American Express and Amazon Officially Announce Small Business Card
At long last, Amazon is launching a small business credit card. Contrary to reports earlier this year, the just-announced offering isn’t a product of the e-retail giant’s partnership with JPMorgan Chase but, instead, comes in conjunction with American Express. Incidentally, this is actually the third issuer Amazon has worked with, as the site also currently offers credit card products from Synchrony Financial as well.
Although today’s announcement made the new small business credit card product a reality, details are still sparse at this time. For example neither company offered specifics on what types of rewards the new card would include nor did they reveal a target date for when the product would be rolling out. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon and AmEx did note that the card would be aimed at small businesses with annual revenues less than $10 million.
It really should come as no surprise that both Amazon and American Express would see value in creating a co-branded credit card. In recent months Amazon has tried to woo business owners away from other office suppliers by introducing Business Prime accounts. Meanwhile AmEx has established itself as the leader in small business credit cards. Of course the company has also gained acclaim for their role in launching Small Business Saturday — an annual retail event taking place the weekend after Thanksgiving.
As luck would have it, the Amazon partnership wasn’t the only piece of good news AmEx received this week. It was also announced that the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the company’s so-called “anti-steering” rules, which prevented retailers who accept American Express cards from suggesting customers use other cards (AmEx has traditionally charged higher fees for merchants than rivals Visa and Mastercard). The 5-4 decision asserted that these rules did not violate anti-trust laws, with the company stating afterward, “The Supreme Court’s decision is a major victory for consumers and for American Express. It will help to promote competition and innovation in the payments industry.” But, as the Chicago Tribune notes, the National Retail Federation pushed back on that assessment, with the group’s general counsel Stephanie Martz saying, “Today’s ruling is a blow to competition and transparency in the credit card market. The American Express rules in question have amounted to a gag order on retailers’ ability to educate their customers on how high swipe fees drive up the price of merchandise.”
Regardless of what retailers feelings about American Express’s anti-steering rules may be the wake of the SCOTUS ruling, it’d be hard to argue that the company hasn’t been a force for good in the small business community as of late. Despite the lack of details that are currently available, AmEx’s partnership with Amazon also seems like an overall positive move for all in involved. Furthermore, with this new credit card and other efforts on Amazon’s part, it seems small businesses could soon be embracing their long-presumed rival as an ally instead.