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The Plum Credit Card
The Plum card from American Express isn’t your standard cashback credit card. With this small business card, you have the option to either pay your bill within 10 days of the statement closing to earn 1.5 percent cash back, or putting off the payment for up to 60 days of interest-free financing. If you use the extended 0% interest period, you won’t earn any cash back.
This may sound strange, but it could be quite useful for a small business owner who needs flexible cash flow. And having an incentive to pay your bill promptly can’t be a bad thing.
However, there are plenty of other cards available that also offer 1.5 to 2 percent cash back on all purchases. Ultimately, those cards may be more rewarding than the Plum card, particularly considering its $250 annual fee that kicks in after the first year.
When you earn cash back from the Plum card, it is automatically applied to your account as a discount. So there are no minimum redemptions to keep track of, and you never have to worry about your rewards expiring.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the The Plum Card® offers and the value of the AMEX cashback you earn.
The Plum card from American Express does not currently offer a sign-up bonus. The real benefit of having this card is that you can take up to 60 days to pay a bill without being hit with added fees or interest. And you’ll earn a 1.5 percent cashback bonus whenever you don’t need that extra time.
What You Get
- 1.5% cash back on all purchases or 60 days of 0% interest to pay off your bill
- No fees for employee cards
- No foreign transaction fees
The rewards earned from your Plum card will not expire.
What is the value of the American Express® Cash Rewards Cashback?
With the Plum card, your rewards are worth what you think they are. If you have earned $200 in cash back, it is worth $200. If you pay your bill promptly, you’ll get 1.5 percent back, which translates to 1.5 cents per dollar spent. You don’t even have to save up rewards or points to redeem; instead, your cash back will automatically be applied in the form of a discount to your bill.
The Best Ways to Redeem Plum Cashback
You don’t have a choice when it comes to redeeming with the Plum card. Your cashback rewards are automatically applied in the form of a discount on your credit card bill.
Other ways you can redeem cashback
Cash back in the form of a discount on your bill is the only way you can redeem with the Plum card.
Everyday Earnings with The Plum Card®
The Plum card functions a little bit differently than most cash back cards. Instead of earning cash back when you spend money on your card, you will earn cash back in the form of a discount depending on when you pay your bill. When you make a payment within 10 days of your statement closing date, you will receive a 1.5 percent discount on the amount paid. You must make at least the minimum payment by the due date to qualify.
However, if you need more time to pay your bill, you can get up to 60 days interest-free. Some small businesses struggle with cash flow, particular seasonal businesses, which makes this a great option to have. Unfortunately, any payments made beyond the 10-day window do not receive the 1.5 percent cash back.
Plum Credit Card Rewards
- All Other Purchases
The Plum card isn’t a travel card, so it doesn’t offer many travel benefits.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll never be charged additional fees for making purchases outside the U.S. or in a foreign currency.
Earn Elite Status Fast
The Plum card does not offer the ability to earn elite status with any airline or hotel loyalty program.
Fees: the cost of Having The Plum Card®
The annual fee for the Plum card is $250, but it is waived the first year. After the first year, you’ll need to spend at least $16,667 a year to cover the cost of the card. That’s assuming that you pay off your balance within the 10-day window and earn 1.5 percent cash back. Any payments you make beyond that will have you coming out ahead.
Since the Plum card doesn’t have an annual fee the first year, any payments you make within that 10-day window will have you coming out ahead.
- Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $250
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
1.5% then 2.99% of the past due amount (minimum: $38)
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $8,334 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
Does the Card Pay for Itself?
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the the Plum card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the the Plum Card
The Plum card is a little bit different than many other cards out there, so it has some interesting benefits.
- 1.5% Discount When You Pay Early: When you pay your credit card within 10 days of your statement close date, you’ll receive a 1.5% discount on the amount you pay.
- Ability to Pay Later: Most charge cards don’t give you an option to pay over time, but with the Plum card you can take up to 60 days to pay with no penalty.
- No Pre-Set Spending Limit: As a charge card, the Plum card doesn’t have a pre-set spending limit. If you have big purchases coming up, it’s nice not to have to worry about a credit line.
- Waived Annual Fee the First Year: If you’re not set on the Plum card, you have a year to try it out without paying the annual fee.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: You don’t have to worry about paying extra fees on purchases made abroad with the Plum card.
Should You Get the Plum Card?
Overall, the Plum card is a little strange because it offers a discount when you pay your bill within 10 days of the statement close date instead of offering cash back when you make purchases. If you always pay off your card within the 10 days, this card is equivalent to a 1.5 percent cashback card, but if you don’t, you are going to be better off with a true 1.5 percent (or better) cashback card.
The real advantage of this card over standard cashback cards is that it gives small business owners the opportunity to postpone paying off their balance for 60 days without incurring any interest. That’s a unique option, but if you take advantage of this interest-free period on your bill, you won’t earn 1.5 percent back. It’s a trade off, but avoiding interest charges on a big bill could save you a ton of money.
Once you consider the fact that after the first year the Plum card charges a $250 annual fee, there are really better cards out there for most people. There are even a handful of cards with similar cashback rates that don’t charge an annual fee at all! Overall, this card should really be a pass unless you have specific cash flow needs for you business.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Most people who are approved for the Plum card report having a credit score of 700 or higher. Even if your score is lower, it is still possible that you will be approved, and even if it is higher, it is not a guarantee that you will be approved. American Express will evaluate your entire application before approving or denying you for the card.
- No, you don’t have to redeem the cash back. The cash back will automatically be applied in the form of a discount when you make a payment within 10 days of the statement closing date.
- If you notice that your Plum card is lost or stolen, you should immediately call American Express to report the loss so that no unauthorized purchases will be put on your account.
- American Express waives the $250 annual fee for the first year so you can try out the card to see if it is a good fit for you. After the first year, the annual fee is no longer waived.
Before you apply for the Plum card, let’s look at a couple of other business credit cards that are issued by American Express.
Other American Express Business cards
|SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express||Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card|
|Sign-up bonus||$0||$0||0 points|
$0 first year, then $250
|APR On Purchases||13.99% to 20.99% Variable±||N/A||12.74% to 20.74% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$240||$360||$240|
Like the Plum card, Neither the SimplyCash Plus Business card or the Blue Business Plus card offer a sign-up bonus. The main differences between these cards are the annual fees and how you earn rewards.
The SimplyCash Plus Business card doesn’t have an annual fee and offers 5 percent cash back at office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. You’ll also earn 3 percent back in one category of your choice and 1 percent back for all other purchases.
The Blue Business Plus card also doesn’t have an annual fee. It offers two Membership Rewards points per dollar for all purchases on up to $50,000 annually.
Between these three cards, the Blue Business Plus beats out the Plum card for anyone that spends less than $50,000 per year. Between the Blue Business Plus, Plum and Simply Cash cards, you should consider how much you spend per year in various categories and see which card will offer you the most rewards back.
Compare Plum Credit Card to Other Cards
We will also take a quick look at a couple of credit cards that are issued by other banks and compare them to the Plum card.
The Spark Classic for Business offers unlimited 1.0 percent cash back on all purchases and doesn’t charge an annual fee.
The Costco Anywhere Visa Business card offers 4.0 percent cash back on eligible gas purchases worldwide, 3.0 percent cash back for dining out and travel purchases worldwide, 2.0 percent back on purchases from Costco and Costco.com and 1 percent back on all other purchases. It does not have an annual fee, but you do have to have a Costco membership.
The U.S. Bank Business Edge Cash Rewards MasterCard offers 3.0 percent cash back on cellular, gas and office supply store purchases and 1.0 percent back for all other purchases. It also does not have an annual fee.
Comparing these three cards to the Plum card, it’s pretty obvious that paying such a high annual fee for 1.5 percent cash back doesn’t make much sense. When deciding which of these cards is the best fit for you, you should consider how much you spend in various categories every year and calculate which card will give you the most rewards.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the the Plum card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Amex card.
- Intro APR:
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- Ongoing APR:
- Minimum Grace Period:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Extends the terms of the original manufacturer's warranty on warranties of five years or less. The length of the original warranty is matched if it’s less than one year, and extended by one year if it’s between 1 and 5 years. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per year.
- Purchase Protection:
- Get reimbursed for lost or stolen items within 90 days of the purchase.
- Return Protection:
- Receive reimbursement of up to $300 per item and $1,000 per year for items a merchant will not accept as a return. Coverage is limited to 90 days from purchase.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Cash Advance Fee:
- See Terms and Conditions
Security and Protections
The Plum card from American Express offers standard security features, including the following:
- Dispute Resolution:
- If there is a fraudulent or incorrect charge on your statement, American Express will work with you to help resolve the issue.
- Account Alerts:
- Set up alerts so you can avoid late payments, be notified of irregular activity, monitor employee card spending, and more.
- Account Manager:
- Assign a trusted employee or business partner to be an Account Manager on your business card account. They can handle tasks like reviewing statements, making payments and disputing charges on your card, so you’re free to focus on other aspects of your business.
- Online Statements:
- View your purchase history, prepare reports and budget your expenses.
- EMV Chip + Signature Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip-enabled terminals.
American Express offers a mobile app so you can pay your bill, check your balance, view your benefits and more from your mobile phone and tablet. The Plum card is also compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
In addition to the benefits listed above, the Plum card offers a few more:
American Express Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Get up to $1,250 per passenger for carry-on baggage and up to $500 per passenger for checked baggage for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Roadside assistance, including lockout service, towing, jumpstart and gas delivery, if free up to four times a year. Third party service charges apply.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $100,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Legal and medical referrals, and other travel and emergency assistance is available any time of day if you are more than 100 miles from home. Service charges apply.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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