As a business owner or self-employed person, could you make use of a handy app to track and itemise your expenditure, and that of any employees you have, to lighten the load when BAS and end-of-year tax time comes around? What if that same app rewarded you with loyalty points for the expenses it categorised, and provided a range of useful business insurance and perks at the same time? It may sound too good to be true, but you can carry this app around in your wallet (even your digital wallet) in the shape of The American Express Velocity Business Card.
It’s a charge card
One thing needs to be made perfectly clear at the outset: this is not a credit card but a charge card. So there are no interest rates advised, for either purchases or cash advances. You will be expected to pay your account balance in full at the end of every month, and cash advances are not available. As a result, there are no promotional interest-free periods on either purchases or balance transfers.
No fixed spending limit
Unlike a credit card, a charge card has no pre-set balance limit. This does not mean that limitless credit will be provided. Initially, your implicit restriction will be based on your current income and assets and existing spending and payment patterns, but it’s likely that the more you use the card and demonstrate your ability to pay promptly, the greater your freedom and flexibility will be.
Up to 51 days on purchases
Although the purchases charged to the card are not strictly ‘interest free’ (since there is no interest rate to apply), payment for the month’s expenditure is not required until 20-21 days after the statement date.
This means that purchases made at the beginning of the charge cycle do not need to be cleared from the account until 51 days later, while payment for expenditure charged at the end of the statement period will need to be settled within three weeks. It’s a useful cash flow management facility, despite not being a credit card.
Monthly statement packed with information
The monthly card account statement is an efficient business tool. All your monthly expenditure is categorised by type, with GST shown separately wherever possible. This means that the statement meets the ATO requirements for GST reporting, and you’ll only need to provide a tax invoice where a single purchase includes mixed supplies (i.e. some attracting GST and some GST-free) or where the GST status is unclear.
Since the statements are also approved by the ATO as proof of purchase for taxation purposes, they become a great boon at the end of the tax year. Your accountant will be impressed.
You can download monthly transactions directly into QuickenTM, MYOB® or Microsoft® Excel for an even greater reporting range. Go paperless with online statements to get your month-end accounting done even when you are travelling. You’ll get a reminder when your statement is available, and you can set up email or SMS alerts, free-of-charge, for the account balance and payment due date. American Express understands business.
Rewards points for business expenses
The pain of business costs is reduced when you know that every dollar spent brings rewards in the form of Velocity Points in Virgin Australia’s rewards program. The earning rates are:
Redeeming Velocity Points
When it comes to spending Velocity Points, there’s a host of options:
Most redemptions have a ‘points plus pay’ option, in case you don’t have quite enough points for the item or experience you have chosen.
Complimentary insurance targeting the business traveller
American Express knows that most business people are required to do a lot of travelling, both domestically and overseas. Add just one travelling employee and your risk is doubled, and with multiple employees the liability can become enormous. But both the primary and all additional card members are protected by a wide range of insurance policies, activated whenever the full trip fare is paid using the card or Velocity Points.
This is clearly not the average set of insurance policies found on a regular credit card. It’s designed to give maximum benefit to the business traveller (although leisure trips are covered as well, and cover extends to spouses and dependent children accompanying the cardholder if their trip fares were also paid with the card).
Free Virgin lounge passes
Continuing the business traveller theme, you will receive two single entry Virgin Australia lounge passes each year, allowing you to either relax or work in comfortable surroundings before or between flights.
Virgin sells these passes at $65 each to passengers who are not Virgin Australia Lounge or Velocity Gold or Platinum members, so this benefit alone is worth $130 per year.
Convenient, secure digital wallet
American Express Velocity Business Cards are chip and PIN enabled, but they are also able to be used for contactless purchases under $100, combining extra security with additional speed and convenience.
The card is also ready to use with Apple Pay, recently introduced into Australia. Simply set up your card in Apple Pay on your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, and when you are ready to pay, hold your device near the terminal and use TouchID or unlock your Apple Watch. Presto! You now have a digital wallet, and your card details are never shared with the merchant.
An online fraud protection guarantee is provided, as well as emergency card replacement and 24/7 customer service throughout the world. Welcome to the future of fast, secure purchases.
How much will all this cost me?
Probably not as much as you expect. For an annual fee of $249 p.a. (which may be tax deductible if the card is used solely for business purposes) you get this super-functional card loaded with business-oriented benefits. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s no more than many regular credit cards, and a lot less than some.
For business owners with employees, additional cards (up to 99 per account) cost $99 p.a. each per year. It may seem expensive, especially if you have a number of employees travelling or authorised to make purchases, but it could save you heaps in admin time and accounting and insurance costs.
Is this card a good fit for you?
If you run a business (even if you’re a sole trader) you can rest assured that this card was designed for you. It will save you both time (itemised expense statements with GST details, Apple Pay or contactless payments, free account alerts) and money (rewards points, complimentary insurance, airport lounge access, possible tax-deductible annual fee and fewer tax accountant hours). It provides both safety (online fraud protection, secure digital wallet, emergency card replacement) and flexibility (a charge card with no fixed limit and Up to 51 days on purchases). Amex knows what business needs.
Interstate flight inconvenience insurance
Valuation based on similar domestic travel insurance policies available online that include interstate flight inconvenience.
Overseas travel insurance
Valuation based on similar annual travel insurance policies available online. Includes cover for several items including card account balance waiver and business trip completion.
Transit accident insurance
Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
|Total estimated value||$1,694|
|Net customer value||$1,445|