The Blue Business Plus from American Express offers simple rewards for your business spending, but it’s missing some key features some businesses may need.
Having the right business credit card in your wallet can go a long way in helping you save your company money and make the most of your spending. And the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is one of the most popular business credit cards on the market today.
The Blue Business Plus has plenty of perks that business owners want, including solid rewards rates, travel benefits and a welcome bonus. But, is it right for your business? We’ll discuss when the Amex Blue Business Plus is worth it and whether you should add it to your toolbox.
When is the Amex Blue Business Plus Card worth it?
When you want simple rewards for your spending
If you want a business credit card that rewards you for your spending, then the Blue Business Plus is a solid choice. With this card, you’ll get 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 you spend. Once you cross the $50,000 threshold, you’ll get 1X point. This card is great for businesses that spend in all sorts of categories since it offers the same rewards rate across the board.
When you want flexible rewards
One of the things consumers love most about Amex Membership Rewards points is the flexibility. There are multiple ways to redeem your rewards points, and you can choose which to use. Here are a few of your options:
- Redeem for a statement credit to cover card purchases
- Book travel through American Express Travel to receive increased value for your points
- Cover purchases at checkout with Amex’s Pay with Points program
- Redeem points for gift cards from a variety of participating locations
- Transfer points to an Amex airline or hotel partner
Keep in mind that the value you’ll get for your points varies depending on how you redeem them. You’ll get the best value by booking flights through Amex Travel (1 cent), transferring points to certain loyalty programs (value varies based on partner) or buying gift cards (1 cent).
When you want a credit card welcome bonus
Just like personal credit cards, many business cards offer welcome bonuses to help you earn lots of points right off the bat when you reach a certain spending threshold. The Blue Business Plus offers cardholders 15,000 Membership Rewards points when they spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
With that spend goal, you only need to make $1,000in purchases per month, which is no problem for most businesses. Considering that the average Membership Rewards point is worth 2.1 cents (according to Bankrate), your intro offer would be worth $315, which you can invest back into your business.
When you don’t want to pay an annual fee
Many of the top business credit cards on the market require an annual fee. If you want to skip the annual fee while still earning decent rewards for your business spending, then the Blue Business Plus might be the right card for you.
When is the Amex Blue Business Plus Card not worth it?
When you spend a lot on business travel
Travel rewards tend to be a favorite among many cardholders, especially those who travel a lot for business. And while your Amex points can be used for travel, the Blue Business Plus doesn’t come with many of the travel perks included with other cards.
For example, there are no increased rewards for travel spending, nor is there lounge access, airline fee credit or any of the benefits we expect to see with top travel credit cards. The card also has a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee, so it’s not the best choice for international travel.
When you spend more than $50,000 per year
The card’s flat rate makes it simple and easy to use, since you’re guaranteed to earn bonus rewards on everything you swipe on. Unfortunately, it only offers this rewards rate up to $50,000 in purchases per year. Once you reach the threshold, you’ll earn just 1X points on your spending.
Plenty of businesses spend far less than $50,000 annually, but those that spend more may want to consider a card with a higher spend cap or one that earns unlimited rewards.
When you spend a lot in certain categories
The flat rate can suit many small-business owners. But if you spend a lot in certain categories and less in others, then you might be better off choosing a card with bonus rewards categories.
For example, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers 4X points in the two categories where you spend the most (on up to $150,000 per year), while other cards offer higher points for spending on travel, business supplies, restaurants and more. So before choosing a card, consider where you do most of your business spending.
Should you get the Amex Blue Business Plus Card?
If your business spends less than $50,000 per year in various categories and you don’t need any special travel perks, the Blue Business Plus may be a great fit, thanks to its solid rewards rate and no annual fee. If your expenses are higher and concentrated in certain categories, or you travel overseas frequently, a different card may be a better fit.
It’s a good card for businesses just starting out or for those that spend in all sorts of categories every month. If you want to furnish an office, pay vendors or invest in marketing, it can be the right choice. And if the card’s foreign transaction fee deters you from using it abroad, the Blue Business Plus Card could come in handy for domestic travel. Not only can you apply its rewards points toward travel, but it also provides a number of travel protections, such as baggage insurance, travel accident insurance and car rental insurance.
Having the right business credit card in your hand can go a long way in helping you save money on business expenses, and there are a lot of great options on the market. The Blue Business Plus Card could be worth it to you if you spend across different categories and don’t mind its $50,000 spend cap.