Nov 4, 2022
4 min read

Corporate visa cards in the US: rewards vs ROI

Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrowTrish Toovey
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

    Spotlight on the US: The US credit card market is one of the largest in the world. At the end of 2020, there were 485 million open general-purpose card accounts (private individuals and businesses) in the US using the four payment giants, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

    In addition, there were 214 million open private label accounts which are cards for specific stores; this means that there are currently two credit card accounts per citizen of the United States.

    Visa is by far the most popular, accounting for 54% of the total payment network market share and almost $2 trillion in purchasing volume, about 150% more than MasterCard, the second most popular.

    Save time & take control with corporate cards from Payhawk

    Corporate vs. business cards

    As the scaleup ecosystem continues to expand 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. Here's a quick rundown of some of the biggest pros and cons of credit cards and solutions.

    American Express (AMEX) acceptance

    AMEX is one of the most well-known credit cards in the world. And the third most popular in terms of use across the US population. AMEX is currently the only corporate card that is also a card issuer.

    But despite how standard the card is in terms of usage and acceptance across the United States, it has pretty low acceptance rates across Europe.

    One of the AMEX cards' most popular advantages is its points and rewards system. For most everyday purchases, customers earn points for each dollar spent which can be exchanged for gift cards, travel rewards, or even to cover recent card charges. The card is never free but has low starting fees; according to AMEX, it costs around $25 annually for the most basic card with minimal rewards. It costs almost $700 annually for an Amex with travel rewards. Additionally, there are high charges of 3-5% of the total amount for transferring balances, depending on the type of Amex card used.

    AMEX's limited business technology

    In terms of business functionality, while a new generation of card providers offers business benefits alongside their card offerings, like expense controls and accounts payable, this is not available with American Express. If your company uses AMEX for business payments and expenses, you must subscribe to separate solutions for expense management at a considerable cost. For today's enterprises, managing and controlling reimbursable expenses and accounts payable is both essential and achievable with the right corporate card provider.

    You can manage, control spend, and get real-time visibility over transactions using a spend management solution with credit cards, AP, and reimbursements — all in one place. All this, and you can also save a lot of time on finance admin. With Payhawk, for example, businesses get to enjoy 80% less manual data entry and 4 x faster month-end closing.

    Designed for multinational scaleups

    In terms of international viability, Payhawk's corporate Visa card offers coverage in 32 countries by 36 million merchants, especially across Eurozone economies. For multinational scaleups with offices in the EU and/or the UK, we offer credit cards in Euros and Pound Sterling, as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay options. Payhawk corporate Visa cards include credit limits of up to £250,000, based on assessment, and up to 38 days of interest-free credit on purchases, with no personal guarantee, required.

    Additionally, Payhawk offers up to 1.5% cashback on purchases made with its Visa corporate cards and, for foreign exchange fees, charges a flat 1.99% on transactions.

    Some of our most popular features include reimbursements, bulk payments, and vital time-saving optical character recognition (OCR) software that automatically inputs all relevant data from receipts in over 60 languages.

    More customisation, more data

    Payhawk also has a customisable enterprise-grade solution designed for companies that are expanding internationally, which includes integrations with major ERPs, including Netsuite and SAP. As for its expense management capabilities, Payhawk beats out all other credit card competition on its customisation possibilities tailored to a scaleup's every requirement. The ability to customise is top of the benefits customers feel from using the system. Finance teams can set automated approval workflows for the different team or transaction types and customise their own card policies by company seniority or group, among others.

    To facilitate data collection, reporting, and analytics, so crucial to the continued growth of any scaleup, finance teams can set custom fields on any expense by location or team. There is even a free text option permitting the highest level of customisation possible for data analysis.

    Rewards or ROI?

    The benefits of a spend management solution which combines globally accepted cards and expense management software are enormous. And they add considerable value and ROI to your business above and beyond personal rewards and short-term offers. We've listed just a few above, but if you're interested in learning about what else we can do, then book a demo today.

    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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