If you’re prepared to do a little extra legwork in 2018, then there’s every possibility you might be able to score yourself a little extra legroom, perched up – or should we say lying flat – in business class, by the time next Christmas rolls around.
The good news is, the legwork isn’t too hard because we’ve done most of the prep work on business credit card rewards for you. So if you’re serious about sampling Rockpool inspired dining while flying Qantas International Business Class, or socialising with other jet-setters in the Emirates Onboard lounge, then simply put our reward hacks below into action next year.
Get yourself off to a flying head start with some bonus points
Loyalty to your bank is great, but a kickstarter to your frequent flyer program of choice might be worth parting ways.
Just like personal credit cards, some banks and credit card providers like American Express will offer introductory bonus points to new business rewards credit card holders, with some on offer now extending up to 50,000 to 120,000 points to new cardholders.
Shopping around for a new card can be time-consuming, which is why those in the know are fans of Point Hacks, a well-known website showcasing the best guides, deals and tips for getting more frequent flyer points. Founder Keith and his team have the inside track on the best business credit card offers and do a great job at quickly summarising and comparing what’s on offer. So bookmark this site and keep an eye on offers as they are posted.
But, whatever you do, make sure the card you choose is accepted by your suppliers or your payment platform. American Express is often the one to watch here, although merchant acceptance is becoming more and more common.
Finally, while you’re at it, don’t forget to consider swapping out your personal card as well. Remember your best bet is sticking with one loyalty program and consolidating across all your plastic.
Minimise forex charges and maximise points when trading globally
Paying overseas suppliers has traditionally been very clunky. Not only do big banks sting businesses with high cross-border transaction fees, but dealing with currency conversion can be a real headache, especially when it’s not possible to lock in your rate in at the time of payment. And using your credit card is also usually not an option. Many suppliers won’t accept payments over credit card, as it eats into their already slim margins, and requires them to maintain (and pay for) a merchant facility.
That’s where companies like Octet step in. The Octet Platform is a way to bypass this hassle, minimise cross-border fees and pay your business bills as seamlessly as your monthly mobile and electricity bills with your existing credit cards. With Octet, all of this can be achieved regardless of whether your suppliers do or do not accept payment via credit cards currently. With the Octet platform, you’ll also accrue frequent flyer points along the way, significantly decreasing the time it takes you to earn that first free business class flight.
The Octet platform acts as an intermediary between you and your supplier, handling the credit card payment and forwarding the supplier the final settlement. They’ll have no idea what payment instrument you used to settle the transaction, and it will have no impact on the amount they receive.
Even if your suppliers do accept credit cards for payment, remember that if you are not using a platform like Octet, you’ll need to share your credit card details with them. From a security standpoint, this is not best practice and is a serious risk to your business. Again, platforms like Octet obfuscate your card details, keeping you secure and protected from fraud.
So stop whipping the corporate credit card out just for the Christmas party, and start tapping into this ready source of finance.
Get a ‘Points Audit’ from Steve Hui, founder of iFlyFlat
If your business is putting through $100,000 in payments monthly, Steve and the team at iFlyFlat seem to think after one year you could have earned yourself 12 return trips to Los Angeles, business class. Not bad going for flashing the plastic a little more often than not.
While quotes are business specific, for around $2500 iFlyFlat will run a full ‘points’ audit on your current business spend, identifying earning and point maximising opportunities you might be missing out on. They’ll also help you find the best card for your business, and offer a concierge travel booking service that helps you get the best flight deal for your points, once you’ve earned them. For a small business iFlyFlat claims average savings range between $50,000 and $80,000 per year, while for corporates, dollars kept in the bank can go as high as $180,000. Not a bad ROI on $2500.
Rejigging your accounts payable process to maximise your points earning potential comes with real rewards. So use the quiet Christmas and January period to bed down your strategy, and next year, you could be jetting off business class to your dream destination. And for those of you who are super points savvy, quite possibly more than once.