American Express and Capital One have introduced competing business credit cards that offer travel rewards and other benefits. American Express offers theGold Delta SkyMiles Business Card OPEN, while Capital One offers the Visa Business Platinum with Preferred No Hassle Miles. Read on if you would like to know some of the high points of these credit cards, so that you can make a decision about which one is right for your business.
First, the cards differ in cost to own. While the Delta SkyMiles card has no fee for the first year, it costs $95 to maintain the card each year after the first. The Capital One card, on the other hand, has no annual fee. However, new cardholders in the Delta system earn a perk of 20,000 bonus miles with the first purchase on the card. They may also earn 2,500 miles for each additional card on the account, up to 5,000 miles. Capital One’s card does not appear to offer a similar “sign-up bonus.”
The cards differ slightly in their APR. Delta does not offer an introductory APR, and begins at a 14.5% variable rate. The Capital One card currently offers 0% APR through September 2011, and thereafter begins at a 14.99% variable rate. This 0% APR, however, may expire early if the cardholder misses a payment.
The cards also differ in methods to earn miles. With the Delta SkyMiles card, holders earn one mile per every eligible dollar spent using the card. Ineligible dollars include purchase of cash equivalent or travelers checks, paying interest, balance transfers, or cash advances. Cardholders earn double miles for every dollar spent on a Delta or Northwest Airlines purchase.
Capital One employs a different miles-earning mechanism. On the application for the card, the applicant selects a category of purchases on which he believes he will spend the most money. These categories include travel, gas, building and lodging, computers/electronics, advertising/shipping, and office supplies. In the selected category, the cardholder receives three miles for every dollar spent. In all other categories, the reward is one mile per dollar.
With the Delta SkyMiles card, the main perk is that it will become easier to pay with flights using miles. Frequent Flyer members receive a program mile for each mile flown on Delta Airlines. In addition to using the credit card for major purchases, these miles can add up very quickly. With Delta’s Pay with Miles system, a 10,000-mile credit takes $100 off the price of a flight. Cardholders may also check a bag for free on each flight, which is a $25 savings per flight. They may also look at redeeming miles for award travel with one of Delta’s 15 partner airlines.
Capital One’s benefits are more diverse. While a cardholder may redeem miles for travel (on any airline, supposedly with no blackout dates or restrictions), there are also options of cash, gift cards, or merchandise redemptions.
Both cards also offer additional perks besides goods. Delta’s offers several customer service features, such as round-the-clock customer service, a year-end statement, account alerts, and purchase protection. They are committed to making sure the card is used properly, as shown with their fraud protection guarantee and identity theft assurance. Finally, they offer car rental loss and damage insurance, as well as travel accident insurance.
Capital One’s Visa also offers purchase security and an auto rental collision damage waiver program. Cardholders may also receive travel and emergency assistance. Finally, owners can take advantage of discounts in places essential for travel. These include business hotel discounts and restaurant discounts.
Essentially, the cards’ usefulness depends on the business’ needs. By comparing the perks and cost of each card, a business owner should be able to make a decision about which card is most beneficial in the long run.