angle-up angle-down

KeyBank Business Rewards Mastercard review

Published: November 15, 2017
See Full Card Details
Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
1.8 rating
1.8 rating
1.8 / 5
Rewards Value 0.3
Annual Percentage Rate 3.2
Rewards Flexibility 3.9
Features 1.0

In a nutshell:

At first glance, the KeyBank Business Rewards Mastercard looks like a top-tier rewards card, but a closer inspection of its rewards program shows it’s not nearly as generous as it seems.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
5:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$480

APR
12.49-22.49%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Redeem for gift cards, cash back, travel, merchandise or charity
  • Pay for travel with partial points

Cons

  • Rewards expire after 48 months
  • Must redeem travel through KeyBank rewards program
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: Zero liability fraud protection, lost/stolen card reporting, shopping discounts, price protection

If your credit is excellent and you want a basic business card with some rewards, you can almost certainly do better than the Commerce Bank Business Rewards Visa card. This “plain vanilla” rewards card offers fewer benefits than the average business card, but charges a significantly higher APR. It also offers fewer rewards than many of its competitors – particularly if you prefer points instead of cash.

On the plus side, the Commerce Bank Business Rewards card doesn’t charge borrowers a high maximum interest rate, so it may be worth applying for if you need to carry a balance and can’t qualify for a lower rate. It may also appeal to cardholders who are already Commerce Bank customers and want a card with the same bank. Only cardholders living in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma or Colorado are eligible.

Misleading rewards rate

At first glance, the KeyBank Business Rewards card seems like an ideal rewards card. It offers five points for every dollar you spend, which is one of the highest rewards rates you can get on a business card. There are also no limits on the number of points you can earn and few restrictions on redemption. However, a closer inspection of the rewards program shows that the points are only worth one-fifth of a penny, which is well below average for a rewards credit card. Most cards’ rewards points are worth at least a penny each. So you’re no better off with the KeyBank business card than if you chose a more modest business card that offered 1 cent in rewards for every dollar in purchases.

Minimal earnings

Because the rewards points offered by the KeyBank Business Rewards Mastercard are worth so little, you have to wait before you can collect enough points to redeem anything substantial. For example, to earn just $25 in cash back, you have to spend at least $2,500. Meanwhile, if you spend roughly $4,000 a month, you only take home about $480, which is significantly less than what many business rewards cards offer. The KeyBank Business Rewards Mastercard doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus either, which is disappointing for a rewards card. By contrast, many competitors offer at least $100 or more in bonuses.

Few perks

The KeyBank Business Rewards card does at least offer an introductory APR on purchases, as well as a promotional balance transfer. So if you plan to make a large purchase or want to transfer debt from another card, the KeyBank Business Rewards card can be a helpful tool. The promotions only last for six months. However, longer zero percent promotions are rare on business cards.

It’s also harder to find a balance transfer on business cards these days, so the six-month zero percent APR on transferred balances is a good find. The KeyBank Business Rewards card doesn’t offer any standard credit card perks, though, such as car rental insurance and purchase protection. So it would be hard to justify making this your only card.

High APR

In addition, the APR on the KeyBank Business Rewards Mastercard is relatively steep – especially for cardholders with lower scores. KeyBank charges cardholders with the best credit scores 12.49 percent to carry a balance, which is just slightly below average for a business card. However, cardholders with higher scores are charged rates as high as 22.49 percent, which is high for a credit card. By contrast, the average business card charges an average APR of 13.41 percent.

The KeyBank Business Rewards card’s wide APR range makes applying for the card relatively risky, since you won’t know what APR you’ll get until after you apply. The card’s extra-high maximum rate is also concerning. With such a high APR, even modest purchases can easily spin out of control.

Why get the KeyBank Business Rewards Mastercard?

  • You like the motivation that comes from earning a large number of points.
  • You plan to make a large purchase or transfer a balance from another card and want to take advantage of the card’s promotional offer.
  • You’re already a KeyBank customer and want a card with the same bank.

How to use the KeyBank Business Rewards Mastercard:

  • Use this card for all or most purchases in order to maximize rewards.
  • Consider taking advantage of the card’s zero percent promotional offer, but be sure to pay off the balance by the end of the promotion.
  • Use this card for non-travel-related purchases and consider using a different card that offers travel perks, such as rental car insurance and emergency assistance, when you or your employees go on the road.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.

See Full Card Details