American Express Business Accelerator Card

Review: American Express Business Accelerator Card

What's Hot

  • Earn up to two frequent flyer points per dollar spent
  • Import your transactions into MYOB, Quicken and Excel
  • No-cost supplementary cards for your employees

What's Not

  • Reduced points earning after $50,000 annual spend on everyday expenses

X-Factor

  • Earn points with nine airlines and two hotel chains

Introduction

Business owners, meet the American Express Business Accelerator credit card: your ticket to earning up to two frequent flyer points per dollar spent with airlines such as Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific, Etihad and Singapore Airlines.

With a personal income requirement of just $24,000 per year, this card suits both full-time business owners and those running small businesses aside their regular full-time work – and when used solely to pay for business expenses, the annual fee could even be tax deductible.

There's no need for your entire income to stem from business activities, either: provided your total yearly pay packet exceeds $24,000 and you have an ABN, you're eligible to apply.

American Express Business Accelerator credit card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Business Gold
  • Card type: American Express
  • Loyalty program: Membership Rewards (MR) Ascent
  • Membership Rewards points earned per dollar spent:
         Everyday purchases (up to 100,000 points per year): 2
         Everyday purchases (after earning 100,000 points per year): 1
         Insurance, government and utility charges (throughout the year): 0.5

  • 2 MR points = 2 frequent flyer / frequent guest points with: Virgin Australia Velocity, Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars ($0.02), Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Etihad Guest, Hilton HHonors, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • 2 MR points = 1.5 frequent flyer points with: Emirates Skywards
  • 2 MR points = 1 frequent guest point with: Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Points capping: Uncapped, but tiering applies as above
  • Supported tech: Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay

Fees, charges and interest: 4/5

  • Annual fee: $160
  • Supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: N/A
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income requirement: $24,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: No defined minimum

Earning points for free flights: 3/5

Better-suited to smaller businesses than larger operations, this card churns out two points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 of everyday expenses per year, but halves the earn rate to one point per dollar spent thereafter.

When converting those points to Virgin Australia Velocity, every $3,900 spent earns enough points for a one-way economy class flight from Sydney to Melbourne (plus taxes and charges), but after reaching that points ceiling, a higher spend of $7,800 is needed to unlock the same benefit.

On insurance, utility and government charges which instead accrue 0.5 points per dollar, an outlay of $15,600 is needed to unlock that same free flight.

Airport lounge access, complimentary insurance coverage: 0/5

Access to airport lounges isn't offered via this card, and personal travel insurance cover is absent.

Benefits for business: 4/5

What this card lacks in personal perks, it makes up for in business benefits.

For starters, you can link your American Express business card to MYOB, simplifying your accounting procedures with transactions made on the card automatically synchronised with your accounting software.

There's also the option to manually export your transaction details for importing into MYOB, along with Quicken and Microsoft Excel.

Business owners using the card solely for business purposes may also be able to claim a tax deduction for the card's annual fee: your accountant will be able to confirm your eligibility.

American Express Business Accelerator credit card: the verdict

For small business owners, this is a great little card that allows you to earn up to two frequent flyer points per dollar spent against a nominal fee that you can likely write-off.

Those points can also save you money on flight and hotel bookings, or be used to upgrade paid airfares to premium economy, business class or even first class for a more comfortable journey when you next fly, without burning through your business' capital.

However, more established businesses and those with high start-up costs may quickly reach the card's tiered earning rate – in which case, the higher-grade American Express Platinum Business Card may prove a better fit.

Chris Chamberlin
Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

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17 Dec, 2017 01:30 pm

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