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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.
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?