American Express To Offer SMBs More Flexible Payment Plan

American Express

American Express is bringing out a new option pitched to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs): the opportunity to Pay Over Time for holders of Green, Gold and Platinum Business Cards at the start of their November billing cycle. The move was aimed at helping its customers “meet their cash flow management needs” during uncertain times, the company said in a press release.

The new payment option will apply to both new and existing cardholders.

“While American Express is known for our no pre-set spending limit, pay-in-full charge card model with our iconic Green, Gold and Platinum Cards, we’ve long heard from our card members who are small business owners that increased payment flexibility is important to them, said Brett Sussman, vice president of global commercial card lending at American Express. “Pay Over Time is another step in our broader strategy to provide business owners the flexible solutions they need to easily and efficiently manage payments and cash flow, through varying operating environments.”

The company said its Pay Over Time option “gives business owners the option to either carry a balance with interest on eligible purchases of $100 or more, or to pay the balance in full, providing more flexibility to pay based on what’s best for their business.” In addition, the release said, cardholders “can turn the Pay Over Time feature off and back on at their discretion, giving them greater control of how they want to pay.”

As an example of how the feature might work, American Express said a restaurant hard hit by the pandemic could use its Business Gold Card “to stock up on technology and supplies to meet the growing demand of online and takeout orders.”

In June, American Express rolled out a $200 million program designed to boost spending at SMBs by cardholders as the pandemic hit. The “Shop Small” deal offers “eligible and enrolled” U.S. cardholders the opportunity to get $5 back after they spend $10 or more, up to 10 times “when they Shop Small online or in-store” through Sept. 20. For the program’s various rules, see the company’s Shop Small website.

In announcing the program in late June, the company said its efforts to aid SMBs would include an additional $10 million to fund a grant program to help U.S. Black-owned small businesses recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis.