Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Review – 100,000 Bonus Miles Limited-Time Offer

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is the re-branded business credit card of the Marriott Bonvoy program (formed after the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest). This card offers unique perks for Marriott customer, but now through 4/24/19, there is a limited-time offer bump to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. In addition, if you apply by 3/28/19, the annual fee is waived during the first year. Here are the highlights:

  • Limited time offer: 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months.
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. service providers
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • 1 Free Night Award each year after your Card account anniversary you can use at a participating hotel. (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points). Certain hotels may have resort fees.
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. Additionally, earn Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • Elite Night Credit. Each calendar year you can receive credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
  • Annual fee is $125 (if applied for the card before 3/27/2019, the annual fee for the first year is waived, then $95)

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Business from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a new cardmember bonus in the last 24 months on the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase.

This is more specific than before, note the different 30-day, 90-day, and 24-month waiting periods that may now include consumer cards. American Express usually gives you a pop-up warning during the application process if you are ineligible based on their records. This is why you should be looking to get the best possible bonus (like a limited-time offer and waived annual fee) when you do apply.

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, Uber/Lyft drivers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Free Night Award. At your card anniversary (when you pay the annual fee), you will receive a Free Night Award that is good for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. This excludes the very top properties, but for regular travelers it will be very easy to get your $95 or even $125 value. Many W Hotels, Westin, and even some Ritz-Carltons worldwide are included. Here are some sample hotels that qualify under the 35,000 point limit:

  • Sheraton Kona Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Westin Hapuna Beach Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Courtyard Waikiki Beach (Honolulu, Oahu)
  • Sheraton Kauai Resort (Kauai, Hawaii)
  • W Atlanta
  • New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
  • W Chicago
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing, China
  • The S. Regis Bangkok, Thailand

Bottom line. The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is the new co-branded business card between Marriott/SPG and American Express. However, the best time to apply is before 3/27/19 as you will be eligible for both the limited-time 100,000 bonus miles offer and the annual fee waiver during the first year (also your annual fee will be only $95 in future years instead of $125.) You also get a Free Night Award at card anniversary, which can be worth much more than the annual fee.

I have added this card to the Top 10 Best Small Business Card Bonus Offers.

Southwest Companion Pass: Chase Southwest Credit Card Bonuses

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly with free when you book either paid or award flights. If you either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, and you’ll earn the Companion Pass for the remainder of that year plus the following full calendar year. For example, if you earned it in February 2019, you would have the benefit for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020. You can change your designated companion up to three times each calendar year.

Points earned from credit cards count toward that 110,000 point requirement, including sign-up bonuses. You can often get very close to that magic number when you add up the potential miles from these Southwest credit cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card

  • 40,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 3,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $69 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card

  • 40,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card

  • 40,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 7,500 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on inflight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies.
  • Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list status.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $149 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Value of Rapid Rewards points. After you earn the required 110,000 Rapid Rewards, redeeming them for flight values varies in a narrow range, but a reasonable approximation from my experience is $1,700 in Wanna Get Away airfare (you are still liable for taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way). Importantly, Southwest does NOT have blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points. This means that Southwest points are much easier to use than a “saver award” on traditional airlines. Now, if you manage to qualify for the the Companion Pass on every trip that you book with those points, that doubles the potential value of each award redemption.

Another option to consider is gift card redemptions. You can still redeem 5,000 points for a $50 a Amazon.com or Wal-Mart gift certificate. That makes 50,000 points still worth $500 in Amazon or Walmart gift cards.

Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person. The fees on the other airlines have crept up to $30 per bag, each-way. That adds up.

Our family policy is to not try out a new credit card unless it offers us $500 in total value. Just the free award flights from the points are enough to satisfy that rule, and then you can add on the potential value of the companion tickets.

Card restrictions. All of these Southwest credit cards are subject to “5/24” restrictions, which means that your application will be automatically denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months (check your credit reports). Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. There is also this language on the consumer card:

The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.

Basically, you can get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest consumer card once every 24 months. You can also get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest business card once every 24 months.

Extending your Companion Pass with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest points on a 1:1 basis. The idea is is to book an award flight with those Southwest points while you have the Companion Pass, thus doubling the value of your Ultimate Rewards points as well.

Bottom line. Right now, you can earn 100,000 Southwest points from qualifying for just two credit card sign-up bonuses (one personal and one business), which is only 10,000 points short of qualifying for the Southwest Companion pass (and a lot of free Southwest flights!). A Companion Pass earned now would get you a free companion ticket on every flight bought with cash or points for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020. Plus, Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business: Unlimited 2% Cash Back + $500 Cash Bonus

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is a rewards business card offering a $500 cash bonus in addition to ongoing 2% cash back rewards. Here are the highlights:

  • Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.
  • One-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee after that.
  • Cash back rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Free additional employee cards.

Consider that if you meet the $4,500 spending requirement within 3 months, you will end up with $500 + $90 from 2% cash back – that’s $590 on $4,500 spending (13.1% cash back).

Note that “Existing or previous Accountholders may not be eligible for this one-time bonus.” For comparison, there is also a Spark Select for Business and Spark Classic that are different cards with lower sign-up bonuses but no annual fee.

The 2% cash back for all purchases is a strong rewards structure, and you get no annual fee during the first year as well. From the second year onward, you’ll have to weigh that against the $95 annual fee after the first year. The math says that you would have to spend more than $19,000 every year ($1,583 a month) to make the 2% back and $95 annual fee (Spark Cash) pay out more rewards than 1.5% cash back and no annual fee (Spark Cash Select).

Here is some info taken from the Terms and Conditions regarding rewards cash back redemptions:

How do I redeem my rewards?
You can get your cash back upon request in the form of a statement credit or a check. You can also set up an automatic redemption preference; options include: (1) at a set time each calendar year or (2) when a specific threshold ($25, $50, $100 or $200) has been reached. Just go online to capitalone.com or contact our Rewards Center. You can also redeem for credits for previous purchases, gift cards, and more. Rates for these redemption options may vary and are subject to change without notice.

Alternatively, the Capital One Spark® Miles for Business has a offer for 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. 50,000 miles are redeemable for a $500 statement credit towards travel. The travel can be booked directly through airlines and hotels, and there are no blackout dates or award seat limits to worry about. $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee after that. No foreign transaction fees. Similar to the offer above, the Spark Miles offers 2 miles per dollar with the $95 annual fee but there is also a Spark Miles Select for Business that offers 1.5 miles per dollar with no annual fee.

Capital One now allows you to transfer your “miles” into select airline miles programs as well, on a 2:1.5 ratio (ex. 20,000 Capital One miles = 15,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles). Here are the 12 transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • Hainan
  • Qantas
  • Qatar

Unless you know how to leverage one of these international airline miles programs, I would prefer earning cash rewards over the “miles”, since these Capital One “miles” only get their maximum value when redeemed against a travel purchase.

If you are looking for a comparison with other strong business cards, check out my updated list of Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers.

United Explorer Business Card Review – 75,000 Bonus Miles Limited-Time Offer

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The United Explorer Business Card is a co-branded business credit card between Chase and United Airlines. This card offers unique perks for regular United customers including free checked bags and expanded award seat availability for redeeming miles. Right now through 3/18/19, there is also a limited-time offer bump, which matches the highest bonus amount I’ve seen. Here are the highlights:

  • Limited-time offer: 75,000 bonus United miles after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket.
  • Two one-time United Club passes each year ($100+ value)
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • Priority boarding for you and companions on the same reservation on United-operated flights.
  • 2X miles at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores.
  • 2X miles on United purchases and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

This product is available to you if you do not have this Card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this Card in the past 24 months.

However, you CAN get this card if you had the consumer version of the United Explorer in the past 24 months (or have one now).

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, Uber/Lyft drivers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will most likely 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 (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

The good news is that small business cards from Chase hardly ever show up on personal credit reports, so getting this card in itself won’t affect your future 5/24 eligibility. This it makes a “free” application if you are already eligible.

This card is very focused on rewarding you for being a United customer. Before you board, you might use one of your free United Club lounge passes. You have the first checked bag for free on United flights, both for your and a companion traveling on the same reservation. The fee is usually $30 per person, each way, so that this how they get the value of $120 each roundtrip. You also get Priority Boarding, which helps you find space for your carry-on.

Expanded award availability. You earn United miles for all your purchases (double miles on restaurants and hotel stays), but then they also make it easier for you to redeem those miles on Saver level tickets with no blackout dates. Expanded award seat availability is another of the top perks from this card, and it is actually a significant difference. Saver Award ticket redemptions start at 12,500 miles one-way within the continental U.S. and Canada.

Another unique feature of this card is that it offers primary coverage on the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. On many other cards, this coverage is offered as secondary coverage, meaning it only kicks in after your personal auto insurance has been exhausted.

Bottom line. The United Explorer Business card offers valuable perks for folks that fly United even just once or twice a year. The card provides lounge passes, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and inflight discounts. There are bonus categories to earn more miles, and special expanded award seat inventory for credit card holders to make it easier to actually redeem those miles for flights.

I have added this card to the Top 10 Best Small Business Card Bonus Offers.

Chase United Explorer Card Review – 40,000 Bonus United Miles

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

United Mileage Plus Explorer CardThe United Explorer Card is a co-branded credit card between Chase and United Airlines. This card offers unique perks for regular United customers including free checked bags and expanded award seat availability for redeeming miles. Here are the highlights:

  • 40,000 bonus United miles after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket.
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to find that saver award economy ticket.
  • Priority boarding + 2 United Club one-time passes every year.
  • 2X miles at restaurants and on hotel stays.
  • 2X miles per on purchases from United.
  • 25% Back on United inflight purchases (Wi-Fi, Food and Drinks).
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
  • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

This product is available to you if you do not have this Card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this Card in the past 24 months.

This card is very focused on rewarding you for being a United customer. Before you board, you might use one of your free United Club lounge passes. You have the first checked bag for free on United flights, both for your and a companion traveling on the same reservation. The fee is usually $30 per person, each way, so that this how they get the value of $120 each roundtrip. You also get Priority Boarding, which helps you find space for your carry-on. While onboard, you get 25% back on your inflight purchases of WiFi, food, and drinks.

Expanded award availability. You earn United miles for all your purchases (double miles on restaurants and hotel stays), but then they also make it easier for you to redeem those miles on Saver level tickets with no blackout dates. Expanded award seat availability is another of the top perks from this card, and it is actually a significant difference. Saver Award ticket redemptions start at 12,500 miles one-way within the continental U.S. and Canada.

Another unique feature of this card is that it offers primary coverage on the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. On most other consumer cards, this coverage is offered as secondary coverage, meaning it only kicks in after your personal auto insurance has been exhausted.

Bottom line. The United Explorer Card offers great perks for folks that fly United even just once or twice a year. The card provides lounge passes, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and inflight discounts. There are bonus categories to earn more miles, and special expanded award seat inventory for credit card holders to make it easier to actually redeem those miles for flights.

More: Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express – 40,000 Miles + $50 Statement Credit Referral Offer

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express Credit Card has a limited-time offer if you are referred. Highlights:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • 40,000 Skymiles is worth $400 in Delta airfare minimum. With this card, you get a minimum value out of your Skymiles via the “Pay with Miles” option. 40,000 Skymiles can reduce the price of your Delta ticket by $400 at the very least. (5,000 mile = $50 minimum redemption.) You can still book the traditional award tickets and possibly get better value.
  • First checked bag free. Delta now charges $30 for the first checked bag, each way. That means this perk is worth $60 per person each roundtrip. For a family of four, this perk is worth $240 per person each roundtrip.
  • Enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Annual fee is waived for the first year, then $95.

Here is my link for the Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express referral offer. Thanks if you use it. There is also a Gold Delta Skymiles Business version with a similar limited-time offer.

Chase Bank Bonus: $600 Total Checking + Savings, 60,000 Point Upgrade to Sapphire Banking

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Chase Bank has updated banking promotions for new customers without a Chase Bank account (closed more than 90 days ago and haven’t gotten a bonus in the last 2 years). The first bonus is for their Total Checking and Savings accounts, and if you satisfy that and have a Sapphire credit card, you can upgrade to the Sapphire Banking with higher requirements.

  • Up to $600 for opening a new Total Checking + Savings account. You must move over a direct deposit on the new checking account ($300 bonus), and/or deposit and maintain $15,000 in the savings account for 90 days ($200). Do both, and get another $100, for $600 total. The easiest way to avoid monthly fee is to keep $1,500 in Total Checking and $300 in Savings.
  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points for upgrading to a Chase Sapphire bank account. Got a Chase bank account and a Sapphire credit card? They want your business, so take a look at their upgrade offer to Sapphire Banking. You must move over $75,000 in assets (bank deposits or securities) to Chase Bank or Chase You Invest brokerage. You can simply move over some existing stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds via ACAT transfer and your tax cost basis should transfer. Alternatively, you could buy US Treasury bills in the brokerage account as an alternative to Chase Bank’s sad interest rates. You need to also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.

Together, this could be up to $1,500 total value. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the 60,000 points are worth $900 towards travel (or 60,000 airline miles). $900 airfare/hotel/car rental value + $600 cash = $1,500. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, the 60,000 points are worth $750 towards travel (or 60,000 airline miles).

Here are previous posts on the Chase Total Checking bonus and Chase Sapphire Banking bonus with more details.

American Express Gold Card: 40,000 Bonus Points + $120 Dining Credit + $100 Airline Fee Credit

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The refreshed American Express Gold Card is trying to get back to being the “gold standard” with some new perks along with a 40,000 bonus point offer if you apply via a referral link (that’s mine). Here are the highlights:

  • 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Up to $120 dining credit at Grubhub, Seamless, and more. Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 airline fee credit. Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your AmEx Gold card. Examples are checked baggage fees and inflight meals.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 4X points at US restaurants.
  • 4X points at US supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per year.
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $250 annual fee. Additional cards (authorized users) are free.

Note the following:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or the Premier Rewards Gold Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Membership Rewards points can be converted to the following airline and hotel programs (there are more, this is just a selection):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • ANA Mileage Club (partner of United Airlines)
  • Air Canada (partner of United Airlines)
  • British Airways (partner of American Airlines)
  • FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Rewards (Starwood)

The bonus math depends on a few factors. I’m going to be conservative and value the 40,000 Membership Rewards points at $400. (There are a lot of mileage transfer bonuses so you could value them much higher.) Spending $10 a month at Grubhub and Seamless will depend on if you’ve become addicted to these hyper-convenient food delivery apps. The airline fee credit will depend on how much you travel, but checked bag fees are everywhere (and rising). Minus the $250 annual fee. If you max out all the perks, the first year value is $370 without taking into account the 4X and 3X bonus categories. I don’t think it’s a perfect fit for me, but worth a look.

Bottom line. The new American Express Gold Card has a bunch of new features more targeted at the young, urban traveler including up to $120 in Grubhub and Seamless credits and $100 in airline fee credits. There is also a 40,000 bonus point offer if you apply via a referral link.

Blue Business Plus Card from American Express Review: 2X Points on ALL Purchases Up to $50k/Year

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

bbpamexThe Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a business rewards card that features double Membership Rewards points and no annual fee. Therefore, if you can redeem for more than 1 cent per point of value, this card has the potential to beat a flat 2% cash back card. Here the highlights:

  • 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year. 1X Points on purchases thereafter.
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • No annual fee.

Note the usual language regarding the sign-up bonus. This is a newer card, but you can only get the sign-up bonus once per lifetime.

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

Better than 2% cash back? Membership Rewards points can be converted to the following airline miles (there are more, this is just a selection):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • ANA Mileage Club (partner of United Airlines)
  • Air Canada (partner of United Airlines)
  • British Airways (partner of American Airlines)
  • FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin America

If you value any of these miles at more than 1 cent per mile, then you would be getting more value than a 2% cash back card. For example, this card can earn the equivalent of 2 Delta miles per dollar spent.

Unfortunately, there are many redemption options for Membership Rewards points that are worse than 1 cent per point value. Here are a few examples:

  • Shop with Membership Rewards Points (~0.5 cents per point)
  • Shop with Points at Amazon.com (~0.7 cents per point)
  • Use points at BestBuy.com (~0.7 cents per point)
  • Gift Cards (varies from 0.5 up to 1 cent per point max)

If you don’t expect to get at least 1 cent per mile value, then you should stick with a 2% cash back card.

Business credit card eligibility. Many people aren’t aware that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. Any individual can be a small business. Perhaps you sell items on eBay, Craiglist, or Etsy. Maybe you do some graphic design, web design, freelancing and/or consulting. If you received a 1099-MISC tax form and filled out a Schedule C, that means you have business income, you pay self-employment taxes, and you’re a sole proprietorship. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

This card will require you to personally guarantee that you’ll pay them back what you charge on the card, which means they’ll check your personal credit score like any other consumer card. However, as the card is a business card, American Express won’t have it show up on your personal credit report, so it won’t change things like your credit limits, average account age, or credit utilization ratio.

Bottom line. The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a unique small business card in that it earn 2X Membership Rewards points on ALL purchases up to $50,000 per year with no annual fee. The ability to transfer to miles means that you’re effectively earning 2X miles per dollar spent with no annual fee. Finally, linking this card also allows you keep Membership Rewards points earned from other cards active while having no annual fee.

Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express: 15,000 Point Offer, No Fee 0% Balance Transfer

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express is a great way to earn Membership Rewards points with no annual fee. Right now, there is also a welcome bonus and no balance transfer fee offer for new cardholders. Here are the details:

  • 15,000 Membership Rewards Points welcome bonus after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers for new card members. After that, a variable APR applies.
  • $0 balance transfer fees on balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening.
  • 2X points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X). 1X points on all other purchases.
  • 20% more points if you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period (less returns and credits).
  • No annual fee.

Note the following:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.

No fee 0% APR balance transfer. It has been a long time since I recall an AmEx with a no balance transfer fee offer. If you have high-interest balances on other card issuers (Chase, Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc), this may be a good opportunity to lower your interest charges and pay off that debt faster.

Earn Membership Rewards (MR) points with no annual fee. American Express has historically been a “premium”-only brand and most every card had an annual fee. This no-annual fee card is a move towards “EveryDay” consumers. In addition, if you have Membership Rewards points earned from other American Express cards, having this card would keep all of your MR points from expiring even if you closed those other cards (perhaps to avoid the annual fees). This way you keep the flexibility to transfer the points into a variety of frequent flier miles as needed. As there is no annual fee, I can keep this card open forever.

Membership Rewards points can be converted to the following airline miles (there are more, this is just a selection):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • ANA Mileage Club (partner of United Airlines)
  • Air Canada (partner of United Airlines)
  • British Airways (partner of American Airlines)
  • FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin America

With the 20% bonus for 20+ purchases per billing period, you would be getting 1.2 miles per dollar on all purchases and 2.4 miles per dollar at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year). A lot depends on how much value you can get out of those airline miles.

Unfortunately, there are many redemption options for Membership Rewards points that are worse than 1 cent per point value. Here are a few examples:

  • Shop with Membership Rewards Points (~0.5 cents per point)
  • Shop with Points at Amazon.com (~0.7 cents per point)
  • Use points at BestBuy.com (~0.7 cents per point)
  • Gift Cards (varies from 0.5 up to 1 cent per point max)

Bottom line. The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express allows to you earn and maintain Membership Rewards points with no annual fee. The sign-up perks have been improved to include a 15,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus and a no fee 0% APR balance transfer offer. If you have high-interest balances on other card issuers, this may be a good opportunity to lower your interest charges and pay off that debt faster.

Hilton American Express Cards Limited-Time Offers – Up to 125,000 Hilton Points Each

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Hilton Hotels has two American Express consumer cards, a no annual fee and a $95 annual fee version (with more perks of course). There is also a business card version. Right now, all of them have a limited-time increase to their welcome offer, from 75,000 to 125,000 points. (Up from 50k and 100k.) Each person can only get one welcome offer, per card in your entire lifetime, so it’s best to apply during one of these temporary bump-ups. (You could get all three of these welcome offers separately, but only one per card per person per lifetime.)

What are 75,000 or 125,000 Hilton Honor points worth? The best value is from booking free hotel nights or using their “Points & Money” option where you pay with a combination of Hilton points and cash. Hilton has some really nice properties, but the value varies from hotel to hotel. I just ran a search and for the same 60,000 Hilton points, I could book rooms that cost $320 or $532 cash. I’ve seen some valuations around 0.6 cents per point, which I think is fair on average, but I would be more conservative at 0.5 cents a point. That would make 75,000 points = $375 value and 125,000 points = $625 value towards Hilton hotel stays.

The good part of Hilton points is that they have so many different hotel brands, from business-class DoubleTree to luxury Waldorf Astoria. Hilton also lets you transfer and pool points with other with other family or household members. As long as you keep them active (once every 12 months), I do like to keep some around. Here’s a tip on how to keep Hilton points active with $1 Amazon gift codes.

Hilton Honors Ascend Credit Card from American Express

  • 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward certificate after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • 12X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 6X Hilton Honors points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free upgrade to Hilton HHonors Gold status (free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, 5th standard reward night free).
  • Spend $40,000 in a calendar year on this card and get HHonors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Hilton Honors Credit Card from American Express

  • 75,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 7X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 5X Hilton Honors points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free upgrade to Hilton HHonors Silver status (5th standard reward night free, 2 bottles of water in your room).
  • Spend $20,000 in a calendar year on this card and get HHonors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward certificate after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases in the same calendar year.
  • 12X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 6X Hilton Honors points on Select Business & Travel Purchases (ex. U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines)
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free upgrade to Hilton HHonors Gold status (free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, 5th standard reward night free).
  • 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.

Bottom line. If you can use the points towards Hilton hotel stays, the best time to apply for a Hilton co-branded American Express card is during a limited-time increase to their welcome offers. This is because American Express has changed their policy to only allow each person to get a welcome bonus once per card per lifetime.

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.”

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card Review: 80,000 Point Bonus worth $1,000 Towards Travel

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

inkpreferred2018Updated. Business credit cards can be used by self-employed or side-gig workers with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Uber/Lyft, Adsense or other 1099 income that make you a sole proprietorship. The Ink Business Preferred Card is now offering a 80,000 point bonus for new cardholders, worth an even $1,000 towards travel when redeemed through Chase. This is their premium travel card with 3X points on travel purchases and the ability to transfer points to airline miles or redeem at a 25% premium through their travel portal. Here are the details:

  • 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. That’s worth $1,000 toward any airfare or hotels booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (works like Expedia or Travelocity).
  • 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • 1X point per $1 on all other purchases with no limit.
  • Ability to transfer points directly to airline mile partners.
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Free additional cards for employees.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.

Ultimate Rewards points. This card offers a 25% bonus on travel bookings made through the Ultimate Rewards travel website. 80,000 Ultimate Rewards = $1,000 in travel. Similar to Expedia or Travelocity, you can book flights on most major airlines, hotel chains, and car rental companies. This makes it much more flexible to spend your points. You can even buy something more expensive and pay the difference.

If you have other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points like the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited, you can transfer points into this card account and take advantage of the 25% premium. However, if you happen to have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you could transfer your points over to that card and grab the better 50% premium.

You could think of this card as the small business version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Prefer airline and/or hotel points? This card also allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points into hotel and/or airline miles. Transfer to United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Southwest, Hyatt Hotels, IHG Hotels, and Marriott Hotels at a ratio of 1 Ultimate Rewards point = 1 mile/hotel point. Miles redemption continue to offer great value for savvy travelers, especially for last-minute travel and business class seats.

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, Uber/Lyft drivers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will most likely 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 (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

The good news is that small business cards from Chase hardly ever show up on personal credit reports, so getting this card in itself won’t affect your future 5/24 eligibility. This it makes a “free” application if you are already eligible.

Bottom line. The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card has a huge 80,000 point sign-up bonus worth a cool $1,000 towards travel, along with premium travel features included with the $95 annual fee. You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points from other Chase cards to increase your value. If you’d rather have a more simple cash-focused rewards structure and no annual fee, be sure to compare with the Ink Business Unlimited and Ink Business Cash.

“Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.”