July 2013: Small Business Card Fees

In an effort to extend the 2009 CARD Act to business card products, the Small Business Credit Card Act was re-introduced to Congress in June 2013. If this bill passes, card issuers will need to make adjustments in business card practices, including adjusting fees and surcharges. This edition of Small Business Card Monitor captures the current state of account fees and surcharges attached to business card products, which are offered by our eight SBCM firms. Specifically, the report examines the following account fees and their availability online:

  • Annual Fee
  • Employee Card Fee
  • Late Payment Fee
  • Returned Payment fee
  • Over Limit Fee
  • Minimum Interest Charge
  • Cash Advance Fee
  • Foreign Transaction Fee

When it comes to firms’ presentation of account fees, cards’ Annual Fees and Employee Card Fees are usually promoted on the specific card’s product page, while the other fees reside on the Terms and Conditions page. The report shows that 46% of the card products examined carry an annual fee, while only 11% of card products carry a fee for employee cards. Two
Small Business Card Monitor firms offer both business cards and employee cards with no fees.

There was a relatively small difference in the Cash Advance Fees and the Foreign Transaction Fees imposed on customers across the eight
SBCM firms. The Cash Advance Fees currently range from 3% to 5% and the Foreign Transaction Fees range from 2% to 4%. There are currently two
SBCM firms that forgo charging a Foreign Transaction Fee to their business card holders and three other
SBCM firms do not impose this fee for a few of their business cards.

In regards to penalty fees, we found the following across the eight
SBCM firms:

  • Six firms impose a tiered Late Payment Fee based on the card balance, and the other firms feature a fee percentage based on the past due amount or charge a “Up to $XX” fee.
  • The Returned Payment Fee ranges from $29 to $39 across the industry.
  • The Over Limit Fee was at standard of $39.
  • The Minimum Interest Charge ranges from $0.50 to $2, with two SBCM firms not imposing a minimum.