Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

The Plum Card® from American Express Review

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The Plum Card® from American Express Review

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back when you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. Need more time? You got up to 60 days to pay without interest. Don’t miss out!

The Plum Card® from American Express Review

The Plum Card® from American Express Review

Learn More

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back when you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. Need more time? You got up to 60 days to pay without interest. Don’t miss out!

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Introduction

When it comes to business credit cards, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; it fundamentally boils down to your company’s spending habits and financial needs. Among the plethora of options on the market, The Plum Card® from American Express stands out, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses that experience fluctuations in cash flow.

It’s not your typical credit card; it’s a charge card with a unique proposition—take 60 days to pay your bill without interest or receive a 1.5% early pay discount. Noteworthy is the absence of foreign transaction fees, making it suitable for businesses with international transactions.

Welcome Bonus

The allure of a welcome bonus can be particularly potent for new cardholders, often tipping the scales in favor of one credit card over another. As of the latest information available to potential cardholders, The Plum Card from American Express does not come with a standard welcome offer in the form of bonus points or statement credits, which may be prevalent with other business credit cards.

Welcome bonuses sometimes come and go based on promotional periods or particular campaigns that American Express might run. It is always wise for prospective cardholders to check the latest offers directly from American Express or through trusted financial platforms to see if a new promotion has been introduced.

While the lack of a substantial introductory reward might put The Plum Card at a disadvantage when compared to other cards in the opening salvo, it compensates with ongoing features that can benefit the bottom line of a business year-round.

Key Takeaways:

  • No Standard Welcome Bonus: Unlike other business cards, The Plum Card® does not typically offer a welcome bonus in points or cash back.
  • Check for Promotions: It’s advisable to stay updated with American Express promos in case they offer a limited-time welcome bonus for new cardholders.

The focus should always remain on how the card aligns with your business spending habits and financial strategies rather than the lure of an initial bonus alone.

Earning Rewards

Understanding how to maximize the rewards with The Plum Card® from American Express is crucial for any business looking to leverage their spending. The card adopts a straightforward approach to rewards, eschewing the more common points-based system for a flat cash back incentive.

Key Takeaways:

  • Earning Mechanism: Instead of earning points, The Plum Card® offers cardholders a 1.5% discount on the amount of their payment when they pay early, with no cap on the amount of discount that can be earned.
  • Pay Early, Earn More: To be eligible for the 1.5% early pay discount, the payment must be made within ten days of the statement closing date.
  • Unlimited Earnings: There is no limit to the amount of cash back that a cardholder can earn. This unlocks greater earning potential for businesses with higher expenditures.
  • No Spending Categories: Rewards are not tied to specific spending categories, giving businesses complete flexibility in how they can earn discounts.

The absence of spending categories streamlines rewards for cardholders by eliminating the need to track and strategize around bonus categories, which can be a significant advantage for businesses whose spending doesn’t align with typical bonus categories on other cards.

How to Maximize Rewards:

  • Timing Payments: By aligning their cash flow to make payments early, businesses can consistently earn cash back and boost their bottom line.
  • Managing Cash Flow: For periods when cash flow is tight, the option to defer payment for up to 60 days without incurring interest provides breathing room without sacrificing rewards potential.

The rewards system under The Plum Card® is designed to incentivize and reward prompt payments, making it a unique tool for businesses that can manage and take advantage of this setup. It’s also worth noting that while some cards have complex reward redemption processes, The Plum Card keeps things simple with its automatic discount system.

However, it’s essential to remember that because The Plum Card® is a charge card, the balance must be paid in full each statement period, or within 60 days to avoid the late fee. This can be both a tool for disciplined fiscal management and a restriction for businesses needing more flexible credit options.

Redeeming Rewards

The unique early pay discount on The Plum Card from American Express simplifies the redemption process for busy business owners. This no-fuss cash back reward is automatically applied as a statement credit, which means less management and more convenience.

  • Automatic Redemption: The 1.5% early pay discount is automatically credited to your statement, so you don’t have to take any additional steps to redeem your rewards.
  • Cash Flow Management: By taking advantage of the discount, businesses effectively reduce their overall expenses, which can free up cash flow.
  • No Redemption Threshold: Unlike some cards, which may require a minimum amount of rewards to redeem, The Plum Card applies your discounts as soon as you earn them.
  • No Expiry on Discounts: The discounts earned for paying early do not expire as they are applied to your account each billing cycle.

Strategies for Redemption:

  • Optimize Billing Cycles: Align your billing cycle with your business cash flow to maximize the potential for early payments and thus, discounts.
  • Leverage Payment Terms: Use the card for purchases that might otherwise require immediate outlay and pay early to enjoy cash back while still maintaining cash on hand.

The straightforward approach means that cash back rewards are effectively easier to track and use compared to points or miles, which may vary in value depending on how they are redeemed. Cardholders can consistently apply their discounts to reduce their card statements, making rewards redemption hassle-free.

Perks and Benefits

One of the primary motivations for choosing a business card like The Plum Card® from American Express is the suite of perks and benefits designed to meet the needs of businesses. Understanding these benefits can help cardholders make an informed decision and take full advantage of what the card has to offer.

Perks:

  • Payment Flexibility: The Plum Card® provides the option to pay in full within 60 days on purchases, without interest, which is ideal for businesses with irregular cash flow.
  • No Preset Spending Limit: The card adapts to your use and payment behavior over time, offering buying power that grows with your business.
  • Travel Benefits: Cardholders enjoy no foreign transaction fees, making international business transactions more cost-effective.
  • Expense Management Tools: American Express offers a range of tools to track and manage expenses, simplifying the process for business owners.
  • Buying Power Expansion: Businesses can spend beyond their credit limit with Expanded Buying Power, which adjusts with card usage, payment history, credit record, and other factors.

Additional Benefits:

  • Employee Cards: The ability to get employee cards at no additional cost, allowing for easy expense consolidation and management.
  • Travel and Purchase Protections: The card may include certain protections like car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty on eligible purchases.
  • Customized Billing: Businesses can choose their billing cycle to better align with their cash flow, simplifying financial planning.
  • Account Manager: Assign an Account Manager to handle card management tasks such as reviewing statements or making payments on behalf of the business.
  • Dispute Resolution: American Express provides support for fraudulent or incorrect charges, offering peace of mind for business transactions.

The Plum Card® equips business owners with tools and benefits that save time, manage cash flow, and offer the potential for unplanned spending when needed.

Pros and Cons

Here’s a balanced view of The Plum Card from American Express, offering insight into the card’s strengths and potential limitations.

Pros:

  • Payment Flexibility: The option to defer payment for up to 60 days interest-free is a significant boon for managing cash flow.
  • 1.5% Early Pay Discount: An uncomplicated reward system that incentivizes and rewards early payments without any caps.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: International businesses can save considerably on fees that would otherwise accrue with each transaction abroad.
  • No Preset Spending Limit: Your purchasing power adjusts over time, offering greater flexibility for business growth.
  • Expense Management: Easy tracking and management of business expenditures are facilitated by comprehensive expense management tools.

Cons:

  • Annual Fee: The $250 annual fee may deter some businesses, especially smaller ones that are very cost-conscious.
  • No Welcome Bonus: The absence of an introductory offer might make the card less attractive compared to other business credit cards with generous sign-up incentives.
  • Lack of Bonus Categories: While the simplicity of a flat reward rate is appealing, some businesses might miss out on higher rewards in spending categories that align with their frequent expenses.
  • Full Balance Payments: As a charge card, the full balance must be paid in full, which isn’t ideal for businesses that sometimes carry a balance.

Weighting the Pros and Cons:

  • Cash Flow Assessment: Assess if the cash flow benefit aligns with your business model and whether it outweighs the lack of welcome bonus or rewards categories.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Determine if the consistent potential for a 1.5% discount and other benefits justify the annual fee for your business.
  • Spending Behavior: Consider if your business’s spending behavior matches well with The Plum Card®’s strengths, especially with respect to early payments.

Reflecting on these points should assist prospective cardholders in deciding whether the benefits of The Plum Card® align with their business strategies and financial practices.

Comparison to Other Cards

When evaluating The Plum Card® from American Express, it’s crucial to stack it up against its competitors in the business credit card space to see how it stands out and where it may lag behind. Flexibility, rewards, and cost are typical factors businesses consider when choosing a card.

Comparison Points:

  • Cash Flow Flexibility: The 60-day payment window provided by The Plum Card is exceptionally accommodating for businesses with variable cash flow, distinguishing it from many other business cards that require monthly payments.
  • Flat-rate Rewards: The card’s 1.5% early payment discount is predictable and straightforward compared to other cards that offer complex points systems often tied to spending categories or tiers.
  • Annual Fee: At a $250 annual fee, The Plum Card® is on the higher end compared to some other business credit cards, which might offer lower fees or waive the fee for the first year.
  • Lack of Introductory APR: Some competing cards offer introductory 0% APR periods, which can be beneficial for businesses planning to carry a balance over the first several months or year of usage.

Competing Cards:

  • Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: This card offers no annual fee and cash-back rewards in various spending categories.
  • Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: With an unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase and a lower annual fee after the first year, this card targets frequent business travelers.
  • American Express® Business Gold Card: The Business Gold Card earns more points on the top two select categories each billing cycle, with the annual fee landing in a similar range to The Plum Card®.

Each of these competitors presents a distinct structure in terms of rewards and costs. The Plum Card®, with its focus on cash flow management, is tailor-made for businesses facing the ebb and flow of income and expenditures. While some business owners may be enticed by the category-specific rewards or travel perks of other cards, The Plum Card® shines for those who value simplicity and payment flexibility over intricate rewards programs.

Considerations:

  • Spending Patterns: The effectiveness of The Plum Card® rewards system is maximized with disciplined, early payments. If your business regularly carries a balance, other cards might be more suitable.
  • Business Size and Nature: Smaller businesses that may struggle with cash flow unpredictability might benefit most from The Plum Card®, while larger businesses with more regular cash flow might prefer a card offering more substantial points or travel rewards.
  • Other Fees: Always compare other potential fees such as late fees, foreign transaction fees, and the costs associated with additional cards for employees.

By carefully assessing the business’s needs against the backdrop of these factors, the optimal card choice can be discerned.

Conclusion

In conclusion, The Plum Card® from American Express offers a unique set of features that may align well with businesses seeking flexibility in their cash flow management. Its 1.5% early payment discount, lack of foreign transaction fees, and no preset spending limit are attractive attributes for the right company. However, the annual fee and the necessity of paying the balance in full may deter some. Ideal for small to medium-sized businesses with variable cash flow, The Plum Card® can be an excellent tool in your financial arsenal if used strategically to its full potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using a business credit card for company expenses? Business credit cards offer numerous benefits, including easier expense tracking, improved cash flow management, potential rewards on spending, and often provide additional perks such as travel insurance and extended warranty protections.

How can a business credit card help with cash flow management? A business credit card allows companies to make purchases and delay payment until the statement due date, which can provide a temporary cushion for cash flow. Some cards, like The Plum Card from American Express, offer even more flexibility with extended payment terms.

What should I consider when choosing a business credit card? Consider the annual fee, reward earning rates, reward redemption options, additional cardholder benefits (such as travel perks and expense management tools), and how the card’s credit terms align with your business’s cash flow.

Can I give employee cards with a business credit card, and are there any additional costs? Most business credit cards allow you to issue employee cards. Some cards provide them at no extra charge, while others may have a fee. These cards can help consolidate expenses and potentially earn more rewards.

What is the difference between a charge card and a credit card? The main difference is that a charge card typically requires you to pay the full balance every month, while a credit card allows you to carry a balance over time, usually with interest charges. Charge cards, such as The Plum Card® from American Express, may offer more flexibility in payment terms but don’t permit indefinite balance carryovers.

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