Faceoff: The 3 best personal and small business card combos
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Signing up for certain personal and small business card combos means you can earn multiple welcome bonuses — which is the quickest way to put extra cash in your pocket or fulfill your wildest travel dreams. Plus, smartly pairing the right cards can help you earn bonus rewards in multiple spending categories, which can mean extra cash back or miles and points to use for free travel.
Keeping a personal card and business card in your wallet also makes it simpler to organize your expenses. Remember, you might be eligible for a small business card without realizing it. You just need a for-profit venture to qualify yourself as a small business. You can even apply as a sole proprietor by using your social security number on the application.
Best credit card combos
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business
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If you’re new to the miles and points hobby, this is the best card combo to consider getting first, because Chase has strict application rules which make it difficult to get most of their cards if you have applied for lots of other cards from other banks. In fact, these two cards are a part of the ever-popular “Chase trifecta” too, because it’s easy to rack up a lot of rewards with these cards when you use them for everyday purchases.
Points with these cards are valuable because you can redeem them for:
- Cash back (1 cent per point)
- Airfare, hotels, and car rentals with no blackout dates through the Chase travel portal (1.25 cents per point)
- Award flights and hotel stays by transferring points directly to travel partners like Hyatt and United Airlines
Prices on Chase’s travel portal are usually the same as booking directly, but you’ll likely get the most value from your points by transferring them to travel partners.
With both cards, you’ll also get access to multiple bonus categories.
With the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn:
- 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
And with the Sapphire Preferred you’ll get:
- 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining
That’s in addition to the lucrative welcome bonus available on both cards.
With the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn:
- 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account.
And with the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn:
- 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
So with this card combo, you can earn a total of 180,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements.
The many options for using your points and lucrative welcome bonuses makes this two-card combo the first-place winner.
Having both the personal Amex Platinum card and the no-annual-fee Amex Blue Business Plus Card (see rates and fees) can be a powerful combo for many reasons, the most important of which is that you can potentially rack up lots of Amex Membership Rewards points. In fact, with these two cards, you’ll be two thirds the way to the “Amex Trifecta” — the most powerful way to earn loads of Amex Membership Rewards.
With the Amex Platinum Card, you can earn 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of opening your account. Plus, you get valuable benefits including:
- Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food and drink, etc.)
- Up to $200 in Uber credit per year (but there are restrictions)
- Access to airport lounges (Delta, Escape, Priority Pass, Airspace, Centurion, and American Express International Lounges)
- Enrollment required for select benefits.
- Terms apply
There are also unique perks with each card which can help boost your points balance.
The Amex Platinum card earns 5X Amex Membership Rewards points for booking flights (earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. While with the Amex Blue Business Plus Card, you’ll earn 2 Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on all purchases, on up to $50,000 spent each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). It doesn’t get much simpler than that, and those points can really add up.
American Express Membership Rewards points are valuable because you can transfer them to airline and hotel partners, but I don’t recommend cashing them in for statement credits or merchandise, because you’ll get less than 1 cent per point that way.
The downside of this combo is that you’ll have to spend $50,000 in order to get the most bonus Amex Membership Rewards points with the Amex Blue Business Plus card. The restrictions on the up to $200 in Uber Cash per year (on U.S. services) with the personal Amex Platinum also make this benefit less useful, and harder to justify paying the card’s $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Capital One Venture / Capital One Spark Miles
This is an excellent card combo if you’re looking for a simple rewards program. You don’t have to worry about bonus spending categories, blackout dates or transfer partners.
If you apply for both of these cards, you can get at least $1,000 worth of travel after meeting minimum spending requirements. This can offset essentially any travel purchase, like airfare, Airbnb stays, seat upgrades, baggage fees and much more.
With the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card, earn 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening. With the Capital One Venture card, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
You’re now able to transfer your Capital One miles to airline partners, so your miles are even more flexible.
The best credit card combos include:
- Ink Business Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Amex Platinum and the Amex Blue Business Plus Card
- Capital One Venture and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Chase wins the top spot for the best credit card combo with the Ink Business Preferred and Sapphire Preferred. With both cards, you can earn huge (and valuable) welcome bonuses. Plus, you can redeem the points you earn with these cards for cash back or for free travel. It’s our No. 1 combo for folks new to miles and points.
If you’re looking for the most straightforward rewards program, consider the combo from Capital One. If you spend a lot and can make the most of perks like lounge access and Uber credits, the card combo from American Express could be your best option.
We’d love to hear your opinions on the best credit card combo.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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