Review: Amex Business Gold Rewards Card

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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 CardI’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.

Bottom line

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.

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Comments

  1. Hi Lucky: I don’t really have any business and don’t carry business credit card. Is there a way around getting this card. Also, let’s say I do not want to continue after 1 year, can I downgrade the card or I have to cancel the card? Thanks.

  2. Lucky, would appreciate your opinion. Should I sign up for Delta Amex (currently 70K) or Amex Platinum (currently 60K)? I’m based out of MIA, so delta presence is not too strong, but still can use 70K for a few domestic trips. AMEX Platinum isn’t bad either after all the kickbacks, but most benefits are already covered by Reserve and Prestige, and I rarely use uber. I only have the SPG card with AMEX. In both cases, I’d most likely cancel after one year.

  3. You may have a higher bonus offer if you call in and apply over the phone. Just ask for the 75k offer. If the rep asks for RSVP code, you can simply say “I don’t have one”. The rep may then ask your address to look up for an offer. I did not get any mailers or target offer, but called in and got approved for the 75k (50k for 5k spending, and additonal 25k for additional 5k spending).

  4. In the UK it’s a good card to earn more MR points if you travel (double points on airlines and foreign transactions, and triple points with Amex Travel). You also get 10,000 MR points at each anniversary, provided you spent 15k GBP in the membership year. Still, it’s better than the Platinum card which is 1GBP = 1MR on all transaction, no bonus categories… (we’re quite unfortunate in that sense, but I guess it comes with the lack of competition in the miles&points game).

    But otherwise it’s pretty poor perks-wise, it only gives 2 PP lounge visits per year.

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