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Best Credit Card Offers for Consultants

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best credit card offers for consultants

Business consultants spend a lot of cash on reimbursable travel each year. Take advantage of your work expenses by choosing a credit card offer that will net you high travel rewards on all of your purchases. Here are the Nerds’ top three card picks for consultants.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: Top travel pick for consultants

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a hotel credit card worth writing home about. With it, you can get up to 5 Starpoints on every dollar spent at eligible Starwood hotels and resorts, 2 Starpoints per dollar at Marriott Rewards properties, and 1 Starpoint per dollar on all other purchases. There’s also a sign-up bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

The “up to 5 points per dollar” rewards rate breaks down like this:

  • You get 2 Starpoints from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express for every eligible dollar spent at Starwood locations.
  • You get 2 or 3 additional Starpoints per dollar spent at eligible Starwood locations through the Starwood Guest Preferred program. Basic SPG members get 2 points; Elite-level members get 3 points.

With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, you’ll get 5 nights and 2 stays of Elite credit annually.

Starpoints can be redeemed for a multitude of rewards, but you’ll get the best value if you opt for free nights at hotels. The number of points you’ll need to redeem for free nights varies by hotel category:

Category Starpoints
1 2,000 for weekends, 3,000 for weekdays
2 3,000 for weekends, 4,000 for weekdays
3 7,000
4 10,000
5 12,000 – 16,000
6 20,000 – 25,000
7 30,000 – 35,000

 

If you redeem Starpoints for five consecutive nights at a hotel or resort in Categories 3 to 7, your fifth night is free.

The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card: Best credit card for Marriott devotees

If Marriott is your hotel and resort company of choice, check out the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card. It offers 5 points for every dollar spent at Marriott Rewards and SPG locations, 2 points on flight tickets purchased directly from airlines, car rental agency transactions and restaurant spending, and 1 point on all other purchases. Also, there’s a sweet sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

You can redeem your Marriott points for free hotel stays, other travel expenses, merchandise and more. If you choose to go with hotel stays, redemption is as follows:

Category Points
1 6,000 – 7,500
2 7,500 – 10,000
3 10,000 – 15,000
4 15,000 – 20,000
5 20,000 – 25,000
6 25,000 – 30,000
7 30,000 – 35,000
8 35,000 – 40,000
9 40,000 – 45,000

 

Time for perks: you’ll get a free night’s stay after account approval and a free night’s stay each year on your cardmember anniversary. You’ll enjoy 15 credits toward Elite status annually, which automatically bumps you up to Silver Elite status, plus 1 elite credit for every $3,000 spent on purchases.

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has an annual fee of $85 and no foreign transaction fees. The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has an EMV chip for safer transactions worldwide.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best general travel credit card

For high rewards on all of your travel and dining spending, check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It offers 2X points on every dollar you spend on travel and dining at restaurants, and 1 point on other purchases. There’s a killer sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. And if you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first three months, you’ll receive an additional 5,000 points.

Use your points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. Or, if you’re savvy at travel hacking, you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s partner rewards programs at a rate of 1.25 – 5 cents per point. So you’re not only earning high rewards on your purchases, you’re also redeeming them at a high value.

For extra rewards, use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in conjunction with the Chase Freedom®. You can earn 5% rewards on rotating categories with the Chase Freedom®, and transfer them to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card account for higher travel redemption through Ultimate Rewards.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an $0 for the first year, then $95 after that, and no foreign transaction fees. It comes chip-enabled for more secure transactions, both domestically and abroad.

›› MORE: NerdWallet’s Best Travel Credit Cards

Erin El Issa is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_Lindsay17 and on Google+.


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