Free Travel and Cash Back For Putting These 7 Rideshare Driver Expenses on a Card

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Harry here.  It’s important to track income and expenses as a driver, but one of the nice things about the latter is that you can rack up lots of rewards for your business purchases.  Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Million Miles Secrets that will cover all the best ways to rack up rewards for certain rideshare driver expenses.

One easy way for rideshare drivers to add a little to their earnings is with rewards from credit cards. Certain credit cards welcome you with big offers and, more importantly, when you continue using the card for your regular expenses for driving and daily life, you can get even more travel or cash back.

I’ll explain how using a card to pay for gas, tolls, insurance, monthly phone bills, and even car payments can get you more money in your wallet.  Or, if you need a break from rideshare driving, even free flights and hotels.

Rewards credit cards are a great way for rideshare drivers to get cash back or free flights on purchases they're already making. Here's what to look for -

Use Credit Cards to Earn Miles, Points, or Cash Back

Applying for credit cards is a quick and easy way to earn cash back, flexible bank rewards points, airline miles, or hotel points.

So what’s the catch? You should only get a card if you’ll pay the balance off each month.  Because incurring late fees and interest will more than offset the value of of any miles, points, or cash back you earn.

In addition, there are many misconceptions about getting a credit card.  So I’ve written a post about 11 common myths to help folks considering applying for cards. For example, you will NOT see a major change to your credit score by getting a new credit card, contrary to one popular myth.  In fact, you’ll actually improve it if you pay your bills in full and on time.

Getting a New Credit Card and Paying Your Bill in Full Each Month Can Help Increase Your Credit Score.

I know folks with 20+ active credit cards who have excellent credit scores above 800.

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for You

There are many credit cards to choose from, and you’ll want to choose the right credit card based on your spending habits as a driver and your financial goals.

Would you prefer to earn cash back every time you fill up your tank or buy accessories for your passengers? Or would you rather collect points you can cash in for a vacation to take a break from driving?

If you’re new to using a rewards credit card, one of my favorite cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. With this card, you have the option to transfer points you earn to terrific travel partners like Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest, United, and many others.  Or you can redeem the points for cash back.

You Can Transfer the Points You Earn With the Chase Sapphire Preferred to United Airlines to Book a Business Class Flight.

Rideshare Drivers Qualify for Small Business Cards

As a rideshare and/or delivery driver, you’re also able to apply for a small business credit card. You don’t have to be a huge company to qualify as a business, and you don’t need a special business identification number. I’d recommend checking out my post about the requirements for a small business card and why you should get one.

Many small business cards come with great sign up bonuses, plus some cards offer year-round bonus categories on things drivers frequently use, like purchases made at has stations. This will help you earn rewards faster.

In addition, a small business card you keep separate from any other cards you use will make it easier for you to track your business expenses, making tax time easier on you.

Rideshare Drivers Can Earn Bonus Miles, Points, or Cash Back by Using a Small Card That Has Gas Stations as a Bonus Category

The best part is many small business cards do NOT appear on your personal credit report. So they won’t impact your chances of getting personal cards from certain banks in the future. Also, small business cards from certain banks are relatively easy to get.

For example, I spoke with an American Express representative who told me there are no strict business income requirements to be approved for an AMEX card.  Instead, AMEX looks at your total income.  Even though it’s a business card, you’ll be personally responsible for any debt you accrue.

Pay These 7 Driver Expenses and Earn Free Flights, Hotels, or Cash Back

When getting a new card, the trick is to look for one with a lucrative sign-up bonus that earns valuable rewards on future spending.

To get the sign-up bonus on credit cards, you have to complete a certain amount of spending on the card.  You might be able to meet the requirement just with your ordinary rideshare driver expenses from the list below.

If not, I’d recommend checking out my list of 40+ ways to meet minimum spending.

Keep in mind some of the best travel rewards credit cards come with an annual fee.  Many times these cards come with an annual perk like a free hotel night or anniversary airline miles, which can more than offset the annual fee expense, but there are also great no annual fee cards too.

Here are some of the best personal and small business credit cards for rideshare drivers, based on common driver expenses:

Car Payments

It’s possible to pay your monthly car payment with a credit card, because Plastiq allows you to pay any bill with a credit card.  You can read my review of Plastiq here.

Use Plastiq to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements and Earn Miles & Points

Plastiq usually charges a 2.5% fee for their service, but they frequently offer promotions with reduced fees when you pay with a certain card like AMEX or MasterCard.

Because of the fees, some folks only like to use Plastiq as a way to meet minimum spending requirements. For example, you can use a card like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express with Plastiq to earn the card’s valuable sign-up bonus.

There aren’t many other ways to earn Starwood points, but there are many ways to use them like:

  • Free hotel stays at Starwood, Marriott, or Ritz-Carlton hotels
  • Transfer to airline partners for free flights like American Airlines or Delta
  • Unique experiences like sporting events or concerts with SPG moments

I’ve written about all the ways you can use Starwood points.

You can check here for the card’s latest sign-up bonus offer.

Gas

Another big driver expense you can use to hit minimum spending requirements is purchases at gas stations. There are several cards that earn a bonus on purchases at gas stations, and I’d recommend the no annual fee SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

This card is also good for rideshare drivers because it’s a small business card and, when you elect gas purchases as your selected bonus category, you’ll earn 3% cash back on gas purchases from mints in the store to the gas for your car.

Get 3% Cash Back Using the AMEX SimplyCash Plus on Gas Purchases

With the AMEX SimplyCash Plus card, you can currently earn a total of $400 cash back after meeting minimum spending requirements.  You’ll earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 or more on qualifying purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.

You’ll also earn an additional $200 statement credit after spending an additional $10,000 on purchases within the first year of card membership.

Check here for the latest offer.

Repairs, Insurance, and Car Washes

To pay insurance for your vehicle and for repairs and car washes, you can use the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

This card earns 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (1.5% cash back) on all purchases.

Plus, if you have another eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can combine your points and then transfer them to travel partners.

Combine Points From Your Chase Freedom Unlimited With Another Eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards Card to Transfer Them to Travel Partners

The current sign-up bonus offer for this card is $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the card.  But check here for the latest offer.

Tolls & Parking

When you pay for tolls and parking expenses with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll earn bonus points. This card gets you 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points on travel purchases, which includes most tolls and parking charges.

If you want to get even more into the miles and points hobby, this is the top card I recommend to beginners.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are very valuable for folks looking to travel, because you can transfer points directly to great travel partners like Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Southwest, and others.

You Can Transfer Points From the Chase Sapphire Preferred to Ritz-Carlton to Book Free Nights

This card comes with a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

The current offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $625 in travel) after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the card.  But check here for the latest offer.

Cell Phone and Monthly Subscriptions

Another necessity for rideshare drivers is a smartphone, and why not get cash back for paying your monthly phone bill? To pay your monthly cell phone bill, I’d recommend the no annual fee Chase Ink Cash.

This is a small business card, which earns 5% cash back on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.

Pay Your Monthly Cell Phone Bill With the Chase Ink Cash and You’ll Earn 5% Cash Back

The internet services also includes monthly subscriptions to SiriusXM and Spotify, which many drivers already pay for to entertain their passengers. With this card, you can earn 5% cash back on these services you’re already paying for.

With the Ink Cash card, the current offer is for $300 cash back when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the card.  But check here for the latest offer.

Supplies and Snacks

If you stock up on supplies and snacks for your riders, you can do well with the Discover It card.

This card earns 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter throughout the year, on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter after you sign-up.

For the first 6 months of 2017 this includes wholesale clubs like Costco.

Using the Discover it at Wholesale Clubs When It’s Included in the 5% Bonus Category Can Earn You Lots of Cash Back

The best part about this card for new cardholders is your cash back is matched after your 12th billing cycle.  This means you’re essentially earning 10% cash back on the rotating quarterly bonus categories in your first card year.

The current Discover It offer is for $50 cash back after your first purchase.  But check here for the latest offer.

Taxes

Yes, you can pay your taxes with credit cards. Similar to car payments, there are services you can use to pay income taxes with a credit card.

For example, I’ve written about using Pay 1040, which charges 1.87% to process your payment. But you can pay with a card like the no annual fee Discover It Miles, which earns 1.5 miles per $1 (1.5% back).  And similar to the Discover It card, your miles are matched after your 12th billing cycle.

This means you’re effectively earning 3% back on purchases the first year with the card.  So even with a 1.87% fee for paying taxes, you’ll actually end up earning a profit.

The current Discover It Miles offer doesn’t include a sign-up bonus.  But check here for the latest offer.

Bottom Line

Rideshare drivers can earn cash back or miles & points by using certain credit cards for everyday expenses like car payments, gas, tolls, insurance, and cell phone bills. Since you’re already paying for all of these things as a driver, it makes sense to earn cash back for these purchases and expenses.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred  is my favorite card beginners, as it earns flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which transfer directly to travel partners like Hyatt, Southwest, United Airlines, and others. The card’s sign-up bonus gets you at least $625 worth of travel or $500 cash back.

Adding a credit card with a lucrative sign-up bonus is a quick and easy way to earn cash back, miles, and points. However, you should only get a card if you plan to use it responsibly  and pay your balance off each month.

When you do, you’ll likely find that your credit score will go up.  Plus, you’ll earn cash back, flights, and hotels for driving expenses you had to make anyway!

Readers, do you currently use a rewards credit card or small business credit card for driving expenses? If so, which one do you use? If we missed anything, please leave a question or comment below.

-Harry @ RSG

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I’m Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I’m a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.

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