Archive for the ‘Credit’ Category

December 2nd, 2011  Posted at   Credit

The Plum card is perhaps the most hyped up credit card in the industry. With its unique feature that allows you to defer your payments by up to 60 days, the Plum card has become increasingly popular among start-ups and small businesses.. But should you trust all the hype and apply for the Plum card? The American Express plum is the ultimate small business and start-up credit card. It is specifically designed for small business to provide them with maximum flexibility and some unique features that fit the needs of small businesses and start-ups Key Features: The plum card from American Express is a unique small business credit card.

There are many small business credit cards on the market that provide you with points and cash rewards, but the Plum card mainly targets small businesses with cash flow issues. The Early Pay Discount feature allows you to pay your balance in full within 10 days of your billing cycle and get up to a 2% discount for paying early. You can also choose to defer your payments for 2 months (interest free) as long as you pay at least 10% of your balance. That is a huge help for small businesses that have to invest money up front to get their rewards back a couple months down the road. The payment deferment feature alone makes this card the ultimate start-up/small business credit card.

Flexibility: The plum card allows you to go back and forth between two payment method options above each and every month. If you are having a great month, you can choose to pay your balance early, and if you are having a rough month, you can defer payments, so you don’t have to be stuck with one option with the Plum card. Fees: as the plum is a cash flow credit card, there is no APR associated with this card. You need to pay your balance in full in 2 months to be in good standing with American Express. At the same time, American express doesn’t charge you any interest for the duration of 60 days. There is an annual fee of $185 a year for the Plum card, but the first year is offered for free, so you can start seeing benefits of using this card before having to pay anything to American Express. (more…)

December 1st, 2011  Posted at   Credit

For business owners, the choices presented by the various credit card companies seem endless. There are the big names of Visa and MasterCard plus the two other giants in business credit cards, American Express and Discover. And that’s not getting into the minutiae of banks and retailers and credit unions – hell, even baseball teams – who co-brand their cards, usually through Visa and MasterCard.

So exactly what is the difference?

To cut to the punch line, the answer is, “Not much, really.” But there’s more to it than that.

Most credit cards offer the same basic set up. You have a credit limit, a grace period and a variable or set interest rate. You charge purchases on your card, receive a bill and are obligated to pay at least the minimum payment each month. All companies offer rewards ranging from point based systems to cash back offers depending on what type of card you have. Forget to make a payment, go over your credit limit, pay your bill late, etc. and you will be charged fees.

But there are also distinct differences … and those differences could have a big impact on your business.

Visa and MasterCard

The largest and most popular, more retailers around the world take cards from these two payers than any other card combined. In fact, both companies say they are accepted at more than 20 million merchants in over 150 countries around the world.

However, when you have cards issued with the Visa or MasterCard logo on them, they are not the ones who are liable for your purchases. Visa and MasterCard are payment networks, not creditors. The credit cards you hold and the offers you receive actually come from specific banks, credit unions, stores or other financial institutions. These are your issuers and they are the ones who give you the credit and who are responsible if you fail to make your payments.

Visa and MasterCard process the credit card transactions while the specific credit and terms you have for your card are unique to your issuer. This is why you may have a Visa business credit card from your credit union and a MasterCard debit card for your checking account.

American Express

Having the reputation of being more “exclusive” than other credit cards, American Express is still viewed as a company which offers “charge cards” – that is, cards which you can use to charge purchases but which require you to pay them back in full each month. Although it is true that American Express started out as a charge card only company that required annual fees for its use, they now offer many different traditional credit card programs. Some of their cards, such as their Blue from American Express Card, do not charge an annual fee. In the wake of our current financial woes, however, American Express has reined in many of their credit card programs and are returning to their charge card roots and, presumably, to their exclusive status as well. (more…)

November 15th, 2011  Posted at   Credit

In case you are questioning whether to take American Express cards and establish up American Express merchant account services, take into account the benefits and drawbacks. Today, roughly 10% of US consumers use AmEx, a sizable enough figure for any business owner to contemplate.

Plus points:
Many businesses use AmEx with regard to their staff providing your business the opportunity to get company travelers who prefer to charge their expenses to their AmEx due to the positive aspects (e.g. air miles, cash back, and so on. Some AmEx card holders will not enter a store or use a website that does not exhibit the company logo indicating that they have American Express merchant services put in place. These card holders spend around 20% extra for every purchase compared to those working with a different card type.

The Negatives:
American Express merchant account services fails to always pay the merchant as soon as alternative card types. These accounts possess higher rate components, which suggests businesses spend a little more for every transfer within their AmEx merchant services account.

It is essential that you simply determine the following thoughts and currently being aware about the details of your business design can help you make the most efficient selection whether or not to use these merchant account services.

Must you take each and every form of charge card?

Do you need a new processing account for AmEx merchant account services?

Will you eliminate a number of shoppers if you don’t arrange American Express merchant services?

Has it been necessary for the prosperity of your business to set up American Express merchant account services?

To Accept: While choosing whether to establish AmEx merchant account services, you might want to determine whether or not you should recognize each individual kind of card. Is agreeing to AmEx going to affect your bottom-line gains? Can it be seriously worth offending an individual who employs American Express?

To Not Acknowledge: Many individuals who hold an AmEx corporate card, also have various other card companies that they might use if asked to do so. Bear this in mind in the event you truly feel the costs to maintain their merchant services are too high relative to the true fees involving processing various card versions.

The Conclusion: You will most certainly conclude that including additional options to customers is never going to hurt your business. Quite often, the decision to use these merchant services helps your small business develop. Many vendors do not have AmEx merchant services as a result of larger discount price charged in an attempt to spend less, however in actuality, this selection is not always cost-effective. It’s reported that the choice to set up American Express merchant services can easily improve business because of the following:

Impulse ordering. The greater number of selections you offer your clients the more likely they are to order. It would definitely end up being a pity for a competitor to take your business simply because they had AmEx and you did not.

You might eliminate a new recurring purchaser. Declining a purchase because it costs slightly more doesn’t save you money. The purchaser may no longer buy from you, he may be buying from an opponent who has put in place AmEx. (more…)