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When it comes to premium business cards that offer a great return on spend, I tend to think that the two best are The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. I’ve written a review of the Ink Business Preferred in the past, though I realized that I’ve never reviewed the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card, so that’s what I wanted to do in this post.
The card has a great sign-up bonus, offers huge bonus categories, has some perks that make it a keeper long term, and is generally quite easy to be approved for. So let’s take a closer look at the benefits:
Amex Business Gold Rewards Card sign-up bonus
The card has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months. I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me that means the sign-up bonus is worth $850, which is one of the best sign-up bonuses out there.
The welcome bonus on this card is “once in a lifetime,” meaning you can’t get the bonus on the card if you’ve had it before.
Amex Business Gold Rewards Card annual fee
The card has a $175 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year. So this is a great card that you can “try before you buy,” so to speak.
Amex Business Gold Rewards Card return on spend
The Business Gold Rewards Card has some of the most generous bonus categories of any business card out there. Specifically, the card offers bonus points in the following five categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You can choose one category in which you want to earn 3x points, and then you earn 2x points in the remaining four categories. The bonus points apply to the first $100,000 spent annually in each of the five categories, so that’s potentially a lot of bonus points.
As I said above, I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, meaning you’re earning the equivalent of a ~3.4% return in four of the above categories, and a ~5.1% return in one of the above five categories.
Amex Business Gold Rewards Card approval odds
The Business Gold Rewards Card is a charge card, meaning you have to pay your balance off in full each month. While Amex typically limits you to five credit cards, that limit doesn’t include charge cards. So if you’re otherwise maxed out in terms of the number of Amex credit cards you can get, this is a fantastic card to consider.
On top of that, for those with excellent credit, I find Amex business cards to be incredibly easy to be approved for. Anecdotally most people I’ve heard from have reported instant approvals on this card, so it really shouldn’t be very tough to be approved for, even if you haven’t gotten many business cards in the past.
Amex Business Gold Rewards Card best complement
If you want to greatly increase your points earning potential without paying an additional annual fee, you can’t beat getting The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express in addition to the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card. The Blue Business Plus has no annual fee, and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year.
That’s the best return offered on any card for non-bonused spend, in my opinion. You’ll be able to pool the Membership Rewards points earned on both cards, so I’d recommend using the Blue Business Plus for the first $50,000 of non-bonused spend each year, and put the balance of the spend on the Business Gold Rewards Card.
Amex Business Gold Rewards Card best substitute
The biggest competitor to the Business Gold Rewards Card is the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This card:
- Offers a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Has a $95 annual fee
- Offers triple points on the first $150,000 spent per calendar year on combined purchases of travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- Offers great car rental coverage, as well as an unparalleled cell phone plan
It’s tough to say which card is better, as it all depends on what you’re looking for. The Ink Preferred has a better sign-up bonus, while the Business Gold Rewards is way easier to get approved for. The Ink Preferred offers bigger bonus categories, but they’re capped at a much lower amount. Then there’s the question of whether you want to earn Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards points.
The Amex Business Gold Rewards Card is one of the most well rounded business cards out there — it has a big sign-up bonus, great return on spend, waived annual fee for the first year, and anecdotally is quite easy to be approved for, especially as it’s a charge card. If you’re in the market for a new business card, this is certainly a great one to consider. Even better, get it in conjunction with the Blue Business Plus, and you’ll really supercharge your points earning potential.