With business conditions improving and banks looking to increase growth in their lending portfolios, competition in the business cards rewards market is picking up. A report recently released by researcher Canstar showed the number of business credit cards offering rewards was increasing.
Canstar gave the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, American Express, Diners Club and ANZ top ratings in its review of business credit card rewards. High earn rates and flexibility features were rated highly. For example, the Commonwealth Bank Business Platinum Awards companion American Express card has an earn rate of three points per dollar spent, while the most flexible programs give users the option to redeem frequent flyer points, merchandise, shopping vouchers or cash.
One credit union received an honourable mention – Coastline Credit Union was shown to offer outstanding value for business spending of around $60,000 a year. Coastline uses Indue’s Rewarder program, which automatically loads points onto the card so they can be redeemed through everyday purchases.
Card issuers are anticipating that the use of business cards will increase as business conditions continue to improve. According to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index, four out of five small business owners expect sales to grow or at least stay the same, and employment to increase.
According to a recent Dun & Bradstreet survey, twice as many businesses intend to increase their investment in the months ahead, compared with those that will reduce spending. Dun & Bradstreet also found that 18.4 per cent of businesses plan to apply for credit in coming months, compared with nine per cent at the same time last year.
The latest National Australia Bank monthly business survey showed that confidence softened slightly in February but remained above trend. Businesses remained hopeful of a recovery, despite mixed signals on business activity.