How your business can earn points when suppliers don’t accept cards

Posted: 2 January 2020 10:00 am
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Female small business owner paying bills on computer.

Three ways to reward your business spending regardless of your supplier's payment preferences.

Has your business ever missed out on earning points because your biller doesn't accept credit cards? Or maybe you've earned fewer points because your credit card offers a lower earn rate on government transactions or utilities. Either way, your business shouldn't have to limit its points earning potential.

Highlighting American Express AccessLine, B2Bpay and linking your card with PayPal, we've broken down three ways you can still boost your points balance from your business expenses.

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Finder's Smarter Small Business series is presented by American Express. Reward your business spending with 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply for the American Express Platinum Business card by 11 March 2020 and spend $5,000 on your new card within 3 months. New Card members only. T&Cs apply.

Use American Express AccessLine

If you have an eligible American Express Business or Corporate card, you can use AccessLine to earn points when you send fast and secure payments to suppliers. This is an easy way to make sure all of your business expenses are rewarded with points, even if the biller doesn't accept American Express. You can link your American Express card and start earning points with AccessLine in four simple steps:

  1. Pre-register the supplier with American Express FX International Payments and place your order with your supplier.
  2. When making a payment, select your card as the settlement method and choose when you want the payment to arrive.
  3. American Express will then send the payment to your supplier's bank account in the currency you've selected.
  4. The transaction cost and fee are charged to your card, giving you up to 51 days from the transaction date to pay it down. How many cashflow days you'll have to pay it off will depend on when in your statement period you make the purchase.

You can use AccessLine to make payments to suppliers in Australia and overseas, earning the same number of points as you would with your card. For example, if you linked the American Express Platinum Business card to AccessLine, you'd still earn 2.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on most eligible purchases. Your business can also take advantage of up to 51 cashflow days (up to 55 days for Platinum Business cards), depending on when you make a purchase and when your statement is issued.

AccessLine charges a 2.15% Trade Service Fee when you make a transaction. Some suppliers may offer a purchase discount if you pay the invoice within an agreed period of time. If AccessLine gives your business the cashflow flexibility to make payments on time and take advantage of reduced prices, this could help justify the trade service fee.

Earn Qantas Points with B2Bpay

If your business is enrolled in the Qantas Business Rewards program, you can turn your next business bill into flights by earning Qantas Points with B2Bpay. It's an online payment portal that you can use to pay invoices, regardless of whether or not the biller accepts credit cards. You can also link it with debit cards and charge cards.

If you're using a rewards or frequent flyer card, you'll earn the same number of points on your business expenses as you would on other eligible purchases. This is because credit card issuers treat B2Bpay transactions as purchases, not cash advances. You could also earn more points when you're using B2Bpay to pay ATO bills, utilities and insurance, which sometimes earn fewer points per $1.

As B2Bpay is linked with the Qantas Business Rewards program, you'll earn 1 Qantas Point per AU$100 paid and the opportunity to collect bonus points with eligible billers on top of the points you'd usually earn. If you're a supplier, you can also collect Qantas Points when you're accepting payments through B2Bpay.

Once you've registered, you just need to select your billers and nominate the card (or cards) you'd like to use for payments. You can then make one-off, automatic or future-dated payments and B2Bpay will transfer your funds to your biller by EFT or BPAY. The merchant isn't charged a fee to accept the B2Bpay payment and it should be finalised within three business days. Standard Mastercard and Visa card payments are subject to a 1.2% fee, premium and corporate cards are charged 1.55% and American Express card payments are charged a 2.2% fee. These fees exclude GST and are tax deductible.

Link your card with PayPal

If your biller doesn't accept credit or charge cards, you may be able to earn points when you link your rewards credit card with PayPal and make purchases.

Just log in to your PayPal account, select "Wallet" and link your rewards credit card. Then you can select PayPal when you're at the checkout, you can pay your bill even if your biller doesn't accept cards. As long as your credit card issuer treats the PayPal transaction as an eligible purchase, you should be able to earn rewards or frequent flyer points when you're paying your suppliers.

Not all merchants accept PayPal, so you may want to do your research before deciding if this is the right option for you. See Finder's guide to earning points through PayPal for more tips.

Disclaimer: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before applying for any of the products mentioned, please read the product terms and conditions and consider whether that product is right for you.

American Express cards offered, issued and administered by American Express Australia Limited (ABN 92 108 952 085).

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