NFIB Small Business Credit Card Lacks Important Protections
The National Federation of Independent Business is an organization that dubs itself “The Voice of Small Business.” In alignment with that motto, NFIB teamed up with First National Bank of Omaha to offer the NFIB Business Edition MasterCard.
This credit card is designed for small business owners, offering rewards points for purchases such as office supplies and travel. It has a 0% APR for nine months as an introductory offer, and a relatively low 12.99% APR after that. The on-going APR can be as high as 19.99%, depending on credit worthiness.
Since this is a business credit card, it does not have the same protections that issuers offer on consumer credit cards as dictated by the CARD Act. Business owners need to be aware of two provisions in this card’s terms of agreement that could lead to future trouble:
- “We reserve the right to unilaterally change the rates, fees, costs, and other terms at any time for any reason in addition to APR increases that may occur for failure to comply with the terms of your Account.”
- “You agree that payments on your Account may be applied in the order we select. We may allocate payments to balances starting with the lowest Annual Percentage Rate.”
This means that the credit card company can change your interest rate if you have a late payment or go over your credit limit. The bank can also choose which order your payments are applied, which means that a charge with a low interest rate may be prioritized over one with a high interest rate.
Many credit card companies have extended CARD Act protection to business cards, even though they are not regulated to do so. Members of the banking community are hoping the NFIB does the same.
A spokesperson for the NFIB said, “It’s a highly regulated industry, and I have the utmost confidence that they’re aware of and in compliance with all the regulations.”