A cash-back business charge card: The Plum Card from American Express review

Nov 20, 2019

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The Plum Card® from American Express overview

The Plum Card® from American Express is a business charge card with a flexible payment option. You can get a discount of 1.5% for paying early (within 10 days of statement close) or you can get up to 60 days interest free (on new balances) when you make the minimum payment.

Card Rating*: ⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The Amex Plum card is a simple business charge card. Normally, charge cards need to be paid off in full each month, but with the Plum card you can take advantage of an up to 60 day interest-free period (see rates and fees), as long as you make the minimum payment by the due date. An American Express business card won’t add to your Chase 5/24 count, and as a charge card it won’t count toward your (unofficial) limit of five American Express credit cards.

That said, this card is light on benefits. In most cases, you’d be better off applying for one of TPG’s top business credit cards. There are many cards on that list with smaller annual fees, first-year values of well more than $1,000 and comparable (or better) ongoing reward rates.

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Who is this card for?

The Amex Plum card is for business owners who aren’t interested in earning travel rewards, want their credit card perks to directly impact the bottom line and value simplicity above all else. The card doesn’t have any benefits that require extra time to manage. It’s simple, which can save you time and precious mental bandwidth you need to run your business.

In comparison, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is loaded with perks, and each benefit (however valuable it may be) requires a bit of maintenance. The annual airline credits of up to $200 only apply to a single airline you can select when you open the card; you can change it every January. The airline credit resets every calendar year on Jan. 1. That credit works slightly different than the up to $200 in annual Dell credits, half of which can be earned in the first half of the year (January-June) and the other half in the second half of the year (July-December). All of that is in addition to the benefits that require enrollment, like Priority Pass lounge membership and hotel and rental car elite status benefits.

There is so much going on with the Amex Business Platinum card that we’ve written a guide on the 10 things you need to do when you get your Amex Business Platinum. The Plum card is a much simpler, no-nonsense option. Its $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) is waived for the first year.

Welcome offer

This card currently doesn’t have a welcome offer.

Main benefits and perks

With the Plum card, you’ll earn a 1.5% discount on eligible charges you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date, as long as you make at least the minimum payment by the due date. The discount is applied to your account as a credit on the following statement. You don’t need to manage rewards or choose from a number of different redemption options — everything is automated for you.

You also have the option to delay paying your balance interest-free for up to 60 days, until the payment due date of your next statement. To qualify for this option you’ll need to pay at least the minimum amount due (10% of new purchases plus all of any previously deferred balance) by the due date. Deferred amounts are not eligible for the 1.5% discount.

This card has no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and comes with return protection and secondary rental car loss and damage insurance.

How to use this card

The best way to use the Plum card is to make purchases and pay them off early, within 10 days of your statement closing. If you don’t do this, you’ll sacrifice the 1.5% discount and nullify the main benefit to using the card. If you don’t want your rewards to be tied to paying your card statement early in order to earn rewards, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Plum card alternatives

There are no shortage of cash-back business credit cards that earn 1.5% back without having to pay early, and there are even good no-annual-fee business cards to choose from.

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has no annual fee and you’ll earn a straight 1.5% back on every purchases, with no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. That’s a much simpler setup that what you have to do to earn the same amount of cash back with the Plum card. Plus, the Spark Cash Select card has an intro bonus of $200 cash after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

You can earn an even better bonus with the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. It earns the same unlimited 1.5% back everywhere and has an intro offer of $500 cash after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from opening the account. The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card also has no annual fee.

Bottom line

The main value of The Plum Card® from American Express is its simplicity. It’s a charge card, so there’s no credit limit to navigate, and it earns 1.5% back on eligible early payments. The cash back is directly applied to your next statement automatically, so you don’t need to take any extra steps to redeem your rewards. But the card does have a $250 annual fee, and you have to pay early just to earn the 1.5% discount.

When you consider that you can earn 1.5% back with several different no-annual-fee business credit cards, the appeal of the Plum card drops significantly.

Apply here for The Plum Card® from American Express.

For rates and fees of The Plum card from American Express, click here.

Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.

The Plum Card® from American Express

 

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More Things to Know
  • Paying early pays off: Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
  • Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest, if you pay your minimum due.
  • Use the power of the Plum Card to buy big for your business.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $250
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee your first year, then $250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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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