What alternatives exist for Bank of America's business credit cards?
Bank of America offers four rewards-focused business credit cards. But how well do they meet your company's spend management requirements?
The core purpose of any spend management solution should be to make your life easier. Here are a few examples of how the right business payment card could help you:
- Simplifying the payment process
- Reducing administrative tasks
- Providing real-time visibility into total spend
- Preventing over budget or out of policy spend
- Offering useful rewards and perks
Let’s take a look at what the four Bank of America (BofA) Business cards have to offer (Travel, Cash, Alaska Airlines, and Platinum Plus). We’ll dive into each of them below to see just how much value they add to your business.
Do the Bank of America business cards simplify the payment process?
Bank of America offers standard physical cards, but not virtual cards which are now available from more innovative providers. This means you miss out on the added security, flexibility in card management, and spending control mechanisms offered by virtual cards.
Bill Pay is available through BofA’s Online Banking, however, the feature is not available for credit cards—you’d have to open and use a checking account with them instead.
Do the Bank of America business cards reduce admin?
Although the number of credit cards you can issue to employees is unlimited, in a practical sense it’s limited by the size of your credit limit. Each employee card represents a portion of the company’s overall limit, so depending on the size of your credit line, it could get eaten up quite quickly by just $2000 allocated to each employee. This means you’ll likely still need to ask the rest of your employees to pay for their business expenses upfront and seek reimbursement, which results in more expense report admin for them, management, and finance.
BofA does offer integrations to download your account data into Quicken or Quickbooks, which will help with accounting processes. You’ll still need to export lists of your transactions and load them into external software to glean any insight into spending or see how you’re tracking to budget.
Unfortunately, BofA does not offer receipt capture or OCR document scanning, travel integrations, or spend analysis tools through their credit card apps.
Do the BofA business cards give you real-time visibility into total spend?
If you have multiple employee cards—definitely not. In order to see the total charges across your company’s credit account, you’ll need to log in to Online Banking and view your “Corp Account” balance, which shows the total outstanding balance of all your employee cards as at the previous billing cycle. To see how you’ve been tracking since the last billing cycle, you’ll need to manually add up the balances of each employee credit card.
Credit cards don’t track payroll or accrued expenses such as invoices, so you will need another solution to forecast and track your organization’s total spending.
Can the BofA business cards prevent over budget or out of policy spend?
You can’t impose specific spending policies such as approved spend categories or transaction size on BofA credit cards. Nor can you allocate budgets. The only control is limiting total spending by employee, per month, by allocating a credit limit to each card. To ensure all spending adheres to policy you’d have to ask employees to seek management approval in advance of spending.
Do the BofA business cards empower your team to manage their own budgets?
You can’t run budget to actual reporting on a BofA business credit card. In order for your budget owners to keep track of where spending is vs. the budget, they’ll have to export transaction lists into another software to create reports on specific subsets of data.
What are the Bank of America business cards’ fees?
The most important fee to consider is the interest charged on your credit line. Variable APR credit cards can be dangerously expensive, which is why it’s so easy to get access to these cards.
How do I qualify for a Bank of America business card?
To be eligible for a Bank of America Business Card, you must have a business with its own revenue and expenses. BofA will conduct a credit assessment based on the age, gross annual revenue, and net profit generated by your business. More mature and profitable businesses will be able to access higher credit limits. It’s also recommended that you have an excellent credit score, as BofA will obtain a personal credit report to assess your application.
Bank of America business card perks that don’t matter
Each of the four BofA cards has different perks. They all provide some sort of new card bonus based on spending in certain categories, but it’s important to note that these bonuses are provided because they generally pay for themselves via high interest costs throughout the life of the card.
While it may seem appealing to use a credit card to provide easy access to 30 days of “float,” the fees above can rack up quickly and the high, variable APRs make it easy to end up buried under high interest charges.
While cash back and savings may provide some relief, they’re unlikely to outweigh the time and effort required to effectively manage your spend via manual reporting. Plus, overspending in certain categories can only be caught after-the-fact.
Let’s take a look at the specific benefits of the Bank of America Business cards:
Bank of America vs Lola.com
Who is a good fit for Bank of America?
Bank of America offers four different cards, and the benefits vary based on whether you’re looking for travel, cash, or APR benefits. If you’re looking to get access to a 30-day credit line, BofA’s credit cards can be a sufficient option, especially if a lower interest option isn’t available.
Who is a good fit for Lola.com?
Lola.com is best suited for companies that truly want to manage spending. It provides both physical and unlimited virtual cards with granular restrictions, so you can give them to your entire workforce without losing control. And by capturing and categorizing every employee’s spending, you can say goodbye to tedious expense reports and reimbursement admin.
Lola.com will empower your budget owners with real-time line of sight of spend against budget and by category, so they can adjust their strategies on the fly instead of waiting for month-end reports when it’s already too late.
Want to know more? Let’s chat.