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The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offer a similar list of benefits for business owners. The main difference is that the Amex Blue Business Cash earns cash back, while the Amex Blue Business Plus earns American Express Membership Rewards points.
The best card for you will depend on how you prefer to receive your rewards. Read on to find out the details of these cards, how their welcome offers compare and how to make the best decision for your business.
|Amex Blue Business Cash||Amex Blue Business Plus|
|Welcome bonus||Earn a $250 statement credit when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of card membership||Earn 15,000 points when you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership|
|Rewards rate||2% cash back on all eligible purchases (on up to $50,000 per year, then 1%)||2X points on up to $50,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points; Unlimited 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (16.99% – 24.99% variable APR thereafter)||0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (16.99% – 24.99% variable APR thereafter)|
Amex Blue Business Cash vs. Amex Blue Business Plus highlights
Whether you choose the Amex Blue Business Cash or the Amex Blue Business Plus will depend on how you prefer to receive your rewards. To better evaluate the two cards, we’ll compare them in several categories.
Welcome bonus winner: Amex Blue Business Plus
With the Amex Blue Business Cash, you’ll earn $250 after you make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of opening your account. For the Amex Blue Business Plus, you’ll receive 15,000 points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within your first three months.
According to our latest points and miles valuations, American Express Membership Rewards points are worth up to 2.1 cents each when redeemed with a high-value American Express transfer partner, which includes airlines like Asia Miles or Virgin Atlantic. This means that, at most, your welcome bonus with the Amex Blue Business Plus will be worth $315, which is $65 more than the Amex Blue Business Cash’s welcome bonus.
However, when you redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for gift cards or air travel through the Amex portal, the value of Amex points drops from 2.1 cents each to 1 cent each. That means your Amex Blue Business Plus welcome bonus could be worth $150 instead of $315.
Rewards rate winner: Amex Blue Business Plus
The Amex Blue Business Cash offers 2 percent cash back on all eligible purchases (on up to $50,000 per year, then 1 percent) and the Amex Blue Business Plus offers 2X points on up to $50,000 in purchases per year (then 1X points). For cardholders who plan to rent cars often, you’ll also receive unlimited 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel.
Additionally, the Amex Blue Business Plus offers a lot more flexibility for redeeming rewards than the Amex Blue Business Cash. However, keep in mind that the value of Amex points completely depends on how you redeem them. They are valued at 2.1 cents each when you book travel with an American Express travel partner, but when you redeem them for a hotel stay through American Express Travel, their value plummets to around 0.7 cents per point.
If you are planning to spend more than $50,000 per year, you’ll want to consider other American Express business credit cards as both options cut their rewards in half once you reach this spending limit.
Annual fee winner: Tie
Both the Amex Blue Business Cash and the Amex Blue Business Plus charge $0 in annual fees.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Both cards charge a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee. Given that major credit card issuers charge around 3 percent on foreign purchases, this is a competitive rate. However, some credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees. If you know you will be traveling abroad often and plan to spend on your credit card, consider a card that doesn’t charge these fees.
Which card earns the most?
The Amex Blue Business Plus has the potential to earn more, as long as the rewards points are redeemed through an American Express transfer partner.
Amex Blue Business Cash vs. Amex Blue Business Plus spending example
During your first year with the Amex Blue Business Cash card, say you spend $20,000 and meet the requirements to earn the welcome bonus. For your first year, you will earn:
- Welcome bonus: $250
- Rewards: $400
Now, say you spend $20,000 with the Amex Blue Business Plus card and earn the welcome bonus. For your first year, you will earn:
- Welcome bonus: 15,000 points
- Rewards: 40,000 points
For the Amex Blue Business Plus, if we evaluate each point as being worth 2.1 cents each, your welcome bonus will be worth $315 and your rewards will be worth $840, which means you’ll receive $525 more in value for spending the same amount.
However, if we value Amex points at 1 cent each, you’ll only receive $150 as a welcome bonus and $400 in rewards, which is $100 less than you would receive with the Amex Blue Business Cash card.
Why should you get the Amex Blue Business Cash?
While this card’s benefits are lean, the card’s Expanded Buying Power feature is worth mentioning. Amex’s Expanded Buying Power will allow you to spend beyond your credit limit with no over-limit fee in the event you are faced with a sudden expense or an opportunity too good to pass up. However, these purchases are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, this card offers some standard credit card benefits like car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty coverage and purchase protection.
When it comes to redeeming your rewards from the Amex Blue Business Cash, options are limited to an automatic statement credit up to two billing cycles after your billing statement. While many cash back cards offer options such as a direct deposit or check, the Amex Blue Business Cash does not offer this flexibility.
Recommended credit score
To increase your odds of approval, a good to excellent credit score (a FICO score of 670 to 850) is recommended for this card.
Why should you get the Amex Blue Business Plus?
To start with, online applications for the Amex Blue Business Plus are processed quickly. You’ll be able to find out if you’ve been approved in as little as 30 seconds. Like the Amex Blue Business Cash, this card offers purchase protection, extended warranty coverage and Expanded Buying Power if an unexpected expense comes up. This card also offers employee cards and the ability to select spending limits for each card. Additionally, you can choose an account manager for your card to manage the card’s finances.
The Amex Blue Business Plus offers a lot of flexibility in terms of how you can redeem your rewards. The best way to redeem your Amex Membership Rewards points is through Amex’s travel partners. However, you can also redeem them for travel booked through the American Express portal, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise or purchases with select merchants like Amazon or Best Buy. Keep in mind though that you won’t get as much value from your points by redeeming them for these options.
Recommended credit score
Good to excellent credit (between 670 and 850) is recommended for this card.
The bottom line
The Amex Blue Business Cash and the Amex Blue Business Plus are both solid business credit cards as long as you don’t plan to spend more than $50,000 per year. The right choice for you will depend on whether you prefer to receive your rewards in the form of cash back or points. Some business owners prefer the simplicity of cash back, while others want the flexibility that rewards points can offer. Still, before making a decision, be sure to check out other top business credit cards to see if another card may work better for you.