American Express® Business Gold Card review

Bankrate Staff  in  Business How we rate our cards  | 

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Best business card for points

Annual Fee:
$295
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
14.24% - 22.24% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

 

Best for earning business rewards

  • Rewards rate: Earn 4X points on up to $150,000 per year in two select categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle and 2X points on rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • Annual Fee: $295
  • Purchase Intro APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A
  • 14.24% to 22.24% Variable APR
  • *Terms apply

The American Express Business Gold Card is one of the best business credit cards on the market. It offers a high-yield points system for its members, and points can be redeemed for travel and other rewards. It’s more accessible than the Business Platinum Card® from American Express due to a lower annual fee, and it’s more suited to business owners than the regular American Express® Gold Card. Especially for small business owners who travel often, the American Express Business Gold Card has its perks.

Though the rewards system is lucrative, the annual fee is $295. While this is a great card for business owners who want to redeem rewards for travel, you won’t get nearly as much value in other redemption options, like cash back or using the American Express shopping portal.

Current welcome offer

The American Express Business Gold Card offers a promising welcome offer with bonus rewards points upfront. The 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 (terms apply). This should be an easy feat if you’re planning on spending the $150,000 required to maximize rewards earnings.

Rewards

The maximum value of the American Express Business Gold Card lies in the rewards program. With the first $150,000 spent in each calendar year, cardmembers earn 4X the normal points.

Earning rewards

The system works by logging your expenses in any of the following categories (4-point bonus on the two categories you spend the most in each billing cycle):

  • Airfare purchased directly from an airline.
  • Advertising (purchased in the U.S. to promote your business online, on TV or on the radio).
  • U.S. gas stations.
  • U.S. restaurants.
  • U.S. shipping costs.
  • U.S. computer software, hardware and cloud data made directly from select providers.

You’ll earn points based on the two spending categories from which you spend the most each billing cycle. Once you pass $150,000, you’ll earn only 1X the points. In addition, all other purchases that don’t qualify for bonus points will earn you 1X the points.

You’ll also earn 25 percent points back (up to 250,000 points per year) after redeeming your Membership Rewards on an eligible flight booked through the Amex Travel Portal. Combined with other traveler perks, Amex is a strong option for business owners on the go.

Redeeming rewards

To redeem rewards, you have to enroll in the Amex Membership Rewards program. Points can be redeemed directly through the American Express travel portal or transferred to partner airlines and hotels. You can also redeem your points for statement credits, gift cards or at select merchant checkouts (like Amazon.com and rental cars booked through Amex Travel) though often for a lower value.

How much are points worth?

The value of American Express Membership Rewards points depends on how you redeem them. You’ll get the most value from American Express points when redeeming for travel, particularly if you transfer your points to one of the American Express hotel or airline partners. Redeemed this way, Membership Rewards points are typically worth about two cents apiece. When you redeem for gift cards or statement credits, the value is usually much lower.

Benefits

Overall, the American Express Business Gold Card offers solid travel and rewards. One of the unique benefits is the fact that the boosted rewards category is dynamic, based on how you allocate your spending each month.

For example, you’ll earn 4 rewards points per dollar on purchases made in the two categories you spend the most in each billing cycle, between U.S. restaurants, directly purchased airfare, U.S. gas stations, U.S. shipping purchases and purchases made directly from select U.S. computer hardware, software or cloud solution providers.

Expense management

The Amex business card boasts expense management tools that aid in bookkeeping, such as QuickBooks Integration. You can even open an employee card for greater flexibility.

Benefits

In addition to earning points, cardmembers can access hotel benefits such as dining credits and room upgrades. The Global Assist Hotline can assist in a wide range of emergencies that may arise while traveling. Amex also provides insurance for baggage, car rentals and trip delays. On top of all these benefits, there are no foreign transaction fees.

Pay Over Time

Another perk of the American Express Business Gold Card is the “Pay Over Time” option, allowing you to carry a balance and accrue interest on eligible purchases over $100.

Rates and fees

One drawback to the American Express Business Gold Card is that it carries an annual fee of $295. Although the fee is large, the Membership Rewards program allows you to easily recoup that cost when you spend around $3,700 in the categories that earn you 4x the points.

Other fees include late payment fees, which is the greater of $39 or 2.99 percent of any past due Pay in Full amount. Purchases under $100 must be paid in full by the following payment period.

The regular APR of the Amex Business Gold card is a variable rate of 14.24 percent — 22.24 percent depending on several factors, including your credit score.

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

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has a comparable rewards program to that of the American Express Business Gold Card, but it’s more suitable for businesses with lower expenses. The rewards rate is lower, just 2X points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, but that rate applies to all purchases, instead of purchases within certain categories.

On the other hand, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card has an unlimited cash back program. If your business spending doesn’t fit neatly into the American Express Business Gold Card spending categories, this is an alternative worth eyeing.

See how they compare below:

Credit Card Annual Fee Rewards Rate Welcome Bonus Introductory APR Regular APR
American Express® Business Gold Card $295 4X points for eligible purchases up to $150,000 per year on the two categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle, 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com and 1X points for all other purchases Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. N/A 14.24% to 22.24% variable
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card $0 Unlimited 1.5% cash back on business purchases $750 bonus cash back for spending $7,500 within first three months 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months 13.24% to 19.24% variable
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card for American Express $0 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 per year and unlimited 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com None 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening

 

13.24% to 19.24% variable

 

Best cards to pair with American Express Business Gold Card

For maximum value, the American Express Business Gold Card can be paired with a cash back credit card with different spending categories. Because the spending categories that earn the most points are highly specific with American Express Business Gold Card, a card with complimentary rewards categories is best. Cards that reward large office purchases would be an example of a suitable match.

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

American Express business card reviews are generally positive, especially for business owners with a large budget and a lot of travel planned. You’ll easily recoup the annual fee in the first $5,000 you spend, as well as from your welcome offer bonus. There’s one other perk, somewhat superficial — both the American Express Business Gold Card and the Amex Business Platinum card are metal. If you’re into aesthetics, you may like the sleekness of an American Express Business Gold metal card.

If you’re unsure you’ll be able to achieve the welcome offer spending requirement, this may not be the best choice for a business credit card. Additionally, those with lower business budgets or fewer travel needs will not reap the full rewards of this credit card.

    Pros:

  • No points limit
  • Travel benefits and insurance for frequent travelers
  • Expense management tools

    Cons:

  • No intro APR
  • Annual fee of $295
  • If you spend more than $150,000 annually in the designated spending categories, you’ll only earn 1X points

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