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If you’re a small business owner who already has an account with South State Bank, you may be curious about its offerings in terms of business credit cards. South State Bank offers business owners seven different business credit cards to choose from. Although it’s nice to have options, that’s also a number of cards to sort through to figure out which one is actually right for your business. We’ll break it down to make your decision-making process smoother.
For starters, all of the cards offer expense management tools, mobile payment capability, and EMV smart chip technology. There’s also no fee for adding employee cards. Beyond those similarities, the seven South State Bank business credit cards vary widely in terms of rewards and intended user. Two of the seven cards (Visa® Business Company Card and The One Card) are for large corporations and organizations. One of the cards (Visa® CommUNITY Card) is for nonprofits and municipalities. In addition, there’s a card with an extended low introductory rate so you can pay down balances, a card with a cash rewards program, and two cards focused on rewards points.
We’ll dive into all of the above and more so you can figure out if any of the South State Bank business credit card options are right for your business. We also cover three top alternatives because we know it’s always important to explore your options.
Visa® Business Platinum Card is a non-rewards card with an extended introductory period, making it ideal for business owners who want to pay down balances. The 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers lasts for the first 15 billing cycles. Note that the introductory rate does not apply to cash advances. Once that period ends, you’ll pay a variable APR based on your creditworthiness. If you are using the card to pay down balances, be aware that there is a balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer. Transfers must be a minimum of $5.
There is no annual fee associated with the card. On the downside, there is also no opportunity to earn rewards for your spending. If that’s important to you then you may want to consider one of the other South State Bank business credit cards.
As its name implies, Visa® Business Real Rewards offers a rewards program. With this card, you’ll earn 1.5 points each month for every dollar you spend on eligible net purchases. There isn’t any cap on the number of points you can earn. You’ll have up to five years to redeem your points for rewards. The card also offers a bonus of 2,500 rewards points after you make your first purchase.
Visa® Business Real Rewards offers a six-month 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, after which you’ll pay a variable APR that’s dependent on your creditworthiness and the prime rate. There is no annual fee associated with the card.
Visa® Business Real Rewards PLUS offers higher point rewards for certain purchases and a much higher signup bonus. You earn 3 points a month for every dollar that you spend on cell phone services, hotels, or airlines, making this an enticing option for businesses with frequent travel. For all other purchases, you’ll earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on eligible net purchases. Again, there is no cap on how many points you can earn.
In addition to this higher point potential for certain purchases, you can earn a bonus of 20,000 rewards points if you spend $2,000 in the first three months after opening your card. Although the first year is free, you’ll pay a $99 annual fee thereafter. Unlike the previous rewards card, there is no introductory APR offer.
South State Bank’s Visa® Business Cash Card offers cash rewards instead of points. Cardholders can earn 3% cash back on eligible net purchases from office supply stores and phone and TV services. You’ll get 2% cash back for eligible restaurant and gasoline net purchases, and 1% for all other eligible net purchases. After your first purchase, you’ll get a $25 cash back bonus.
The introductory 0% APR period associated with this card lasts for the first six business cycles, after which a variable APR kicks in based on creditworthiness. There is no annual fee.
Visa® Business Company Card is specifically intended for larger corporations, specifically those that have $5 million or more in net sales. This card offers a non-revolving line of credit. Cardholders will have the option of a rewards program that offers one point for every eligible net $1 their business spends. There is a $99 annual fee.
For more information on the card, South State Bank requests that you contact the bank directly.
Visa® CommUNITY Card is for nonprofits and municipalities. It is also a non-revolving line of credit. There is a $99 annual fee associated with the card.
For nonprofits and municipalities that want the option of a rewards program, this card offers it. You can earn one point for every dollar your business spends on eligible net purchases.
Again, you’ll need to contact South State Bank directly for more information on this card.
The final South State Bank business credit card we’ll cover is The One Card. This is a purchase card intended for large corporations or organizations that have annual sales of $10 million or more. Like the previous two cards, this is a non-revolving line of credit.
Though there’s not exactly a rewards program associated with the card, you can get an annual rebate of roughly 1.5% of annual sales. Additionally, the card offers in-depth reporting as well as online account management.
Like the previous two cards, you’ll need to contact South State Bank to get all of the details on this card.
Not sold on any of the South State Bank business credit cards for your business, or simply want to keep exploring your options? Here are the top three alternatives to consider.
One alternative to look at is the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express. Like South State Bank’s Visa® Business Platinum Card, this option from Amex has a 15-month 0% introductory APR period. It also has no annual fee.
What sets this card apart from any South State Bank business credit cards is that it offers this notably long intro APR in addition to a rewards program. You have to choose between a long APR period or a rewards program with South State Bank’s business credit cards. With the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend, which is less than you earn per dollar with South State Bank’s rewards cards. However, you’ll earn two times the amount of points for every dollar you spend on your first $50,000 spent annually.
If you’re all about cash back, the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express might be worth your consideration. Like Amex Blue Business Plus and South State Bank’s Visa® Business Platinum Card, this card has a 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months. There’s also no annual fee.
On top of that lengthy intro APR, you’ll earn cash back from your purchases. The card offers 5% cash back on the first $50,000 that you spend on cell phone services and 3% cash back on the first $50,000 that you spend in a category of your choosing. You’ll get 1% cash back on all other purchases.
In comparison, South State Bank’s cash back card, the Visa® Business Cash Card, offers 3% cash back on eligible purchases from office supply stores and phone and TV services, and 2% cash back on eligible restaurant and gasoline purchases. Although these percentages are lower, they will extend past the first $50,000 you spend. Like the Amex SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card, you’ll also get 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases from the South State Bank Visa® Business Cash Card.
A third alternative to consider is the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. This card is a particularly good option for businesses looking to build—or rebuild—their credit. This card is available to business owners with a credit score of 580 and above, which makes it a great place to start and then eventually graduate to a card that requires a higher personal credit score.
Like three of the South State Bank business credit cards (Visa® Business Platinum Card, Visa® Business Real Rewards, and Visa® Business Cash Card), this card has no annual fee. The card also offers cash back rewards, though the rates are notably lower than Amex SimplyCash Plus and the South State Bank Visa® Business Cash Card. You can earn 1% cash back for every dollar you spend, but there aren’t any opportunities for higher cash back earnings in particular categories. Keep in mind, though, that this is a card designed to help business owners with average credit scores build their scores.
As you can see, there are a lot of South State Bank business credit cards from which to choose. You can quickly eliminate a few of your options if you’re not a large corporation or a nonprofit or municipality. Visa® Business Company Card is exclusively for large corporations that have $5 million or more in net sales, while The One Card is a purchase card for large corporations or organizations that have annual sales of more than $10 million. The Visa® CommUNITY Card is intended for nonprofits and municipalities.
That leaves you with four South State Bank business credit cards options to weigh. Visa® Business Platinum Card is notably the only card that doesn’t offer the option to earn rewards, though its 15-month intro APR period is by far the longest. This could make it a good choice if your business is trying to pay down other credit card balances faster.
If rewards is what you’re after, that leaves you with Visa® Business Real Rewards, Visa® Business Real Rewards PLUS and Visa® Business Cash Card. The first two cards offer points rewards, while the third offers cash rewards. Distinguishing between the first two points-based cards comes down to determining whether a $99 annual fee associated with Visa® Business Real Rewards PLUS is worth the potential to earn more points.
Particularly if you spend a lot on cell phone service, hotels and airlines, then Visa® Business Real Rewards PLUS might make sense because it offers three points for every dollar spent on these costs. Otherwise, it offers the same 1.5 points monthly for every dollar spent on eligible net purchases. The only other big differentiator between Visa® Business Real Rewards and Visa® Business Real Rewards PLUS is the sign-up bonus. You’ll earn 2,500 bonus points after your first purchase with Visa® Business Real Rewards. With Visa® Business Real Rewards PLUS, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, though of course you will have to worry about the annual fee kicking in after the first year.
As you weigh all of the above, also don’t forget to take the top alternatives into consideration. After all, the right credit card can end up being a key business ally.