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American Express is one of my favorite credit card issuers because they have terrific transfer partners, great customer service, and a host of extremely valuable charge cards and credit cards. In this article, I’m going to review what I think are some of the best Amex Business cards are and also crown which American Express business card is best.
And the best American Express business card is…
1. Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card
The Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card is a new credit card option offered by American Express but it’s my favorite business card because it offers an easy and convenient way to earn a lot of Membership Rewards and it comes with no annual fee. Here’s what the card features:
- 2x Membership Rewards points on all purchases up to $50K
- No annual fee
- 0% interest intro period for 15 months (works for balance transfers, too)
Sometimes this card comes with a 25,000 point sign-up bonus and when it does, that’s when it’s the best American Express business card to me. But even without the sign-up bonus, this card is still a strong contender. The reason is that this card earns 2X Membership Rewards on every single purchase up to $50,000 each year. That’s a phenomenal return. If you value Membership Rewards at 1.8 cents per point, then that’s a 3.6% return on every purchase. Again, that’s a phenomenal return for a no annual fee card.
This Amex business card also has a 0% interest introduction period that could come in handy if you needed to make some purchases that you couldn’t immediately pay off. Remember, this card will not report to your personal credit so even if you had high utilization on this card, it wouldn’t affect your credit score. (It also would not affect your 5/24 status).
You could also utilize the balance transfer feature on this card to remove debt from your personal credit report and increase your credit score.
The drawback is that this is a credit card and not a charge card so if you need to put substantial spend on your card each month, the charge cards might be better options.
2. The Business Gold Rewards Card
The Business Gold Rewards Card (also called the BGR) is one of the best Membership Rewards earning cards. It comes with a cool and unique feature that allows you to choose which category you want to earn 3X on and all the remaining categories will earn you 2X.
The bonus categories for the Business Gold Rewards Card are:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
So if you chose to earn 3X on advertising, you’d get 2X on all other of the categories. I should note that the 2X and 3X is limited to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year (it bumps down to 1X after that). Getting 3X on any of these categories would be like getting 5.4% back which is fantastic considering you can get that on spend up to $100,000.
Other perks of this card include:
- Sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. (There are higher targeted offers that you can come across).
- $175 annual fee that is waived the first year.
- Charge card that allows for higher spending each month
I think that if you want to earn a lot of Membership Rewards and do some serious spending each month then the Business Gold Rewards Card could be one of the best Amex business cards for you. This is especially true if you can select a 3X category that you know you will be doing a lot of spending on. It’s also a huge plus that you don’t have to worry about the annual fee the first year and that the spending requirement isn’t super-high.
3. The Business Platinum Card®
The third best American Express business card in my eye is the The Business Platinum Card®. This is a premium credit card that comes with a hefty $450 annual fee but it’s loaded with perks and benefits.
It offers the following features:
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000
- Earn an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000
- 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com
- Centurion Lounge access
- Delta SkyClub access (when flying Delta)
- Priority Pass
- Hilton Honors Gold and SPG Gold
- 50% more points on purchases over $5,000
- 35% Airline Bonus
- $200 Airline Fee Credit
- Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check
The 75,000 sign-up bonus is solid though the spend requirement is a lot at $20,000 total. You can sometimes find targeted offers for this card that come with higher bonuses and differently structured sign-up bonus requirements. Still, even if you can only earn the 50K Membership Rewards, this card is quite compelling if you value Centurion Lounge access.
The 35% airline bonus results means Business Platinum Card Members will receive 3.5 extra points for every 10 points they redeem for either a First or Business class flight on any airline, or for flights with their selected qualifying airline using Membership Rewards Pay with Points through American Express Travel.
This amounts to a redemption rate of 1.54 cents per point which is better than the 1.5 cents per point you get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This benefit is huge for people who don’t or can’t transfer points to airlines and want to just book their tickets through American Express Travel (which is not subject to inventory controls, black-out dates, etc.).
Consider that the personal Platinum card comes with an annual fee that costs $100 more than the business version. If you don’t think you’d utilize the $200 Uber credit on the personal version of this card, then the business version of the Platinum can make a lot more sense to pursue.
4. Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card
- Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months (Offers do come around that offer 10,000 more points for additional spend)
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
- 2X points on purchases at SPG or Marriott properties
- Free in-room, premium internet access at SPG properties
- Credit for 5 nights and 2 stays each year toward SPG Elite status
- No foreign exchange fees
- Boingo Wifi
- Enjoy complimentary access to the Sheraton Club lounge
I like this card a lot more when it comes with the higher sign-up bonus but it’s still a valuable card even at 25,000 points.
SPG points are the most valuable hotel currency worth about 2.4 cents per point. That means this card earns over 2% in value for every dollar spent and that the sign-up bonuses can easily be worth over $700 when the transfer bonus discussed below is considered.
When you transfer your SPG points to airlines you’re given a 25% bonus and you receive 5,000 extra points for every 20,000 points you transfer.
So this card could give you 35,000 miles (after you hit the minimum spend) to transfer to a ton of different airlines.
A lot of airlines like JAL, Asiana, and Alaska have amazingly cheap redemption rates for flights but can be difficult to earn miles with via credit cards. So being able to transfer 35,000 miles to those programs is huge, especially when you can also apply for the personal version of this card and come out with another 30,000+ miles!
And if you don’t end up using your SPG points for airlines, SPG has plenty of amazing properties to utilize with your points. It’s also nice that only the business version grants you lounge access at Sheratons. For those reasons, I think the SPG deserves to be in the discussion of the top American Express business card.
5. Delta business credit cards
American Express offers three different Delta business cards that you can apply for and I’m just going to lump them all together here at #5. All of these cards also have personal versions and so you can usually double up your earnings if you need a personal card as well.
Also, keep in mind that you can use Delta miles to book flights on partner airlines like Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Air France and many more. So Delta miles aren’t just for Delta Airlines and they can get you on some very nice airline products.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card
I personally like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card because it sometimes comes with a high 60,000 point sign-up bonus, though the standard public offer is for 30,000. But with that sign-up bonus it comes with a low spending requirement of only $1,000 or $2,000 and a waived annual fee. If you’re ever in need of Delta SkyMiles but don’t want to invest in an expensive annual fee the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card is perfect.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card is another Delta business card that can come with a high sign-up bonus. You can find offers up to 70,000 but the standard offer is 35,000 miles. If you regularly fly Delta and could use a little boost with hitting elite status, this card also comes with the ability to earn up to 20,000 additional Medallion®Qualification Miles (MQMs). It does have a higher annual fee of $195 but comes with a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months so that gets knocked down pretty quickly to $95.
Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card is a premium Amex business card for Delta. You can earn 40,000 miles + 5,000 MQMs from its sign-up bonus, earn up to 30,000 additional MQMs via spend, receive priority boarding and first checked bag free on Delta flights, and get to enjoy Delta Sky Club®lounge access at select airports. Again, this would be a great option for anybody who is a frequent Delta traveler and wants to capitalize on earning MQMs through spend.
Final word on Amex business cards
These are a lot of solid options for those applying for Amex small business credit cards. All of these cards can serve very different goals, though. Some will serve to earn you valuable Membership Rewards that you can then use to travel with the Amex transfer partners. Others provide you with benefits like access to nice Centurion Lounges or credits toward elite status. So in the end the best American Express business card depends a lot on your goals, though you can’t really go wrong with most of these.
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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. 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.