I Am Entrepreneurial. And So Can You!

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Many facets of the miles game are not quite what they seem to be at first glance.

Spending is not always actual spending.

Miles and points are not always rewards for actual travel.

And businesses are not always actual businesses.

Previously, in my post “business time,” I explained how it is that you are probably already a business owner.

swingers

You are so Entrepreneurial and you don’t even know it…

Not in the sense of actually making money from your own business. Let’s not get carried away here.

More in the sense of being an appropriate applicant for business credit cards.

Now you may not want to take ethical advice from me.  I once applied for a business license from the city for a fictional pizzeria so that I could shop for cheap pizza flour at Restaurant Depot.

But please ignore my sketchy past for a second and hear me out.

You can safely apply for a business card without;

1. Actually owning a functioning business.

2. Telling one lie on your credit card application.

3. Doing anything in the least bit unethical or illegal.

All it takes is you imagining a conceivable business, and honestly reporting your personal income, and your business income (zero dollars in my case,) on a business credit card app.

(As an example: my current businesses are a pizza company, and this blog, and my wife ((who loves to sew)) has an online kids clothing business.)

When you fill out your application you simply declare yourself a sole proprietorship, and put your Social Security number into the space for your own tax ID number.

You likely will not be approved immediately. But what you will do is call the reconsideration line, and talk about your business plan and your actual income (which is what’s actually securing the credit line, ) and you will likely be approved.

And why go through this hassle to get a business card when you don’t really have a profitable business (yet?).

Here are five good reasons why business cards should be in the wallet of every self respecting travel hacker.

1. Some of the best credit card sign-up bonuses are for business cards. (The Chase Ink immediately comes to mind.)

2. Most banks will approve you for one business card and one personal card each churn. This allows you to access more of the best credit card offers from the most generous banks.

3. Credit spending on your business cards does not affect your credit utilization ratio, one of the most important factors in determining your credit score. So when deciding on whether to manufacture spend on a business or personal card, all else being equal, I will always choose the business card. (No credit score risk as long as I pay the spend back in full.)

4. Some business card offers are slightly better than their personal card counterparts. (I chose the club Carlson Business card over the personal card during my last churn, because The annual fee was $15 less.)

5. The Southwest companion pass can be yours in a single credit card churn! This should be the value focused domestic traveler’s (as opposed to the luxury focused international traveler’s) number one prize in travel hacking.

So there you have it. Isn’t it time you embraced your inner entrepreneur?

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11 Responses to “I Am Entrepreneurial. And So Can You!”

  1. David S. February 27, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Perfect timing! I am coming up on my next churn in a week (my second one) and planned to make a move on getting business credit cards. I guess I am sweating it, so I am reading a lot on this subject. I made a little money last year ($600) doing a service for a company and planned on using that as a business plan, with the idea of expanding. I should make at least that again this year. I don’t know why I am feeling squishy about not getting approved as I have a 775 credit score and made six figures last year as well. It must be the newness of it all. What’s the worst that could happen – they say no. A couple of advice questions, though…

    Would you recommend going for the business card(s) first out of the gate before going after the personal cards? If so, if I don’t get accepted immediately on the business card, would you recommend I call the reconciliation line first before going on or just go on to the other cards and come back to call the reconciliation line?

    Thank you, sir!

    David

  2. Miles Dividend M.D. February 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    David,

    In general, my approach to order of applications is to start with my most coveted card, and move backwards from there.

    The only thing I have noticed with business card apps, is that you are more likely to have to call the reconsideration line and discuss your “business.”

    There are some exceptions, (see the discussion of my US air card application in the post “churning tricks.”) but for the most part, best to worst is the way to go, and no need to distinguish between business and personal cards in your ranking.

    May your entrepreneurship be rewarded,

    Alexi

    • David S. March 8, 2014 at 5:39 am #

      Yeah – 4 for 4! Ink, Club Carlson, AA business and SPG. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the help. I decided not to do the AA Executive at this time because of the additional $10K spend on top of the of the others. I could financially handle it, but I’m wading into the manufactured spend, not jumping in. I guess I’m worried that Ink would cut me if I bought $4K of gift cards in the first month of owning it. Well, any card, really (Discover called us after $1K of Vanilla Reloads at CVS – twice!). I don’t have the courage to MS like you, but I hope to get there.

      On another note, I wanted to also thank you and the blog for providing additional inspiration for me and Wifey. If there is one thing I have really done wrong, it was buying too big of a house and getting a 2nd and 3rd mortgage for the patio and basement. During the 2008 crisis, we changed and decided to get out of debt and save. The 2nd and 3rd are paid and gone and we paid off 31.7 of the house in the last 2 1/2 years. It’s the only debt we now have left and the goal is to have it fully paid off in 5 years, when I hope to retire. The truth is, we were flagging and feeling tired as this goal seems forever away. Your blog has been a re-energizing shot in the arm to remind us of why we are doing this. It has also helped us find new ways of paying for vacations, new ways of better managing our finances and finding other resources for inspiration like MM Moustache.

      I assume you already know that you helping people like me. I just wanted to thank you for it.

      Sincerely,

      David S.

      • Miles Dividend M.D. March 8, 2014 at 9:59 am #

        David,

        Congratulations on your entrepreneurship! That is awesome.

        And thank you so much for your kind words. My life has been changed for the better by inspiring posts from other bloggers. So hearing that my words have helped you and your wife in some small way makes me very, very happy.

        Don’t you find that when looked out in the correct light frugality becomes”Bacon” and ceases to be “boiled spinach?”

        Thanks again,

        Alexi

        • David S. March 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

          Oooohhhh, baaaaconnnn!

  3. David S. March 1, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    Thank you, Sir! If I may be so bold, I have another question that came to mind. In your opinion, would opening a Chase business checking acct. prior to the churn help my chances of getting a Chase business card?

  4. Miles Dividend M.D. March 1, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    David,

    It may, having a relationship with the issuing bank can never be a bad thing. but it is also probably totally unnecessary.

    Alexi

  5. Matt June 17, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Hi Alex,

    I liked the advice about the business card, so I went about getting one for my wife. When I got to the end, I saw a certification about only using the card for business expenses. How do you work that stipulation into your manufactured spending?

    Matt

    • Miles Dividend M.D. June 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      Matt,

      Thanks for commenting,

      Honestly I have not seen this clause before. Which card was it for?

      If your question is about the ethics of putting non business card spending on a business card, I can tell you that I have no problem with it. But as you well know, when it comes to ethics decisions, we are all on our own.

      If you are wondering whether or not putting personal spending on a business card is likely to get you into trouble with your credit card company (or anyone else,) my guess is that the odds are somewhere between extremely slim to none.

      The only exception I can see to this is if you deduct the full purchase cost of an item bought for your business as a business expense with a cash back card. But this is a no no even with personal cards from the IRS’ perspective. (They see chashback as a “rebate.”)

      Not sure if that’s helpful. But if it isn’t let me know if there is something else you’d like me to weigh in on.

      (I love pontificating.)

      AZ

      • Matt June 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

        It was on the Chase Southwest rapid rewards business card I applied for today, and I was more concerned about the legality rather than the ethics.

        At what point do you call the reconsideration number? I wasn’t instantly approved, so do I wait until I am rejected or call after a few days?

        Matt

        • Miles Dividend M.D. June 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

          Today! (The sooner the better.) Make sure to read my posts “Jedi Mind Trick,” and “business time” if you haven’t done so already.

          Not knowing a thing about you, my bet is that you’ll be approved. Have fun, and if the customer service rep sounds adversarial, politely exit the conversation and call back again.

          Good luck. (You won’t need it.)

          Alexi

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