Business vs Personal cards

Old Aug 29, 11, 9:14 am
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Business vs Personal cards

Not sure that this is entirely appropriate here, but there is an interesting column by Steve Pearlstein in yesterday's Washington Post discussing the impact of the changing credit market for small business -- you have to read to p. 2 of the web link.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...LjJ_story.html
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Old Aug 29, 11, 1:13 pm
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See this report/warning about 'Business' credit cards:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?sec...rticle-8304591
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Old Aug 29, 11, 6:44 pm
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I would only put anything that is consumable, that you have near 0 chance to dispute for the goods or services receive, on a business card.

I am not even sure the fraudulent charge protection enjoyed by consumer cards is extended to business cards. Although I imagine it would.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Mediahound View Post
See this report/warning about 'Business' credit cards:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?sec...rticle-8304591
Good points on this and the following post. I decided to check up on it for myself, might be helpful to others.

Here's what the credit card offer says:
$0 Fraud Liability Protection
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Program
Business Hotel savings
Purchase Security and Extended Protection
Travel and Emergency Assistance
Visa Dining Discounts

So looks equivalent to consumer there.

Also googled the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and looks like it covers almost entirely things meant to dupe / hurt consumers who carry a balance, which isn't most FTers. Only thing I saw relevant to me would be the double-cycle billing thing (since apparently this could hit you even if you do pay in full). I doubt Capital One would engage in such, but if anyone knows different, let me know.

So, all in all, business or consumer seems like a wash. Full speed ahead!
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Old Aug 30, 11, 1:59 am
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Nope, not a wash at all. Bank promises (often not kept or finagled) are one thing. Federal consumer protection laws are another, and a much better one.

Only time I use a biz card is to get a great bonus. As soon as spend is met, I stop using for a consumer card.

Biz cards are very dangerous for the user.
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Old Aug 30, 11, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
Biz cards are very dangerous for the user.
Where, specifically, is the danger if you pay your bill in full each and every month, do not exceed your stated credit limit, and only dispute billing errors?
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Old Aug 30, 11, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Where, specifically, is the danger if you pay your bill in full each and every month, do not exceed your stated credit limit, and only dispute billing errors?
Fraud protection among other things, is not a well-defined protection on the business cards versus the consumer cards that is my understanding.
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Old Aug 30, 11, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Where, specifically, is the danger if you pay your bill in full each and every month, do not exceed your stated credit limit, and only dispute billing errors?
The danger is that you are not protected by consumer protection laws including the Federal Fair Credit Billing Act. See, for example, one of the leading cases in this area Amex v Koener http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...=452&invol=233

If you want to trust the card companies to do the right thing, be my guest. Me, I prefer real, legal protection.

By the way, the entire billing error dispute process is set out in the FCBA which does not protect biz card users.

Consider, for example, a real situation (somewhat modified for privacy). You go to Vegas, buy two buffets at a casino, get a bill for 222 buffets. Casino and bank, after billing error dispute, assert charges are correct. Biz card user is likely screwed, consumer user can do something effective.
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Old Aug 31, 11, 10:40 am
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Here's another recent article from Forbes on the topic of business credit cards lacking many protections:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybui...ny-protections
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Old Aug 31, 11, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Mediahound View Post
...Forbes on the topic of business credit cards lacking many protections:
Indeed, but when you read the article the only "hazards" mentioned are irrelevant if you do not carry a balance:

Business cards function like consumer cards, but lawmakers did not include business cards in the CARD Act regulations. Hence, business cards contain many of the punitive terms that are no longer legal for consumer cards. Issuers may still change the card terms at any time without notice, including raising the interest rates on existing balances. Issuers may also apply a penalty rate immediately without providing notice of a violation, and this rate can last indefinitely. Issuers may direct payments to the lowest interest rate first, maximizing interest payments.
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Old Aug 31, 11, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Indeed, but when you read the article the only "hazards" mentioned are irrelevant if you do not carry a balance:
Read all the articles you want. Law is still what controls. Problem is the Fair Credit Billing Act does not protect you when you use a biz card. Doesn't have much to do with carrying a balance.

Maybe biz card worth using to get a juicy bonus (guilty!); not worth it, IMHO for regular use.
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Old Aug 31, 11, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
Problem is the Fair Credit Billing Act does not protect you when you use a biz card.
To be sure there is no misunderstanding, I am not advocating use of business cards. What I am hoping to do in this thread is flesh out the discussion with sufficient details that someone who reads it could make an informed decision for their specific circumstances. It's broadly true that business cards provide less protection, but I think we should document what this means as a practical matter, and be able to identify the circumstances where the risk is real.

I think it's clear there is an important difference for those who carry a balance, but I hope there are not many here in that category. We use business cards in our company, and the handling of fraudulent charges is indistinguishable from personal cards. However, we almost never dispute a charge due to non-delivery or unsatisfactory quality, and I do not know how business cards handle these.

I don't find articles such as the Forbes one very helpful, because the content does not support the headline claim. We can do better.
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Old Aug 31, 11, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
To be sure there is no misunderstanding, I am not advocating use of business cards. What I am hoping to do in this thread is flesh out the discussion with sufficient details that someone who reads it could make an informed decision for their specific circumstances. It's broadly true that business cards provide less protection, but I think we should document what this means as a practical matter, and be able to identify the circumstances where the risk is real.

I think it's clear there is an important difference for those who carry a balance, but I hope there are not many here in that category. We use business cards in our company, and the handling of fraudulent charges is indistinguishable from personal cards. However, we almost never dispute a charge due to non-delivery or unsatisfactory quality, and I do not know how business cards handle these.

I don't find articles such as the Forbes one very helpful, because the content does not support the headline claim. We can do better.
I don't know why you keep harping on 'carrying a balance'. Whether you carry a balance or not has little to do with the fact that with a business credit card, you have way less protection.

To put it another way, if you carry a balance or if you don't, the protections are still way less with a business credit card.
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Old Aug 31, 11, 4:41 pm
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mia,

Please read the fine print of business cards - that little leaflets that come with your cards...

If anything you dispute on the card but the card issuer determine such charge is not directly related to the business, you are SOL.

I first learn about this with my Citi pseudo business card - the Professional card which is listed under personal card but the credit pull and the office that answers the phone, are from the business card side...

Anyway, the CDW coverage specifically stated that the car must be rented for business purpose in order to get coverage.

So, let me ask you, if you put personal charges on the business cards, how do you get protection in the case you need it?

Like biggestbopper said, for the juicy bonuses, sure (guilty also!) but for general usage, no way.
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Old Aug 31, 11, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Mediahound View Post
I don't know why you keep harping on 'carrying a balance'.
Because the article linked provides zero evidence to support the conclusion that "protections are still way less" except with regard to finance charges. This does not mean it isn't true, only that the article is weak.

Originally Posted by Happy View Post
If anything you dispute on the card but the card issuer determine such charge is not directly related to the business, you are SOL.

....Anyway, the CDW coverage specifically stated that the car must be rented for business purpose in order to get coverage.
Excellent ^. These are the type of specifics I'd like to see in this thread to help everyone make an educated decision.

Now, I'm off to read some leaflets .

Last edited by mia; Aug 31, 11 at 5:05 pm
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