I recently read a post on Tim Ferriss’s blog on how to use credit cards to create massive amounts of frequent flier miles. It’s a great post. Check it out by clicking on this link. I do recommend his new book titled, "The Four Hour Workweek." It’s a great book. I designed my real estate sales business so that I could manage it remotely in just a few hours a week. I didn’t know it, but I was following Tim’s 4 hour work week!
After reading his post, I applied for and obtained the Platinum American Express card. It’s pretty cool. The Platinum card gives you four free airline tickets each year. I plan to use these four tickets for our family vacations. I’ll be able to get airline tickets for my kids for free when my wife and I buy our tickets. About five years ago, I applied for a basic American Express card. I had used this card throughout the years, but didn’t really pay much attention to it. I just checked and found that I have accumulated over 150,000 reward points. You can probably tell, I wasn’t really paying attention to any of this until I read Tim’s blog. Now I am.
Since reading Tim’s blog, I’m now using my new Platinum American Express card for my business expenses. I do plan on paying off the balance in full each month! Previously, I would pay company expenses with the the business’s debit card. I simply switched the card used to my new Platinum card. Every expense paid via this new Platinum card will now accrue more reward points. Think about how much money you spend each month for your business. Look just at your advertising expenses… Many of your advertising expenses can usually be paid by credit card. Imagine getting free reward points for every dollar you spend in marketing? You can probably see how quickly your points will add up. This one change should earn you free airfare each and every year.
One of the challenges I have always had with my business is:
How to handle expenses paid by my employees???
The easiest thing to do would be to give them credit cards for the business. However, I saw some scary stuff on employee theft back in my CPA days. Ever since those days, I have been reluctant to turn over credit cards. My employees pay for things with their own credit cards and then I reimburse them via check. I only sign checks twice a month. (Batching Concept from the Four Hour Workweek!) This seemed to cause problems because my employees had to wait for their reimbursement checks. The problem that occurred was that they sometimes had to pay interest on items they bought for the business. This wasn’t fair. They were doing the business a favor and they shouldn’t be penalized for their help.
Now, I’m planning to use my new Platinum American Express card to buy gift cards for my employees. These gift cards can be used by them for business expenses. However, I plan to buy these gift cards at Giant Eagle. I’m not sure if you have Giant Eagle grocery stores in your area, or not. If you do, they give you free gas at their Getgo gas stations through their fuel perks program. As you spend money in Giant Eagle, you accrue points for gasoline discounts. By buying the gift cards from Giant Eagle, I’m able to get a double bonus on some of my business expenses. I get the reward points through American Express, plus free gasoline through the fuel perks program. More importantly, my employees don’t have to worry about using their credit cards to cover business expenses. It’s a win/win all the way around.
Depending on how much you spend for your business, you might be able to earn free airfare and gasoline. This could add up to a significant savings over time!