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The Plum Card®

Caroline Lupini
Updated on: 11/29/2017
RE®: 83
Our Rating
The Plum Card®
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

For excellent/good credit

"Earn 1.5 percent back on all purchases or get 60 days without interest to pay your bill. The choice is yours."

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.

Bonuses

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

Cash back in the form of a discount on your bill is the only way you can redeem with the Plum card.

Everyday Earnings

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.

Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually
$360cashback
Travel
1.5%cashback/$1
Grocery
1.5%cashback/$1
Gas
1.5%cashback/$1
Dining
1.5%cashback/$1
Entertainment
1.5%cashback/$1
All Other Purchases
1.5%cashback/$1

Travel Benefits

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.

ic_elite_statusCreated with Sketch.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 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
0%
Late Payment Fee
1.5% then 2.99% of the past due amount (minimum: $38)

See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:

Your Average Monthly Spend
Months to Cover Annual Fee
13 months

Recommendations

We strongly recommend to spend not less than $8,334 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.

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

First Year

Signup Bonus
$0
Anniversary Bonus
$0
Everyday Rewards
$360
Statement Credit
$0
Free Bags
$0
Earnings
$360
Foreign Transaction Fees
-$0
APRS Charges
-$0
Annual Fee
-$0
Charges
-$0
Rewards Earned First Year
$360

Second Year

Signup Bonus
$0
Anniversary Bonus
$0
Everyday Rewards
$360
Statement Credit
$0
Free Bags
$0
Earnings
$360
Foreign Transaction Fees
-$0
APRS Charges
-$0
Annual Fee
-$250
Charges
-$250
Rewards Earned Second Year
$110

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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.

Have A Question?
Ask our credit card expert!

Compare Cards

Before you apply for the Plum card, let’s look at a couple of other business credit cards that are issued by American Express.

The Plum Card®
For Excellent/Good Credit
Check which AMEX card is the right fit for you
How to Apply for this card

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Other American Express Business cards

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit CardSimplyCash® Plus Business Credit CardBlue Business℠ Plus Credit CardBlue Business℠ Plus Credit Card
Sign-up bonus$0$00 points
Annual Fee$0$0 first year, then $250$0
APR On Purchases13.24% to 20.24% Variable±N/A12.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Foreign Fee2.7%0%2.7%
Bonus Value$0$0$0
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.

$0 offer
The Plum Card®

Check if The Plum Card® is the best option for you

  • Spark® Classic for BusinessSpark® Classic for Business

    Unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase

    Read Review
  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by CitiCostco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

    4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide

  • U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard®U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard®

    $200 cash back offer

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.

Card Overview

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 Details

Excellent credit score
From 700 to 850
Issuer
American ExpressAmerican Express
Use miles
No
Pay with points
Yes

Flight Features

Available airline
Any
Loyalty Program
Flights Type
Domestic and International
Alliance
Not a member

Travel Partners

Airlines
Any
Hotels
Any
Car Rental
Any
Cruise
Any

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.

Purchases

Intro APR:
See Terms and Conditions
Intro APR for balance transfers:
See Terms and Conditions
Ongoing APR:
See Terms and Conditions
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.

Mobile Banking

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.