Which Credit Card To Charge Business Travel

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I recently got an email from Kevin:

I travel often for business and have been using my debit card for travel. I would like to start using a credit card for my business charges in a way to make my life easier, and increase my credit score. I have so-so credit and have been building it up for some time. October 2009 my Equifax credit score was 568, today (9/22/10) it is at 686. I have been stuck at 686 for 3 months now and am tired of waiting for a Credit Score of 700. I have one credit card currently that only has a limit of $550 which won’t help me with my business travel, which also lowers my credit score when I get close to my credit card limit. I don’t want to go on a Credit Card sign up spree, and drag my credit down, and get denied for a card worthy of having. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on cards that would be suitable for me.

Many thanks and best regards,
Kevin

I probed further

>how do you travel? which airlines, car, hotels etc
how much do you spend on travel?

Here are more details about his situation.

Looks like it will be approx. $20,000 a year. Each trip varies depending on if I’m picking up dinner and entertainment.

My last two trips were $1,450 and $1,700 which is about average could be more or less depending….

I always travel by plane, and I’m not picky about the airline-cheapest and most convenient airline always wins. Same with hotel and car. I get reimbursed fairly quickly within 30days. I’m in sales so the reimbursement money comes from my own commission so it’s not like I want to run up expensive travel expense b/c at the end of the day it’s coming from my own account.

I thank you for asking me follow-up questions and am excited to hear back from you. (FYI)- I have paid my single c.c. down to $0.00 in hopes that raises my score but we’ll see.

All the best
Kevin

Answer – Kevin – based on the fact that you would spending about $20,000 a year on a credit card, and that you are not picky about airlines (just want the cheapest one), I would recommend a travel rewards credit card with no annual fee. I would go for either a Visa, MasterCard or Amex. Below are a couple of suggestions.

One card to consider is the Citi&#174 Diamond Preferred Rewards Card. The way you use your points for travel is that you can book your flights, hotels and other travel through their travel site which is actually powered by expedia. They have other great rewards as well.

Another card to consider is the Chase Sapphire(SM) Card. It has no annual fee and a great reward program. The best feature of this card is that you can use a variety of ways to redeem your points for travel. You can use their online travel portal and earn double points for booking airline tickets. Or you could use your own agents (find your best deals) and use points to get statement credits. Or you could redeem points for gift certificates on Continental, United, SouthWest and BA.

I would just try these 2 and see how it goes.

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