|Business Rating:||4.4 / 5|
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|Issuer Customer Experience||4.6|
In a Nutshell:
The American Express Business Gold Card is a solid choice for a small-business owner who wants to earn and redeem points for business or family travel.
American Express Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee (See rates and fees), 25% travel redemption bonus, pay over time option, access to the Working Capital Terms program and short-term business loans, $50 flat fee to add employee cards (See rates and fees), purchase protection, baggage insurance, set limits on employee cards, track receipts through mobile phone, trip delay insurance
If you’re looking for a top-notch business travel card that awards you based on your business’s specific spending, the American Express Business Gold Card might be right for you.
The American Express Business Gold Card gets you a stellar 4-point bonus on the two categories you spend the most in each billing cycle. Plus, you’re entitled to a 25% bonus for eligible redemptions through the American Express travel portal (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year). American Express also offers financing features that give cardholders some options for managing cash flow.
Though the card’s $295 annual fee might be a deterrent for some business owners, the flexible earning and business-first perks on this card can make up the cost for the right spender.
See related: Amex Gold vs. Amex Business Gold
Why you might want the American Express Business Gold Card
The American Express Business Gold Card stands out primarily for its flexibility, offering a rewards scheme that adjusts as your business spending does. Plus, the card has a solid roster of business-related perks like expense tracking and financing program-eligibility that can add to its long-term value.
See related: How I use my Amex Business Gold
Flexible bonus categories
To help match rewards with your spending, the Business Gold Card rewards 4 points per dollar in the two categories your business spends the most in each billing cycle, between directly purchased airfare, U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. shipping purchases and purchases made directly from select U.S. computer hardware, software or cloud solution providers.
This means if you spend more on U.S. restaurant purchases in one month and more on U.S. gas station purchases the next, you’ll still earn great rewards. Plus, you earn 1 point per dollar on the remainder of your purchases.
Note, the 4-point bonus is capped at $150,000 in total purchases per year, but this is a very high spending cap, and cardholders shouldn’t have much trouble earning a large number of Membership Rewards points at a high rate.
Fair introductory bonus
The American Express Business Gold Card currently offers 70,000 points for spending $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. Though not quite as high as the card’s previous offering (which included up to $300 in statement credits on eligible U.S. advertising and U.S. shipping purchases), the latest bonus is still very generous, worth over $800 according to our estimates.
That said, the new bonus carries a high spending requirement, as you’ll need to spend at least $3,333 per month in your first three months to qualify.
When you pair these perks with the bonus points offered on several categories, including gas station and travel expenses, you stand to gain enough in the first few years of ownership to offset the annual fee, especially since the cap is set so high for each bonus category.
25% bonus for travel redemptions
The Membership Rewards points that you earn with the card are a flexible, valuable currency – you can use points in a variety of ways, including buying gift cards and merchandise and booking travel on the American Express website. You can also transfer points to one of American Express’s 22 travel partner programs.
Redeeming your points for travel is probably the best option of all, because – as one of the best benefits of being an Amex Business Gold card member – you get 25% of your points back when you redeem points for eligible travel purchases, including airfare, through the American Express Travel portal. You can get up to 250,000 points back this way per calendar year.
Essentially, this means the points you earn with the Amex Business Gold card are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for airfare, making them much more valuable than the average rewards card point.
No foreign transaction fees
The Amex Business Gold Card doesn’t include a foreign-transaction fee (see rates and fees), which means you can use your card overseas without having to pay the additional 2% to 4% in fees that most cards charge. That said, American Express isn’t universally accepted outside of the U.S.
Manage your cash flow
The Amex Business Gold Card offers a few nifty options for business owners looking to finance a business:
- Pay Over Time – With the Pay Over Time option, cardholders can choose to pay for eligible purchases over time with interest, up to a specified limit each month.
- The Working Capital Terms program – American Express offers short-term financing to help card members pay vendor invoices and manage cash flow (terms and restrictions apply).
- Business loans – Card members are also eligible to apply for fast (approved in as little as 60 seconds), fixed interest rate loans for working capital and short-term financing.
Why you might want a different card
Despite its many benefits, there are some drawbacks to the Amex Business Gold that mean it is not the best card for everyone.
High annual fee
The biggest drawback to this card is the annual fee: At $295 per year, it is one of the highest among the cards we’ve evaluated, and more than double that of cards with similar offers. The Business Gold Card does justify this fee with some nice features and perks. But you can find cards with similar benefits for half the price and a higher rewards value.
$50 fee for employee cards
In order to add additional employee cards, you’ll have to pay a flat fee of $50. Fortunately, you can add up to 99 cards once you meet this requirement.
How the American Express Business Gold Card compares to other business cards
The American Express Business Gold card certainly has a lot to offer in terms of flexibility, but it might not be the best choice for everyone. Depending on where your business spends the most, you might be better off with a card that has a higher rate on fixed bonus categories or a flat rate on every purchase. Here are a few alternatives to check out:
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
2 miles per dollar on all purchases
120,000 points if you spend $15,000 in first 3 months
100,000 points if you spend $15,000 in first 3 months
50,000 miles if you spend $4,500 in first 3 months
$695 (See rates and fees)
$95 ($0 in first year)
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a slightly more premium offering than the Amex Business Gold, for those who are interested in earning Membership Rewards on top of a bevy of other credits and perks. Its annual fee is steep – $695 – but it is absolutely packed with luxury benefits and value-adding credits like lounge access or up to $360 in credits on Indeed purchases.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase is a more cost-effective option than the Amex Business Gold, only costing $95 per year and with free employee cards to boot. But the tradeoff is that you’ll only earn 3 points per dollar in the cards eligible bonus categories (as opposed to 4X on the Amex Business Gold), and categories are fixed to travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services and advertising purchases. There is also a $150,000 cap on combined purchases in these categories each year before the earning rate reverts to 1 point per dollar.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
If you find you don’t spend heavily in any of the bonus categories offered by the Amex Business Gold card, you might find you can make more in rewards by opting for a flat-rate product instead. The Capital One Spark Miles card offers that exact scheme, giving cardholders the same 2-mile-per-dollar rate on every purchase they make. The Spark card is less expensive than the Amex Business Gold too, as it charges a $95 annual fee (waived in the first year).
How to use the American Express Business Gold Card
- Use the Amex Business Gold Card to pay for everything in the bonus categories, unless you have another card that offers a higher rewards rate for a particular category.
- Book your travel through the American Express Travel site to earn a 25% redemption bonus (for eligible purchases, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year).
- Before transferring points to an airline, make sure seats are available.
- Use Membership Rewards points when you need to book expensive flights, such as full-price economy, first class or business class travel.
Is the American Express Business Gold Card right for you?
So who should get the Amex Business Gold Card? Considering the high fee, we recommend this card only if you can take advantage of its flexible earning categories and travel redemptions. If you don’t travel frequently or your business spending doesn’t align with eligible categories, you can probably get more value out of a different card.
Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
For rates and fees of the American Express Business Gold card, please click here.
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