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The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN is a trade terms charge card that offers flexible payment options. You can combine that benefit with tools to help you better manage your expenses. Which is why we recommend this card recommended for small business owners looking for the wide range of benefits characteristic of the American Express line of credit cards, while still enjoying a card with flexible payment options..
How This Card Works
American Express OPEN introduced the the Plum Card in 2007, and it has recently been revamped. This is a trade terms card that offers flexible payment options and pre-pay bonuses for business owners with annual revenue in the 6- to 7-figure range.
The main trade terms available for this card are*:
- Pay early and get 1.5% cash back (available for balances paid within 10 days after your statement closing date).
- Earn up to 3.5% back for a limited time. You can get an additional $200 statement credit for every $10,000 you spend on the card, up to $600 back. That can be an extra 2%.
- You have the option to carry balances up to 60 days without incurring any interest charges.
First, let’s define “trade terms.” Traditionally, businesses may provide lines of credit to other businesses as a professional courtesy. Trade terms help business owners manage their cash flow better. Businesses can receive materials and services they need, and then pay for them as money comes in.
For instance, if you’re a retailer, trade terms from your wholesaler can prevent you from having to pay for items you haven’t sold yet. Typical trade terms are “Net-30” (payment due 30 days after purchase) or “Net-60” (payment due 60 days after purchase.)
But not every business is willing to offer trade terms, especially when money is tight for everyone. The Plum Card lets you get trade terms on any purchase for your business, simply by using the card. The card also rewards you for paying your balance in full.
When you use the Plum Card, which has no pre-set spending limit, you can earn a 1.5% discount on eligible purchases when you pay your balance in full within 10 days of the statement closing date.
You also have the option of deferring payment. If you pay at least 10 % of the balance from new activity on our billing statement, plus the entire amount of any previously deferred payment, you can defer payment of 90% of your new purchase until the closing date of your next billing cycle with no penalties. In other words, you can enjoy “Net-60” terms on new purchases, providing you pay off your existing balance.
American Express OPEN and Other Benefits
You can further boost your rewards by taking advantage of relationships that American Express has built with several hotel, transportation, shipping, technology and other partners.
The OPEN Savings benefit works by providing you a 5% discount for each eligible dollar you spend at OPEN Savings merchants. So, if you spend $1,000 with an eligible merchant, you will get a $50 discount in addition to any other cash back rewards you earn on that purchase.
Participating merchants include FedEx, Hertz, HP, Hyatt, and many other leading retailers and service providers. So you will be able to earn this discount at many common businesses.
The OPEN website also provides a forum where business owners and cardmembers can network, discuss money management, and brainstorm ideas to grow their businesses.
Other American Express benefits built in the Plum card include:
- Baggage insurance provides coverage up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and $500 for checked baggage that is lost or stolen on a plane, train, ship, helicopter or bus.
- Travel accident insurance provides up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling.
- Purchase protection on up to $1,000 in coverage for eligible purchases that are damaged or stolen within the first 90 days after the purchase ($50,000 annual limit).
- Extended warranty coverage adds ip to 1 extra year on a manufacturer’s warranty for eligible items that covers up to $10,000 per occurrence ($50,000 annual limit).
- Car rental loss and damage insurance.
- Roadside assistance.
- Return protection can refund you up to $300 per eligible item if a vendor will not accept a return ($1,000 annual limit).
- Identity theft assistance.
- 24-hour Global Assist Hotline (when traveling more than 100 miles from home).
The Plum Card, while offer trade terms, is a charge card. So you will not be able to take any cash advances or have any financing periods longer than 60 days.
Charges and Fees
$250 (waived the first year)
Late Payment Fee
1.5% then 2.99% of the past due amount (minimum: $38).
The Bottom Line
We recommend this card for businesses looking to manage their cash flow but who do not otherwise have access to trade terms through their vendors. By getting up to 60 days to pay without incurring interest, your benefit may be able to benefit. But if you are able to pay early, you can earn 1.5% cash back plus additional savings of 5% through vendors participating in the OPEN Savings program.
- Flexible payment options
- Access to discounts with OPEN Savings
- AmEx consumer protection benefits
- No foreign transaction fee
- No finance charges
- No pre-set spending limit
- $250 annual fee (waived for the first year)
- Requires excellent credit
- No rewards program
Last Update: July 24, 2015