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How to maximize points and miles when starting a business

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Every startup has expenses, whether you’re opening a home business or a brick-and-mortar shop full of employees. For points and miles enthusiasts, the good news is there are ways to put many of these costs on a credit card, and that means you can earn valuable credit card rewards on everything from equipment purchases to tax payments.

When you concentrate on putting as many of your business expenses on credit cards as you can, you’ll quickly meet spending requirements for welcome bonuses and annual spending threshold bonuses, especially on startup costs that are also recurring costs. Hitting these marks can boost your reward-earning potential.

Here’s a list of tips for maximizing your rewards and choosing the right credit cards for your business.

Best business credit cards

Business credit cards benefit small and large companies by making separating business and personal finances easier, managing and tracking employee spending, and providing cash flow for business expenses.


The following cards also offer valuable perks to help businesses save money, reward business owners and employees, and make travel more comfortable and convenient.

Depending on the business credit card you choose, you might choose to earn cash back to reduce business expenses (or redeem points or miles for statement credits), or use points and miles earned from the card to reduce your business expenses.

Here are some of the best credit cards for small and large businesses:

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card within the first three months of card membership. This card earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels on, and 1.5 points per dollar on each eligible purchase at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers, software and cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year. Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees).
  • Capital One Venture X Business: Earn 150,000 miles once you spend $30,000 in the first three months from account opening. Earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 2 miles on all other purchases. The card also offers a $300 credit annually for travel booked through Capital One Travel, 10,000 bonus miles each year at your cardmember anniversary, access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass and Plaza Premium lounges for you and up to two guests. Annual fee: $395 (see rates and fees).
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories for each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases — with no limit to your earnings. You’ll also receive various protections, including cellphone protection, purchase protection, trip cancellation/ interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, primary car rental coverage and extended warranty protection. Annual fee: $95.
  • Capital One Spark Cash Plus: Earn $1,200 cash back once you spend $30,000 in the first three months of card membership. Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. The Spark Cash Plus is a flexible charge card with no preset spending limit that can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment and credit history. Annual fee: $150 (see rates and fees).

Earn points on rent

a hand holds a credit card

Bilt Rewards is a loyalty program that lets you earn Bilt Rewards Points by paying rent. You can maximize your rewards when you hold the Bilt Mastercard® (see rates and fees), but you don’t have to have the card to earn within the program.

You can transfer points to Bilt’s loyalty partners, book travel through Bilt’s travel portal, redeem points for lifestyle purchases and Amazon items, pay for fitness classes, and more.

When making an automated clearing house payment or using a non-Bilt card, you can earn 250 points per on-time rent payment at Bilt Rewards Alliance properties.

Alternatively, you can earn 1 point per dollar spent on rent at any home (up to 100,000 points per year) by paying your rent with the Bilt Mastercard. You can pay your rent with your Bilt Mastercard through the Bilt app. If your landlord only accepts physical checks, you can still pay your rent with the Bilt Mastercard on the app, and then Bilt will mail your landlord a rent check each month.

Note that you can currently only pay rent with this card on personal housing, not commercial office space. However, if you are setting up a home office/workshop, this could be a valuable product.

The Bilt Mastercard offers:

  • 3 points per dollar spent on dining.
  • 2 points per dollar spent on travel.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on rent payments (up to 100,000 points per year). Note: You must make at least five posted transactions in a statement period using your Bilt Mastercard to earn points on rent and qualifying net purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

You must use your card at least five times during each statement period to earn points (see rewards and benefits).

Other card benefits include complimentary cellphone protection, trip cancellation and interruption protection and no foreign currency conversion fees (see rates and fees). You do not need to pay rent to apply for the Bilt Mastercard.

Earn points and miles on office supplies


If you want to maximize your rewards on business expenses, it is easy with the right credit card.

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined spending across these bonus categories each account year: office supply stores and internet, cable and phone services.

Plus, you’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 you make in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You can turn the cash-back bonus into Ultimate Rewards points if you transfer your cash-back rewards to a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardChase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Alternatively, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each year in the following categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Earn points and miles on advertising

To launch a new product or reach new customers, businesses may consider sponsored ad placement on platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Google.

If you’re looking for a card to help cement your next campaign or boost your social reach, following or engagement, here are our top picks for the best business credit cards for advertising spending to suit your business needs:

  • American Express® Business Gold Card: Earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar in your top two spending categories each billing cycle, which can include U.S. media providers for advertising in select online, radio and TV advertising (bonus-earning is limited to the first $150,000 in purchases each year, then 1 point per dollar). Annual fee: $375 (see rates and fees).
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending across multiple categories (then 1 point per dollar), which include social media sites and search engines. Annual fee: $95.
  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent on the card each year, then 1 point per dollar. No annual fee (see rates and fees).

Earn travel rewards on business expenses


As well as earning loyalty rewards, you can redeem points for flights, hotels and upgrades; some business credit cards also offer perks to make travel more comfortable and convenient. You can use these perks when traveling for business or personal reasons, and these benefits may extend to others traveling with you.

For the business card packed with the most travel perks, consider The Business Platinum Card from American Express, which offers (enrollment required):

  • Up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry every four years or $85 TSA PreCheck credit every 4 1/2 years
  • Up to $200 in airline statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees, such as checked bags and inflight refreshments
  • Complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries
  • Gold elite status at Marriott and Hilton hotels
  • Access to the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program and Hotel Collection with benefits like daily breakfast for two, room upgrade upon arrival when available, $100 amenity, 4 p.m. checkout and more.

Related: Everything you need to know about accessing Amex Centurion lounges

Another option is the American Express Business Gold Card. While it doesn’t have the airport and hotel perks the Business Platinum card offers, there are various protections to give you peace of mind while traveling, including baggage insurance, trip delay insurance and rental car insurance.

Cardmembers will also be reimbursed for the cost to repair or replace their stolen or damaged cellphones up to $800 per claim for up to two approved claims per year, eligible warranties of five years or less can be extended by one year, and eligible purchases are covered for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date if they are stolen or damaged.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.  Please visit for more details.  Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. 

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card also comes with the following travel protections:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: If you must cancel or cut a trip short because of a covered issue (such as illness or severe weather), you’re eligible for up to $5,000 of coverage per person for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: If a covered trip is delayed by a covered hazard for 12 or more hours — or long enough to require an overnight stay — you’ll be eligible for reimbursement, up to $500 per ticket in reasonable expenses.
  • Primary car rental coverage: If you use this card for the entire rental cost and are traveling for business purposes, you’re covered for theft and damage in the U.S. and most countries around the world.

Bottom line

Starting a business requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and it can take a while before you begin to see the fruits of your labor. But if you use business credit cards to maximize the points and miles from your business spending, you’ll see the rewards add up quickly.

If you stack your rewards, you won’t have to wait long to use those points and miles to save money on your business expenses or for a well-earned vacation from the hard work of getting your business off the ground.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, click here

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, click here

For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Plus Card, click here

See Bilt Mastercard rates and fees here.

See Bilt Mastercard rewards and benefits here.