Friday, August 5, 2016

A Side-by-Side Comparison of all Amex Business Credit Cards

When you’re on the hunt for one of Amex’s business credit cards for your small business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your options. How do you keep track of their ins and outs?

Which business credit card has the best bonus offer? The lowest APR? The highest rewards rate?

You might be getting lost in all the answers to these questions. To help you out, we’ve put together a side-by-side comparison of all Amex business credit cards, focusing specifically on their charge cards.

This guide will give you the low-down on how Amex business credit cards size up in every category you’d want to consider: sign-up bonus, rewards, and annual fees.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Basics

Amex’s Business Gold Reward Card is a charge card that works on a points reward system. When you make purchases on the Business Gold Reward Card, you’ll earn Membership Rewards points that you can redeem to use on everyday business expenses, travel costs, and employee rewards.

Sign-Up Bonus

When you sign up for the Business Gold Rewards Card, you’ll get 25,000 Membership Rewards points once you’ve spent $5,000 in purchases on the card within 3 months of being a cardmember.

How does the Membership Rewards point system work?

Depending on the Amex business credit cards you sign up for, you’ll earn a certain amount of Membership Rewards points for each dollar you spend on the card. Then, you can redeem those points to use at eligible retailers and services—like supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, office supply stores, airlines, hotels, and many more.

Rewards Program

The Business Gold Rewards Card works on a points system. And as Amex business credit cards go, the benefits are pretty substantial.

The Business Gold Rewards Card has a uniquely flexible rewards system where small business owners can choose the categories where they spend the most and earn the most on it.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent in one of the following categories:
    • Airfare purchased directly from airlines.
    • Purchases at gas stations in the U.S.
    • Purchases for print advertising in select media in the U.S.
    • Purchases for shipping in the U.S.
    • Purchases for computer hardware and software in the U.S.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on the four remaining categories that you didn’t choose from above, up to $100,000 in purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else, up to $100,000 in purchases

Seems like a pretty good deal, right? We think so, too. The Business Gold Rewards Card has some of the most generous rewards programs as Amex business credit cards go.

Annual Fee

Before you sign on the dotted line for the Business Gold Rewards Card, you’ll want to be clear on what you’ll pay in an annual fee.

With this business credit card, you’re offered a $0 introductory annual fee for 12 months. After that year is up, you’ll pay a $175 annual fee.

You might be reluctant to dish out the $175 annual fee. But in the long run, if you get even kind of close to maximizing your rewards benefits in the 3x and 2x bonus categories, you’ll easily cover what you pay in annual fees.

Why This Card Is Great For You

If you’d prefer to have the flexibility of choosing where you earn rewards, the Business Gold Rewards Card makes a lot of sense.

Your benefits are completely customizable: you can choose to earn the most rewards on the category that you spend the most money on.

Not a big spender when it comes to travelling? You can earn on your shipping expenses instead.

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The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN

The Basics

Like the Business Gold Rewards Card, the Business Platinum Card is a charge card with a points rewards program. The Business Platinum Card has a variety of premium benefits that make this business credit card a great choice for frequent travellers.

Read on to learn more about the Business Platinum Card benefits.

Sign-Up Bonus

American Express offers a pretty great sign-up bonus with the Business Platinum Card: earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the card—within your first 3 months of being a cardmember.

Rewards Program

The Business Platinum Card works on a points system and is tailored to benefit small business owners and employees who travel… a lot.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on travel (through the American Express Travel website)
  • Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on everything else

When you pair these rewards with the Business Platinum Card’s sign-up bonus, you’re getting a pretty great deal. Again, Membership Rewards points on the Business Platinum Card are redeemable for a whole bunch of rewards: travel, retail, charitable donations, purchases, gift cards, and so on.

But that’s not all…

You’ll also get a 30% Airline Bonus. Points redeemed for flights through the American Express Travel program are eligible for a 30% Membership Rewards points bonus rebate.

Annual Fee

Here’s where you might shy away from the Business Platinum Card: there’s a $450 annual fee.

But wait! Don’t give up on this business credit card just yet. The travel benefits can easily make up for the annual fee.

Consider these perks:

  • Airline Fee Credit. You’ll receive up to $200 in incidentals on your eligible airline of choice (think airline entertainment, extra baggage, and so on).
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Fee Credit. You’ll also receive a credit of $100 every 5 years for your Global Entry application fee, or $85 every 5 years for your TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • Airport Lounge Access. You’ll be granted access to more than 700 airport lounges. If you were to pay for this access out-of-pocket, you’d have to pay $399 for membership.
  • Gogo and Boingo Access. With the Business Platinum Card, you’ll get free access on 7 different airlines and at more than 1 million hotspots.

When you consider the credits and services you’re getting from the Business Platinum Card, you’ll make up for the steep annual fee.

Why This Card Is Great For You

If you or your employees frequently travel for your small business, the Business Platinum Card is probably your best choice when compared to the other Amex business credit cards. When you travel with your Business Platinum Card, you’ll enjoy access to a lot of luxury perks.

You might be feeling some sticker shock with the $450 annual fee. But if you’re planning on using this business credit card for all your travel expenses, you’ll take advantage of significant rewards—making up for what you pay in fees each year.

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The Plum Card from American Express OPEN

The Basics

The Plum Card from American Express is still a charge card, but its rewards system works a little differently from the other Amex business credit cards: instead of getting Membership Rewards points, you’ll get cash back.

The opportunity to get cash back on your purchases is an enticing offer for small business owners. Think about it—every dollar that you’re not spending on a cash back credit card, you’re not getting cash back for.

And while you can earn points on purchases with the other Amex business credit cards, you have to take the initiative to redeem those points. With the Plum Card, you’ll automatically get the cash back credited to your account.

Sign-Up Bonus

With the Plum Card, you’re given a welcome offer when you sign up. With this offer, you can earn up to $750 in cash back.

Here’s how:

American Express will issue a $250 credit after each $10,000 you spend in purchases on the Plum Card, up to $30,000—if you spend that within 3 months of being a cardmember.

Rewards Program

Instead of earning Membership Reward points that you redeem through American Express, the Plum Card lets you save on all your purchases by giving you cash back.

When it comes to rewards from the Plum Card, here’s the deal:

  • Get 1.5% back on your purchases when you pay ahead of schedule—with no cap on what you can earn back. This 1.5% cash back will show up as a statement credit on your next bill.

Let’s put it this way. Say you currently average $8,000 in monthly expenses for your small business. This means you can save $120 each month. In turn, that adds up to $1,440 a year in cash back—that’s a pretty significant amount of money.

Notice that we said “can” and not “will”?

That’s pretty important. You’ll only earn this cash back if you pay early. This means that you have to pay your balance within 10 days of your statement date.

Annual Fee

As far as annual fees on the Amex business credit cards go, the Plum Card’s annual fee falls in the middle of the pack.

For the first year of cardmembership, you’ll have a $0 annual fee. After that, it’s bumped up to a $250 annual fee.

That might be hard for small business owners to stomach. But think about it this way: If you know that you’ll spend an average of $8,000 in monthly expense on the card, you’re saving $1,440 each year. This more than makes up for what you’ll pay in annual fees. Just remember, you’ll need to pay early every month to earn that much cash back.

Why This Card Is Great For You

The Plum Card is great for small business owners who need flexibility in how they earn rewards and always have the cash on hand to pay early—since you’ll rake in significant cash back on the 1.5% discount.

And there’s one more reason why the Plum Card is one of the best Amex business credit cards for you:

American Express gives you some extra days to pay your balance. Instead of the typical 25-day repayment grace period, with the Plum Card, you can take up to 60 days to pay your bill without a late fee.

To qualify for this, you’ll need to pay just 10% of your balance initially. You’ll then pay the remainder by the payment due date of your next statement.

So if you’d rather have more time to pay off your balance than to earn rewards, the Plum Card is a great choice for you.

plum card cta

Amex Business Credit Cards: A Wrap-Up

When you’re considering all the Amex business credit cards, make sure you know which card structure and perks work best for your small business.

Keep these things in mind:

What do you spend the most on? How do you want to rack up the benefits? How do you want to repay?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re well on your way to the right Amex business credit card for you.

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