Which Credit Card Should I Use for Business Expenses?

Over the years, I’ve accumulated my fair share of credit cards. I was lured in by cash back programs in the olden days when they were actually giving decent cash back rewards, so I have Chase Freedom and American Express Blue Cash cards. I also have a Chase Amazon card, a Bank of America card (my first credit card), a Macy’s card, a Bloomingdales card, and an Express card, oh, and a shiny red Virgin America card that has a lot of miles on it I haven’t used yet.

Lately, though, I’ve faced a new kind of credit card spending that I’m not sure how to approach. I work for a company that requires their employees to pay for all their expenses up front. While for small expenses this isn’t a huge deal, I’m talking international trips here. Thousands of dollars. On my credit card bill.

Now, the good thing about this is I can rack up miles fairly quickly, and ultimately I’m not paying for the travel, I’m just paying up front. I am sure I will be reimbursed. It still concerns me that this is on a credit card under my name just in case there is a delay in that. But this is for a large, trustworthy company so I don’t foresee this being an issue.

What I’d like to get your advice/opinions on is…

1) Should I put all my travel on one of my cash back cards (like the American Express Blue Cash) so I actually reach the 5% cash back after $6500 spent, even though now it’s only for purchases like gas and stuff?

2) Should I open a mileage card on United or Continental, esp now that they’re merged? I hate the annual fees for the mileage cards… they just seem so stupid. With the processing fees they charge to book flights now with frequent flier miles, is it even worth it?

3) Should I get a business credit card (like the American Express Gold Business Card?) These cards also have annual fees (even higher than the mileage cards) but they do, at least, keep my business expenses in a separate account. It’s just, for the sake of the expenses spending, I don’t really own a business. I’m a W2 consultant. Not a contractor. I do have a side business but have yet so spend any money on it, except car mileage. Maybe I would if I get a business credit card. But are the benefits/rewards really worth it? Also, I read that you have less protection on a business card. That scares me. What if it gets stolen when I’m traveling or something? I do like the peace of mind that I have with consumer credit cards while traveling. I’d have those too, but what if a business credit card was lost?

Any other ideas? I’m worried about having too many cards because it will do something to my credit history. I am not sure what, though.

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6 thoughts on “Which Credit Card Should I Use for Business Expenses?”

  1. Get a Discover card. They have great travel coverage at no cost, and you get cash back really quickly. Don't worry about keeping your expenses totally separate, as long as you keep good records and keep all your business receipts. Photocopy them before you hand them in for reimbursement so you have a record if they get lost.

  2. The mileage cards really won't help out all that much. If you're thinking about going to graduate school, get a UPromise card-it will add a percentage of all your purchases to your 529. Or use your amazon card. It will accumulate rewards more quickly and you can buy stuff with it.

  3. I don't think you should be opening any additional cards. Use the ones you have. I definitely suggest with going for the one that has the highest cash back, or for the one in which you can accumulate points the fastest. I like Amazon for that very reason. I feel like I'm always getting a gas card/$50 check from them.

  4. I would suggest opening up a new credit card and using it only for business – this is something that is easy to track, rather than having charges on various credit cards. As for which one, depends on what you seeing most of your purchasing being for and what kind of rewards you want to use. Most credit card deals these days give you a year for free so at least you can try them out.

  5. Do your company have any preferred cc providers or deals with any cc providers? I have an american express card from my company – everyone gets one to use to pay for any expenses that might come up (in my case almost never going to happen but you get the form with your contract, fill it out and hey presto, a card arrives in the post). It is in my name and I am responsible for paying it but as it is arranged through my company, there is a two-month period to pay rather than one. It means plenty of time to get expenses into the system and get the money back from the company before the card has to be paid. Which is a good thing as it must be paid off in full each month. We are allowed to use it for personal stuff as well if we want but if you are travelling a lot for work it's probably a better idea to just have one card that you use only for business expenses – much easier to keep track of everything. Nothing to say you can't give up one (or more) of the cards you already have either!

  6. As a tax professional and someone with my own business, I strongly suggest getting a separate card that you only use for business. makes record keeping much much simpler. For cashback I like amex through costco (2-5% back on everything…but it comes in the form of a costco card) or Discover HOWEVER…neither of these cards are accepted everywhere, especially overseas, regardless of what they tell you. So I'd get a visa or mastercard with low upfront fee and cashback. if you have a vendor you use a lot (Target, Amazon) get their card, because you can get some goodies from them that are useful.

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