Amex launches debut Business Explorer card

Sally McMullen 17 July 2017

business-lunch738x410The first business credit card from American Express will boast a low interest rate and 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards.

American Express has revamped its business card range with the launch of the Business Explorer card today. Unlike Amex’s range of corporate charge cards, this product is a credit card with a revolving line of credit. Designed to suit small to medium businesses, the card allows cardholders to earn points on corporate expenses while taking advantage of a low interest rate and complimentary expense-reporting systems.

We’ve highlighted some of the major features, benefits and fees of the card and compared it to other products on the market to help you determine whether it’s the right card for your business.

Rewards

A major drawcard of the Business Explorer is the ability to earn points on business costs. The card rewards cardholders with 100,000 Membership Rewards if you apply by 2 October 2017 and spend at least $3,000 in the first three months.

You’ll also continue to earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent as well as 0.5 points per dollar spent on government transactions, which could come in handy if you’re using your card to pay your ATO bills. It’s up to the primary cardholder whether they want to redeem the points for personal perks or to reward their employees. However, the rewards include paying for purchases with points, gift cards or shopping via David Jones or Ticketmaster.

You can also exchange your points for frequent flyer points with Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, THAI Royal Orchid Plus, Air New Zealand Airpoints and Velocity Frequent Flyer.

Just for an example, Membership Rewards have a 4:3 exchange rate to Velocity Points, so you could collect 75,000 Velocity Points for 100,000 Membership Rewards. And 75k Velocity Points could get you a one-way Reward Seat flight from Melbourne to London (plus $114.71).

Extra features

Designed for business travellers, the card also comes with a number of extra features to benefit frequent flyers.

If you use your card to pay for business travel, you can save time and money with complimentary international travel insurance. This includes cover for damaged or stolen baggage, money or documents, medical emergency expenses, delayed flights and travel disruption. But make sure you check out the insurance policy document to understand the eligibility requirements, what’s covered and how to make a claim.

You can relax before your next flight in style with two entries to the American Express lounge at Sydney International Airport T1 each calendar year. Unfortunately, the passes are only eligible for that one airport, so they’ll only really come in use if you have plans to fly out from Sydney.

As an Amex product, you can take advantage of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay to use your smartphone to make contactless payments at the checkout. You also won’t have to worry about your card being accepted by domestic or international suppliers with AccessLine. Even if a merchant doesn’t accept American Express, AccessLine processes the payment for a surcharge.

Rates and fees

These rewards and extra perks come at the cost of an annual fee of $375. This card also has a purchase rate of 16.99% p.a., which is relatively low among most premium products and business cards. If you pay your balance in full, you can save with up to 55 interest-free days. If you’re likely to carry a balance, make sure that the value of the card outweighs the interest and annual fee costs.

How does it compare to the American Express Explorer card?

If you’re familiar with the American Express Explorer card, you’ve probably noticed a few similarities between it and the new Business Explorer product. The major difference is that the new card caters to small to medium businesses. As such, account holders can request up to 99 additional cardholders, making it easier for you to manage all of your employee spending under one account. Unlike some business cards, though, this product doesn’t have the ability to set customised spending limits which could come in handy if several employees are accessing one account.

The card also comes with transaction data feeds and MYOB accounting software to assist with reporting. Another major difference is that, on top of the introductory bonus points offer, people using the Business Explorer card can receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards each year that they spend $100,000.

So, why did Amex decide to roll out a business version of its Explorer product? According to recent research, Amex found that 69% of Australian business owners prefer to use a business card to cover company expenses. They also found that small business owners are pretty savvy when comparing cards, with 56% reviewing their credit card every 12 months. With these findings in mind, American Express created the Business Explorer card to fill a void in its own line-up and also in the market.

The Business Explorer is a unique product both among Amex cards and other business credit cards on the market. You can see our review of the Business Explorer card for more information. But while the card offers many perks, you should make sure to compare your options before applying. Check out our guide on business credit cards to start your comparison.

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