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SIA, Amex launch travel credit card for SMEs

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) and American Express (Amex) on Thursday launched a business travel credit card to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) manage cash flow and get more benefits from their business spend.

The American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card will let cardholders earn both HighFlyer points for their businesses and KrisFlyer miles for themselves on Singapore Airlines Group flights. The card also offers complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access and zero per cent instalment plans over six months on SIA flights.

"Singapore Airlines' HighFlyer programme was launched two years ago to reward and support SMEs, including in their endeavours to expand overseas," said Campbell Wilson, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at SIA.

"This new product enables SMEs to maximise their HighFlyer privileges by earning more rewards faster, which can be redeemed for a range of benefits that improve their bottom line even as employees themselves continue to earn KrisFlyer miles for their own personal benefit."

A survey of 200 SMEs, conducted by Amex and SIA in June 2019, found that SME owners and employees are frequent travellers. SME owners reported that they travel at least once every six weeks for business, and 70 per cent of SMEs have employees travelling two or more times per month.

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SME owners also remain optimistic, with more than 74 per cent expecting to grow their businesses in the next 12 months. However, more than half are worried about increasing competition and cash flow management, and one in three faces challenges in expanding overseas.

Nine in 10 SMEs said they have dealings overseas, and one in three respondents cited lack of access to capital and cash flow as key inhibitors to international expansion.

"SMEs have different needs and they don't always get the same level of support as larger companies. Our survey reaffirms this as 59 per cent of SMEs said partnering established companies for guidance and support would have made their expansion overseas easier," said Celine Chua, vice-president of global commercial services for Singapore at Amex.

Said Geoff Begg, senior vice-president of global commercial services for Asia-Pacific at Amex: "American Express and Singapore Airlines are bringing the first SME business travel card to give them access to credit terms, more savings and a suite of travel benefits – to support their ambitions and help them overcome these challenges."

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