The Plum Card from American Express review | finder.com

The Plum Card® from American Express review

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A small business charge card, designed for companies that need flexibility in managing monthly payments.

  • Get this card if you want flexibility in managing your monthly expenses.
  • Pick something else if you want travel rewards or cashback rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
  • Product NameThe Plum Card® from American Express
    Card TypeAmerican Express
    Annual Fee$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($250 thereafter)
    Purchase APRNone (Charge Card)
    Intro Purchase APR

    N/A

    Intro Balance Transfer APR

    N/A

    Foreign Transaction FeeNone
    Interest Free PeriodUp to 60 days
    Late Payment Fee$38
    Late Payment Fee Conditions$38 or 1.5% of the past due amount, whichever is greater. If you do not pay for two billing periods in a row, the fee is the greater of $38 or 2.99% of the past due amount.
    Returned Payment FeeUp to $38
    Additional Cardholder Fee$0
    Rates & FeesRates & Fees
    Minimum Age18 years of age
    Rewards1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back

    The basics

    The Plum Card® from American Express is a charge card, which means you have to pay your balance in full before its due date. Unlike most other cards that have a grace period of 25 days before the APR kicks in, The Plum Card® from American Express gives you a 60-day grace period if you pay at least 10% of your balance.

    If you pay your bill within 10 days of the closing date, you’ll get an early pay discount of 1.5%. In a way, you can look at this discount as a cashback reward.

    The perks

    • Pay early and get a 1.5% discount.

      Whenever you pay within 10 days of the closing date, you get a 1.5% discount on your payment. Consider this like getting 1.5% cash back as a statement credit.

    • Pay later with no interest.

      Most business cards give you a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance, whereas The Plum Card® from American Express gives you a 60-day grace period as long as you pay at least 10% of your balance by the payment due date. At first, this may not seem like a perk worth paying $250 a year for, but keep in mind that most business cards have a variable APR of 12% to 22% on purchases after the 25-day grace period. If you find it hard to pay your balance on time, you’ll save more money avoiding the APR on other cards than the annual fee you’ll have to pay for The Plum Card® from American Express (see Rates & Fees ).

    • No preset spending limit.

      American Express gives you increased purchasing power that adjusts with your card use, your payment history, your credit record and other factors determined by the bank.

    How does The Plum Card® from American Express early pay discount work?

    Let’s say that your monthly expenses are $20,000, and you pay the entire amount within 10 days of your closing date. The 1.5% discount you earn in statement credit is $300. If you pay your balance within 10 days for the entire year, you’ll get $3,600 in statement credit as a discount.

    How does The Plum Card® from American Express’s 60-day grace period work?

    Suppose you have a $20,000 balance for the first month. You have 30 days to pay 10% of the balance, or $2,000, by the payment due date to be able to carry the rest of your balance of $18,000 for the next 30 days — for a total of 60 days grace period.

    On the second month you spend an additional $20,000, so your new balance is what’s spent plus the $18,000 from the first month — for a total of $38,000. Now you would have to pay the first month’s $18,000 plus 10% of the second month’s balance to be able to carry the remaining $18,000 of the second month over to the third month, and so on.

    You’ll also like …

    • 0% foreign transaction fees.

      You can freely use this card when traveling abroad, as it has 0% international transaction fees.

    • Choose your billing cycle.

      American Express gives you the option to choose your own billing cycle, which can be at the beginning, middle or end of the month.

    • Get additional cards with no annual fee.

      You pay a $250 annual fee only for the first card — and there’s a $0 intro annual fee the first year. Every additional card has no annual fee.

    • Travel, baggage and rental car insurance.

      Reservations paid entirely with this card gains you automatic insurance up to $100,000 for accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling. Your baggage is insured up to $1,250 for carry-on items and up to $500 for checked baggage, and you’re insured for car loss and damage when you rent a car.

    • Roadside and global assistance hotlines.

      When you’re stranded on the road, you can call the roadside assistance hotline for help changing a flat, jumping your battery and more. For trips more than 100 miles from home, you have 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial and other emergency services you may need by calling the Global Assist® Hotline. Keep in mind that third-party service costs are your responsibility.

    • Online expense management tools.

      With this card, you have access to mobile banking where you can set up automatic payments and alerts, monitor your employee spending or connect with your QuickBooks account to transfer your transaction data.

    What to watch out for

    • High annual fee.
      The Plum Card® from American Express entails a $250 annual fee, with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year. This is relatively high, but if your business has a hard time collecting cash, the longer grace period can save you more in APR costs than the annual fee of the card.
    • No cashback rewards.
      The Plum Card® from American Express is designed to help you pay your balance at a later date without paying a high APR. If you pay your balance within 25 days, you may want to look for a card that will also give you cash back or reward points.
    • Not a credit card.

      This is a charge card, which means you have to pay your entire balance in full before its due date.

    Compare business credit cards

    Name Product Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
    5% back at US office supply stores and on US wireless telephone services on up to $50,000 annually (then 1%). 3% on a chosen category on up to $50,000 annually, then 1% after and on everything else
    14.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable
    $0
    Save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After that your APR will be 14.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable.
    2x points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 annually, then 1x points
    15.49%, 18.49% or 21.49% variable
    $0
    Earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 with no category restrictions.
    3x on travel, shipping, Internet, cable, phone and online ads up to $150,000 combined annually; then 1x after and on all other purchases
    18.24% to 23.24% variable
    $95
    80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    5% on office supplies, Internet, cable and phone up to $25,000 combined annually; 2% on gas and dining up to $25,000 combined annually; 1% on all other purchases
    15.49% to 21.49% variable
    $0
    $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
    1.5% cash back on all purchases
    15.49% to 21.49% variable
    $0
    $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
    N/A
    12.24% to 20.24% variable
    $0
    Enjoy a market-leading 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles, reverting to a variable 12.24% to 20.24% APR.
    12x points at Hilton hotels, 6x points on select business and travel purchases and 3x points on all other purchases
    17.99% to 26.99% variable
    $95
    Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
    Earn 2x miles on every purchase made directly with Delta and earn 1x miles on all other purchases
    17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
    $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
    Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months. Plus earn $50 after you make your first Delta purchase in the same timeframe.
    4x points on two categories on up to $150,000 in combined purchases annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
    16.49%, 20.49% or 24.49% variable
    $295
    Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership.
    5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel, 1.5x points if you spend $5,000 on a single eligible purchase on up to 1 million additional points per year and 1x points on all other purchases
    None (Charge Card)
    $595
    Earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    2x points on purchases through Amex Travel and 1x points on all other purchases
    None (Charge Card)
    $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
    Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the card within the first year of card membership.
    1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back
    None (Charge Card)
    $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($250 thereafter)
    Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
    6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4x points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and on US wireless telephone and shipping services; 2x points on all other purchases
    17.99% to 26.99% variable
    $125
    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
    2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
    17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
    $450
    Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
    2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
    17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
    $195
    Earn 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) plus 35,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    7x points on rideshares, 4x points on travel booked through Brex Travel, 3x points at restaurants, 2x points on software subscriptions and 1x points on all other purchases
    None (Charge Card)
    $0
    The first corporate card for startups. No personal liability or security deposit needed, meaning your personal credit score won't be affected.
    N/A
    None (Charge Card)
    $0
    60-day interest-free financing for e-commerce businesses.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    What size business is The Plum Card® from American Express good for?

    This could be a good card for small businesses that struggle with cash flow and need more time to pay the balance on their card. Unlike other business cards, where the grace period is 25 days, The Plum Card® from American Express gives you a 60-day grace period as long as you pay at least 10% of your balance by the payment due date.

    What should I know before I apply?

    When you apply for The Plum Card® from American Express, you’ll have to provide information about yourself and your business, including:

    • Business name and address
    • Industry type
    • Company structure
    • Years in business
    • Number of employees
    • Annual revenue and monthly spending
    • Federal Tax ID, also known as Employment Identification Number (EIN)
    • Personal information of the card owner, including annual income

    What credit score do I need?

    You need a good business credit score of 670 or higher to apply for The Plum Card® from American Express.

    What’s my likelihood of being approved?

    Businesses that have a credit score of 670 or higher are most likely to be approved.

    What do customers say about The Plum Card® from American Express?

    Customers like the deferred payment option and the 1.5% discount on early payments. They also like the increase in spending limit they get the more they use the card.

    American Express is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. Based on more than 170 customer reviews, the company has earned a composite score of 3.78 out of 5 stars. However, as of May 2018, there are almost 3,000 customer complaints that center on poor customer service. Others report issues with missing statement credit and miles, having their card unexpectedly canceled and problems logging in to their online account.

    How to apply for The Plum Card® from American Express?

    1. Go to the American Express website.
    2. Select The Plum Card® from American Express from the list and click Apply.
    3. Complete the application form with all the required information about your business and the employee who will receive the card.
    4. Review your application and submit it.

    How long will it take to be approved?

    American Express instantly approves your application if you meet the criteria and the information you provided is accurate and complete. Upon approval, you’ll receive the card in three to four business days via UPS.

    I got the card. Now what?

    • Use the online management tools. American Express offers online tools that can help you set up autopay and account alerts to avoid late payments and to notify you of suspicious activity. You can also manage your expenses by using the Spend ManagerSM feature and can transfer your data directly to your QuickBooks account.
    • Contact customer service. For questions, call the 24/7 customer service line at 1-800-528-4800 or use the online chat feature.

    Bottom line

    The Plum Card® from American Express could be a great card for your business if you struggle with cash flow. With this card, you can pay your balance in 60 days if you pay at least 10% of it by the payment due date. Plus, you get a 1.5% discount for every payment you make 10 days before the closing date.

    At first glance, the only setback this card has is the annual fee of $250, with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year. But if you take into account that it lets you delay your payments without paying an APR, then the money you save may outweigh the annual fee.

    Before you apply, consider other options with our comprehensive guide to business credit cards to find the right one for you.

    Frequently asked questions

    Disclaimer

    Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

    Rates and fees

    Image: americanexpress.com

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