The Evolution of Corporate Card Rewards: What's Next?

Aug 4, 2023 by Daniel Escudero

Corporate credit cards have been a standard tool in the arsenal of businesses for decades. However, in recent years, the way companies use and choose their corporate cards has undergone a significant transformation.

From basic cash back programs to more generous rewards and exclusive travel perks, companies can now access a much wider range of options and functionality when choosing their corporate cards.

Moreover, corporate cards are now providing added benefits beyond reward packages, such as interest-free credit and cash flow insights. As the competition in this space continues to increase, companies should remain informed of the latest developments to ensure they take advantage of the best available offerings.

In this post, we'll explore the existing rewards offered by corporate cards, the emerging trends, and what the future of corporate card rewards looks like.

Corporate Rewards Programs Today

There was a time when corporate cards had fairly minimal rewards compared to personal credit cards; that's no longer the case. Many corporate cards offer impressive rewards, including generous cash back programs, travel upgrades, and exclusive event access.

For example, the American Express Business Platinum card provides rewards for:

  • Travel purchases
  • Airport lounge access
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status.

Similarly, the Chase Ink Business Preferred card offers great rewards for travel, shipping, and advertising. These rewards can add up quickly and significantly reduce the costs of corporate purchases for businesses.

Owning a corporate credit card was an option exclusive to select businesses that could leverage its benefits. However, now even freelancers can reap the benefits. What this means for larger businesses is that rewards have scaled to appeal to them as card competition has increased, while smaller businesses remain content with basic reward programs.

So what have innovative companies done to appeal to larger businesses and get larger deals?

Emerging Trends in Corporate Card Rewards Programs

As traditional financial service providers continue to offer improved rewards programs, new entrants are also gaining traction in the market. One of the most significant trends in this space is the emergence of fintech firms that offer rewards that go above and beyond comfy travel perks. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Fintechs, like Ramp, Brex, and Paystand have also been gaining popularity in the realm of corporate cards by offering frictionless sign-ups, improved credit limits, and even heavily discounted software bundles.

Another trend gaining momentum in the corporate rewards space is augmented rewards opportunities based on “sustainable” spending. For instance, Mastercard's Corporate Program enables businesses to earn sustainability points to incentivize greener decision-making.

Partnerships and acquisitions have also become a strong trend in this space. Years ago, Capital One acquired Wikibuy to enable the bank to offer enhanced cash back rewards for corporate cardholders across numerous online merchants.

Now, companies even offer their members annual subscriptions to Shopify and the option to redeem their rewards as gift cards with renowned retailers.

As the competition in the corporate card rewards space heats up, providers continue to raise the bar on the quality and caliber of rewards offered.

💡 New and reputable players are the ones to keep an eye on, as they tend to have the best offers and distinctive rewards in their mission to compete in the market.

Going Beyond Rewards

What is next for the players in this space is offering benefits traditional banks would never dream of. Let’s talk about three of these innovations:

  1. 💳 Instant and Digital Card Provisioning Now, at the click of a button, managers can quickly create a budgeted virtual card for their employees anytime, anywhere, at no additional cost.

  2. 🛠️ Expense Management Tools Expenditure with these cards is automatically upgraded as your expense management ditches manual data entry and paperwork. Fintechs offer integrated software services linked to their cards. You save valuable time and money by switching to a card + software system that directly connects to your business credit card.

  3. 📈 Invested Cash Back The most innovative of them all is the concept of investing cash back through crypto. We will use Paystand Spend Card as an example.

    Companies can now get classic cash back into their account while using their corporate card. Paystand gives the option of low-risk crypto-rewards credit cards. The Paystand Spend Card is specially tailored to companies wanting to take their first steps into the world of digital tokens.

    While that cash back sits there, it is invested into bitcoin. If bitcoin grows, that cash back grows with it. If bitcoin falls, the cash back will not depreciate but will remain at its original value. Risk-free investing? Amazing.


Key Takeaways

Corporate cards are no longer just about credit and expense management; they have become a valuable tool for companies looking for added incentives and rewards. As traditional financial providers and emerging fintech firms in the corporate card space continue to offer enhanced rewards programs, businesses can look forward to even better deals in the future.

Keeping up with the newest trends and seeking the best rewards programs may lead to more cost savings and greater financial benefits for companies.

However, this evolution is not just limited to the rewards program; companies are exploring a variety of other features as well, from interest-free credit, cash flow insights, and even friendly exposure to crypto.

As the landscape shifts, it's prudent for businesses to stay updated on the latest changes in the corporate card space.