American Express® Business Gold Card
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The unique rewards structure of the American Express® Business Gold Card is highly appealing to savvy shoppers. In short, it allows you to maximize rewards in the categories where you spend the most.
In November 2018, Amex relaunched the card with a higher rewards yield and more flexible payment options. You can earn 4X points on up to $150,000 per calendar year in combined purchases in two of the six following categories where you spend the most each billing cycle:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- Advertising (purchased in the U.S. to promote your business online, on TV or on the radio)
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
After spending a combined $150,000 in the two select categories each calendar year, you earn 1 point per dollar. You’ll also earn 1X points on all other purchases, and there is no limit on how many total points you can earn.
As a bonus for frequent business travelers, you’ll receive 25% points back (up to 250k points each year) after redeeming your Membership Rewards® points on an eligible flight booked through the Amex Travel portal. Amex has always been a favorite for travelers because of the wide range of perks available while you’re on the road or in the air. In addition to no foreign transaction fees, the card offers a hotel credit for up to $75 on qualifying purchases and access to travel discounts and amenities when you enroll in The Travel Collection.
This card does have a $295 annual fee, but you can easily recoup that cost by spending around $3,700 just in your two 4x rewards categories each year.
If your company doesn’t have a large monthly budget, you may find there are better choices tailored to your business needs. Look elsewhere, as well, if you plan to carry a balance frequently. Business Gold Rewards is a charge card, meaning you’re supposed to pay it off every month. Amex does offer a “Pay Over Time” feature that allows eligible cardholders to carry a balance and accrue interest. The card also boasts no pre-set spending limit based on your creditworthiness and other factors (terms apply).
Who should get this card
Small business owners who spend heavily in the areas available for 4x points may like the flexibility of this card’s rewards system. Small business owners will also enjoy the expense management tools that come with card ownership: Quickbooks integration, an Employee Card option with no annual fee, Account Manager access and the Spend Manager℠ feature.
If you travel often for business, this is also a great card option for you. Between American Express travel perks and the high-yield rewards program, you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on travel expenses every year.
Fees and APR
- $295 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees.
- You can enroll in the “Pay Over Time” feature for purchases over $100, with a variable APR of 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%
- $38 or 2.00% of any past due Pay In Full amount, whichever is greater.
- $38 for returned payments.
- Penalty APR of 29.99% when it applies.
- See all Rates & Fees.
Extras, perks and using points
If your business spends the max $150,000 in the combined 4x categories, you can earn 600,000 points each year from those expenses alone. With American Express’ flexible redemption options, you can use your Membership Rewards® points to pay for travel, as a statement credit or to pay for gift cards or select online purchases.
New cardholders will also receive statement credits for one year free of G Suite Basic (for 3 users) and ZipRecruiter Standard when you use the card to sign up for the services. Small business looking to grow can benefit greatly from both of those services.
You also can’t deny that American Express offers some great travel perks for their business cardholders, including Premium Roadside Assistance, Baggage Insurance, Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Travel Accident Insurance and access to the Global Assist® Hotline.
How this card compares
In just about every respect — from rewards to the annual fee — the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express stands tall among the elite business cards on the market.
The only reasons to shy away from this card would be if your work requires significant overseas travel (a 2.7% foreign transaction fee) or if your biggest expenses don’t match up with the bigger cash-back savings categories.
If you’re just starting out and you aren’t sure what your spending patterns will be, the Ink Cash Business Credit Card is like a small rectangular mentor. The no-fee card will reward you for spending in the areas you’ll most likely need to get your business off the ground and gives you a full year break on interest for purchases and balance transfers. Who couldn’t use a little breathing room when launching a new venture?
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has one of the best sign-up bonuses of any small business card, worth well more than the annual fee. The on-going perks are also excellent for tech and travel-heavy businesses.
Of course, this card is only a great choice if your spending habits align with its rewards categories. If most of your spending is on office supplies or gas, for example, you may be better off with a different card.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business ranks among the best business rewards credit cards on the market, edging out other business cards — including those offered by Capital One — because of its rewards flexibility.
We love that this card pays the same flat rewards rate on cards issued to employees as those issued to the business owner. Plus, employee cards come with no annual fee. Capital One waives the annual fee for the first year on the owner’s card. You’ll pay $59 a year thereafter, which is fairly low given the rewards value.