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The Best Corporate Cards for May 2020

By Jack Ablon
The Best Corporate Cards for May 2020

 

At Lola, we hear about any and every type of credit card benefit (and shortcoming) imaginable. So we know a thing or two when it comes to the perks and costs of corporate credit.

Whether you’re a CEO at a brand new startup looking for your company’s first corporate card or you’re leading the charge to score better cash back terms for the finance department, shopping for business credit cards isn’t always easy. What features does your team value the most? Today we will look at the best corporate card options for the following features: 

  • Best perks and cash back (AMEX Platinum) 
  • Best for startups to save money (Brex)
  • Best for managing spend (Divvy)
  • Best for bank and bill pay integration (SVB)

 

Best business credit card for perks and cash back: The Business Platinum Card® by American Express

Amazing intro offer, great points, built-in reporting tools

sbs_plat_metal_chip_480x304

American Express is no stranger to corporate credit cards. And when it comes to perks, there’s no match for the The Business Platinum Card®. With 5X on travel (booked through amextravel.com) and 1X on everything else, this is an amazing option for folks looking for no-frills perks without the limitations of blackouts and stipulations. This card is best for businesses with larger expenses. Plan to at least spend $15k in the first 3 months to take advantage of the 75K points welcome offer. Though the annual fee of $595 seems steep, is more than covered by the perks and special offers that this card affords, from Global Entry and Uber Credits to Global Lounge Access and Customer Concierge. Lastly, this card offers a minimum of 1% cash back to the company, but also Membership Rewards points to the employees.

Best for: More established businesses that are spending significantly per month, want premium rewards, value the security and brand strength of a Fortune 100 company.

Where the card wins

Where the card struggles

75,000 membership rewards welcome offer

Not the best option for lower-spending clients

5X points on flight and hotels 

$595 annual fee

1.5X points on purchases over $5k

 

Simple record keeping + summary reports

 

Rewards for your employees, too

 

 

Best business credit card for startups to save money: Brex

Easy to issue, powered by software, best rewards program

logo-LG-BrexMastercard

Brex is a pioneer in business credit cards powered by software. Brex allows teams to issue plastic and virtual cards for team members for maximum flexibility. Where Brex really shines is their reward program. Built for modern business spend, Brex has the most generous points program with 7X points on ridesharing, 2X on recurring software spend, and tons of amazing partnership credits and discounts (AWS and Slack are standouts). Additionally, the value of their points is higher than competitors such as Divvy, giving you more bang for your buck with these multipliers.

Best for: Businesses that need flexibility, value significant business growth-related rewards, and have modern spending habits.

Where the card wins

Where the card struggles

Issue plastic and virtual cards, instantly

$5 fee per card after the first 5 cards issued.

Amazing rewards program - redeemable for statement credit

Limited reporting

Perks designed for modern spending: rideshare, recurring software, travel and per diem as well.

 

Super modern, easy-to-use interface 

 

 

 

Best business credit card for managing spend: Divvy Smart Card™

A no-brainer if you need flexibility and control

divvy-card-center-1

Divvy is a new player in the corporate credit card world. Powered by software, Divvy makes it easy for controllers and finance teams to set budgets, assign cards, link with expense platforms, and track spend. Divvy also allows teams to issue plastic and virtual cards. Say you need to attach a card to a one-time expense, managed by someone who won’t need a physical card - issue a virtual card! Problem solved. While Divvy has some partnership discounts, they are much less robust than a competitor like Brex. Additionally, the value of their rewards points is also noticeably lower. This is a great low-risk solution for early startups, but may not suit higher spending businesses that expect more out of their credit card.

Best for: Companies that need their first business credit card with most (if not all) U.S. based business.  

Where the card wins

Where the card struggles

Issue plastic and virtual cards, instantly

Foreign transaction fees

Control and limit spend by card - all in the app

Less valuable rewards / perks

Powered by software: modern features for fast-moving companies

 



Best business credit card for bank and bill pay integration: Silicon Valley Bank Credit Cards

Integrated bill pay, smart software and control, startup DNA

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Silicon Valley Bank is the original tech spend management platform. SVB has been in the venture capital business since the early 1980’s and has found a way to serve technology companies through 30 years of innovation and change. Though SVB is “bank first, software second”, the bank offers virtual cards, touchless payments, zero personal liability, and many other features that founders and scrappy companies can appreciate. As you grow, their bill pay features and banking suite can grow with you. While the value of SVB's points (that can be converted to statement credit) are relatively high, they do not have any special offers or perks that one normally expects from a credit card that they'll be using for a lot of their spending. However, some of their more advanced bank-related features definitely win over growing businesses.

Best for: Growing companies that need more guidance and advanced banking features such as bill pay.

Where the card wins

Where the card struggles

A+ Security powered by software 

Dated website and UI - can be confusing to learn.

Powerful integrations - Quickbooks, Expensify, Xero

 

No personal liability 

 

Great ecosystem of scale-up products as you grow

 

 

So, how do I choose?

Finding the best credit card for your business depends on what your team needs. It’s easy to get caught up comparing every single sign-up offer down to the cent. When you’re spending at the caps, this makes a ton of sense. Don’t forget to read between the lines and consider other factors when choosing. Say your team frequents Marriott properties for travel, it probably makes sense to work with the Bonvoy offerings from Chase or American Express. What if you buy tons of inventory at Costco? Maybe take a hard look at Citi’s offerings to get cash back on all those purchases. 

If you’re just looking to choose  from the best of the best, though, look no further than this table to figure out which card is right for you and your company:

 

AMEX Business Platinum

Brex

Divvy Smart Card

Silicon Valley Bank Business

Annual and Card Fees

$595/yr (largely offset by perks)

$175 for up to 3 Additional Platinum Cards, then $175 for each additional Platinum Card +
$0 for Additional Gold Cards

$5/card after first 5

None

None

Foreign Transaction Fees

No

No

Yes

No

Welcome Offer

75K points if $15k spending in first 3 months

Have had limited time offers in past

No

No

Minimum Statement Credit Back

1% 

1.7%

0.55%

2%

Current Point Valuation

~$0.02/point

~$0.017/point

~$0.0055/point

~$0.02/point

Earning Rewards Points

5x travel, 1.5x large purchases

Best for startups; 7x rideshare, 4x travel, 3x restaurants, 2x software, 1x other 

Solid for startups; customizable by what time period you want calculated

Decent; 2x everything

Redeeming Points

As statement credit or on merchandise, gift cards, or premium travel/ entertainment options all through their portal

As statement credit or through their partner's travel portal

As statement credit (or cash back), through their partner's travel portal, or on gift cards

As statement credit or on very limited gift card selection

Special Offers

Best premium travel and high-spending offers; including Global Entry or Pre-check credit, Fine Hotels and Resorts credits, Uber credit, Airline Fee credit

Best startup offers; including Slack, Zoom, and WeWork discounts, AWS credit, and Snapchat, and Google advertising credits

Pretty good startup offers; including AWS credit, Carta and Gusto discounts

No public special offers

Included Perks

Global AMEX Lounge Access, Bonvoy Gold Status, Hilton Gold, End-to-End Concierge and more

None

None

None

Virtual Cards

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Spending Controls

Limited

Limited

Good

Limited

Modern Software

For the most part

Yes

Yes

Dated at times

Robust Reporting

Yes

Limited

Yes

Somewhat

Bill Pay

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Accounting Integrations

Quickbooks, SAP Concur, and offer own solution

Quickbooks, Netsuite, Xero, Expensify

Quickbooks, Netsuite (beta)

Quickbooks, Xero, Expensify

 

 

* Disclaimer: Lola.com has a commercial partnership with American Express Global Business Travel, which is a corporate travel agency partially owned by American Express. Lola does not have any affiliation with American Express who issues the corporate card mentioned in this article. Lola has either discussed or has in place sales referral, co-marketing, or other commercial relationships with the other cards listed here.




posted by

Jack Ablon

better corporate travel starts here.