With a 2% cash back rate on up to $50,000 in purchases each year (and 1% cash back after that) and automatic monthly redemptions, your business can essentially become 2% cheaper to run with the Amex Blue Business Cash card.
There are many ways you can propel your business forward, but one of the best-hidden strategies is using a business cash back card. And of those cards, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is one of the best choices, offering a full 2% cash back on the first $50,000 you make in purchases each calendar year (then 1%), with no annual fee.
Using this card essentially gives you a 2% discount off the things your business needs to run, and it can make a difference to your bottom line. Learn more about whether it’s the right card for you in this American Express Blue Business Cash card benefits guide.
The Amex Blue Business Cash at a glance
The first thing that sticks out about the Amex Blue Business Cash card is that it doesn’t come with an annual fee. That’s welcome news given that other cards in its class do charge an annual fee. For example, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card charges $150 per year for many of the same benefits as this card, including a 2% cash back rewards rate.
This Amex business card also carries a relatively low 13.99% to 21.99% variable APR. Business loans are generally cheaper, but as far as business credit cards go, that’s not bad. Even better, the card has a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for the first 12 months (followed by the regular 13.99% to 21.99% variable APR), so if you need to finance any purchases, this would be a prime time to do so. Make sure you budget enough to fully pay off any large purchases before the end of the year-long interest-free period, though, to make sure it really is free financing.
Besides being a convenient way to make purchases for your business, the main reason to consider this card is its cash back rewards. And on that front, it doesn’t disappoint. Its reward structure is divided into two parts: welcome bonus and ongoing cash back.
If you spend at least $3,000 during the first three months of card membership, American Express will give you an automatic $250 statement credit. If you earn it, this should post to your account sometime within eight to 12 weeks after you cross that spending threshold.
For a card with no annual fee, this is an especially generous bonus. It is possible to find better welcome bonuses, but you’d have to be willing to consider a card that has an annual fee and your business would need to have higher purchasing volumes.
The aforementioned Capital One Spark Cash Plus card, for example, offers a welcome bonus of up to $1,000 ($500 once you spend $5,000 in the first three months, and an additional $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first six months). For a $95 annual fee, the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card even offers a 100,000-point bonus (worth up to $1,250 when you redeem it toward travel) for spending $15,000 in the first three months.
A welcome bonus is great, but it’s usually best to consider how much you’ll be earning on a regular basis. The Amex Blue Business Cash card offers a simple rewards program. You’ll earn 2% cash back on everything you buy, up to your first $50,000 in purchases each year. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all purchases. There are no categories to track or things to sign up for; you earn it all automatically.
Redeeming your rewards is also done on autopilot. The rewards you earn each month will automatically be applied as a statement credit, so there are no reward banks or points redemptions to keep track of. If you enjoy banking rewards to use for later, this might not be the card for you. But if you’d rather have the simplest rewards program possible, it’s a better option than most other business rewards cards.
You’ll also get free employee cards upon request so that your workers can be empowered to make any necessary purchases. If you’re concerned about handing over that responsibility to your employees, rest assured that you can create spending limits and alerts for each employee card.
There are much better business travel rewards cards out there for people who travel a lot. But for occasional business trips, the Amex Blue Business Cash isn’t bad, and it does offer some benefits. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Car rental collision and damage waiver: If you decline the optional rental car insurance, you’ll be covered against damage to the car. Keep in mind this doesn’t include liability insurance, however, and it’s only secondary to any other car insurance you might have.
- Global assist hotline: If you run into problems while you’re traveling, you can get help through this hotline. You’re responsible for any charges, however.
- Low hotel rates guarantee: If you find cheaper rates for a hotel stay after you’ve booked, you can file for reimbursement of the difference. The catch: It only applies to hotels that you book through AmexTravel.com and pay for with your card.
The Amex Blue Business Cash card comes with a host of other benefits, most of which are only secondary and may or may not be useful:
- Amex Offers
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranties
- QuickBooks integration
If you use QuickBooks, this particular benefit could come in handy to streamline some of your expense tracking.
How to maximize your Amex Blue Business Cash card benefits
Maximizing your benefits with the Amex Blue Business Cash card is easy. The most work you’ll have to do is in the first year. Be sure you’re able to meet the $3,000 spending threshold within the first three months to earn the $250 welcome bonus. The first year is also a great time to make any investments in your business that you’ve been putting off but that you know you can pay off within the next 12 months. This allows you to take advantage of the interest-free period during the first year to essentially get a free business loan.
After that, the best way to get the most out of this card is to keep an eye on your spending throughout the year. You can certainly use the card without ever giving your rewards a second thought. However, if you really want to maximize your earnings, consider switching to a different card once you reach $50,000 in purchases. You’ll likely earn more rewards than the 1% cash back after that.
Finally, monitor your business travel. If you find you’ve been taking more trips (especially air travel), it might be a good time to crunch the numbers and see if a business travel rewards card is better for you at that stage.
The Amex Blue Business Cash card is one of the simplest and most generous cash back cards in the business world today. As long as your business doesn’t spend heavily on travel or dining out (two higher-earning categories on other cards), there’s a good chance this card will serve you well.