|Business Rating:||3.1 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate||0.4|
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.
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, 25% travel redemption bonus, pay over time option, working capital and short-term business loans, $50 flat fee to add employee cards, premium roadside assistance, purchase protection, baggage insurance, no preset spending limit, set limits on employee cards, track receipts through mobile phone, OPEN business benefits, OPEN savings
The American Express Business Gold Card was recently launched by American Express as a replacement for its Gold Rewards Card, and – for a long-term cardholder – the updates to the revamped card are mostly positive.
American Express has, unfortunately, eliminated the points-based introductory bonus with the new card and has raised the annual fee to $295 per year. But, it has also added a couple of new features that can significantly boost the card’s value for ongoing cardholders. Cardholders now receive a stellar 4-point bonus on two categories of their choice and, best of all, are entitled to a 25-percent bonus for eligible redemptions through the American Express travel portal.
Also a major plus: American Express has added new financing features that give cardholders some options for managing cash flow.
Choose your bonus categories
Here is your chance to be in the driver’s seat. The Business Gold Card presents you with six spending categories and lets you choose the category where you want to accelerate earnings with quadruple rewards points. You can choose two categories from the following: 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. You earn one point per dollar on the remainder of your purchases.
Note, the four-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.
Valuable introductory offers
Unfortunately, the American Express Business Gold card currently doesn’t offer a point-based introductory bonus. However, if your business subscribes to G Suite or ZipRecruiter, the card does include a couple of introductory offers that can provide a lot of value to your business in the first year of card membership:
- G Suite Basic – Card members are eligible for up to a year-long free subscription to G Suite Basic for up to three users. G Suite Basic normally costs $15 per month for three users, so this benefit can save you up to $180 in the first year.
- ZipRecruiter – Card members are also entitled to up to a year-long free subscription of ZipRecruiter Standard. The benefit, which is offered in the form of statement credits toward your subscription each month, is capped at $249 per month, and can save you up to $2,988 in the first year.
25-percent 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 16 partner airlines.
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 earn a 25-percent bonus when you redeem points for eligible travel purchases, including airfare, through the American Express Travel portal. Essentially, your points earned 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, which means you can use your card overseas without having to pay the additional 2 to 4 percent in fees that most cards charge. That said, American Express isn’t universally accepted outside of the U.S.
No charge for roadside assistance
Many cards offer roadside assistance benefits. However, more often than not, it’s just a marketing trick, since you are responsible for whatever charges you might incur. The Amex Business Gold Card actually pays for services rendered – including towing (up to 10 miles), a jump-start and tire changes – up to four times in a calendar year.
Manage your cash flow
While the Amex Business Gold Card is a charge card – meaning, you have to pay off your balance at the end of each month – it does offer 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 purchases of more than $100 over time with interest, up to a specified limit each month (all purchases under $100 must be paid in full at the end of each month).
- Working Capital Terms – American Express offers short-term financing to help card members pay vendor invoices and manage cash flow.
- 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.
American Express OPEN business benefits
The Business Gold Card comes with American Express OPEN benefits, including an innovative tool called ReceiptMatch, which lets business owners easily add receipts, tags and notes after each purchase. The tool is accompanied by a mobile app, which allows you to manage receipts, monitor employee spending, set spending limits for each card and receive alerts straight from your mobile phone.
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.
Why get the American Express Business Gold Card?
- You value outsized travel benefits more than regular cash back.
- You want to maximize rewards in the above six categories.
- You are interested in some premium benefits, like roadside assistance.
- You are a small business owner searching for a card with travel benefits and options for managing cash flow.
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-percent redemption bonus (for eligible purchases).
- 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.
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