When I started by business, I researched business credit cards. I was hoping to find one with juicy sign up bonuses.
Alas, credit cards weren't as generous as they are today.
Many offered cash back with slightly higher percentages on business related charges. Those included travel, office supplies, and telephony bills (cell phone, internet).
I settled for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business credit card because it gave me Rapid Reward points. Those points helped me earn the 110,000 points needed for Companion Pass.
BUT… things have changed.
As my business grew, I was spending more on advertising with Google Adwords, Facebook, Pinterest, and others.
It turns out, credit cards noticed. There's a new(ish) crop of credit cards that give you higher cashback and point bonuses for that kind of spending.
So I switched… and here's why.
Ink Business Preferred Csouredit Card
Of the cards that offer higher cashback, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is my favorite for a few reasons.
You earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on typical business expenses, which includes “Advertising on search engines and social media sites.” (the cards below have lower caps)
You also earn 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone charges too… but it's the advertising on Google Adwords, Facebook, and others that makes this card sing.
That's 3X what other cards are offering. When you consider the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards, it's more than 3% back.
There is also generous sign-up bonus. Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months.
Finally, if that wasn't enough, it's a Visa Signature card. You get all the perks associated with Visa Signature. This includes auto rental collision damage waivers, warranty extention, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, global entry statement credit, lounge access, and more.
And the annual fee is only $95. That's why it's in my wallet.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is the newest card on this list because it was just released in June 2019. The sign up bonus is a very sexy 70,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $5,000 within 3 months of opening th eaccount.
The card offers 2 Rapid Rewards points per $1 spent on social media, search engine, Internet, cable and phone services with no limit. I scoured the terms and conditions and the Program Agreement, there was no listed limit. You also earn 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
This is on top of a lot of great travel perks including a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, Inflight WiFi credits, and 4 upgraded boardings per year (when available).
All this for an annual fee of just $199.
The American Express® Business Gold Card
The American Express® Business Gold Card is another card that gives you four Membership Rewards points per dollar spent from airfare, advertising in select media, gas stations, shipping, and computer technology and services (hardware, software, cloud, etc.).
The difference is that of those five categories, you pick two to earn 4X. You don't earn 4X on them all. You earn 1X on the others.
Plus, on the two categories, you get the higher rate on your first $150,000 in spending.
Their welcome offer is good but lags the Ink Business. Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months.
The American Express® Business Gold Card has $0 annual fee.
(If you can't get the Ink Business card, this is a great alternative)
American Express Blue Business Cash™
Last but not least, American Express Blue Business Cash™ is a cashback card with a reward structure that is similar to the Business Gold Rewards Card. You can earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back on all purchases thereafter – a very simple cash back schedule.
This card is third on the list because there isn't a special category for online advertising, it's just a high rate.
What's nice about this card is that you get cash back, rather than points you have to spend somewhere else. This card has $0 annual fee.
What counts as “advertising in select media?”
For the American Express cards, you can earn higher bonuses in “advertising in select media” – but with social media and online companies appearing and disappearing all the time, what counts?
American Express offers this guidance:
U.S. Advertising in Select Media
To earn additional rewards for advertising, purchases of online, television and radio advertising must be purchased in the U.S. directly from media providers in order to promote a business.
Examples of merchants that accept the Card and where you can earn additional rewards include:
- NBC National Broadcasting
- CBS Radio
*This is not a complete list.
You will NOT earn additional rewards for direct mail services including list/lead generation.
It seems like advertising with a major corporation is safe. If you spend it on a smaller company, it may not be in their systems to count it as advertising.
I expect Chase's categories for “Advertising on search engines and social media sites” to be structured in the same way.