Best American Express business credit cards
When it comes to business credit cards, American Express offers some of the top options out there. Some Amex business cards let you earn American Express Membership Rewards points geared toward those who travel, whereas others let you earn cash back or discounts on your bill.
When it comes to Amex business cards, the right one for you depends a lot on how you normally spend each month, the type of rewards you want to earn and cardholder benefits you want access to. Bankrate’s comprehensive guide goes over the best business credit cards from this issuer and the type of business owner they work best for.
Best Amex business credit cards
|Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Best for|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card within the first three months of card membership||Earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked via AmexTravel.com, 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com, 1.5X points on purchases of $5,000 or more, 1.5X points on up to $2 million in select category purchases per year and 1X points on everything else||$695||Luxury or business travelers|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||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||Earn 4X points on up to $150,000 spent each year in two select categories of your choosing (then 1X points), 2X points on rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases||$295||Bonus category spending|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership||Earn 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 you spend each year (then 1X points) and 2X points on rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com||$0||No annual fee|
|American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card||$250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your card in your first three months||Earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 you spend each year in eligible purchases, then 1%||$0||Earning cash back|
|The Plum Card® from American Express||None||Get a 1.5% early payment discount when you pay your bill within 10 days of your statement closing date||$250||Discounts on your bill|
The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for luxury or business travelers
The Business Platinum is ideal for luxury and business travelers since you get the chance to earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com. You also earn 1.5X Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases in key business categories as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (cap applies). And remember, this is all on top of the generous welcome bonus of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
This card also stands out among American Express credit cards thanks to its benefits. As a cardholder, you’ll receive American Express business card travel perks like up to $200 in airline fee credits (in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline), access to a comprehensive network of airport lounges including Priority Pass, Centurion lounges and Delta Sky Clubs when you fly Delta and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership. You also get a 35 percent airline bonus when you use points to book eligible airfare (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year).
In terms of business benefits, enjoy up to $400 in annual statement credits on all Dell purchases, up to $360 in annual statement credits on all Indeed hiring and recruiting products and services, a up to $150 annual statement credit on select Adobe purchases and up to $120 in annual statement credits for purchases made directly from any U.S. wireless telephone provider (up to $10 per month). A $695 annual fee applies.
American Express Business Gold Card: Best for bonus category spending
If you spend a lot of money on business purchases throughout the year, the Business Gold Card should be on your radar. This card lets you pick the two categories you earn the most rewards in (4X points) with a cap of $150,000 in combined spending each year. Categories you can choose from include airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio), U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions, U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurant purchases and U.S. shipping. You’ll earn 1X points on your spending in these categories once you exhaust the bonus rewards cap, and you’ll earn 1X points on everything else you buy.
A $295 annual fee applies, but you can start off with a generous welcome bonus of 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. You also get 25 percent of your points back when you use them to book airfare through AmexTravel.com (up to 250,000 points back per year).
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for no annual fee
If you want to earn Amex Membership Rewards points without paying an annual fee, the Blue Business Plus should be on your list. This card gives you 2X points on the first $50,000 you spend each year for a bonus potential of 100,000 points. After that, you’ll earn 1X points for each dollar you spend. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee despite its high initial earning rate on all purchases, so it’s a good business card option to pair with another Amex business card that offers more perks.
Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership. Additionally, you can qualify for an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent. You’ll also get purchase protection and extended warranties on eligible purchases.
American Express Blue Business Cash Card: Best for earning cash back
If you prefer to earn cash back on all your spending, the Blue Business Cash Card could be the best Amex business card for your needs. You won’t pay an annual fee, yet you’ll earn 2 percent back on the first $50,000 you spend and 1 percent back after that.
Interestingly, this card can help you save money on your business purchases with its introductory APR offer. Once you sign up, you’ll qualify for an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent. You’ll also get extended warranties, purchase protection against damage and theft and other valuable perks.
The Plum Card from American Express: Best for discounts on your bill
The Plum Card is unique because it doesn’t actually let you earn rewards. Instead, the card lets you save 1.5 percent on your bill each month when you pay in full within 10 days of your statement closing date. However, you can also choose to pay your bill within 60 days of your due date with no interest instead (provided you pay the minimum payment due by your due date).
Cardholder benefits you can receive include purchase protection, extended warranties and return protection when retailers won’t take your items back. The annual fee is $250.
How to choose the right Amex card for your business
The best American Express business credit card for you depends on the benefits you want, the rewards you want to earn and how much you are willing to pay in annual fees. Also, keep in mind that some business cards from American Express, like the Plum Card, are charge cards and not credit cards—which means you have to pay your balance in full each month. Unlike typical credit cards, the Plum Card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.
As you compare business credit cards from this issuer, take the time to consider:
- The categories you spend the most in, and which card might help you earn more points over time
- Whether you want to earn cash back, American Express Membership Rewards points or a discount on your bill each month
- The annual fee amount you’re comfortable with
- Welcome bonuses each card offers and whether you can reach the spending threshold to qualify
- Cardholder benefits you want, including insurance protections and travel insurance
Tips for applying
Since American Express credit cards typically require good or excellent credit, you’ll want to know where you stand before you apply. Take the time to check your credit score before you fill out an application, and keep in mind that you’ll have the best chance for approval if your credit score is considered “good,” meaning a FICO score is 670 or above. You’ll have an even better chance at approval with a FICO score of 740 or above, however, according to myFICO.
When it comes to applying for one of the best Amex business credit cards, also keep in mind that you can apply using your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or your Social Security number, if you’re a sole proprietor.
How to redeem rewards earned with an Amex business card
How you can redeem your rewards depends on the type of American Express business card you sign up for. If your card earns Membership Rewards points, you can cash in your points for gift cards, merchandise and more using your online account management page. Meanwhile, you can also use Amex Membership Rewards points to book travel directly on AmexTravel.com and transfer points to an array of Amex airline and hotel partners.
If you signed up for a cash back business card like the Blue Business Cash Card, on the other hand, your cash back will be automatically credited to your account as you earn it.
Frequently asked questions about Amex business cards
Before you sign up for a new business credit card, you should find out all you can about it. Here are some of the most common questions and answers regarding Amex business card offers.
What credit score is needed for an Amex business card?
While American Express considers their credit card approval process as proprietary information, you’ll have the best chance at approval if you have a FICO credit score of 670 or above, which is considered “good.”
What credit limit can I expect on my Amex business card?
Your credit limit will depend on your income, your credit score and other factors. Also, keep in mind that American Express charge cards don’t have a limit, but you do have to pay your balance off in full each month.
Are Amex business cards charge cards?
Most American Express business credit cards are not charge cards. However, Amex does have some charge cards mixed into its offerings, including the Plum Card. Some business credit cards from American Express used to be charge cards but are more flexible now since offering the American Express Pay Over Time feature.
Can you apply for two Amex business cards at once?
You can apply for two Amex business cards at the same time, although there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved for either of them. To boost your chances for approval, you may want to instead consider applying for two different cards from different credit card issuers.
Can I get an additional Amex credit card for my business?
If you already have a business credit card from American Express, you can qualify for another one if you meet their eligibility criteria. That being said, American Express is known for limiting consumers to four personal or business credit cards and 10 charge cards total.