Small-business card perk: Mastercard Easy Savings vs. Visa SavingsEdge
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One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is maintaining a positive cash flow.
Credit card discount programs are a lesser-known way to score savings on a variety of business purchases. Mastercard Easy Savings and Visa SavingsEdge offer ways to save on everything from hotel stays to dining to office supplies.
Forty-one percent of small- to medium-sized business owners have experienced cash flow challenges, according to a 2017 WePay survey.
“Saving money is important in any endeavor, but in business it can be tricky,” says Stephen Troy, CEO of AeroPay Express, a company that offers virtual payment processing services for businesses and vendors. “No one wants to overpay for anything.”
A business rewards credit card can be invaluable in your efforts to save. Cash back rewards can be applied as a statement credit on past business purchases, while travel points or miles can be used to reduce the cost of flights, hotels and car rentals on your next business trip.
If you have a business credit card with the Mastercard or Visa logo, here’s what you need to know about these programs.
Quick guide to Mastercard Easy Savings and Visa SavingsEdge programs
How Mastercard Easy Savings and Visa SavingsEdge work
Both programs are free to enroll in; you just need to have an eligible Mastercard or Visa business credit card. Your bank can tell you if your card is eligible.
Here’s an at-a-glance look at how the features of each program compare:
Mastercard Easy Savings vs. Visa SavingsEdge
|Mastercard Easy Savings||Visa SavingsEdge|
|How it works:||How it works:|
|After enrollment, members earn savings rebates automatically at participating partners.
After enrollment, members earn savings at participating partners through Everyday and Activate Offers.
|Eligible cards:||Eligible cards:|
|Mastercard business credit cards; eligibility varies by bank issuing the card.||Visa Business, Visa Business Platinum and Visa Business Signature credit cards.|
|Enroll multiple eligible cards:||Enroll multiple eligible cards:
|Yes.||Yes, up to 10.|
|Savings benefits:||Savings benefits:
How to enroll in Mastercard’s Easy Savings and Visa SavingsEdge programs
- To sign up for Easy Savings, visit the Easy Savings’ website, then type in your Mastercard account number and email. If your card is eligible for enrollment, accept the terms and conditions to begin earning savings on your purchases at participating partners automatically. You can enroll an unlimited number of qualifying cards through the program.
- With Visa SavingsEdge, enrollment is the same. Go to the SavingsEdge website, enter your card number to make sure it’s eligible and accept the terms and conditions to finalize your enrollment. Visa caps enrollment at 10 cards per SavingsEdge user.
Ways to save using Visa Savings Edge
Visa’s Savings Edge offers business owners two paths to savings, according to David Simon, senior vice president, head of global small business and medium enterprises at Visa:
- Everyday Offers, which are savings automatically available after cardholders enroll.
- Activate Offers, which are limited-time savings that cardholders must activate following enrollment to be eligible.
Putting those savings to work for your business is a snap.
“Discounts require no coupons or codes, because they’re applied as statement credits on enrolled Visa business cardholders’ future account statements,” says Simon.
Ways to save using Mastercard Easy Savings
Mastercard Easy Savings also applies savings rebates as a statement credit automatically. That makes it easy to accumulate savings for your business just by spending as you normally would.
With either program, there are certain things to consider:
- Discounts are only available on qualifying purchases made with participating merchants.
- The merchant network varies by program.
- Some of the partners you can save with through Easy Savings include Avis, Budget, Firestone, Hotels.com, Monster.com, Outback Steakhouse and P.F. Chang’s.
- Visa SavingsEdge partners with companies such as Alamo car rental, AutoZone, Chevron, HostGator, MailChimp, Newegg and Wyndham.
Double up on savings with your business rewards credit card
The great thing about both Easy Savings and SavingsEdge is that you can combine them with rewards or other discounts offered by your business credit card.
- Say you have the Chase Ink Business Preferred card ($95 annual fee), which offers 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 in combined purchases for travel, shipping, internet, phone and selected advertising purchases each year and is eligible for SavingsEdge.
If you book a business travel at Wyndham, you’d earn 3 points per dollar on what you spend plus a 5 percent discount on your total purchase through Visa SavingsEdge. You can also earn SavingsEdge discounts with the no-fee Chase Ink Business Cash card.
- BMO Harris Bank – which operates branches in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Florida and Wisconsin – includes Easy Savings with its Business Platinum Rewards Mastercard. This card offers a flat 1 point per dollar earned on eligible purchases.
- Bank of the West, which operates in 19 Western states, automatically enrolls its business Mastercard customers in the Easy Savings program. The Bank of the West Business Rewards card offers 2 rewards points per dollar spent on net qualifying purchases and comes with a generous introductory points bonus for qualifying new members.
- PNC Bank offers SavingsEdge with the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Signature Business card. With this card, you can earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back rewards on net purchases, redeemable for statement credit. Todd Rosenthal, general manager of consumer and business credit cards for PNC Bank, advocates leveraging rewards and discounts as much as possible.
“Use your business credit card for common recurring expenses that you might not think about as opportunities to save,” says Rosenthal.
Which discount program is right for your business?
Whether you should enroll in Easy Savings or SavingsEdge depends on what type of business credit card you’re using and which brands you tend to spend with most often.
Since the programs are free, you don’t lose anything by enrolling your business cards in either one. And if you have both an eligible Mastercard and Visa, you can sign up for both.
Troy of AeroPay Express says to consider the bigger business credit card picture when deciding which business credit card to choose, and which discount program to enroll in.
“If you’re looking at travel and entertainment cards that provide points, miles or club memberships, make sure the rewards you’re earning can be used to fit your business lifestyle or travel situation,” says Troy, but don’t overlook the savings potential of discount programs. “When buying materials or services for a business, cash rebates can be used to improve the bottom line and lower costs.”
Just remember to review the fine print carefully when comparing these programs and their individual savings opportunities.
“Every merchant discount offer is designed differently, and there may be limits and restrictions associated with a given merchant discount,” says Visa’s Simon.
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