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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 8 Ways to Save Money During Business Travel

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 8 Ways to Save Money During Business Travel

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What’s your best money-saving tip for business travel?

1. Use Startup Stay

Christopher Pruijsen

    Use a platform like Startup Stay to connect to the local startup ecosystem and save some cash — it’s like couchsurfing for entrepreneurs. Who knows? The connections you make might result in some unexpected opportunities.

    Christopher Pruijsen, FounderBus

     

     

    2. Stay an Extra Day

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    Kelly Azevedo

      Instead of rushing in and out of an event, consider staying for an extra night or two. This lets you take advantage of peak flight rates and better hotel rates when you’re staying for several nights. It also enables you to have time to catch up with new contacts, local leads or colleagues.

      Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

       

       

      3. Don’t Do It

      Jim Belosic

        There are other ways to connect with people, like Skype and Google+ Hangouts. Travel is expensive and can be tiring. Also, meetings and events don’t always turn out to be as productive as you think they will be.

        Jim Belosic, ShortStack/Pancake Labs

         

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        4. Decide Early

        Aaron Schwartz

          In our early days, I used to wait until the last possible minute to book a trip — I was never sure if the business would “need” me to be onsite, so I deferred the decision. Plan your trips for the year and decide early on which events you can extract the most value from. Then, commit by booking your airfare and hotel at lower rates.

          Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

           

          5. Stack Trips Together

          Thursday-Bram 2

            If you know that you’re going to need to take multiple trips in the next couple months, see how many of them you can block together. Last month, I was away from home for two weeks straight — but I don’t need to take another trip until May. It’s exhausting, but it saves money in the long run.

            Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

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            6. Don’t Pay Cash to Travel

            Anthony Saladino

              Leverage the purchasing power of your business by charging all your company’s expenses on credit cards with aggressive reward points programs. Purchase everything from materials to office supplies to vendor payments and marketing services on your credit card to rack up points. When it’s time to travel, simply trade points for airfare and hotel rooms.

              Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

               

              7. Find a Flat-Rate Airport Car Service

              Benji Rabhan

                Find a flat-rate airport car service that will get you where you need. Almost every city has one. Not only will you save money, but you will most likely be in a more luxurious car with a more professional experience.

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                Benji Rabhan, MorrisCore

                 

                 

                8. Find a Credit Card Without Foreign Transaction Fees

                Matt Wilson

                  If you travel a lot, cards like American Express Platinum are well worth the $500/year fee. If your foreign transaction fees add up to more than 3 percent, this type of card is well worth it. Add in all the mileage rewards, bonuses for signing up and other assorted travel insurances and perks, and you end up saving big in the long run.

                  Matt Wilson, Under30Media

                   

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                  Last Updated on March 4, 2019

                  How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

                  How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

                  Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

                  I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

                  Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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                  Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

                  Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

                  Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

                  I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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                  I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

                  If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

                  Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

                  The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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                  Using Credit Cards with Rewards

                  Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

                  You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

                  I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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                  So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

                  What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

                  Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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