Business Gold Rewards Card
Best Small Business Credit Card of the Year
The Business Gold Rewards card from American Express is a great charge card for small business owners and independent contractors whose expenses fall into the following categories: air travel, advertising, shipping, gas, and computer hardware, software and services. The card earns Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to multiple travel partners or redeemed for airfare through American Express Travel. You can also use points for merchant gift cards and statement credits.
Membership Rewards points are worth one cent each through Amex Travel, but they can be worth significantly more when transferred to one of the program’s 17 airline and three hotel partners. The Business Gold Rewards card comes with a generous sign-up bonus of 50,000 points, making it a good choice for small business owners that value flexible rewards.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Business Gold Rewards Card offers and the value of the AMEX Membership Rewards® points you earn.
The Business Gold Rewards card presents new cardholders with a welcome offer of 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. The bonus is worth at least $500 when redeeming points at a rate of one cent each through Amex Travel, but you can also convert points to airline miles, in which case the value can increase significantly.
In addition, American Express cardholders have access to preferred seating at major concert venues. Tickets available through the Preferred Seating program are available to cardholders at no extra cost and must be purchased with an eligible Amex card. Availability varies by performance, and blackout dates apply.
What You Get
- Earn 50,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Select one category of purchases to earn 3 points per dollar: airfare, media, gas, shipping or computer expenses. Remaining categories still earn 2 points per dollar
Amex rewards points do not expire as long as the card is active and the account is in good standing. However, if you close the account for any reason, the points will be gone. Cardholders can keep their flexible points by holding at least one active card in the Membership Rewards program, such as the Enhanced Business Platinum card or the Blue Business Plus credit card. Transferring Membership Rewards points to one of the American Express partners will keep them safe in that specific program.
What is the value of the Membership Rewards® Points?
Membership Rewards points transfer to a variety of airline and hotel partners, including Aeromexico Club Premier, Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Alitalia MilleMiglia, All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, El Al Israel Airlines Frequent Flyer Club, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Virgin America Elevate, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors, Starwood Preferred Guest and Plenti. Most point transfers are 1-to-1, but there are a couple of exceptions.
Travelers who use the Pay with Points feature via American Express Travel can redeem Membership Rewards points at a rate of one cent each. Flights that are booked with points through Amex Travel are eligible to accrue both redeemable and elite qualifying miles.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Business Gold Rewards Card Points
The best way to redeem Amex Membership Rewards points is by transferring them to airline partners. The best options include Air Canada for Star Alliance award space, Air France KLM and Delta for SkyTeam award space, and British Airways for oneworld award space.
Some programs are zone-based, some are revenue-based and others are distance-based, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with each program’s award charts and learn the best redemption opportunities. Successful redemptions are all about having options, and the Membership Rewards program certainly offers that to card members.
Austin–New YorkEconomy classMiles price15,000points+$29 feeDollars price$299
Chicago–Los AngelesEconomy classMiles price24,700points+$0 feeDollars price$247
Seattle–DenverEconomy classMiles price18,600points+$0 feeDollars price$186
Newark–MoscowEconomy classMiles price51,500points+$251 feeDollars price$810
Los Angeles–ParisEconomy classMiles price49,750points+$300 feeDollars price$1,605
Houston–FrankfurtEconomy classMiles price49,750points+$360 feeDollars price$1,777
Miami–HonoluluBusiness classMiles price80,000points+$20 feeDollars price$2,083
Miami–WashingtonBusiness classMiles price52,900points+$0 feeDollars price$529
Pittsburgh–HoustonBusiness classMiles price50,000points+$13 feeDollars price$827
Washington–PortoBusiness classMiles price88,000points+$503 feeDollars price$5,041
Los Angeles–Tel AvivBusiness classMiles price104,000points+$395 feeDollars price$4,403
Atlanta–MadridBusiness classMiles price88,000points+$654 feeDollars price$4,044
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays3 partners3 part.
American Express rewards points transfer to Choice Privilege at a 1-to-1 ratio, to Hilton Honors at a ratio of 1-to-1.5 and to Starwood Preferred Guest at a ratio of 1,000-333. But these options don’t present the best value for MR points. They can be worth a lot more when transferred to airline partners.
Cardholders can choose to redeem their Membership Rewards points for statement credits applied toward their monthly bill, but as with gift cards, this isn’t the best use of your points.
Car Rental4 partners4 part.
You can redeem MR points for certificates that can be used at Amex’s four rental car partners.
Gift Cards64 partners64 part.
The Membership Rewards program partners with 64 merchants, allowing you to redeem points for gift cards. However, a redemption rate of one cent per point is the best you’ll get, and some merchants offer even less value.
Everyday Earnings with Business Gold Rewards Card
The Business Gold Rewards card earns bonus points in several categories: airfare purchased directly from airlines, advertising in select U.S. media, at U.S. gas stations, for U.S. shipping, and for computer hardware, software and cloud computing purchases at select U.S. providers. Business owners earn three points per dollar for one category of their choice and two points per dollar for the remaining four categories. The limit is set at $100,000 annually per bonus category. The card earns one point per dollar on everything else and after the maximum limit in bonus categories is reached.
- All Other Purchases
No Foreing Transaction Fee
You’ll never have to pay extra to use your card while travelling abroad.
Get access to preferred seating at major concert venues with your Amex card.
Fees: the cost of Having Business Gold Rewards Card
- Annual Fee
- $0 first year, $175 after that
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- $38 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater.
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $3,223 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
The Business Gold Rewards Card has an annual fee of $175 that is waived for the first year, giving business owners an opportunity to assess the card’s benefits. Let’s assume you value your Membership Rewards points at 1.81 cents each. Without taking any bonus categories into account, you will need to spend $9,669 annually before you break even. Small businesses whose yearly spending goes above $9,669 will come out ahead by using this card to cover business expenses.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Business Gold Rewards card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the The Business Gold Rewards Card
The Business Gold Rewards card from American Express is a solid card for small business owners who cover a lot of expenses and seek rewards. Below are the top five benefits of this card.
- Choose Your Own Bonus Category: This card lets you choose the most rewarding category from five options optimized for businesses: airfare, shipping, advertising, gas and computer hardware/software. You get to control the rewards you earn.
- Generous Earning Structure: You earn bonus points in five different categories, which is generous for a business rewards card. If you max out every category, you’d earn more than a million bonus points annually.
- Sign-Up Bonus: The card’s generous sign-up bonus is worth at least $500, which is enough to justify getting this card. Plus the points are transferrable, which can increase their value substantially.
- Travel Protection: Simply using this card to pay for travel offers certain benefits. The card comes with coverage for rental cars; lost, damaged or delayed bags; and travel accidents.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: Foreign transaction fees can be as high as three percent per transaction with other cards, but you’ll never pay extra to use the Business Gold Rewards card.
Should You Get the Business Gold Rewards Card?
The Business Gold Rewards Card offers plenty of value to small business owners and independent contractors who spend quite a bit on expenses. You’ll receive 50,000 Membership Rewards points just for signing up and spending $5,000, and you can earn a lot more points quickly, thanks to this card’s generous bonus categories.
It is a great business card for those that spend a lot on airfare, shipping, advertising, fuel and computing services. The rewards rate of two to three percent on up to $100,000 is hard to beat.
Membership Rewards points can be transferred to partners or used as cash through the travel center, which gives you a way to purchase a ticket with points when award seats aren’t available directly from the airline. Flexibility in both earning and redeeming is one of the strongest features of this card.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Applying for a business card is a good way of establishing a credit history for your business and keeping personal and business expenses separate. Most of the Business Gold Rewards card’s bonus categories are business-related, and paying those expenses with a business card can make your quarterly or yearly taxes much easier to file. All business spending is organized in one place and easy to access. Trust me, your accountant will thank you. It is also beneficial to issue employee cards that are attached to a single business account so that employees don’t have to deal with reimbursement forms later.
- The Business Gold Rewards card from American Express is a charge card. That means the balance has to be paid off in full every month. Additionally, not having a preset credit limit offers flexibility and gives you more spending power. Eligible business owners might be invited to enroll in the Pay Over Time option, which allows members to carry balances on purchases that are $100 or more, just like a regular credit card. Interest rates are calculated based on creditworthiness, but we do not recommend carrying a balance because doing so can wipe out the value of all the rewards you earn.
- Yes, additional employee cards cost $50 each, but the fee is waived for the first year. Employee cards are a great option to generate even more rewards that will add up in the primary account. That’s especially true with this card because of its many double- and triple-earning purchase categories. Employee cards also save the hassle of using personal cards and filling out paperwork for reimbursement afterward. The primary cardholder will be responsible for all the charges made on employee cards, but it’s possible to set spending limits on those cards.
Compare American Express Credit Cards
When it comes to rewards cards, American Express knows what’s up. In addition to the Business Gold Rewards card, the issuer offers the Platinum card, the Business Platinum card and the personal Premier Rewards Gold. Let’s compare them.
Other American Express Credit Cards
|American Express® Platinum Card®||American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card||Business Platinum Card®|
|Sign-up bonus||60,000 points||50,000 points||25,000 points||50,000 points|
|Annual Fee||$550||$0 first year, $175 after that||$0 for the first year, then $195||$450|
|APR On Purchases||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Second Year Value||$434||$434||$434||$434|
The Platinum card from American Express is a premium rewards card that charges an annual fee of $550 and offers the most benefits. Some perks include a $200 airline free credit, a $200 Uber credit, access to many airport lounges and five points per dollar spent on airfare. This card is a great fit for a frequent traveler who values flexibility and luxury.
The personal version of the Premier Rewards Gold card is one of the most rewarding cards on the market. It earns three points per dollar for airfare purchased directly from airlines; two points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets; and one point per dollar everywhere else. For an annual fee of just $195 (waived for the first year), both casual and frequent travelers alike can get a lot of value out of this card.
The Business Platinum card is another Membership Rewards charge card designed for businesses. It comes with a $450 annual fee, a $200 airline fee credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck enrollment reimbursement and a 35-percent rebate for points redeemed for select tickets. This card is perfect for business owners who travel, enjoy lounge access and spend a lot on business expenses.
Compare Business Gold Rewards Card to Other Cards
The Business Gold Rewards card is a good card for anyone that spends a lot in the bonus categories, but there are other options for business cards. All the cards below earn travel rewards and offer various redemption opportunities.
The Starwood Preferred Guest Business card from American Express is a hotel rewards credit card. Starpoints earned with this card can be redeemed for free hotel rooms at Starwood and Marriott properties, as well as for flights when transferred to nearly 30 airline partners. This business card earns some of the most valuable points on the market and is a great choice for someone who values the flexibility it offers.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card from Bank of America is good for business owners who frequently fly on Alaska or Virgin America. This card earns triple miles with both airlines, which is a better reward rate than many other co-branded airline cards offer. Additionally, the card comes with its coveted Companion Fare, which allows the primary cardholder to book an additional ticket for a friend or a family member on the same flight for just $99 plus taxes.
The Ink Plus Business credit card from Chase earns three points per dollar in the following categories: shipping, travel, telecommunications services (phone, cable and Internet) and advertising on social media and search engines. The annual fee of $95 is lower than the Business Gold Rewards card’s fee. It’s a great choice for those who prefer collecting Ultimate Rewards over Membership Rewards.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Business Gold Rewards card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Amex card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Minimum Grace Period:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- The original manufacturer’s warranty can be extended up to one additional year. Applies to warranties of five years or less.
- Purchase Protection:
- Use your card and your purchases can be protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days.
- Return Protection:
- Amex will refund you for eligible purchases charged entirely on your card. Coverage is limited to 90 days from purchase and up to $300 per item, for up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Cash Advance Fee:
- See Terms and Conditions
Security and Protections
Amex will refund you for eligible purchases charged entirely on your card. Coverage is limited to 90 days from purchase and up to $300 per item, for up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal, about employee spending and when your bill’s due.
- Emi Chip Technology
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Reports
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history.
Amex cards are compatible with many NFC (near-field communication) payment options. More and more merchants, both physical locations and online stores, allow customers to pay via mobile wallet apps, which are quick and simple to use.
- Mobile Banking:
- Do your banking on the go with Amex’s mobile app
- Compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay
Additional Cardholder Benefits
American Express Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- This benefit provides a secondary collision damage or theft waiver when you use the card to pay for a rental and decline coverage offered by the rental company. Coverage kicks in after your primary insurance has exhausted its allowance. The plan covers a maximum of $50,000 per rental agreement.
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- Any time baggage is delayed by six hours or more, cardholders can get reimbursed the cost of essentials, such as toiletries and clothing, up to $100 per day for three days.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Card members receive secondary coverage for their checked and carry-on luggage. It’s possible to get a reimbursement of up to $1,250 for a lost carry-on bag and up to $500 for a lost checked bag per person when the entire fare is purchased with the Business Gold Rewards card or Membership Rewards points.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Premium roadside assistance covers cardholders up to four times per year when they're in their car and need towing (up to 10 miles), winching, lockout service, battery jump, flat tire change or fuel delivery (up to 2 gallons). Coverage is available in the United States, District of Columbia, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- This benefit covers unexpected events, bodily injuries and loss of life when using a common carrier to travel. To be covered, you must purchase the entire fare with your Amex card or Membership Rewards points. The plan pays up to $50,000 for loss of one hand or foot, or sight in one eye, and up to $100,000 for loss of both hands, feet or eyes, or your life.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Amex can help you find medical help, legal assistance, emergency messaging, emergency transportation or cash advances. Cardholder is still required to cover the cost of the actual services.