Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the United States, with robust financial offers for consumers and businesses. One popular business product from Bank of America is their corporate cards — here, we examine this offer in full (note: we’re not talking about the small business credit cards).
We’ll look at the benefits and the downsides of BoA’s corporate cards, and, by the time you’re done reading, you’ll know whether it’s right for you (or if you should explore other offers).
Here’s what’s covered:
- What is a Corporate Card?
- What is the Bank of America Corporate Card?
- Bank of America Business Credit Cards
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Now, let’s begin.
What is a Corporate Card?
Before we dig into Bank of America’s offer, how do corporate cards work?
Typically, businesses with substantial revenue can obtain corporate cards to improve cash flow and track spending. With corporate cards, credit lines are issued to a corporation or business entity, not the business owner.
Not just any business can get a corporate card, though. The requirements are typically strict, based on revenue (usually in the millions) and expenses (typically in the hundreds of thousands), creditworthiness (credit score), and sometimes require several cardholders to qualify.
In many ways, corporate cards are like other credit cards. Businesses might need a corporate card in order to keep track of expenses and employee spending, and/or to get quick or easy access to funds to grow or maintain operations.
Corporate cards vary from personal cards in the way that the business, not the individual is responsible to maintain the account and pay the balance. And, corporate card terms often require that the balance is paid in full each billing cycle, whereas most traditional personal credit cards have revolving terms.
When corporate card payments are reported to credit bureaus, corporate credit cards can impact the business’ credit score, for better or worse. On-time payments on a corporate card typically help increase the company’s business credit score(s).
Finally, corporate cards should typically not be used for personal expenses. While using a business card to pay a personal expense is not always illegal, there can be tax implications and it could be a violation of the cardholder’s fiduciary duty to the company.
Now, let’s look specifically at Bank of America’s corporate card offer.
What is the Bank of America Corporate Card?
Bank of America services several business credit cards — a handful of small business credit cards and a commercial prepaid credit card. The commercial prepaid card is the most similar to a typical corporate card, but it is not really a line of credit. Cash must be deposited to the card before the funds can be accessed.
You may have received a pre-approval offer from BoA for a business credit card, which is how you ended up here. In this case, note that we’re exploring an entirely different offer.
The idea behind prepaid is that businesses can leverage digital payments for purchases anywhere Mastercard or Visa cards are accepted, withdraw cash at ATMs, and go about their day without carrying large amounts of cash while protected from fraudulent financial activity via BoA’s zero liability policy.
Bank of America’s prepaid cards are widely used in government programs like unemployment and child support, and the fees are a little steep. The bank tends to charge $2-5 per transaction, which is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on your account needs.
Unlike some corporate card programs, prepaid card use is not reported to credit bureaus, so if you opt to join the BoA commercial prepaid program, there will be no impact on your business’ credit score.
Benefits of BoA’s Commercial Prepaid Cards
If you have to pay in advance, and payments aren’t reported to business credit bureaus, why would you want to take advantage of a commercial prepaid card system? BoA offers more than a handful of benefits for companies and staff cardholders with its prepaid cards. Like corporate credit cards, BoA’s prepaid cards are intended to help you manage cash flow and come with other perks.
If you choose to leverage BoA for this purpose, here’s what you’ll get.
The business benefits:
- Comprehensive payables – Business owners who use Bank of America’s prepaid cards can utilize automation for their payables system, to save time. In turn, this feature can save companies a lot of money.
- Secure, fast purchases on the go – Take advantage of secure purchases using your mobile wallet platform with Bank of America prepaid cards to make in-person payments throughout North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
- Virtual travel cards – Virtual cards can be used with cardholders’ mobile wallets and make it easier for travel coordinators to implement spending limits and access travel data for accounting and reports.
- Complete accounts payable – Members also get access to Bank of America Complete AP, which automates the entire accounts payable cycle, from invoicing and receipts to payment processing. The platform can be integrated into your enterprise resource planning system to help reduce paper and manual processes.
If your business involves travel, especially for multiple staff members, you can see how these cards might be a great idea, even if they come with no traditional line of credit.
The cardholder benefits:
- Global card access – Cardholders get visibility, convenience, and control with Bank of America’s Global Card Access, and can manage their prepaid cards from anywhere they can connect to the internet.
- Contactless payments – When it comes time to pay for goods and services, BoA prepaid cards can be used with any functioning contactless payment system — these systems continue to grow in demand and implementation.
- Executive Explorer Card – For an additional $375 per year, executives at your company can leverage advanced card perks, including $600 Lounge Access credit and $100 Airport Fast Track credit per year.
- Dining and entertainment perks – The “Benefits on Us” (just a catchy title) gives BoA commercial cardholders free access to over 225 cultural institutions across the US, and rebates on in-network dining via Dinova.™
The most notable perks seem to be dining and entertainment, so let’s explore those a bit further.
Accounts Payable Automation Overview
Bank of America’s “Complete AP” launched in April 2021, and is included with commercial prepaid accounts. According to BoA, the platform can easily be integrated with “nearly any” existing enterprise technology.
I know for sure that the platform integrates with Quicken, Quickbooks, and MyPortfolio. If you use another technology, you might have to reach out to a sales rep to make sure that your platform will integrate easily.
Next, with Complete AP as a standalone system, you have several automation options:
- Capture and digitize supplier invoices
- Route invoices for coding and approval
- Visibility & control of invoices & payments
- Organized payment queues
- Payment approval alerts & audits
- Automated payments (via supplier’s preferred payment method)
- Communication with suppliers
- Account validation
- Network enrollment
- Payment preference controls
- Payment research & support
- Currency exchange
- Cross-border payment tracking
And, as of August 2022, Bank of America was scouting a new software integration developer. This tells me that the company is definitely building out its technology offer, and there will be more automation features and integrations to come.
Lounge Access Overview
Many business travelers stop in at airport lounges for more comfortable layovers, including snacks, beverages, and showers (some of them even have swimming pools, massage, and fitness centers). Lounge Access with a BoA Executive Explorer Card is limited, but the lounges that credit may be spent on are some of the most popular:
- Admiral’s Club by American Airlines
- Alaska Lounge by Alaska Airlines
- Delta Sky Club by Delta Airlines
- United Club by United Airlines
If your executives utilize any of the above lounges, and individual spending is in excess of $375 per calendar year, you could save hundreds by taking advantage of the Explorer Card offer alone.
Airport Fast Track Credit Overview
The $100 Fast Track statement credit per Executive Explorer card, per year can be used for a few different airport purposes.
Again, this perk is only available with the Executive Explorer card, which costs $375 per year — it is not included with every business prepaid card from BoA. So, while it’s a great perk to offer, it is best leveraged by individual staff members who will also take advantage of Lounge Access credits.
Arts & Culture Benefits Overview
Available with all BoA prepaid cards, Arts & Culture benefits are fun for anyone who might find interest in visiting museums on pitstops while traveling for business. With a BoA, cardholders get complimentary access to hundreds of museums and cultural centers in the United States.
For a full, updated list of participating organizations, visit BoA’s Museums on Us participant roster.
Note that this perk can be leveraged by any BoA cardholder during operating hours and can only be used during certain weeks each month — you’ll have to check with the facility to find out if your travel aligns with the dates and times that you can cash in on the perk.
Dinova™ Rebates Program Overview
There are over 20K restaurants in Dinova’s network. And, with BoA prepaid cards, businesses earn rebates on all in-network cardholder spending, and cardholders can earn individual points that can be exchanged for gift cards.
There’s no need to offer incentives to staff to take advantage of these perks, since BoA does that for you through their individual rewards program. And, Executive Explorer cardholders (owners and executives) get 2X points.
Bank of America Business Credit Cards
At this point, if you’re not interested in a prepaid card, you might find what you’re looking for with one of BoA’s business credit cards. Here’s a quick summary of what’s available.
|APR||Annual Fee||Rewards||Intro Offer|
|15.99 to 25.99%||$0||1.75% to 5.25%||0% APR for 9 mos$300 bonus|
|15.99 to 25.99%||$0||1.5% unlimited||0% APR for 9 mos$300 bonus|
|15.99 to 25.99%||$0||1.5 points per $1||30K bonus points|
|19.74% to 27.74%||$50 +$25 per card||$121 Companion Fare™ Free checked bag3 miles per $1||40K bonus miles|
For even more options, see the full list of BoA small business credit cards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it hard to get a Bank of America card?
Generally, a BoA credit card account requires a credit score of 750 or higher. However, there are quite a few perks to be leveraged with prepaid or “corporate” cards, which have no credit score requirements. Of course, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid SSN or ITIN.
Which FICO score does Bank of America use?
Typically, BoA uses Experian to pull credit but can get some information from Equifax and Transunion as well.
What credit score is needed for a Bank of America business card?
A personal credit score of 750 may be required, even for a business credit card. However, corporate prepaid cards have no strict credit score requirements.
Bank of America has quite a few options for business owners looking to optimize their corporate cash flow. If you’re a high-revenue company, interested in perks related to travel, arts & culture, or dining, they may have a corporate offer for you by way of their prepaid cards system. If you’re looking for lines of credit, there might be a BoA business credit card that would be great for you.
BoA’s business offer is pretty traditional, but there’s nothing boring about it. If you liked what you learned here, and saw something that would be beneficial for you, I recommend you chat with a BoA sales rep to find out what might be best for you at this time. I can’t knock the offer.
But, if you are interested in a corporate card offer that’s more innovative — maybe something with more tech perks — I’ve done a handful of reviews of other corporate cards that you may want to see:
- Amazon Corporate Credit Line – The Ultimate Guide
- Have You Heard About the Free Stripe Corporate Card Cashback Benefits?
- Brex Card Review: Is This Corporate Card Offer Too Good to be True?
- Ramp Credit Card Review: Is This the Corporate Card for Your Business?
- In-Depth Divvy Credit Card Review: Read This Before You Apply
- A Complete Torpago Business Credit Card Review
And, if you want to learn how to obtain up to $100K in business credit (won’t affect your personal credit) in as few as 30 days, join business credit workshop today.