Reader Daniel Earns Miles & Points With His Consulting Business to Help Him & His Wife Travel the World for Nearly Free!

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Reader Daniel Earns Miles & Points With His Consulting Business to Help Him & His Wife Travel the World for Nearly Free!

Million Mile SecretsReader Daniel Earns Miles & Points With His Consulting Business to Help Him & His Wife Travel the World for Nearly Free!Million Mile Secrets Team

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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:   The Free Travel Guy

Daniel 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 on Facebook.

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
My Wife and I Overlooking the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your small business.

Hi, my name is Daniel.  I currently run a consulting business and travel page on Facebook called “The Free Travel Guy.”  My wife & I help people establish credit and guide those that are new to points & miles to get started with the hobby.

Why did you decide on the card(s) you chose?

As a travel enthusiast, I’m always looking for the best sign-up bonuses and offers available from a variety of business & personal cards.

That said, my wife and I always wanted to take a trip to Scandinavia & Eastern Europe.  And although I already had enough points with Hilton & IHG for our hotel stays, I still needed to add 2 additional cards to make the trip happen.

First, I applied for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, when it was offering a 35,000 Starwood point sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements (offer no longer available).  I also earned Starwood Gold elite status (that you can match to Marriott!) by spending $30,000+ on the card within a calendar year.  

The sign-up bonus alone was enough for 5 nights at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel in Croatia.  And having Starwood Gold elite status was extremely useful on this trip.

That benefit gave us a suite upgrade & buffet breakfast!

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
A Seaside View Junior Suite at the Sheraton in Dubrovnik Cost Just 7,000 Starwood Points per Night. And We Got the 5th Night Free!

I also decided to apply for the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, that came with a sign-up bonus of 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements (offer no longer available).

I specifically chose this card for its perks, including:

Plus, you’ll get 35% of your points back when you redeem them for certain tickets using Pay With Points through the AMEX travel portal.

Do you have other small business cards?

Yes, I currently have 3 others, the Chase Southwest Premier Business card, Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business card, and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.

Describe the application. ex. Did you apply as a sole proprietor with your social security number or some other way?

Applying for the AMEX Starwood small business card was seamless.  I was instantly approved and given a temporary card number.

As for the AMEX Business Platinum card, the application process was a little more because initially, I was given “pending” status.  But I called American Express, and the representative wanted to ask me a few questions verifying my identity and confirming the information on the application.

After a few minutes on the phone, I was approved and all set with my new card added to my online profile!

I have had to call the reconsideration line before, so I knew what to expect and wasn’t nervous about it.

What would you tell someone who’s never applied for a small business card?

Check your personal credit score and number of the hard inquiries on your credit report before applying for your first small business card.

In my experience, you will typically need a credit score of at least 700 to 750+ to get a credit card for your small business.  And when applying for your first business card, include your business revenue with your personal income.

If possible, obtain a Tax Identification Number (EIN).  And you can use that instead of your social security number.

And if your business is new, you can estimate your annual income to the best of your knowledge.

Now the fun part!  How do you plan to use your miles or points to get Big Travel with Small Money? 🙂

We already used most of the recently acquired points for our European trip we took in October.

We used 7,200 Southwest points and the Southwest Companion Pass to fly from Raleigh-Durham to Washington, DC.  We changed airlines in the Washington Dulles airport and used 50,000 Merrill Rewards points for 2 round-trip tickets.

On the way out, we flew from Washington, DC, to Stockholm.  But returned to Washington, DC, from Paris-Orly.  Then took a Southwest flight back to Raleigh-Durham.

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
Depending on When You Stay, the Hilton Stockholm Slussen Can Cost 32,000+ Hilton Points per Night

The first 3 nights of our trip were spent at the Hilton Stockholm Slussen using Hilton points.

Because of my Hilton Diamond elite status, we received an upgrade with a beautiful view of the city!

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
The View of Stockholm From Our Room

After Stockholm, we traveled to Krakow.  And spent 3 nights at the DoubleTree by Hilton Krakow Hotel & Convention Center.

I had originally booked the Hampton by Hilton Krakow for 5,000 Hilton points per night.  But being a Hilton Diamond elite member, I was upgraded to a suite in the connecting DoubleTree Krakow hotel.

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
We Got an Upgrade to a King Suite at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Krakow for Only 5,000 Points per Night

They had a great breakfast buffet!

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
Who Doesn’t Love a Free Breakfast?

After visiting Krakow & Auschwitz, we flew to Dubrovnik, Croatia, for 5 nights.

In Dubrovnik, we stayed at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel.  That cost 7,000 Starwood points per night.

Our last stop was Paris, where we spent 2 nights total.

The first night was at the Courtyard by Marriott Paris Arcueil, using the annual Category 1 to 5 free night certificate from my Chase Marriott small business card.

Our last night in Paris was a memorable one at the InterContinental Paris – Le Grand using my Chase IHG card’s annual FREE night certificate.  We were even upgraded to a beautiful Opera room suite.

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
My Wife and I Enjoying Our Newly Renovated & Upgraded Opera Room Suite. It Can Easily Run $1,000+ Per Night!

Of course, we also took time to see the sights in the City of Light!

Reader Daniel Earns Miles Points With His Consulting Business To Help Him His Wife Travel The World For Nearly Free
A Trip to Paris Isn’t Complete Without a Trip to the Louvre!

Finally, we finished our trip with a flight from Paris back to the US.

Upon arrival in Washington, DC, we cleared customs and immigration in less than 10 minutes thanks to Global Entry.  Which I got for free from the AMEX Business Platinum card.

It was the perfect end to a great trip!

If anyone has any questions regarding how to use your miles or points, I’m here to help!

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!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,700 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 29 brands.
  • Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
  • Plus, earn Gold Elite status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Note: effective January 1, 2019, the spend threshold will increase to $35,000.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

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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