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Cash in on retail reward programs for your small business

Companies like Verizon, Dell and Best Buy offer biz loyalty programs – here’s how to leverage them with online tools and rewards cards to score big savings

Summary

You can save money on business expenses by taking advantage of small-business rewards programs from companies like Dell and Verizon. These tips will show you how to sign up for them and maximize savings.

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Saving money on business expenses can improve your cash flow or free up funds for other needs. Retail rewards programs make saving easier by offering points and discounts to business members.

“Small business owners can stretch their dollars further on office supplies, furniture and other business needs by carefully shopping with stores and brands that offer loyalty programs,” says consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.

These tips can help you use retail rewards to benefit your bottom line.

See related: How to multiply rewards on everything you buy for your business

Compare retail rewards options

The first thing to know about retail rewards programs for small business is where to find them.

Woroch says to start by searching online to see if your favorite retail brands offer a business rewards program. If not, “ask a store manager when shopping if any loyalty programs exist for small business,” she says. “If shopping online, open a chat window to ask a live customer support specialist.”

Next, learn the details of how you can join, earn rewards and redeem them for savings.

Here’s how some of the top business retail rewards programs compare:

Small business rewards programs

ProgramMembership benefitsRedeeming pointsHow to join
Dell Advantage Business Rewards
  • Earn up to 3% back in rewards toward future purchases on Dell.com with each purchase.
  • Get up to 6% back in rewards when you select 4+ years of ProSupport or ProSupport Plus.
  • Free expedited delivery is included.
  • Rewards can be applied at checkout toward PC, electronics and accessories purchases from Dell.com.
Verizon Small Biz Rewards
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on qualified Verizon charges, up to 750 points per month.
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points for small business referrals.
  • Earn additional points for activities, such as setting up your profile, taking surveys or attending live webinars.
  • Enjoy discounts on Verizon products, office supplies and shipping from partner merchants.
  • Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards to partner retailers, including Best Buy, Amazon and Staples.
My Best Buy Membership (Included with Best Buy for Business)
  • Earn 0.5 points per $1 spent (increases to 1.25 points when you upgrade to My Best Buy Elite Plus).
  • Free shipping on purchases of $35 and up.
  • Access to special Best Buy sales and discounts.
  • Every 250 points is redeemable for a $5 Best Buy reward certificate.
  • Membership is free and is included when you enroll in Best Buy for Business.
Lyft Business Rewards
  • Earn $5 in Lyft personal ride credit for every five business rides you take.
  • Earn 1 Delta SkyMile for each $1 spent on U.S. rides and 2 miles per dollar on airport rides.
  • Lyft rewards are redeemable for Lyft personal rides.
  • Delta SkyMiles can be redeemed for Delta flights

These programs are exclusive to small business. You can also leverage personal retail loyalty programs for your business, such as Microsoft Rewards, Staples Rewards and Office Depot Rewards for savings.

Joe Horan, licensed realtor and owner of Wrightwood Homes in Fishers, Indiana, uses Staples Rewards to cut down on printing and mailing costs. This program offers up to 5 percent back on purchases in store, plus $2 back per recycled ink cartridge.

“I do a lot of direct mail in-house, meaning I go through a lot of paper, envelopes and ink,” says Horan. “Their rewards program allows me to get cash back and a rebate on the ink cartridges I return. The rewards lower ink prices enough to beat most of their competition.”

See related: Which business credit card should I use for office supplies?

Join and shop retail rewards programs wisely

Horan prefers Staples to other office supply brands, but there’s no rule against joining multiple rewards programs.

“It’s a good idea to sign up for as many different loyalty programs offered by the businesses you shop at since they’re all free,” says Woroch.

Just remember that the more programs you join, the more difficult it may be to track rewards. It could also be harder to gain traction with saving if your points are scattered across multiple programs.

“It’s ultimately best to shop consistently with one brand in any given category in order to maximize loyalty rewards,” says Woroch.

Earn points and discounts through your vendors

Vendors and suppliers can be another source of money-saving rewards for business.

Christin Medeiros, chief financial officer of iMold, a Fort Meyers, Florida-based mold removal business, uses this strategy to save on equipment purchases. She enrolled the company in a program called Legend Rewards through an equipment supplier specific to her industry.

“Every time we purchase a piece of equipment, we get rewards dollars,” says Medeiros. “Not only are we using profits to reinvest into the company by buying equipment, but then we can use those rewards to purchase more equipment or office supplies that we normally would be purchasing with cash.”

Medeiros learned about the program through the vendor’s sales rep. “Since we’re more than just a customer to her, she goes that extra mile to make sure that we’re getting the best price and rewards,” she says.

The company also uses a rewards program to save on gas for its fleet vehicles. Medeiros determined that most employees were using the same gas station to fuel up each day. Switching fuel suppliers and joining the new company’s reward program yielded a 5 cent per gallon savings, which she says adds up to around $500 per month.

Medeiros offers some tips for finding loyalty rewards and discounts:

  • Ask and you may receive. Don’t be afraid to talk to sales people about rewards programs, she says. Ask specifically about rebates or loyalty programs any time you make a purchase. “Tell them what you’re looking for and let them help you,” she says.
  • Be selective. When comparing retail or vendor program perks, Medeiros says to focus on the benefits that will help save your company money and improve cash flow.
  • Go for maximum rewards earnings. If a retail or vendor rewards program structure doesn’t fit how you spend, take a pass. Look at your business to see what you need, then stick with a program that’s going to help you fill those needs, she says.

Remember to comparison shop

Brand loyalty shouldn’t keep you from getting the best price on business purchases, says Woroch.

“It’s still important to always compare prices and opt to make a purchase of goods or services from the store or company that offers the best bang for your buck,” she says.

Woroch says you can do that by:

  • Using a browser extension such as Invisible Hand or Honey that makes it easier to track deals online.
  • Downloading the Paribus app, which allows you to request refunds on business purchases that go on sale after you buy.
  • Using apps like Flipp to scan sales ads and circulars for local retailers from your mobile device.

“While you’re comparing prices, don’t forget to check for used options at sites like Facebook Marketplace,” says Woroch. “This is especially smart to do for office furniture, which may save you 60 to 90 percent off regular retail prices.”

See related: Guide: How to maximize your cash back on Amazon.com

Don’t forget your rewards credit card

As you shop and earn points through retail business rewards programs, scope out your rewards card’s online portal as well.

Horan routinely shops for business purchases with his Chase Ultimate Rewards. “It’s effectively their version of Ebates and allows shoppers to earn extra points per dollar spent,” he says.

He also likes the added benefit of being able to apply rewards he’s earned towards other business purchases. With the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, for example, Ultimate Rewards points are transferable to Southwest Airlines for flights.

“The strongest benefit to me is that I can combine my business points earned with my personal points, making my rewards go further,” says Horan.

Stacking is another way to double up on points when you combine rewards earned from a loyalty program with rewards earned through your card.

  • The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, for example, offers 5 percent cash back on the first $50,000 combined annually at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers.
  • Combine that with the 5 percent you can get back from Staples Rewards and you’ve effectively earned a 10 percent discount.
  • You can earn even more rewards if you’re a Verizon Small Business customer and use your card to pay to your monthly bill.

Last but not least, card-linked offers are another way to multiply business rewards.

These offers are loaded to your card automatically, so you earn savings and discounts as you spend. Check out our detailed guide to card-linked offers to learn how you can pair them up with small business retail rewards programs for maximum savings.

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Published: May 13, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: May 22nd, 2019
Business
15.61%
Airline
17.50%
Cash Back
17.60%
Reward
17.62%
Student
17.79%

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