The Plum Card® from American Express®

Robin Saks Frankel  in  Business Advertising Disclosure
 Image
Annual Fee:
$0 introductory annual fee your first year, then $250
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
N/A
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees
Bankrate Score: 84 out of 100

Commonly used for: Business, Excellent Credit, No Foreign Transaction Fees.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our business category page.

If you have the type of small business where your cash flow each month can vary wildly, The Plum Card from American Express offers some incentives to help keep your bills under control.

Review

Let’s say you own a snow-removal business. In a good year, you’ll be piling up the earnings all winter. But if it rarely snows? Well…

That’s the type of on-off earner The Plum Card from American Express might be good for. Instead of traditional rewards, you can earn a 1.5% discount on the portion of your eligible balance that you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. You’ll have to pay at least the minimum payment due but think of it as a bonus for good payment behavior.

On the other hand, if you’re waiting for that next snowfall and don’t have the funds to pay in full, this card offers a unique feature that allows you to pay 10% of the balance from new activity. You can then take up to 60 days to pay the remainder of the new balance with no interest.

Is it worth it to pay the annual fee of $250 (waived the first year) for this billing safety cushion? It depends on if you’ll save that much on interest charges over the course of the year. And, if you’ll get the maximum value of the other perks, including free additional employee cards.

There’s a late payment penalty of $38 or 1.5% of the past due amount, whichever is greater. (See Rates & Fees) Plus if you miss paying for two billing periods in a row, the fee is the greater of $38 or 2.99% of the past due amount. (See Rates & Fees) So unless you’re confident you can pay the bills on time and ideally earn the early-pay bonus, you may be better off with another card.

If your cash flow is erratic, or you’re a Type A who pays bills they moment they arrive, this card might work for you. For everyone else, we’d suggest a card that pays higher rewards back in the categories you spend the most.

Who should own this card

This card could be a good choice for someone who can pay their bill within 10 days of receiving it to get a discount or anyone who needs a little flexibility in their payments without penalty.

Advantages
  • The Plum card is a charge card, so there's no pre-set limit. (That doesn't mean unlimited spending, however.)
  • Enjoy an early-pay discount of 1.5% on the portion of eligible charges that you pay within 10 days of the statement closing date, as long as you pay at least the minimum due.
  • You have up to 60 days to pay your bill before it accrues interest as long as you pay the minimum due on time.
  • Additional employee cards are free and they’re also eligible for the early pay discount.
  • Terms apply.
Disadvantages
  • Although its waived the first year, the $250 annual fee is steep.
  • There's a late payment charge of 1.5% then 2.99% of the past due amount (minimum: $38).
  • Other cards will pay rewards without you having to pay the bill so soon after the statement closing date.

(See Rates & Fees)

Fees and APR

  • Annual fee is $250, waived the first year.
  • As this is a charge card, the bill has to paid in full every month.
  • Late payments will be assessed a charge of 1.5% then 2.99% of the past due amount (minimum: $38).
  • There are no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • See Rates & Fees.

Extras and perks and using rewards

The Plum Card also comes with some helpful features that may simplify your bookkeeping. The ReceiptMatch tool lets you add receipts, tags and notes to your transaction history from your desktop or phone. You can also download your statements directly to QuickBooks, which can make it easier to figure out quarterly taxes and overall expenditures.

This card also comes with premium roadside assistance, a global assistance hotline and some return protections on qualifying items purchased with the card.

If you earn the 1.5% discount, it will appear as a credit on the following bill statement.

How this card compares

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
Apply Now On Capital One's secure website
Credit Needed

Excellent, Good

Regular APR

19.24% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

Capital One Spark Cash for Business ranks among the best business rewards credit cards on the market, edging out other business cards – including those offered by Capital One — because of its rewards flexibility.

We love that this card pays the same flat rewards rate on cards issued to employees as those issued to the business owner.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
Credit Needed

Regular APR

18.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$95.

Balance Transfers Intro APR

For companies that spend a lot on staying connected, it’s hard to beat the rewards rate of the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase. This card also offers an outstanding sign-up bonus worth far more than the cost of card ownership.

For rates and fees of The Plum Card from American Express, please click here.