Editor’s Note: American Express is a partner of Fundera.
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to take out a business credit card: you can simplify your bookkeeping, cushion your cash flow, and establish and improve your business credit, to name just a few.
But if what you’re really attracted to are the rewards and perks that come with a credit card, we don’t blame you—they can be valuable for your business.
In fact, every dollar you’re not spending on a cash back credit card is money you’re not saving. But if you use one of these best business credit cards for cash back, you’re saving 1.5 – 5% of every dollar spent.
Sounds pretty good? We think so, too.
We’re here to break down the cash back rewards of two business credit cards: American Express’s Plum Card and SimplyCash Plus. Use this guide to choose the option that’s best for your business.
The American Express Plum Card is a small business charge card that doesn’t have a typical rewards system—you won’t get extra cash back when you spend in certain categories or earn miles for airline travel. Instead, with the Plum Card, you’ll get cash back for any type of purchase, making it a flexible option for small business owners.
When it comes to cash back on the Plum Card, here’s the deal: if you pay ahead of schedule (within 10 days of your statement closing date), you’ll get 1.5% back on your purchases, with no cap on what you can earn back.
Let’s put numbers to these cash back rewards.
Say you average about $7,000 in monthly expenses. This means you can save $105 each month—just by being ahead of your payment schedule. You’ll be saving $1,260 a year, which is pretty significant as far as cash back rewards go.
With the Plum Card, you won’t only benefit from the cash back rewards. Here are the other features that make the Plum Card from American Express one of the best business credit cards for cash back:
Most business credit cards typically have a grace period of about 25 days to pay your monthly bill without a late fee.
But the Plum Card isn’t like most business cards.
With the Plum Card, you can take up to 60 days to pay your bill without a late fee. To qualify for this, you’ll need to pay just 10% of your balance initially. You’ll then pay the remainder by the payment due date of your next statement.
So if your small business has inconsistent cash flow from month-to-month, making it hard to pay in full each time, the Plum Card is a smart choice.
With the Plum Card—and charge cards in general—you don’t have a preset spending limit. This doesn’t mean you can spend an unlimited amount. But with the Plum Card, your purchasing power will be a lot more flexible without a set limit.
If you’re planning a major business purchase down the line, it might make sense to use the Plum Card just based on this flexibility. Your spending limit with the Plum Card can increase as you grow your business and make larger purchases.
Unlike other business credit cards offering significant rewards programs, the Plum Card doesn’t come with any foreign transaction fees. If you or your employees frequently travel overseas for business, you’ll save on fees with the Plum Card.
When it comes to charge cards, adding additional employees to the charge account can get expensive—you’ll be paying multiple annual fees. With the Plum Card, you don’t have to worry about the extra fees that come with more accounts: employee Plum Cards are available at no additional annual fee. Plus, you’ll get the same early pay discount of 1.5% on employee spending.
Like any business credit card, there are features that make the Plum Card not for everyone. Let’s be clear—here are some things to consider with the American Express Plum Card:
The Plum Card’s annual fee is $0 for the first year, but after that, you’ll pay $250 in annual fees. That’s pretty high when you compare it with other business credit cards.
Remember, you’ll only get the 1.5% discount on your purchase if you pay early. If you don’t pay within 10 days of your statement date, then you won’t get the cash back.
With charge cards, you face harsh penalties if you don’t pay your balance in full according to the repayment terms.
The Plum Card is no exception. If you can’t pay within that 60-day window, you’ll get charged significantly for it.
For example, if you’re 30 days past due, you’ll either pay 1.5% on the past due amount, or $38—whichever is greater. On top of that, you’ll be charged a fee of 2.99% on the past-due amount, or $38 (again, whichever is greater), if you’re 60, 90, and 120 days past due.
If you’re a business owner who always has cash on hand to pay early, you’ll reap significant cash back rewards on the 1.5% discount.
Also, if you could use a little wiggle room on the repayment schedule, the Plum Card might be a great fit too.
The $250 annual fee is steep. But to break even on the annual fee, you’d have to spend about $1,400 each month on the card. If you think you’ll spend this much and you’re ready to pay back early every month, the Plum Card is a smart choice as business credit cards go.
The SimplyCash Plus credit card from American Express offers an impressive amount of cash back rewards.
Here’s the bottom line on cash back:
When it comes to cash back offers, it’s hard to get better than that—especially with a $0 annual fee.
This business credit card also comes with an introductory APR of 0% for 9 months (with a variable APR of 12.99% to 19.99% thereafter).
The cash back rewards offering on the SimplyCash Plus card are pretty great. Here are some reasons why this business credit card is a smart choice for a small business owner:
You’ll get significant cash back on purchases made at office supply stores and mobile phone service providers—which is a great perk of your business makes a lot of purchases with these retailers.
But the 3% cash back on any category you choose is probably the most exciting feature of the SimplyCash Plus business credit card. Your cash back rewards experience is completely customized.
Here’s what you can choose from:
You can get cash back from whatever your business spends the most on… No need to go out of your way to get those rewards.
With the SimplyCash Plus card, the name says it all. Small business owners won’t need to keep track of complicated rewards benefits.
The cash you earn back is automatically credited to your account—so you don’t have to scheme to redeem rewards for the best value or do complicated math to count your reward points.
Instead, you’ll have a straightforward way to get cash back for every purchase.
Your business will change and grow over time, requiring you to make different purchases to meet different needs.
The good news is that the SimplyCash Plus card will adapt with you.
The SimplyCash Plus card lets you switch your 3% cash back rewards category once a year—between December 1st and January 31st. The ability to switch rewards categories isn’t the norm when it comes to cash back credit cards, so this is a definite plus to the card.
This offer has expired. Check out the new offer on the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card.
If you apply for the SimplyCash Plus card before January 25th, 2017, you can take advantage of this sizable welcome offer:
Before you choose the SimplyCash Plus credit card for your business, you should consider any pitfalls that might make this card wrong for your business:
Whereas the Plum Card had no preset spending limit, the SimplyCash Plus card is a traditional credit card that will have a preset spending limit. So if you need the flexibility of a charge card and are planning on making large purchases, the SimplyCash Plus card might not be the right choice.
Keep in mind that there’s a $50,000 spending cap on bonus reward categories. You’ll still be getting unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, but if you’re hoping to earn unlimited cash back at a rate greater than 1%, you should look at other options.
If you want flexibility in your cash back rewards, the SimplyCash Plus business credit card is probably the best move for your small business. The $0 annual fee makes this business credit card a cost-effective option, too.
Plus, if you apply in time, you can get take advantage of the limited time offer on the SimplyCash Plus business credit card and earn even more cash back rewards.
When it comes to cash back credit cards, the Plum Card and the SimplyCash Plus business credit card are some of the best options out there.
If you think either of these business credit cards are right for your small business, you can apply for either the Plum Card or the SimplyCash Plus business credit card today.
You may also be interested in trying the business card reward calculator at http://www.creditcardtuneup.com/business-cards/ . It calculates which cards and sets of cards can pay you more cash back (or other rewards) for your monthly business expenses.