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, not a credit 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 to pay
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 Quicken, MYOB or Microsoft Excel for an even greater reporting range, and with MYOB® you can even set up an automatic data feed of your card transactions.
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 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 supplementary cardholders 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 the 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, and 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, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. You will be able to pay with your phone and leave your card at home if you wish.
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.
Apply for American Express AccessLine and pay almost anyone
Have you ever had your American Express card declined because the merchant does not accept payments by Amex card? If you successfully apply for this card you can say goodbye to that problem by also applying for the AccessLine trade finance solution for both domestic and international payments. American Express will send the payment to your supplier’s bank account and charge the amount to your card.
No more acceptance worries, plus you earn rewards points on the transaction amount!
How much will all this cost me?
Probably not as much as you expect. For an annual fee of $249 (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, supplementary cards (up to 99 per account) can be added without paying an additional annual fee. Some competing business cards charge an extra fee for each supplementary card.
Similar cards to consider
You can, of course, use any card, including credit cards, for business purposes, but not all cards come with this card’s detailed breakdown of expense types and GST in the monthly statement. However, you will get rewards points, travel insurance and airport lounge entry with the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card, the St. George Amplify Signature Credit Card and the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card.
If you’d rather earn Qantas points, take a look at the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card. Or check out all the available business cards on the Businesses page in our Features section.
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, pay with your mobile device, 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 to pay, AccessLine payment solution).
Amex knows what business needs.