Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where Barclays Business Credit Card Wins and Loses

If you’re a loyal Barclays banker, you might be wondering what Barclays business credit cards are out there.

Unfortunately, the Barclays Business Credit Card is only available in the United Kingdom (for our readers overseas, here’s the link), but business owners can still get a great value out of the Barclaycard consumer credit card.

We break down the pros and cons of Barclays’ personal card offer and help you find the best options out there for business travel.

The Barclaycard Arrival Reviewed

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is one of the top personal credit cards out there for frequent travelers. The card earns 2 miles on every $1 spent, plus 5% of your miles back when you redeem. You also get a 50,000-mile signup bonus when you spend at least $3,000 in the first 90 days.

The card has no foreign transaction fees, and its $89 annual fee is waived in the first year. Finally, you get free online FICO score access, MasterCard Elite concierge service, and travel accident and trip cancellation insurance.

You can redeem your miles as a statement credit against any travel expense at a rate of 100 points to the dollar, starting at 10,000 points for $100. For example, if you book a $300 airline ticket, you can use anywhere between 10,000 points and 30,000 points to offset all or part of your purchase.

Get the Barclays personal credit card if:

  • You like the ease of redeeming miles as a statement credit, instead of as airline or hotel miles.
  • You want a business credit card simply for accounting purposes.
  • You want the added consumer protections that come with having a personal credit card rather than a business card.

Skip the card if:

  • You don’t mind the lower federal protections on a business credit card (the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has a lower annual fee but an equivalent rewards rate and signup bonus).
  • You can get value out of redeeming miles for airfare or lodging (the Chase Ink Preferred is a leading business travel card).
  • You need additional employee cards or want small business tools to manage your accounts (get a business credit card).

How Does the Arrival Compare?

Barclaycard Arrival vs. the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is pretty similar to the Arrival: It earns 2 No Hassle Miles on every dollar spent, with no expiration dates, bonus categories, or earning caps. It also offers a 50,000-mile signup bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months.

With a lower annual fee—$59, waived the first year—as well as no foreign transaction fee or extra fee for employee cards, it’s a great offer if you want flat-rate, easy-to-redeem rewards. Just like Arrival miles, you can redeem 100 No Hassle Miles to offset $1 of travel expenses.

With a lower annual fee and basically equivalent rewards rates, does the Spark Miles ever lose out to the Arrival?

Well, there are two scenarios where you’d choose the Barclaycard. First: If you spend at least $2,857 a year on the card, the Arrival’s 5% mile redemption bonus offsets the increased annual fee. Second: Federal regulations on consumer credit cards are stronger than those on business credit cards.

Many protections afforded by the 2009 Credit CARD Act only apply to personal credit cards—advanced notice on APR increases and limits on fees, for example. If you’re concerned, go with the Arrival.

Barclaycard Arrival vs. the Chase Ink Business PreferredSM

The Chase Ink Business PreferredSM offers a great signup bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership, and the fun doesn’t stop there: You earn 3 points on the first combined $150,000 spent annually on:

  • Travel (such as airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis)
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

Its annual fee is higher than the Arrival’s—$95—but it has no foreign transaction fee and no fee for additional employee cards. The best part about the Ink Preferred is its rewards program.

Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem for travel booked through Chase’s online portal, but you can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to any of Chase’s loyalty partners (including British Airways, Hyatt, and United).

If you redeem strategically, your points can be worth much more than 1.25 cents apiece—for example, if you can transfer 30,000 points to United for a roundtrip ticket priced at $600, your points are worth twice as much as the Arrival’s flat-rate miles.

If you want a business credit card, with all the accounting services and support that entails, go with the Ink Preferred. If you’d rather avoid playing the mile-redemption game, the Arrival offers simple rewards at a lower fee.

Can You Use a Personal Credit Card for Business?

You don’t have to use a business credit card for business expenses—signing up for a personal card but using it for your corporate expenses helps with bookkeeping and can net you a nice signup bonus. However, if you go that route, your credit card usage gets reflected in your personal credit score.

If you have a business credit card, you’ll probably apply based on your personal creditworthiness (and almost certainly provide a personal guarantee), but many banks don’t report business credit card usage to personal credit bureaus.

Either way, your loan terms will probably be based on your personal FICO score, and you’ll be a guarantor on the loan. But if you’re concerned about the card usage reflecting poorly on your credit score, you’ll want to get a business credit card from a bank that won’t report it.

The post Where Barclays Business Credit Card Wins and Loses appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

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