Posted by: John Tozzi on January 21, 2010
I spent a good deal of time last year writing about credit card reform — and how Congress left small business cards out of the new consumer protection laws. At one point we pressed top card issuers for info about their rates — with mixed results.
Today a new credit card comparison tool goes online from BillShrink. BillShrink will feature 48 business credit cards from major issues and recommend one based on users’ responses to questions about the size of their companies, amount of spending, need for trade terms like net 30 payment, and desired rewards. The company claims to save consumers on average $1,000 a year on costs associated with credit cards, and CEO Peter Pham expects small business savings to be substantial as well. “Small business owners, if they use the right card, can probably be traveling for free and never pay for a hotel again,” he told me Wednesday.
BillShrink, which also lets consumers shop for mobile plans, lower gas prices, and rates on savings accounts and CDs, gets a cut from some (but not all) customer referrals. Pham says such fees don’t influence the site’s recommendations. The company is not is not the first credit card comparator to hit the market. Others include CreditCards.com, CardRatings.com, and BankRate.com.
I’m interested to see how BillShrink’s data on the rates, fees, and other terms of small business cards compare to consumer cards. (The site tracks some 200 consumer card offers.) If the costs of business cards rise relative to the cost of personal cards, that may indicate that 1) credit card reform worked to reduce costs for the consumer accounts it applied to, and 2) small business card users could benefit from similar reforms.
As Pham says, transparency is a precondition for reform. “If nobody know they’re getting ripped off, then nobody’s going to do anything about it,” he told me. We’ll be watching.