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The Plum Card® from American Express review | ZDNet

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When you’re running a small business, many things are unpredictable. One day, you might land a huge client that triggers a record-breaking month of sales. The next day, you could lose a longtime revenue source that you’ve relied on for years. Luckily, American Express designed its Plum Card® with these small business cash-flow challenges in mind.

If cash flow is tight in any given month, the Plum Card allows you to defer part of your payment for 60 days — with no interest. Or, in months where cash flow is steady, you can earn 1.5% cashback if you pay your balance early. In addition to these flexible payment options, the card has several other interesting features for small business owners. 

In this Plum Card from American Express review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the card, including features, pros and cons, and frequently asked questions. Continue reading to learn more and decide if the Plum Card is right for your business.

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What are the pros and cons of the Plum Card?

Pros: 

  • 1.5% cashback when you pay your balance early

  • Defer your payment for up to 60 days, interest-free

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • No preset spending limit

Cons: 

How does the payment deferral feature work with the Plum Card from American Express?

For most cardholders, having the ability to defer bill payments will be the highlight of the Plum Card from American Express. This feature lets you carry an interest-free balance on your card for up to 60 days — as long as you’ve made your minimum payment by the payment due date.

This may not seem like an important feature for some, but it could make a big difference if your monthly cash flow tends to be unpredictable. If you have this card, you can prioritize your most critical business expenses first and get more time to pay off your other bills.

How do you earn cashback with the Plum Card from American Express?

American Express will reward you for paying off your card on time — even if it’s just a portion of the full balance. Any time you pay your balance at least 10 days before the statement closing date, you’ll get unlimited 1.5% cashback on the amount that you paid. After American Express receives your payment, the cashback credit will be applied to your next statement.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that you’ll need to spend a decent amount of money in order for the cashback rewards to offset the $250 annual fee. In fact, you’ll need to charge nearly $17,000 on your Plum Card each year (and pay it off early) to break even on the annual fee.

Can you earn points or rewards with this card?

Unlike many business credit cards, the Plum Card from American Express does not allow you to earn points or rewards. Similarly, there are no bonus categories for spending — just the unlimited 1.5% cashback offer for early payments.

How does the preset spending limit work?

It’s important to mention that the Plum Card is technically a charge card, not a credit card. With these types of cards, there’s no preset spending limit. Instead, American Express adjusts your purchasing power each month based on a number of factors, including your card usage habits, credit history, and your financial situation.

Does the Plum Card from American Express include a welcome offer?

Some people may be eligible for a special sign-up bonus with the Plum Card from American Express. Right now, new cardmembers can earn a $500 statement credit after spending at least $15,000 in the first three months of membership. You can get more details on the company’s website.

What other perks come with the Plum Card from American Express?

Outside of the early- and late-payment flexibility, there are several other benefits that small business owners might appreciate, including: 

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • No annual fees on additional cards for employees

  • Option to set your own billing cycle

  • Access to card management tools, including the American Express Business App and Vendor Pay by Bill.com

  • Car rental insurance and 24/7 Global Assist hotline access

  • Additional services from American Express, including purchase protection, extended warranty, and dispute resolution

Bottom line

All things considered, the Plum Card from American Express is probably only a good choice for a small percentage of small business owners. Specifically, we’d suggest looking into the card if your monthly cash flow and expenses fluctuate significantly from month to month. In these scenarios, the Plum Card could be a worthwhile option because it allows you to defer payments and has no preset spending limit.

For anyone who doesn’t need these features, there are plenty of other small business credit cards to consider — including ones with lower annual fees and better rewards programs. We’ve included some of our top recommendations below.

FAQ

Who can apply for a business credit card?

You’ll need to own a business in order to apply for a business credit card. Luckily, the definition of “business” can be quite broad and includes freelancers, people who sell goods online, and even tutors or dog-walkers. As long as you generate some type of income through your work, you could be considered for a business credit card.

What are the special benefits of small business credit cards?

If you have your own company, it’s important to keep your personal and business expenses separate. With a business credit card, you’ll know exactly what you spent on work-related expenses instead of having to sort through your personal credit card statements and separate the business charges. 

Other perks of business credit cards include a higher spending limit, points and cashback programs, and additional cards for employees.

How are charge cards different from credit cards?

Charge cards and credit cards share many similarities, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there are some key differences to note between the two card types.

Most notably, charge cards don’t allow you to carry a balance and must be paid in full at the end of each billing cycle. (One slight exception: the Plum Card from American Express lets you defer your payment by up to 60 days.) And unlike credit cards, charge cards don’t include a preset spending limit each month.

What is the best business card for small business owners?

The best credit card for your small business will depend on a number of factors, including the type of business, your financial goals, and the features that you need from your credit card.

For example, if you’re looking for a card with no annual fee, you might consider the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. If you want to be rewarded for your business spending, check out the Capital One Spark Cash Plus or the Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

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