If the business charge card you are using now is nothing more than a convenient piece of plastic, it’s simply not working hard enough. The market for business charge cards and credit cards is intensely competitive, so you have the right to expect that your chosen card will be a tool that fits flawlessly into the way you do business, assisting with secure and convenient travel options, providing almost seamless interaction with your accounting system, and at the same time helping you to manage your cash flow and reduce expenses. Perhaps it’s time for you to seriously consider the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card.
Get off to a flying start with 100,000 bonus Qantas points
The exceptionally generous first purchase bonus of 100,000 QFF points makes the card seriously tempting even before its other attractive features are considered. That’s more than enough for a one-way business fare to Los Angeles (96,000 points), saving your organisation serious money.
Or use the points for domestic flights – perhaps a business return fare from Sydney to Perth (72,000 points), plus an economy return fare between Melbourne and Brisbane (24,000 points). 100,000 QFF points goes a long way.
In order to earn the bonus points you need to spend $3,000 in the first two months of holding the card, an amount that should not trouble even small businesses.
Eligibility for the bonus points is restricted to new cardholders who have not held a card directly issued by American Express in the previous 18 months. This means that you are still eligible for the bonus if you hold, or have held, an Amex companion card issued by one of the Big Four banks.
Earn QFF points at a high rate on Qantas purchases
Your business needs to be committed to flying Qantas to make the most of this card, because Qantas purchases earn the highest reward in the tiered points program:
The Qantas purchases need to be very specific to earn the higher rate. Jetstar flights, Qantas holidays, and even Qantas flights not purchased through Qantas directly will earn only 1.25 points per dollar.
There is no monthly or yearly points cap, and QFF points don’t expire provided there is some activity in your points account (i.e. by earning QFF points with this card, by taking Qantas flights, and by using QFF points for flights or other rewards) at least once every 18 months. So this card is a great way to protect your QFF points from expiring.
The points will soon add up if you have one or more employees flying interstate several times a year, and any overseas trips will give your points account a significant boost. You can have up to 99 supplementary cardholders on the account, free of any additional annual fee.
Join Qantas Business Rewards and get additional TRIPLE points
The good news doesn’t end there, because Qantas not only lets businesses double dip on points, it rewards them with extra triple points if they pay with their American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card. Here’s how it works:
Calculating the points
As an example, let’s say a holder of an American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card pays $493 for a Qantas Flexible Economy fare from Sydney to Melbourne. The cardholder is a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, and the employing business is a member of the Qantas Business Rewards program. Points will be earned as follows:
That’s a total of 3,266 Qantas points for taking a $493 flight.
There is a cap on the number of points that can be earned annually from flying by a business using the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card, but it’s a more than generous 4,000,000 points, unlikely to trouble any organisation that is not a major corporation.
Points are transferable
It gets even better. The QFF points earned by your business can be transferred to any individual QFF member. So you can choose between using them to reduce your business costs, or to reward employees, or to reward yourself and your family.
Additional Qantas Business Rewards benefits
There are more cost savings available. When your business becomes a Qantas Business Rewards member (at Amex’s expense) you will qualify for cost savings of 5 percent to 8 percent on eligible Qantas fares and 10 percent off Qantas Club membership.
Use QFF points to reduce your business expenses
You’re unlikely to blow your Qantas points on a toaster (unless there’s a serious need in the staff lunch room) because there are far better ways to reduce your organisation’s expenses. You can:
That’s a lot of practical ways to keep your business costs down with QFF points, but if staff morale is your priority you could also allow your employees to have points earned by their individual cards credited to their personal QFF account. As long as no employee earns more than 250,000 points per year, there should be no need to declare them for FBT purposes.
American Express AccessLine solves the card acceptance problem
The former gripe about the limited acceptance of Amex cards no longer applies to business card customers. You can still pay your suppliers with your Amex card, even if they don’t accept payment by Amex, through the intermediary system AccessLine. This means that you can now earn QFF points, and take advantage of up to 51 days free credit, on all your business expenses
Complimentary lounge passes
Your business will receive two complimentary domestic Qantas Club lounge passes every year, once you have used the card in that year to pay for a Qantas flight or Qantas Club fees. Even if you are already a Qantas Club member yourself, you can use the passes to extend the benefit of pre-flight relaxation to your most valued employees.
Complimentary insurance adds an extra level of security to your business travel
While most business owners would probably consider purchasing travel insurance to cover employees on overseas trips, they may think twice about incurring an expense for domestic travel insurance. Fortunately, with this card there’s no need to weigh the cost against the potential liability since both international and domestic travel insurance are automatically included when either the card or QFF points are used to pay trip fares.
Nor is it just the kind of basic insurance that would cover Mum, Dad and the kids on a short holiday. Although personal travel is not excluded from the policy, it goes far beyond the usual emergency medical expenses and loss of luggage cover. Instead, the focus is on the sort of protection from unforeseen events needed by business travellers and the organisations which employ them. Trips of up to 62 days’ duration are insured, with a maximum of 120 days annual cover per cardholder. The eight policies included are:
This is serious business insurance. You could save a lot of money by removing the need to purchase these policies in the retail market. And there’s no messing around with unnecessary extended warranty, purchase protection and guaranteed pricing cover, which belong in the sphere of personal cards.
A card that understands how your accounting system works
You and your employees can waste a lot of time tracking, validating and approving travel and entertainment expenses and other company purchases, and then transferring the resulting data into the appropriate expense headings or cost centres in the profit and loss statement. Wouldn’t you like to use a card that made it all so much easier, saving you both time and money?
The American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card will provide you with a monthly account statement that separately lists each cardholder’s transactions under various expense headings, as well as consolidating the expense types for the entire account and isolating GST. Up to six months’ historical data can be accessed online, and results can be downloaded to Quicken, MYOB and Excel for greater management flexibility. The BAS and year-end tax returns will still be a headache, but a more manageable one.
If you use MYOB as your business accounting software you can choose to have your American Express card transactions appear in your MYOB accounting information via an automatic bank feed.
Additionally, you can arrange to receive instant alerts by SMS to monitor the account balance, advise payment due dates and confirm receipt of payments. And if you use your card with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay, your smartphone or other mobile device becomes a speedy, convenient digital wallet.
A card that helps you manage your business cash flow
It’s important to understand that this is not a credit card, but a charge card. There is no opportunity to make a balance transfer to the card, or to make a minimum or part repayment of the account balance on the payment due date. There are no interest rates quoted, because paying interest is not an option. Because it’s a charge card you will be expected to pay the account balance in full every month.
Even so, you can still get up to 51 days credit each month, because you will not have to pay for the charges made until 20 days after the end of the billing cycle. If you arrange with your suppliers to accept prompt payment of their accounts by charge card at the beginning of your card’s billing cycle, you can leave the cash in the bank for seven weeks while keeping your creditors happy.
Credit cards have a fixed credit limit, a restraint that may see you hitting your credit ceiling before the month is out. But charge cards have no fixed limit and as a result you can usually access more extensive financing of your business needs. It doesn’t mean your credit will be unlimited – Amex will have an amount on file that reflects both your spending history and your known financial resources – but it will certainly be more flexible and will grow with your business.
A card that more than pays for itself
Even after the first year, the card you use for business expenses should never itself be an expense. Although there’s a cost attached, in the form of an annual fee, the bottom line should be net revenue or net cost reduction.
In this case the annual fee is $450, but there’s no charge for up to 99 supplementary cards. If each card is earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points, maximising credit usage and activating complimentary insurance cover (removing the need for expensive separate policies), the result is actually a decrease in expenses.
Low eligibility threshold
You’d be forgiven for thinking that, with this long list of benefits, this card must be only available to businesses with a huge turnover. But this is not the case. You can apply for this card if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18, have a valid ABN and GST registration, have a good credit history and earn a personal pre-tax annual income of $75,000 or more.
Other potential cards for your business needs
If you’ve decided that you need a business charge or credit card instead of – or as well as – a personal one, it’s best to consider all your options before making a final choice. American Express certainly has a wider range of business cards – both credit and charge cards – than any of the Big Four banks, so you may want to check out Amex cards first.
Assuming that Qantas points are a priority, you may want to look at the American Express Platinum Business Card. Its Membership Rewards Ascent points can be converted to Qantas points. It has a hefty annual fee, but its complimentary benefits are truly spectacular.
Alternatively, if you are prepared to fly with Virgin Australia, consider the American Express Velocity Business Card. It earns Velocity points and its insurance benefits are very similar to those of the Qantas card. It also comes with two single-entry Virgin lounges passes each year, for a much lower annual fee.
Both NAB and Westpac also have a range of business credit cards. You’ll find them on the ‘Credit cards for businesses’ page in our Features section.
The American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card will fit your business if:
Looking for a business card that more than pays for itself? You’ve found it.