Back in 2007 I was there when American Express OPEN first introduced the Plum card at the Inc 5000 awards. It was quite an introduction, with a staged unveiling of the Plum card after a two-day build-up of suspense.
At the time, Susan Sobbott, the President of American Express OPEN, explained the significance of the color plum for the card. She said one of the reasons that color was chosen was that small businesspeople knew a “plum” deal when they saw it.
That description has stuck with me.
It gives you a discount on each purchase you make using it. Currently you receive a 1.5 percent discount on every purchase that you make, provided you pay the balance early within 10 days.
After all, the Plum card is a “charge card” not a credit card. That means you have no spending limits -- but must pay off the balance of the card promptly. If you pay early, within 10 days, you get the 1.5 percent discount. (Or, you can choose to pay off 10 percent of the balance, and by doing so take up to 60 days to pay the remaining balance, thereby increasing your cash flow options.)
If you do the math, it’s easy to see how that 1.5 percent discount adds up. For those who purchase a lot of inventory or have significant expenses each month that can be paid with a charge card.
For instance: if you spend $20,000 a month, you could save $3,600 a year. At $30,000 a month in expenses charged, you could save $5,400. And so on (there’s actually a calculator right on the Plum card site.)
Plus, you can layer discounts on top of one another. So in addition to getting the 1.5 percent discount from making purchases and paying the Plum card balance early, you can also:
- take advantage of the OPEN Savings pre-negotiated discounts
- search the Web for discount codes before making purchases
- save on travel booked through the American Express travel site
- take advantage of any existing trade terms or discounts you may be entitled to under the terms of your agreements with vendors
If you’re like me, the idea of clipping coupons and using loyalty cards for discounts for consumer purchases comes naturally. But I’ve had to train myself to explore all options for discounts on business purchases. With a little advance planning and investigation into the options available, you can get meaningful savings in your business, too.