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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.
Update: The below links for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.
Update: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has a limited time offer through 11/1/2017. Learn more about best available offers here.
American Express typically has a limit of allowing consumers to have up to five of their credit cards at a time. This specifically excludes charge cards, which includes products like The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, etc.
I’m typically maxed out on how many Amex cards I have, given how good many of their products are. Last week I canceled one American Express credit card I wasn’t getting all that much value out of, bringing me back down to four credit cards with them. The reason I canceled the card was because I was going to apply for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express before the great limited time sign-up bonus expires on May 31, 2017.
The four Amex credit cards I have right now
For what it’s worth, my current four American Express credit cards are as follows:
- I have both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, each of which offers two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status annually, in addition to a compelling return on spend; so I want to keep these cards for the four elite qualifying stays and 10 elite qualifying nights towards SPG status
- The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card, which offers 3x points on the first $6,000 spent annually at US supermarkets, 2x points at US gas stations, and a 50% points bonus when you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle
- The Blue for Business Credit Card, which I applied for earlier in this year, and nicely helps me maximize points; this card was discontinued in favor of The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card
So, which card do I apply for?
As stated above, my intention was to cancel an existing card so that I can pick up the incredible Hilton Honors Surpass Card before the increased bonus ends. The card has just a $75 annual fee and offers 100,000 Honors points upon completing minimum spend, plus a free weekend night on the card’s first anniversary. This is a really compelling sign-up bonus.
However, we also just saw the Blue Business Plus Credit Card introduced, which has no annual fee and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually. This is the single best credit card out there for the first $50,000 spent annually in non-bonused categories, so I tend to think just about every business owner should try to get this card.
Eventually I’ll cancel the Amex Blue for Business Card, which has since been discontinued, but not until next year at the earliest. The card has no annual fee and offers a 30% annual points bonus, so I’d be giving up the 30% bonus on the points I earned on the card (and I’ve put a lot of spend on the card already) if I canceled it before next year.
So I guess I have to look at this decision at the margins.
Do I apply for the Hilton Honors Surpass Card, which has a sign-up bonus that I value at roughly $650?
Or do I apply for the Blue Business Plus Credit Card, which offers an incredible return of 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually? That’s a return I value at ~3.4%. On top of that, the card has a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which I value at ~$340.
However, I guess the Blue Business Plus Card has to be looked at compared to the next best option. Currently my favorite card for everyday, non-bonused spend is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which earns me 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. I value Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me the incremental return on the Blue Business Plus Credit Card over the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is 0.85% on the first $50,000 spent annually. That’s a difference in return of $425.
Anyone else in a similar situation to me, and can’t decide which of these great offers to apply for? I envy those of you who have three or fewer Amex cards, and can pick up both of these….