4 ways Amex Business Cards can help SMEs boost cash flow
You don’t need to be a world-class juggling act to manage your business’s cash flow effectively.
As an SME, having the peace of mind that you won’t have to scrape the bottom of the jam jar to keep your business afloat is a priority for most business owners, and having a healthy cash flow is key for a successful business. But juggling your cash flow doesn’t need to be a circus act. Here are several ways to help boost positive cash flow with your American Express® Business Card.
1. Make the most of interest-free days
If used correctly, business cards can be a great tool to help free up additional cash flow for your business. Nowadays, most credit and charge cards offer an interest-free period of more than 50 days, if you time your purchases right. But if you look hard enough, there are a few nuggets of gold that offer above average interest-free periods.
When comparing business credit and charge cards, it’s wise to take a look at the interest-free period that specific cards come with. Typically, you can expect a business card to come in 45-day or 56-day billing cycles.
Amex Business Cards can help you free up some additional cash flow with anything from 24 to 54 extra days before a purchase is due for payment (depending on the purchase date). So, if you’re still waiting for your clients to settle their invoices, you will have the flexibility to repay your suppliers without having to move budgets around – a win, win situation.
Did you know?
To make full use of this interest-free period benefit you will need to make your purchase on the first day of the new statement period and then repay your balance in full on the due date each month; you will then be able to help boost your business’s cash flow without incurring any extra costs.
2. Consolidate your expenses management
If you’re currently sifting through a pile of receipts trying to work out what card you used to pay for what expense, not only is it a massive headache, it’s time and energy that you could be using to earn. Consolidating all your expenses under one roof can be a simple but effective way to create positive and more sustainable cash flow.
Amex offers a new, free service for its Business Gold and Business Platinum Cardmembers, where you just need to upload your receipts and invoices as you go. Not only will your accounts department thank you for the streamlined system that you can integrate with your accounting software, you will also be able to monitor and generate expense reports straight through the AmexExpense platform.
3. Take control of your business spending
It goes without saying, but employee cards are a must when you want to keep on top of your team’s expenses and overall business spend. As a business owner, control over your business expenses is a great way to maintain positive cash flow and save time by delegating purchasing tasks and monitoring spend.
Depending on the Amex Card, you could apply for up to 99 Employee Cards; you can view employees’ spending on these, set personalised credit limits and even freeze Cards if you need to. But remember, as the main Account Holder, you will be liable for all employee spending and are expected to repay in full and on time to avoid incurring interest or fees.
With the AmexExpense platform, your employees can upload their receipts as they go, rather than leaving it all the week before the deadline. And as a bonus, any spending they do on their cards will earn more Membership Rewards points for your business’s rewards pot, which could then be used to celebrate your employees at the end of the year. Any spend on an Amex Card is automatically added to AmexExpense.
4. Reinvest the rewards in your business
Speaking of business rewards, you can reinvest them back into your business the more you use your Amex Business Cards to pay for day-to-day business spending.
If you use them cannily, rewards cards can be an asset in getting your money to work for you, whilst maintaining a healthy cash flow. You can use your points to treat yourself, your employees or clients, or to reinvest in your business, which can add up to big cost savings. And with those extra Employee Cards, you’ll be racking up points faster.
Amex specialises in rewards cards, with certain products offering additional rewards points and some even having a golden hello.
For example, if you’re approved for the Amex Gold Business Card and spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership, you could bag the promotional 20,000 Membership Rewards points. In addition to giving you a healthy welcome bonus, this Card could help you maintain positive cash flow by making use of the 54 days to pay for your purchases. However as it’s a charge card, you will have to repay your balance in full when it’s due and keep on top of your annual membership fee of £175 (waived for the first 12 months of Cardmembership) or you won’t feel the full benefits of this Card.
What can 20,000 Membership Rewards points get you?
Use the 20,000 Membership Rewards bonus points to buy some new office equipment for your team. 20,000 Membership Rewards points can be converted to a £90 Argos voucher.
Or with this Card’s big sister, the Amex Platinum Business Card, you could earn 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, if you’re approved and spend £6,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. This Card – which is also a charge card – allows you up to 54 days to pay for purchases, making money management more flexible. Bear in mind that it comes with an annual fee of £595.
What can 40,000 Membership Rewards points get you?
40,000 Membership Rewards points can be traded for an M&S voucher worth £200, which you could use to treat your team with 2 Windsor food and wine hampers – great for a staff summer party.
According to QuickBooks, 38% of small business owners who’ve suffered with cash flow difficulty have been left unable to repay their debts. Cash flow problems are serious but there’s help available to tackle them, if you’re struggling.
If you are currently looking to boost your business’s cash flow, the efficient use of a business credit or charge card and the free tools available to you – like the AmexExpense platform – could be a good option to help you do so.
Before deciding which credit or charge card is right for you and your business, it’s important to compare a range of business cards.
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