We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
|Card Name||Sign-Up Bonus and Perks|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||- 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $800 in cash back or $1,000 in travel) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each anniversary year
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express Open||- Up to 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements
- Earn 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of account opening
- 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
- Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year on a selected airline for incidentals such as baggage fees, lounge day passes, & more
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express||- 25,000 Starwood points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- 2X points per $1 on eligible purchases at participating Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards hotels
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®||- 40,000 Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account
- 2 miles per $1 on all purchases
- Use miles for travel statement credits (minimum 10,000 miles for $100
|Ink Plus Card||- No longer available to new applicants|
Don’t miss out on earning the most rewards by putting all of your spending on just 1 credit card!
Many of us in the miles & points hobby like to make the most of our spending by using the right card for the every purchase.
I’ve asked Million Mile Secrets team member Meghan to share the 5 cards she’s using the most right now, and why. Because you can often learn a lot by hearing the personal reasons others like certain cards!
Meghan: Thanks, D! I love knowing why others in our hobby apply for and use the cards they do. Because I always learn something new. And it helps me more easily formulate my own credit card strategy!
Make the Most of Your Purchases by Using the Right Card
My personal credit card strategy involves having different rewards credit cards that earn bonuses in various spending categories. So I can always make the most of every purchase!
For example, if I’m buying an airline ticket, it makes more sense to use the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, which earns 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel. As opposed to using my Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, which only earns 2X Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles per $1 on travel (or any purchase).
Here’s more about the 5 cards I use the most!
1. Chase Ink Business Preferred
I’m an authorized user on my husband’s Chase Ink Business Preferred card. The primary reason I’m using it right now is because we’re working on meeting the card’s minimum spending requirements, to earn the 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus!
I don’t have a specific use for the sign-up bonus in mind. But I love earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points because they’re so flexible!
After we’ve earned the sign-up bonus, we’ll likely still use it to pay cell phone bills. Because the card also comes with up to $600 in cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.
We’ll also earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines, on up to $150,000 in purchases each year!
It’s great to earn a bonus on categories like travel, internet, cable, and phone services. Because most of us spend a lot on those types of expenses!
2. AMEX Business Platinum
I got the AMEX Business Platinum card at the end of 2016, when it was offering a 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards point sign-up bonus AND 50% of your points back for all flights booked with your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points (offer no longer available).
The 50% points back perk has ended for new applicants, but because I’ve used that particular benefit a lot over the last year, I’ve been regularly spending with the AMEX Business Platinum card to earn AMEX Membership Rewards points.
After December 28, 2017, I’ll only earn 35% of my points back using the Pay With Points perk, so I probably won’t use it as much going forward. But I plan on keeping it for another year, because the $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc.) and the lounge access make the $450 annual fee worth it.
3. AMEX Starwood Business Card
Starwood points are notoriously hard to earn. But they can be incredibly valuable! And because I don’t do a lot of paid hotel stays, my primary way of racking up Starwood points is by spending with my AMEX Starwood business card.
In fact, if I’m not working on meeting minimum spending requirements with another card, I’m usually using my AMEX Starwood small business card for most of my everyday purchases in non-bonus categories. Because when you transfer Starwood points to an airline partner in increments of 20,000 points, you’ll get a 5,000 point bonus. This makes it more useful for non-bonus spending than many airline branded cards!
4. Barclaycard Arrival Plus
I applied for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card a while ago when the sign-up bonus was still 50,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles (offer no longer available). And I have yet to use the sign-up bonus. But recently, I used the card to pay for the Airbnb my girlfriends and I rented for a weekend getaway.
The Airbnb cost ~$736, so to cover (most of!) that purchase, I’ll need at least 72,500 Barclaycard Arrival miles. Because Barclaycard Arrival miles are worth 1 cent a piece in the form of a statement credit towards travel purchases of $100 or more (72,500 miles X 1 cent each = $725).
Right now I have ~53,000 Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles, after meeting the card’s minimum spending requirements and earning the sign-up bonus. So I need to earn another ~19,500 Arrival miles to cover the cost of our Airbnb stay.
That translates into spending ~$9,750 on the card. Because with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, you earn 2X Barclaycard Arrival miles per $1 you spend on all purchases ($9,750 X 2 Barclaycard Arrival miles = 19,500 miles).
And because you have to redeem your miles within 120 days of your travel purchase, I only have ~90 more days to earn the extra miles I need. So I’m plan on using this card for lots of my larger purchases within the coming months!
5. Chase Ink Plus (no longer available)
I’ve had the Chase Ink Plus card for years. It isn’t available to new applicants, but I still use it frequently because it earns 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 you spend (5% cash back) on the first $50,000 (combined) spent per year at office supply stores and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
Between cell phone bills, cable, and internet bills, I can rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards points FAST with this card!
Understanding why other folks in the miles & points hobby choose to use certain cards over others can help you formulate your own credit card strategy.
The 5 cards team member Meghan is using right now are:
- Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
- Chase Ink Plus Card (no longer available)
Her goal is to use the card that earns the most rewards for every purchase. For example, she uses her Chase Ink Plus (no longer available) card at office supply stores to earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And uses her AMEX Starwood small business card for most of her everyday purchases in non-bonus categories.
To find the best card for your particular situation, check out our Credit Card Reviews page!