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The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is one of American Express’ most compelling business cards. There’s also something unique about the application process that’s worth pointing out, which might make a lot more people interested in this card.
Why the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card is awesome
There’s a lot to love about the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card, including:
- 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’s worth ~$850
- The card has a $175 annual fee, which is waived for the first year
What’s most compelling about the card, however, is the return on spend that it offers. 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.
Since I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, that means 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.
What makes the application process unique
When it comes to applying for Amex cards, I have a couple of considerations and limitations:
- You’re limited to having five American Express credit cards, and I seem to perpetually be maxed out on that — at the moment I have the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, the Hilton Honors Ascend Card, and the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
- In general I try to keep my credit card applications to a minimum, as I’d like to eventually get under Chase’s 5/24 limit, so that I can be approved for the excellent Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Why is this card noteworthy in that regard? The Amex Business Gold Rewards Card is a charge card and not a credit card. This means that the card doesn’t have a pre-set spending limit, and you can’t finance charges over time. Why does this matter?
- American Express has a limit of typically allowing people to have five Amex credit cards at any given point, though charge cards aren’t included in that total, so you can pick up that card on top of the five Amex credit cards
- American Express will typically only approve you for two credit cards in a 90 day period, though charge cards aren’t included in that total, so you could pick that up even if you’ve gotten two Amex credit cards in the past 90 days
- Anecdotally, applying for Amex business cards (whether credit or charge) doesn’t count towards Chase’s 5/24 limit, and usually won’t even count towards your credit score
The Amex Business Gold Rewards Card is an all around compelling card with great bonus categories, a big sign-up bonus, and a waived annual fee for the first year. On top of that, there are some other aspects to the card that make it even more compelling, including it not counting towards the typical Amex credit card limit, which many of us are restricted by.