The Plum Card® from American Express review
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The Plum Card® from American Express Card Overview
The Plum Card® from American Express is a business charge card and not a traditional business credit card, meaning you cannot carry a long-term balance on it. Interestingly, you do have the option to pay your balance in full within 60 days without any interest provided you pay the minimum payment due by your due date.
Instead of rewards, you can secure an unlimited 1.5 percent discount on the portion of your balance that you pay within 10 days of your account statement closing date. The Plum Card doesn’t come with many benefits, but the early payment discount could be lucrative for businesses who spend a lot on plastic each month and don’t want to deal with earning rewards.
What are the pros and cons?
- High annual fee: $250
- Discount rate is lackluster when compared to other business cards
- No welcome bonus
- No traditional rewards structure
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards Rate: Receive a 1.5 percent discount on the portion of your balance that you pay within 10 days of your account statement closing date
- Welcome Offer: None
- Annual Fee: $250
- Purchase Intro APR: N/A
- Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: N/A
Current welcome offer
The Plum Card doesn’t offer business owners any kind of initial bonus, which makes it lackluster when you compare it to the best small business credit cards, some of which let you earn an initial bonus worth up to $1,000 or more.
If you’re interested in earning a welcome offer and want an American Express credit card in particular, you should check out cards like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Business Gold Card.
Earning a discount on your spending
The Plum Card doesn’t offer any “rewards” per se, but you do earn a discount on your credit card bill when you pay it in full within a specified timeline.
Earning a discount
Once you sign up for the Plum Card, you’ll get a 1.5 percent discount on your credit card bill when you pay your credit card statement off within 10 days of your statement closing date. This means that, if you charge $10,000 in business expenses to your charge card within any given month, you can pay your bill in its entirety within 10 days of your account statement closing date and only owe $9,850 (instead of $10,000).
Keep in mind that you’re not earning rewards you can spend later on. This card only offers the 1.5 percent back as a discount on your bill, so you won’t accumulate a rewards balance.
How much are points worth?
The discount you receive when you pay your bill early is 1.5 percent, so you don’t earn “points” with this card.
The Plum Card is fairly basic, so it doesn’t come with a ton of cardmember perks. With that being said, there are some very basic benefits you should know and understand.
60 days to pay with no interest
While you cannot carry long-term debt on this card, as it’s a charge card and not a credit card, the Plum Card does give you 60 days without interest to pay your balance provided you complete any minimum payments due during that time. This benefit can buy you some time if you want to pay for a large purchase over a few months instead of right away.
Just remember if you take 60 days to pay your balance, you won’t earn the 1.5 percent discount on your bill.
No foreign transaction fees
You won’t pay any foreign transaction fees when you use this charge card to make purchases outside of the United States.
Global Assist hotline
When you travel more than 100 miles from home, you can use this hotline for assistance with medical, legal and passport referrals, emergency cash wires and other types of emergency assistance.
Receive purchase protection against damage and theft for covered items up to 90 days from the purchase date. This protection is worth up to $1,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 per eligible card.
Get up to one additional year of extended warranty protection on eligible items. Coverage is good for up to $10,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 per eligible card.
Car rental loss and damage insurance
Cardmembers and their authorized drivers can qualify for up to $50,000 in coverage for damage or theft of a rental vehicle when they pay for a rental in its entirety with an eligible card.
This protection can help you return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller or retailer won’t take them back when you try to make a return within 90 days. This coverage is good for up to $300 per item with a maximum benefit of $1,000 per calendar year per account.
Rates and Fees
Since the Plum Card is a charge card and not a credit card, it doesn’t come with an interest rate at all. You’ll be asked to pay $250 per year to keep your card. A $39 late payment fee can apply, or you can be asked to pay 1.5 percent of any past due amount, whichever is greater. If you do not pay your bill for two billing periods in a row, however, the fee grows to $39 or 2.99 percent of the past due amount.
A returned payment fee of $39 can also apply.
How the Plum Card from American Express compares to other business cards
Before you sign up for a new business credit card or business charge card, you should compare a few different options across issuers to see how they stack up.
The following chart shows how the Plum Card compares to two other credit cards for business owners, including one with no annual fee:
When you compare the Plum Card to a few other business credit cards, it’s easy to see where it falls short. First, the Plum Card is a charge card, so you don’t have the option to carry a balance beyond 60 days, even if you really needed to. Not only that, but the Plum Card doesn’t offer any sort of welcome bonus and comes with a pricey $250 annual fee.
The Ink Business Unlimited® credit card offers 1.5 percent cash back (rather than a percent discount on your bill), but you can redeem your rewards for statement credits that work the same as a discount. You can also cash in your rewards for gift cards, merchandise, travel through Chase and more. You even get a $750 bonus when you spend $7,500 on your card within three months of account opening. There’s no annual fee either, so it’s really a no-brainer.
With that being said, it’s hard to argue against the Capital One Spark Cash Plus charge card, which offers one of the best unlimited cash back rates among business credit cards and a flexible spending limit similar to the Amex Plum. You’ll earn a flat 2 percent back on all your spending and can redeem your rewards for statement credits and more at any amount, or you can set your rewards to automatically redeem at certain balance threshold or yearly date for one of the easiest rewards experiences possible. You’ll also qualify for a great cash back bonus—earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first three months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first six months of account opening. Further, you’ll only pay a $150 annual fee, whereas the Plum Card charges $250.
Best cards to pair the Plum Card from American Express with
If you decide to sign up for the Plum Card, you may want to pair it with a personal credit card that lets you earn rewards on your regular spending and bills. That way, you could earn a 1.5 percent discount on business purchases you pay off right away, but also earn some rewards for yourself.
Consider pairing this card with a personal cash back credit card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 2 percent back on all your spending—1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off. The Citi Double Cash also comes with no annual fee.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Plum Card from American Express worth it?
At the end of the day, there are much better business credit cards than the Plum Card. The fact that it’s a charge card means you don’t have the option to carry a balance for more than 60 days, and the $250 annual fee is really high for a card that really only gives you a 1.5 percent discount.
With that being said, you could still consider this card if you don’t want to earn rewards and really just want to score a discount on all your purchases. Just remember that you’ll need to spend at least $16,675 on your card each year just to earn $250 in early payment discounts to make up for the $250 annual fee. If you don’t spend that much on your business each year, then the discount you’re earning won’t be worth it.
For rates and fees of the Plum Card from American Express, please click here.