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The Plum Card? from American Express: Rewards for Paying Early

The Plum Card? from American Express review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The Plum Card? from American Express is a pay-in-full card, which means you can’t carry long-term balances on it.
  • What we think: The Plum Card is unique, as it essentially offers a discount on your statement and a 60-day no-interest window for payments you can’t make on time. If you usually keep up with your payments, though, other cards can provide far better rewards for a lower annual fee (see rates and fees).
  • When you pay your statement early, you earn 1.5% cash back rewards.
  • The American Express Plum card comes with an annual fee of $250.
  • You get a variety of Amex perks with this card, including purchase and return protection, extended warranties and car rental coverage*.

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

SUMMARY

The Plum Card? from American Express is a business card with a cash-back rewards structure for those who make statement payments early. Discover whether this is the best business card for you by learning more in our?Amex Plum card review.

We’ll explore these questions:

  • What type of benefits do you get with this card?
  • How much are the fees?
  • How does the Plum card compare to other options?
  • How do you get the Plum card?
PROS & CONS

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% back on eligible charges
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • No welcome offer
  • Confusing reward structure
The Plum Card? from American Express
LEARN MORE
Key Information
Earn an unlimited 1.5% Early Pay Discount on eligible charges (discount will be applied to your next statement). $250 annual fee.

Is The Plum Card? from American Express worth it?

The Plum Card? from American Express offers a cash-back benefit that’s helpful for businesses that can pay their statements early, and if you need a little more time to pay off your balance, that’s an option. This flexibility and the lack of a preset spending limit can make this Amex business credit card worth it for businesses that don’t already hold an Amex card.

Pros and cons

Pros
  • 1.5% cash back on early payments
  • Options for extra time to pay balances off
  • No preset spending limits
  • Access to some Amex shopping and travel benefits
Cons
  • Relatively high annual fee
  • No real option to carry long-term balances
  • No welcome bonus

The Plum Card? from American Express benefits

The Amex Plum card offers a variety of perks for small-business owners, including some American Express shopping and travel benefits.?

Business benefits

Businesses can leverage the Plum card to support cash flow and expense management.?

Some pertinent benefits include:?

Shopping benefits

You can use the American Express Plum card anywhere Amex is accepted and enjoy the following shopping benefits when you do:

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Travel benefits

American Express cards often come with travel benefits. That’s true even when you hold an Amex card that’s not a travel rewards card, such as the Plum card.?

Some travel benefits you get with this card include:

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/?benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Other benefits

Using your Amex Plum card to cover tickets or admission for entertainment events can open up some VIP doors.?

Benefits can include:

The Plum Card? from American Express rewards

The Plum card isn’t a traditional rewards card, and it doesn’t come with a welcome bonus offer. However, you can earn cash back with this card by managing your statement payments well.

Earning rewards

When you make a payment on your Amex Plum Card account within 10 days of your statement closing, you get 1.5% cash back. This is a pay-in-full card, so you don’t carry a balance over each month. By arranging to pay your entire balance off early each month, you can rack up some substantial cash back.

The table below gives you an idea of how much you might earn per year with this cash-back credit card.

Cash-back earning potential for early payments

Monthly spend Cash back earned monthly by paying early Cash back earned yearly by paying early
$1,000 $15 $180
$5,000 $75 $900
$7,000 $105 $1,260
$10,000 $150 $1,800
$12,000 $180 $2,160

Redeeming rewards

The cash back you earn by making early payments on your American Express Plum card is automatically credited to your statement, reducing how much you need to pay the statement cycle after the credit applies.

Business owners might think of the 1.5% cash-back benefit on the Plum card the same way they consider an invoice discount for early payments. For example, you might have a vendor that offers you 2% off your invoice if you pay Net 15 versus Net 30. The Amex Plum card cash-back benefit is the same type of opportunity to reduce business expenses by paying early.?

Fees, rates & limit

When considering any business credit card, review the fine print to understand how much card ownership costs and what type of spending flexibility the card offers (see rates and fees).

Fees

The Amex Plum card has a $250 annual fee. You’ll need to spend $16,667 annually and pay those charges off early to earn enough cash back to cover this fee. That’s around $1,389 in spending and early payments monthly, which many businesses can easily achieve by using the Plum card to fund regular expenses.?

Late payments can result in a fee of $39 or 1.5% of the late balance, whichever is greater, and you’ll also pay $39 for returned payments. There are no foreign transaction fees with this card.

Interest rates

Because you can’t carry a balance on this card, you don’t pay interest rates. There also isn’t any type of introductory APR offer.

Amex does offer up to 60 extra days to pay off a balance without interest as long as you make the minimum payment on your statement, however. If you take advantage of the extra time to pay, you won’t earn the cash-back reward for early payment.

Credit limit

The Plum card doesn’t come with a preset spending limit. Your spending is limited by your ongoing credit history as well as your past spending and payment history with American Express.?

Current cardholders have reported spending up to $30,000 with the Plum card, and you can call American Express if you want to know more about your spending limits or request options for spending more.?

How The Plum Card? from American Express compares

The American Express Plum card is a decent card for business use, especially for organizations that have well-managed financial workflows.

If you can pay your statement off early every month, you can earn a good amount of cash back and make up for the $250 annual fee on this card. As a cardholder, you also get a number of Amex perks that can be helpful for your business or you personally.

That being said, many small-business owners may be looking for a credit card that offers other types of rewards and lets them carry a balance longer than 60 days. American Express offers a number of options to meet those needs.

The Plum Card? from American Express vs. The American Express Blue Business Cash? Card

The American Express Blue Business Cash? Card is a traditional credit card, so you can carry a balance month-to-month. It comes with an introductory APR offer of 0% for the first 12 months and a regular purchase APR of 18.49% to 26.49% after that. It has no annual fee (see rates and fees), so if you pay off your balances before interest hits, you’ll save money with this card over the Plum card. However, if you carry balances into interest months, you may end up paying out more with this card.

The Blue Business Cash card offers opportunities to earn cash back. A welcome offer lets you earn $250 when you spend $5,000 in the first six months and $250 additional cash back when you spend $10,000 more in the first year. You also earn 2% cash back on purchases up to $50,000 spent annually and 1% cash back after that.

Is the The Plum Card? from American Express right for me?

With this card, you can earn 1.5% cash back when you pay early each month. This is a great benefit for small-business owners who have their accounting in order, as it’s really like a 1.5% discount on all expenses you pay with this card.

The card also offers some flexibility, as there isn’t a preset spending limit, and you can carry a balance for up to 60 days without any sort of fee or interest. While you get the most from this card by paying early, knowing you have some extra time to pay when needed can provide peace of mind.

If you’re looking for more diverse rewards and the ability to carry a balance for more than 60 days, American Express also has options that meet these needs.

Look into these other Amex business cards to see if you find a better fit:

You can also check out Chase business cards or Capital One Spark business cards to see if you find a better card match.

American Express is more than just a credit card issuer

The first step in growing and maintaining consistent savings is to understand your personal finances through checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and more.

If you want to save and grow your money, consider the following Amex products:

How do I apply for The Plum Card? from American Express?

You can learn more about The Plum Card from American Express and apply online.?

When you apply, you will need your name, Social Security or tax ID number, and your business name. You will also need to provide addresses and other contact information for you and your business, and you may need to provide some basic information about your business finances.?

Amex will likely pull your personal credit, as you are considered the guarantor for any amount you charge on the card. You’ll need a good to excellent credit score to get approved for this Amex card.

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FAQ: Amex Plum card

Who is The Plum Card? from American Express for?

The Amex Plum card is a business credit card. It’s best for owners of small to midsize businesses who know they can pay their statements off early more often than not. That’s because the big perk of this card is that you earn 1.5% cash back when you pay early, and you need to earn that benefit on at least $16,667 in spending per year to break even on the $250 annual fee.

What is the annual fee on The Plum Card? from American Express?

The annual fee on the Amex Plum card is $250.

What are the rewards on The Plum Card? from American Express?

This card doesn’t have a traditional rewards structure. However, you can earn 1.5% cash back when you pay within 10 days of your statement closing.

What credit score do you need for The Plum Card? from American Express?

You need at least a good credit score to get approved. That’s typically considered to be a score in the upper 600s or higher.

Does The Plum Card? from American Express have a credit limit?

There isn’t a preset spending limit with this card. How much you can spend depends on your credit history and how well you’ve managed your American Express card account in the past.

About the Author

Sarah Stasik
Sarah Stasik Personal Finance

Sarah Stasik is well versed in personal finance thanks to her previous role as a Revenue Cycle Manager for a Fortune 500 healthcare company. Using her inside knowledge and expertise, Sarah often covers topics ranging from insurance and the economics of private healthcare to personal finance and small business management.

With more than a dozen years of writing experience, Sarah has tackled niches that range from technical advances in fintech to personal budgeting challenges. She has covered topics such as insurance and the economics of private healthcare, small business management and accounting, and credit and savings. Her writing focuses on making complex or seemingly daunting financial topics more accessible and providing helpful and relevant resources for readers.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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