6 reasons small businesses should use a small business credit card

Mar 4, 2021

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For small business owners, there are many advantages to holding a designated card for your business. Business cards such as the American Express Business Gold Card and the American Express Business Platinum Card are great examples of that.

The features and benefits of these cards, in particular, can be incredibly useful to a business owner and their employees — especially if they or their employees travel regularly.

Here are our favourite benefits of the cards.

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Earning points for every purchase

The points currency of both cards is Membership Rewards points, which happens to be the same currency as you’ll earn with certain personal American Express cards. With both the Business Platinum and Business Gold cards, you will earn 1 Membership Reward point for every £1 spent. Not only that, but for every  £1 you spend through American Express Travel, you’ll earn an extra Membership Rewards point, for a total of 2 Membership Reward points per £1 spent.

Multiple ways to spend points

The beauty of Membership Rewards points is that it’s an extremely versatile currency. The points you earn on every purchase can be transferred to wide range of airline and hotel loyalty programmes including Air France/KLM Flying Blue, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles, Emirates Skywards, Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, Singapore KrisFlyer, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and more.

While you generally get the most value for your points by transferring them to travel partners, if you don’t travel as much, American Express also allows you to redeem them for other costs. For example, you can redeem Membership Rewards points towards purchases to save cash — including at Amazon — to purchase gift cards or even to donate.

Related: The ultimate guide to UK American Express Membership Rewards

This means you have more control over how you can spend your points.

It doesn’t get much better than Emirates first class (Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

Protecting and rewarding your employees

While all the Membership Rewards points will pool into your account as the primary cardholder (allowing you to use them how you wish), you can issue an unlimited number of supplementary Busines Gold cards to employees and a free supplementary Business Platinum Card with the Platinum version or 99 supplementary cards for employees with Business Gold Card. This will mean you earn more points, quicker.

Then it’s up to you how and on who you spend the points.

Additionally, the Platinum Card comes with the following protection:

  • Comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for business or pleasure: You, your family and supplementary cardholders are covered on trips of up to 120 days when travel is booked on your card;
  • Purchase Protection: If you buy an eligible item with your card and it’s stolen or damaged within 90 days, Amex will replace, repair or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item; and
  • Refund Protection: Should you return an eligible item within a 90-day period, Amex will refund you up to a maximum of £300.

The Gold Card comes with the following protection:

  • Travel Accident and Travel Inconvenience Insurance: When you use the card to book travel, Travel Accident Insurance covers up to £250,000 and Travel Inconvenience Insurance covers up to £200;
  • Purchase Protection: If you buy an eligible item with your card and it’s stolen or damaged within 90 days, Amex will replace, repair or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item; and
  • Refund Protection: Should you return an eligible item within a 90-day period, Amex will refund you up to a maximum of £300.
(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)

Hefty welcome bonus

One of the main perks of these American Express small business credit cards is the welcome bonus. The current offer for new applicants of the Business Platinum Card is 40,000 Membership Rewards points — worth £560 by TPG’s current valuations — after spending £6,000 in the first three months. This nearly  pays for the £595 annual fee associated with the card.

The Business Gold Card is offering 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending £3,000 in the first three months — that’s a value of around £280. This also more than offsets the card’s annual fee of £125, which is waived for the first year.

Lounge access

The Business Platinum Card also comes with a complimentary Priority Pass membership. This gives you and one guest access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges around the world. Not only that, but you’ll also get access to American Express Centurion Lounges and, if you’re flying Delta, you’ll be able to use Delta Sky Clubs.

This long access benefit can prove to be exceptionally valuable. If you fly a lot for business, having access to airport lounges is the perfect way to kick back before jetting off to your next meeting — or holiday.

Unfortunately, this perk doesn’t apply to the Business Gold Card.

The Centurion Lounge at New York’s JFK Airport (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Related: How valuable is a Priority Pass lounge membership?

Hotel status

The travel perks of the Business Platinum Card are really quite something. In addition to the lounge access you’ll get in the airport, you can also look forward to locking in some valuable hotel benefits. You’ll get four elite hotel statuses provided to the primary and up to two Platinum supplementary cardholders in the following programmes:

  • Hilton Honors Elite Gold status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Melia Rewards Gold
  • Radisson Rewards Gold status

Depending on the programme, the status provides you with a range of benefits, such as room upgrades, free breakfast, bonus points, early check-in and late checkout, subject to availability.

Additionally, having a Business Platinum Card will get you access to American Express’ Fine Hotels and Resorts programme. With the programme, you can search for hotels and get some benefits for booking through the portal, such as a complimentary third or fourth night, free breakfast, $100 in credit to use during your stay, early check-in, late checkout and more.

Bottom line

Having the right card in your and your employees’ pockets to help your business grow can make a big difference. If you don’t currently use a business card for your endeavour, you may want to rethink. Given the benefits available, including travel benefits, insurance protections and more, you may save more than you pay in annual fees.

If you’re considering applying for one of these two business cards, do so before 9 April to lock in the elevated welcome bonuses of 100,000 Membership Rewards points and 50,000 Membership Rewards points for the Business Platinum Card and Business Gold Card, respectively.

Additional reporting by Daniel Ross

Featured photo by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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