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Yesterday, I shared why I canceled The Business Platinum Card® from American Express after learning the card’s annual fee will increase to $595 (See Rates & Fees) beginning in February 2019. Then, it got me thinking about competition among premium small business cards – is there any? Besides the AMEX Business Platinum, I can’t think of a popular small business card with an annual fee above $100. Just take a look at a list of our best business credit cards – some even have NO ANNUAL FEE!
With the upcoming changes to the AMEX Business Platinum card, another major bank could hit a home run by introducing a premium small business card. In the past, we’ve seen how new premium personal card products have helped to increase competition between banks. For example, AMEX revamped The Platinum Card® from American Express after the hugely successful launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Citi also recently announced they’ll be tweaking their competing Citi Prestige card, which I’m excited about.
And competition among issuers is usually a great thing for miles & points enthusiasts. I’m partial to Chase cards, so I’d love to see the bank introduce a premium small business card with perks similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The key with any potential new premium small business card is the perks and welcome bonus will have to justify the annual fee. I have plenty of annual fee cards in my wallet. And I’m more than happy to pay for them each year as long as I feel like I’m getting value throughout the year.
What I’d Love to See In a New Premium Small Business Card
1. Intro Bonus Worth $500 to $1,000 in Travel Savings
It would certainly be great to see a bonus offer similar to the amazing 100,000-point Chase Sapphire Reserve deal (no longer available) which came out when the card first launched. The card is currently offering 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. But I’m realistic and realize banks are not in the credit card business to lose money. So I’d be more than happy with a bonus valued at $500 to $1,000 in travel savings.
2. Rental Car Elite Status
One benefit I’ll miss after canceling the AMEX Business Platinum is automatic car rental elite status with Avis, National Car Rental, and Hertz. Thankfully, I’ve been loyal to National Car Rental over the past year, so I’ll maintain my Executive status moving forward.
I think car rental elite status is an overlooked benefit. When I see long lines at the car rental facilities, it reminds me what a time-saver it is to have the ability to go right to your rental car.
3. Easy-to-Use Ongoing Credits for Travel or Dining
Having a premium card with ongoing credits is great, but not if they’re complicated and hard to use. Or if they require you to spend more just to earn the credit.
So my ideal premium small business card would offer something similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige. Simply, make an eligible purchase and receive a credit on your statement.
4. Annual Bonus for Meeting a Certain Spending Threshold
To me, it seems like the trend among card issuers is to incentivize you to use the same card over and over. So why not offer bonus points or a different type of perk after spending a certain amount during the calendar year?
5. Business Banking Benefits
I’d gladly move my business bank accounts to a different bank if there was an incentive tied to having a business credit card at the same bank. For example, I like what Bank of America does with their Preferred Rewards Program. Essentially, folks with a certain level of deposits or investments at the bank earn more rewards for their ongoing credit card spending.
What I Don’t Want to See In a New Premium Small Business Card
1. Priority Pass Membership
I wrote about my love-hate relationship with Priority Pass. On 3 different trips, I’ve seen signs from lounges in the network denying folks access due to overcrowding issues.
Plus, a ton of rewards credit cards already offer Priority Pass Select memberships. So I’d be fine if a new premium business card didn’t have this benefit.
2. Restrictive List of Transfer Partners
We always talk about how great it is to earn transferable points because it increases your flexibility to use rewards for travel. It was great to hear Capital One introduce 12 airline transfer partners. But it was a bit disappointing to see there wasn’t one domestic airline on the list.
While it’s possible to use airline miles from one airline to book an award flight on another, it can get complicated and discourage folks from earning those types of miles. So it would be great if any new premium business credit card offered a great list of partners, similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.
What do you think about the possibility for a new premium small business credit card? What perks would you like to see?
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.