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Last week, we talked about business credit cards and why it might be beneficial to have one or two in your wallet even if you don't have an official business.
Well, as they say in infomercials; wait, there is more. There is a reason why I love credit cards. You can tweak your spending habits to get more with credit. There are no tweaks or hacks with cash. Cash is boring.
The thing is, you can tweak your savings (or earnings, as I like to call it) if you add an additional step between your credit card and the item you want to buy.
As I stated in my previous post, business cards from Chase Ultimate Reward program, such as Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus earn you 5% cashback on telecommunication services and cable TV. That means you get $5 back for every $100 you pay using one of these cards. $5 is nothing to sneeze at; it is free money!
What I didn't mention in my previous post, is that you can also get 5% cashback at office superstores, such as Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot. Now, these stores, as you probably know, don't just sell stuff for your office. They sell everything, including toilet paper, cleaning supply, and coffee filters.
However, 5% is not what makes it so exciting. The thing is, you can get more!
Chase operates an online shopping portal called Ultimate Rewards Mall. There are dozens of stores that are trying to entice you to come and take a look by offering you additional points. Remember that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are extremely versatile. If you are not interested in travel (which is the way to get the best value), then you can simply convert them to cash. So Ultimate Rewards points are every single bit as good as cash and even better!
When you are logged on to your Chase account, go to Ultimate Rewards and click Shop and Earn Extra Points. The next screen will bring you to the mall where you can see multitudes of offers. Skip it and type the word Staples into the Earn by Shopping search box. That will bring you straight to the cashback you will be getting.
Right now, it is two points per dollar. But it can go as high as five.
What we need to understand here is that these two points are on top of the five points that you are already getting for shopping with your Chase business card. So effectively, you are getting 7% cashback.
In addition, Staples runs a program called Staples Rewards. This program gives you 5% refund on your purchases. It's not cashback, but you can use your rewards to buy stuff at Staples, although you won't get Staples Rewards for buying gift cards.
And there is something else, too.
There is a special Visa program for businesses called Visa SavingsEdge. When you sign up for the program with your business Visa card, you will get a few decent discounts across many stores and business services, but what interests us right now is this: Visa SavingsEdge will give you an additional 1% for purchases at Staples over $200.
So let's sum it up. This is what you get if you make this additional step (or steps) before buying the stuff you need.
5% from Chase
2% from the Ultimate Rewards Mall
1% from Visa SavingsEdge
5% from Staples Rewards that you can use to buy more stuff from Staples.
But what if you don't want to buy from Staples? That's fine. Next time we'll talk about taking your game to the whole new level. Stay tuned!
This is a post by Andy Shuman, a credit and travel expert who blogs at www.Lazytravelers.net. He writes and blogs during and between trips that he enjoys free of charge mostly due to creative use of credit card offers. He believes that credit cards are much more than just a convenient way to pay for a purchase, and that the benefits of responsible credit habits can go far beyond getting the best rates for loans and mortgages.
Andy is the author of bestselling books from Lazy Traveler Handbook Series available on Amazon. When he's not traveling, he lives with his beautiful wife and daughter in Brooklyn, NY.
Questions? Suggestions? Keep them coming!
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