Miles and points inspired me to create a small business

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Before working at MMS, I spent my time as a resume writer.

Being a resume writer is sort of like owning a pickup truck — EVERYONE wants your help when they’re moving. As my friends have moved from job to career, they usually ask for a new resume. Sometimes they offer to pay, sometimes not. Either way, I’ve insisted on writing them for free.

But the power of small business credit cards in the miles and points world has me rethinking this philanthropy. It’s time to set up shop.

With one simple change, I could be back voyaging the Caribbean Sea – for ZERO money. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

How to start a small business

See, I don’t own a small business, so I don’t qualify for small business credit cards.

I’m leaving an idiotic amount of miles and points on the table by not starting a low-maintenance side-gig. Qualifying for a small business card is easier than you think, after all. As long as you have a for-profit venture, you qualify for a small business card — even if you haven’t even started it yet! For example, if you intend to sell baked goods on Etsy, you can open a small business card and use it to purchase all your necessary supplies.

Other examples of small businesses include:

  • Airbnb
  • Rover
  • Freelance writing
  • Tutoring
  • Selling items on eBay

Just understand that credit card issuers want profitable customers. If you spend a lot on your small business card, or if you’ve got a large earning potential, they’ll love you for it.

I just tallied up the small business card welcome bonuses floating around in the ether, and it amounts to well over one million points. Even if I was a miles & points newbie, I could still probably manage to get $12,000 in travel from those business credit card bonuses without spending hours and hours figuring out the best use for them. And as a miles & points veteran, I could get literally tens of thousands of dollars in free travel without breaking a sweat.

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® comes with one of the undisputed best small business credit card bonuses right now. That’s not my opinion, that’s just how God made it. You’ll receive 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. 65,000 miles is enough for a ride in the best business class seat ever invented — a one-way flight from the U.S. to Doha in Qatar Qsuites. This seat is almost guaranteed to cost $5,000+ in cash, meaning you’ll receive a value of more than 7 cents per miles if you redeem your bonus this way. Read our post on the best ways to use AA miles for more info.

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You’ll not find a better business class experience than Qatar Qsuites. (Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock)

Also check out our CitiBusiness AAdvantage review to learn more about the card.

The big thing preventing me from applying previously was not owning a small business. But it’s been under my nose the entire time. If I begin charging for my resume writing services, I immediately have a small business. This would uncork huge travel in my life.

Again, all anyone needs to be eligible for a small business credit card is a for-profit venture. You don’t need any minimum business income, you don’t need an LLC — you can even get a business card without an EIN. Just apply as a sole proprietor by using your Social Security Number on the application. You can use your name as your business name. Of course, the credit card issuer has the final say, and they can still decline your application if they don’t like what you’re bringing to the table.

Several of the MMS team already use small business cards for their side businesses. Meghan builds houses in her free time!

It took me a surprising amount of time to recognize the small business angle in my life. It’s totally legit! And many of you furnaces of ambition out there may very well have similar legitimate businesses in your life.

If you’re willing to use some of your spare time to make a few extra bucks by rendering services to others, you can earn thousands of dollars in free travel all the while — opening small business card can unlock over a million points. Seriously, count them. And do yourself a favor and read our post on the best business credit cards before you start your small business card application journey.

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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