Applying For The Amex Blue Business Plus Card As A Sole Proprietorship

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.

I’ve enumerated the reasons you should consider applying for The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card, which is one of the hottest new credit cards in the market. The card has no annual fee, accrues Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to airline and hotel partners, and most valuable of all, it offers 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent annually.

The way I see it, that makes this card the single most lucrative credit card for non-bonused spend.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card is a business card, though you don’t need to be incorporated or have hundreds of thousands of dollars in business revenue to apply for a business card. There are plenty of reasons to apply for a business card, and I find that Amex is among the more eager issuers to work with small businesses. This is the case whether you’re just starting your business, whether you just have a side business with limited revenue, or whether you want to separate your business and personal expenses.

If you look at the application for the Blue Business Plus Credit Card, you’ll see that it asks you the following questions about your business:

  • Legal Business Name
  • Business Address & Phone Number
  • Industry Type
  • Company Structure
  • Years In Business
  • Number Of Employees
  • Annual Business Revenue
  • Estimated Monthly Spend
  • Federal Tax ID

If you’re a sole proprietorship, how should you approach this? First of all, and most importantly, answer everything truthfully. I think the concern that a lot of people have is that they think they need an incorporated business, a separate office, etc., in order to be considered for a business card. That’s not the case:

  • You can use your name as your legal business name
  • The business address and phone number can be the same as your personal address and phone number
  • You can select “other” as your industry type, if that’s the case
  • If you’re a sole proprietorship, you can select that as your company structure
  • In terms of years in business, there’s no shame in saying it has been less than a year, 1-2 years, etc.
  • In terms of the number of employees, saying just ons is perfectly fine
  • For the federal tax ID you can put your social security number

While a lot of people are intimidated by applying for their first business card, I think most are pleasantly surprised at the results. Again, the most important thing is to always be truthful on the application.

Lastly, keep in mind that if you’re an existing Amex cardmember and get denied, it typically won’t be reported to credit bureaus. That’s because Amex uses existing customer data to conditionally approve people for credit cards, and only after conditional approval do they pull your credit score, to see if anything major has changed.

Even if you’ve never had a business card before, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card is a great one with which to start.

Comments

  1. I’ve applied for a few business cards and have been approved every time, using the advice above. I sell items on EBay from time-to-time, so I say my income is $200. Truthful in every way.

  2. If you’re doing this for a side business do you think “Annual Business Revenue” should only include revinue generated there? For a lot of folks this may be very small in comparison to their total income reported (I include $ from my full-time job + my wife’s part-time self-employment + the tiny amount of free-lancing I still to + income from oil & mineral) when applying for personal credit cards.

  3. Has anyone been flagged for an Amex financial review on their business card, and had to justify whether certain transactions were for business purposes?

  4. I got Burned like 2 weeks ago on Rad visa Bus card WHICH I USED FOR THE 40K POINTS A YEAR AND $50 ANNUAL .. They sent me a letter in 3 weeks give us ur Tax ID or no card their changing things . I’m a Landlord Bus. man but a Sole Por thing ..Things are changing So What get another card..

    Next Citi P Card in 6 weeks apply I need 16 nites Hotel so every fourth one Free.

    CHEERs

  5. “the single most lucrative credit card for non-bonused spend”

    On what redemptions do you reliably exceed a one cent per point valuation for this to be true as compared to a no annual fee 2% cash back card?

  6. @JimT I can do biz class one way to Europe for 60-70K miles with Delta (that’s SEA->AMS). Delta is an Amex transfer partner. So, I transfer 70,000 MR points at 1:1 to Delta for that ticket. Since the Blue Biz Plus card earns at 2X, I had to spend $35,000 (really only $25,000 cause of the 20K signup bonus). Let’s assume I already burned the signup bonus. A typical 1 way fare, SEA->AMS in biz class is $1700. In other words, my 70,000 points were worth 2.4 cents each. And with the 2x multiplier, that’s really 4.8 cents each. Either way, that’s way better than the $700 I would get for 2% cash back on that $35K of credit card spend. And, if it’s part of my initial signup bonus ….. well, now it’s just downright awesome.

  7. The above is why I only use MR points to buy international biz class tix. Nickel and diming myself on domestic flights and hotel rooms makes no sense. I value MR points at 2 cents, or better, because of those international business class fares out of seattle. But I am very disciplined about not using those MR points for anything but international business class. Same with my Delta miles, actually. I refuse to use miles/points for domestic flights.

  8. Eric, if you transfer to flying blue you get the same Delta biz class for 62500. There’s tons of availability even in summer so yeah, great way to exceed the 2% from a cashback card. Now if your goalis flying US domestic then a 2% cash card might be better.

  9. There’s some data showing Amex may not give you a hard pull while approving you for their card if you are an existing customer.

  10. @Max – Can you share where you’ve heard this? What I’ve heard is that they won’t do a hard pull if you get *denied* and you’re an existing customer.

  11. @omatravel you are, of course, correct about KLM/AF/Flying Blue being a bit better deal on rewards travel. However, I’m a Delta flyer (cause of living in Seattle) due to my work/business travel. So, normally, I am combining Delta miles and Amex MR to get those flights. 🙂

    As we both noted, a 2% cashback card is great if you are looking to maximize rewards vs. domestic travel.

    Since I travel to virtually every airport in the US annually, for biz travel, I really don’t want to do US domestic travel. Combo of Amex, Flying Blue and SkyMiles means that my leisure travel is pretty much all business class to Europe. 🙂

  12. Even then I think 2% cash back get killed by the chase sapphire reserve/ ultimate rewards combo

  13. @Corey Sacken 2% cashback is only a good deal when you are looking at 1. pure cash back or 2. domestic US travel.

    CSR or Amex completely destroy that if you are looking at international travel.

  14. Csr beats it on domestic travel too. Coming with the 1.5% on all purchases nets. 2.25% return for travel. Long as you flezible you can find flezible rates. CSR uses Expedia.

    I’ve been using my 500k points on EU domestic travel all year and occasionally serviced apartments when cheaper than Airbnb.

  15. When you apply and click on the “?” next to “Total Annual Income”, you’ll see that they want all income available to you. That is income from your full time job, child support, alimony, etc. So it’s not that much different than a personal card in that sense. I run a blog that creates very minimal income to me but I consider it a business (I invest time and provide a service), so I will apply for this card eventually (just applied for and was approved for the Plat Amex SkyMiles card last week) and I’ll list the income from my dayjob as well. Hope this helps.

  16. Eric,

    Thank you for the response. I already have the CSR and AMEX SPG. What is your take on the best AMEX card options?

    JimT

  17. @ JimT — Chiming back in here, sorry I didn’t see your original comment. If I were you I’d go with either this card, or otherwise the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card, which offers up to 4.5x points at supermarkets, 3x points at gas stations, and 1.5x points on other purchases. That’s a very well rounded return on spend. But personally I think this is the hottest new Amex card, as two Membership Rewards points per dollar is awesome. This assumes you’re able to redeem Membership Rewards points efficiently, though.

  18. Lucky,

    Thank you for your response. My annual spending for the AMEX Everyday Preferred yields only about 15% more points compared to the AMEX Blue Business Plus assuming the 50% point bonus with the 30 transactions per month in a spreadsheet analysis. Thus, the Blue is a clear winner with no transaction minimum.

    I find point redemption value (efficiency as you say) to achieve an attractive net return to be a time consuming challenge for both Starwood and Chase Ultimate Rewards. Have a nice day.

  19. Thanks Ben. I already had a Blue Cash personal card, so got instantly approved for the business card for my new LLC, just using my SSN. Will check to see what shows up on my reports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *