Which American Express business credit card offers small-business owners the best value? We compared the Gold and Platinum Amex business cards to find out.
For small-business owners searching for a credit card that offers great rewards, American Express offers two premium business cards that stand out. While both cards are geared toward business owners, they cater to different types of spenders. At first glance, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express might seem superior to the American Express Business Gold Card®, but the rewards actually specifically cater to different needs. We explored the differences to help you choose the best Amex business card for you.
American Express Business Gold vs. Business Platinum
|Welcome bonus||70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months|
|120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months|
|Rewards||4X Membership Rewards points on the two categories your business spends the most on per month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases, yearly)|
Earn 1X point on other eligible purchases
|5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com|
1.5X points on each eligible purchase in key business categories and on purchases of $5,000 or more (cap applies)
1X points on general purchases
|Best for||Small-business owners with regular office expenses||Small-business owners who travel frequently|
You can earn American Express Membership Rewards points with these cards both through regular rewards and welcome bonuses.
Both business cards are straightforward when it comes to earning points, but they offer different rewards that will appeal to different types of small-business owners.
Business Gold cardholders have several ways to earn points, and instead of being locked into pre-set spending categories, they can earn 4X points in their top two spending categories every month, for up to $150,000 in purchases yearly. You will also earn 1X points on all other purchases not in your top categories.
The list of possible top-spending categories includes many business-related expenses, such as advertising, shipping, and technology, cloud and computer solutions, as well as other related expenses, like gas, restaurants and delivery, and travel. With a cap of $150,000 every year, the Business Gold can potentially earn thousands of dollars per year – money you can put right back into your business.
The Business Platinum card also earns rewards with 1X on general purchases plus bonus earnings. Business Platinum cardholders can earn 5X points on airfare and prepaid hotel rooms through amextravel.com. The Platinum additionally offers cardholders the chance to rack up even more points, with the ability to earn 1.5X points on purchases that cost $5,000 or more and in key business categories (cap applies).
While the Platinum card might not offer the overall flexibility of the Business Gold’s rewards, the Platinum can really pay off for business owners who travel, providing perks such as VIP treatment at Amex Centurion Lounges, travel-related discounts and more.
Savvy small-business owners know to factor in the welcome bonuses when weighing the value of a business card, and since those welcome bonuses only happen once, it’s best to take full advantage when you can. Luckily, in this case, both the Amex Platinum and Gold cards offer generous welcome bonuses.
Business Gold cardholders can get 70,000 Membership Rewards points if they spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. The Business Platinum’s introductory offer is even better – with the ability to earn up to 120,000 Membership rewards points for spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months. Timing your card application for right before a big expense will help you maximize this card by snagging the welcome bonus.
You can redeem Membership Rewards points in several ways, and the best part is they never expire. Amex business cardholders can redeem points for gift cards, merchandise and office-related expenses, such as computers, hardware and software, and shipping services.
Points can also be transferred to any of Amex’s more than 20 partners, including airlines and hotels, making both the Gold and the Platinum great choices when it comes to travel benefits.
Amex business cardholders can maximize their points even more when they use their cards for travel purchases, including airfare and hotels. When booked through the American Express portal, travel purchases earn Business Gold cardholders a 25% rebate on those points, on up to 250,000 points per year. Business Platinum cardholders can get a 35% rebate on purchases booked through the Amex portal on up to 500,000 points per year.
Both cards come with high annual fees, although that’s to be expected for a premium business card. While the steep fees may prevent some from signing up, the sticker shock can be offset by maximizing the welcome bonus, rewards and benefits. At $695, the Business Platinum card has the higher annual fee at more than twice the Business Gold’s $295 annual fee, but, for many, the better benefits and earnings potential justifies the jump in price.
Travel perks and protections
The Business Gold doesn’t offer travel benefits as robust as the Business Platinum. However, the few perks it does offer are substantial, such as zero foreign transaction fees for international purchases in the U.S. or abroad. Cardholders can also benefit from Global Assist Hotline in case of lost passports and luggage, illnesses, injuries and other snafus that can sink an international trip.
Both cards offer up to $100 credit in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four to five years, as well as Gold status at Marriott and Hilton Hotels and related perks, which can pay off for frequent travelers.
The Business Platinum card steps up the travel perks with all the above, as well as access to travel consultants and curated hotels and resorts in more than 1,000 locations around the world.
American Express Business Gold Card: Best for business owners with regular office expenses
Overall, this card best suits small-business owners who want to get the most value from their everyday business credit card. They most likely have regular office-related expenses, and they’d like to earn the most points for what they regularly spend anyway. You can also take advantage of great travel redemption values and perks to make your trip a little more comfortable.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for business owners who frequently travel
The Business Platinum card better suits the small-business owner who travels regularly as it offers not only the typical great Amex travel benefits but also adds on the bonus perks of travel consultants and more. It additionally offers bigger and better benefits to pair with its heftier annual fee, plus gives you higher earning power and a bigger welcome bonus. The 35% boost on purchases booked through the Amex portal (on up to 500,000 points per year) should seal the deal for those deciding which of these is better for business travel value.
When it comes to premium business credit cards, American Express has some of the best options out there, with a trusted brand name to back it up. If you’re looking to get the most points for the money you’d spend anyway on business expenses, the American Express Business Gold card is a good choice with great benefits.
If you like to travel in style and don’t mind paying a high annual fee for better perks, the Amex Business Platinum credit card offers better rewards, especially if you maximize your earning potential. If you want to make extra sure you leave no rewards on the table, consider pairing cards as part of your financial strategy.