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Why businesses should harness the power of rewards

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Redeeming rewards, earned on credit and charge cards, can have a tangible impact on a business. Most small business owners who collect rewards, use them to make savings on day-to-day business costs, boost spending power or for making those emergency purchases.

A valuable perk for staff

However, the benefits extend beyond purely the financial, with increasingly more small businesses seeing them as a way to treat staff more regularly and to improve motivation. This can mean anything from an outing or occasion paid for by rewards, to gifts such as a free flight. Essentially they offer the ability to reward staff for loyalty, great sales results or outstanding performance with no cost to the business.

Business owners surveyed told American Express that they are keen to address their work/life balance and reduce stress this year. An alternative use for rewards could help with this, redeeming them to pay for a hotel for that well-earned holiday or to have a day away from work to plan what comes next for the business.

Despite these many advantages, more than half of the UK’s small business owners are still paying for business purchases using cash, cheques and cards that do not offer such benefits.

On a national scale, this means that small businesses are spending an estimated £7.6bn** that could be earning rewards and go some way to help bolster business finances.  

Every small business wants their money to work hard for them, so it makes sense to have the right tools in place to make this happen.

For example, core business expenses from raw materials, inventory and supplies, to larger capital expenditure such as office furniture – could be put on a business card, which would mean that rewards could be earned on almost every pound spent.

View the above infographic in full

Rewards in practice

With an American Express Business Card rewards are earned for virtually every pound spent, but there are also many other business benefits:

  • Using a business card helps to keep business and personal finances separate;
  • It enables better management of cashflow and frees up cash for business growth, as extended payment terms are available (with American Express that’s up to 54 days);
  • It enables supplier payments to be made upfront meaning better relationships can be built; and
  • This upfront payment also means stronger terms can be negotiated as early payment discounts could be secured.

American Express is currently offering new American Express Gold Business Charge Cardmembers a welcome bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points when £3,000 is spent in the first three months of Cardmembership. Plus the first year annual Card fee of £125 is offered for free. Visit the site to find out more.

If you’d prefer a Card without any rewards, other features or a Card membership fee, an alternative option is available – the Basic Business Card.

Terms and conditions

1. All introductory offers are subject to change, can be withdrawn at any time and are not available if you currently hold or have held any other Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Cards in the past six months.

2. If you are approved for an account and spend £3,000 on purchases on the account within the first three months of Cardmembership, 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points will be awarded onto your account.

3. With this offer the first year’s Cardmembership is complimentary and then the annual Cardmembership fee is £125. From year two of your membership, a £125 annual Cardmembership fee will automatically be charged to your account on or after the anniversary of your account opening date.

4. You will earn Membership Rewards points for transactions charged and billed to your account at the following rates: one point for virtually every full £1 spent and charged per transaction, two points for virtually every full £1 spent and charged per transaction at major airlines, car hire, rail, cruise, lodging and travel package/agencies, and two points for virtually every equivalent £1 spent in a currency other than UK sterling outside of the UK at a non-UK registered merchant, with the exception of internet transactions.

5. Membership Rewards points are not earned on Cash Advances, American Express Travellers Cheque purchases, Foreign Exchange, Fees and Interest Charges for Returned Payments, Finance Charges, Late Payment and Referral Charges, Fees/charges including joining, annual and Membership Rewards fees.

Read the full terms and conditions.

Applicants must be 18 years old or over. Approval is subject to status and terms and conditions apply. The American Express Gold Business Card is offered by American Express Services Europe Limited. Registered Office: Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139.

* The American Express UK Small Business Barometer was commissioned by American Express and conducted by market research and online panel experts, Toluna. The research polled 250 UK based small business decision makers qualified as Directors or C-level Executives in businesses with under 100 employees in the UK. The data was collected in June and July 2014. This data has been extrapolated to represent all small businesses nationally.

** Total number of UK businesses with fewer than 100 employees = 1,193,810 (source: BIS business population estimates 2013). 54 per cent of those surveyed didn’t have a card with rewards. 54 per cent of 1,193,810 = 644,657. Average annual average spend on cards among those surveyed is £11,782.76. £11,782.76 x 644,657 = £7,595,838,713.32.

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