In today’s fast-paced business world, having a reliable and rewarding credit card for your business expenses is crucial. The American Express® Business Gold Card has emerged as a popular choice among business owners and entrepreneurs. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the features, benefits, and overall value of this card, helping you make an informed decision for your business financial needs.
The American Express® Business Gold Card is designed to cater to the unique financial needs of businesses. With its array of benefits and rewards, it has gained considerable attention in the corporate world. Let’s dive into the details to understand why this card has become a popular choice for businesses.
American Express® Business Gold Card Overview
The American Express Business Gold Card is considered one of the top choices for small-business owners seeking to maximize rewards from their daily business expenditures, especially when aiming for valuable travel redemptions. Its generous rewards program, offering high points accrual rates on up to $150,000 per year in two selected business spending categories, including travel, select U.S. advertising, select U.S. technology providers, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. restaurants, makes it an ideal fit for entrepreneurs with a mix of recurring business expenses and everyday spending habits.
However, it’s important to note that this card might not meet the expectations of business owners in search of lavish luxury perks, and its annual fee may exceed the budget of some. If you prioritize flashy benefits or anticipate insufficient spending to justify the annual fee, you may want to explore alternatives with lower annual fees.
The American Express Business Gold Card boasts an appealing rewards program:
- 4X points on up to $150,000 per year in two categories where your business spends the most in each billing cycle; thereafter, it’s 1X points.
- 2X points on rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com.
- 1X points on general purchases.
Furthermore, the card features an enticing welcome offer of 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Rates and Fees
Here are the key aspects to consider regarding rates and fees:
- Annual Fee: $295
- Late Payment Fee: $39 or 2.99 percent of any past due amounts not paid in full, whichever is greater.
- Penalty APR: 29.99 percent
- Regular APR: 19.49 percent to 27.49 percent (variable Pay Over Time APR)
- No foreign transaction fee
Other Cardholder Perks
In addition to its rewards program, the American Express Business Gold Card offers various other benefits, including:
- The Hotel Collection (THC) benefits
- Accidental damage or theft protection
- Pay Over Time
- Baggage insurance plan
Amex Business Gold Pros and Cons
- Cardmembers enjoy elevated rewards rates in their top two eligible bonus categories, along with 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel.
- It offers valuable travel benefits and insurance coverage for frequent travelers, including trip and baggage delay insurance.
- The card’s expense management tools assist business owners in monitoring day-to-day spending and finances.
- It features a flexible spending limit that allows carrying a balance with Pay Over Time.
- Cardmembers can only maximize the highest rewards rate in two eligible categories, and rewards are subject to a $150,000 annual spending cap.
- The $295 annual fee is relatively high compared to other cards offering similar features.
- It lacks airport lounge access and some of the luxurious perks found in premium business cards focused on travel rewards.
Why You Might Want the American Express Business Gold
The American Express Business Gold card is an attractive option for business owners due to its high spending cap for purchases in everyday and business-related categories, providing ample versatility. The inclusion of Pay Over Time, offering a flexible credit limit, is another advantage. Moreover, the card’s welcome offer brings it in line with cards featuring similar annual fees.
Welcome offer: Valuable points for Amex enthusiasts The American Express Business Gold Card presents an enticing welcome offer of 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership (terms apply). While this offer is 30,000 points lower than its previous iteration, it still holds significant value for those who can make the most of it.
It’s worth noting that, compared to the welcome bonuses of similar business cards, the upfront value of the Amex Business Gold card’s offer may fall short. Some business cards provide comparable bonuses with lower spending requirements. For instance, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers a $750 welcome offer for spending $6,000 in the first three months, with no annual fee. Unless you can maximize the Business Gold card’s offer through strategic point transfers, the Ink Business Cash card’s bonus offers better value with lower spending requirements—an attractive option for cardholders valuing simplicity and lower financial commitment.
Luckily, American Express boasts one of the most flexible rewards programs—American Express Membership Rewards. While other business cards may offer attractive welcome bonuses with lower spending requirements, the potential value ceiling is lower compared to what you can achieve with American Express Membership Rewards, known for being among the most valuable credit card rewards.
It’s advisable to explore the American Express Membership Rewards portal to understand the available redemption methods, especially travel transfers. If you find a suitable transfer partner, you can calculate the value derived from these versatile points. On average, this welcome offer can be worth $875 toward eligible flights through the American Express travel portal. However, based on our latest points valuation, it can potentially reach up to $1,470 when partnering with the right American Express transfer partner.
Rewards Rate: Exceptional Value for Travel Redemptions
The rewards system operates automatically, tracking your transactions after each billing cycle to determine the two of the following six bonus categories where you spent the most:
- Airfare purchased directly from an airline
- Advertising (purchased in the U.S. to promote your business online, on TV, or radio)
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. shipping costs
- U.S. computer software, hardware, and cloud data purchases made directly from select providers
You earn 4X points on expenditures in these two categories, up to $150,000 in combined bonus category spending for the calendar year. Beyond this limit, you’ll earn only 1X points on those purchases. All other expenses not qualifying for 4X rewards will still earn 1X points.
Similar to the welcome offer, the American Express Business Gold Card’s maximum value lies in the Membership Rewards point program. You can combine points with other Amex cards within the program or transfer them to loyalty programs of travel partners for enhanced value. Although transferring points provides the best redemption value, you can still benefit from travel redemptions through AmexTravel.com.
If you prefer simplicity, booking flights through the Amex portal offers the best value since you receive a 1:1 redemption rate plus a 25 percent points rebate (up to 250,000 points per year) on eligible flights, resulting in a point value of 1.25 cents each.
For those seeking maximum value through strategic point transfers, it’s essential to identify the right transfer partner to achieve approximately 2.1 cents per point. Other travel and non-travel redemption options yield a value ranging from 0.5 to 0.7 cents per point.
Perks: The Hotel Collection Benefits Offset Annual Fee
Booking an eligible property within The Hotel Collection through American Express travel for a minimum of two consecutive nights can yield several benefits. These include a $150 complimentary night/property credit, a $100 hotel credit applicable to qualifying activities (such as eligible dining, spa, and resort activities varying by property), and a room upgrade upon arrival (if available). This perk accumulates up to $250 in hotel credits, significantly mitigating the card’s annual fee.
While these perks are the only recurring credits associated with the Amex Business Gold, they may suffice for business owners who frequently travel and can maximize their value. Offsetting most of the annual fee with a hotel credit is a pragmatic approach to ensuring that your credit card generates more in rewards than it costs to hold.
Why You Might Prefer a Different Business Card
In conclusion, the American Express Business Gold Card offers robust travel and business rewards, but its benefits may not match the expectations of all business owners. Success with this card heavily depends on significant spending in the specified bonus categories to justify the annual fee, which can be more accessible for some cardholders than others. If your expenditure isn’t expected to surpass the card’s $295 annual fee, you might want to explore alternatives, even if they offer lower rewards rates.
Rates and Fees: Potentially Challenging to Offset the Annual Fee
One notable drawback of the American Express Business Gold Card is its $295 annual fee, which exceeds the annual fees of most other business credit cards. While it’s possible to offset this cost through rewards, you’ll need to spend a minimum of $300 monthly in your 4X categories (based on our 2.1-cent per point valuation) just to break even. This calculation assumes the card’s maximum point valuation. If you prefer a straightforward redemption method, such as travel through Amex’s rewards program, you’ll need to spend at least $500 monthly throughout the year in 4X categories to break even, with your points valued at 1.25 cents each when redeeming them for eligible flights on AmexTravel.com.
Additionally, you earn points from employee card spending, seemingly making it easier to offset the card’s annual fee. However, your card shares the same $150,000 spending cap for earning 4X points with employee cards, and the point value decreases when you redeem points for purposes other than travel.
At the lowest redemption rate of 0.5 cents per point, you’d need to spend at least $1,250. Predictably, redemptions yielding less than 1 cent each are impractical and necessitate substantial card spending to counter upfront expenses like annual fees. If you don’t regularly redeem points for travel, this card’s annual fee could present a considerable challenge to offset.
Insurance: Travel and Purchase Protections Might Not Satisfy for the Price
Using your card provides some reliable insurance coverage for your baggage (up to $1,250 for carry-on and up to $500 for checked baggage) and covered trip delays lasting more than 12 hours (up to $300 per incident, with up to two claims allowed within a 12-month period). Eligible purchases are also protected against accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the purchase date (up to $1,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per account per calendar year). Additionally, it extends any original manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less by one year.
While these protections are substantial, they don’t position the Business Gold as the premier credit card for travel insurance. It lacks certain valuable travel insurances found in less expensive cards, such as a $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit.
First-year Value vs. Ongoing Value
The Business Gold Card doesn’t offer as many recurring benefits or credits as some luxury business cards, meaning that offsetting the annual fee largely depends on the rewards you can accumulate through spending.
Despite the seemingly daunting $295 annual fee, it shouldn’t be too challenging to offset if you engage in substantial spending within the card’s 4X categories.
For the average small-business owner, annual rewards of approximately $2,000 can be anticipated based on a redemption value of 1.25 cents per point and our business card value scoring formula, which assumes an annual expenditure of $40,000. High spenders who fully leverage the card’s 4X rewards rate, by spending $150,000 in the card’s 4X bonus categories and redeeming points at a value of 1.25 cents per point, could potentially earn around $7,500 in annual rewards value.
Here’s an overview of how your earnings might break down in the first year and beyond, based on our business card value scoring formula and a redemption value of 1.25 cents per point:
Benefits and Costs
Ongoing value (no welcome offers)
|+$875 (Membership Rewards sign-up bonus points redeemed through American Express Travel with the 25% Airline Bonus)
|Perks (of monetary value)
|+$250 (combined credits for qualifying bookings with The Hotel Collection)
|+$250 (combined credits for qualifying bookings with The Hotel Collection)
How the American Express Business Gold Card Compares to Other Business Cards
While the Amex Business Gold card is an excellent choice for businesses with substantial expenses falling within the card’s select bonus categories, there may be better alternatives for small-business owners seeking premium benefits like lounge access or a card with a lower annual fee while still offering competitive rewards.
American Express® Business Gold Card
- Annual fee: $295
- Intro offer: Earn 70,000 points
- Rewards rate: 1X – 4X
- Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Annual fee: $695
- Intro offer: Earn 120,000 points
- Rewards rate: 1X – 5X
- Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Annual fee: $95
- Intro offer: 100,000 points
- Rewards rate: 1X – 3X
- Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Amex Business Gold vs. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The American Express Business Gold Card proves to be an excellent choice for business owners who regularly incur expenses and can effectively translate their rewards into valuable travel benefits. Its attractive redemption rates for eligible travel expenses help offset the card’s reasonable annual fee. Additionally, the card offers generous rewards in versatile spending categories each month. The only aspect it may lack for avid travelers seeking luxury perks.
For those whose primary focus is on travel perks, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express presents a compelling option. It comes with a host of frills and benefits that more than compensate for its substantial $695 annual fee, making it a potentially superior choice for frequent business travelers. However, it’s important to note that offsetting the card’s high annual fee with rewards earnings can be challenging. While its welcome offer surpasses that of the Business Gold card, it doesn’t provide recurring value, highlighting the annual fee’s significance year after year.
Amex Business Platinum cardholders can enjoy annual travel benefits worth $830, including airport lounge access and statement credits. These benefits renew each year, ensuring that the card maintains its value over time.
One significant distinction between the two cards is that with the American Express Business Platinum card, you must pay the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. If you prioritize greater payment flexibility, the Amex Business Gold emerges as the clear winner as it offers the Pay Over Time feature.
Amex Business Gold vs. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
If you’re not exclusively committed to American Express, it’s worth noting that Chase business credit cards pose as formidable contenders in the market. Among them, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card stands out with a set of features and benefits that make it a strong competitor to the Amex Business Gold Card.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card shares several bonus categories with the Amex Business Gold Card, including select advertising and shipping, internet, cable, and phone services. However, it holds an edge by offering a higher rewards rate for general travel, providing 3X points on travel expenses compared to the Amex Business Gold’s 2X points on rental cars through AmexTravel.com or 4X points on eligible airfare. While it may lack the Amex Business Gold’s high-value categories for U.S. gas stations, restaurants, and computer software, it compensates for this by encompassing these expenses within its travel category.
Moreover, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card boasts a significantly lower annual fee, set at just $95. If cost savings is among your primary concerns, the Ink Preferred may prove to be a more cost-effective choice, especially if your business incurs travel expenses beyond rental cars.
In summary, while the American Express Business Gold Card offers a robust rewards program and benefits, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card presents a compelling alternative for business owners seeking to optimize their travel and overall spending while keeping costs in check.
Best Cards to Pair with the American Express Business Gold
To maximize value, it’s advisable to use the American Express Business Gold Card exclusively for expenses falling within two of the card’s six bonus categories. For the remaining four categories and purchases earning only 1X points, consider a rewards credit card with no annual fee that offers high rewards across all purchases or in specific business-relevant categories.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
If you frequently make business-related purchases at U.S. gas stations and restaurants, you can utilize the American Express Business Gold Card for those expenses. However, for other essential purchases, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card presents a compelling option. This card comes with no annual fee and offers an attractive cashback rewards structure, making it a valuable addition to your wallet.
With the Ink Business Cash card, you can earn 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services annually. Additionally, the card offers 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants. This flexibility makes the Ink Business Cash card an excellent choice, especially if you surpass the spending limit of the Amex Business Gold Card in these categories. It ensures that you can continue to earn rewarding cashback on your business expenditures.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Another enticing option to consider is a flat-rate credit card. If you prefer a straightforward approach without the hassle of tracking various spending categories or remembering which ones earn the most points, you’ll find the simplicity of earning a consistent rate on all your purchases appealing. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, a no-annual-fee card, offers precisely that convenience. With this card, you can earn a flat rate of 2X points on your purchases (up to $50,000 in spending each year, and then 1X points thereafter). A flat-rate card like this serves as an excellent catch-all card, perfect for expenses that fall outside the categories covered by the Amex Business Gold Card.
Who Is the Amex Business Gold Right For?
In summary, the American Express Business Gold Card is a strong choice for:
- Business owners focused on maximizing rewards
- Frequent travelers with substantial expenses
Business owners with ample budgets and extensive travel plans will find the American Express Business Gold Card worth considering. If your business has dedicated spending within two top bonus categories, you can easily offset the annual fee while taking advantage of an attractive welcome offer and a diverse range of travel partners.
For those who are avid rewards seekers, the American Express Business Gold Card offers a compelling opportunity. While the card’s 4X rewards category might initially appear restrictive as it’s limited to just two categories, it can prove to be a valuable tool for maximizing your earnings based on your business’s specific needs.
For instance, if you frequently engage in client meetings, your travel and restaurant expenses can become significant sources of rewards. Similarly, when launching a new product or service, your spending on advertising and shipping can translate into substantial rewards.
The card’s 4X rewards rate comes with a spending cap of $150,000, providing ample flexibility throughout the year, depending on the scale of your business operations. Additionally, you have the advantage of combining the points you earn with this card with those accumulated on other Amex cards, further increasing your overall rewards potential.
In summary, the American Express Business Gold Card is an ideal choice for rewards enthusiasts who wish to strategically maximize their earnings by aligning their spending with the card’s generous rewards categories and spending cap.
The American Express Business Gold Card is particularly well-suited for high-spend travelers. American Express has a strong reputation among travelers, and this card is no exception when it comes to offering appealing benefits for those frequently on the move.
With the Membership Rewards program, you have the potential to accumulate a substantial number of points, particularly in the 4X points category. You can earn up to 600,000 points in this category, which translates to a remarkable $12,600 in value (assuming an average point transfer value of 2.1 cents). Additionally, for car rentals booked through AmexTravel.com, you can earn 2X points without any spending cap. This feature can prove to be invaluable when redeeming points for business trip flights, making it an excellent choice for business travelers.
When it comes to hotel stays, you can fully maximize The Hotel Collection’s benefits. This includes a $150 annual credit for property stays of at least two consecutive nights, along with a $100 credit that can be utilized for various activities and room upgrades, enhancing your overall travel experience.
The Amex Business Gold Card is an exceptional option for high-spending travelers, offering a multitude of benefits and rewards that can significantly enhance your travel adventures.
Finance Devil’s assessment of the American Express Business Gold Card is as follows:
For business owners with substantial budgets and extensive travel plans, the American Express Business Gold Card can prove to be a valuable investment. The card’s potential for earning rewards and the array of travel benefits it offers can easily justify the annual fee. Moreover, the card welcomes you with an attractive welcome offer and provides access to a robust selection of travel partners, further enhancing its value.
However, if you have reservations about your ability to offset the annual fee through rewards earnings, this card may not be the most suitable choice for your business. Additionally, if your business operates on a tighter budget or has fewer travel requirements, you may not fully leverage the card’s rewards potential, making it less advantageous for your specific needs.
In summary, the American Express Business Gold Card is a compelling option for certain business owners, particularly those with ample resources and a focus on travel benefits. However, it may not be the ideal choice for all business scenarios, so careful consideration of your business’s spending habits and requirements is advised before applying for this card.
However, if you’re uncertain about your ability to offset the annual fee or have a lower business budget with fewer travel requirements, this card may not be the best fit for your business. Owners with limited spending or less frequent travel needs may not fully realize the card’s rewards potential.
Frequently Asked Questions
What credit score is needed for the Amex Business Gold?
- To have the best approval chances for the American Express Business Gold card, it’s recommended to have a good-to-excellent credit score. This typically translates to a FICO score of 670 or higher, or a VantageScore of 661 or higher.
What is the credit limit on the Amex Business Gold?
- The American Express Business Gold card is a charge card, which means it does not have a preset credit limit like traditional credit cards. Instead, it offers the flexibility of a charge card, allowing you to make purchases as long as you pay off the balance in full each billing statement.
Does the Amex Business Gold provide access to airport lounges?
- No, the American Express Business Gold card does not offer complimentary access to airport lounges, including American Express-branded lounges. Unlike premium business cards designed for travel, it does not include this benefit.
Can you upgrade from the Business Gold to the Business Platinum?
- Yes, you can certainly upgrade from the American Express Business Gold card to the Business Platinum card. If you’ve determined that the Business Platinum card would better suit your needs, you can contact the number provided on the back of your Business Gold card and request an upgrade. This approach can be advantageous as it avoids the temporary credit score dip associated with applying for a new credit card. Keep in mind that when you upgrade, you won’t be eligible for the welcome offer associated with the new card. Additionally, you must upgrade to another American Express business card.
Please note that terms and conditions may vary, so it’s advisable to contact American Express directly for specific details on upgrades and eligibility.
In this article, we’ve explored the American Express® Business Gold Card from every angle, giving you a comprehensive understanding of its features and benefits.
In conclusion, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers a host of benefits, rewards, and tools tailored to meet the needs of businesses. It’s crucial to weigh these advantages against the associated costs and consider how well the card aligns with your business objectives. Remember that the suitability of this card depends on your unique business needs and preferences. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision. Happy business card hunting!