The Plum Card® from American Express
- Paying early pays off: Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
- Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest, if you pay your minimum due.
- Use the power of the Plum Card to buy big for your business.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $250
- Terms & Restrictions Apply.
|INTRO APR||REGULAR APR||ANNUAL FEE||CREDIT NEEDED|
|N/A||N/A||$0 introductory annual fee your first year, then $250.||Good, Excellent|
The Plum Card® from American Express is best for business owners who want a charge card with no preset spending limit and no interest for 60 days. If you don’t opt-in for the 60-day terms, this card needs to be paid off in full monthly. It also offers a pay early discount of 1.5%.
The best cash back credit cards provide up to $2,000 in introductory rewards, 5% cash back, and 0% annual percentage rate (APR) introductory periods up to 15 months. This American Express business card has no introductory bonus and maxes out at a 1.5% discount, which is like a cash back reward. We rate this card 3.5 stars out of 5 stars possible.
How We Evaluated the Plum Card®
The Plum Card® by American Express offers payment flexibility through pay early discounts or pay later financing terms. You can receive a 1.5% discount if you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. This card carries a $250 annual fee, which is waived during the first year. Because this is a charge card, it carries no APR as the balance is due in full monthly or every 60 days if you opt-in for longer repayment terms.
Based on business owners’ wants and needs in a card, we considered the following criteria in our evaluation:
- Ongoing rewards: The cash back you’ll earn by using your card; this American Express business card offers 1.5% back when you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date
- Introductory rewards: The introductory offer you can earn by reaching a minimum spending requirement; this card offers no introductory rewards
- Annual fee: The cost of owning the card every year; this card has a $250 annual fee, which is waived during the first year
- Additional benefits: Whether the card offers free additional card benefits and perks that can increase its value; this card offers features like purchase and return protection, extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, and more
- Intro APR: Whether the card offers a period of no interest on purchases or balance transfers; this American Express business card is a charge card, so it’s required to be paid off in full and doesn’t carry any APR
- Ongoing APR: The cost of financing purchases on your card; this is a charge card and is required to be paid in full monthly. It doesn’t have an ongoing APR
Overall, the Plum Card® is a solid charge card because of the flexible payment schedules offered and its growing spending limit. However, if you’re looking to capitalize on cash back rewards, there are a number of other cards that will offer a higher return. For example, the Chase Ink Business CashSM offers cash back rewards of up to 5%.
How We Evaluate Cash Back Business Credit Cards
When grading cash back business credit cards like the Plum Card®, we weigh ongoing rewards the heaviest. We rate introductory rewards as slightly less important, but it’s still the second most important factor. We also take into consideration the annual fee, introductory and ongoing APRs, and additional card benefits.
We graded this card using the following methodology:
Based on our 5-star rating system where 20 points are equal to one star, the Plum Card® would need to make significant improvements to its introductory rewards to earn 4 stars. In cases where cards receive perfect scores in most categories, we may award bonus points to boost the card’s rating. In this case, we didn’t boost this card’s rating.
Despite this card’s beneficial payment flexibility, our grade of 3.5 stars is appropriate because you’ll receive no introductory rewards. Because you don’t pay interest on this card even if you opt-in for the 60-day repayment terms, we awarded a perfect score for the APRs offered.
For a business that values cash back rewards and intro bonus above the flexibility of a 60-day repayment period, the Chase Ink Business CashSM offers a $500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Who the Plum Card® Is Right For
The Plum Card® is best for business owners who are looking for a charge card that offers multiple payment schedules. This American Express business card offers pay early discounts of 1.5% with no cap or 60 days to pay your balance with no interest. Additionally, there is no preset spending limit. Your purchasing power adjusts with the use of the card, your payment history, credit record, and other factors known to American Express.
The Plum Card® Costs
The Plum Card® carries an annual fee of $250, which American Express waives during the first year of card ownership. Because this American Express business card is a charge card, there are no introductory or ongoing APRs. Similar to other charge and noncharge cards, you will be hit with a late fee of at least $38 if you fail to make a payment.
The costs of this American Express business credit card are:
- Introductory APR: None
- Ongoing APR: None; this card is a charge card and is due in full monthly unless you opt-in to 60-day free financing terms
- Annual fee: $250, which is waived during the first year
- Balance transfer fee: Transfers are not allowed
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Cash advance fee: Cash advances are not allowed
- Late payment fee: $39 or 1.5%, whichever is greater. If you don’t pay for two billing periods in a row, the fee is the greater of $39 or 2.99%
- Returned payment fee: $39
- Penalty APR: None
Overall, this American Express business card is a relatively inexpensive option if you’re able to meet the monthly repayment requirements. If you don’t think you will be able to pay off your balance in full every month and worry about late fees, a good card option would be the Chase Ink Business CashSM. This Chase card offers a no-interest introductory period for 12 months on purchases.
How to Avoid Paying Interest on the Plum Card®
The Plum Card® is a charge card, which means you will avoid interest as a whole because you’ll be required to pay the balance in full every month. Opening a credit card with no APR is a positive for cardholders who can afford to pay their bills off on time every month. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off your balance, consider a 0% APR business credit card.
This American Express business card also offers an opt-in 60 days to pay with a no-interest feature. If you pay at least your minimum payment by your payment due date on your current billing statement, you can defer payment of your remaining balance on your next billing statement without incurring interest. Your minimum payment is 10% of the balance from new activity on your current billing statement plus the entire amount of any previously deferred balance.
The Plum Card® Rewards
The Plum Card® doesn’t offer any introductory rewards. However, if you decide to pay your bill within 10 days of your statement close date, you can receive 1.5% in pay early discounts. These ongoing rewards will show up as a statement credit. Compared to other small business credit cards, the rewards offered on this card fall short.
You won’t receive any introductory rewards with this card. However, there are other charge cards that offer introductory rewards. For example, the American Express Business Green Rewards Card offers 3X Membership Rewards® points on your combined eligible purchases on the Card, up to the first $50,000, at U.S. restaurants, on hotel stays booked directly with hotels, and on airfare purchased directly from airlines in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 11/6/2019.
There are also competitors that offer more substantial introductory rewards. The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card offers new cardholders a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. With the Chase Ink Business CashSM you can earn the same $500 bonus, but only need to spend $3,000 within the first three months.
You’ll earn a 1.5% back early pay discount if you pay 10% of the balance from new activity on your current statement plus any previously deferred balance within 10 days of your closing date. The discount will appear as a credit on your next billing statement. In comparison, the American Express Business Green Rewards Card offers 2x miles on travel-related purchases through American Express and 1x miles on all other purchases.
Compared to competing cash back cards, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers unlimited 2% cash back, which can be redeemed at any time with no minimums. Conversely, the Chase Ink Business CashSM offers cash back up to 5%, which is the highest rewards you can earn on cash back business cards
This feature is unique to this American Express business card. However, the American Express Business Green Rewards Card offers a similar Pay Over Time program. The Pay Over Time feature can help ease the payment requirement of a charge card but is only available by invitation. It allows you to pay charges over a period of time with a set APR.
This card won’t award pay early discounts for the following purchases:
- Previously deferred amounts
- Past due amounts
- Cash advances
- Purchases of traveler’s checks
- Purchases or reloading of prepaid cards
- Purchases of other cash equivalents
Generally, cash back small business credit cards won’t award you for fees related directly to your credit card. Reward restrictions and exclusions here are common across all business credit cards.
How You Can Redeem Your Rewards
If you decide to pay your balance early, you will see a 1.5% discount applied to your next month’s statement automatically. Plus, the pay early discounts have no cap, meaning you can earn 1.5% early pay discounts every month if you meet the payment requirements. However, unlike other leading cash back business credit cards, there are no other redemption options. The cash back you earn can only be redeemed as a statement credit.
In comparison, with the Chase Ink Business CashSM you can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, or travel through the Chase online rewards portal. The redemption value for all three options is 1 cent per point, which is standard across cash back credit cards. When you redeem your points for cash, you can either receive it as a statement credit or deposit it into an eligible business bank account.
The Plum Card® Additional Features
Similar to other American Express business credit cards, the Plum Card® offers cardholders invaluable additional card features that increase its value. Some of the additional benefits include premium roadside assistance, purchase protection and return protection, extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, baggage insurance, car rental coverages, global assistance hotline, and account management tools.
Premium Roadside Assistance
The Plum Card® offers premium roadside assistance, which provides the following services at no additional cost up to four times per year: towing up to 10 miles, winching, jump starts, flat tire change, lockout services, and delivery of two gallons of gas. This service outranks most competitors and other American Express business cards.
What’s Covered With the Plum Card® Premium Roadside Assistance
The following services are free for up to four times per year:
- Towing up to 10 miles
- Jump starts
- Flat tire change
- Lockout services
- Delivery of up to two gallons of gas
The premium roadside assistance is one of the best compared to most small business credit cards and other American Express business cards. For example, the Chase Ink Business CashSM doesn’t offer roadside assistance services. The American Express Business Green Rewards Card offers a similar service, but you’re responsible for the cost of any goods or services provided.
What the Plum Card® Premium Roadside Assistance Excludes
The following vehicles and services are not covered by premium roadside assistance:
- Rental vehicles
- Unlicensed vehicles
- Tractors and trucks weighing 10,000-plus pounds.
It’s not typical for small business credit cards to provide a premium roadside assistance card feature. As we saw with the Chase Ink Business CashSM, it lacks any roadside assistance services. With that being said, exclusions here are common across small business credit cards offering a similar service.
The Plum Card® purchase protection covers items damaged or stolen within 120 days from the purchase date as long as you purchased them with this American Express business card. If you’re a New York resident, you only have coverage for a 90-day window. Regardless of where you live, American Express caps the protection at $1,000 per incident and $50,000 per year.
What’s Covered With the Plum Card® Purchase Protection
This card only covers items that were purchased entirely on your card and were either stolen or damaged within 120 days of the purchase date. In comparison, the Chase Ink Business CashSM also covers items that were either damaged or stolen or that can’t be recovered even if the location is known.
What the Plum Card® Purchase Protection Excludes
The following types of purchases are excluded from coverage:
- Perishable or consumable items with extended or limited life spans
- Stolen or damaged items in a pair
- Traveler’s checks
- Tickets of any kind
- Negotiable instruments (gift cards or certificates)
- Living plants or animals
- One-of-a-kind items
- Previously owned items
- Motorized vehicles and their parts or accessories
- Gift cards and certificates, and cash or its equivalent
- Items rented, leased, or borrowed
- Household fixtures and business fixtures
- Items for inventory
Generally, small business credit cards that provide purchase security will limit the coverage to a 90- or 120-day window. For example, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business covers purchased items from theft or damage for the first 90 days after the purchase date. Capital One’s purchase security will replace, repair, or reimburse you up to the original purchase price, without exceeding $10,000 per claim.
Extended Warranty Protection
This American Express card offers an extended warranty protection plan for purchased items with manufacturer’s warranties of up to five years. American Express will extend the original warranty for a period of time equal to the warranty up to two additional years. This protection is better than other competitor cards.
What’s Covered With the Plum Card® Extended Warranty Protection
You’ll receive coverage on purchased items with an original manufacturer’s warranty of up to five years. American Express provides the same extended warranty protection across all American Express business cards. When compared to competitors, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business only provides coverage on items with warranties of three years or less.
What the Plum Card® Extended Warranty Protection Excludes
The following purchases are not covered by extended warranty protection:
- Purchased items with an unconditional satisfaction guarantee
- Items with physical damage or damage from a natural disaster
- Living plants and animals
- Perishable or consumable items
- Motorized devices and vehicles and their parts
- Business fixtures, land, or buildings
- Items in a pair or set
- Extended warranty coverage for a computer
- Purchases for inventory
When comparing the extended warranty protection offered by American Express and Capital One, we see that the exclusions items are similar. With that being said, most small business credit cards that offer extended warranty plans will also have common exclusions.
Travel Accident Insurance
American Express provides travel accident insurance up to $100,000. It will only cover incidents that were charged entirely on your card and occur within 100 days after the accident. This travel accident insurance outranks most other small business credit cards.
What’s Covered With the Plum Card® Travel Accident Insurance
This card will cover incidents if you die or lose a limb, sight, speech, or hearing as long as the travel fares were paid for entirely using your credit card. If you’re seeking better travel accident insurance coverage, another good charge card option would be the American Express® Business Platinum Card. This American Express business credit card offers coverage up to $500,000.
What the Plum Card® Travel Accident Insurance Excludes
The following aren’t included in the travel accident insurance:
- Suicide or self-destruction
- Losses as a result of war
- Self-inflicted injury or threat
- Injuries as a result of driving, riding as a passenger in, entering or leaving a rental car
- Injuries caused by commuting
- Stroke, cardiovascular accident, or heart attack
- Coronary thrombosis, aneurysm, or deep vein thrombosis.
- Sickness, physical or mental weakness, or pregnancy
The travel accident insurance provided on this card outranks the Chase Ink Business CashSM credit card. This Chase card doesn’t offer travel accident insurance. Instead, it only provides an emergency hotline for cardholders. However, for cards that do offer travel accident insurance, exclusions here are similar.
Baggage Insurance Plan
When you use the Plum Card® to book airfare, American Express offers coverage on any lost bags while in direct transit between $250 and $1,250. With this coverage, your checked bags, carry-on bags, and any high-risk items are protected. However, American Express baggage insurance falls short compared to some competitors.
What’s Covered With the Plum Card® Baggage Insurance Plan
The baggage insurance plan will pay the following benefits:
- Up to $1,250 for baggage lost in direct transit to a common carrier’s terminal
- Up to $1,250 for lost carry-on baggage
- Up to $500 for lost checked baggage
- Up to $250 for lost high-risk items like jewelry, electronics, and furs
There are other competitor credit cards that offer baggage insurance plans with a more substantial coverage amount. For example, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business covers checked and carry-on baggage up to $3,000 ― $2,000 for New York residents.
What the Plum Card® Baggage Insurance Plan Excludes
The following items are not covered by the baggage insurance plan:
- Cash or its equivalent
- Credit cards
- Travel documents
- Securities and tickets
- Animals and living plants
- Consumable and perishable items with an extended lifespan
- Glasses and contact lenses
- Hearing aids
- Artificial teeth and limbs
- Nonprescription or prescription drugs
- Property shipped as freight
To be eligible for such coverage, your entire trip fair must be charged on your eligible small business credit card. For credit cards that offer baggage insurance plans, exclusions here are generally common.
Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance
The Plum Card® offers car rental loss and damage insurance for up to $50,000 per car rental agreement for the first 30 consecutive days of a rental period. To be eligible, you must charge the entire car rental cost to your American Express business credit card. Other competitors offer coverage with a higher monetary cap.
What’s Covered With the Plum Card® Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance
The lesser of the following is covered by the car rental insurance:
- The actual cost to repair the rental vehicle
- The wholesale book value of the rental vehicle, minus salvage and depreciation costs
- The purchase invoice price of the rental vehicle, minus salvage and depreciation costs
American Express sets a monetary cap on the car rental loss and damage insurance of $50,000. In comparison, the Chase Ink Business CashSM sets the monetary value up to the cash value of the rental car.
What the Plum Card® Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance Excludes
The following losses are not covered by the car rental loss and damage insurance:
- Intentional damage
- Damage that happened before the rental
- Manufacturing defects within the rental car
- Confiscation by authority
- Normal wear and tear
- Gradual deterioration
- Damage as a result of freezing
- Mechanical or electrical breakdown or failure
- Theft or damage to unlocked rental cars
- Damage to or theft of tires
- Damage of any other car or property
For small business credit cards that offer a car rental insurance plan, you’re only eligible if you charge the entire car rental to the eligible credit card. Additionally, exclusions in this category are common across small business credit cards that offer this coverage.
Global Assist Hotline
The Plum Card® offers you a global assistance hotline anytime you travel more than 100 miles away from your home location. This global assistance hotline can connect you to medical, legal, financial, and other emergency assistance services 24 hours a day. However, you are responsible for any fees charged by service providers.
Services the Plum Card® Provides
You’ll receive the following travel and emergency assistance:
- Translation and interpretation assistance
- Lost items and missing luggage assistance
- Travel document help
- Card cancellation assistance
- Delivery of urgent messages to a family member or friend
You’ll receive the following medical and legal assistance:
- List of nearby physicians and dentists
- Prescription transfers
- Monitoring of medical care during your travels
- Medical transportation help
- Help find bail bonds that accept American Express
- Provides referrals for embassies and English-speaking lawyers
There are other competitors that offer similar services for cardholders. For example, the Chase Ink Business CashSM also offers an emergency hotline. However, the Plum Card® is known to have a more robust hotline. For instance, the Chase Ink Business CashSM doesn’t offer medical transportation assistance or translation and interpretation services.
Account Management Tools
The Plum Card® offers business owners with an array of account management tools that can help them take control of their business expenses. For example, business owners will have access to desktop programs to manage their accounts, mobile apps where they can control employee spending, and the ability to transfer their transaction data to QuickBooks Online automatically.
You’ll receive account management tools, including:
- Desktop programs: Account holders can use desktop programs to view their account activity, pay their bills, and manage and monitor individual employee cards; for example, they can view employee transactions, set card spend limits, and flag unusual transactions
- Mobile device apps: Account holders can manage their accounts on the fly through American Express mobile device apps; the features on the app are similar to what is provided through the desktop program; plus, employees can upload photos of receipts for more efficient expense reporting
- QuickBooks connection: Account holders can have their transaction data transferred automatically to their QuickBooks Online account to help them save time and simplify expense reporting
Additionally, account holders can set customizable account alerts, receive year-end transaction summaries, and prepare robust reports of their company’s credit card expenses. These tools outrank most other small business credit card competitors. For example, the Chase Ink Business CashSM doesn’t offer account management tools beyond their desktop program and app.
How to Add Employee Cards to the Plum Card®
You can issue up to 99 employee credit cards at no additional cost with the Plum Card®. Most small business credit cards don’t charge a fee for employee credit cards, even if the primary card carries an annual fee with the exception of a few American Express cards. If you need more than 99 cards, a good card option would be the Chase Ink Business CashSM or a corporate credit card.
What the Plum Card® Is Missing
The Plum Card® is not an ideal card option if you’re looking to earn cash back or points rewards on your business-related purchases. Plus, this card doesn’t offer an introductory reward like most other competitor credit cards. If you’re seeking more substantial introductory and ongoing rewards, consider a card like the Chase Ink Business CashSM. It offers a $500 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months and up to 5% cash back.
The Plum Card® Reviews
We read through several user reviews on the web and, in doing so, we found that the Plum Card® reviews are mixed. Most cardholders say they love the fact they can take up to 60 days to pay with no interest and say the payment flexibility is great. However, there are complaints about the lack of introductory rewards.
How to Apply for the Plum Card®
You can apply for the Plum Card® online. American Express requires you to provide basic business and personal information. You will usually receive a decision right away. Once approved, you will receive your card in the mail within seven to 10 days. If you’re not approved right away, you can check your application status on the American Express website.
How to Log Into Your Plum Card® Account
You can log into the Plum Card® account online by providing your user ID and password. If you run into problems you can contact customer service through the American Express website or by calling 800-492-3344.
Other American Express Business Cards
There are a number of American Express business cards beyond the Plum Card®. These credit cards offer a variety of rewards like cash back and points, a wide range of APRs, and several different annual fees. It would be worth considering another American Express business card if you are seeking a substantial introductory reward or don’t want a charge card.
The other American Express business cards are:
- American Express Business Platinum Card®: One of the best American Express business cards for business owners who travel a ton; you can earn maximum travel rewards and will have access to premium American Express travel perks
- American Express® Business Gold Card: An excellent credit card option for business owners who want to earn rewards in the spending categories where they spend the most money each month; cardholders will also have several additional card features
- American Express Blue Business® Plus Credit Card: A great card option for business owners seeking a low-interest American Express business card; cardholders can also earn rewards on their everyday business-related purchases
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Credit Card: Best for business owners who primarily stay at Hilton hotels and want to earn Hilton Honors points for their purchases; plus, cardholders can earn a substantial introductory reward
- American Express Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM Credit Card: An excellent card option for business owners who stay at Marriott Bonvoy hotels; cardholders can earn points rewards for purchases made directly with Marriott and a substantial introductory bonus
- American Express Delta Reserve® for Business Credit Card: Best for business owners who primary fly with Delta Air Lines and are seeking premium additional travel perks; plus, cardholders can also earn an introductory bonus
- American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card: Another good option for business owners who frequently fly with Delta Air Lines; cardholders will earn ongoing points rewards for their Delta-related purchases
- American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card: Another American Express business credit card that is best for business owners who fly with Delta Air Lines; Cardholders can earn an introductory reward and ongoing rewards for purchases made directly with Delta
- Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: An excellent card option for business owners who have Amazon Prime memberships; cardholders can earn rewards on purchases at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market
- Amazon Business American Express Card: An excellent credit card for business owners who do not have an Amazon Prime membership; cardholders can earn rewards purchases at Amazon-owned businesses
- American Express Business Green Rewards Card: An excellent card option for business owners who are seeking a charge card that offers travel rewards; cardholders will also have the opportunity to earn an introductory reward
- American Express Lowe’s Business Credit Card: Best for businesses that spend a lot of company funds at Lowe’s; cardholders can earn rewards for their Lowe’s purchases and in-store discounts
Alternatives to the Plum Card®
If you want to earn better rewards on a charge card or you don’t think you can meet the repayment requirements, there are better options compared to the Plum Card®. American Express and other competitors offer cards that may be a better fit for your spending needs.
3 Alternatives to the Plum Card®
For rates and fees on the Plum Card® from American Express, please click here.