Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Ultimate Guide to the American Express Blue for Business Card

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Taking out a business credit card is a smart move for any small business owner. Whether you’re using your card to supplement your financing, act as a loan, or just to have in your back pocket, your business will benefit.

But which business credit card works best for you?

Well, there are a lot of options out there, and you’ll have to do the research to find the right fit.

To help you through this process, we’ve created the ultimate guide to American Express’s Blue for Business Credit CardWe’ll walk-through the ins-and-outs of this business credit card so you can decide if applying for one is right for your business.

Blue for Business Card: The Good

Each business credit card will come with its own benefits—and the American Express Blue for Business Card has its fair share.

Why would you want to use a Blue for Business Card?

Well, here are a few benefits you should consider:

Save on Introductory APR

When you sign up for a Blue for Business Card, you’ll get a low introductory APR. In fact, you’ll get a 0% APR on purchases for 9 months. After that, your regular APR of 11.74% – 19.74% kicks in. The regular APR you end up paying will depend on your creditworthiness when you open up your account.

Enough said. The Blue for Business Card is a great option for small business owners looking for a good introductory APR promotion.

In a way, a business credit card with 0% APR is like a free loan:

You’re being loaned money to make purchases with, without any extra fee charged on what you borrow. As long as you pay off your balance in full before the introductory offer is up, you won’t need to pay more on top of what you borrowed.

But remember, most introductory 0% APR offers only stand when you make monthly minimum payments on your balance. This payment is usually just a small percentage of your balance. If you don’t make these payments, you usually won’t reap the benefits of the 0% APR.

No Need to Pay Annual Fees

Another good reason to sign up for the Blue for Business Card?

You don’t have to worry about paying annual fees!

While most business credit card annual fees aren’t prohibitively big, they do add up—and for the young, scrappy business owner looking to grow, a no-fee card is definitely an attractive choice.

Plus, if you want to get more cards for your employees to use, you won’t have to pay annual fees on those, either.

Sizeable Sign-Up Bonus

The Blue for Business Card usually provides a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points—once you’ve made your first purchase on the card within your first 3 months of signing up.

Plus, American Express is offering a new, increased sign-up bonus for a limited time. Here’s the deal:

You’ll get 10x points on restaurants (up to $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months of cardmembership), 2x points on all qualifying purchases on the first $50,000 you spend in the first year, and 10,000 Membership Reward points once you make your first purchase on the card in the first 3 months.

That’s a pretty hefty signup bonus, especially if you spend big for your business on restaurants.


Get Rewards

The Blue for Business Card is great for business owners that want straightforward rewards. For every dollar you spend on eligible purchases, you’ll earn one reward point.

With the Blue for Business Card, you’ll also be rewarded for your loyalty: American Express will pay out a 30% bonus on your past year’s purchases on the card.

So all-in-all, you earn 1.3 Membership Reward points per dollar spent with the Blue for Business Card. The card offers pretty great rewards—especially considering there’s no annual fee.

What are Membership Rewards points?

Well, in general, you earn Membership Rewards points as you make purchases on your Blue for Business Card. You can then redeem these points to put them towards eligible purchases. An American Express Membership Rewards point is worth 0.5 cents to 1 cent each, depending on how you redeem them. You can put your membership rewards points towards purchases with companies like Amazon and Uber.

Or you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to different loyalty programs—16 airlines and 5 hotel chains—at a 1 point to 1 cent value.

Stay Organized With Quickbooks

Another handy feature on the Blue for Business Card?

You can connect it to your Quickbooks account. You can download your statements directly into your Quickbooks account—saving you time and effort when you’re doing your quarterly tax reporting.

Get Extra Savings on Certain Purchases

While American Express offers a 1 Membership Reward point to $1 spent ratio for most purchases, you can either earn more reward points or save more money if you shop at select American Express partners.

The Blue for Business Card gives you access to the OPEN savings program. As a part of this program, you have access to special offers at merchants like Hyatt, Hertz, FedEx, Barnes & Noble, and more. The exact promotion might vary, you can expect to get a 5% discount or 2 additional Membership Reward points for every dollar spent at one of American Express’s partners.

Also, American Express has especially good travel advantages—and their Blue for Business Card is no exception.

As an owner of a Blue for Business Card, you can earn double Membership Rewards points for all purchases made through the American Express Travel website.


Blue for Business Card: What’s Not to Love?

Like any business credit card, there are some disadvantages to the Blue for Business credit card that you should consider before you sign up.

Some things to keep in mind:

Watch Out for Fees and Penalties

The Blue for Business Card carries a 2.7% foreign transaction fee to all purchases that you make outside of the United States. (So if you frequently travel outside the country for business, this card might not be for you.)

Also, If you’re on top of your payments, you’ll have a variable APR between 11.74% and 19.74%.

But if you miss two or more payments, you’ll be penalized by a 29.74% APR—which could really be a hit to your finances once these late payments add up month after month.

Lower Spending Limit

If you have a Blue for Business Card, you should be prepared for a lower spending limit. If your business tends to have high monthly expenses, you might want to consider using a different financing product.

Is the American Express Blue for Business Card Right For You?

In the end, the Blue for Business Card’s lack of annual fee is pretty noteworthy. You might not be earning as many reward points as you would with other business credit cards, but business owners can still earn Membership Reward points without paying an annual fee. If you’re just starting out, you don’t have to worry about figuring out if your rewards earnings will outweigh your annual fees.

Plus, if you’re planning on being a big spender when it comes to business purchases, the 30% relationship bonus at the end of each year will really add up.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Make the move to start financing your small business with a no-annual-fee business credit card:


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