The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN Review

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"Paying early pays off!"

Instead of normal cash-back, get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn. Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest if you pay your minimum amount due.

Card Summary Table

The Ideal Cardholder

Cash flow can be unpredictable. Sometimes you can pay bills right away, and other times it may be easier to wait. Either way works out in your favor with The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN!

That’s because with this card, you can pay your bill early and get a 1.5% discount, with no cap on total earnings. Or, if it works out better that month, you can pay later; take up to 60 days to pay interest-free.

For those who run seasonal businesses or whose incoming cash flow is unpredictable, the card can provide you with payment alternatives that most other cards don’t.

It can be nice to have a card that does business on your terms!

use-the-plum-card-from-american-express-for-your-new-business
The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN is a great card to use for your new small business.

Sign-Up Bonus and How to Really Benefit From Using The Card

After opening The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN, you can earn the sign-up bonus listed in the card summary table above.

When you initially open your card, you have the option of choosing to receive your bill at the beginning, middle, or end of the month.

This can allow you to receive your bill when your cash flow may be highest and you’re in the best position to pay. Then, each month, you have the option to pay early or pay later – but either way, you benefit.

If you choose to pay early, you’ll get a 1.5% discount. Or, you can allow yourself some extra time (up to 60 days) and not have to worry about interest racking up.

With no pre-set spending limit, you can make the purchases that your business needs, without incurring big interest charges right away.

You know your business best – that’s why you get to decide when to pay each month.

Plus, if you have employees, you can add additional employee cards at no annual fee (and an early pay discount on employee spending, too!).

Bottom Line: The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN gives you choices, and the ability to get cash back when you pay early.

Additional Perks of Card Membership

As you make big purchases for your business, it’s always good to have the peace of mind in knowing that those items are protected.

With the purchase protection benefit that is automatically included with card membership, eligible purchases made with the card can be protected against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days.

You may also shop with less worry due to the included extended warranty. Eligible items can have their original manufacturer’s warranty extended for up to 1 additional year.

With no pre-set spending limit on the card, you can essentially have purchasing power that adjusts with the use of your card, along with other factors.

It also provides you with some additional perks that can be handy for business (or personal) travelers, such as:

  • Baggage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global assist hotline
  • Premium roadside assistance

Bottom Line: Get Purchase Protection and a host of other benefits with The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN. These perks offer more than just a way to purchase items and services for your business; they also provide you peace of mind.

Even More Benefits Through American Express OPEN

In addition, just like other AMEX OPEN cards, The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN also automatically includes additional benefits for helping you manage and control your spending, such as:

  • ReceiptMatch
  • Account Manager
  • OPEN Savings
  • Account alerts
  • Online statements

You can also view and manage your account from virtually anywhere using the mobile and tablet apps. This can make it easier to manage your account whenever it is convenient for you.

Notice something that doesn’t look quite right? If there happens to be an incorrect or a fraudulent charge on your statement, American Express will work with you to help in resolving the issue.

Plus, as a cardholder, you will automatically become a member of the OPEN Forum too. This will provide you with access to information, articles, tools, and advice from industry experts and business owners that can help you manage and grow your business.

Bottom Line: The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN can help you to grow and run your company more efficiently.

Drawbacks and Alternative Cards

Is this the right business credit card for your company? Perhaps. But know there are other options as well.

One great alternative is the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which has a $95 annual fee, typically comes with a great sign-up bonus, and earns points in Chase Ultimate Rewards.

With this card, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year. Then, earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

These points can be used for travel awards (see How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points) or used directly in the Chase Travel Portal.

Another business card that might be of interest to you is The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.

At an annual fee of only $175 per year, you will earn 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines; 2X points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets; and 1X points on other purchases (terms and limitations apply).

Finally, the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN is a business credit card with no annual fee that earns cash-back on a variety of different categories.

Here, you’ll earn 5% cash-back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers, plus 3% cash-back on the category of your choice from a list of 8, which includes airfare, hotels, U.S. advertising, U.S. shipping, and more!

You’ll also earn 1% cash-back on all other purchases!

Bottom Line: There are some alternative cards that may or may not be more appealing to you than The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN. Always be sure to shop around and find out what’s best for you!

Card Summary

While the card offers a nice array of options, it may not be for everyone.

Comparing it with one of the other AMEX cash-back cards like the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN can help you in determining which may serve you best.

Between travel, office items, and other purchases, the cost of running a business can add up quickly. But using your AMEX card can provide you a rewarding way to finance the things you need and get cash-back.

Plus, you have the option of paying early and saving or paying later and not incurring interest charges. Now that’s a choice you can live with!

Bottom Line: With no annual fee the first year, convenient payment options, and a way to save on your statement, why wouldn’t you opt for The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN?

Great Card If

  • You are a business owner – especially if your cash flow is unpredictable
  • You want flexibility of payment options
  • You make large business purchases

Don't Get If

  • You are not a business owner
  • You are looking for a way to get a cash advance
  • You want to transfer over a balance from another card
  • You want a business card with no annual fee

U.P. Pro Tips

Any business can throw you a curve ball at times. But if you operate a seasonal company or a business that has variations in cash flow, it can be difficult to pay off big expenses – especially if they come in on a monthly basis.

Having The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN can provide you with options in terms of when you make your payments. Paying on your own terms will allow you to breathe a sigh of relief!

Alternatively, if you have the cash on hand, paying your bill early can also be rewarding…either way, you win!

plum-card-from-american-express-open-good-for-entrepreneurs
You have the option of waiting 60 days to pay your bill (assuming you make the minimum payment), or getting a 1.5% discount when you pay it off in full!

How To Use The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN: The Upgraded Way™

Best Way To Maximize Points

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN provides you with options – which is something business owners generally love. So, how can you make the most of those options?

First, you need to have a good understanding of what they are.

If you run a seasonal business or a company with fluctuating cash flow, then the Amex business card can provide you a good option for making purchases that don’t need to be paid back right away.

Taking advantage of your rewards is easy. You control when you make your payments, as well as your choice of benefits: either a payment discount, or a longer billing cycle.

Your rewards essentially begin when you initially open your card. That’s when you can decide when your statement will arrive: at the beginning, middle, or end of the month. Whatever is the most convenient for you!

Then, when your billing statement arrives, you decide whether you want to pay early and save, or if you want to hold off on making your payment for up to 60 days with no interest. You have the option, and you have the control!

Some rewards can also be earned right away: spend the required amount in the allotted time to take advantage of the current sign-up bonus (see details in the card summary table)!

use-the-plum-card-from-amex-open-to-plan-your-business-expenses
Earn a 1.5% discount for paying in full, leave your balance unpaid for up to 60 days, and earn the current sign-up bonus to maximize usage of your card.

Best Way To Redeem Points

Most business owners know that the key to success is having a good, solid plan. The same holds true for getting the most out of The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN.

Sticking with the following tips can help you to earn the most:

Tip #1: Plan out your big purchases so you can take advantage of paying early and getting a 1.5% discount.

Tip #2: Alternatively, plan out purchases to take advantage of waiting up to 60 interest-free days before your payment is due.

Tip #3: Take advantage of the sign-up bonus credit that can be earned, which is applied as statement credit.

Tip #4: Add additional employee cards so others in your company may make purchases. There is no annual fee for employee cards.

Tip #5: Use the card for 1 full year without having to pay an annual fee. This will give you the opportunity to truly see if this card will be beneficial to you when making – and paying off – your business purchases.

Partners

American Express works in conjunction with a variety of airline, retail, travel, and car rental agency partners. Additional information can be found by visiting the American Express Rewards Center.

As an American Express OPEN card, this one also has all the partners available through OPEN: FedEx, Hertz, HP, and 1-800-Flowers.

Card Math

If you are not necessarily a “numbers person,” then please feel free to go on to the next section. Alternatively, you can simply glance over the summaries to get an idea of how certain users may be able to benefit with this card.

Just as a quick recap of The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN, the primary ways to benefit from this card include:

  • Making your payment early and receiving a 1.5% discount on your eligible purchase balance
  • Waiting up to 60 days to make your payment without worrying about interest

There is no annual fee on this card for the first full year, and then a $250 annual fee thereafter.

In our first example, we will use a small business that has typical expenses during an average year.

Small Business Spending Example

The following is a sample set of small business expenses over a given year:

Spending Categories Amount Other Amount
Office Supply $12,000 Conferences / Networking $2,000
Shipping $4,000 Travel Expenses Related to Above $2,000
Cell Phone $2,400 Legal Fees $10,000
Landline $ – Advertising / Marketing $10,000
Internet $1,800 Web Expenses (Including Dev) $12,100
Cable $ – Other Transportation $500
Gas Station $5,200 Accounting Fees $10,000
Restaurants $2,600 Insurance $1,200
Total $28,000 Office Rent $60,000
Total $107,800
Grand Total $135,800

Using this example, if the business owner were to pay all expenses except office rent ($60,000), insurance ($1,200), and accounting fees ($10,000) using an Amex business card, they would spend $64,600 per year on the card.

If they were to pay their bill early each month and take advantage of the 1.5% early payment discount, then they would receive a total discount of $969 for the year. ($64,600 x 1.5% = $969)

Even if the cardholder had to pay an annual fee of $250 for the card, it would more than pay off.

Now, let’s take a look at a business with a higher level of annual expenses and see how this company may make use of The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN.

Medium Business Spending Example

Spending Categories Amount Other Amount
Office Supply $48,000 Conferences / Networking $8,000
Shipping $6,000 Travel Expenses Related to Above $8,000
Cell Phone $9,600 Legal Fees $20,000
Landline $ – Advertising / Marketing $10,000
Internet $7,200 Web Expenses (Including Dev) $12,100
Cable $ – Other Transportation $2,000
Gas Station $20,800 Accounting Fees $20,000
Restaurants $10,400 Insurance $4,800
Total $102,000 Office Rent $60,000
Total $144,900
Grand Total $246,900

In this example, if the cardmember paid all expenses except for office rent ($60,000), insurance ($4,800), and accounting fees ($20,000), they would spend a total of $162,100.

Therefore, if they paid their bill early every month and took advantage of the 1.5% early payment discount, they would receive a discount of $2,431.50 for the year. ($162,100 x 1.5% = $2,431.50)

Here again, even with an annual fee of $250, the card will more than pay for itself!

Large Business Spending Example

In yet another example, a business with higher annual expenses could receive an even greater discount when paying early with The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN.

Spending Categories Amount Other Amount
Office Supply $55,000 Conferences / Networking $15,000
Shipping $10,000 Travel Expenses Related to Above $15,000
Cell Phone $13,600 Legal Fees $40,000
Landline $ 2,000 Advertising / Marketing $15,000
Internet $9,000 Web Expenses (Including Dev) $15,000
Cable $ – Other Transportation $4,000
Gas Station $25,000 Accounting Fees $30,000
Restaurants $15,000 Insurance $10,000
Total $129,000 Office Rent $100,000
Total $244,000
Grand Total $373,000

Let’s again say that this cardholder/business owner pays for all expenses on their business card, other than office rent ($100,000), insurance ($10,000), and accounting fees ($30,000).

This means that $233,000 per year is spent on the card. If the bill is paid early each month to earn the 1.5% discount, this cardholder would be eligible to receive a discount of $3,495. ($233,000 x 1.5% = $3,495)

Not bad!

the-plum-card-from-amex-open-can-save-you-thousands-each-year
Using The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN can save your business thousands of dollars per year!

Card Math Conclusion

In conclusion, while the card does have a $250 annual fee after the first full year of card ownership, it is possible to obtain plenty of cash-back by using this card for your business expenses.

The amount you receive will be based on your situation, so be sure to do some calculations of your own.

Bottom Line: Be sure to do some quick calculations to determine if The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN would work for you! Per our calculations, paying early could save you $3,495 per year!

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

As with any other type of business transaction, you want to know exactly how you can benefit before applying for the card.

While there is not a lot of complexity to this card, here are the more in-depth details you’ll need to know.

In order to receive the 1.5% discount on your eligible purchase balance, you must make at least your minimum payment within 10 days of your statement closing date.

The discount will appear as a credit on the following month’s billing statement.

To make it easier to pay your bill early, when you initially open your card account, you will be able to choose when to receive your bill: at the beginning, middle, or end of the month.

If you make at least the minimum payment, you can defer payment on the remainder of your balance until the due date of your next billing statement with no interest.

Your minimum amount due is 10% of the balance from new activity on your billing statement, plus the entire amount of any previously deferred balance.

It is important to note that qualifying purchases do not include the following:

  • Fees or interest charges
  • Purchases of traveler’s checks
  • Purchases or reloading of prepaid cards
  • Purchases of other cash equivalents

Other Unique Features

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN also comes with additional benefits. These include certain travel and purchase related perks. With regard to travel, the card can provide various protections such as:

Baggage insurance – If you pay your entire fare for a common carrier ticket on a plane, train, bus, or ship, then you can be protected for up to $1,250 of carry-on baggage and up to $500 of checked baggage if lost, stolen, or damaged.

Car rental loss and damage insurance – If you use the card to reserve a rental vehicle and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter, you can be covered if the car is stolen or damaged.

Global assist hotline – If an emergency occurs when you are more than 100 miles from home, help is just a phone call away. Cardmembers can get assistance with legal, medical, and financial matters, including missing luggage and lost passports.

Premium Roadside Assistance – The card also allows you to access Premium Roadside Assistance. If your car breaks down or you have a dead battery, all you need to do is call. Emergency services are free to you up to 4 times per year.

Travel accident insurance – With travel accident insurance, if the unexpected occurs, this card can provide up to $100,000 in coverage if the cardmember was traveling on a common carrier.

Using the card can also provide peace of mind when making both small and large purchases. With no preset spending limit, you have purchasing power that adjusts with your card usage and protection for the items you buy.

Purchase protection – Your eligible purchases are protected from accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date you buy them.

Extended warranty – You can also worry less about items breaking or malfunctioning, since your card allows you to add up to 1 additional year to the manufacturer’s original warranty on eligible items purchased with the card.

American Express OPEN Advantages

You’ll also automatically get the benefits that are included on every business card from American Express OPEN. These tools can help you operate your business more efficiently and profitably, especially if you’re constantly on the go.

For example, with ReceiptMatch, you can add tags, notes, and receipts to your transactions via your desktop computer or mobile device, allowing you to manage your card expenses with ease.

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN also comes fully equipped with the OPEN Savings benefit, which gives you additional value when making eligible business purchases.

You can also set up account alerts to help avoid late payments, get notifications of irregular card activity, and monitor employee spending.

If you need more time to manage other business activities, you can assign a business partner or trusted employee to be an account manager for your card’s activity. This individual can handle making payments, reviewing statements, and a variety of other tasks.

Your card membership also includes access to the OPEN Forum, which contains a plethora of ideas, articles, and networking for business professionals that can help grow your company.

On the go or just want added convenience? Use mobile and tablet apps to easily pay your card’s bill, check the balance, and even view your additional benefits all from your mobile device.

You can also opt to receive your card’s statements online. Other information is available via your online account, too, including customer invoices, expenses, and purchase history.

Plus, if there is ever an incorrect or a fraudulent charge on your account statement, American Express will work with you to help resolve the issue.

Photo Credits:
Business Owner Writing Business Plan:  Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com
Entrepreneur sitting at table: JETACOM AUTOFOCUS/Shutterstock.com
Relieved Business Owner: Freedom My wing/Shutterstock.com
Cheering Businessman: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

FAQ

Is The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN worth it?
With no annual fee for the first year and highly flexible payment options, the card can be well worth it – especially for business owners who have sporadic or unpredictable cash flow and want control over when they pay their bill.

Is The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN hard to get?
Just as with most other cards, you will likely need good or even excellent credit to obtain this card. The best way to really know if you will be approved is to apply for the card and see.

What are the primary benefits of The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN?
The primary benefit of this card is its flexibility in terms of when you pay your bill. For those who pay their bill early, there can also be financial rewards.

Paying early can result in a 1.5% early pay discount, with no cap on what you can get back. Alternatively, if you opt to pay late, you can wait up to 60 days with no interest.

You can also earn a sign-up bonus; see the card summary table above or special offer below for current details.

What is the difference between The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN and SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN?
The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN offers a wider variety of cash-back options, including 5% cash-back on wireless telephone services that are purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on purchases directly from U.S. office supply stores.

You can get 3% back on another category you select from a list of 8, as well as 1% back on all other qualifying purchases.

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN isn’t technically a cash-back card, since you only earn the 1.5% discount if you pay in full early.

Is there an annual fee for The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN?
There is no annual fee for the first year. After that, the annual fee is $250 per year.

What does the no pre-set spending limit refer to?
The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN allows members to buy big. With the no pre-set spending limit, the card provides you purchasing power that can adjust with your use of the card, as well as other factors.

Note that “no pre-set spending limit” does not mean unlimited spending. The purchasing power will adjust with your use of the card, payment history, credit record, and financial resources that are known to American Express.

What are the best small business cash back credit cards?
The best cash back credit cards for small business are subjective to whatever you are looking for specifically, but a few cards stand out more than other.