American Express AXP, +2.22% on Thursday announced a new card for small businesses that aims to provide them more flexibility over their spending.
The Business Gold Card, which has an annual fee of $295, blends elements of both charge cards and credit cards. The card builds on other recent additions to American Express’ slate of products for small businesses, including the Amazon Business American Express Card launched in October.
Like a traditional charge card, American Express will not pre-set spending limits for Business Gold Card members, but purchases under $100 must be paid in full by the end of each month.
For purchases of $100 or more, cardholders will have the option to use the “pay over time” feature, which allows them to take longer than a month to pay of purchases. If cardholders opt to use this feature, they will pay interest at annual percentage rate that will range between the prime rate plus 10.99% and the prime rate plus 18.99%, based on their creditworthiness. American Express will set spending limits for the “pay over time” feature, like a traditional credit card.
The “pay over time” feature has existed for charge-card holders in the past, but consumers had to apply for it separately, said Courtney Kelso, head of U.S. commercial card solutions at American Express. This is the first time the feature has been integrated into a charge-card offering.
After they’ve held the card for one year, card members will also have access to other short-term financing options and business loans. And as with the Amazon Business American Express Card AMZN, +6.86% the Business Gold Card will offer members access to other business tools such as receipt-capture app SpendManager.
Additionally, American Express is incorporating a rewards structure for card members. Cardholders will earn 4X points from two of the six following categories, for the first $150,000 in spending, based on where they spent the most money during each billing cycle:
●• Airfare purchased directly from airlines
●• U.S. purchases at restaurants
●• U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
• U.S. purchases at gas stations
• U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions
• U.S. purchases for shipping
Business owners won’t need to do anything to set the rewards categories that will pay out the 4X points. Instead, American Express will make these determinations.
For all other spending, the card will reward 1X points. American Express will also reward cardholders 25% back in points on airfare when they book flights using their Membership Reward points, up to 250,000 points back.
Card members will also receive one-year free subscriptions to G Suite Basic from Google, which includes video conferencing and cloud storage tools, and to online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter.