Key takeaways

  • Neither the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card nor The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express charge an annual fee, so either one could add a tool to your business toolbox without costing you extra to carry.
  • Both business cards offer rewards, but Blue Business Cash exclusively offers cash back in the form of statement credit while Blue Business Plus offers Membership Rewards points that you can redeem in various ways.
  • These cards both offer an intro APR on purchases.

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 Amex Blue Business Cash earns cash back, while 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 and, perhaps, whether you have other Membership Rewards-earning cards in your wallet. Read on to find out the details of these cards, how their rewards compare and how to make the best decision for your business.

Main details

Amex Blue Business Cash Amex Blue Business Plus
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
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (18.49% – 26.49% variable APR thereafter) 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (18.49% – 26.49% variable APR thereafter)
Welcome bonus N/A N/A
Annual fee $0 $0

Amex Blue Business Cash vs. Amex Blue Business Plus highlights

Whether you choose Amex Blue Business Cash or 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.

Rewards rate winner: Amex Blue Business Plus

Amex Blue Business Plus offers 2X points on up to $50,000 in purchases per year (then 1X points), and Amex Blue Business Cash offers 2 percent cash back on all eligible purchases (on up to $50,000 per year, then 1 percent).

Amex Blue Business Plus wins this category because cardholders enjoy a lot more flexibility when it comes to redeeming rewards than Amex Blue Business Cash cardholders do. Furthermore, the points earned with Blue Business Plus can be combined with Membership Rewards points earned with other Amex cards, making it possible to rack up rewards more quickly.

Keep in mind that the value of Amex points completely depends on how you redeem them. Bankrate values them at about 2.0 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 Blue Business Plus and Blue Business Cash cut their rewards in half once you reach this spending limit.

Welcome offer winner: Tie

Neither of these cards currently offers a welcome bonus, but both have done so in the past.

For example, a past welcome offer for Blue Business Plus awarded cardholders 15,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Using Bankrate’s valuations, this offer was worth as much as $300.

Blue Business Cash in the past offered new cardholders $250 cash back for that same $3,000 spend in the first three months.

There’s no way of knowing when or if these welcome offers will return, so for now it’s best to focus on other aspects of the cards as you decide which is right for you.

Intro APR winner: Tie

These cards offer identical 0 percent intro APRs on purchases for 12 months from account opening, with an ongoing variable APR of 18.49 percent to 26.49 percent after that for both cards.

This feature could mean substantial savings for your business if you have a large purchase on the horizon and need extra time to pay it off interest-free. Take advantage of this offer to upgrade equipment or processes that could help take your business to the next level.

Annual fee winner: Tie

Neither Amex Blue Business Cash nor Amex Blue Business Plus charge an annual fee.

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, plenty of credit cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees at all.

Your business may not take you abroad often, but perhaps you have overseas suppliers or partners and frequently make purchases in foreign currency. A no-foreign-transaction fee card will save you money in this case as well.

Which card earns the most?

Blue Business Cash and Blue Business Plus earn the same base rate: 2 percent cash back on up to $50,000 spent annually or two points per dollar on up to $50,000 spent annually.

While the base earning power is the same, the Membership Rewards points earned through Blue Business Plus have more potential value when it comes time to redeem them.

Amex Blue Business Cash vs. Amex Blue Business Plus spending example

Let’s say you spend $20,000 on your Blue Business Case card in a year. That means you will earn $400 cash back in statement credit.

Now, say you spend the same $20,000 with Amex Blue Business Plus card to earn a total of 40,000 points. If we consider each point as being worth around 2.0 cents each, your rewards will be worth $800, which means you’ll realize $400 more value for spending the same amount.

Keep in mind, however, that if you simply want to redeem your Blue Business Plus-earned points to cover card purchases (so, essentially, as statement credit), those points will only be worth 0.06 cents each, according to Amex, for a total of $240 in value.

It all comes down to how you expect to use your rewards. If statement credit is what you’re after, the better value comes with Blue Business Cash. If you intend to redeem your rewards for travel using American Express’ transfer partners, Blue Business Plus fits the bill.

Why should you get Amex Blue Business Cash?

Additional benefits

Online applications for Amex Blue Business Cash are processed quickly, so you could find out if you’ve been approved in as little as 30 seconds. Other benefits include purchase protection, extended warranty coverage and Expanded Buying Power.

Amex’s Expanded Buying Power allows 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. Amex evaluates these purchases on a case-by-case basis and the amount you can go over your credit line is not unlimited.

This card also offers employee cards at no additional cost and the ability to select spending limits for each card. Additionally, you can choose an account manager for your card to help handle the account.

Redemption options

When it comes to redeeming your rewards from 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, 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 Amex Blue Business Plus?

Additional benefits

The benefits for Blue Business Plus mirror those of Blue Business Cash. You’ll have access to Expanded Buying Power, account manager designation and employee cards as well as the more standard credit card features like auto rental coverage and purchase protection.

Redemption options

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. You can, however, 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 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

Amex Blue Business Cash and 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.