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American Express® Business Gold Card review: A highflying card for everyday business expenses

A great choice for business owners who travel and now offering even more value for the asking price.

 /  16 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

5.0

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Bottom line

The American Express Business Gold Card is an affordable option for Amex travel rewards — and an even better choice if you spend mostly on everyday business expenses. Many small-business owners may find the excellent rewards rate, boosted redemption rate on select flights through the Amex portal and packaged travel perks are enough to justify the card’s annual fee, especially with several new annual statement credits.

Best business card for points
  • Rewards value
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    Rewards flexibility
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

Earn 70,000 points

Intro offer

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$1400

Offer valuation

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1X - 4X

Rewards Rate

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$375

Annual fee

19.49% - 28.49% Variable

Regular APR

American Express® Business Gold Card Overview

The American Express Business Gold Card may be one of the best business credit cards for small-business owners who can leverage rewards from their daily business spending into worthwhile travel redemptions. It offers a generous rewards rate on up to $150,000 per year in spending in two of your top eligible business categories (then 1X thereafter). 

Amex recently refreshed the 2X-earning categories and gave the travel category its own rewards rate. Now, the 2X selectable bonus categories offer more interesting choices for businesses. These now include eligible purchases from U.S. electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, U.S. wireless telephone service providers, eligible transit purchases, U.S. media providers for advertising in select media, U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations. 

This varied selection makes the card a great fit for business owners with a healthy mix of recurring business and everyday expenses. However, this card may come up short for business owners looking for top-of-the-line luxury perks, and its annual fee may be more than some business owners are willing to pay. If you don’t think you can offset the annual fee, a card with a lower annual fee could be more suitable.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • 4X points on up to $150,000 per calendar year in your top two of six eligible categories (then 1X thereafter; only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count toward the $150,000 cap)
    • 3X points on eligible travel purchases (including flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com)
    • 1X points on general purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Good  
    See our expert analysis 

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first three months of card membership* 

    Expert Appraisal: Good  
    See our expert analysis 

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual Fee: $375
    • Late payment: $39 or 2.99 percent of any past due amounts not paid in full, whichever is greater
    • Penalty APR: 29.99 percent 
    • Regular APR: 19.49 percent to 28.49 percent (variable Pay Over Time APR) 
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Expert Appraisal: Typical 
    See our expert analysis 

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Up to $20 in statement credits monthly after you use the Business Gold Card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and Office Supply Stores, up to $240 annually. Enrollment required.
    • Monthly statement credit for Walmart+ membership when you pay with your Business Gold Card, up to a $155 annual value.
    • The Hotel Collection (THC) benefits
    • Accidental damage or theft protection 
    • Cell phone protection 
    • Pay Over Time 
    • Baggage insurance plan 

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis 

Amex Business Gold pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Cardmembers earn boosted rewards on their top two eligible bonus categories, plus 3X on eligible travel purchases

  • Checkmark

    It offers beneficial travel benefits and insurance for frequent travelers, like trip and baggage delay insurance

  • Checkmark

    The card’s expense management tools can help business owners keep up with day-to-day spending and finances

  • Checkmark

    It has a flexible spending limit that also allows you to carry a balance with Pay Over Time

Cons

  • Cardmembers can only earn the highest rewards rate on two eligible categories — and rewards have a $150,000 annual spending cap.

  • No airport lounge access and few additional luxury perks, unlike other premium business cards centered around travel rewards

Why you might want the American Express Business Gold

The American Express Business Gold card’s high spending cap for purchases in everyday and business categories offers plenty of variety for business owners. There’s also the advantage of Pay Over Time, giving cardholders a flexible credit limit. Finally, the card’s welcome offer can offer a lot of upfront value for businesses.

Welcome offer: Valuable points for Amex points enthusiasts

The American Express Business Gold Card offers a promising 70,000-point welcome offer after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership (terms apply). This offer is 30,000 points lower than the previous one, but it still holds a ton of value in the right hands.

It’s worth mentioning that the upfront value of the Amex Business Gold card’s welcome offer falls short compared to the welcome bonuses of similar business cards. Some business cards offer comparable bonuses with lower spending requirements. For example, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers a great sign up bonus: Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.

However, American Express Membership Rewards points are extremely flexible and valuable. On average, the Amex Business Gold’s welcome offer could be worth $875 toward eligible flights through the American Express travel portal. However, according to our latest points valuation, it can be worth up to $1,470 with the right American Express transfer partner.

Rewards rate: Amazing travel redemption value 

The rewards process works automatically, tracking your transactions after each billing cycle to determine which two of the following eligible categories you'll earn rewards in:

  • U.S. purchases made from electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
  • Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S.
  • Transit purchases, including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses and subways.
  • Purchases at U.S. media providers for advertising in select media (online, TV and radio)
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations

You’ll earn 4X points on those two spending categories for up to $150,000 in combined bonus category spending for the calendar year (from six eligible categories). Afterward, you’ll earn only 1X points on those purchases. 

The Business Gold also now earns 3X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com. Amex used to include this category as part of its capped spending category, so it's great that you won’t need to factor travel into your spending caps — especially if you travel frequently for business. Other qualifying purchases that don’t qualify for 4X rewards still earn 1X points.

Reward value: Some of the most flexible and valuable points available

The maximum value of the American Express Business Gold Card’s rewards lies with the Membership Rewards point program. You can pool points with other Amex cards in the program or transfer them to travel partner loyalty programs for greater value. Although you can get the best redemption value with transfers, you’ll still retain great value with travel redemptions on AmexTravel.com.

If you want to keep it simple, booking flights through the Amex portal provides the best value since you get a 1:1 redemption rate.

If you’re looking for maximum value with strategic point transfers, your best bet is to find the right transfer partner to net around 2.0 cents cents per point. Other travel and non-travel options get you a value of 0.5 to 0.7 cents per point.

Perks: New statement credits can help offset the annual fee 

If you were uncertain about applying for the Amex Business Gold before, now is a great time to revisit the card. In addition to refreshed bonus categories, Amex has made it easier to offset the cost of the card’s annual fee. 

The Amex Business Gold Card now offers several new statement credit opportunities to help offset the card’s annual fee. You can earn up to $20 in statement credits monthly after you use the Business Gold Card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub and Office Supply Stores — an annual savings of up to $240. You can also receive a reimbursement for Walmart+ monthly membership when you pay with your Amex Business Gold Card. This is up to a $12.95 value each month, which can add up to $155 if you pay for 12 months.

Booking an eligible property within The Hotel Collection through American Express travel for at least two consecutive nights can also net up to  $100 in hotel credits toward qualifying activities (like eligible dining, spa and other resort activities that vary by property).

Finally, Amex has added cell phone protection to its perk lineup. You can get reimbursed the lesser of your costs to repair or replace your damaged or stolen cell phone for a maximum of $800 per claim. These claims are limited to two approved claims per 12-month period when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's bill was paid with your Business Gold Card.

Why you might want a different business card

Overall, the American Express Business Gold Card offers solid travel and business rewards, but the Amex Business Gold’s benefits aren’t nearly as substantial. You’ll need to rely on rewards category spending to earn enough points to offset the high annual fee, which is easier for some cardholders than others. If your spending won’t push your rewards balance past a total value of $375 annually, you may want to find a more affordable card, even if it has lower rewards rates.

Rates and fees: Possibly difficult to offset the annual fee 

One drawback to the American Express Business Gold Card is its annual fee is $375, which is higher than most business credit card annual fees. While it isn’t as difficult to make up for this annual fee as it once was thanks to the card’s new statement credit opportunities, the statement credits may not help your business needs. You can still offset that cost with rewards, but you’ll need to spend a little more than $400 in your 4X categories each billing cycle (based on an estimated point value of around 2.0 cents per point) to earn enough in rewards value to offset the annual fee.

That also assumes you're able to get a high redemption value by transferring to a top airline or hotel travel partner. With a more straightforward redemption method, such as travel via the Amex portal, you’ll need to spend around $800 each billing cycle over the course of the year in 4X categories to break even with your points (assuming you get a value of 1 cent per point when you redeem for eligible flights on AmexTravel.com).

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Bankrate Insight

You also earn points from employee card spending, which can help to offset the card’s annual fee. However, your card shares the same $150,000 spending cap for earning 4X points with employee cards, and your point value drops when you redeem points for options other than travel. Consider setting a company-wide redemption policy with points you accrue through employee spending. 

First-year value vs. ongoing value

The $375 annual fee may seem overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to offset if you spend heavily in the card’s 4X categories and take advantage of the card’s statement credits.

The average small-business owner should earn a little under $700 in rewards per year via card spending based on a redemption value of 1 cent per point and our business card value scoring formula, which assumes a $40,000 annual spend. Big spenders who maximize the card’s 4X rewards rate could earn even more — around $6,000 in annual rewards value by spending $150,000 in the card’s 4X bonus categories with a redemption value of 1 cent per point. 

Here’s a look at how your earnings could shake out in the first year and beyond based on our business card value scoring formula and a redemption value of 1 cent per point:

Benefits and Costs First-year value Ongoing value (no welcome offers)
Yearly rewards +$676 +$676
Welcome offers +$700 (Membership Rewards sign-up bonus points redeemed through American Express Travel)
Perks (of monetary value)

+$495 (combined credits for qualifying bookings with The Hotel Collection, Flexible Business Credit, and Walmart+ reimbursement)

+$495 (combined credits for qualifying bookings with The Hotel Collection, Flexible Business Credit, and Walmart+ reimbursement)

Annual fee -$375 -$375
Total value $1,496 $796

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

Bankrate credit cards writer Ryan Flanigan uses his American Express Business Gold card wisely to fill gaps in spending for big rewards.

I love the flexibility of this card. Based on what I need for my business, I’ll use it to spend in different bonus categories almost every month. The value of the points I earn makes it a keeper for me because I can never have enough Membership Rewards points, and this generates a lot of them. I’m meticulous enough to focus my spending in two categories each month based on my current needs, so I can easily max out this card’s potential. The flexibility of the American Express Business Gold covers many of my needs, making it valuable to my overall card-earning portfolio.

— Ryan Flanigan, Writer, Credit Cards

How the American Express Business Gold Card compares to other business cards

The Amex Business Gold card is a great choice if you have large business expenses that fall into the card’s select bonus categories. But the following might be better options for small-business owners looking for premier perks, like lounge access or a card with a lower annual fee that still earns decent rewards.

Image of American Express® Business Gold Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$375

Intro offer

Earn 70,000 points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 4X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$695

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 5X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

Earn 120,000 bonus points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 3X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Best cards to pair with the American Express Business Gold

For maximum value, you should only use the American Express Business Gold Card for spending that falls within two of the card’s six bonus categories. When covering the other four categories and purchases that would only earn 1X points, you should find a rewards credit card that charges no annual fee and offers high rewards on all purchases or in specific categories relevant to your business.

Who is the Amex Business Gold right for?

Bankrate’s Take — Is the American Express Business Gold Card worth it?

Business owners with large budgets and a lot of travel planned will find that the American Express Business Gold Card can be worth it. Businesses with dedicated spending in two top bonus categories may easily offset the annual fee while taking advantage of a solid welcome offer, valuable statement credits and a robust portfolio of travel partners.

However, if you’re unsure whether you can offset the annual fee, this may not be the best choice for a business credit card. Additionally, owners with lower business budgets or fewer travel needs will not reap the full rewards of this credit card.

Dig deeper: Is the Amex Business Gold worth it?

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card from American Express, please click here.

Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit AmericanExpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

How we rated this card

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Our proprietary card rating system takes into account a mix of factors when scoring business credit cards, including each card’s rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more.

We analyzed over 50 of the most popular business credit cards and scored each based on how its key features stacked up compared to those of other cards in its category.

Here are some of the key factors that gave this card its score:

Frequently asked questions

Written by
India Davis
Editor, Credit Cards
India Davis is an editor specializing in credit cards and updates. She believes in putting the reader first and carrying out a brand’s voice to its fullest potential. She has lived and worked in three different countries and hopes to explore more of the world post-pandemic.
Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards
Reviewed by Former Senior Director of Content

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.