For any business owner, having affordable access to funding is a key to ongoing success. The additional of a credit card geared specifically toward operating a business is ideal for making major purchases for the company without having to tap into precious cash on hand. Having the opportunity earn rewards on those credit card purchases for the business is beneficial as well, as it ultimately leads to valuable points that can be used for a variety of business – or personal – redemption.
American Express offers a number of credit cards designed with the business owner in mind. The Business Green Rewards credit card is a simple business card that provides a number of benefits and perks only found under the American Express name. But first, the card basics.
The Ins and Outs of Business Green
True to the American Express way, the Business Green Rewards credit card is not truly a credit card. Instead, it operates as a charge card for business owners. This means that any purchases made with the Green Rewards card are to be paid in full by the time the due date rolls around, and balances are not carried forward from month to month. This allows American Express to offer the Business Green Rewards credit (charge) card to business owners without the confines of a spending or credit limit, and without any interest charges each billing cycle.
The absence of a spending limit is beneficial to business owners in times where cash flow is tight, but the Membership Rewards offered through American Express provide an additional perk to utilizing the Green Rewards card for the majority of business-related spending. Card members earn one point for each dollar spent on qualifying purchases. The spending categories that qualify for rewards points are generally in the realm of business purchases, making this card a great fit for business owners who buy often, or buy heavily for the company.
In addition, card members earn two points for each dollar spent on travel accommodations booked through the American Express Travel website. For business owners always on the go, the bonus points earned for travel purchases are a valuable added benefit. Regardless of how they are earned, accumulated Membership Rewards points can be used toward over a million reward options through American Express. Shopping and gift cards at partner merchants, restaurants, retailers and travel can all be purchased with Membership Rewards points. Card members also have the newly added option of paying with accumulated points through the American Express travel site when reservations or bookings are made.
Currently, American Express is offering a welcome bonus for new card members who apply for an accept the Green Rewards card. After the first qualifying purchase is made with the card within 365 days of account opening, 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points are added to the account automatically.
Green Rewards Benefits
Business owners who are Green Rewards card members have access to a wide range of additional perks offered through the American Express program. Both mobile and tablet applications are available that make paying monthly bills, checking an account balance, reviewing benefits and general card management simple on the go. Card members can also establish account alerts that provide real-time information on payment due dates, irregular spending activity or purchases.
To assist business owners in maintaining a solid grip on purchase habits and total spending each bill cycle, American Express Business Green Rewards card members also have access to free features that include the ability to add a trusted partner as account manager. Green card account managers can handle everyday tasks related to the credit card, like making payment and disputing charges. ReceiptMatch is another great tool offered directly to Business Green Rewards card members that allows card members the ability to easily add receipts to an account and tag, note or manage transactions to ensure spending is monitored and controlled.
Additional cards can be authorized for use by card members, giving them the opportunity to earn additional rewards through employee spending. Fret not, however; employee cards can be set-up with specific spending limits and account alerts that let the business owner know who is spending on what each month, and to what extent.
One of the most helpful features of American Express is the OPEN Forum – a repository of articles and educational information focuses on financial management for business owners. Tools and advice are available at no additional cost to card members.
Finally, Business Green Rewards card members have built in purchase protection and extended warranty provisions up to certain limits on qualified purchases. Card members also have travel accident insurance, baggage insurance coverage, rental car loss and damage insurance as well as access to the Global Assist Hotline.
Green Rewards Card Costs
As a chard card, the American Express Business Green Rewards card does not accrue interest on outstanding balances; instead, card members are required to pay any accumulated spending in full each month. The Green Rewards card does carry an annual fee of $95, but the charge is waived for the first year for new card members. For business owners who plan to spend or travel heavily outside the United States, the Green Rewards card may not be the smartest option as it does impose foreign transaction fees of 2.7% on purchases made outside the country.
The American Express Business Green Rewards card does not have a spending or credit limit as a charge card, but card members should be aware that late payment fees apply. A charge of $38 or 2.99% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater, is due on any payments made past the due date. Additionally, a returned payment fee of $38 applies.
The American Express Business Green Rewards charge card is a smart choice for business owners who like simplicity in a card and in their rewards program. The ability to earn two times the points on certain business-related categories allows card members to accumulate valuable points that can be redeemed for a wide range of rewards. Even more value is attached to travel purchases when made through the American Express Travel sit. However, for business owners who have concerns over steady cash flow and do minimal spending on travel, another business-focused credit card may be a better, more suitable choice.