9 May 2024
4 min read

US corporate card rewards vs ROI: How to get both

Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrowTrish Toovey
CFO researching corporate cards
Quick summary

Businesses based in, or with entities in the US, understand the fierce competition within the corporate credit card market. But which corporate credit card is best? And what should you look for: rewards or ROI?

Table of Contents

    This blog was updated in April 2024.

    The US credit card market is one of the largest in the world. As of 2022, there were 827 million credit cards in circulation in the U.S, many using the four payment giants, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Among the top four, American Express credit cards and its popular rewards are massive. Previously reporting a massive 56.4 million cards in use in the US alone between 2013 and 2022.

    Control your global business spend & earn American Express Card rewards

    Corporate vs. personal cards

    As the scaleup ecosystem expands worldwide, more players use credit cards to facilitate growth. Generally, corporate credit cards won't require a personal guarantee; but will require proof of revenue of a set amount.

    Corporate cards vary significantly in terms of benefits and disadvantages, including whether they're part of a complete spend management solution, including expense management, AP, and reimbursements. But typically they should give you complete control over spend, and let you pay as you need across the world with minimum charges and fees.

    Reaching spend management ROI

    At Payhawk, our global solution lets finance leaders control and manage spend easily and all from one place. Our complete spend management solution features:

    • Time-saving expense management software (including an app with OCR data capture technology)
    • Custom fields and categorisation (that you can set up to match your ERP)
    • Real-time reconciliation
    • Accounts payable and purchase order features
    • Subscription management including flags for duplicate spend
    • Multi-entity management software
    • Robust approval workflows
    • Corporate cards and controls

    Howard Thompson, Global Financial Controller at GDS Group recalls life before and after Payhawk.

    "Before we used Payhawk, we had to do everything very manually using Excel spreadsheets. Somebody would send in their physical receipts in an envelope attached with a printout of a spreadsheet, leave that on their manager's desks, and then get that signed off before sharing with finance,” Howard explains. “Plus, the finance team would have to read and decodify all the receipts to work out which buckets the spend should sit in for our general ledger. So, there were quite a few challenges."

    Since working with us, it's thankfully been a different story and Howard describes:

    The biggest benefit is around the live real-time information we get in the business. It's really important to track all our expenses and costs for each event. We use all the custom fields when creating and adding expenses in the Payhawk solution — so each event has a project code. Then, as we have all of our expenses coded up to project codes in the Payhawk solution, we can now report on our margins by event and so on at the end of each month.

    Customers like GDS Group can reach ROI with Payhawk in just ten months (according to G2 data) and can expect to save anything from two hours a day to four days a week. With European entities also reaping rewards in terms of accurate VAT reclaims (thanks to accurate receipt capture), again saving anything from 250K a quarter to over 2 million a year.

    Rewards vs ROI

    That’s a big check in the box for ROI then. But what about rewards? And is there a way to have both?

    Many employees expect to be able to reap rewards on their credit cards as a popular perk of work, including with major provider American Express. With a renowned points program, vouchers and more — American Express cards can really deliver a lot of added value to both individual employees and even the business (depending on the program).

    So, how can businesses choose? They want ROI on card spend that looks like saving time, implementing robust spend controls, speeding up month end, and streamlining expense management. But they (and their cardholders) don’t want to miss out on rewards.

    The answer: our new American Express card integration.

    Introducing the Payhawk x American Express integration

    Our new American Express integration lets you connect virtual American Express Cards to our expense management software, meaning you get all of your favourite rewards, plus all of our great spend management features.

    The biggest benefits include:

    • Improved agility for corporate spend: Give virtual Cards to your people to make business payments as they need without sharing funding account details or physical Cards
    • Better controls: Set specific controls for every on-demand virtual Card you add, Plus, cancel, approve, or modify, virtual Cards in seconds
    • Major time-savings & improved visibility: Ensure employees record their expenses and receipts in real-time through the Payhawk mobile app (including our OCR for fast, error-free receipt data capture)
    • Real-time reconciliation: Export transactions and expense to your ERP in real time for complete spend visibility to support data-driven decision making
    • And more

    Move faster, stay-up-to-date, and reap the rewards

    Have you been thinking about improving your company's expense management processes, improving efficiency, and getting the most out of your spending?

    At Payhawk, we offer a complete solution that helps you manage expenses accurately and efficiently, from customisable fields to real-time reconciliation. Plus, with our new integration with American Express, you get all this plus the perks of American Express virtual Cards.

    Request a personalised demo to find out how much time we could save your business (and keep your favourite rewards).

    Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrow
    Trish Toovey
    Senior Content Manager

    Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.

    See all articles by Trish →
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