Using your business credit card for personal purchases (and vice versa) usually isn't a good idea. Keeping your finances separate for tax purposes, for organization, and even to help build a business credit score are all some of the reasons why I recommend having a card for each. On top of that, a business credit card is geared towards earning points and miles on your business purchases.
These cards often have higher credit limits and come with business-related perks. However, with more entrepreneurs going the solo or freelance route and more opportunities for networking and growth while traveling, being able to use the points and miles earned can be useful. Additionally, bleisure and working vacations remain popular as more remote options are made available.
Here's how you can make the most out of your travels so that you may benefit from your business earned points and miles.
1. Sign up for a credit card that fits both your business and travel needs.
If you want to use your business credit card for personal reasons, then you need a plan. There are many credit cards out there that were designed for certain business needs. Determine which will suit your business best.
Are you a digital marketing consultant? Then, a credit card that gives extra points to social media advertising is one to consider. Additionally, know that there are business cards that not only earn points on specific purchases, there are also ones that don't charge an annual fee.
Besides your business needs, you also need to think about where you want to travel to. Do you want to travel domestically or internationally? Do you have a certain airline you like traveling with? Whatever your decision is, ensure that the travel business credit card you pick has a rewards program that can accommodate your travel needs.
2. Earn rewards from category bonuses.
Once you've found the travel credit cards that satisfy your business and travel needs, now you need to earn points with it. Normally, business reward cards have categories. If you spend money on certain expenses, can earn you a considerable amount of points.
Depending on your needs and your credit card company, it's possible that you can earn 5x as many points for expenses you would've purchased anyway. Look into your category bonuses and see what purchases will earn you the most points and on what cards.
3. Use your travel card for your business purchases.
Besides category bonuses, you'll also want to use your travel rewards card on all other everyday business expenses. While it seems logical to put both your personal and business purchases on your business travel card, it's not. Instead, keep your larger business expenses on the business card and keep the rest on your travel card.
However, if your business card earns more on a specific category and you make purchases in that category frequently, consider using that card. For example, some business cards earn more points for office supply purchases. Stick that on your business card.
4. Take advantage of sign up bonuses.
If you're like many travelers trying to rack up points and are using multiple credit cards to do so, then capitalize on sign up bonuses. A credit card's sign up bonus is one of the best ways to acquire enough points quickly. Most sign-up bonuses require you to spend a few thousand in the first 3 months of opening your account, in exchange for thousands of points or miles.
The best way to successfully complete your sign-up bonus is to time your purchases carefully. Let's say you're launching a new product soon and you're going to spend a few thousand on advertising. To get your sign-up bonus, use your travel rewards card for all your product launch expenses.
5. Pool your points together.
When you have more than one credit card by the same company, instead of having multiple point balances, combine all of them together. Now, even though you used your credit cards for different reasons, all your points have one common purpose. Also, some credit card issuers allow you to pool points with your family and friends.
When you've combined your points, you have more points for you to use for your vacation. While using your business credit card for personal expenses can be risky, there's nothing difficult about it. All you need to do is find the right card that takes care of both your business and travel needs, strategically earn points, then combine them together.
Also, don't forget to document that all purchases made from the beginning to the end of your trip are personal, and thus, shouldn't be included in your tax return. Besides that, if you follow these steps, you'll be ready to take your next vacation in no time.