Which United Airlines credit card should you choose?

If you regularly fly with United Airlines or you live in or near Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark or San Francisco – the airline’s hubs – picking up an United Airlines credit card could make a ton of sense.

Not only can a United credit card help you earn MileagePlus miles faster, but you might also get a few handy perks, including free checked bags.

At the moment, United Airlines offers a handful of co-branded United credit cards for individuals or small business owners. But, how do you know which United Airlines credit cards are best?

Our guide aims to help you compare options so you wind up with the right airline credit card for your needs and your travel goals.

See related: United MileagePlus Dining Guide

Here’s the roundup:
United Gateway Card

  • Best card for big United spenders: Chase United Club Infinite Card
  • Best card for frequent flyers: Chase United Explorer Card
  • Best card for small business owners: United Business Card
  • Best card for frequent business travelers: United Club Business Card
  • Guide to United Airlines credit cards

    Compare fees, rewards, perks and extras:  Select the credit card you’re interested in…   Chase United ExplorerChase United Club Infinite CardChase United Business CardChase United Club Business Card

    United Explorer Card

    Annual fee
    • $95, waived the first year
    Sign-up bonus
    • 70,000 miles if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months
    In-flight discount
    • 25%
    No foreign transaction fees
    • Yes
    Extra bonus on certain categories
    • 2 miles per dollar spent on United Airlines, hotel and restaurant purchases, including delivery services like Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub and Seamless
    • 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else
    Limit on miles earned
    • No
    First checked bag free
    • Yes, for you and a companion on the same reservation
    Priority boarding
    • Yes, for you and companions on the same reservation
    Reduced mileage awards
    • No
    Redeem miles rebate
    • No
    Benefits
    • 2 United Club one-time passes
    • Tickets bought using miles eligible for free upgrades
    • Trip delay, baggage and auto rental insurance
    • Concierge service
    • Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection perks, including breakfast for 2, free Wi-Fi and meal/spa credits
    Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
    • Yes, up to $100 every four years
    Card network
    • Visa

    Chase United Club Infinite Card

    Anual fee
    • $525, waived first year
    Sign-up bonus
    • None
    In-flight discount
    • 25%
    No foreign transaction fees
    • Yes
    Extra bonus on certain categories
    • 4 miles per dollar spent on United purchases
    • 2 miles per dollar spent on dining
    • 2 miles per dollar spent on all other travel (including other airlines)
    • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases
    Limit on miles earned
    • No
    First checked bag free
    • Yes, 2 bags for you and 2 for a companion on the same reservation
    Priority boarding
    • Yes, for you and companions on the same reservation
    Reduced mileage awards
    • No
    Redeem miles rebate
    • No
    Benefits
    • United Club and Star Alliance lounge membership
    • Priority check-in and screening
    • Waived fees on last-minute tickets bought with miles
    • Miles tickets eligible for free upgrades
    • Trip delay, baggage and auto rental insurance
    • Concierge service
    • Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection perks, including free breakfast for 2, free Wi-Fi and meal/spa credits
    Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
    • Yes, up to $100 every four years
    Card network
    • Visa

    Chase United Business Card

    Annual fee
    • $99, waived the first year
    Sign-up bonus
    • 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in first 3 months
    In-flight discount
    • 25%
    No foreign transaction fees
    • Yes
    Extra bonus on certain categories
    • 2 miles per dollar spent on United Airlines, restaurant, gas and office supplies purchases
    • 2 miles per dollar spent on transit and commute purchases, including taxis, tolls and rideshares
    • 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else
    Limit on miles earned
    • No
    First checked bag free
    • Yes, for you and a companion on the same reservation
    Priority boarding
    • Yes, for you and companions on the same reservation
    Reduced mileage awards
    • No
    Redeem miles rebate
    • No
    Benefits
    • 2 United Club one-time passes
    • 5,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary if you have both a United Business Card and personal United card
    • $100 annual United travel credit after 7 United flight purchases of $100 or more
    • Trip, baggage and car rental insurance
    Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
    • No
    Card network
    • Visa

    Chase United Club Business Card

    Annual fee
    • $450
    Sign-up bonus
    • 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in first 3 months
    In-flight discount
    • 25%
    No foreign transaction fees
    • Yes
    Extra bonus on certain categories
    • 2 miles per dollar spent on United Airlines purchases
    • 1.5 miles per dollar spent on everything else
    Limit on miles earned
    • No
    First checked bag free
    • Yes, 2 bags for you and 2 for a companion on the same reservation
    Priority boarding
    • Yes, for you and companions on the same reservation
    Reduced mileage awards
    • No
    Redeem miles rebate
    • No
    Benefits
    • United Club and Star Alliance membership
    • Priority check-in and screening
    • Concierge service
    • Trip, baggage and car rental insurance
    • Discoverist status in World of Hyatt loyalty program
    • President’s Circle Elite status in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty program
    • Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection perks, including free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, dining/spa credits and upgrades
    Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
    • No
    Card network
    • Visa

    Lifetime Globalist

    How to qualify
    • 1,000,000 base points over the course of your membership
    Base-point rate
    • 6.5 points/$1
    Benefits
    • Receive Globalist benefits indefinitely, with no requirement to qualify for status each year

     

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    Best United Airlines credit card with no annual fee: United Gateway Card

    If you’re looking for a United rewards card with no annual fee, the United Gateway Card is the best (and only) option to consider. This card starts you off with 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. You also earn:

    • 2 miles per $1 on United flights, purchases made at gas stations and on transit and commuting
    • 1 miles per $1 on all other purchases

    As an added bonus, you’ll even rack up 3 miles per $1 on up to $1,500 in grocery store spending per month through Sept. 30, 2021. Aside from not charging an annual fee, other United Airlines credit card benefits include 25% off in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees. That means this card is rather limited in terms of perks, but that’s par for the course when it comes to credit cards with no annual fee.

    Best United Airlines credit card for frequent flyers: United Explorer Card

    Frequent flyers would be better off with a United credit card with more benefits, which they’ll find with the United Explorer Card. First off, you can earn 70,000 bonus miles – 60,000 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open and another 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $6,000 in total purchases in the first six months of account opening. In terms of daily spending, you can rack up:

    • 2 miles per $1 on United purchases, dining including delivery and takeout and hotels booked directly
    • 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases

    United Airlines credit card benefits you’ll receive include two United Club passes, a first free checked bag, a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership, priority boarding, 25% off in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees. Not only are these perks ideal for frequent United flyers who want a convenient travel experience, but they can help cardholders save money, too. This card does charge a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year.

    Best United Airlines credit card for big United spenders: United Club Infinite Card

    If you’re a big United spender and you fly with the airline all the time, you’ll probably want a card that lets you rack up a ton of miles while also affording you a comfortable travel experience. The United Club Infinite Card is perfect in either case. This card replaced an older version of the United Club Card, but it offers even better rewards and perks designed with luxury travelers in mind.

    As a cardholder, you’ll earn:

    • 4 miles per $1 spent with United Airlines
    • 2 miles per $1 spent on dining (including takeout and delivery) and travel
    • 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

    In terms of perks, you won’t be disappointed. Not only does this card give you membership in the airline’s United Club lounges ($650 value), but if you travel internationally, you will be able to access lounges for any airlines that are part of the Star Alliance, including Aer Lingus, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa. Meanwhile, you also get two free checked bags for yourself and a traveling companion on the same reservation, as well as priority check in, priority boarding, priority securing screening, 25% off in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees. You’ll also get a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership.

    There is one major downside to this card: It comes with a $525 annual fee and there is no sign-up bonus. On the bright side, the annual fee is waived for your first year.

    See related: When is a credit card annual fee worth it?

    Best United Airlines credit card for small business

    If you’re a small business owner, you may also want to apply for one of the two United Airlines credit cards for business. The United Business Card is a good option for small business owners who travel for work or for leisure a few times per month, and this is due to its cardholder benefits and low annual fee.

    You’ll start off by earning 60,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You’ll also earn:

    • 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, dining including takeout and delivery, gas stations, office supply stores, local transit and commuting
    • 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases

    Like all good United Airlines credit card offers, the United Business Card also comes with a handful of perks which include 5,000 miles on your cardholder anniversary each year when you carry a business credit card and a personal credit card from United Airlines. You’ll also receive two one-time United Club passes, a first checked bag free, priority boarding, a $100 United travel credit when you make at least seven purchases of $100 or more with United each year, 25% off in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees. A $99 annual fee applies, but it’s waived the first year.

    Best United Airlines credit card for business travelers

    Finally, United Airlines offers a business credit card that is perfect for frequent business travelers who want to earn a ton of miles and score lounge access when they fly. The United Club Business Credit Card starts you off with 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You’ll also rack up:

    • 2 miles per $1 spent United purchases
    • 1.5 miles on everything else

    While this card does have a $450 annual fee, you’ll get plenty of value when it comes to the perks you receive. Not only will you get a United Club membership valued at $650, but you’ll get a first and second free checked bag, priority check-in, security screening and baggage handling, 25% off in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees.

    Who should get a United Airlines credit card?

    The best United Airlines credit card offers make it easy to rack up miles for each dollar you spend, and most offer a generous bonus when you meet a minimum spending requirement. With that being said, United Airlines credit cards are really best for people who are loyal to the airline, or those who live in a United hub and wind up flying with the airline often by default.

    If you aren’t loyal to United Airlines or you want more options when it comes to cashing in your points, you may also want to consider a Chase travel credit card that lets you transfer your points to United at a 1:1 ratio, or redeem for other types of travel.

    As an example, both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card* let you earn points you can transfer to United, as well as other airline and hotel partners like Southwest, British Airways, Emirates, World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy and more. Chase credit cards also let you redeem points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which gives you even more flexibility.

    See related: How to earn and use Chase Ultimate Rewards points

    How much are United miles worth?

    Based on our internal comparisons, United miles are worth approximately 1.5 cents each. This means that, generally speaking, 60,000 miles are worth approximately $900. However, keep in mind that you may get more value if you redeem miles for premium flights or international flights.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get significant value out of your United miles, whether you want to travel the world or enjoy a relaxing trip closer to home.

    *All information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. This offer is no longer available on our site.

    Source: creditcards.com

    15 Home Business Ideas & The Free Courses You Need To Get Started

    Are you looking for a work from home job or some at home business ideas?

    If so, then I have a great list of free resources, such as courses and guides, that will help you find the best option and learn how to get started. Plus, all of the courses and guides in this article are free!

    home business ideasIf you’re looking to make extra money, or even a full-time income, working from home is a great option. There are lots of realistic home business ideas that allow you to work on a flexible schedule.

    In fact, around 50% of U.S. businesses are home based, and that number is expected to grow well into the future.

    But, many people don’t know what kind of options are available or how to get started with their in home business ideas.

    This article is a good starting point because I’m going to tell you about 15 different profitable home based business ideas and link to free courses, workshops, and guides that will help you kick off each of these ideas.

    There are lots of valuable paid courses out there, but if you’re not sure about an idea, you might not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a course. That’s why free courses and guides are a great way to start.

    You can learn more about each of these small business ideas, learn some of the basic skills, how much money you can earn, and more. You get to test these ideas a little bit before you invest a lot of time and money.

    No matter what kind of business you decide to start, I think you’ll really enjoy starting one from home. 

    I have been working from home since 2013, and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I absolutely love and enjoy running a business from home.

    It has allowed me to travel full-time, save enough money to retire early, love what I do each day, and more.

    Many people love running home based businesses for those reasons, but it also cuts your commute, allows you to earn money in your spare time, be your own boss, work on a flexible schedule, and more.

    So, to help you get started, today I will explain some of the best small business ideas from home and which free online courses can help you get started.

    Here is a quick list of the free work at home courses and resources I’m sharing:

    1. Selling Printables on Etsy Ebook
    2. Sell on Amazon Starter Course
    3. How To Start a Blog Course
    4. Build A Voiceover Action Plan From Scratch Minicourse
    5. Start An Online Advertising Business From Scratch
    6. Start Your Virtual Bookkeeping Business
    7. Turn Your Passion For Visiting Thrift Stores, Yard Sales & Flea Markets Into A Profitable Reselling Business In As Little As 14 Days
    8. General Transcription Mini-Course
    9. Become a Proofreader 76 Minute Webinar
    10. Court Transcript Proofreading Mini Course
    11. Podcast Virtual Assistant Workbooks
    12. Make Money Writing Romance Novels ecourse
    13. Pinterest Virtual Assistant Training Workshop
    14. Jumpstart Your Virtual Assistant Business
    15. Self-Publishing Your First Book

    Below, I will be diving deeper into what each option is like, as well as more information about each of those free resources.

    Below are 15 home business ideas.

     

    1. Sell printables on Etsy.

    Are you looking for a smart home business idea that allows you to use your creativity? Are you wondering “What can I sell from home to make money?”

    If so, I recommend checking out this option. See, creating printables on Etsy can be a great side hustle because you just need to create one digital file per product, which you can then sell an unlimited number of times.

    Printables are digital products that customers can download and print at home. Examples include grocery shopping checklists, gift tags, candy bar wrappers, printable quotes for wall art, and patterns.

    You can sign up for this free ebook that helps you figure out where to start when it comes to selling printables on Etsy.

    Related content on successful home business ideas:

    • 12 Passive Income Ideas That Will Let You Enjoy Life More
    • 15 Of My Best Working From Home Tips So You Can Succeed
    • 15 Outdoor Jobs For People Who Love Being Outside
    • 24 Of The Best Work From Home Jobs & How To Avoid Scams

     

    2. Sell items on Amazon.

    Yes, you can make money selling items on Amazon. Actually, this is one of the home business ideas with low start up costs because you can literally start selling items from around your house. Make money while you declutter your home, what’s not to love?!

    The first year that my friend Jessica ran her Amazon FBA business, working less than 20 hours a week total, she made over $100,000 profit!

    This free course shows you how to start a profitable Amazon business in a 9-part video course. You’ll learn:

    • The exact steps to follow to set up your Amazon Seller account
    • Two easy and affordable ways to find items to sell
    • How to choose profitable inventory that customers actually want to buy

    Click here to sign up for the FREE Amazon FBA Starter Course!

     

    3. Start a blog to work at home.

    For obvious reasons, blogging is my favorite on this list of profitable home business ideas.

    It is a business that allows me to travel full-time, have a flexible schedule, earn somewhat passive income, and more.

    Blogging changed my life for the better, and it allows me to earn thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love.

    My blog was created on a whim as a way to track my personal finance progress. And when I first started my blog, I honestly didn’t even know that this was going to be one of the best small profitable business ideas out there. At least that’s been the case for me! 

    You can easily learn how to start a blog with my free How To Start a Blog Course.

    Here’s a quick outline of what you will learn:

      • Day 1: Reasons you should start a blog
      • Day 2: How to determine what to blog about
      • Day 3: How to create your blog (in this lesson, you will learn how to start a blog on WordPress – my tutorial makes it very easy to start a blog)
      • Day 4: How to make money blogging
      • Day 5: My tips for making passive income from blogging
      • Day 6: How to grow your traffic and followers
      • Day 7: Miscellaneous blogging tips that will help you be successful

     

    4. Become a voice over actor.

    A voice over actor is the person you hear but rarely see on YouTube videos, radio ads, explainer videos, corporate narration, documentaries, e-learning courses, audiobooks, TV commercials, video games, movies, and cartoons.

    In 2014, Carrie Olsen replaced her salaried day job to become a full-time voice over actor. People are constantly asking her how she got her start and how they can too.

    So, she created Build A Voiceover Action Plan From Scratch Minicourse — This free course will help you learn about becoming a voice over artist, even if you’re brand new!

     

    5. Run Facebook ads for local businesses.

    Did you know that you can make a living from Facebook? With Facebook advertising, you can help businesses expand their reach.

    And, yes, this is a skill that you can learn without any prior experience in marketing or advertising.

    The going rate for Facebook Ad management is $1,000 – $1,500 per month, per client.

    Last year, business owners spent over $88,000,000 per day on Facebook ads. This is expected to continue to grow, and it is one of the largest advertising spaces that exists.

    My friend Bobby Hoyt knows a lot about this topic. Bobby is a former high school teacher who paid off $40,000 of student loan debt in a year and a half. He now runs the personal finance blog Millennial Money Man full-time, as well as a digital marketing agency for local businesses that he started in 2015.

    Bobby has a free webinar on this topic too. His webinar, Start An Online Advertising Business From Scratch, will teach you how to start this business even if you’re brand new, how to find paying clients, and more.

     

    stay-at home business ideas

    6. Start a bookkeeping business.

    A bookkeeper is someone who tracks the finances of a business. They may handle payroll, billing and invoicing, etc.

    These are all skills you can learn without being an accountant or having any previous experience.

    Ben, from Bookkeeper Launch, helps people get started as bookkeepers even when they don’t have any experience. Ben is a CPA who founded his business after realizing that many businesses needed better bookkeepers. 

    Start Your Virtual Bookkeeping Business will teach you more about running your own virtual bookkeeping business. You’ll learn:

    • Is a bookkeeping business for you?
    • What exactly is a bookkeeping business? What kind of work do they do?
    • How much money can you make as a bookkeeper?
    • How do you find clients?

     

    7. Search for items to resell.

    Have you ever found something that you thought you could resell to make a profit?

    Melissa’s family earned $133,000 in one year by buying and selling items that they’ve found at thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets.

    Some of the best flipped items that they’ve sold include:

    • An item that they bought for $10 and flipped for $200 just 6 minutes later
    • A security tower they bought for $6,200 and flipped for $25,000 just one month later
    • A prosthetic leg that they bought for $30 at a flea market and sold for $1,000 on eBay the next day

    This is one of the home business ideas that anyone can start because you can start off selling things in your own house — I know we all have lots of stuff in our house that we could stand to get rid of. Then once you get a feel for the work, you can start purchasing items to resell.

    Melissa has a great free webinar, Turn Your Passion For Visiting Thrift Stores, Yard Sales & Flea Markets Into A Profitable Reselling Business In As Little As 14 Days, that will help you learn how to make money by flipping items.

     

    8. Transcribe audio or video content into text.

    Transcription is when you turn audio or video content into a text document. You listen to what’s being said and type it up.

    There are many businesses looking for transcriptionists too – since general transcriptionists convert audio and video to text for virtually any industry, there really isn’t a typical client. Some examples include marketers, authors, filmmakers, academics, speakers, and conferences of all types.

    Beginning transcriptionists earn around $15 an hour and it goes up from there.

    You can learn more in the Free General Transcription Mini-Course. In this course, you will learn what it takes to become a transcriptionist, how much money you can earn, how you can find jobs, and more.

     

    9. Become a general proofreader.

    Proofreading is one of the most flexible and detail-orientated home business ideas that work. All you need to work as a proofreader is a laptop or tablet, an internet connection, and a good eye for finding mistakes.

    Proofreaders look for punctuation mistakes, misspelled words, lack of consistency, and formatting errors.

    You take content that other people have written and then go over it with a fine-tooth comb. You might be proofreading blog posts, print articles, academic articles, website copy, ad copy, books, student papers, emails, and more.

    In one year, Caitlin made slightly over $43,000 by being a freelance proofreader.

    Caitlin put together a FREE 76-minute workshop, where she answers all of the most common questions about becoming a proofreader, and she even shows you how to use the most popular tools used by proofreaders around the world. You can sign up for free here.

     

    10. Become a court transcript proofreader.

    Becoming a court transcript proofreader is a more focused version of the last idea.

    Here’s what it’s like:

    “Court reporters use digital stenography machines in combination with computer-aided transcription software to write verbatim records of various legal proceedings. They report depositions, trials, hearings, arbitrations, case management conferences, compulsory medical examinations, examinations under oath, and pretty much any other type of legal proceeding. Because of the sensitive nature of legal proceedings, it’s imperative that as many errors as possible be eliminated from transcripts — an especially major error could ruin an entire trial!”

    Due to this, many court reporters also use court transcript proofreaders.

    There is more training that goes into becoming a court transcript proofreader, and that is why I separated it from the general proofreading job above.

    Caitlin, mentioned above, also has a great FREE 7 day course just for people who are interested in becoming a court transcript proofreader.

     

    Home business ideas with low startup costs

    11. Become a podcast virtual assistant.

    There’s a big demand for podcast virtual assistants right now.

    This is because there are over 800,000 podcasts out there, and that number just continues to grow. Podcasts are still a pretty new area, and that opens the door for lots of home business ideas that help out with all of these podcasts.

    While the podcast host is responsible for recording themselves, other tasks like editing and publication take time, so many podcasters outsource their work to freelancers or virtual assistants. Also, some podcasters may not know how to do those things, or they may choose to focus their time on other areas.

    Some of the different services you can offer as a podcast virtual assistant include:

    • Audio editing
    • Marketing and promotion
    • Publication
    • Distribution
    • Show note creation

    You can sign up here for free information that will tell you more about how to become a podcast VA. In this free resource, you’ll learn exactly what a podcast virtual assistant is, the services you can offer, and starting rates.

     

    12. Write romance novels.

    My friend Yuwanda Black has found one of the most interesting home business ideas – she writes romance novels, and in one month, she was able to make over $3,000!

    With her free Making Money Writing Romance ecourse, she teaches you how to make money writing and self-publishing romance novels.

    It is taught from first-hand experience, which Yuwanda has because she’s written and self-published 50 romance novellas since 2013. And, she continues to publish today.

     

    13. Work as a Pinterest virtual assistant.

    Working as a Pinterest virtual assistant is a growing field as more and more business owners are using Pinterest to grow their business.

    Pinterest VAs help businesses improve their reach by doing things like:

    • Designing Pinterest images for a website
    • Helping business owners set up their Pinterest account
    • Scheduling pins because this can be time consuming for the average business owner
    • Brainstorming a marketing plan

    Click here and click on “Free Training Workshop” to learn how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant and find your first client. In this free course, you’ll learn what you need to do to get started, what services to offer, and how much to charge as a Pinterest virtual assistant.

     

    14. Work as a virtual assistant.

    If you’re looking for home business ideas with low startup costs, then virtual assisting is a great one!

    Virtual assistance is a field that is growing very quickly and it is one of the very popular stay-at home business ideas.

    Not only does the internet allow us to complete more of our daily tasks online, more and more people are working online. This presents a good opportunity for more virtual assistants.

    Virtual assistant tasks may include social media management, formatting and editing content, scheduling appointments or travel, email management, and more. Basically, you can get paid to do any task that needs to be done in someone’s business, but doesn’t need to be done by them.

    If this is one of the home business ideas you’re interested in, I recommend checking out Jumpstart Your Virtual Assistant Business. In that link, you’ll receive a free worksheet and workbook that will help you decide what virtual assistant services you can offer (there are over 150 choices!).

     

    15. Write your own eBook for work from home ideas.

    Writing your own eBook is a great way to make money from home, and there is probably something super helpful that you could write about (even if you think otherwise!).

    In fact, my friend Alyssa self-published her first book and has sold more than 13,000 copies.

    She is now earning a great passive income of over $200 a day from her book ($6,500 in one month alone!).

    Learn more at Self-Publishing Your First Book. This free series will teach you what it takes to publish a book, including the strategies used to launch a book, writing tips, and more.

     

    What is the best home business to start? What are the most successful small businesses?

    As you can see, there are plenty of different home business ideas out there, and this list is only scratching the surface. There are full-time home based business ideas, and then there are part-time business ideas.

    The best business home based ideas are going to be different for everyone. For example, some people are naturally good proofreaders, while others will have a knack for finding the right items for reselling.

    I would think about what kinds of things you’re good at, what interests you, the skills you already have, etc. That may narrow the choices down some. 

    But, what I love about the home business ideas on this list is that the free courses and guides listed mean you can learn more about any of them without a big investment. You can explore ideas without feeling like you’re wasting your money.

    What home business ideas are you interested in?

    The post 15 Home Business Ideas & The Free Courses You Need To Get Started appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

    Source: makingsenseofcents.com

    Your Guide to Claiming a Legit Home Office Tax Deduction

    I’d bet that on just about every city block or long country road, someone is operating a business from their residence. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about 50 percent of businesses are home-based, with a larger percentage (60 percent) working as solopreneurs with no employees.

    Having a home-based business is one of the easiest and least risky ways to become an entrepreneur, test your business ideas, and increase your income. No matter if you run a business full-time or as a side gig, claiming the home office deduction can significantly reduce your taxes.

    No matter if you run a business full-time or as a side gig, claiming the home office deduction can significantly reduce your taxes.

    I received an email from John, who says, “My New Year's resolution is to earn more money working during my off-hours and on weekends. Since the work will likely entail making deliveries for different mobile apps, I’m not sure if it qualifies me for the home office tax deduction. Can you explain more about it?”

    Thanks for your great question, John! In this post, I’ll give an overview of the home office deduction. You’ll learn who qualifies, which expenses are deductible, and how to legitimately claim this money-saving tax break no matter what type of business you have.

    Who can claim the home office tax deduction

    If you work for yourself in any type of trade or business, either full- or part-time, and your primary office location is your home, you have a home business. The designation applies no matter whether you sell goods and services, are a freelancer, consultant, designer, inventor, Uber driver, or dog-walker.

    If you work for yourself in any type of trade or business, either full- or part-time, and your primary office location is your home, you have a home business. 

    You can have a home-based business even if you’re like John and mostly earn income away from home. This is common for many trades and solopreneurs, such as musicians, sales reps, and those working in the gig economy. If you’re self-employed and do administrative work like scheduling, invoicing, communication, and recordkeeping at home, you have a home business.

    Note that employees who work from home can’t claim a home office deduction. W-2 workers used to be allowed to include certain expenses if they itemized deductions. But tax reform took away that benefit starting with the 2018 tax year.

    The home office deduction is available for any self-employed person no matter whether you own or rent your home, with the following two requirements:

    1. Your home office space is used regularly and exclusively for business
    2. Your home office is the principal place used for business

    You must regularly use part of your home exclusively for conducting business. For example, if you use a guest room in your house or a nook in your studio apartment to run your business, you can take a home office deduction for the space.

    You don’t need walls to separate your office, but it should be a distinct area within your home. The only exception to this “exclusive use” rule is when you use part of your home for business storage or as a daycare. In these situations, you can consider the entire space an office for tax purposes.

    Additionally, your home must be the primary place you conduct business, even if it’s just the administrative work you do. For example, if you meet with clients or do work for customers away from home, you can still consider the area of your home used exclusively for business as your home office.

    Your home doesn’t have to be the only place you work to qualify for the deduction. You might also work at a coffee shop or a co-working space from time to time.

    You could also consider a separate structure at your home, such as a garage or studio, your home office if you use it regularly for business. Also, note that your home doesn’t have to be the only place you work to qualify for the deduction. You might also work at a coffee shop or a co-working space from time to time.

    RELATED: How to Cut Taxes When You Work From Home

    Expenses that are eligible for the home office tax deduction

    If you run a business from home, two types of expenses are eligible for the home office deduction: direct expenses and indirect expenses.

    Direct expenses are the costs to set up and maintain your office. For instance, if you work in a spare bedroom, you might decide to install carpet and window treatments. These expenses are 100 percent deductible, no matter the size of the office.  

    Indirect expenses are costs related to your office that affect your entire home. They’re partially deductible based on the size of your office as a percentage of your home. 

    For renters, your rent, renters insurance, and utilities are examples of indirect expenses. You’d have these expenses even if you didn’t have a home office.

    For homeowners, you can't deduct the principal portion of your mortgage payment, which is the amount borrowed for the home. Instead, you’re allowed to recover a part of the cost each year through depreciation deductions, using formulas created by the IRS.

    Other indirect expenses typically include mortgage interest, property taxes, home insurance, utilities, and maintenance. Allowable indirect expenses actually turn some of your personal expenses into home office business deductions, which is fantastic!

    Allowable indirect expenses actually turn some of your personal expenses into home office business deductions, which is fantastic!

    However, expenses that are entirely unrelated to your home office, such as remodeling in other parts of your home or gardening, are never deductible. So, your ability to deduct an expense when you’re self-employed depends on whether it benefits just your office (such as carpeting and wall paint) or your entire home (such as power and water).

    Also, remember that business expenses unrelated to your home office—such as marketing, equipment, software, office supplies, and business insurance—are fully deductible no matter where you work.

    How to claim the home office tax deduction

    If you qualify for the home office deduction, there are two ways you can calculate it: the standard method or the simplified method.

    The standard method requires you to determine the percentage of your home used for business. You divide the square footage of the area used for business by the square footage of your entire home.

    For example, if your home office is 12 feet by 10 feet, that’s 120 square feet. If your entire home is 1,200 square feet, then diving 120 by 1,200 gives you a home office space that’s 10 percent of your home. That means 10 percent of the qualifying expenses of your home can be attributed to business use, and the remaining 90 percent is personal use. If your monthly power bill is $100 and 10 percent of your home qualifies for business use, you can consider $10 of the bill a business expense.

    To claim the standard deduction, use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure out the expenses you can deduct and then file it with Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business.

    The simplified method allows you to claim $5 per square foot of your office area, up to a maximum of 300 square feet. So, that caps your deduction at $1,500 (300 square feet x $5) per year.

    The simplified method truly is simple because you don’t have to do any record-keeping, just measure the space and include it on Schedule C. It works best for small home offices, while the standard method is better when your office is larger than 300 square feet. You can choose the method that gives you the biggest tax break for any year.

    But no matter which method you choose to calculate a home office tax deduction, you can’t deduct more than your business’ net profit. However, you can carry them forward into future tax years.

    As you can see, claiming tax deductions for your home office can be complicated. I recommend that everyone who’s self-employed use a qualified tax accountant to maximize both home office and business tax deductions.

    Yes, professional advice costs money. But it’s well worth it, and it usually saves money in the long run when you know how to take advantage of every legit tax deduction.

    Source: quickanddirtytips.com

    5 Best Ways to Promote Your Small Business in 2021

    As a small business owner, you may have a tough fight when it comes to standing out. Not only are you competing against other small businesses in your field, but you’re also competing against bigger corporations. And those big businesses have a more national reach and have the necessary cash to better promote themselves.

    Do not lose hope just yet, however. There are a number of alternative options and ideas to make you, as a small business owner, stand out among your competitors. Also, it always helps to get some financial expertise on your side. So, consider working with an experienced financial advisor.

    1. Engage in Social Media.

    Big and successful businesses have the capital to promote themselves through advertisements and other marketing channels. But small businesses may face challenges to obtain financing to market themselves. So, for small businesses, the idea is to have a strong social media presence.

    Not only is it free, also there is a personal touch that comes from operating a small business that big corporations may often lack. There are many social media platforms to market yourself (i.e, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik-Tok, YouTube, just to name a few). So, post regularly on these platforms and respond to people’s comments.

    2. Start A Podcast.

    Just like marketing yourself through online platforms can be rewarding, starting a podcast is also a good way to promote your small business. Talk about the subjects that people seek out when they need a solution to a problem. People will then see you as an expert in your field. That in turn can provide you with more leads and marketing opportunities.

    Get Matched With 3 Fiduciary Financial Advisors
    Managing your finances can be overwhelming. We recommend speaking with a financial advisor. The SmartAsset’s free matching tool will pair you with up to 3 financial advisors in your area.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Answer these few easy questions about your current financial situation

    2. In just under one minute, the tool will match you with up to three financial advisors based on your need.

    3. Review the financial advisors profiles, interview them either by phone or in person, and choose the one that suits your’ needs.

    Get Started Now>>>

    3. Get Featured in Your Local Newspaper.

    One of the best ways to get your name out there is to get featured in your local newspaper. This can be done for free or at a very low cost.

    4. Establish a Good Relationship in Your Community.

    It’s a good idea for a small business to establish a good relationship in their local community. If people always see you face-to-face in the community at charity events, or networking events, they are more likely to trust you and your product. Also, having a good relationship with your local bank will also help as you may one day want to ask for a business loan.

    5. Apply for a Business Loan.

    Lastly, consider applying for a small business loan. A small business loan can be a solution to your marketing strategy. It can help pay for your advertising cost without dipping into your own funds.

    There is a challenge, however.

    Many lenders require small businesses to have been in business for a number of years or to be making a minimum amount of revenue before they will lend any money. That is because these lenders want to make sure you will be able to pay off the loan, as many new businesses do not succeed.

    So, do your shopping as there might be lenders that do not have any requirements at all. Before you start the process of applying for a small business loan, it’s a good idea to work out if you can afford it in the first place. 

    Hire a Pro: Develop Your Financial Strategy

    You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

    The post 5 Best Ways to Promote Your Small Business in 2021 appeared first on GrowthRapidly.

    Source: growthrapidly.com