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Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express review

Published: July 26, 2018

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Published: July 26, 2018

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Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
4.3 rating
4.3 rating
4.3 / 5
Rewards Value 4.3
Annual Percentage Rate 1.0
Rewards Flexibility 4.3
Features 4.0

In a Nutshell:

Ideal for smaller businesses and frequent fliers, the Blue Business Plus card stands out from the competition by offering a solid 2-point bonus on every purchase, a flexible credit limit and a transfer program that lets you pool your rewards with other travel loyalty programs.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
2 points per dollar on every purchase, up to $50,000 per year (1 point per dollar thereafter) (Terms apply)

Introductory Bonus
Limited time offer: Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points if you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in first 3 months (ends 9/26/18)

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$1,165

APR
12.99-20.99% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates for travel
  • Can redeem points for gift cards, shopping, travel, entertainment, merchandise, charity
  • Can transfer points to a wide variety of frequent flier programs

Cons

  • Must go through American Express to book rewards-funded travel
  • 2-point rate drops to 1 point per dollar after $50,000 in purchases each year
  • Fee to transfer points to frequent flier programs
  • Small fee for booking airfare through American Express travel site

Other Notable Features: Flexible credit limit; free employee cards; individual limits on employee cards; mobile app that helps manage receipts; extra savings on eligible business purchases; flexibility to designate an account manager; mobile payment app; online business forum; baggage insurance; travel accident insurance; purchase protection; extended warranty; car rental insurance; roadside assistance

If you’re a relatively small business looking for a reliable card to fund your expenses and earn a substantial return on your investment, the Blue Business Plus card offers a lot of opportunity.

With a solid two-point bonus on up to $50,000 worth of purchases, it offers one of the most generous low maintenance rewards rates available to business cardholders who don’t typically spend more than $4,000 a month.

It also offers a uniquely flexible transfer policy that lets you transfer your Membership Rewards points on a one-to-one basis to a wide variety of frequent flier and hotel loyalty programs. If you or your employees routinely rack up a large amount of miles and hotel loyalty points, that perk alone could save you hundreds on rewards-funded travel.

In addition, the Blue Business Plus card advertises business-friendly benefits, including customizable employee cards and a flexible credit limit policy that lets you charge over your limit, as long as you repay it with your next statement. You won’t want to use this card for international business trips or foreign purchases, though, since it does charge a foreign transaction fee.

Here’s what else you should know about the Blue Business Plus card:

Generous, low-maintenance rewards

A two-point bonus for every purchase may not sound like much when you compare it to cards that offer 3 to 5 percent back on certain purchases. But considering that you earn those two points on just about every purchase you make, including office supplies, travel, shipping expenses and more, you may be surprised by how much more you can earn with this card than with much of its competition.

For example, if you typically charge around $3,500 a month on a variety of office expenses, you’ll collect roughly $840 worth of rewards by the end of the year. You don’t have to work hard to earn those rewards either. Every charge you make will substantially add to your collection.

A good supplement to other high-yield rewards cards

The Blue Business Plus card is also a good card to use as a supplement to cards that earn bigger bonuses on certain purchases. For example, if you spend a lot on travel, you could use a frequent flier card to charge your flights and international expenses and then use your Blue Business Plus card for charges that wouldn’t otherwise earn a bonus. Many business cards only offer bonuses on certain types of purchases, such as restaurant spending and travel, limiting your opportunities to earn.

The Blue Business Plus card is especially good for pairing with other American Express Membership Rewards cards, such as the Business Platinum card. Since all your points pool into a common account, you can combine the bonus earnings from your other American Express cards with the Blue Business Plus card’s flat 2-percent rewards rate to maximize your Membership Rewards points.

Not for bigger businesses

The Blue Business Plus card isn’t a great pick for bigger businesses with extra large expenses, though – especially if you’re going to distribute the same card to a lot of employees or use it as your company’s only card. American Express limits its two-point bonus to $50,000 in spending a year, which comes out to roughly $4,167 a month.

That’s a lot for an individual cardholder or a very small business with a handful of employees. But if you’re managing a large team with big expenses, you’re likely going to spend a whole lot more. This card may still be a good choice for using in conjunction with other business cards. But you won’t want to limit yourself if you can earn more elsewhere.

Earn an introductory bonus for a limited time

The Blue Business Plus card is offering a small introductory bonus for a limited time: You can earn 10,000 points if you sign up for the card and spend $3,000 in the first three months of membership. Though this is a very modest number of points, it’s a great opportunity to sign up for the Blue Business Plus card, since it typically doesn’t offer any bonus at all.

If you want to collect the bonus, you’ll need to apply soon: The offer expires on Sept. 26, 2018.

Great for frequent travelers 

One of the biggest advantages this card has over many of its competitors is its flexible redemption policy for travelers. American Express has long been a favorite of travel experts because it lets you transfer your Membership Rewards points on a one-to-one basis to a wide variety of airlines and hotels, including Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Air Canada, AeroMexico and Asia Miles.

If you’re a member of one of these programs, you can pool your points and purchase more free trips than you would otherwise.

Flexible credit limit

The Blue Business Plus card also sets itself apart by offering a relatively flexible credit limit, giving business owners more buying power when they need it. The card allows you to spend more than your preset credit limit – without calling ahead for permission. You just have to make sure to pay the extra loan back by the end of the month. Otherwise, you’ll be charged a penalty rate for overdue debt.

Business-friendly benefits

In addition, American Express offers a number of key benefits that business owners will find useful, including customizable, fee-free employee cards; a mobile expense management app that helps you monitor receipts; a well-respected online business forum and business-friendly discounts.

Why get the Blue Business Plus card?

  • You want a low-maintenance card that earns the same points for every purchase.
  • You want a supplemental card to use in conjunction with other rewards cards.
  • You’re a frequent flier or hotel guest and want to transfer your Membership Rewards points.
  • You want a flexible credit limit so you can occasionally make larger purchases.
  • You own other American Express Membership Rewards cards and want to maximize your rewards earnings.

How to use the Blue Business Plus card:

  • Use this card for all or most of your business purchases if you typically limit your spending to around $4,000 a month.
  • Pair this card with other American Express Membership Rewards cards – such as the Gold or Platinum card – to earn extra points on purchases that don’t fall under other cards’ bonus categories.
  • If your company typically charges more than $4,000 a month, use this card as a supplement for purchases that don’t earn a bigger bonus.
  • If you travel often, but aren’t yet a loyalty member, sign up for a frequent flier or hotel loyalty program that partners with American Express.
  • If you spend above your credit limit, be sure to pay it back in full by the end of the month. Otherwise, you’ll be hit with a penalty.

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