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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Small Business Advice - Three Smart Ways to Use Year-End Reward Points

When news broke recently that the Vatican discovered hundreds of millions of euros tucked away in various accounts previously unaccounted for, it left many scratching their heads.

Yet on a much smaller scale, many small business owners will confess to not always having their finger on the pulse when it comes to the ebb and flow of their day-to-day finances.

One area of the balance sheet that can produce a positive year-end surprise is the annual credit card statement and specifically the total number of reward points earned by the small business. For those businesses that put the majority of their expenses through a reward-based credit card, the annual point total can be significant. 

While spending the sudden windfall should always come down to needs and priorities, here are three ways cashing in points can benefit your business.

1. Save on travel expenses - The highest redemption value on virtually all of business rewards cards is to redeem for travel. Whether it’s the American Express Business Gold Rewards card, the RBC Visa Business Avion, TD Aeroplan Business Visa or countless others you can expect returns of 1.25% to well over 5% depending on the travel your redeem for. If your company requires staff to travel for business, using these types of rewards can have a seriously positive impact on your bottom line.

2. Pay down your bill - Another way to save your company money is to redeem points for a credit against your monthly statement. Although the value may not be as high as travel reward redemptions, saving a percentage point on your total credit card spend could definitely add up for those companies that don't require travel.

3. Reward your employees - The majority of the small business reward credit cards also let you redeem points for gift cards or merchandise. Have the RBC Visa Business Avion? Redeem those points directly at Best Buy or Future Shop or simply peruse the redemption catalogs of your favorite credit card to find the perfect employee gift.  Even better, surprise your top performers with travel – nothing says ‘thank-you’ like warm winter getaway!

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