Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card

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Last updated on August 9th, 2021


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At a Glance  

The Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card earns cardholders 3X points on purchases in the category they spend the most. This can be either cell phone service, hotels, or airlines. Cardholders can also earn 1.5X points on all other purchases. New cardholders earn 20,000 bonus points when they spend $2,000 in the first three months. What’s more, the annual fee is waived for the first year.

Ideal for Those Who:

  • Own a business and want to earn rewards on their purchases
  • Spend the most on cellular phone service, hotels, or travel
  • Plan to spend at least $2,000 in the first 3 months after signing up
  • Don’t want to pay an annual fee their first year

Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card Review

The Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card from Sterling National Bank rewards cardholders on the purchases they spend the most on each month. Cardholders earn three points for every dollar they spend on either cellular phone service, hotels, or airfare.

Cardholders also earn 1.5 points for every dollar they spend on everything else. This credit card provides business owners with some flexibility on how they earn points. However, this card may only offer real value to businesses whose biggest expenses include purchases in the three categories listed above.

In addition to the regular earning rate, new cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus points in their first three months. All they need to do is spend $2,000 in the first three months after opening an account.

This credit card features an annual fee. However, new cardholders don’t have to pay this fee their first year. Keep reading to learn more about the features of this card. You’ll also get more insight into whether this is the right card for your business needs.

Earn 3X Points

The Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card awards the most points on your biggest purchases each month. However, the process is a little more complicated than you might think.

First of all, you can only earn 3X points on one of three purchase categories:

  • Cellular phone service
  • Hotels
  • Airlines

Every month, Sterling National Bank (SNB) calculates which of these categories you spent the most on with your Visa® Rewards PLUS Card. You then earn three points for every dollar you spent in that category. Here’s an example:

In the month of March, you spent $300 on cell phone service, $100 on hotels, and $0 on airfare. You also spent $500 on office supplies. Even though cell phone service didn’t comprise your biggest overall expense in March, it was your biggest expense within those three 3X point categories. As such, you’ll earn 900 points on that expense.

Will You Really See Those Extra Points?

The Visa® Rewards PLUS Card’s points system can potentially offer business owners flexibility. It can also provide an opportunity to earn extra points on what they spend the most on. However, many businesses’ expenses may not fall into one of the predetermined categories.

Many businesses these days require cell phone service. However, a business service plan may only come out to a few hundred dollars a month. Keep in mind, too, that you’ll only earn points on cell phone service. That means purchasing equipment or other telecommunications service (even if it’s through your cellular service provider) won’t earn you 3X points.

Additionally, many businesses may not require workers to travel and stay at hotels. If your business requires you to stay in one place, you may never really earn points from spending in these two categories. And that mean losing out on major point earnings as hotel stays and airline purchases tend to cost much more.

As such, many business owners may only be earning a few hundred points a month from paying their cell service bills. Your biggest business expenses will be earning half the amount of points. This may put into question whether it’s worth paying an annual fee for rewards you may never see.

Earn Points on Your Other Purchases

The Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card also earns you points on other types of purchases. However, you’ll only earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on these.

This is only half a point more than the bare minimum most rewards cards offer cardholders. Considering that many business purchases won’t fall into the three 3X points categories, you’ll be earning 1.5X points on most of your business expenses.

Keep in mind, too, that you won’t earn points on certain financial transaction like balance transfers and cash advances. This isn’t unique to this card, though, as most rewards cards don’t let cardholders earn points on these types of transactions.

Deals for New Cardholders

The Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card does offer new cardholders a pretty lucrative bonus, though. When you spend $2,000 within the first three months after signing up, you can receive 20,000 bonus points.

You’ll only need to spend around $666 a month to meet this spending requirement. You’ll also earn these points in addition to the points you’ll normally earn. If you spend $2,000 on one of the 3X point earning categories, for instance, you can earn 26,000 points.

Additionally, the annual fee is waived your first year. This means you don’t have to worry about how many points you need to earn in order to offset the cost of owning this card.

Redeeming Your Points

When it comes time to redeem your Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card points, there are a few details you should keep in mind. For starters, you don’t earn points as soon as you purchase something with this card.

Instead, your points will appear on your account at the end of your monthly billing cycle. Moreover, SNB will calculate your net purchases to determine the points you earn. This means that if you spent $2,000 in a month but received $500 in refunds, you’ll only earn points for $1,500.

Points have a cash value of $0.01 (one cent) per point, which standard for most rewards cards. With this in mind, it’s almost like you’re earning 1.5% to 3% cash back on your purchases. This is actually a great way to remember the value of your rewards, especially considering that you can redeem points for cash back.

You have two cash back redemption options: cash deposit and statement credit. To receive a cash deposit for your PLUS Business Card, you need to have an SNB checking or savings account. You also only have seven days from the date that you earn your points to redeem them for a cash deposit.

Opting for a statement credit gives you a little more flexibility. You don’t need to have any additional accounts with SNB for this option. Additionally, you can wait up to two billing cycles to redeem your points for a credit.

Now, because you’re earning points with this Business Rewards Card, you also have the option to redeem them for prizes. By accessing the Elan Rewards program, you can use your points to obtain gift cards, merchandise, and travel vouchers.

However, as with many rewards programs these days, the catalog of prizes is kept hidden from the general public. As such, there’s no way of knowing what the prizes are and how many points you need to obtain them.

Should You Apply for the Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card?

This Visa® Business Rewards card can be an ideal option for a particular type of business owner. The card is the same as the BOK Financial Business Rewards Plus and the bank of Missouri Rewards Plus. If your business requires you to travel a lot, then you’ll be getting the most value out of this card. That’s because you’ll earn the most rewards points from your airline and hotel purchases.

However, many business owners may not need to travel as much or at all. In this case, the Sterling National Bank Visa® Business Rewards PLUS Card may present little value. If the majority of your business expenses consist of items not on the 3X points list, you may never rack up the huge points that this card promises.

That being said, this credit card may not be worth the annual fee. If your business is in an office setting, you may get more bang for your buck with another business rewards card that earns you points for office supply purchases. You may also want to consider a more basic credit card that scraps rewards in place of no annual fee and lower interest rates.

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