Reader David Turned a Lip Balm Business Into a Rewards Earning Machine!
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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: Wise Flys
David shares his success as a small business owner to help others learn how to earn and use miles & points to take dream trips of their own!
You can follow him at Wise Flys.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your small business.
Hi! My name is David, and besides my interest in affordable family travel, I own a lip balm company called Bella Balms.
I have been making and selling homemade organic soap since 2012. What started out as a soap company evolved into a skincare line that includes facial scrubs, facial masks, and lip balms.
Through the years the lip balms, called Bella Balms, have been our customer favorite. And that is what we exclusively sell now.
Our subscription model differentiates us from other companies. Every month our customers receive lip balms delivered to their mailbox. Since Bella Balms is dedicated to our daughter, Bella, 50% of profits go to her college fund.
We are excited to offer a special 25% discount to all Million Mile Secrets readers on Bella Balms, our all-natural lip balm! It’s 75% organic and 100% vegan. And I personally make every batch and only use 4 ingredients to keep it natural. To purchase, go to BellaBalms.com/mms.
Why did you decide on the card(s) you chose?
I choose cards to fit the type of vacation I want. My skincare company has enabled me to get almost every points-earning business card in the market!
My favorite business card is the Chase Ink Business Preferred. Besides the generous sign-up bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting the card’s minimum spending requirements, there are many other great benefits.
Cell phone protection is one example. Charging your monthly bill to the card protects you and eligible employees on the plan from damage or theft, up to $600 per claim. The card’s $95 annual fee is worth the peace of mind that my cell phone is covered in case of an emergency.
Primary car rental coverage is another key perk. If you rent a car for business purposes and pay with the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you’re covered for collision and theft damage in the US and most countries around the world, without filing a claim with your own insurance company.
My friend rented a car in Cape Town, South Africa. Driving on the other side of the road and rough terrain resulted in a flat tire and hubcap damage. But because he paid with the Chase Ink Business Preferred, damages were covered. A few weeks after submitting some paperwork online, he was reimbursed.
Describe the application. ex. Did you apply as a sole proprietor with your social security number or some other way?
I originally applied for business cards as a sole proprietor and used my social security number. However, as my business expanded, I registered with my state as an LLC and received an EIN. And now apply for cards with it.
An EIN has great benefits in this hobby. For example, you may be able to receive the sign up bonus again if you applied for the same credit card using your social security number the first time.
Which factors do you think led to you eventually being approved for the small business cards you have?
On applications, I often put my projected annual income. The most important thing is to be truthful when applying for business credit cards.
Most importantly, after you apply for a new business credit card and the application status is pending or denied, be proactive and call the reconsideration phone number immediately. Be prepared to answer questions about your finances and never just say you want the points.
Be overly nice and respectful as if they have the power to give you $500 to $1,000 in travel benefits! As the saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
What would you tell someone who’s never applied for a small business card?
Don’t be intimidated by the business credit card application. When most people hear business credit card, they often think it’s not for them because they don’t have a storefront or business cards.
As Million Mile Secrets has explained over the years, many activities qualify as a small business for business credit cards.
Now the fun part! How do you plan to use your miles or points to get Big Travel with Small Money? 🙂
There is always a trip on the horizon. Thanks to all of the points I have accumulated from business credit card sign up bonuses, I have been able to take my family all over the world.
Right now, I am in the early stages of designing a family trip to Hawaii. And only plan on paying 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and ~$11 round-trip per person. That means the 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus from the Chase Ink Business Preferred card fully funds the 3 round-trip tickets my family needs!
One of my favorite uses of points earned from business credit cards was for our return trip from Taiwan to New York. Our tickets cost 62,500 American Airlines miles and ~$39 per person.
I got 2 Citi American Airlines business cards, with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles each after meeting minimum spending requirements (offer no longer available). These 100,000 American Airlines miles from the business credit cards contributed to the 187,500 miles we needed for 3 Business Class seats (62,500 miles X 3 people).
Business Class seats can really make a trip. Traveling with a 2-year-old can be difficult. A comfortable child fosters a quiet child…and better trip for parents! Being 2 years old at the time, my daughter Bella could care less how nice the seats were, just as long as she got to watch a movie. She did get a restful sleep though.
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!
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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