In the Trenches: Our Business Credit Card Strategy

BrettSnyder by Brett Snyder on September 4, 2013
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You might think by the title of this post that I’m talking about a strategy for accepting credit cards. But that’s not the case. I’m referring to our strategy for using credit cards to pay for some of our business expenses. It’s a strategy that requires a lot of thought.

Our company may not seem like one that would have a lot to charge on a credit card, but it does. I use a card to cover typical expenses, including our phone bills, web-hosting costs, and software subscriptions. The card, issued by Chase (which we use for banking), gives us points that we can redeem for perks, including cash.

But those routine expenses represent only a small portion of our credit card spending. A far bigger expenditure came along a couple of years ago, when we signed an agreement with a company to handle air travel bookings for its conferences. The deal required us to charge all of the tickets on our corporate card and get reimbursed by the company later. It was going to mean a lot of money being funneled through our credit card.

After getting the legalese together that would allow us to feel comfortable taking on this financial risk, I got excited about the potential gains, because I knew we’d be eligible for rewards on all of those expenses. But which card would be best? Should I go with a cash-back card? Or would another type of rewards card work better?

In the end, I settled on an American Express Gold rewards card. Why? There was a big signup bonus at the time, and we would get triple points when booking airline tickets. The result was a thing of beauty: We ended up with hundreds of thousands of points pretty quickly, just from processing this client’s flights.

This credit card setup has been great for us. It even funded all of the travel we needed to bring my team to California for meetings. But now that it’s been a couple of years, it seems prudent to research whether there are other cards I should be considering instead for this kind of use. The landscape can always change, so I want to make sure we’re getting the biggest bang for our buck that we can.

BrettSnyder

Brett Snyder is President and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. Snyder previously worked for several airlines, including America West and United, before leaving to create a travel search site for PriceGrabber.com. Snyder did his undergrad at George Washington and earned his MBA from Stanford.

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