Managing your cash flow is a superpower when it comes to running a healthy and sustainable business. Your business can’t sustain itself if you run out of cash. But managing cash, specifically making sure you have funds available to pay your bills, can be a challenge for many business owners—especially those that can't afford a staff of financial professionals to lean on for help.
So if you find yourself looking for funding, who can you turn to for help in closing your cash gap?
While many business owners put unexpected expenses on their Business Cards, you might be overlooking some additional options you can leverage as an American Express® Business Card Member. What you might not realize is that American Express offers several cost-effective and convenient options to help you manage your cash flow—and help keep your business running.
1. Longer Payment Terms
Simply making purchases with your business credit card is a surefire way to help manage your cash flow. Why? Because you automatically buy yourself an extra 25+ days of time between the moment you make the purchase and when you need to pay your bill. Compare that to paying vendors with a check or even ACH—both methods that will drain your bank account in just a few days or less.
Managing your cash is a crucial element of running any business. As an American Express® Business Card Member, you have access to a number of benefits to help you cover any gaps that appear to ensure your business can continue to grow now and into the future.
2. Pay Over Time
One of the challenges just about every business confronts is trying to ensure that their cash outflows don't outstrip cash inflows. That challenge is only magnified when you're forced to make an unexpected purchase or cover a cost you didn't anticipate. By making that purchase with your Business Card, however, you can actually spread your payment out over time—beyond your typical 30-day billing period—putting less stress on your cash. With the Pay Over Time option from American Express, eligible Card Members with any eligible charge of $100 or more can be parceled out so that you can pay the statement balance in full each month, the Minimum Payment Due or anything in between. You will only pay interest charges on purchases that are eligible to be paid over time when you carry a balance.
3. Working Capital Terms
Unfortunately, there will be times when, despite your best efforts, you may be short on cash to pay a key supplier. Closing that cash gap can be extremely stressful. Where can you turn to get cash in a crunch? Rather than risk a vendor relationship by delaying payment, eligible American Express® Business Card Members can enroll in Working Capital Terms, to pay U.S. based vendors. With American Express Working Capital Terms, eligible Card Members can request funds from $500 up to $150,000, and pay American Express back in 30, 60 or 90 days with a low fee. Fees are between 0.6% - 1.75% for 30 days, 1.2% - 3.50% for 60 days, and 1.8% - 5.25% for 90 days, and are subject to change. Not all customers will be eligible for the lowest fee.
4. Business Loans
Successful business owners recognize that when opportunities present themselves—anything from the chance to enter new markets, stock up on inventory for the busy season or even to develop a new product or service to your existing customers—you need to strike first before your competition does. But having enough cash on hand to make those unanticipated investments can be a challenge—especially when needed quickly. American Express can provide help in the form of fixed-rate Business Loans. Pre-approved Card Members can access anywhere from $3,500 to $75,000—collateral free—and be funded in just a few days.
Managing cash, specifically making sure you have funds available to pay your bills, can be a challenge for many business owners—especially those that can't afford a staff of financial professionals to lean on for help.
5. AP Automation
Managing your accounts payable can give any business owner an ongoing headache. Figuring out the timing of when you need to pay your vendors along with ensuring you have the necessary cash on hand to cover those payments can be like solving a puzzle. Rather than losing sleep or spending valuable time on the weekend figuring out your payment schedule, you can actually use your American Express® Business Card to automate your entire accounts payable schedule. It's a straightforward three-step process:
- Initiate a Payment. Once the partner’s software is integrated, simply select the invoices you want to pay.
- Suppliers Receive Your Payment. Your vendors will be sent secure emails confirming payment.
- Reconcile Your Books. By streamlining your billing process, you can reduce the need for manual reconciliation.
You can set up similar schedules for as many vendors as you wish—which means that you can effectively automate your entire accounts payable process in a hassle-free and inexpensive manner.
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