More On The Awesome New Blue Business Plus Credit Card

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Update: The special welcome offer for the The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express has expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.

Yesterday I wrote about how American Express quietly introduced The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card, which is a fantastic new card. This card is pretty straightforward, and I’d say the most compelling feature is that it offers 2x Membership Rewards pints on the first $50,000 spent on the card per calendar year.

The way I see it, that makes this the single most lucrative credit card for the first $50,000 of non-bonused spend per calendar year.

I received a lot of questions about the card, and also received clarification on a couple of things from Amex, so figured I’d address that in this post:

Why can’t I see the 20K point welcome bonus everywhere?

If you apply for the Blue Business Plus Credit Card through my link (or another affiliate’s link), you’ll see that the card comes with a welcome bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. This offer is available exclusively through Amex’s affiliate channel — if you apply directly through the Amex website, for example, the card doesn’t come with a welcome bonus.

So you’re not seeing wrong, the bonus just differs based on which channel you go through. The 20,000 point sign-up bonus is considered a “special offer,” so I suspect it’s limited time, though an end date hasn’t yet been published. I don’t see the sign-up bonus on the card getting any higher than that, given what a lucrative no annual fee card this is.

Am I eligible for the bonus if I had the Blue for Business Card?

The new Blue Business Plus Credit Card replaces the Blue for Business Card, which was potentially quite lucrative as well, though I think this one is better. I applied for the Blue for Business Card last year, though am now also very interested in this card. As far as I know, American Express won’t automatically be transferring over Blue for Business accounts into Blue Business Plus accounts.

Furthermore, I’ve confirmed with American Express that this card is considered to be a “new product,” so you should be eligible for the welcome bonus even if you had the Blue for Business Card in the past.

Does this card count against Chase’s 5/24 rule?

Many people try to limit their number of credit card applications in order to stay below Chase’s “5/24 rule.” That’s to say that Chase won’t typically approve you for a new card if you’ve applied for more than five new card accounts in the past 24 months. The exception is that typically business cards with certain issuers (including Amex) won’t count against you. So applying for the Blue Business Plus Credit Card shouldn’t count against you for the purposes of staying under Chase’s “5/24” limit.

How tough is it to get approved for an Amex business card?

In my experience, American Express business cards are among the easiest to be approved for, even if you’re a sole proprietorship with fairly limited business income. See this post for more on that process. If you’re someone who hasn’t had a business card in the past, this may be a good card with which to start.

Can these points be pooled with other Amex Membership Rewards points?

Absolutely! You can pool the points earned on this card with the points earned on cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN in order to really maximize their value. Yes, this no annual fee card offers a better return on everyday spend than the $450-550 annual fee Amex Platinum products.

Bottom line

The new Blue Business Plus Credit Card is arguably the most lucrative for the first $50,000 of non-bonused spend every year. Best of all, the card has no annual fee. In my opinion this card should be a no brainer for most, and I know I plan on picking it up as soon as possible.

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Comments

  1. Lucky, isn’t it worth trying to max out the first 50k with the Blue for Business at 2.3x before putting spend on this one?

  2. Are these “full” transferrable Membership Rewards points? The original Blue for Business Membership Rewards points weren’t transferable to airlines unless paired with another card like the EveryDay.

    If yes, then this could replace the EveryDay card as the best “no annual fee” card to bank Membership Rewards points. I don’t really understand AMEX’s strategy here as this card seems to completely cannibalize the EveryDay card, and also the EveryDay Preferred card (outside of groceries, but the EDP has an annual fee).

  3. @ Ian — I was told that these are full Membership Rewards points and not “Express” Membership Rewards points, but I’m working on getting that double clarified, just to be sure. Agree that this is such a fantastic product.

  4. @ Paul — Definitely worth spending on the Blue for Business still, but if you’re someone who spends $50K+ per year, it makes sense to get both. There’s also no downside to picking up both of these, since the 2x points on the Blue Plus is an annual benefit, and not just the first year.

  5. Just a clearification on Chase’s 5/24 rule:
    I got excluded from a Chase card in February for having opened too many cards recently. I was AT 5 new cards in the past 2 years, not “more than five new card accounts in the past 24 months”. I don’t think I had been rejected for any cards in that timeframe, so it would be splitting hairs to distinguish between cards I’d opened versus ones I’d simply applied for, but for others that may be a question.

  6. @ Ram — There is no Amex 5/24 rule, this is in regards to people potentially not wanting to apply for this card because they want to pick up a Chase card in the future.

  7. Can I product change my Blue business to this new Blue business plus card? If so, would you recommend that I do this?

  8. @Kris No, I wouldn’t product change, because then you would miss out on the 20,000 MR signup bonus.

  9. @ Kris — You can but shouldn’t, in my opinion. As noted by Ian, you’d miss out on the sign-up bonus, but you’d also miss out on the 30% annual points bonus for any spend you put on the card in the past year.

  10. They don’t mention transfer partners on the the link to the card. Anyways, this is a great card to pair with the EDP if you can still hit 30 transactions. 4.5x on Groceries, 3x on Gas, and 2x on everything else!

  11. @Ian you have to remember that your average person probably won’t be opening a business credit card for their everyday spend. This card is better for non-bonus spend than the Everyday, but only if someone opens it in the first place.

  12. Lucky, It would be great if you could do a post comparing this new Amex Blue business plus card vs the Amex Everyday Preferred. I have the Everyday Preferred and think this new card could be better (since I don’t always make the 30+ monthly transactions on the Everyday Preferred) but a post comparing the two would help.

  13. The only problem I see with this card, as with having AND using multiple cards in general, is “currency dilution”. That is when one acquires points in so many different currencies that one ends up with not having enough points in any one currency, even after supplementation with transferable points, to be able to afford a high-end award. Therefore, already with great “transferability” in UR points that I earn through the CSR and CFU, I am not at all tempted to get this card due to the real possibility for “currency dilution”.

    Factoring in the inevitable “currency dilution”, I think of my 3x on the CSR and 1.5x on the CFU as equivalent to or better than the 2x that this card offers.

  14. Can this card transfer to partner airlines and hotels? Or do you need to pool points with another Amex to transfer points?

  15. @Quest Bohman Fanning

    The Chase 5/24 rule only refers to cards actually opened. Credit inquiries are irrelevant, so any denied apps have no effect on it.

    Having said that, the actual “rule” (assuming decent credit history) is:
    Less than 5 cards leads to an approval
    More than 5 cards leads to a denial
    Exactly 5 cards opened is YMMV.

    As you found out…

  16. While this looks appealing for non bonused spend, I think for me it would cannibalize transactions that would otherwise go on the Amex Everyday Preffered, making it harder to get to 30 swipes per month on that card to get the 50% bonus. I’ll need to look at my spending patters, but the extra 50% in the bonus categories on that card (leaving 1.5% for non bonused spend on that card) might be better in total than the 2x points on this card.

    Is anyone else in a similar situation?

  17. @Indian – the Blue for Business also awards 30% bonus on annual spend (not on MR points) hence the 2.3x for the first 50k in the first year after opening (1.3x after that).

  18. For those struggling with the Everyday Preferred Card to get 30 charges a month, my strategy might help.

    I top of car twice a week rather then once at gas station. Pick up a few things at grocery store twice a week and my shirts for work at dry cleaners weekly rather than every 2 weeks. That is 20 charges right there.

    Then if give to charities, I divide my annual gift by 12 and put recurring monthly charge on the card. This gets another 1/2 dozen per month.

    They don’t say how big the charge has to be, so even a $2 or $3 for ebook counts

  19. David,

    So would you still get this new card? Some of that spend that you list (dry cleaning, charities) would make more sense on this card at 2x points vs. 1.5x for the Everyday Preferred, but moving that spend would reduce your swipe count.

  20. It seems that pooling points from this card with the Amex Business Platinum would yield up to 4% back on everyday spend. Specifically 2 MRs/$ on this card, and then the 50% MR rebate (for now) on airline bookings on the Business Platinum.

    Am I mathing that correctly? If so, I’d agree that’s an amazing return on non-bonus spend.

  21. Planning to spend $3K anyway? Rather than going for this new AMEX card and getting the meager 20K MR signup bonus after spending $3K, you might consider shopping online…

    Having resolved to spend about $3K to purchase watches as gifts for 4 people who are very dear to me, I decided today to “Shop Through Chase”, which one can through one’s UR account. Browsing through the list of participating stores I came upon Lord & Taylor, the oldest luxury department store in the US, and they are offering 10% cashback or 10x on purchases charged to the CFU through June 30 (strangely, just 5x for the CSR). I followed the link to their online store, where I found 4 Gucci watches that were perfectly the sort of gift I had in mind for $3,081, including taxes. Because I shopped THROUGH my UR Chase account, the purchase will earn me 10x or ~31K UR points.

    Bottom line: I decided to share the above as an example of a very viable but sadly neglected source of significant loyalty points due to the almost exclusive focus of earning points by getting NEW reward cards. Online shopping can be truly lucrative, as the 10X that I just got on a card that normally awards 1.5x on general spend shows. Also, getting 31K UR points for spending $3K easily beats spending $3K to get 20K MR points on the new AMEX, even in the long term at 2x, since in addition to the 1.5x on CFS and I also have the CSR that awards 3x.

    There is more than on way to skin that cat!

  22. @paul i have the old business blue. What i may do is get this card for the signup offer and once i meet my initial switch back to my old blue card until my first year is up then use this new card going forward after that. Question is there a ftf on this card? Im guessing yes but not sure.

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