Amex Blue Business Plus Card — Should You Apply Directly Or Convert An Existing 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 we first learned about The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card, which is Amex’s fantastic new credit card. This no annual fee card offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months, which is pretty good for a no annual fee card.

However, the real selling point of this card is that it offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year. To me this is the single most lucrative credit card for the first $50,000 of non-bonused spend, which is amazing when you consider that the card has no annual fee.

Understandably a lot of people are interested in the card, and one of the most common questions I’ve been getting is whether it makes sense to apply for this card directly, or if it makes more sense to convert an existing card to this (you should be able to convert many Amex business cards to this product).

The obvious advantage of converting an existing card is that it wouldn’t count as an inquiry on your credit score, though personally I don’t view that as a major consideration. Typically a credit inquiry will ding your score by a couple of points, but that falls off your report after two years, so shouldn’t have any sort of a major effect, given the 800+ point scale.

With that in mind, why does it make sense to outright apply for the Blue Business Plus Credit Card rather than converting an existing card?

You only get the sign-up bonus if you apply

While 20,000 Membership Rewards point isn’t that huge of a sign-up bonus, it’s quite substantial when you consider that this is a no annual fee card. I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me those points are worth ~$340, which is a bonus I wouldn’t want to leave on the table.

In the event that you’re denied…

Anecdotally I find that Amex business cards are quite easy to get approved for, so I suspect most people should have no trouble getting approved. However, in the event that you’re denied, keep in mind that it typically won’t even be reported to a credit bureau if you’re an existing Amex cardmember. That’s because Amex uses existing customer data to conditionally approve people, and only after that do they pull your credit. You can read more about that in this post.

You’re potentially giving up benefits on other cards

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card is intended to be the replacement of the Amex Blue for Business Card, which was recently discontinued. I applied for that card earlier this year, though don’t want to cancel it yet. Why? Because the card offers a 30% annual points bonus. So of course I want to wait until those points post before canceling the card.

If you’re in a similar situation, it would make sense not to cancel that card until those points post, which is another reason it makes sense to apply for this card directly.

Applying won’t impact your Chase 5/24 status

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 opened 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.

Bottom line

I don’t see Amex offering a bigger bonus on the Blue Business Plus Credit Card, given that it has no annual fee and is incredibly lucrative. The current bonus isn’t even available across the board — it can only be had through affiliates, and I sure don’t see it increasing.

Even though this isn’t a mega bonus, there’s no reason to leave 20,000 Membership Rewards points on the table if you plan on acquiring this card (which I know a lot of people are planning on doing). This is a fantastic new card that I think a lot of people would benefit from.

Have you applied for the new Blue Business Plus Card yet?

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Comments

  1. i just applied through your link and got approved. However, it wont let me set this account with my other amex cards. why is that? i currently have four amex cards, which i login with one id.

  2. I just applied…and at the end of it…it just says, your application has been received. Thats it. Any idea if this means that they will get back to me or? I am sorta feeling like I have been left in a limbo.

  3. I assume that if you have an authorized user on this card, Chase won’t view that authorized user as having a card counting toward 5/24 either. Seems unlikely that it would count against an authorized user but not the main user, but can anyone confirm?

  4. “you should be able to convert many Amex business cards to this product”

    Early reports I’ve read suggest otherwise. Appreciate any DP.

  5. This is not a charge card, correct?
    I would assume that one cannot convert a charge card to this new credit card, since charge and credit cards are considered two completely different things by AMEX?
    I would also love to know about what cards can be converted into this…

  6. @MSer
    About 2 hours ago I asked an Amex rep if I could convert a Platinum Business card to the Blue card, and she said yes.

  7. When are you going to publish your reviews? I’m seeing these posts, but no trip reports which we have ALL been eagerly awaiting!!

  8. What’s the over/under on how long it takes to devalue this card’s 2x benefit? The 50% bonus on the platinum was ended pretty quickly after I applied. This seems to be too good to be true, and most likely will be adjusted after they see what kind of behavior is incentivized.

  9. Please read the terms to see if this would apply to you. For me, it would not make sense to obtain this card.

    “You will get 1 Membership Rewards® point for every eligible dollar you spend on your Membership Rewards program-enrolled American Express® Card. You will get 1 additional point (for a total of 2 points) for each dollar of eligible travel purchases made on amextravel.com. Eligible travel purchases include all travel purchases made with your Membership Rewards program-enrolled American Express® Card on amextravel.com, including air, prepaid hotels, The Hotel Collection prepaid bookings, vacation packages (flight + hotel packages) or cruise reservations, minus returns and other credits. Eligible travel purchases do NOT include car reservations, FINE HOTELS & RESORTS bookings, other non-prepaid hotels, ticketing service or other fees, or interest charges.

  10. @JungKim: I applied for/was approved for the Blue card, and all it took was a simple phone call to Amex to get my cards combined onto the same login.

  11. Lucky

    Do you know if this 2x points for first $50,000 spend is per calendar years or card anniversary.

    If it is calendar year, you could conceivably get !00,000 MR points from now to Dec 31 and another 100,000 points til this time next year or 200,000 in 12 months.

  12. @KeninDFW: You’ve copied the wrong terms. These are not from the Blue Business Plus card

  13. Lucky, how do you reach a conclusion of 1.7 cents per MR point? I look at “pay with points” and merchandise purchases using MR from my regular Gold AmEx, and they’re less than 1.0

  14. are these “business” cards restricted to applicants who actually run a business? or can anyone get approved as long as you have decent credit?

  15. Wow the banner photo looks amazing, is that Lufthansa First Class as someone mentioned above?

    Any way to get that with miles?!

  16. @Tim With miles and cash, yes. With only miles, no…

    And it pretty much has to be LH miles, unless you get very lucky, or book very last minute.

    The Barclays Miles and More card sign up bonus will get you halfway to a one way FC award. Then you still need to do $40K spend on that card, or transfer 35K SPG points into your LH account. At which point you are still looking at @355 in taxes and surcharges (one way).

    Last I checked FRA to the East Coast was pretty easy to book with LH miles, at least doing so way in advance, but FRA to LAX was not. I can’t check anymore since LH won’t let you even look at their award page unless you have at least 7K miles in your account, and we spent all of our points booking this award for this coming September.

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