If you think consumer credit card companies are competitive, the companies that offer business credit cards bring competition to a new level. Not only that, but with the economy slowly making a bit of recovery, banks and card networks are really targeting businesses of all sizes in an effort of speeding up that recovery. Toss in business travel rewards, and suddenly, business owners can feel like a 16 year old prom queen being courted by every middle school boy within a ten mile radius.
From a grand perspective, business credit cards are quite similar. Businesses vary greatly, whether it’s their size, services or products, but it always comes down to the same thing: keeping spending in check while looking for ways to increase profits. Business owners are more likely to carefully review the terms and conditions, weigh the benefits and choose the one that stands out enough. For those whose companies that require offsite meetings, business travel rewards take on a new meaning.
This week, we explore two of the most popular business travel rewards cards. Will U.S. Bank be able to compete with American Express? Keep reading and decide for yourself.
American Express Platinum Business Card
The AMEX Platinum Business credit card is really one of the most versatile offers available for business owners. You always have access to the credit you need and one reason it’s such a popular choice is the absence of an expiration date for those travel rewards. No limits on how many you can earn, either. Not only that, but when you shop through the Amex site, you can enjoy even more savings on products from FedEx, AT&T, USA Today and many more. Expect to save anywhere from 3% to 25%.
A word of caution, though: this isn’t a traditional credit card. It’s a charge card, which historically has meant the balance was due in full every month. Those have eased in recent years, though. These days, charge cards might include the convenience of breaking up a balance into three or four monthly payment increments. Many business owners have the option of $50,000 credit limits. Keep in mind, however, that credit ratings play a role, regardless of whether it’s the business credit or the business owner’s credit ratings.
This is a new addition to the suite of American Express business credit cards. It allows business owners to really simplify the way they manage the many receipts a company collects over the course of a year. ReceiptMatch is part of the OPEN network. It can digitally match and then organize and store images of the business’s receipts to the online statement. Many business owners use this to better manage their finances while remaining diligent in areas that they perhaps need to rein in.
Other features include Extended Warranty, which provides an additional layer of protection. It can extend the terms of a manufacturer’s warranty by a year, provided the purchase is made with your business travel rewards credit card. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000 but no more than $50,000 per card member account per calendar year.
Identity Theft Assistance
A single call to the AMEX customer service team puts them to work immediately if you believe your identity has been stolen. The teams of professionals know what to do, where to look and what not to do. It’s just an added AMEX bonus.
The card company also begins an investigation anytime your card was used illegally. You don’t have to pay the balance until the situation has been resolved.
Balance transfers are allowed with this Amex business travel rewards credit card. Also, your first two employee cards are free and each has its own spending limits. The charges are separated in the monthly statement accordingly. A few more of the many benefits associated with this card are accidental travel insurance, purchase protection plan for damaged goods and finally, an interactive business community that’s always available to provide support and interaction.
For a limited time, enjoy 25,000 Membership Rewards when you spend $5,000 during the first ninety days of your card membership. Enjoy a 20% travel savings when you use your rewards points to cover your airline tickets.
This is another fine business travel rewards product. As mentioned, it shares many of the same perks and benefits as not only the American Express card offers, but business travel rewards cards as well. You’ll receive 17,500 bonus FlexPoints after you make $2,500 in purchases within in the first 150 days. Even better is that once you accumulate 20,000 points, you can then upgrade your flight with no blackout dates. This applies to more than 150 airlines, too. One point for every dollar spent on gas and office supplies and there’s even a referral program that allows you to earn 5,000 FlexPoints when your friend opens an account.
You’ll earn another point for every dollar spent on gas, flights or office supplies. Do you routinely donate to charities? Use your FlexPoints to do so and earn triple points. Refer a friend to apply and use the credit card earns another 5,000 FlexPoints.
This is a strong offer, so much so, that many business card holders also apply for the consumer credit card. It too offers impressive benefits.
The versatility of the FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Visa is another reason many business owners – and certainly small business owners – are drawn to it. Many opportunities to earn FlexPoints, including the option of pooling all of the FlexPoints from the company’s credit cards. Employee cards are no problem. This is beneficial, of course, for a number of reasons, tax reasons mostly.
There’s another exciting feature with this card. You can now incorporate LinkedIn into your US Bank relations. This is a great resource for networking. While you certainly don’t want to discuss your company’s finances on any internet forum, you just might find that perfect supplier or a client who’s in need of exactly the services and products you offer.
With the FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Visa Card, you and your employees can keep business and personal expenses separate, if you allow personal charges. Paying bills is easier when you’re better able to categorize those charges.
Blackout dates and problems with seat availability are rare, partly because of the 150 participating airlines. Further, with minimum purchases throughout the year, you can easily eliminate the annual fee. Around the clock account access and optional electronic statements add even more convenience.
National Car Rental Company is one of the many partners and cardholders report this partnership is especially beneficial. Remember, though, it’s just one of many perks offered by U.S. Bank.
Finally, remember that terms and conditions change, so you’ll want to stay on top of the latest revisions. It’s the one biggest thing you can do to look out for the well-being of not only your business, but your livelihood as well.
Have you been able to discern which business travel rewards credit card is best for your needs? Share your thoughts with us and let us know which one serves your needs and why. Have a business card that’s even better? We want to hear about that, too.