Welcome to the next installment of our Small Business Card Reader Success Series, where Million Mile Secrets Readers share how they opened a small business credit card to get Big Travel with Small Money!
Small Business Card Interview: Travis from Plates & Planes
Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your small business.
My name is Travis. My fiancée Miryea and I own our own travel and food website – Plates & Planes. We really bonded over our love of food and travel, so decided to see if we could make it our full-time lifestyle!
We are still working hard on it and just started this month. But we’re excited to see where we can take it. Our hope is to answer the question of “where’s a good place to eat around here?”, before you ever get to wherever “here” is.
Why did you decide on the card(s) you chose?
We have a variety of small business cards, but our most frequently used is the Chase Ink Business Preferred.
What really drew us to the card was the cell phone protection. Between managing our social media account and staying in contact with friends and family back home, knowing our phones will be protected in case of an accident was a huge factor.
I’m a chemist in my day job, so I’m always running numbers and determining optimal situations – and the cell phone insurance was a no-brainer even if we didn’t need it for our business.
Because the big carriers usually offer insurance for around $10 per line per month, for the 2 of us, that’s $240 per year. Considering the annual fee on the Chase Ink Business Preferred is only $95, that’s a tremendous savings in our pockets.
We also have the now-discontinued Chase Ink Plus (noticing a trend yet?). I admittedly have a bad habit of being a terrible packer when we travel. The number of times we have had to stop at an office supply store for a new phone or laptop charger is embarrassing. Having the Chase Ink Plus makes it feel somewhat better because we get 5% back on office supply purchases.
Describe the application. For example, did you apply as a sole proprietor with your social security number or some other way?
We applied for both cards as sole proprietors. We had an idea of what we wanted to do, and knew we would need a way to separate business expenses from personal expenses. But since we’re still growing the business and don’t have any revenue yet, it didn’t make sense to get a taxpayer ID number.
Having business credit cards has helped us keep track of how much we spent on the website, our theme, logo, and other expenses where we didn’t really have a tangible product.
Approximately how much annual small business income did you list on your application? (Or if you’re not comfortable sharing that, which factors do you think lead to your applications being approved?)
For our application, we went to the bank and talked to a small business banker. We had a vision, and knew we would be investing some of our personal money to get it going, but didn’t have any income yet.
I really feel talking with a banker about our situation helped us get approved even without any revenue. We explained our plan, why we needed a business card, and how it would help us achieve our goals for our business.
As millennials, we know the feeling of wanting to hide behind the computer screen and minimize interactions, but personal interactions speak volumes. And unfortunately, visions don’t translate so well through an automated system.
Going out and communicating face-to-face really helped the bank see why we wanted this card, and how it would help us grow our business!
What would you tell someone who’s never applied for a small business card?
You don’t need a huge business to apply for a small business card, and you don’t even need to have any revenue. If you have a plan and a compelling interest for why your small business could benefit from the card, that can be just as useful dollar signs.
There are also lot of small business cards out there. Research the cards’ benefits to see what can really help you – don’t just get the shiniest sign-up bonus you can find. There are a lot of great options, so make sure you’re getting a small business credit card that fits your needs!
Now the fun part! How do you plan to use your miles or points to get Big Travel with Small Money? 🙂
I’m really proud of this one – but the points we received from our Chase Ink Business Preferred really helped us save on our honeymoon. We were able to transfer our Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the World of Hyatt program. Coupled with other miles and points we had acquired, we were able to book 11 nights at the Park Hyatt Hadahaa in the Maldives and will be flying First Class on Etihad round-trip.
I even managed to get us seats in the First Class Apartments on the Airbus A380 airplane!
If we paid out of pocket, it would have cost over ~$70,000 in cash. Thanks to miles and points, we were able to book this amazing honeymoon for under $1,000. It will be a very memorable experience that we would likely not be able to experience otherwise.
Thanks for sharing your small business card experience, Travis!
Want to Share Your Story?
If you’d like to share your small business card success, please send me a note! Emily and I would love to hear about how it went for you!