Lesser-Known Perks of Small Business Credit Cards

May 3, 2018

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Here’s betting that no one visiting TPG is going to choose a new business credit card based on its car rental insurance coverage. But after you’ve assessed the value of any welcome bonus and whether the rewards bonus categories match your company’s spending needs, take a look at the the credit card’s benefits — or lack thereof. It could give you the push to make a decision — one way or the other — if you’re on the fence.

All of the best business credit cards offer a menu of additional perks outside their respective rewards programs. Some are fairly common across cards and issuers, while others are exclusive to one particular card. Be sure to examine coverage caps that could limit the value of some benefits. Here are 10 benefits offered by small business cards you should know about.

1. Baggage Insurance

If you’ve ever been the last one waiting for your luggage at an airport carousel, you already know the value of baggage insurance. This is a benefit most widely available on American Express credit cards. It generally covers lost, damaged or stolen baggage used during travel on planes, trains, ships or busses. The coverage typically is secondary, meaning the issuer will cover losses in excess of what the carrier might reimburse you for.

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Coverage is available when the entire fare has been charged to the card and is good for up to a combined $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage for each covered person ($2,000 cap on checked-in luggage) up to a combined aggregate limit of $3,000 per trip. The limit for high-risk items like jewelry and electronics is $1,000.
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express, Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express: Coverage limited to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage.
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card: Coverage limited to $3,000 each for you and immediate family members in the event of damaged or lost checked or carry-on luggage. United also offers baggage delay protection, which reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over six  hours up to $100 a day for three days. Information for the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

2. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

Many small business credit cards offer car rental insurance, but few offer primary rental car insurance. It’s a great perk if you can get it. Simply decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary when you’re renting for business purposes and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most cars in the US and abroad.

Primary rental car insurance is available on:

  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

3. Cell Phone Insurance

This unique cell phone insurance benefit is offered to entrepreneurs who own the Ink Business Preferred Card from Chase. It offers up to $600 in protection against covered theft or damage, for up to three claims per year with just a $100 deductible. The policy also covers employees’ cell phones, but you’ll need to use the card to pay their bills, too.

Woman taking photo of Golden Gate Bridge out of car window with smartphone
(Photo by Thomas Barwick / Getty Images)

4. Extended Warranty Protection

Extended warranty protection is both widely available on business credit cards and fairly uniform. It extends the manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warrantees of up to three or five years, depending on the issuer. See your card’s terms and conditions for details.

Business credit cards that carry this benefit include:

  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
  • SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card
  • The Business Platinum Card
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

5. Free Employee Cards

If you have to pay an annual fee for your preferred business credit card, you may be able to get away with not having to pay one for each employee credit card you request. The following offer free employee cards:

  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

6. Premium Roadside Assistance

A number of business credit cards offer to connect you to a towing company through what is essentially a concierge service for your broken-down car. But few Amex cards offer to pay for the service.

The Delta Reserve for Business Credit CardThe Business Gold Rewards Card and The Business Platinum Card will pay for included auto services up to four times annually. Free emergency services include towing up to 10 miles, changing a flat or jumpstarting a battery.

(Photo by TuiPhotoengineer/Getty Images)
(Photo by TuiPhotoengineer/Getty Images)

7. Purchase Protection

Things break. But many business credit cards offer some piece of mind with purchase protection programs that will replace damaged or stolen goods purchased with that card. In all cases, you’re limited by time and value — issuers will only approve claims made within a certain period of time after a purchase and only up to a certain amount. You’ll also have to look out for items excluded from coverage like antiques or motorized vehicles. When filing a claim, you’ll need to document your loss with receipts and a police report in case of theft.

  • American Express:  Coverage from American Express on accidental damage or theft is good for up to 90 days after purchase. Maximum coverage is $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per account in a calendar year. Cards that offer this coverage include The Business Platinum Card, The Business Gold Rewards Card, Delta Reserve Business Credit CardGold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card, SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card and Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card.
  • Capital One: Covers your new purchase for up to 90 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account in a calendar year. Cards that offer this coverage include Capital One Spark Cash for Business and Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
  • Chase: Covers your new purchases for up to 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account in a calendar year. Cards that offer this coverage include Ink Business Cash Credit CardInk Business Preferred Credit Card and United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card. 
  • Citi: Covers your new purchases on the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard for up to 90 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account in a calendar year and for up to 120 days, $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per account in a calendar year on the Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi.

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

8. Travel Accident Insurance

Some American Express and Citi business cards also come with travel accident insurance, which provides between $100,000 and $1 million in accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling on a common carrier when the entire fare has been charged to the eligible card. See your card’s terms and conditions for coverage and cap details.

These cards offer coverage:

  • Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard credit card
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
  • CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard 
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
  • SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card
  • The Business Platinum Card

9. Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance

Image by Mimadeo / Getty Images
(Photo by Mimadeo / Getty Images)

If you fall ill on your trip or your travels are imperiled by bad weather, there are a few cards that offer some protection:

Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard credit card: If you trip is canceled or cut short due to a covered situation, you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per incident against forfeited, non-refundable, unused payments and deposits.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: You can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for your pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card: You can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.

10. Trip Delay Insurance

United is also the only major carrier to offer trip delay insurance on its co-branded business credit card. If you use your United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card to purchase tickets and your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

Bottom Line

Credit card benefits shouldn’t always be deal breakers when deciding whether to apply for a particular card. But if you frequently travel or want some reassurance that a damaged office computer will be insured against breakage, business credit card perks are nice to have.

Keep in mind though that, like with other benefits, the issuer can discontinue these programs at any time. But some of the unique programs — like Chase’s cell phone insurance — really set one card apart from another. If these are protections you find valuable, make that a part of your decision-making process.

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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