Executive Summary -
This is the official business card of askmrcreditcard.com (ie we use this card). It is a great card for those who pay in full because you earn 1.5% cash back. But you also have the option to extend your payment out for 60 days if you pay 10% of your balance. This will come in handy for businesses who need a sudden line of working capital to fulfill orders. That is why American Express calls this a card that acts like a trade line.
This business card is the official business credit card for AskMrCreditCard.com and in our opinion, one of the most innovative business card around. I use it primarily for the cash rebates and also because it has no preset spending limits. But there is more to the card than just these features. Let's find out more.
Card Details - The reason why this is really an innovative card is because it is both a cash back business credit card, but it also has a line of credit that resembles more of a vendor financing type deal than a typical credit card.
Plum As A Cash Back Card - To start off, the card pays you 1.5% cash back on everything that you purchase. To earn the 1.5% cash back, you have to pay off your bills in full within 10 days. What this means is that you pay in full as though you have a 10 day grace period, you will get the 1.5% cash back. For those of you who really want to know the details, here is how it works. As a sign up bonus, you will earn 2% cash back during the first six months when you pay off your bills in full.
For a regular credit card, say your cycle date is the 1st of every month. If you have a 20 grace period, your due date is the 20th of the month. If you have a 25 day grace period, the due date is the 25th of every month. To earn your 1.5% for the Plum Card, your due date will be on the 10th in this example.
Using the Plum For "Vendor Financing or Trade Terms" - Any business who buys from a supplier realizes how important trade terms and vendor financing are. Every business is trying to shoot for at least 90 day trade terms. But these days, with big corporations squeezing their suppliers, favorable terms are harder to come by because every small business is getting squeezed. This is where the Plum Card shines. You can 0% financing for 60 days with just a 10% down payment. How does this work practically?
Well. let's use the previous example. Your cycle date is the 1st of every month. Your normal due date is the 25th of every month. When you bill is due on the 25th, you can choose to pay only 10% and pay off the bill fully on the next due date. Therefore, by paying 10% down, you essentially get 0% financing for the rest of the 90% for 60 days. With a regular credit card, you would pay the minimum payment, and any unpaid portion will start accruing interest.
This feature is invaluable because firstly, you may not even get 60 day trade terms with your vendors. Secondly, should a big order arrive and you need working capital urgently, this card (with no preset spending limit) is a great alternative to approaching your banker when time is a constraint.
Open Savings - Like all Amex Business Cards, you can get discounts at OPENSAVINGs merchants.
Verdict - This card is unique among business credit cards in that it functions more like a trade line. Typically, a business owner might have a business credit card with a line of say $50,000. This will be considered by most as a line of credit. If the business owner chooses to carry a balance, he or she will have a float for about 20 days (standard grace period) and they will be charged an interest (the APR) if they do not pay their balance in full on the billing date. The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN instead allows you to defer paying your balance for longer than the usual 20 day grace period. This looks more like a "proper" line of credit.
If the business owner pays in full, they will earn cash back for that month, which is higher than most business cash back credit cards and there is no cap on how much rebates you can earn (note: many business cards now cap the rebates you can earn on things like gasoline etc).
So is the annual fee worth it. Well, this is how I would look at this card. For those who pay in full, this is a great card because you get cash rebates on your purchases. I view the annual fee as a very cheap option to get interest free finance for more than a month if the business ever needs one. For the business owner that requires a line of credit, this is a great card (in additional to other lines of credit, working capital from banks etc) to have and you also get to diversify your sources of working capital. Even if your business is such that you pay in full every month, it is a cheap option to have interest free line just in case your business ever needs it.
To sum up, this is a business card that I would recommend any business owner to consider.
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