Honestly, I wouldn't believe that deal, except that I have a multi-year history with stripe as our CC processor and it has been nothing but positive and as-promised.
So, I submitted an application. It sounds like a great deal to me.
It's really easy to believe the deal when you look at your interchange rates. The Capital One that I mention above has 2.3% interchange rate, so the merchants who take it get hit much harder than other cards. Capital One, stripe, amex etc are all still making a killing on these cards, they just do it on the backs of the merchants who accept them.
Based off our business spending on our card, which isn't extreme by any measures (18 employees, bootstrapped and cash flow positive, doing fairly decent), it probably beats that stripe card even with the processing fee bump.
As a small business owner, it wasted hours of my life for no good reason.
We’ve been using two capital one cards for all of our expenses (in the hundreds of thousands per month), and have really enjoyed the benefits of 2% cash back.
The biggest issue is the credit limit. Even after 12 months of making 4-6 payments for the entire credit limit throughout the month (we max the card out every week at least), they still won’t give us the limit we need. Sometimes they even make up bogus excuses on the credit request response form Such as “account cost too high” (or something like that)
Had the same experience with the same card, asked multiple times for a credit increase ... which they denied. Then they increased it months later when I didn't ask. Go figure.
The Amazon Business card from Amex is great for Amazon spending, products and AWS included.
Is there an equivalent for Azure?
Do they require personal social security number?
Can they be ordered in bulk (ie, 5-10 at a time when onboarding folks).
Not to be rude, but the corporate card market is different than the personal card market in a number of ways.
> Am I personally liable for purchases made on the card?
> No. Only your business is liable for purchases made on the card.
In fact it wasn't even delivered until after I arrived in the US. At check-in (to the hotel, not the airport) my boss had fax'd them a picture of her Amex card and that was good enough for them. When she flew in a few days later I tried to meet her in the bar, and that's when I found out my first crazy thing about America - I wasn't allowed in the bar.
Very different times. But I'd be surprised if Amex now cares about exactly who the people are its corporate customers want cards for. Why would they? These cards aren't for you to use as personal payment cards, they're your employer's card and you're just authorised to use it for work.
It's usually based on receipts, and certain bars that are majority alcohol 21+, a restaurant that happens to serve drinks is any age. Pub type places really can vary depending on the state/county/city/township. But yeah exclusively alcohol bars will almost always be 21+.
I'm surprised this is surprising, I saw several 21 or even 25+ bars in Europe. But they were mostly aimed at turning away groups of rowdy backpackers, if you went in for a quiet pint nobody pressed if you were 22 or 20.
The "Business" ones require a personal guarantee. For some color, I've signed up for multiple Amex Business cards in the past as a "sole proprietor" even though I was really just churning the cards for the rewards. You just input your SSN for the EIN.
The Corporate Amex cards don't require a personal guarantee.
edit: After some searching, it appears AmEx offers corporate cards both with and without personal guarantees, and it's up to the company to decide which they want to do. In my case, at one of the largest consulting companies in the world, they required personal guarantees.
AFAIK the thought behind it is that not every expense on the card is for work - as a consultant, I travel every week and I put all kinds of expenses on the card (not all of which are strictly "for work" or allowed to be reimbursed by the company). This way, my company still pays the bill for whatever expenses I mark as reimbursable, but the company doesn't have to worry about being on the hook for when I use my card to buy a pair of pants.
To me, it's basically the same as having a personal CC and my company reimburses me for the expenses - except in this case, it's a lot easier for my company to pay part of the bill directly (instead of me being an intermediary) and I also don't have to worry about hitting a credit limit.
The company collects all the rewards for the spend but you take on all of the risk of repayment. If you used your personal card you'd collect the rewards.
Using personal cards and being reimbursed is a nice perk for many.
Erm, no they don't. I personally collect all of the rewards from it. I have a nice fat account of AmEx MRs
(and plenty of hotel and airline points) thanks to all of my corporate card spend.
edit: I have no idea why this is being downvoted. Do you want me to show you a screenshot of my MR account as proof, or something? AmEx corporate cards absolutely give the card rewards to the employee, not the company.
From your link
>However, if your company has blocked the American Express Membership Rewards program, you will NOT be able to enroll your corporate cards.
>To earn American Express Membership Rewards points, you have to pay $90 to enroll your American Express Green Corporate card or American Express Gold Corporate card.
So only worth it for people who know they will be big spenders and who won't leave the company for a long time. For someone who travels only once a year (like me) totally not worth it. I'd rather collect the ~$30 cash back on my 2.5% cash back card.
There's also the one-off situation where I really needed a new pair of pants while traveling (my only clean pair of business-appropriate pants split down the middle) and for some reason the only card I had on me was my corporate card. Obviously extremely rare, but I've heard of similar situation (but with a belt) happening to another colleague.
I have Amex corporate and it absolutely required a personal guarantee. Social Security number and all.
I routinely order multiple employee cards with nothing more than employee names. Sometimes they use last 4 digits or DOB to allow employee to authenticate for online access - you can use any 4 digits though you want (ie, employee ID works fine). No personal guarantee. Oddly, I'd never heard of a corporate card requiring an employee guarantee though I guess Amex is one of them.
This stripe card is a corporate card in the "normal" sense for me - no personal guarantee. This makes getting them (usually) very easy, just upload a list of 20 names and the cards come. I even do things like "Office Manager" for the name on non-stripe cards - works fine.
For anyone else who stumbles across this comment: AmEx offers Corporate cards both with or without a personal guarantee, depending on what the company wants to do. And (also mentioned farther down in this thread) they also give the option to give the card rewards to each individual employee cardholder, or give all the rewards to the business, again depending on what the company chooses.
When you start a corporation with no history, any credit obtained is obtained through the founders personal credit history, with all the liability that entails.
When the corporation reaches a certain point of maturity, the corporation starts having it's own 'credit' and non-personally backed credit lines can be obtained.
I'm ignorant as to the variables used to determine 'maturity' (though processing volume and tax history are probably two, since I know you can get a corporate credit line backed by outstanding accounts receivable alone)
This is for a DE corporation and I'm a California resident.
No approved expenses report, no payment, your own problem.
> Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. agreed to cut Canadian credit-card transaction fees in a move that could save smaller businesses C$250 million ($192 million) a year and crimp revenue for Canadian lenders.
> American Express Co. agreed separately to support “objectives of greater fairness and transparency," the government said. AmEx doesn’t operate on an interchange model for its fees. The New York-based company remains “committed to improving the fairness of the Canadian credit card ecosystem,” company spokesman David Barnes said in an email.
For the same reason, I wouldn't use Stripe Atlas (their company formation solution) or other services.
I will definitely be getting the Stripe card because the intro offers are so good. But, the airfare discounts alone at AmEx Travel are so good it will continue to be my go-to corporate card.
Edit: just realized you were referring to booking with points. In that case it gets a little more hazy, who knows what the value is really worth there. But I definitely have a negative opinion of Amex travel and will avoid them if possible, at this point I just assume they’re giving me a bad deal
I'm not super clear on the difference between business cards and corporate cards.
Just looked it up. Same flight, same time.
Google Flights: $309
25% off isn't so great when the competitor is already 20% lower.
So invalid as a comparison to a corporate card.
Usually company cobranded cards (ex. airlines, hotels) are tightly tied with that company's services, Uber seemed to just want to make a good credit card that people would like to use often, which is unique.
However, it's a personal card, completely different market than corporate cards, so not comparable.
Not saying it is false or denying the actual premise of the OP. Just saying it feels personally to ME, very PR like and included for those reasons alone as a top comment here on HN.
Thanks! We're always paranoid that we're too slow, for whatever it's worth.
We're still iterating on the supporting models and frameworks. We think a lot about pace layering -- how do we have teams that think on multi-year horizons (infrastructure, security, etc.) alongside teams that are rapidly iterating at much earlier stages of development. I think a lot goes wrong when organizations insist on too much consistency in their operating approach.
We've now identified a few semi-formal mechanisms that have helped substantially. (For example: larger companies tend to want to aggressively standardize roles. This makes sense when operating at scale but less so in the early days. So, we've made it easy to hire for ill-defined roles in nascent product areas -- we figure we can codify those roles later as needed and that doing so sooner is a premature optimization.) We'd certainly consider writing a blog post once we feel that they might be generalizable.
(If anyone reading this is interested in helping us figure things out, please do apply. We're particularly interested in hiring engineers who are interested in these questions.)
We are trying to figure out how to do this at Clever, and I know others like Segment (https://segment.com/blog/finding-product-market-fit-again/) are thinking about this as well, so hopefully we can start putting together some advice on how to create an "engine" for layering new products onto an established platform.
I have years of experience with “big data” but I’ve always thought payments would be a good, similar vertical that would be far more interesting
Do you have a link? Thanks.
I know there's Atlas, but for a bootstrapper I can't afford it (especially when I don't know anything about legal stuff).
Also, their (estonian) corporate taxes are higher than ours.
Happy to answer any questions about the end user experience!
We recommend businesses set up the latter for recurring purchases on e.g. infrastructure that aren't tied to a particular person, for the same reasons that you don't want your logins for all of your SaaS or infrastructure to be under individuals' email addresses.
The 1:1 person:credit-card mapping for those without invoice billing will continue to cause chaos for smaller orgs when people leave or cards are lost.
It does not for anyone!
However, the 50k free processing is very enticing as thats way higher than any other signup bonus I've seen. But again, credit goes to business, not to me. With a typical chase card, I'll get ~$1,000 worth of points (tax free) added directly to my personal points balance for simply switching a few business expenses to that new card for a couple of months.
Extracting a thing of value that was remitted to the business to a personal account for personal use sounds like embezzlement, but IANAL.
Banking sign up bonuses usually do as they’re classified as interest.
For the same kind of points (Chase Ultimate, for example), you are taxed if earned via:
* Opening an account (i.e. Chase checking account)
* Other non-spending activities
Seems like only cash rewards are taxable, but even then, it doesn't see like the IRS would be interested in pursuing it.
However, it almost never correctly identifies the transaction on the card and pings me immediately with another text "Could not match a transaction". I usually just ignore that though.
Anyone shed any light on why getting cashback cards in the UK is rare compared to elswehre? Personally I found Tandem which gives 0.5% cashback which is nice but not much.
Business wise we decided to use Amex as the rewards are OKish (comes out to like ~0.5% again I think?) and being able to pay for US services on our USD card is nice and does save money. Benefits overall not great though, probably save ~£1k per year compared to just using a bank issued debit/credit card.
As multiple commenters note, UK and EU interchange is significantly lower than that in the US. So the rewards market tends to be different as a result.
That said, launching this in the UK would still be attractive to us. We don't think rewards are the primary thing businesses are looking for.
As we talked to founders, it seems like they all want a corporate card early on for their business spending (to get it off personal cards). As the business adds employees, they need a sensible way to keep tabs on spending without the expensing process being really painful. I think that's just as relevant in the UK, with the added detail of multi-currency spending being more relevant.
From our point of view, a card where we could use our USD and EUR balance to make USD/EUR payments would be one of the biggest pulls if possible. I think recurring USD charges for UK based businesses are probably quite prevalent.
I don't think many UK startups realise how much they lose out on being charged in GBP on these transactions (especially with debit cards). There's likely an opportunity here to educate UK businesses and use that to promote this sort of card.
> all want a corporate card early on for their business spending (to get it off personal cards)
I'm surprised by this, been a while since we were an early business but didn't have any issue getting a corporate debit card which is more than adequate early on.
> I don't think many UK startups realise how much they lose out on being charged in GBP on these transactions (especially with debit cards). There's likely an opportunity here to educate UK businesses and use that to promote this sort of card.
That's what we use Transferwise and their Borderless Account for.
The challenger banks have similar offerings, with multi-currency accounts behind them. We don't have enough in other currencies to need that (yet, it's on my TODO list) . Not being stung for foreign currency transaction fees is why we put all non-GBP expenditure through Transferwise
Is any progress underway to allow merchants to deposit funds to a USD account outside of the US?
Amex own-branded cards are excluded from this as they avoid the three-party relationship that falls under these rules, but some (e.g. airline amex cards) are capped at 0.3% interchange fees. See this article for more info https://www.headforpoints.com/2018/02/08/american-express-eu...
Here is a great post that explains the economics of credit card rewards: https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/5oucdq/the_econom...
Hilarious to have this state of affairs going on while there's simultaneously a right wing panic about how carbon pricing will make everything a few percentage points more expensive. But I guess making everything a few percentage points more expensive so that executive credit card holders can get thousands per year in cashback and travel rewards is no biggie.
Another area where giving freedom to these businesses ends up screwing the average person. This is why I like the EU, they are strong on consumer rights. The naive would assume these businesses would naturally want to compete on these fees.
Credit card companies won't fight bans on processing fees, because it actually helps them (the extra cost of the credit card is now hidden, and reduced, which means more people will use credit cards).
Additionally, this is a regressive policy, since it's easier to access financial products like credit cards when you're richer.
Europe wants to ensure that if you say Product X is €10 and your competitor says it's €12 that's not just because you were better at lying than they were, the customers buying from you should pay €2 less for Product X. Transparency is essential to having a working market.
The most common place to see "processing fees" was online where in fact cash isn't an option anyway. A company would offer a product for seemingly less than competitors and then charge a "processing fee" which was really their profit. Committees looking at this stuff found that companies charging processing fees were fiercely resistant to a regulation that made them charge their actual cost, insisting that this couldn't be measured anyway and so the options were:
* Let companies advertise a price and then add processing fees of their choosing. As I said Americans are used to this, but Europeans see it as destroying market transparency.
* Forbid tacking on fees altogether (the option they took) so that prices must end up including the merchant's card processing fees the same way they include customer service call costs, warehousing, taxes or anything else.
* Regulate to try to ensure customers have a real way to avoid any processing fees, likely leading to years of court cases as courts rule out each individual sneaky new trick to make an "optional" processing fee in practice mandatory.
In the end I think the route the US chose ends up being more regressive, but I agree the European option isn't a panacea.
Here in Finland the base card-present rates of traditional merchant card service providers are around 0.3% for debit and 1% for credit, with no per-transaction fees so these apply to even small transactions.
Hmm, or maybe you were talking about card payments over internet? You might have a point there as per-transaction fees are more common there (e.g. Stripe takes €0.25).
Hmm, or maybe you were talking about card payments over internet?
Yes, I was. For example, Stripe's current pricing here in the UK is 20p + 1.4% for European cards (so a transaction of around £5 has a 5% fee) or 20p + 2.9% for non-European cards (so a transaction of around £10 has a 5% fee).
Other online card payment services are broadly similar for small businesses paying the standard advertised rates.
Independent retailers, restaurants, etc are put in an awkward position where not accepting credit cards can cost them business, but accepting them forces raising prices which can also cost them business.
Canada has an interesting option in the form of our Interac system for debit, which has more favourable fees especially for small purchases. Since every Canadian with a bank account has an Interac card, one common option for indies is to accept only cash and debit.
Except I hate using my Interac card for... well, anything... because if it gets compromised, it's my own chequing account that gets locked with the missing money.
The EU caps it at 0.3%, and the banks still manage to stay in business.
>New Research from IHL Group Shows Retailers’ Cash-handling Costs Range from 4.7% to 15.3%, Depending on Retail Segment
Loss from theft is a huge deal as well, there was a coffee shop in Baltimore that went cash-free because they were getting robbed so much.
Visa and mastercard should be very worried about being displaced.
Similar to how an account to account transfer in the same bank does not go though whole SWIFT network etc.
Many businesses and individuals would still prefer to have a Mastercard or Visa at this time as most international websites that sell services and goods don't accept Rupay.
This product is more of a direct competitor to American Express.
It also seems to me that if Visa/MC were smart they would write (or have written) into their TOS provisions disallowing this. Both refusing to allow stripe to issue cards which would bypass them as well as refusing to allow stripe to process cards without going through them. I'm sure there could be some justification for that (security or privacy or some other nonsense), but, it seems like this is a slippery slope to cannibalizing Visa/MC out of existence, not that I'm objecting to that per-se, but I assume Visa/MC would want to avoid it.
Here the credit card statement is not enough for accounting, you need to have detailed receipt for each charge. Hunting these every month for various SaaS services and other purchases takes time. And it’s not easy to outsource since in many cases the billing stuff is only visible to service admin.
Consistently impressive stuff from Stripe.
Agreed. This is huge if they get it right. Definitely going to sign up for the trial.
> 10. Promotional Credit is valid for a limited time only and expires on the
> date indicated when you receive the applicable Promotional Credit code (or
> such other date designated by us or in these Terms). Failure to use
> Promotional Credit before its expiration date will result in its forfeiture.
> We reserve the right to cancel Promotional Credit at any time. No refunds
> will be granted for any expired or cancelled Promotional Credit.
Stripe Payments. Stripe Capital. Now a card.
I welcome it, business banking is huge and needs pushed forward!
You also can’t discount Stripe’s Connect API - could see this being used in tandem with that for some interesting ideas
Edit: taking a closer look - they also integrate into services like Expensify and if you use their card, first $50k of payment processing is free so that’s also interesting. If you’re paying sticker price, that comes out to something like $1500
That might be more directly comparable to the Stripe card.
Are they only valid if we are not an existing customer of the partner, or is it for any spend with those vendors we put onto the card?
Do we work with the Partner to get that discount or is it automatically applied on the Stripe side while processing charges we make to the card?
Anything that says "cash back" is automatically applied to your card spending and for both new and existing customers. For everything else, we'll give you a discount code to type into the partner's site directly!
I’m not sure about the AWS credits. Has anyone ever stacked them? (I’m sure AWS locks us to one per account since it goes through a review process)
The fee rebate and partner credits are very compelling.
Many people have had the same with PayPal, and some with regular banks.
So yes, take the card, but also take 5 other cards.
We're keenly aware of the importance of not messing with our customers' finances in this fashion, not the least because startups are both a core customer segment to us and the heart of what we do. Our policies are tuned around the realities of startups; we get launch days.
If anyone on HN ever feels like we’re slipping, I will do anything in my power to fix that; my email address is my HN handle at stripe.com
That doesn't mean the near-universal praise is always justified, of course. The Stripe of today is to some extent a victim of its own success, and the clean API, excellent documentation and first rate customer service that it was famous for in its early days are all sadly shadows of their former selves today.
That in turn doesn't mean Stripe is bad relative to its competitors, of course. It's just not as good as it used to be.
Authorize.net, merchant acquiring banks, etc. - all of this was _horrible_ for a small, fledgling company.
This is a right to recover money you owe on one account from another account you have with them.
It's likely (though I have not read the T&Cs) that they have a clause that they can recover money you owe on this credit card from your Stripe payment account.
Or is it about managing/reporting expenses better across groups an organization? Or do companies just like the rewards?
I understand that interchange fees are higher for credit cards - so are corporate credit cards basically a way to extract additional fees from merchants and distribute them in the form of rewards/cash back to the cardholders?
For debit, you would need a bank account for each employee/team and keep them funded. Credit cards let you make employee cards with set limits.
You also get stuff like chargeback protection and whatever else comes with the card. Amex tends to have various insurances for example.
Note that I don't work in a corp, am just thinking through what debit would require.
This is one of amex's corp cards: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/business/cor...
Easy credit is an obvious predictor of trouble. 2008 to bring a memorable example. Anyone here has plans for shorting corporate credit? Best I could come up with is LEAPS puts on $BKLN. I'm holding some small amount, will double down if things start going south. Wish I could short the revenue-based Silicon Valley style credit. That one is quite ridiculous.
Regarding the controls on the Stripe cards, do they have a concept for Roles? I'd like to be able to say "Managers have a monthly/yearly spending authority up to X, and Directors have a spending authority up to Y", and as we onboard new folks, to put them into a role to manage that quickly and easily.
Brex is also only charge cards so you have to pay them off every 30 days or in other boutique arrangements where the default is not carrying a balance.
Potentially interesting wrinkle: you're not allowed to carry a balance (from https://stripe.com/docs/corporate-card/faqs).
This type of card is called a "charge card" (not "credit card") and is extremely common in business card land.
AMEX's best known cards are charge cards as well - Green, Gold, Platinum.
I see a plethora of these types of cards hitting the market lately, but nearly all for the US market only (understandably, given the strict banking rules in each country).
(Happy to chat more about this.)
Stripe YC S2010 gets cited as often doing it right with launches across all social channels including Hacker News, with the founders jumping into the threads to answer questions.