I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
J.D. Power and Associates' 2009 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, released in September, showed a three-year low in credit card customer satisfaction. The study measures cards based on responses from more than 9,000 card users in May and June to questions on six factors: interaction, fees and rates, billing and payment process, rewards, benefits and services and problem resolution. Dissatisfaction with fees and rates prompted the largest drop in overall satisfaction, according to the study. American Express ranked highest among issuers for the third year in a row. Other issuers with high rankings included Discover Card, Wells Fargo and National City. Issuers Bank of America, Chase, Citi and U.S. Bank all received scores in the average range.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>Chase Debuts Small Business Card Portfolio </b><br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Chase Card Services on Sept. 23 introduced a suite of four new cards designed specifically for small businesses, including the bank's first pay-in-full charge card. Called Ink from Chase, the suite targets small businesses seeking a better handle on spending, including travel and entertainment spending--70 percent of which is still done through checks, according to Chase Card Services general manager Mike Nagle. "As the next generation of small business payment solutions, Ink from Chase gives small business owners the tools to simplify financial reporting, manage their cash flow and maximize reward benefits," Nagle said. The suite includes Ink Bold, a pay-in-full card that includes a reward program; Ink, the standard card with no annual fee that includes online expense management tools; Ink Plus, which has a $60 annual fee after the first year and gives businesses extra travel benefits in their rewards program; and Ink Cash, which focuses on cash-back rewards.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>Concur Compiles European Management Team </b><br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Expense management supplier Concur aims to continue its European growth with a new regional management team. The company on Sept. 28 announced that vice president of international sales and marketing Barry Padgett would take over as senior vice president and general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Concur also has hired new vice presidents of sales and marketing for the region: Wayne Foncette, formerly the sales leader at European sales organization Salesforce.com, and Isabel Montesdeoca, who has 10 years experience in senior marketing roles in Europe's telecom software industry. The co-founders of competitor Etap-On-Line, which Concur acquired in August, have joined Concur's European management team. Pierre Higelin now is Concur's senior director of research and development for France, and Pierre Emmanuel Tetaz is the company's regional senior director of sales, marketing and business development in France. Concur has pinpointed Europe as a targeted growth market, with the company reporting a 75 percent increase in sales, marketing, R&D and operations in the region in the past year. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Amex, SAS Partner For Co-Branded Corporate Card <br clear="none" /> American Express and SAS Scandinavian Airlines have announced the launch of a co-branded corporate card offering for clients in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Since Sept. 14, companies in the three countries have had the option of issuing the SAS American Express Corporate Card to their travelers. The cards give companies credits toward additional SAS flights with purchases and allow Scandinavian companies better visibility of their travel and entertainment spending and can streamline the expense management process, according to American Express. Travelers also can earn points from the SAS frequent flyer program, EuroBonus. The partnership also allows current American Express cardholders to use their own membership reward points on SAS flights. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <a href="http://www.btnonline.com" target="_blank">ߞ Nielsen Business Media</a>