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If you’re only looking for the best business credit card, then Ramp is not your best option. However, Ramp is more than just a business credit card. It has a 1.5% cash back card, but that isn’t the reason to choose Ramp. You should choose Ramp because the cash back card is good enough, and the additional services are worth it for your business. What are those additional services? Ramp has an expense management solution that competes with companies like Expesify, and it has an invoicing solution that competes with companies like bill.com. Both of these products along with the credit card are designed to save accounting teams time and effort and help them close the books more quickly. If you are a small business doing less than $10M in revenue, then we don’t recommend Ramp. But if you are a larger business looking to streamline your finance function and close your books more quickly, then we think Ramp is a great option.
Ramp was founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Eric Glyman, Karim Atiyeh, and Gene Lee. Eric and Karim previously founded Paribus, a consumer finance company originally conceived to help Eric save money on flights. It evolved into a price tracking app that was acquired by Capital One in 2016. The pair then left Capital One in 2019 to found Ramp. They interviewed over 100 finance experts and entrepreneurs to understand their pain points. Based on these interviews, they launched a corporate credit card with the goal of helping businesses spend less money.
The company took off rapidly during the pandemic as traditional corporate card perks became less relevant and businesses needed to save time and money more than ever. In just four years, Ramp garnered over $1.5 billion in funding from Stripe and Founders Fund, 13,000+ customers, and 400 employees by providing businesses with solutions to streamline accounting, automate expense management, and leverage data insights.
Ramp offers several products in one.
Corporate Credit Card
Unlike our recommended business credit card, the Capital One Spark card, this card does not require a credit check or personal guarantee and is a true corporate card. Unfortunately, this card is not available for Sole Proprietors. Ramp cards offer 1.5% cash back and have no annual fees. In order to qualify for a Ramp card, you must currently spend more than $10k per month on corporate cards and must have at least $75k in a US bank account.
One unique feature of Ramp cards is their ability to do spend management at the card level (see the next section). You can use Ramp to customize spend limits and other controls of each individual card.
We don’t think Ramp is the best pure play corporate card, but when combined with the other services, we think it’s worth considering.
In addition to its corporate card, Ramp offers an expense management solution. Since it owns both pieces, the two are able to deeply integrate.
Ramp’s expense management solution allows employees to quickly file expense reports. It has a best in class optical character recognition software (OCR) that allows it to understand hard to read receipts (e.g., crumpled receipts, receipts photographed in dark restaurants etc.) Using Ramp will make it easier for employees to file expense reports and for finance teams to reconcile them.
We’ve also heard from users that their automated expense labeling features are better than competitors like Brex.
Using this software employers can put automatic spending controls on corporate cards. So if your organization has a spending policy (meal budgets etc.), you can implement it real-time at the card level rather than enforce it later when employees file their expenses. This can create tighter control over corporate spend.
Expense management competitors:
Concur (owned by SAP)
Invoicing / Bill Pay
Ramp launched Bill Pay in October of 2021 in order to further consolidate the financial stack in Ramp. Ramp realized that lots of corporate transactions don't occur on credit cards. Many bills are paid through wires and accounts payable and the processes can be very manual.
Working Capital Financing
In addition to the Bill Pay product, Ramp launched Ramp Flex to help companies with their working capital needs. The Flex product has Ramp pay bills up front and the company pay back bills over 30, 60, or 90 days. This might not be the best option for eCommerce companies because the financing limits are set dynamically and could rapidly change.
Procurement / Spend Management
Ramp also compiles the data from all the companies using Ramp and can flag areas of overspend. This is especially useful for SaaS pricing which can vary greatly based on individual negotiation. Ramp bought Buyer.co to help with procurement management and savings.
Ramp pricing 💰:
Ramp has three tiers of pricing: Ramp, Ramp Plus, and Ramp Enterprise. Ramp is free to use. Ramp plus is $15 per month per employee and Ramp Enterprise pricing is not publicly available.
Ramp makes money on its free plan through interchange fees charged to merchants on its credit cards. It splits those interchange fees with Visa who is the card network provider for Ramp.
Ramp Plus offers several key benefits over the basic Ramp offering:
-Procure-to-pay: Ramp’s automated procurement solution which aims to centralize the entire procurement spend process which is typically spread across many teams. It creates a central place for spend requests to go and manages the approval process. It also tracks purchase orders until they are paid
-Global support: International and multi-currency support. Consolidate domestic and international spend, set spending limits in local currencies, international tax code support, and international debiting support (available for CAD, UK, and EU).
-Workflow builder: Automate complex financial processes with Ramp’s workflow builder. This allows you to create rules based workflows around common use cases (e.g., employee onboarding card issuance, and procurement & payment approvals)
-Smart policies: Automated controls over employee spend with advanced roles, permissions, and policy enforcement (e.g., auto locking cards if an employee fails to submit expenses and auto flagging of out of policy expenses)
Is Ramp a credit card or debit card?
Ramp is technically a charge card. Unlike a credit card, you are required to pay your monthly balance in full each month and cannot carry an outstanding balance into the next month. And unlike a debit card you are not immediately debited for charges as they occur.
What are the requirements for getting a Ramp credit card?
In order to qualify for a Ramp card you must have:
- A registered corporate entity (LLC, limited partnership, or corporation) sole proprietorships do not qualify
- At least $75,000 in a US business bank account
-$10,000 per month in corporate spend
-”Strong revenue” however they do not define what qualifies
How does Ramp determine your credit limit?
Ramp sets dynamic credit limits based on a variety of factors.This might not make it ideal for eCommerce businesses that have large swings in these factors (e.g., large cash outflows without corresponding inflows as they build inventory for Q4)
How does Ramp make money?
Ramp makes the majority of its money through interchange fees. Like companies like Stripe it takes the credit card processing fees charged merchants and splits it between itself and the credit card processing network (Visa in Ramp’s case). It also now makes money from its Ramp Plus and Enterprise offering fees.
What are the drawbacks of Ramp?
While Ramp has a strong initial product suite, there are still areas like payroll, accounts receivable, deeper accounting features, etc. that it needs to expand into to become a full finance platform.
The credit limit offered by Ramp is also set dynamically and can swing dramatically. This might not make it ideal for eCommerce businesses that have large swings in factors that impact the credit limits (e.g., large cash outflows without corresponding inflows as they build inventory for Q4)
A couple other nitpicks that users complained about: some had trouble with the Xero accounting integration and others noted that approval routing has to be set on the vendor level and not on the department level.
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