American Express Business Gold Rewards card review

Published: November 16, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value 3.5
Annual Percentage Rate 0.4
Rewards Flexibility 3.7
Features 5.0

In a nutshell:

The Business Gold Rewards card from American Express is a solid choice for a small-business owner who wants to earn and redeem points for business or family travel.

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Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 on a category of your choice (first $100,000 in purchases yearly)
  • 2:1 on 4 remaining bonus categories (first $100,000 in purchases yearly)
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Sign-up Bonus
50,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months (Terms apply)

Annual Fee
$175, $0 first year (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$824

APR
None (charge card) (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • No limits on points that you can earn
  • Ability to transfer points to 16 partner airlines

Cons

  • Some transfers are not instant
  • Lack of solid redemption options other than transferring to airlines

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, $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

As a premium card, Business Gold Rewards offers an excellent earning scheme, with five bonus categories, high bonus spending limits, and the flexibility of the American Express Membership Rewards program, which has 19 travel transfer partners. On the downside, its steep annual fee can deter potential applicants, although it helps that the $175 fee is waived for the first year.

Choose your bonus categories

Here is your chance to be in the driver’s seat. The Business Gold Rewards card presents you with five spending categories and lets you choose the category where you want to accelerate earnings with triple rewards points. You can choose one category from the following: airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping and computer purchases. You earn double points on the four remaining categories. The best part is that although bonus points are capped at $100,000 in purchases, this cap is applied separately to each category.

Excellent sign-up bonus

The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card currently offers a whopping 50,000 points for spending $5,000 in the first three months of card ownership. This is one of the best sign-up offers on the market. When you pair this with the bonus points offered on several categories, including gas station and travel expenses, you stand to gain enough value in the first few years of ownership to easily offset the annual fee, especially since the cap is set so high for each bonus category.

Transfer your points for better value

You can use Membership Rewards points in a variety of ways, including buying gift cards and merchandise, and booking travel on the American Express website. However, the best way to use the points is to transfer them to one of the 16 American Express partner airlines.

No foreign-transaction fees

The Business Gold Rewards 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. Business Gold Rewards 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.

American Express OPEN business benefits

Business Gold Rewards comes with 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 $175 per year, it is the highest among the cards we evaluated, and more than double that of cards with similar offers. The Business Gold Rewards 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.

Note also that this is charge card, not a credit card, which means you need to pay off the balance at the end of each month. Business owners looking for a credit card to finance their business will need to look elsewhere.

Why get the American Express Business Gold Rewards card?

  • You value outsized travel benefits more than regular cash back.
  • You want to maximize rewards in the above five categories.
  • You are interested in some premium benefits, like roadside assistance.

How to use the American Express Business Gold Rewards card:

  • Use the Business Gold Rewards card to pay for everything in the bonus categories, unless you have another card that offers a higher rewards rate for a particular category.
  • 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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