Whether you know it or not, if you’re an affiliate you’re basically running a business. And if you didn’t know that, you better start thinking about your websites and campaigns as a business if you want to make any sort of money.
As an affiliate, you are already paying for stuff like domains, web hosting, subscriptions, software etc. and all of this can add up to a pretty penny at the end of the month. If you’re also buying paid ads, the amount you can spend on a monthly basis can be huge.
So since you’re paying for all this stuff already, it’s a good idea to get a credit card so you can start earning bonus points/miles for everything you already have to pay for on a regular basis.
Why You Need A Credit Card
You need a credit card for two things, working capital and increasing your credit score. Hopefully this is pretty obvious.
For affiliates it’s important that we use credit cards because as you grow, you’re going to need more working capital to fund your projects.
Basically you’re going to need to build up your borrowing history, which of course increases your credit score, and better credit scores make it easier for you to borrow money from banks and other financial institutions.
This is true especially if you ever want to get into paid advertising where it’s not too difficult to blow through $100k+ per month in ad spend. To make purchases this large you’ll probably need to have a revolving line of credit somewhere, and this is only possible after you built up years of good borrowing history.
So if you haven’t started working on your credit already, you need to get started ASAP! Or if for some reason you have bad credit, you need to start working to improve things quickly.
Note when we use credit cards for our affiliate marketing purchases, we need to be paying off the balance in full every month. Credit cards have terrible interest rates, and it defeats the purpose of racking up bonus miles/points if you’re also racking up interest fees. So pay your cards off in full and you’ll be all set!
Anyway here are some of my favorite credit cards that you should check out that I recommend to any affiliate marketer who wants to get some nice perks as well as start building their credit profiles.
Capital One Venture Rewards
This is the card I probably use the most because you get double miles for each $1 you spend. For example for every $1000 I spend, I get 2000 miles ($20 value) that I can use on travel. So if you like to travel, this card is going to offer the best bang for your buck in my opinion.
You can also use the double miles on things like gift cards and Ubers, so I like these perks as well since I use those things a lot. They have a “purchase eraser” that you can use right on your phone to trade in your miles for statement credits.
I also like the fact that I can access my earned miles a few days after I make a purchase. Some reward programs only credit you at the end of the month or every quarter, and the instant access to rewards I get with this credit card is a big plus in my opinion.
Also when you first sign up, if you have decent credit, Capital One will usually give you a pretty high spending limit to start. I think right off the bat when I signed up years ago I got approved for like $20k, and at the time I didn’t have much credit history. I have also increased that limit significantly since,
Right now they also have a 100,000 miles bonus if you can spend $20k in your first 12 months, but still will give you 50,000 miles if you spend $3k in the first 3 months. Also the annual fee is only $95 which is very reasonable in my opinion for what you get with this card.
That being said the interest rate is pretty crappy (17-25%), however again we are going to be paying the balance off in full each month so this shouldn’t really apply to you.
Also make sure you get the “Capital One Venture Rewards” card and not the “Venture One” card, I’m not sure why they named these cards so similarly. Anyway you can find more info about the Capital One Venture Rewards card here.
Citi Double Cash Card
Another card that I like to use is the Citi Double Cash Card. Basically it’s a cash reward card that gives you 1% cash back on on purchases, and 1% cash back when you pay your bill (which obviously you should be doing). So basically it’s a 2% cash back card.
There are other 2% cash back cards like the Capital One Spark Cash card, but those are for businesses and are harder to qualify for. So if you’re an affiliate just kind of starting out, the Citi Double Cash Card may be a great choice for you.
Also there is no annual fee for this card, and the interest rate is a little lower than the Capital One Venture Card as it has between a 14-24% APR, however again that’s not really relevant because we are going to be paying our balances off in full every month.
Also note that in comparison to Capital One credit cards, your starting limit is usually lower. I think when I first got this card years ago they only gave me an $8k credit line, which is pretty low. I have seen that to be the case for other Citi card owners as well from researching online.
So if you’re looking for a higher credit line, you may want to start off with the Capital One Venture Rewards card I previously mentioned.
If you’re interested in the Citi Double Cash Card you can find more info here.
American Express Platinum Card
I wanted to add the American Express Platinum card as an honorable mention behind the previous two cards. From a straight earnings perspective (reward miles, cash back etc) it isn’t as good as the other two, however if you can qualify for it, the card does have a lot of benefits.
For example if when you travel you do stay at 5 star hotels, they have a “Fine Hotels and Resort” program that offers you free upgrades, late checkout, and dining credits at some of the best hotels in the world.
There are also other perks like admission to the Delta Sky Lounge when you travel, and I believe there is also a $200/year Uber credit.
Also if you can qualify for the card, there is “no limit” on the card, but in reality of course there is a spending limit, and this limit is usually pretty high. I tested mine out once and it maxed out at about $120k.
You can increase this “hidden limit” if you call them and send in some paperwork showing your bank statements, assets etc. but so I digress. Just know that the spending isn’t really “unlimited”, and your card will decline after a certain threshold (though most won’t ever get there).
The annual fee is also pretty steep at $550/yr, but if you travel a few times a year the perks more than pay for itself.
So again this card is an “honorable mention” that I like and would recommend if you are ever looking for a “fun card” I guess. You can learn more about the American Express Platinum Card here.
Some Final Thoughts
Again as an affiliate marketer you might as well be earning something on all the purchases that you are making for your business.
Remember I only recommend using credit cards because we are never carrying over balances when we use them, and we are always paying off the entire balance in full every month to avoid the terrible interest rates.
If you haven’t already started building credit, you definitely need to get on it ASAP. It’s not only important in your affiliate marketing career, but just for life in general.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, hopefully you grow big enough where you will need funding to run your campaigns. This is really more of an issue with people that run paid traffic, which again is something I encourage you to eventually get into if you want to make the big bucks.
The last thing you need is to come across a super profitable campaign that you can’t scale because you don’t have the capital to do so. Don’t get caught in this situation, start building your credit ASAP and also earn some great rewards along the way!