UBS launches a new suite of cards for business owners


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This week, UBS Bank USA announced the launch of its new business credit card program, made up of a suite of three cards tailored for UBS business clients in partnership with Visa.

The program’s three cards include the UBS Visa Infinite Business card, UBS Visa Signature Business card and UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business card, each of which offers a unique rewards structure and set of tools to assist business owners in growing and developing their businesses.

Currently, the card program is available only to UBS Global Wealth Management clients. That’s because the cards were designed with the goal of better serving those clients, according to Fred Jubitz, head of the UBS Card Program at UBS Global Wealth Management. Cardholders can benefit in both service and convenience from an established relationship with the bank and its financial advisors.

If you’re a client of UBS and looking for a new card to separate your business expenses from personal spending, here’s a rundown of what each card offers:

The details

While designing the card suite, Jubitz says, UBS looked to cardholders of the bank’s personal cards. They found that many top clients were already business owners looking for products that serve their business needs.

Each card in the UBS business suite has a 17.49 percent variable APR for purchases and offers an introductory zero percent APR for the first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 90 days of account opening. UBS does charge a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3 percent of the balance, whichever is greater. Both the UBS Visa Infinite Business and the Cash Rewards card offer no foreign transaction fees, while the Signature charges 3% on foreign purchases.

UBS business credit cards offer reporting tools and control solutions specifically for businesses, like Visa Business Reporting and Visa Payment Controls, plus up to 15 percent savings on business purchases with Visa SavingsEdge®. Business owners can also request up to 24 additional employee cards at no additional cost.

For rewards, Jubitz says, “Research showed us that a significant portion of business owners value a cash rewards product but they also value general rewards programs, such as a travel rewards programs, as well. So we decided to build three products to serve client needs.”

UBS Visa Infinite Business card

The most premium card in the product line is the UBS Visa Infinite Business, which comes with a hefty $550 annual fee.

For the price, though, you’ll get perks like Priority Pass Select Membership, up to a $500 yearly statement credit to use towards another airport lounge membership, $350 in annual domestic airline credit (towards one airline of choice), UBS Concierge access, up to $5,000 in trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, up to $10,000 per claim in purchase security and more benefits through the premium Visa Infinite benefits program.

The rewards structure is also competitive. You can earn 3X points on air travel and hotel stays, 2X points on select business purchases (up to $200,000 per year) and 1X points on everything else, redeemable through the UBS My Choice Rewards program. You can also earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months.

The UBS Visa Infinite Business card’s earn rate is competitive, says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate.

“If you use those points to book air travel through UBS, you can get an airline ticket up to $900 for 50,000 points (1.8 cents per point if you max it out),” he says. “At that threshold, every dollar spent on air travel or hotel stays yields 5.4 cents in value, which is very good. Every dollar spent on office supplies, shipping, advertising, cable, Internet and phone could yield as much as 3.6 cents in value.”

UBS Visa Signature Business card

The UBS Visa Signature Business card is the only card in the lineup with no annual fee.

According to Jubitz, this card “is really designed for business owners who are looking for a no-fee card without having to be committed to one airline or hotel rewards program.” You can earn 1 point for every dollar spent, redeemable through the UBS My Choice Rewards program, plus 5,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

The card also offers additional benefits like UBS Concierge access, roadside assistance and lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000, among others.

UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business card

The third business card in the lineup offers a simple rewards structure for a $150 annual fee.With the UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business card, you can earn 2 percent back on your first $100,000 in eligible purchases annually and 1 percent back on every purchase after that. You can also enjoy a $150 bonus after spending $5,000 within the first three months.

You may redeem cash back as a statement credit or a deposit into your UBS Business Services Account.

“The Cash Rewards product is designed for business owners who are bottom-line focused and really value simplicity,” Jubitz says. “While travel rewards are really valuable for many people, some people just value the simplicity of cash back.”

UBS My Choice Rewards

While the UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business earns simple, direct cash back on every purchase, the other two cards in the suite earn points that are redeemed through UBS’ flexible rewards platform, My Choice Rewards, a program similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards.

Points are redeemable for flights or hotels (with no blackout dates or restrictions), merchandise, gift cards, and statement credits. You’ll get the most value by using your points for travel, though. With UBS’ flexible redemptions, you can get one airline ticket worth up to $900 for just 50,000 points or one airline ticket worth up to $350 for just 25,000 points.

As long as your card account remains open, My Choice Rewards points never expire.

Bottom line

If you’re a small business owners, sole proprietor or professional looking for a way to separate business from personal expenses and already a client with UBS, these cards offer a host of premium benefits, conveniences and rewards that can be highly lucrative if you’re able to take advantage of them all.

Still, many business owners may just as well find value in comparable cards on the market offering lower barriers to entry, whether you’re looking for premium travel rewards or flat cash back.

For instance, Rossman recommends the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business as a simple cash back business card. “That one is super simple: unlimited 2 percent cash back on everything you buy with no annual fee the first year and $95 after that.”

On the other end of the spectrum, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers premium travel rewards redemptions and a comparably extensive list of perks for business travelers that help balance its $595 annual fee.

Before taking on any card for your business expenses, decide which rewards and perks are right for you and your business needs. You can use Bankrate’s guide to the Best Business Cards of 2020 to get started.