American Express and Amazon on Tuesday launched the Amazon Business American Express Card, designed to appeal to small businesses. The card has no annual fee and an enhanced checkout experience on Amazon Business and Amazon.com with financing choices — rewards or payment terms — on each purchase, according to a press release from the companies.
The card features 5% back or 90-day payment terms for eligible Prime members (including Business Prime) on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. Non-Prime members get 3% back or 60-day payment terms on U.S. purchases at the same locations. All members accrue 2% on spending at U.S. restaurants and gas stations and on wireless services purchased from U.S. providers, and 1% on other eligible purchases.
Amazon also revamped its Amazon Business program, with new Business Prime benefits like upgraded shipping options, extended payment terms, and data services and insights for businesses of all sizes in the United States, Germany and Japan, according to another company press release.
Amazon and American Express are sprawling global enterprises, but both are working hard to appeal to small businesses.
The e-commerce giant last month launched Amazon Storefronts, which employs videos and "stories" to help customers shop from nearly 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses that sell exclusively on its site. Smaller sellers have accounted for at least half Amazon's retail sales in the last two years.
And, like Staples and Office Depot, Amazon is working to provide goods and services to enterprises that are too small to have in-house operations but large enough to require some sophisticated facilities like data and analytics or shipping. That helped bring Amazon and American Express together, according to a statement from Courtney Kelso, head of U.S. commercial card solutions at American Express.
"We know our small business customers want the ability to choose a payment tool that works best for their business at any given moment, and they want it to be simple and fast so they can spend their time focusing on running their business efficiently," she said.
AmEx has long catered to small businesses and has sponsored Small Business Saturday at the holidays for nearly a decade. Last year U.S. consumers who shopped in-store spent an estimated $12.9 billion at smaller retailers that day.
In an ongoing challenge to the legacy office supplies retailers, who a few years ago tried to merge in order to combat Amazon's growing interest in the space, Amazon continues to burnish its offerings for business. In a statement, Global Head of Amazon Business Payment Products Samant Nagpal said that small businesses are "integral to our DNA" and promised more innovations for them.