Editors Note: Two Card Trips is a series of articles that show how you could book a trip using points/miles earned from just two different credit cards. Today’s two card trip takes us to Arizona with points earned from the Chase Ink Preferred and the Marriott Bonvoy Business Cards

Small business owners are in a perfect position to leverage their business expenses into a family vacation, but it’s important to find the right credit cards that provide a good return on your business spending.

It’s also important to remember that when it comes to business credit cards, the definition of “small business owners” is not limited to those who own brick and mortar businesses with all the trappings of a conventional business. Many people are able to qualify for business cards with online businesses, side jobs, etc.

Every business is unique when it comes to spending habits. If you’re a business owner, there are quite a few cards that can help you turn your business spend into a great trip.

Credit card combination to Arizona - Two Cards Trip - Chase Ink Preferred and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. Turn your business expenses into a family vacation.
Family on vacation to Arizona by using points earned with just two cards – Chase Ink Preferred and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, using Ultimate Rewards points for flights and Marriott Bonvoy points for hotel stays respectively. 

Small Business Credit Cards

In today’s article we will look at two popular business credit cards that are great for travelers:

  • Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express

Chase Ink Business Preferred has a signup bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. The card earns 3X points on all travel and shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising on social media and search engines. There are no foreign transaction fees and the card has a $95 annual fee that is not waived for the first year.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 in 3 months

Learn more

Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed to book travel through Chase’s travel portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point. Points also transfer at 1:1 ratio to many travel partners, and that’s where you get the best value. Some of the better transfer partners include Hyatt, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. You have to be under 5/24 to be approved for the card.

This card is one of the most popular business cards on the market, particularly for businesses that have significant spend on travel and online advertising.

Editors Note: This is the card that we use for most of our expenses at 10xTravel.

The points earned at 3X rate will help offset the annual fee. The card also comes with cell phone protection if you use the card to pay your cell phone bill for you and your employees.

Card #2 for today is the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

Earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.

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Right now, Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card card has a 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points signup bonus after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months. The annual fee for this card is now $125 and is not waived for the first year.

The card earns the following:

  • 6X points at Marriott hotels
  • 4X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 2X points on all other purchases.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card comes with one free night award every year after the card account anniversary. The annual award can be used book a room (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at any participating hotel.

The good earning rate on gas and restaurants, as well as a free night, make this card a keeper if you like staying at Marriott hotels and your business spends a good amount in these categories.

How to Plan a Family Vacation to Arizona With Points Earned from These Cards

Two Card Trip to Arizona – Chase Ink Preferred and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

Let’s look at how you can take your family on vacation to Arizona by using points earned with just these two cards. We’ll be using Ultimate Rewards points for flights and Marriott Bonvoy points for our hotel stays.

How to Book Award Flights to Arizona with Chase Ultimate Rewards

As I mentioned earlier, you often get the best value out of Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you transfer them to partners. Ultimate Rewards points transfer to many partner airlines, including British Airways and United.

How to Book American Airlines Award Flights With British Airways Miles

How to Book American Airlines Award Flights With British Airways Miles

British Airways has a distance-based chart and the miles can be used to book American Airlines flights. Because BA’s chart is distance-based, it only makes sense to use Ultimate Rewards points if you can find nonstop American Airlines flights to Arizona.

I think it’s easier to look for AA flights on their own website because you can see a whole month of availability. You don’t even need to login because you can search from the home page.

How to Book American Airlines Award Flights With British Airways Miles
How to Book American Airlines Award Flights With British Airways Miles

If you want to see more dates, click on Show Full Calendar to see the whole month.

How to Book American Airlines Award Flights With British Airways Miles - show full calendar

We only want nonstop economy MileSAAver awards, these are the award seats that you should be able to book with British Airways Avios.

nonstop economy MileSAAver awards seats to book with British Airways Avios

You will need 7,500 Avios for flights under 1,151 miles and 10,000 for flights between 1,152 and 2000 miles. I like Great Circle Mapper for estimating flight distance between two cities. And if you are booking your trip last minute, BA doesn’t have a close in booking fee!

Now we’ll need to book the flights we find on AA’s site on British Airways website. Before transferring points, and after I find award space on a partner airline, I like to check that I can also see availability on British Airways.

To check and book awards on British Airways site you’ll need to create an account. Login and click on Book, then Book a flight with Avios and enter your trip details.

check and book awards on British Airways website

 

You will see available seats on the next screen.

How to Book American Airlines Award Flights With British Airways Miles

 

Click on Economy and you will see your trip summary on the next page.

How to Book American Airlines Award Flights With British Airways Miles

According to Great Circle Mapper, the distance between Chicago and Phoenix is 1,440 miles, so our award priced out at 10,000 Avios. As a result, the 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points signup bonus you earned with Ink Preferred card can get you four round-trip tickets!

Transferring miles is easy. The points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and the transfer is instant. You can now transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your British Airways account and book the flights.

united-routing-rules-excursionist-perk

How to Book United Airlines Award Flights

United Airlines is another Chase transfer travel partner. Just like with British Airways, the points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and the transfer is instant. United has a zone-based award chart. You can book short flights under 700 miles with just 10,000 United Mileage Plus miles one way. All other flights in the continental U.S. will cost 12,500 miles one way.

After meeting the minimum spending requirement on Chase Ink Business Preferred, you will have at least 85,000 Ultimate Rewards points. That’s enough to book three round-trip tickets from anywhere in the U.S. to Arizona. If you live closer, the welcome bonus alone is enough to get you four round trip tickets!

Searching for award space on United.com is easy. You don’t need to create an account, just enter your dates, departure and destination airports.

How to Book United Airlines Award Flights

You will see the results displayed on the next page.

United provides more award space to its own elites and those with a co-branded Chase United Explore card. So, if you have a Silver status or higher or have United Explorer credit card, log in to potentially see more award availability.

Places to Go in Arizona - Desert Botanical Garden_Desert Discovery Loop Trail
Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix – Desert Discovery Loop Trail | Photo Credit:  Desert Botanical Garden

Where to Stay in Arizona

Arizona is such a beautiful state and there are so many things to see and do, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one location.

The Phoenix-Scottsdale area is a great starting point for your Arizona vacation, though. There’s lots of great shopping and restaurants; the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is a must and the kids will enjoy the Phoenix Zoo. Arizona State University is located in nearby Tempe, and where there’s a big campus, lots of great breweries, coffee shops, and cool stores.

Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, including 30 species that are endangered or threatened. From the tiniest of insects to the largest of mammals, the Zoo is proud to care for these great creatures.  Click here to see some of the many animals you’ll encounter during your visit to the Zoo!  | Source: Phoenix Zoo

You can stay at Residence Inn Phoenix Mesa for just 17,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Residence Inn properties have huge suites with separate living and sleeping areas and are equipped with full kitchens. A full breakfast is included and there’s an evening social with free snacks and drinks. This will definitely help to keep the cost of food down!

Where to Stay in Arizona - Full Kitchen at Residence Inn Phoenix Mesa
Full Kitchen at Residence Inn Phoenix Mesa | Photo Courtesy of Marriott.Com
credit card combination to arizona - Two Cards Trip to Arizona - Chase Ink Preferred and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
Photo Courtesy of wbrentprice via Flickr

Venturing out a bit, Flagstaff will make a great base for exploring the natural wonders of Arizona. You can book Residence Inn Flagstaff for 35,000 Marriott points a night. Just like other Residence Inn properties, this one has a full kitchen and the rate includes breakfast and the evening social.

credit cards combination to arizona - Guest suite at Residence Inn Flagstaff | Photo Courtesy of Marriott.Com
Guest Suite at Residence Inn Flagstaff | Photo Courtesy of Marriott.Com

These are just two examples of many family-friendly properties in Arizona where you can use Marriott points earned from just one sign up bonus for a few nights stay.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 in 3 months

Learn more

Final Thoughts

Arizona gets about 300 days of sunshine each year so you won’t have to worry too much about overcast days. By the end of winter, I’m so ready to ditch my winter boots and hop on the plane to enjoy Arizona’s sunny skies.

Thanks to the points earned with these two small business cards, this trip could be done almost completely on points, so I’ll see you there!

Travel well,
Anna

Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 spend in 3 months

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Disclosure: 10xTravel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. 10xTravel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. You can read our advertiser disclosure here.


About the Author

Anna is a freelance writer from Cleveland, OH who loves to travel and is a big miles and points geek. Anna’s favorite pastime (besides traveling) is planning trips and figuring out what kinds of points and miles she needs to make it happen. Thankfully, Anna’s husband is completely on board with all the free travel Anna earns and happily joins her on her adventures.

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Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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