By Beverly Blair Harzog
When you’re running a business you’re always looking for ways to trim costs. If your business requires frequent travel—either by plane or by car—expenses add up quickly. So I’ve picked out three business cards that can save you money based on what your specific travel needs are.
First, a caveat: Remember that business credit cards are not covered by the Credit CARD Act of 2009. This means you’re not protected from card issuer actions such as retroactive interest rate increases and other unfair practices.
So if you use a business credit card—and a Federal Reserve study showed that 83 per cent of businesses do—pay off your balance monthly. Read all the mail you receive from your issuer so you can be proactive if you get unpleasant news about your APR or get hit with new fees.
For Frequent Hotel Guests
If you love staying at Starwood Properties, such as the Sheraton or the Westin, you can earn points quickly with this card.
You get four Starpoints for every $1 spent at SPG hotels and five points per $1 once you reach the Gold or Platinum level of SPG Elite Status. You earn one Starpoint for every $1 spent on other eligible purchases. You can redeem your Starpoints at over 1,000 hotels or for free flights on more than 350 airlines with no blackout dates.
Costs: This card offers a 2.9 per cent introductory APR on purchases for the first six months. After that, this card carries a 15.24 per cent (V) APR. There’s a $65 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year.
For Frequent Flyers
You’re not tied to a specific airline with this card so you can choose the airfare that saves you the most. There are no foreign transaction fees so this card is a good choice if you go overseas often.
You earn double miles on all of your purchases. If you spend $1,000 within the first three months, you get 10,000 bonus miles. And if you sign up for one or more employee cards, you receive 5,000 bonus miles.
Costs: This card carries a 13.9 per cent (V) APR. There’s a $59 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year.
For Road Warriors
No doubt you’re feeling the sting of high gas prices. This card won’t take away all your pain, but it does offer a little relief.
You get 4 per cent cash back for annual gas purchases up to $6,000 and after you reach that total, you get 1 per cent on gas purchases. Qualifying gas purchases include Costco and other stand-alone gas stations. While you’re on the road, you also get 3 per cent cash back on restaurants. In addition, you get 2 per cent on travel expenses and 1 per cent on everything else.
Costs: This card offers a zero per cent introductory APR on purchases for the first six months. After that, this card carries a 13.24 per cent (V) APR. There’s a no annual fee for this card but you must have a paid Costco membership.
Beverly Blair Harzog is Credit.com’s Credit Card Expert. Beverly focuses on credit card issues and provides insight about current news that affects the credit card industry and consumers. She’s a nationally recognised expert on credit card issues and is also the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Person-to-Person Lending.