The American Express® Business Gold Card is Amex’s mid-tier business rewards card, sitting in between The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the decidedly mediocre American Express Business Green Card. It offers some powerful bonus earning categories, but comes with a large annual fee that may be difficult to justify. Let’s review the features and benefits of this card in order to showcase its appeal.

Editors Note: All information about American Express Business Green Card has been collected independently by 10xTravel. American Express Business Green Card is no longer available through 10xTravel.

 

Welcome Bonus

The welcome offer on the Business Gold Card is 70,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. This is worth at least $700 in travel if redeemed for qualifying flights through the Amex Travel Portal, and potentially much more if you transfer those points to partners.

airfare purchased directly from airlines

Earning Points

The Amex Business Gold Card is unusual in that its bonus categories are tailored to your spending. There are six categories in which you can potentially earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. Each billing period, American Express will select the two categories where your business spent the most money and apply 4X points to those purchases automatically.

The categories you can earn 4X points on are:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. shipping
  • U.S. media advertising (online, TV, or radio)
  • U.S. purchases of computer hardware, software and cloud storage

You can earn a 4X bonus on up to $150,000 in combined purchases annually, 1x thereafter.

All other purchases will earn 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar. The card has no foreign transaction fee, so you can make purchases anywhere in the world that accepts American Express cards without having to pay extra fees.

Air Canada

Air Canada

Redeeming Points

Membership Rewards has an impressive 19 airline partners and 3 hotel partners. Some of our favorite options for redeeming Membership Rewards points include:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, for booking flights on Star Alliance airlines like United and Lufthansa.
  • British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus, which are useful for flights on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines – especially short nonstop flights.
  • Air France–KLM Flying Blue and Delta SkyMiles, which work well for booking flights on Delta.
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which is also great for Delta flights, and has interesting opportunities with its eclectic group of partners including Air France, Air New Zealand, ANA and KLM.

The range of airline and hotel partners that you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to gives you a lot of flexibility when planning your travels.

Hot Tip

The American Express Business Gold Card’s bonus categories can make it a points-earning powerhouse for some businesses, and it also offers some compelling protections that can be very valuable in case of damaged purchases or travel mishaps.

You can also redeem points directly for flights, hotels, cruises, and vacation packages through the Amex Travel portal. The value you’ll get for your points this way varies depending on what you’re booking:

  • When booking business or first class flights on any airline, or economy tickets on one airline of your choice, you’ll redeem your points at a rate of 1 cent per point up front and then get a 25% points rebate 6-8 weeks after booking. This results in a net value of about 1.33 cents per point. You can change your selected airline for economy class redemptions once per calendar year.
  • Economy flights on airlines other than the one you select for the points rebate will get you a value of 1 cent per point.
  • Hotels that participate in the Fine Hotels and Resorts program will also get you a value of 1 cent per point.
  • Other redemptions including prepaid hotels, cruises and vacation packages will only result in a value of 0.7 cents per point.

While this isn’t the best use of your points in most cases, flights that are eligible for the 25% rebate can definitely make sense in certain circumstances – especially since you’ll usually earn airline miles on tickets booked this way. However, you can often get significantly more value by transferring points to airline partners.

Guide to Using Amex Travel Portal

Amex Offers

As an American Express cardmember, you automatically get access to Amex Offers. These are targeted promotions that offer statement credits or bonus points for purchases at select merchants or in select categories.

For example, a promotion may offer $10 back or 1,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $50 or more at a specific store. You’ll also often see offers for extra points per dollar spent at a particular store. While it’s hard to predict the value of the offers you’ll receive, in some cases they can be a great deal – make sure to check the app or website often.

Purchase Protection and Extended Warranties

When you make a purchase with your Business Gold Card, you automatically get some extra peace of mind. If the item is stolen or damaged within 90 days of your purchase, Amex will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it, up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year. And for anything you buy that has a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less, Amex will match the original warranty up to one additional year.

As with all insurance, there are some important restrictions. While you don’t need to do anything to qualify for coverage other than pay with your Business Gold Card, always check the card’s benefits guide before making a major purchase to make sure that it’s eligible.

Purchase Protections and Extended Warranty

Trip Delay and Baggage Insurance

If you purchase a round trip ticket with your Business Gold Card and experience a delay of 12 hours or more, American Express will reimburse you for up to $300 in related expenses. And when you book a ticket on a common carrier (airplane, train, bus or ship) and pay with your Business Gold Card, your baggage will automatically be insured against damage, loss or theft. You’ll receive coverage of up to $500 for checked baggage and $1,250 for carry-on baggage.

Travel Protection Benefits

Car Rental Protection

When you pay for a car rental of 30 days or less with your Business Gold Card and decline the collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by the rental company, you’ll automatically get coverage against damage or theft from American Express. This coverage is secondary, which means you will generally need to file a claim with your personal car insurance first and then Amex will cover anything that your own insurance doesn’t.

You also have the option of enrolling in Amex’s Premium Car Rental Protection, which offers enhanced coverage for a flat rate of $19.95 to $24.95 per rental (slightly less for California and Florida residents). This premium plan offers up to $100,000 of primary coverage – meaning you don’t have to file a claim with your personal insurance – for rentals of up to 42 consecutive days.

hacienda-santa-rosa-a-luxury-collection-hotel

Hacienda Santa Rosa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santa Rosa, Mexico

The Hotel Collection

As a Business Gold cardholder, you’ll automatically get extra perks at The Hotel Collection properties. When you book a stay of two nights or more at a participating hotel through Amex Travel, you’ll get an automatic room upgrade and a credit of $100 to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities.

Annual Fee

The Business Gold Card has a $295 annual fee, which is generally not waived for the first year.

Final Thoughts

The American Express Business Gold Card’s bonus categories can make it a points-earning powerhouse for some businesses, and it also offers some compelling protections that can be very valuable in case of damaged purchases or travel mishaps.

However, its $295 annual fee is unusually high for a card with no credits to offset it. As a comparison, the Business Platinum Card has a $595 annual fee ($695 if application is received on or after 1/13/2021, Rates and fees), but comes with up to $200 credit for airline incidentals and up to $400 in credits for Dell purchases. If you can make good use of those credits, your net fee would be about half of what you’d pay for the Business Gold Card, and you’d also get significantly more travel-related perks and protections.

Ultimately, whether this card makes sense for your business depends on how your spending expenses align with the card’s 4X categories, and whether you’ll get enough value out of the bonus categories and the card’s other perks to justify its annual fee.