Stacking rewards via business card spend

Amex, Mastercard, and Visa each offer extra savings for small business cardholders.  With these programs, you can get automatic statement credits just by spending money at select gas stations, hotels, car rental agencies, merchants.  For reference, here are links to each program:

With Amex, enrollment is automatic. If you have an Amex small business card, then you’ll automatically get OPEN Savings rebates.  With Mastercard and Visa, though, you have to enroll your business cards.

In order to help figure out when you should use business cards for different types of purchases, I’ve added these programs to our Best Category Bonuses page.  For example, the Car Rentals section now has two extra rows (in yellow) showing rebates available to Amex and Visa business cards:

Please click through this image to see an up-to-date chart.

This should help when you’re trying to figure out the best card to use for a particular purpose.  Where things get particularly interesting with is when a card’s category bonus overlaps with these business card rebates.  This way it’s possible to double-dip just by using the right card for the job. Here are a few examples:

Chase Ink Business Preferred Visa

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media sites (up to $150K spend per year).

Visa SavingsEdge, meanwhile, offers a number of rebates which overlap with the Ink Business Preferred’s 3X categories.  Here are a few:

  • Car Rentals: National: 4%; Alamo: 4%
  • Hotels: Wyndham Hotels (all brands): 5%; MGM Properties: 4%; Dream Hotels: 5%; Night Hotels: 5%; La Quinta Inn & Suites: 10%
  • Shipping (Note: I’m not 100% sure that these earn 3X): MyExpressFreight: 10%; Stamps.com: 3%; uShip: 5%

Example: By using your Chase Ink Business Preferred Card after enrolling it in Visa SavingsEdge to pay for National or Alamo car rentals, you’ll earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points plus 4% cash back.  Similarly, if you use the card to pay at Wyndham Hotels (for example), you’ll earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points plus 5% cash back.  In both cases, you can increase rewards further by booking through a portal, and by making sure you are enrolled in the car rental or hotel company’s rewards programs and by making sure to enroll in any active rewards promotions that those companies run.

Chase Ink Cash Visa

The Chase Ink Cash Card earns 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for office supply purchases, phone, TV, and internet (up to $25K spend per year); and 2X for gas and restaurants.

Visa SavingsEdge, meanwhile, offers a number of rebates which overlap with the Ink Cash Card’s 5X and 2X categories.  Here are a few:

  • Gas (2X Ultimate Rewards): Chevron: 2%; Sheetz: 2%; Texaco: 2%
  • Restaurants (2X Ultimate Rewards): Corner Bakery: 2%; Panda Express: 2%; Papa John’s: 2%; Panera: 2%; Red Robin: 1%
  • Phone, TV, Internet (Note: I’m not 100% sure that these earn 5X): Boost Mobile: 3%; HostGator: 5%; Grasshopper: 5%; Mailchimp: 5%; Register.com: 4%

Example: By using your Chase Ink Cash Card after enrolling it in Visa SavingsEdge to pay for gas at the pump at Chevron, Sheetz, or Texaco, you’ll earn 2X Ultimate Rewards points plus 2% cash back.  Boost Mobile customers can do even better with 5X Ultimate Rewards and 3% cash back from Visa SavingsEdge.

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

The Amex SimplyCash Plus Card earns 5% cash back at US office supply stores and for US wireless phone services.  It also earns 3% cash back from the category of your choice:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
  • Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for advertising on select media
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

Amex OPEN Savings, meanwhile, offers the following rebates which can overlap with the SimplyCash Plus bonuses:

  • Hertz: 5%
  • FedEx: 5%, up to $20K spend per calendar year
  • HP: 5%, up to $30K spend per calendar year

If you select car rentals as your 3% category, then you can double-dip when renting with Hertz.  If you pick shipping, then you can double-dip through FedEx.  And if you pick computer stuff, you can double-dip with HP (the list of selected computer providers includes HP, and can be found here).

Example: By using your Amex SimplyCash Plus Card after selecting car rentals as your 3% category to pay for Hertz car rentals, you’ll earn a total of 8% cash back.  You can do even better by booking your rental through a rewards portal and making sure you’re enrolled in any active Hertz Gold Plus Rewards promotions.

Mastercard Business Cards

While I couldn’t find currently available business MasterCards with great category bonuses, I figured it would be helpful to list the savings available. Note that Bank of America and Barclaycard business cards don’t seem to work with Mastercard Easy Savings.

Mastercard Easy Savings offers rebates in the following categories:

  • Gas and maintenance: 5% at Firestone and TiresPlus. 1% cash back at participating Fuelman Network gas stations. Click here to find participating gas stations in your area (in Ann Arbor we have two participating Mobile stations, a Shell station, and a Circle K).
  • Restaurants: 4% cash back at all restaurants in the Dinova restaurant network. Click here to find participating restaurants in your area (in Ann Arbor, the list includes only major chain restaurants such as Outback, Bob Evans, Potbelly, California Pizza Kitchen, etc.)
  • Hotels: 4% cash back at all hotels Hotel network. Click here to find participating hotels in your area (in Ann Arbor, the list includes primarily mid-scale hotels: Wyndham Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn).  It’s also possible to get an additional 1% cash back with something called checkINN Direct (details here).  My guess is that you’d do better booking directly with a hotel chain after clicking through a portal, but it’s possible that checkINN Direct has better negotiated rates (I don’t know).
  • Car Rentals: 5% cash back at Avis and Budget.
  • Airport Parking: 10% cash back with Park Ride Fly USA
  • Business Services: Bing Ads 5%; Rakuten 2%; Mimeo 10%; LivePlan 10%; BizEquity 25%; BIDaWiz 10%; Monster 15%; Biz eGift Cards 20%. Before you get too excited about this last one, it appears to be a service for providing your company’s gift cards to customers. I don’t think you can get 20% back for buying gift cards.

Wrap Up

Amex, Visa, and Mastercard offer extra savings for business card holders with select merchants.  It’s often possible to stack these discounts with credit card category bonuses (as described above).  And, in many cases, you can earn more rewards by stacking with portals, other linked credit card rewards programs, merchant rewards, etc.  For more on stacking rewards, please see our Extreme Stacking page.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Kalboz
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For Hertz, it’s best to use the Chase UA credit card and book through United to get additional 500 UA miles (~$8 value) for using the card plus up to 40% discount on the daily rate.Check your UA account and emails for the best offer. But if the rental period is a week long and the rented vehicle is fancy, the AMEX OPEN 5% rebate can add up. So it’s best to crunch the number to see which offer is the most rewarding.

bluecat
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bluecat

All too complicated for me. I’m curious if any of your readers actually go through a long checklist/flowchart to figure out which card to use for each purchase….that seems like no fun to me.
😮

Kalboz
Guest

@Bluecat, granted but the fun part is when you lay down in that First class seat that you earned by renting cars. Please google “Man Who’s Earned 1.2 Million United Miles by Renting Cars” and see – 1.2 million UA miles is what 3 RT seats from US to Asia in First class? 🙂

bluecat
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bluecat

I’m not really questioning the idea of exploiting a particularly rewarding points angle (like your Car Rental guy)—I think every reader of this blog is keen to do that kind of deal!

No, what I’m questioning is the idea behind this post, in that to really work it like the author suggests, you have to have a phreaking script (or app…do I recall someone wrote one of those for just this purpose?) in order to keep track of which card to use for which purpose.

Dan
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Dan

I must put a label on each card with where I should use it. No biggie. It quickly becomes habit if you spend a lot time on the road or channel a lot of spend in any of these categories.

stvr
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stvr

What are the best currently available MasterCard business cards? I miss my Avis discount

shaky02dd
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shaky02dd

Jetblue business card didn’t work. So I assume Barclay isn’t one of the participating banks. Citi AAdvantage business does… fwiw.

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