Amazon Gift Card Via Text, Get $5 Amazon Credit (Targeted)

Amazon keeps thinking up new ways for folks to send/receive/reload/ingest Amazon gift credits. Which is fine with me, because they'll usually pay you a few bucks to try it out. Click here to check eligibility for their latest targeted offer: Get … [Read the rest]

Starbucks App and Chase Pay: Up to 475 Bonus Stars (Targeted)

Here is a targeted offer for Starbucks app users. Look on the Starbucks app homepage or inbox for a Chase Pay promotion that says "Reload 3x, Earn 475 Stars." If you load up your Starbucks account with at least $20 using Chase Pay, you can get … [Read the rest]