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What to look for in a business charge or credit card in 2023

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With the right card, you can help take your company to new heights.

Sponsored by the American Express Platinum Business Card. Earn 350,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply by 25 June 2024 and spend $12,000 on eligible purchases on your new American Express Platinum Business Card within 3 months of your approval date. Available for new American Express Card Members only.

Having the right tools at your fingertips is an essential part of succeeding in business – and the cards your company uses are no exception.

So if you're thinking about a new charge or credit card for your business, it's important to know which features to look out for.

👋 Hey there! We've partnered with American Express for this article so we'll be using the American Express Platinum Business Card as an example throughout. However, you should always do your own research. Make sure to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before signing up.

1. Tracking spend

One of the big challenges of running a business is ensuring that you've got cash flow in place, and that it's being spread effectively across the people who require it within the business.

If you've got people relying on using their own funds and then expensing it later, it's not efficient. Expenses could also be overlooked until the last minute, or opportunities may be missed.

There's no reason to have to wait until the end of the month or the quarter to see what's been spent.

So by utilising a charge or credit card for you and your staff, you can centralise your accounting and have a clearer picture of who's spending what and where money is going.

This also makes things substantially easier when compiling expense reports.

Let's look at the American Express Platinum Business Card as an example. This charge card allows you to have up to 99 additional Employee Cards at no extra cost1.

You can also create automatic transaction feeds for a variety of accounting programs including Quicken, Microsoft Excel and MYOB2.

This allows you to see your expenses at a glance while also keeping them in an accountant-ready format.

🔥 Hot tip: Most cards also allow you to put account controls in place. This way, you can give staff the financial tools they need while ensuring they'll be used properly.

2. Enhance your cash flow and spend limits

Cash flow is a key life-line for every business. But as every business owner knows, your need for funds doesn't necessarily align with when your client's invoices are being paid.

This is where both charge and credit cards can prove useful.

Charge cards and credit cards do have some similarities – but they have some pronounced differences too.

For example, credit cards have a pre-set spending limit for every statement period. This can be prudent for organisations that are newly starting out as they don't want to overspend.

If you don't pay for purchases within a certain period, you'll also be charged interest. You may end up spending significantly more than the original purchase price on an item.

In contrast, charge cards don't have a pre-set spending limit3. Rather, your overall spend limit is calculated via spending patterns, repayment history, credit history and other considerations.

But as they're not tied to a limit, they can be effective for tackling unexpected expenses. Last-minute equipment repair required? No problem.

However, they need to be paid off at the end of each payment period. The American Express Platinum Business Card offers up to 55 days to pay – or you'll be charged late fees4.

Tools like this can ensure your staff have the purchasing power they need in the moment to take advantage of opportunities that can benefit your business.

🔥 Hot tip: American Express offers a service called AccessLine. You're able to enrol in this program, which then allows you to make payments from your card to vendors that don't normally accept cards5.

3. Rewards to offset business expenses and reward staff

When you're looking at potential charge or credit cards for your business, rewards can also provide you with extra value.

Some rewards can help you offset the running costs of the business and help provide a range of staff incentives. So make sure you choose wisely!

The right rewards can also help you hone your business skill set. To point to an example, the American Express Platinum Business Card provides members with a 12-month digital subscription to The Australian Premium6, which also gives you access to The Wall Street Journal.

Rewards points are also a very popular scheme among card providers. Depending on the specific provider, these can usually be exchanged for a variety of goods and services.

Flights, accommodations and travel costs tend to get the most press from points schemes – they're handy rewards to have access to as well. You can easily leverage them for business travel or staff incentives.

Some rewards can also be used to offset travel expenses more directly.

For example, the American Express Platinum Business Card provides you with Accor Plus membership valued at $399, with benefits including a complimentary night of accommodation each year and up to 50% off dining at selected partner restaurants7.

Membership also provides access to more than 1,400 airport lounges around the world, plus complimentary travel insurance under certain circumstances8.

🔥 Hot tip: Points can often be used for a range of different rewards beyond travel. Many rewards programs allow you to purchase luxury goods, appliances or even provide access to concert tickets. These can be great ways to incentivise staff or provide experiences for clients.

Learn more about the American Express Platinum Business Card

Name Product Bonus points Rewards points per $ spent Complimentary travel insurance Minimum annual revenue Annual fee
American Express Platinum Business Card
350,000
2.25
Yes
$75,000
$1,750
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 350,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
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