Review: The Plum Card from American Express – Is it worth $250 per year?
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The Plum Card from American Express can be a useful tool if you’re looking for some extra time to pay off your bill. You can defer your balance to the following billing cycle if you need to, or earn a discount for paying it early. However, it doesn’t offer any rewards.
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The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.
Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give The Plum Card® from American Express 4 out of 5 Stars because it gives you about twice as long to pay your bill as other cards, which could be quite useful for some small businesses. But there’s not much to it other than payment flexibility.
Why We Like It
- A 1.5% early pay discount when you pay your bill within 10 days
- An option to take up to 60 days to pay your bill, if necessary
- You can defer paying part of your balance to the next billing cycle, with some limitations
- Your spending limit will adjust over time, based on your card activity and credit
- You can choose when you want to get your bill
- You’ll be able to get plenty of employee cards
- There are no foreign transaction fees
- Your positive card activity will be reported to a business credit bureau
Why It Could Be Better
- The annual fee might seem a bit high: $250
- That 1.5% discount isn’t very much, and you won’t even get that unless you pay your bill early
- There aren’t very many interesting or valuable benefits
The Plum Card is designed for small business owners who aren’t quite sure when they’ll be able to pay the bill.
It gives you up to 60 days to pay your monthly bill, rather than the 30 days or so that most credit cards give. And there are some other terms that make it easier to manage your monthly payments. This gives you more flexibility than most cards, just in case those funds don’t come in when you were expecting.
If you’re able to pay early, within 10 days of getting your bill, you’ll get a 1.5% discount on what you pay. But you won’t earn any other rewards with this card.
The Plum is a former charge card, and you usually need to pay your bill in full each month and can’t revolve a balance from month to month. However, there are features that can give you some extra time to pay.
It’s not the most rewarding offer for its fee, but if you need a card that gives you more time and options for paying down your balance, the Plum might work for you.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Got the time?: You may want to choose this card if your business has a long accounts receivable timeframe, since you’ll have 60 days to pay your bill after the statement period closes.
- Pay your bill as soon as possible: Aim to pay off as much of your balance as possible within the first 10 days to get the 1.5% discount, but if you do that regularly another card could earn you more in rewards.
- Utilize deferred payments: If you can’t pay your whole bill, you can defer part of it to the next billing cycle. You’ll need to pay 10% of what you owe, plus any amount that was previously deferred.
- Take advantage of the extra time: You can get up to 4 months to finish paying off expenses in some cases, when you count the 60-day limit to pay your bill, along with the ability to defer part of your balance.
- Pick when you want to pay your bill: The beginning, middle, or end of the month.
- Keep an eye out for discounts: Be sure to check Amex Offers regularly to see whether any of the substantial discounts could fit your business spending.
- Have an easier time come tax season: If you use QuickBooks, transfer your spending data from American Express to make tax time easier.
- Build your business credit: If you want to build credit for your business, separate from your personal credit history, this card may be a good choice. Although some other cards report to more business credit bureaus.
There are no rewards to earn with this card, like points or cash back. However, you can get a 1.5% discount on your purchases by paying them off early.
This might not seem like a very good deal, considering the high annual fee of this card. Check out some alternatives to the Plum card below, which are more rewarding and in some cases have lower fees.
Early Pay Discount
You’ll get a 1.5% discount on any portion of your statement balance that you pay within 10 days of the statement closing date. You must pay at least the minimum payment required by the due date to get this discount. The discount will appear as a statement credit on the next billing statement.
The most useful and unique benefits offered here provide extra time to pay if you should need it, a discount if you pay early (mentioned above), and a few shopping and travel protections. The rest are pretty typical when it comes to business credit cards.
- Pay later: The Plum card gives you 60 days to pay off your balance after your statement closes. Most credit cards only give around 30 days at the most. So if you’re not sure when exactly your customers will pay you during the month, this card gives you some extra time to figure it out.
- Extra days to pay: You can defer paying part of your balance to the next billing cycle. To do so, you must pay at least the minimum payment due, by the due date. That minimum payment is composed of 10% of the balance from your current billing cycle and any amount that was previously deferred from the last billing cycle.
- Pick your due date: Although some consumer credit cards allow you to pick your due date, this feature is less common among business credit cards. The Plum card lets you choose from the beginning, middle, or end of the month.
- No preset spending limit: This card has no preset spending limit, which does not mean you can spend an unlimited amount. Instead, this means that your purchasing power will adjust over time. It will change based on your card activity, payment history, credit record, and other financial resources.
- Employee cards: You can get up to 99 employee cards, and they will all be free. Individual spending limits can be set for the cards. Take note that there are certain purchases where the spending limit won’t apply, like restaurant tips and extended hotel stays.
- Account manager: Designate a trusted Account Manager to manage your account. Must be at least 18 years old.
- American express business app: A tool to help manage your spending throughout the year. Allows you to add receipts and notes to transactions, making tax time easier.
- Connect to QuickBooks: Provides an easy way to label and transfer your transaction data into a QuickBooks account.
- Amex Offers: You’ll have access to special earning opportunities at a wide variety of merchants.
- Entertainment Access: This benefit, also called Membership Experiences, provides pre-sale tickets to a variety of sports, music, and cultural events, as well as access to certain exclusive experiences. You’ll be able to search by interest, artist, event, or venue.
- Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed: If you book an eligible prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and then find the same room being advertised online for a lower price, you can be refunded for the difference.
- Purchase Protection: Your new eligible purchases are covered from damage and theft for 90 days.
- Extended Warranty: You can add an additional year to a manufacturer’s warranty, if it’s five years or less.
- Return Protection: Need a refund? American Express might refund you the whole price, up to $300 per claim and $1,000 in a calendar year.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Your rental cars are covered against theft and damage, as long as you decline the renters insurance and charge the full amount to your card.
Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||1.5% then 2.99% of the past due amount (minimum: $39).||$39|
The Plum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)
Unlike most cards, you can’t revolve a balance from month to month at an interest rate. But the Plum has some extra options and features that charge cards don’t usually have.
You’ll usually need to pay your bill in full by the due date. With the Plum card, that due date will be 60 days after the statement closing date. This is a nice feature because it’s about twice as long as other cards.
There’s also a way to defer part of your balance to the next billing cycle. To defer part of your balance, you have to pay:
- 10% of the balance from your current billing cycle
- Any amount that was previously deferred from the last billing cycle
The remaining balance will be carried over to the next billing cycle, but you won’t need to pay interest on it. It just gives you some extra time to pay.
With the 60-day due date and the ability to defer some of your balance, that means in some cases you can take up to 4 months to pay off some expenses. If you make a purchase at the beginning of a statement period, your bill won’t come for about 90 days (the length of the statement period, which is about a month, plus 60 days).
You could defer part of that balance to the next billing cycle, and you’ll get the bill for that about 30 days later. Then you’ll need to pay off that deferred balance in full, at around 120 days after making the purchase. This is how you can get about 4 months to finish paying off a purchase, give or take a few days.
You’ll also be able to pick your due date with this card to suit your business’s needs. You can pick from the beginning, middle, or end of the month.
Remember, any amount you pay within 10 days of the statement closing date will get a 1.5% discount.
The Plum card is more flexible than most charge cards, and doesn’t require you to always pay it off in full by the due date. But you can’t defer forever, and you’ll need to pay that balance eventually.
The Bottom Line
The Plum Card® from American Express is a different kind of card, giving small business owners a lot of flexibility when it comes to paying it off. If you’re not sure when you’ll have the money to pay your bill, this card provides some wiggle room.
This flexibility is the main benefit you’ll get. It’s pretty lenient compared to typical business charge cards, which require you to pay the balance in full about 30 days after the statement closes.
If you can pay any portion of your statement balance early you’ll get a 1.5% discount on that amount. This card isn’t really designed around earning rewards, and this will probably be more of a nice bonus for most businesses.
The Plum card doesn’t have much in the way of valuable perks, especially given the annual fee.
This card won’t provide a lot of cash back or points, but if you want a card to help manage your cash flow this could be it. The extended due date and deferred balance option could help out if revenue comes in late, potentially giving you up to 4 months to finish paying off expenses.
Some other business cards offer points or cash back, along with valuable benefits, but they won’t have the same flexible payment options. Check out some of those alternatives below.
How Do I Apply for the Amex Plum Card?
You can apply now for the American Express Plum Card securely by following the link below. You’ll have to be an authorized officer for your business, responsible for managing finances.
You’ll need your personal and business information. For corporations and partnerships, you’ll also need to provide your Federal Tax ID (the same as your Employer Identification Number, or EIN).
American Express will check your credit reports with the three major credit bureaus when you apply.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Plum Card?
It’s suggested you have good credit in order to be approved for the Plum Card from American Express.
That means your credit scores would need to fall within the ranges of 670–739 for FICO (including “very good”) and 700–749 for VantageScore.
However, you still have a shot even if your scores aren’t within those ranges. Credit card issuers look at more than just credit scores to measure your creditworthiness, meaning you still might be approved even if you have lower scores. But that means even if your scores are high, you may not be approved.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Business identifying information: Business name, company DBA name (if applicable), business name on card, industry type, company structure, years in business, number of employees
- Business address and contact information: Business address, business phone number
- Business financial information: Annual business revenue, estimated monthly costs, federal tax I.D
- Personal identifying information: Name, date of birth, role in company, Social Security number
- Address and contact information: Email, address, phone number
- Personal financial information: Total annual income
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I earn my 1.5% statement credit discount?
You can obtain the discount by paying at least the minimum due balance within 10 days of the closing statement date. You’ll get 1.5% back on the portion you pay. Check out the other benefits attached to the Plum card.
How does the deferred payment option work?
As long as you make the required minimum payment by the due date, the remainder of your bill will be deferred to the next billing cycle.
The minimum payment due will include any previously deferred balance.
Is the Plum Card from American Express metal?
No, the Plum Card is not a metal card.
Are you looking for a metal card? Here’s a few you might be able to get right now.
Alternatives to The Plum Card from American Express
The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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