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American Express just launched a new small business card and it’s going to appeal to a lot of people who are interested in earning Membership Rewards. It’s called the American Express OPEN Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card and here’s what it offers.
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- Earn 20,000 extra Membership Rewards points after you spend at least $3,000 in your first 3 months of Card Membership
- 2X on all purchases the first year (up to $50,000)
- No annual fee
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfer for the first 15 months
- No sign-up bonus (as of yet)
- Enjoy expanded buying power with the option to spend above your credit limit
- The amount above your credit limit is due in full each month as part of your Minimum Payment Due
American Express is claiming that this is “the only no-annual-fee small business credit card from a major issuer that offers 2X points with no category restrictions.” It’s designed for the small business owners out there who might need a little boost in spending power, whether that be for orders or more capital.
This is a very simple card in terms of its features but it could be pretty valuable for a number of reasons.
20,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend at least $3,000 in your first 3 months of Card Membership for a no annual fee card is pretty solid and perhaps we’ll see higher targeted offers roll around for this card in the near future.
2X on everything
If you value Membership Rewards at 2 cents per point, this card is essentially offering 4% back for the first year on all purchases up to $50,000. For no annual fee, that’s a great earning rate that outshines the The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express and the Chase Freedom Unlimited. This means that for all of your non-bonused spend, this will likely be one of the highest earning cards you can use.
The drawback is that this is capped at $50,000 and it will only last for one year, so after that you’ll be back to earning 1X on everything.
Retaining Membership Rewards
Many people resort to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express to keep their Membership Rewards from expiring. The reason is the EveryDay does not have an annual fee and as long as you hold on to that card your Membership Rewards are safe from expiring. However, that is a personal credit card so it reports to your credit report.
Since the Business Plus is a business card this means you could still get a free way to keep your Membership Rewards from expiring and not have to worry about this reporting to your credit report. If you’re under 5/24 then that could be really important to you.
I’m still waiting to hear confirmation, but a potential drawback to the Business Plus is that you might not be able to transfer your Membership Rewards to travel partners unless you have a different Membership Rewards earning card. So while this could help you preserve your Membership Rewards for a while, you may need another card to make proper use of them.
I think this card is ideally situated for someone looking to make a big purchase (or a few of them) in the near future who won’t be able to pay off their balance immediately. That’s because you’d get 0% interest on that purchase for 15 months. And since this is a business credit card, the balance will not reflect on your personal credit report so your credit score will not be hurt in any way by a potential increase in utilization.
Of course, you should make sure that you’ll be paying that off before the 15 month deadline but it’s something to consider.
There’s also the expanded buying power option that allows you to spend above your credit limit. The amount above your credit limit is due in full each month as part of your Minimum Payment Due, so this can be used like a hybrid charge/credit card, which is great for folks who need to occasionally make those large purchases on a credit card.
Replacing the Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express?
It looks like this card might be replacing The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express, a card that was known for offering some decent sign-up bonuses and great promotional rates on bonus earning. Still, with a 20,000 points sign-up bonus and 2X on all purchases, this card my end up earning more points for a lot of people all things considered.
As always, be sure to check the American Express application rules before you apply for an Amex card to make sure you’re not in violation of any of the rules or restrictions (and keep in mind this is a credit card and not a charge card).
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.