How the AOA Business Card can benefit your practice

January 3, 2023
Over 200 eye care professionals were interviewed to develop a card program like no other.
AOA Business Card

Excerpted from page 44 of the November/December 2022 edition of AOA Focus.

Recently, AOAExcel® has introduced the AOA Business Card as a new member benefit. Designed specifically for optometry practice owners, this credit card has received positive reviews as a tool to help streamline business operations. Benefits include reward points, a sign-on bonus and no impact on personal credit.

AOAExcel partnered with Mercantile Financial Technologies, Inc. to develop the card. Joey Fargiorgio, manager of business development & partnerships of Mercantile, discussed with AOA Focus the background of the card, how it benefits practice owners and what the future holds.

What are the most important factors practice owners should consider when selecting a card for their business?

The right small-business credit card for your practice can be very rewarding in terms of cash back, product discounts and other benefits. Ultimately, one of the most important considerations when shopping for a small-business card is what it can do for you. One of the primary considerations with rewards-based business credit cards is exactly that: How rewarding will it really be?

Other factors to consider include the interest rate of the card, whether the rewards are tailored toward your industry or business, and whether the spend of the card will impact your personal credit.

Why do you think so many doctors of optometry have adopted the card so quickly?

Simply put, there isn’t another card quite like the AOA Business Card on the market today. The AOA Business Card was built for doctors, by doctors. Prior to launching the card, we interviewed over 200 eye care professionals to understand how they run their business, the challenges they face and the solutions they wish they had. We put all those learnings into this card program.

When selecting a credit card, cardholders often have questions regarding limitations and restrictions on reward points. What issues should people be cautious about? Can you discuss the terms of the reward points for the AOA Business Card?

Some credit card products do a great job at muddying the waters with their points system. If there are reward points, what do they convert to (e.g., airline miles), and does the ratio of dollars spent to the value of rewards earned make sense?

This is one of the great pitfalls of some reward cards: It sounds so enticing to earn airline miles for that next big vacation, for example. But often if you crunch the numbers and see what the miles to get that ticket really cost you, you might find that it’s cheaper to simply buy that ticket the normal way rather than earning and redeeming rewards miles.

The AOA Business Card gives cardholders an unlimited 2% back in points on all purchases.*

It’s possible that practice owners might overlook the importance of getting a credit card with no personal credit/guarantee. Can you explain why that is such an important feature of the AOA Business Card?

By underwriting the business and not pulling from a doctor’s personal history, the doctor is able to spend on their card without the risk of it impacting their personal credit scores.

When we spoke with the hundreds of doctors before launch, they all said something similar: “I restocked my practice on my card, only to find out that my personal credit score got decimated.” One doctor even recounted a story of how they were declined on a second mortgage because they just bought new equipment for their practice on their credit card.

For practice owners who are on the fence about getting the card, what message would you like to give them?

Credit cards have always been a commodity product, offering basic rewards to a mass audience. The wider net a credit card company can cast, the better. The AOA Business Card was designed for a specific audience, meeting their specific business needs. By signing up for the AOA Business Card, you are not only supporting the vision of the AOA but also the growth of your practice. Change is never easy, especially with doctors’ busy schedules, and we’re here to help!

Help to manage your practice better with the AOA Business Card, the only credit card endorsed by the AOA

Any business entity owned by an AOA member, regardless of an affiliation with optometry, may apply for the card.

*Conditions apply. Subject to approval. Mercantile Financial Technologies, Inc. is a financial technology company, not a bank. The AOA Cards are issued by Hatch Bank pursuant to a license from Mastercard. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

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