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UBS Bank caters to wealthy individuals, institutions and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. So naturally, when the bank launched a trio of business credit cards in June 2019, the cards all came with princely perks and swanky benefits befitting the high-end clientele most likely to bank with UBS.
Not everyone will be eligible for them, but here’s a closer look at how these three UBS business credit cards stack up.
1. All three offer rewards, business tools and travel perks …
All of the cards feature travel extras like roadside assistance, baggage delay coverage and other kinds of assistance. And each card earns rewards on purchases, although the earnings structures and annual fees differ:
- The UBS Visa Signature Business card has an annual fee of $0 and earns 1 UBS My Choice Rewards point per dollar spent on all purchases.
- The UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business card has an annual fee of $150 and earns 2% cash back on the first $100,000 in eligible purchases each year, and 1% cash back on all purchases after that.
- The UBS Visa Infinite Business card has an annual fee of $550 and earns 3 UBS My Choice Rewards points for every dollar spent on air travel and hotel stays; 2 points for every dollar spent on office supplies, shipping, advertising and cable, Internet and phone on up to $200,000 in purchases per year; and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
All three cards also offer benefits tailored to business owners such as payment controls for authorized users, expense tracking tools and up to 24 free employee cards upon request.
2. … but you’ll likely have to go through a UBS financial advisor to get one
If your curiosity is piqued, know that these cards aren’t available to everyone who has hung out a shingle. According to a UBS representative, “UBS’ card program was designed to serve UBS clients and is marketed to UBS clients exclusively.”
If you don’t have an existing UBS relationship, you can apply for a card by reaching out directly to the firm by calling 866-UBS-VISA, but there’s no online application.
3. Redemption rules are complex and potentially costly
First, the good news: If you have either the UBS Visa Infinite Business card or the UBS Visa Signature card — both of which earn UBS My Choice Rewards points — you can get more value redeeming those points for flights. (The UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business is a cash-back card, so it doesn’t apply here.)
If you redeem 25,000 points for airfare, you can get a ticket worth up to $350; or you can redeem 50,000 points and get a ticket worth up to $900. At those thresholds, points are worth either 1.4 cents or 1.8 cents apiece respectively, well above the industry standard of 1 cent each.
Now for the bad news: To get those elevated redemption rates, you must use points — and only points — to cover the full cost of the ticket. Using a points-and-cash combo is still an option, but you won’t get the elevated redemption rate that way. So if you’re looking to take advantage of this deal, keep the following in mind:
- If your ticket costs more than either $350 or $900, you’ll owe the difference in points; again, you can’t use cash or a combination of points and dollars. And the redemption value for that difference in cost will fall back to 1 cent per point.
- Worse, you can pay that difference only in 5,000-point increments (meaning $50 of ticket value). So if you want a plane ticket that costs, say, $458, you’ll need 40,000 points — 25,000 to cover the first $350, but then 15,000 more to cover the $108 difference.
- If you have the UBS Visa Signature card, you’ll also owe a $25 booking fee. (The UBS Visa Infinite Business card doesn’t charge this fee.)
The UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business card is not eligible for these kinds of travel redemptions; you’ll get either statement credit or a deposit into your UBS business account.
4. The lowest-tier card is surprisingly generous with its perks
The UBS Visa Signature card boasts some impressive travel extras for a no-annual-fee card, including concierge service, discounts at luxury hotels, preferred car rental rates and savings on private aviation.
And of course, as you’d expect, the card with the highest annual fee of the three — the $550-a-year UBS Visa Infinite Business card — comes with a raft of benefits and lavish amenities. Highlights include an annual $500 statement credit for a lounge membership to any airport club, a complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership, a $350 domestic airline credit, and a Global Entry or TSA Precheck statement credit.
Oddly, though, considering its $150 annual fee, the midtier UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business card offers far less razzle-dazzle when it comes to extras. With this card, you’ll get some of the basic travel and business perks noted before, but not much else beyond the cash back rewards.
5. Big accounts get bigger sign-up bonuses
Like most business credit cards, the UBS cards all come with welcome offers after meeting minimum spending requirements.
But holders of the UBS Visa Infinite Business card and/or the UBS Visa Signature Business card can boost those bonuses significantly if they have $250,000 or more in assets as clients. For details, contact UBS.