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TravelThe best business and personal credit card combinations

The best business and personal credit card combinations

While several credit cards work well all by themselves, you can get a much better value by strategically combining some cards.

Groupings such as the Chase trifecta or Amex trifecta, where you hold three cards in the same rewards program, are obvious examples. However, small-business owners have even more opportunities to combine cards to maximize value. Even if you don’t have a registered limited liability company, your side hustle can qualify you to open business credit cards.

The best personal/business card combinations generally work better together than alone or complement each other to help you diversify your points earning and bonus categories.

Today, we’ll walk you through our favorite combos and why they work so well together.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express Card and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Best for: Those looking to earn Marriott Bonvoy elite status.


Why they work together: If you’re looking to get a jump on earning top-tier elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy program, one tip is to hold a personal and business credit card from Marriott.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers 15 elite night credits and automatic Gold elite status and has a $125 annual fee (see rates and fees). The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card offers 15 elite night credits as well, and when combining the elite night credits from cards, you’ll only need to stay 20 nights to earn Platinum Elite status.

Of course, these cards come with some great benefits beyond the potential for Platinum Elite status — a free night award annually on each (with the potential to earn a second on the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex) and solid earning rates. Both cards earn 6 points per dollar at Marriott hotels, while the Bonvoy Boundless earns 3 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores (up to $6,000 per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter). Meanwhile, the Bonvoy Business card earns 4 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and gas stations, wireless phone services purchased from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping.

The Marriott Boundless has a $95 annual fee, so together, these cards only cost $220 per year in annual fees.

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Related: The best Marriott credit cards

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best for: Luxury travelers who want to maximize their business and personal travel experiences.


Why they work together: While overlapping in some features, these cards offer an unbeatable lineup of luxury travel benefits. You’re earning 5 points per dollar on flights (on up to $500,000 on the Amex Platinum card) and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. The cards also provide up to $1,100 in travel credits and access to perks such as Gold elite status with Marriott and Hilton and extensive lounge access. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

While both of these cards offer access to the same collection of Membership Rewards transfer partners (and frequent transfer bonuses), the Business Platinum’s 35% rebate when you Pay with Points for select flights on amextravel.com allows you to lock in a minimum redemption value of 1.5 cents per point, and continue to earn miles and status perks on your flights.

Each card has its own impressive welcome offer as well. The Business Platinum offers 150,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 within the first three months of card membership, while the Amex Platinum offers 80,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases within your first six months of card membership. Together, these bonuses alone are worth $4,600, according to TPG valuations.

Your annual fees will be steeper at $1,390 total — $695 each for the personal Platinum (see rates and fees) and the Business Platinum (see rates and fees).

Related: Reasons why you should have both the personal and business Amex Platinum

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best for: Maximizing the Chase Ultimate Rewards program

Why they work together: While the Chase Sapphire Reserve is undeniably Chase’s most premium card offering, it doesn’t have the most valuable sign-up bonus in the family. That title goes to the Ink Business Preferred, which has a 100,000-point bonus (after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first three months) worth a whopping $2,050, based on TPG’s valuations.

However, signing up for Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred bonuses will give you 175,000 Ultimate Rewards points, enough for six nights at the Grand Hotel Majestic in Lake Maggiore, Italy, or even a round-trip first-class award on ANA if you take advantage of the incredible Virgin Atlantic sweet spot.

The Sapphire Reserve earns 3 points per dollar on all travel (excluding the $300 annual travel credit) and dining purchases. These bonus categories are very broadly defined and have no annual caps or limits.


The Ink Business Preferred also earns 3 points per dollar on your first $150,000 spent annually in select business-friendly categories that include travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services and eligible online advertising.

The Sapphire Reserve provides all the perks you need to enjoy a life of luxury travel, including a Priority Pass Select membership and up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years (enrollment required for select benefits).

American Express Business Gold Card and Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Best for: Those interested in flexible rewards categories.


Why they work together: These two cards have one thing in common — flexible bonus categories.

The Amex Business Gold earns 4 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent annually in the two categories you spend the most in each month (1 point per dollar thereafter). The bonus points are automatically assigned at the end of the billing cycle to the two categories where you spend the most.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card allows you to earn 3% cash back on one of the following categories of your choosing: gas and EV charging stations, online shopping/cable/internet/phone plans/streaming, dining, travel, drugstores/pharmacies, or home improvement/furnishings. You’ll also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. (Note: $2,500 quarterly cap on combined 3% and 2% cash back purchases; you’ll earn 1% afterward).

If you are an existing Bank of America customer, you could earn even more rewards through the Preferred Rewards program.

Together, these two cards allow you to customize your rewards structure to your specific spending habits, both at home and at the office. Plus, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card has no annual fee, meaning having both cards in your wallet only costs $375 (see rates and fees for the Amex Business Gold).

The Blue Business Plus® Credit Card from American Express and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best for: Beginners who want to rack up both Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a low cost.


Why they work together: Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards are two of the most valuable transferable points currencies out there. Still, the top-tier cards for both of these programs cost more than $1,000 in annual fees combined.

The Blue Business Plus card is far and away the best business card for everyday spending, offering 2 points per dollar or a 4% return on your first $50,000 in purchases each year (then 1 point per dollar). If you use this for your non-bonus spending and put your travel and dining purchases on the Sapphire Preferred, you can guarantee value out of every purchase you make.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great choice for earning valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining purchases.

The best part? Together, these cards only cost $95 in annual fees (see rates and fees for the Blue Business Plus card).

Bottom line

These are just a few of the most promising business and personal card combinations, but you can tailor these suggestions to meet your own needs. Start with strong building blocks like the Amex Business Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve, and look for cards with complimentary perks and bonus categories, or cards that can let you diversify into an entirely new points currency.

Related: Business cards vs. personal cards: Key differences

For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Amex, click here.


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