Comparing Business Cards: AMEX Plum, Chase Ink Plus

Are you a business owner looking for new credit card offers? If you’ve spent any amount of time wrapped up in the many details, only to find yourself confused or frustrated, you’re not alone. It’s a time-consuming process and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the different dynamics associated with business credit cards. Rewards programs, cash back, intro APR rates – it’s little wonder most of us find ourselves getting lost in the details.

The truth is, there are many credit offers that include impressive benefits for the business owner. But before you can choose with any degree of confidence, it’s important you understand exactly what you’re choosing – and just as importantly, what you might be walking away from.

Two of the current business credit card offers include the Chase Ink Plus with Ultimate Rewards and the Plum Card from American Express. Both have similar attractions, but as you’ll see, the details reveal a lot about each. Take a look:

Chase Ink Plus with Ultimate Rewards

This low interest credit card offer for small and mid size businesses offers a $100 bonus cash back promo. You can also earn up to 35,000 bonus points during the first year. Since many business owners apply for a business card during their company’s infancy, this can mean big savings during that first year of your business opening. If you travel for business, you’ll also have access to premium travel benefits, including complimentary access to airport lounges. Your rewards points never expire and there are no limitations on how many you can earn.

There’s an annual fee of $60 associated with the Ink Plus, though your first year is waived. The 0% intro APR applies to both purchases and balance transfers. Other fees are comparable with industry standards, such as return check fees and over the credit limit fees.

Plum Business from American Express

With the AMEX Plum, you’ll enjoy the many cash management tools made available by American Express. This alone is worthy of consideration, considering many small business owners are always looking for better budgeting tools. You can pay your balance in full each month or you can break the payments down over two months with no interest. When you do pay in full within ten days of your purchases, you’ll earn a 1.5% discount. This incentive is another way to stay on top of your expenses.

It’s always interesting to compare credit cards on the same networks. For instance, this credit card’s reward points are 25% more valuable than the standard AMEX membership rewards when you book your travel through the American Express rewards route. It just goes to show that while comparing competing credit cards is important, you should also look at the various offers within a network.

If there’s any downside to this business credit card offer, it’s the $185 annual fee. It’s waived your first year, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind as you’re weighing your options. While there’s not a traditional rewards program, there are many opportunities to save year round. Further, card holders enjoy benefits such as identity theft assistance, travel accident insurance, emergency card replacement, roadside assistance and car rental loss and damage insurance. Knowing these issues are never too heavy a burden is another great incentive.

Additional Plum cards are $45. It’s important to keep this in mind, especially if you’re looking to provide several employees with a company credit card.

The big selling point with the AMEX Plum is lack of an APR. It’s a standard charge card, but with flexibility that keeps your buying power in your hands.

Again, it’s important to keep in mind there are several offers for business credit cards from both American Express and Chase. For instance, the Business Green Rewards card from American Express OPEN has an annual fee of just $95. Also, the credit requirements are a bit more flexible compared to the Plum card, making it a fine consideration too.

Once you’ve determined what it is you need from your credit card, and what you don’t need, your decision is sure to become clear.

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1 Comment »

One thing that most Business CC comparison sites fail to mention is that the Amex business card, as charge cards, DO NOT BUILD BUSINESS CREDIT.

Because they are charge cards, they report it differently and thus they are essentially worthless for a startup company trying to build business credit. This is an unfortunate consideration, but critical to know nonetheless.

Everything else about it rocks though.

Comment by Ronald Reagan — January 13, 2012

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