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Million Mile Secrets reader, Eric, tweets:
What are the best rewards cards for shipping at USPS?
If you have plans to drop a good bit of money on shipping costs, you should get rewarded along the way!
Eric has asked about shipping with USPS, but I’ll cover other options too!
What Are the Best Credit Cards to Use for Shipping Costs?
Eric has a lot of upcoming shipping expenses, so it’s a smart move to get a credit card that will give him bonus points or cash back for his spending. This way he’s not leaving money on the table!
These cards will help anyone shipping items they sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, etc.
Here are credit cards that can help Eric earn Big Travel on his shipping costs:
1. AMEX SimplyCash
The AMEX SimplyCash card earns 3% back (on up to $25,000 in spending per 12 billing cycles starting ~February 1st each year) on a category you choose from:
- US gas stations
- US restaurants
- US purchases for advertising in select media (ex. Google, Facebook, CBS Radio)
- Shipping paid for in the US
Eric can also save money on shipping supplies with this card, because he’ll get 5% back at US office supply stores and US wireless service (on up to $25,000 in spending per 12 billing cycles starting February 1st each year).
And some office supply stores sell stamps. So by saving 5% with the AMEX SimplyCash he’ll get a better deal than buying directly from USPS.
Plus, it won’t cost you a thing to hang onto this card because there’s NO annual fee!
2. AMEX Business Gold
If Eric likes to travel, he might consider the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card. That’s because he’ll earn AMEX Membership Rewards points with this card, which transfer to airline and hotel partners, and can be worth much more than cash back.
You earn 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points from 1 category of your choice:
- US shipping costs
- Airfare purchased directly from the airlines
- US gas stations
- US computer hardware, software, and cloud computing from select providers
And you’ll earn 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points an the remaining categories and 1X AMEX Membership Rewards points on all other spending.
The $175 annual fee is waived the 1st year. I usually evaluate a card for ~10 months to decide if it’s worth the annual fee. If you want to cancel, AMEX is happy to help you and won’t give you the hard sell to renew. They may actually offer to waive the annual fee again or give you other perks to keep the card.
3. AMEX OPEN
Every AMEX small business card earns 5% cash back or 2X AMEX Membership points with FedEx (and other partners like Hyatt & Hertz). This benefit automatically comes with your card.
This in addition to the category bonuses that come with each card. So if Eric pays for a FedEx shipment with his AMEX SimplyCash card, he’ll earn a total of 8% cash back (3% US shipping category bonus + 5% AMEX OPEN bonus)
If instead of cash back, you prefer to earn points towards great hotels like the W and Westin, you might consider the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. You’ll earn Starwood points and 5% cash back from AMEX OPEN when you ship with FedEx.
Here’s my series on how to use Starwood points to book free hotel rooms, flights, and more.
4. Chase Ink Plus
Link: Chase Ink Plus
The Chase Ink Plus doesn’t offer a category bonus points for shipping. But Eric could use this card to save on packing materials.
With this card he’ll earn:
- 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on up to $50,000 in spending each cardmember year at office supply stores, cable, phone, and internet.
- 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on up to $50,000 in spending each cardmember year at gas stations and on hotel stays booked directly through the hotel.
- 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all other spending
Plus, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible because you can transfer them to airline, hotel, and rail partners.
The $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year. And it’s easy to cancel the 2nd year, if you don’t want to pay the fee. Chase may even offer to waive the fee again or give you other incentives to keep the card.
5. Chase Ink Cash
Link: Chase Ink Cash
Similarly, you will NOT earn bonus points on shipping costs with the Chase Ink Cash card. But you can earn 5% cash back on shipping supplies you purchase at office supply stores, phone, cable, and internet (on up to $25,000 in purchases per cardmember year).
With this card you’ll also get:
- 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
You can earn $200 cash back when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your Chase Ink Cash account.
And there’s NO annual fee! So you never have to cancel, and by keeping the card you can build a long-term relationship with Chase. This could help ensure you get approved for more cards with them in the future.
Buying stamps at Office Depot and OfficeMax should ring up as an office suppy store purchase and earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Don’t Think You Qualify for a Small Business Card?
The cards I’ve listed are all business cards. But you do NOT need to be a Fortune 500 company with millions in revenue to get these cards!
Small businesses and sole proprietorships qualify. And even if you’re only in the planning stages, you could still be approved. Just make sure you’re honest on your application.
Folks who apply for small business cards for a sole proprietorship can use their social security number on the application. So there’s no need for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or tax number.
See my list of 10 activities that may qualify you for a small business card.
If you’re planning on spending a lot of money on shipping and materials, you can earn bonus points and cash back with the AMEX SimplyCash, AMEX Business Gold Rewards, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Cash.
These are all small business cards and you do NOT have to be a Wall Street executive to sign-up! Sole proprietorships qualify and your start-up company may get you approved too!
Earning rewards for your spending is a smart business move! It could give you money to reinvest in your company or the points you need to sneak away on vacation for a recharge.
Thanks for your question, Eric!