American Express® Business Gold Card review
American Express® Business Gold Card Overview
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.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
- 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 three 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
Current welcome offer
The American Express Business Gold Card offers a promising 70,000-point welcome offer after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership (terms apply). That could be worth a solid $700 toward flights through the American Express, or up to $1,400 with the right American Express tranfser partner, according to The Points Guy’s latest valuation.
That’s a very steep spending requirement that smaller businesses might not be able to meet. Comparatively, several other business cards offer similar or lower intro bonuses at a smaller spend for a better value. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, a no annual fee business card, offers $750 in cash back—worth more than the Business Gold’s offer through Amex travel—in exchange for spending $7,500 in the same three-month timeframe.
The maximum value of the American Express Business Gold Card lies in the Membership Rewards point program that you can either pool with other Amex cards in the program or transfer to other loyalty programs at a higher value.
The rewards process works automatically tracks your transactions after each billing cycle to determine which two of the six bonus categories below you spent the most in.
- 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 retroactively earn 4X points on those two spending categories up until you pass $150,000 in combined bonus category purchases for that calendar year. Afterward, you’ll earn only 1X points on those purchases. Fortunately, all other purchases that don’t qualify for 4X rewards will still earn 1X points.
To redeem rewards, you have to enroll in the Amex Membership Rewards program. Points can be redeemed directly through the American Express travel portal for flights, hotels, travel upgrades and more, or they can be 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. Amex’s handy rewards calculator shows you the exact exchange rate toward specific options, but 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. Booking flights through the Amex portal provide the best value since you get a 1:1 value plus 25 percent points back (up to 250,000 points per year) on eligible flights, for a total 1.25 cent value per point.
Other travel and non-travel options equate to 0.5 to 0.7 cents per point, but your best bet is to find the right transfer partner to net around 2 cents per point, according to TPG.
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. Outside its excellent rewards and the airline travel redemption bonus, the Amex Business Gold’s benefits complement your dining and travel spending.
The Hotel Collection perks
By booking an eligible property within The Hotel Collection through American Express travel for at least two consecutive nights can net you a few benefits, like a $100 hotel credit toward qualifying activities (like eligible dining, spa and other resort activities that vary by property) and a room upgrade as soon as you arrive (if available).
Travel and purchase protections
While it’s not the best credit card for travel insurance, paying with your card provides a few solid insurances for your baggage (up to $1,250 for carry-on and up to $500 for checked baggage) and your trip in the event of a 12-hour delay or more.
Any eligible purchases bought with your card are also protected by accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the purchase date (up to $1,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per account per calendar year), and any original manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less can also be extended by a year.
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. That way, your card with a flexible spending limit also carries the main benefit of a revolving credit card in case any unexpected expenses pop up.
Rates and Fees
One drawback to the American Express Business Gold Card is that it carries an annual fee of $295. Although the fee seems large, your rewards allow you to easily recoup that cost by spending at least $308 in your 4X categories each month (based on the 2 cent per point TPG value). This is an even easier benchmark when you consider your employee cards will also earn rewards and there are no foreign transaction fees to eat into the points you earn on business travel abroad.
Although your card comes with a flexibile limit, it’s different from a traditional charge card in that the Pay Over Time feature allows you to carry a balance on purchases over $100 at a 14.24 percent to 22.24 percent variable APR. Purchases under $100 must be paid in full by the following payment period. In case you overextend yourself, beware that there’s a late payment of $39 or 2.99 percent of any past due amounts that you were supposed to pay in full, plus a 29.24 percent penalty APR.
How the American Express Business Gold Card compares to other business cards
Compared to other American Express business cards, the Amex Business Gold is better for select business expenses and falls below the issuer’s top-tier business card geared toward travel. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is better-suited for businesses with lower expenses, but is a key card in American Express’ portfolio. Its rewards rate is lower, just 2X points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, but it’s a flat rate that rewards all purchases instead of purchases within certain categories.
If you’re not dedicated to Amex, Chase business credit cards are some of the best on the market and the biggest competitors to American Express’ business card suite. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card rewards business expenses similar to the Amex Business Gold’s bonus categories, such as select advertising and shipping, but its travel category isn’t relegated to airline purchases and it also rewards internet, cable and phone services. Granted, it doesn’t offer the Amex Business Gold’s other high-value U.S. gas station, restaurant and computer software categories, but its broad travel category and much lower $95 annual fee may make up the difference for some business owners.
Chase also offers a cash back variant called the Ink Business Cash card that adds gas stations and restaurants as bonus categories, but your rewards potential and other categories are streamlined since its a no annual fee card for smaller businesses. However, you can pair these two Chase cards for less than a third of the annual fee that the American Express Business Gold charges each year.
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Welcome bonus|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card for American Express||
||$0||15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||
||$95||100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases within the first three months|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||
||$0||$750 bonus cash after spending $7,500 on purchases within the first three months|
Best cards to pair with American Express Business Gold Card
For maximum value, the American Express Business Gold Card can be paired with a rewards credit card with different spending categories. Because the spending categories that earn the most points with American Express Business Gold Card are starkly defined, a card with different bonus categories or a flat-rate card can help cover the other purchases that fall between the gaps in your existing categories.
However, other Amex business cards provide great combination opportunities. The most versatile option is the Blue Business Plus card since its flat-rate rewards can cover other major business expenses that wouldn’t typically be covered by bonus categories and their spending limits.
Bankrate’s take — Is American Express Business Gold Card worth it?
Business owners with a large budget and a lot of travel planned will find that the American Express Business Gold Card is definitely worth it. You’ll easily recoup the annual fee in the first $4,000 you spend, as well as from your welcome offer bonus, since the Amex Business Gold hosts a wide variety of bonus categories to earn rewards and a robust portfolio of travel transfer partners to redeem them.
However, if you’re unsure whether you’ll be able to offset the annual fee, 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.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here