The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express review

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Best for business perks with no annual fee

Annual Fee:
No annual fee
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening
Regular APR:
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

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Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards.

 

Best for no annual fee

  • Rewards rate: 2X points on up to $50,000 in purchases per year (unlimited 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com), 1X points after that
  • Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual fee: None
  • Purchase intro APR: 0% APR for 12 months
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 13.24% to 19.24% variable

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and a high rewards rate on up to $50,000 in purchases per year, which makes it ideal for small business owners that have big startup expenses or that don’t have a specialized budget just yet.

As your business develops, the Blue Business Plus pairs especially well with other American Express cards as a flat-rate business rewards card, so it can remain a key partner in your rewards strategy well into the future.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Current welcome offer

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Other no annual fee business credit cards we’ve seen have offered anywhere from $200 to $750 in welcome bonus value.

Rewards

The Blue Business Plus by American Express falls within the flexible American Express Membership Rewards program, allowing you to earn points on all of your everyday purchases as a flat-rate rewards card.

Earning rewards

You’ll get 2X points on up to $50,000 in purchases each year and 1X points after that. If you’re often behind the wheel of a rental car, you’ll also earn unlimited 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through the American Express Travel portal.

There are no spending categories to keep track of, which makes it easy to rack up rewards without having to spend strategically.

Redeeming rewards

American Express has a variety of redemption options, including travel through its portal, merchandise and gift cards. You can also transfer your points to over a dozen hotel and airline partners or use your rewards to cover your card charges, like a statement credit. Online shoppers can use Pay with Points at checkout with select merchants and prepaid rental cars booked through Amex Travel as well.

How much are points worth?

Depending on which redemption option you choose, each point could be worth between 0.5 cents and 2 cents.

The best way to maximize your points is to use them for travel, especially when you transfer to a partner airline or hotel. The Points Guy’s latest valuation estimates that finding the right American Express transfer partner can bump each point to 2 cents apiece, but redeeming for air travel through the Amex portal will only get you 1 cent per point. Reserving prepaid hotels, cars, cruises and planned vacations will only net 0.7 cents per point.

Paying with points and redeeming them for merchandise, gift cards (value varies by merchant, but up to a 1:1 value) or statement credits will get you the least bang for your buck since you’ll only get 0.5 cents to 0.7 cents per point in most cases.

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Benefits

In addition to rewards, this card has perks that can help you manage your business spending, including expanding your buying power and providing you with employee cards. Here’s a rundown of the main benefits you’ll get as a Blue Business Plus cardholder.

Fast application process

This card has a quick and easy online application process. In fact, you could get your American Express Blue Business Plus approval in as little as 30 seconds.

Expanded buying power

If you need to make a large purchase higher than your Amex Blue Business Plus credit limit, you can with expanded buying power. Based on your creditworthiness, American Express may allow you to go over your credit limit to cover business expenses like equipment and inventory, but you must pay off the over-limit portion at the end of each billing statement as part of your minimum statement.

Employee cards

The Blue Business Plus allows you to get additional cards for your employees and set custom limits on their spending.

Account manager

The account manager feature allows you to give a trusted assistant access so they can monitor your finances for you.

Purchase protection

This card also comes with purchase protection to protect your covered purchases from theft or accidental damage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

Travel benefits

If you travel, you’ll be happy to find out this card comes with secondary car rental loss and damage insurance as well as a Global Assist Hotline. The hotline can help you if you find a solution for emergencies such as a lost passport or missing luggage.

Rates and fees

Most notably, the Amex Blue Business Plus has no annual fee and a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months from account opening, enabling you to finance large business expenses for one year without paying interest. This is a great intro APR offer—especially for a purchase-focused card—since several popular business cards don’t offer zero-interest periods and 12 months lies at the upper end of the typical range.

After the intro period is over, your regular APR will be between 13.24 percent and 19.24 percent (variable), depending on your creditworthiness. If you spend over your limit, the Expanded Buying Power feature means you won’t face an overlimit fee, but there are a few other rates and fees to be aware of if you have difficulty paying off your balance.

A returned payment or two or more late payments in one year will subject you to a 29.24 percent penalty APR. This penalty APR lasts for at least 12 billing cycles and could cause you to rack up high-interest debt. The Blue Business Plus Credit Card also has a $39 late and returned payment fee and a 2.7 percent fee on foreign transactions.

How the Blue Business Plus Credit Card compares with other business credit cards

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business (This card is no longer available) offers unlimited 2 percent cash back without a rewards cap like the Blue Business Plus, so big spenders may earn more with the Spark Cash card. The catch is that it doesn’t have an annual fee for the first year, but you will have to pay $95 per year afterward. That translates to about an easy $396 spent per month in order to make up the cost of the $95 fee with rewards.

If you like the perks of the Blue Business Plus card but want to earn cash back instead, check out the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. You’ll earn 2 percent cash back on the first $50,000 in purchases per year, and 1 percent after that. Just like the Blue Business Plus, it has no annual fee, Expanded Buying Power, a long interest-free period of 12 months on purchases and the same reasonable 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent variable APR.

Card name Rewards rate Introductory APR Regular APR Welcome offer Annual fee
Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • 2X points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year (then 1X points)
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months 13.24% to 19.24% variable 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. $0
Capital One Spark Cash Business
  • Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase

 

 

None 20.99% variable $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 within the first three months $0 for the first year, then $95
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
  • 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in purchases each year (then 1%)
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months 13.24% to 19.24% variable $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months. $0

Best cards to pair with the Blue Business Plus Credit Card

Hands down, the best pairing for the Blue Business Plus consists of the other two cards in the Amex Trifecta: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card. This is the definitive combination for earning maximum Membership Rewards points across your spending. While the Amex Platinum rewards your travel purchases, the Amex Gold rakes in boosted rewards on everyday expenses like dining and groceries at U.S. supermarkets. Finally, you can use the Blue Business Plus to cover any other purchases.

If your rewards strategy isn’t that ambitious, like other flat-rate cards, the Blue Business Plus partners especially well rewards credit cards that offer higher rates on your biggest bonus categories. Another American Express business card like the American Express® Business Gold Card could be a fantastic tool since it earns 4X points on up to $150,000 across two of your business’ biggest eligible categories each billing cycle.

Bankrate’s take – is the Blue Business Plus Credit Card worth it?

If you’re a big spender, getting a Blue Business Plus Credit Card may not be the best card for you. You’ll only earn 2X points on the first $50,000 you spend each year (except for rental cars booked through Amex Travel), and your rewards rate will drop down to 1X points after that. Although you can switch to another card when you hit the rewards cap, you may not want the hassle of dealing with multiple credit cards.

But if you’re a small-business owner who wants to rack up rewards without worrying about categories, this is a great card to add to your arsenal. It has a long interest-free period, no annual fee and expanded buying power that will give you the capital you need to grow your business. You can also squeeze out fantastic long-term value since the Blue Business Plus has the potential to pair nicely with other premium Amex cards once you’ve upgraded your business’ suite of cards.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months (variable APR of 13.24 percent -19.24 percent thereafter)
  • The Expanded Buying Power feature allows you to spend beyond your credit limit (depending on your creditworthiness)

Cons

  • The 2X bonus category only earns rewards on the first $50,000 in purchases
  • No intro APR on balance transfers
  • There is a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee if you plan to use your card abroad on business travel

For rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express Review, please click here.

about the author
Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate.com teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit ...
about the editor
Nouri Zarrugh is a writer and editor for CreditCards.com and Bankrate.com, focusing on product news, guides and reviews. His areas of expertise include credit card strategy, rewards programs, point valuation and credit scores, and his stories on building credit have been cited by Mic.com, LifeHacker, People.com and more. Through his thorough card reviews and...