Business owners looking to earn Membership Rewards points should definitely consider the American Express Business Gold Card. Depending on the type of business you run, this card could earn you tons of points and help you book some serious travel.
The Amex Business Gold earns 4X Membership Rewards points for spending in popular categories such as advertising, technology purchases and gas – categories where many businesses spend a good amount of money.
It’s a charge card, which means the card has no pre-set spending limit – useful for businesses with large purchases – and you will have to pay the balance in full each month.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Amex Business Gold Card.
In This Article
|Generous welcome bonus||$295 annual fee (not waived the first year)|
|No foreign transaction fees||High APR|
|Business-friendly bonus categories|
The standard welcome bonus for this card is 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 within the first three months of Card Membership. However, as with many Amex welcome bonuses and minimum spends, this fluctuates. You might even see an offer for 50,000 or 60,000 points.
At a minimum, the points earned from the welcome bonus are worth up to $465 when redeemed through the Amex travel portal. But if you transfer the points to one of the travel partners, the value of the points might be quite a bit higher.
Remember: Amex only allows you to get a welcome bonus once per card per lifetime.
The American Express Business Gold Card can earn 4X Membership Rewards points in the following categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines,
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio),
- U.S. purchases at gas stations,
- U.S. purchases at restaurants,
- U.S. purchases for shipping, and
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions.
The 4X bonus categories aren’t quite as straightforward as bonus categories with some other cards. First, you will only earn 4X on the two categories you utilize most per billing cycle. Second, you only earn 4X up to $150,000 in spending per year.
All other purchases earn 1X points and there’s no annual cap.
If your business spends a lot in one or more of these bonus categories, you’ll see the points accumulate fast and you’ll have enough Membership Rewards for an amazing trip in no time!
Membership Rewards points can be redeemed through Amex’s travel portal or you can redeem them for flights and hotels by transferring the points to one of its travel partners.
Membership Rewards points redeemed through the Amex Travel portal have specific values based on what type of travel you are booking.
|Prepaid Hotels||0.7 cent|
|Upgrade with Points||1 cent|
|Fine Hotels & Resorts||1 cent|
One of the perks of the Business Gold Card is a 25% points rebate for all business and first class flights on any airline through the travel portal. The rebate also applies to economy flights on the pre-selected airline. To take advantage of the rebate, don’t forget to select your airline before booking economy class flights through the portal.
You’ll need to have the full amount of points in your account at the time of booking and the points will be rebated to you 8 to 10 weeks after booking.
If you are using this option, you are looking at a minimum redemption value of 1.33 cents per point. You’ll also earn miles and elite credit on flights booked through the portal.
The rebate is limited to 250,000 points per calendar year.
The welcome bonus alone is worth between $245 and $465 when redeemed through the Amex travel portal. The best value, however, often comes from transferring Membership Rewards points to an airline partner.
Amex’s transfer partners include some of the world’s best and biggest airlines and major hotel chains. It’s easy to take a trip anywhere in the world with the help of Membership Rewards points.
Membership Rewards points are of the most valuable transferable currencies, and because of their versatility, are a favorite among many travelers. Amex has 19 airline transfer partners and three hotel transfer partners.
These are Membership Rewards airline transfer partners:
|Aer Lingus AerClub||1,000:1,000|
|Aeroméxico Club Premier||1,000:1,600|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1,000:1,000|
|Air France/KLM Flying Blue||1,000:1,000|
|ANA Mileage Club||1,000:1,000|
|British Airways Executive Club||1,000:1,000|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1,000:1,000|
|El Al Frequent Flyer Club||1,000:20|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||1,000:1,000|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||500:500|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1,000:1,000|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1,000:1,000|
And these are American Express hotel transfer partners:
By transferring Membership Rewards points to one of the airline partners, you can often get a much better value than 1.33 cents per point you’d get when booking flights through the portal. It’s possible to book some of the best (and most expensive) business class tickets that cost thousands of dollars. By using Membership Rewards points, it’s easy to get a value of 3 cents or even 5 cents per point!
When economy class tickets prices are high, you can often get a better value than 1.33 cents per point by transferring to one of the partner airlines. And when you transfer points to book an economy flight, you can transfer them to any partner airline, not just the pre-selected airline.
Amex often offers 15%-40% transfer bonuses to some of its partners, making the points that much more valuable.
Amex charges an excise tax fee of $0.0006 for every point transferred to a U.S.-based airline. So, for example, transferring 10,000 Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles will cost you $6. The fee is capped at $99.
The American Express Business Gold Card has no foreign transaction fees. Perfect for any globe-trotting business owner. However, keep in mind that most of the 4x point categories are restricted to U.S. purchases only.
If your trip is delayed at least 12 hours, the trip delay insurance will reimburse for reasonable additional expenses, such as meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items up to $300 per covered trip. To be eligible, you need to charge the full amount to your Amex card or pay the award taxes and fees with your Amex Business Gold card.
To take advantage of this benefit you’ll need to fully charge your airline tickets to your Amex Business Gold Card. The coverage includes loss or damage to your checked-in or carry-on bags and personal effects up to a maximum of $500 per trip.
The card also provides insurance coverage for delayed bags if the trip is delayed by six or more hours. You can receive up to $500 coverage of essential clothing and personal care items made up to four days into the trip.
If your hotel or motel room is burglarized, you are covered up to $500 against the loss of most personal items (excluding cash). To take advantage of this benefit, the hotel must be fully booked and paid for with the Amex Business Gold.
When you use your American Express Business Gold Card for covered purchases, you get purchase protection from accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the purchase date (exclusions and restrictions apply).
You can get up to one extra year of warranty added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. This applies to warranties of five years or less on covered purchases in the United States or its territories (exclusions and restrictions apply).
This benefit could come in handy for a business making a large purchase. The Pay Over Time option lets you carry a balance with interest on purchases of $100 or more (all purchases under $100 are due in full each month).
How it works:
- Purchases of $100 or more are eligible to be paid over time, up to the amount of your Pay Over Time limit on your account.
- You can choose to pay for these purchases over time with interest, or you can pay your full balance.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is perhaps the most similar card to the Amex Business Gold Card.
It has a variety of bonus categories that earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points up to $150,000 per year. Bonus categories for the Ink Preferred include:
- Internet, cable and phone services
- Advertising with social media sites and search engines
All other purchases will earn 1X Ultimate Rewards point with no cap.
The Ink Preferred card also comes with a very generous welcome bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months opening. The annual fee of $95 is not waived the first year.
With think Ink Preferred, you have the chance to earn a bigger bonus if you can meet a higher minimum spend and the annual fee is lower. The lower minimum spend threshold with the American Express Business Gold might be easier for some folks though.
Of course, many business owners choose to use both cards to earn tons of Amex and Chase points via the bonus categories.
Another thing to consider is your 5/24 status with Chase as you can only get the Ink Preferred if you’ve opened fewer than 5 cards in the previous 24 months.
If you’ll be able to take advantage of the 4X bonus categories, the $295 annual fee can easily be worth it. If the benefits are useful to you, then that’s even better!
As with any card, it’s just a matter of weighing the points you’ll earn and the benefits vs the cost of the annual fee. If you think you can do better than $295 in value from the card, it could make a lot of sense for you.
A great no annual fee card to compliment your Amex Business Gold is The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. This workhorse of a card earns 2X on all purchases, up to $50,000 a year. If you have both cards, you can easily earn a ton of Membership Rewards points.
Earn 2x points on eligible purchases up to $50,000 annually, 1x on all else. Terms apply.Learn more
The Amex Business Gold is the only Amex card that doesn’t offer any statement credits to offset its annual fee. While the annual fee of $295 isn’t the cheapest card option, it can easily be worth it.
The ability to make large purchases without the spending limit of a traditional credit card plus the 4X bonus categories make this card a solid choice for many small business owners.
10xTravel is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.