How To Maximize Your Cash-Back Rewards When Spending Money On PPC

This is a guest post by my good friend Wes Mahler from Tracking202. He also wanted everyone to know that there is a San Fran Bay Area meetup on July 26th for webmasters and marketers, free pizza for everyone. You can read more at Meetup202.

Although most of us know that you can receive 5% cash-back through Yahoo Search Marketing up to $500 a year if you use an AMEX Business Credit Card, but did you know that you could also receive 3% cash-back as-well with MSN AdCenter up to $500 a year too if you use a MasterCard Business Credit Card that is enrolled in the MasterCard Easy Savings Program?

You can earn a lot of extra-cash by using credit cards that have rewards, however, I think everyone already knows this for the most part; so what we are going to share with you today is on how to get a-lot more from your rewards cards than you might have imagined possible.

I’m going to skip over the basics; you should already know as a PPC affiliate that you should be using credit cards with rewards! And if you do not use a rewards credit card already you will see in this post why you should!

Forewarning: This post is probably be most helpful for affiliates who are spending between $2,500 to $50,000 a month on PPC through their credit cards, the tips shown below will show anyone with that amount of ad-spend to earn an extra couple thousands of dollars by doing a-little extra work.

MSN AdCenter

So if you are using MSN AdCenter and you are not currently receiving 3% cash-back on your ad-spend; get it started.

To qualify you need to use a MasterCard Business Credit Card, but the card must be enrolled in the MasterCard Easy Savings Program; this is a free program to join. You must enroll each of your individual MasterCard Credit Cards to the program one at a time if you have several. Once you do both of this you will be eligible to receive an extra 3% cash-back for simply using your MasterCard with MSN AdCenter, this is good for up to $500 per year.

Although most affiliates, including myself, would agree that AMEX is generally the best card for PPC, but it may not be true for MSN AdCenter. As you can now get a MasterCard rewards credit card which despite may have less rewards than an AMEX in general; but because you can now combine the MasterCard Rewards card with the 3% MSN AdCenter cash-back you are getting about the best deal you possibly can.

So of course when you do decide to setup the MSN AdCenter 3% cash-back deal, you might consider using a MasterCard Business Rewards Credit Card for obvious reasons. And you may consider getting several cards; and the reason why will be explained as you continue to read the rest of this post.

Yahoo Search Marketing

And of course, Yahoo.

Yahoo has the 5% cash-back deal for anyone who pays their Yahoo SEM bills with an American Express Business Credit Card, they will pay up to $500 per year for each card used.
So just think, while your getting 5% cash-back for using an AMEX Business Card with Yahoo SEM, you could also combine that by using an AMEX Blue-Cash Card and receive an additional 5% cash-back on-top of the other 5%!

To make it even better, what if you used as well a voucher code worth $100 when signing up for the Yahoo account? Talk about getting the most bang for your buck.

Although I should warn you, the Blue-Cash card only gives a 5% cash-back bonus for the first $17,500 spent on the card, after that it will drop to 1.5%. So that’s why after you get to that point you switch it over to the AMEX Plum Card which has an unlimited 2% cash-back forever, as long as you pay off the balance at the end of each month.

But the best route, if you were really smart—you would use both cards, and maybe a few other cards as well!

After one card maxes out the $500 potential cash-back earnings, you switch it out with a second card and get the $500 cash-back again, and then after that’s done you swap it out again to a new card, and so on and so forth!

Remember, the MSN Adcenter and Yahoo Search Marketing deal will only give you up to $500 cash-back per year, which kind of sucks. Although there is a loophole in the system that there is no restrictions on how many cards you can use. So if you used ten different credit cards, you could essential get $500 cash-back for every card that you used.

So lets run through an example: I have three AMEX cards currently, all AMEX Business Cards: an AMEX Business Platinum, an AMEX Blue-Cash For Business, an AMEX Business Plum Card, and finally I’m in the process of getting another AMEX card as well!

So at first I had the business platinum card, I received my travel points, plus after I maxed out the $500 extra-cash from Yahoo, I switched it over to the business plum card and got my 2% cash-back and another extra $500-cash from Yahoo. Now after that is depleted I switch it over to my AMEX Business Blue-Cash card and get 5% cash-back from the regular card rewards program, and the extra $500-cash back again from Yahoo. And we keep just switching the cards left and right, max them out, move on, max them out, move on and keep going to maximize the most value we can possible get out of our points.

And let’s say I used all my business cards up and got my $500 cash-back for them all, I could even lastly switch it over to a personal AMEX blue-cash card, and get another 5% cash-back and max it out to the $17,500 limit, and finally switch off to the PLUM Card which will for the rest of the year give me 2% cash-back.

So you can do this for both Yahoo SEM and MSN AdCenter, you receive up to $500 cash-back per card on your ad-spend, and Ad-Spend, and you could use as many cards as you possibly have. And again, you get the extra-cash back on top of the additional rewards that the credit cards provide as well.


Start ranking in extra money today, by using lots of cards, taking advantage of both Yahoo SEM 5% cash-back,and the MSN AdCenter’s 3% cash-back. You can apply for a new credit card every other month if you wanted to, as long as you make your payments you’ll probably get accepted more often than not.

Always use a rewards credit card, if you want to travel the next year, use a travel card, if you want cash-back use the cash-back cards. If you combine the cash-back from the PPC networks, with regular cash-back from the rewards cards and also use PPC vouchers you will be positioned to make some positive income!

Lastly, we will leave off with a few of the rules, as there are requirements to be eligible for both programs. Basically they both require Business Credit Cards, if you don’t have one, you might consider registering one.

The Rules

Yahoo Search Marketing gives a 5% cash-back rewards to anyone using an American Express Business Credit Card, they will pay up to $500 back per year. [source]

MSN AdCenter gives you 3% cash-back rewards to anyone using a MasterCard Business Credit Card, which is enrolled in the MasterCard Easy Savings program. [source]

Some Good Cards To Use

AMEX Blue-Cash (business & personal) 5% cash-back up to $17,500 spent, after that it switches to 1.5% cash-back.

AMEX Plum (business) 2% cash-back as long as balance is paid off in full every month


If anyone has any other great cards to check out, please post them here in the comments so everyone can benefit from you sharing. Thanks!


  1. July 13, 2008

    Nice post.

    I assume you mean you’re in the process of getting a black card ? We get Cash for Points on the black card/Centurion card. With 30+ k a day in ad spend that can save you big bucks on a monthly basis.

    However the points multiplier offered on the black card is also available on the other AMEX cards for an additional charge. Ask your AMEX account managers..

  2. July 13, 2008

    The drawback to getting an AMEX Black Centurion Card is the current $2500 annual fee which is putting a major dent into majority of the cash back you’ll be initially doing. It’s not a whole lot lot of money to being with as far as the over all money you’re generating and I am sure you might be able to talk to AMEX managers to waive that fee once or twice, but in the long run, it’s probably better to stick to no annual fee cards for this sort of thing.

  3. July 13, 2008

    How much money are you able to save over the 2% back from the Plum card?

  4. July 13, 2008

    Those are solid tips. Wes is a great guy, and this article is both excellent and informative

  5. July 13, 2008

    Wow, this a great article, it goes to show, every little bit helps, even when you are a super affiliate (which I am not), thanks for such a great article, you obviously put a lot of work into this and I really appreciate your great posts for ppc and affiliate marketing.

  6. July 13, 2008

    Wes has a lot of great points on using credit wisely with your PPC campaigns. Just a quick word of advice… do NOT apply/acquire a new credit card every other month, as the Wes points out as a possibility.

    You will hinder your overall credit score and thereby screw up your ability to get higher and higher credit limits. Instead, make sure you apply for credit cards that have $0 annual fee (make sure there will *never* be an annual fee) and have no application fees. Also, as the article suggests, look for cards that will provide you the incentive and cashback rewards that you need as an affiliate marketer / ppc campaigner. With that in mind, only go for cards that are “top tier” providers like directly from AMEX or from the federally insured bank you use for deposits and checking — most of them offer a Mastercard or Visa for you to use alongside your debit card.

    The secret here is to never have more than FIVE consumer credit cards and perhaps 2-3 department store cards (i.e. Best Buy, Circuit City, Macy’s, Nordstroms or where ever you shop). You may find yourself “running out of gas” on the credit limits you initially get with only four or five cards… but you have to start off slow to succeed in this business, as you should well know by now, after reading Paul’s posts!

    I wrote a detailed blog post about why Credit Is Important over at — and hopefully Paul will be able to allow the following URL or the content of the post to appear somewhere on Uberaffiliate to give you all more insight on this topic — because it is important to your progress in personal finance and business alike. I even mention specifics of using the cards for PPC and how to use them to increase your credit score, thereby allowing you to steadily increase the credit limits. I increase my credit limits every 6 months and have done it steadily over the last two years with great success. Multiple cards and lines of credit far exceeding six figures, by following this strategy.

    (Not sure if the comment system strips URLs or not, we’ll see!)

  7. July 13, 2008

    Great post. This is something I didn’t do when starting, but I started a few months ago. Let’s see how it turns out. thanks for this create post.

  8. July 13, 2008

    thanks for sharing but I guess everybody know this already.
    For details talk to your CC managers – It’s that easy ;)

  9. July 13, 2008

    Wow, 2% cash back…I’ll have to look into that. I currently have the Chase Freedom card & get 1% cash back. This gives me around $12,000 extra cash per year.

  10. July 13, 2008

    Thanks Paul & Wes! I applied & was approved for the Plum card so now it’s time to double the cash back. Oh yea, holy shit your a pimp Paul…I saw your February post showing that you had about $300,000 spend for the month & $9,000 cash back for just that month. Amazing!!

  11. July 13, 2008

    Nice post Wes. Getting the right credit card can make a significant difference to your net profit at the end of the year.

    Thanks for your great products (tracking/prosper202) as well btw Wes:)

  12. July 14, 2008

    lot of free rewards.

    wonderful and helpful article.
    Thanks :)

  13. Tim
    July 14, 2008

    What do you do about paying taxes on the 2% cash back? Does your accountant say its treated as income or what. It would suck if you get hit with taxes on it since your only getting like 1.3% or so back then. Still better then nothing.

  14. Patrick
    July 14, 2008

    Certainly there is some serious money saved with Plum esp. if you spend >7 figures p.a.

  15. July 15, 2008

    Thanks for the info. I am going to have to look into this.

  16. Gee
    July 15, 2008

    We don’t have the plum card here in Canada. I use the AMEX Airmiles reward miles card.

    niche-affiliate-marketing. com

  17. July 15, 2008

    Thanks for the tips, I’ll be checking this out…

  18. July 16, 2008

    think about what that would be in a year lol:D

  19. July 16, 2008

    how much is the credit limit for the cards per month? is it like a fixed one or something?

  20. July 16, 2008

    oh i got a promo going on on my blog so you will get a $200 bucks for a free live forex account…if you love trading currencies, keep my commandments lol!

  21. ebizpoint
    July 22, 2008

    You are smart guy. Please, when you write such posts specify on first paragraph for whom these posts. There are a lot of affiliates from outside US (Australia, Europe, Asia) who read your Blog. Mostly, this post is useless for international affiliates.

  22. July 24, 2008

    Ok, got my super pimp Amex plum card today. No limit – 2% cash back (if you spend over $5000 per month). Sweet!

  23. September 14, 2010

    I have search at many sites and not come across such a site as yours that tells everyone i want to know. i have added you to my bookmarks can somebody else suggest other related topics that i can search for to find out more information?

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