October 2014: Small Business Travel Rewards Cards

The October Small Business Card Monitor Report examines the travel rewards cards offered for small business card holders. We analyze how card companies present their products on their public sites what types of rewards are available for card holders, and what fees and APRs accompany each card. This month’s report evaluates card profiles based on the following criteria:

  • Overview Presentation
  • Rewards Offered
  • Fees, APR and Conditions

This report looks at 17 travel rewards cards for small business owners. As rewards and fees should be tailored to individuals, grades are omitted in this month’s report.

A majority of cards in this month’s report offer introductory rates and fees, providing a discount to new card members. Fifty-eight percent of the cards in this report offer either a discounted fee or APR, with 70% of these waiving fees and 30% providing an introductory APR. Seventy percent of cards that provide an introductory rate or fee offer one year of discounts, while 20% provide a nine-month introductory period and 10% provide a six-month introductory period.

Accelerated point earnings programs are very common, and 94% of cards we examine provide extra mileage points for eligible purchases. Often, these accelerated points are offered for purchases with partnered companies.

In addition to mileage points, cards also frequently provide extra travel perks. Of the cards examined, 18% provide access to a concierge service and 24% give card holders access to travel lounges. Twenty-four percent offer discounts for companion flyers and 47% of cards offer service upgrades. Travel insurance is the most common perk, with 94% providing it.

Top cards in this report offer accelerated earnings and clear explanations of travel perks. Additionally, leaders explain how mileage points can translate into travel purchases. Top cards include introductory rates and fees to help encourage new users to sign up, and top cards also provide renewal bonus points to encourage users to keep using a card.

Notable findings in this report include:

  • Fifty-eight percent of cards offer introductory rates or fees, with 70% offering an introductory fee and 30% providing an introductory APR.
  • Ninety-four percent offer accelerated earnings for purchases made with affiliated business partners.
  • Forty-one percent of cards are branded with specific airlines.
  • Eighteen percent provide access to concierge services.
  • Twenty-four percent of cards offer access to travel lounges.
  • Forty-seven percent provide service upgrades.
  • Twenty-four percent offer travel companion discounts.
  • Ninety-four percent offer travel insurance.