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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.
Each American Express card below can serve a different purpose for your business. And in some cases, you might even prefer to get two or three cards to cover all of your different needs.
For example, you could use the Blue Business Plus Credit Card to take advantage of 0% APR, the Business Platinum Card for its travel perks, and the American Express Business Gold for its bonus earnings on select categories like advertising.
So don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to one or even two options because it’s not uncommon to pair up some of these cards together for maximum value.
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Table of Contents
The Business Platinum Card
The Business Platinum Card is a premium card that comes with a hefty $595 annual fee but it’s loaded with perks and benefits.
It offers the following features:
- 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com
- 1.5X on purchases over $5,000
- Centurion Lounge access
- Delta SkyClub access (when flying Delta)
- Priority Pass
- Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Gold
- 35% Airline Bonus
- $200 Airline Fee Credit
- $200 in credits for Dell, issued semi-annually
- Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check
The 100,000 welcome bonus is solid though the spend requirement is a lot at $15,000 in the first 3 months.
There’s not a whole lot to the bonus earning aside from the 1.5X on purchases over $5,000. So if you have purchases that don’t fall into one of the Gold Card bonus categories and they regularly are over $5,000, that is a sign that the Business Platinum Card could be for you.
But the Business Platinum Card is really tailor made for you if you value travel.
If you enjoy quality airport lounge access, then you will love the Business Platinum Card because you will get free Centurion Lounge access, Delta Sky Club access (when flying Delta), and also an annual priority Pass Select membership.
Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest airport lounges you’ll find in the US and it’s definitely a keystone benefit of the Platinum Card. Priority Pass lounges aren’t always the most amazing lounges but there are some pretty great Priority Pass lounges around, especially if you travel internationally.
The 35% airline bonus 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.
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.).
So for the business traveler who wants a “no non-sense” way of using points for travel, it really is hard to beat the Business Platinum Card — especially since you can earn 5X on your airfare.
The other benefit I really like is the free Gold status with Hilton. That elite status can hook you up with free breakfast, upgrades, and other benefits like late check-out.
American Express Business Gold
The American Express Business Gold stands out with its high bonus earning potential, which covers a lot of categories that businesses will need to make purchases in. With this card, you earn 4X Membership Rewards points on the 2 categories where your business spent the most each billing cycle from the list below:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
4X points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year then earn 1 point per dollar.
The ability to earn 4X on your top two categories gives the American Express Business Gold a prime advantage over competitors.
For one, the 4X is one point higher than the 3X offered by the Chase Ink Business Preferred. And the flexibility is perfect for a business that might shift gears throughout the year with its budget.
Here are a couple of the additional features of the card:
- Get 25% points back, after you book a flight using Pay with Points (there is a limitation on your rebate as you will only be able to receive up to 250,000 bonus points per calendar year).
- $295 Annual Fee
It will cost you $50 to add an authorized user if you want them to have an American Express Business Gold but the good news is that you can add multiple authorized users for only $50. In addition, you can also add Green Card authorized users for no additional fee.
Blue Business Plus Credit Card
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card is one of my favorite business cards 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 12 months
Sometimes this card comes with a 25,000 point welcome bonus but even without the welcome 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.
And did I mention it’s a no annual fee card?
The Blue Business Plus Credit 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).
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. Note that you can often spend above your credit limit using the “Expanded Buying Power” feature.
Amex Blue Business Cash
While the cards above earn Membership Rewards, many business owners simply want to put cash back into their pocket. For those people, the Amex Blue Business Cash Card might be a better choice. That card earns 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
So it is just like the Blue Business Plus Credit Card except it earns cashback and not Membership Rewards. This means that this card would be better for somebody who wants straightforward rewards and does not care to transfer points and mess around with all of that.
If you don’t want to have to “think” about your rewards this is a terrific option.
This card also comes with no annual fee.
But note that this card does come with foreign transaction fees, so you probably don’t want to use this card on international trips since you’ll have to pay foreign transaction fees.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a perfect business credit card for a business traveler who prefers the Hilton brand. Hilton has a pretty massive footprint so you will not struggle to find Hilton properties in most major cities across the US and internationally.
This Hilton card currently comes with a pretty impressive bonus of 150,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. With that many points, you could cover one night at a top hotel like the Conrad Maldives or you could stretch your points and stay a couple of nights at a pretty decent hotel.
Hilton cards are known for their high bonus earning rates and this card does not disappoint with 12X at Hilton properties and 6X on select business and travel purchases. You’ll also earn 3X on all other eligible purchases.
My favorite benefit of this card is that you get free Hilton Gold status which is a middle tier status that provides you with free breakfast and can also get you other perks like late check out and even upgrades.
If you spend $15,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, you can also earn a free weekend night which can be worth $700. And if you put another $45,000 in purchases on your card in the same calendar year you can earn a second weekend night.
And finally, this card also provides you with Priority Pass which is a lounge membership. (You will be provided with 10 free lounge visits every year.)
Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express
If you are more of a Marriott person then you may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express.
This card currently comes with a pretty awesome limited one time offer of 75,000 bonus points after you spent $3,000 in the first three months.
You can also earn a $150 statement credit within your first six months for eligible purchases on US advertising.
There is also a special offer to earn Marriott Platinum elite status for one year which will be good from February 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022. That offer ends on January 13, 2021.
Getting Marriott Platinum elite status for one year is an extremely valuable perk. That’s because you can get some really nice perks from Platinum status like free breakfast and lounge access. For some people, getting that perk alone would be enough reason to pick up this card and pay the annual fee.
The bonus earning on this card is pretty good as you can earn a 6X at Marriott properties and also 4X at US restaurants, US gas stations, wireless telephone services, and on US purchases for shipping.
Every year you will receive one free night award after your account anniversary. But you can also earn an additional free night award when you put $60,000 in purchases on your card within the calendar year.
It’s pretty easy to get over $100 in value using a free night award so this is one of those cards where it pays to hold onto it in the long run. Sometimes you might even get issued a retention offer with a reduced annual fee, making this card all the more lucrative.
Amex Plum Card
The Amex Plum card is a great option for someone who might need an extension on the payment every now and again. So if you are working with inventory or dependent on volume of sales, this could be a very fitting option.
It comes with an annual fee of $250 that’s waived the first year and doesn’t currently come with a welcome offer. So why is it so compelling?
It has two unique payment features.
The most useful would be that you can take up to 60 days to pay your entire balance off without interest when you pay the minimum Due by the Payment Due Date.
The card will also give you a 1.5% discount when you pay early so it’s like getting 1.5% back so long as you pay everything off.
I’d personally prefer the Amex options listed above over the Plum Card though if you’re dealing with somewhat unpredictable inventory and sales, it could make sense to go with a card like this.
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card
I personally like the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card because it sometimes comes with a high 60,000 point welcome bonus, though the standard public offer is for 40,000 after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
You can earn 2 miles for every dollar that you spend on Delta and on US advertising, US shipping, and dining so it has some decent bonus categories as well.
You’ll get some great value from this card if you fly Delta because it also offers a first checked bag free along with priority boarding. The annual fee is $99 but it is waived the first year and there are no foreign transaction fees.
If you’re ever in need of Delta SkyMiles but don’t want to invest in an expensive annual fee the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card is perfect.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card is another Delta business card that can come with a high welcome bonus.
You can find offers up to 70,000 but the standard offer is 45,000 miles + 5,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening.
The bonus earnings on this card make a pretty dramatic step up from the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card as you can earn 3 miles on every dollar spent on Delta. You can also earn 3X on purchases made directly with hotels.
Also, you can earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 50,000 miles per year).
You’ll get many of the same benefits as the Delta Gold card such as free checked baggage and priority boarding but the big difference with the Platinum Delta Sky Miles card is that you can get help earning elite status.
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) by spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card does have a higher annual fee of $250 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 $150.
Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
The Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card is a premium Amex business card for Delta.
You can earn 45,000 miles + 10,000 MQMs from its welcome bonus, earn up to 60,000 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.
You can also get 3X on Delta and after you spend $150,000 in a calendar year, you can earn 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases.
Again, this would be a great option for anybody who is a frequent Delta traveler and wants to capitalize on earning MQMs through spend.
This card is also great if you really want great airport lounge access. Not only do you get access to the Sky Clubs, but you also get access to Centurion Lounges when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card. If you can swallow the high annual fee of $550, this card can be well worth it.
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card is great for someone who spends a lot on Amazon or whose business is forced to pay those lovely AWS charges.
The welcome offer may take different forms but you could be looking at something like a $100 amazon.com gift card after getting approved.
With this card, you can choose to earn 5% back on US purchases at Amazonbusiness, AWS, amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market. Or or you can choose to get 90 day terms so that you can pay later.
The 5% back method is definitely the way to go if you want to maximize savings and you can get 5% back on the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year.
The catch is you have to have an Amazon Prime membership for the 5% back/90 day perk. Otherwise you will just earn 3% back or have 60 days for payment.
You’ll also be able to earn 2% back at US restaurants, US gas stations, and wireless telephone services purchase direct from US providers.
The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card is attractive because it has no annual fee and also no foreign transaction fees.
Business Green Rewards Card
There’s not a lot to say about the Business Green Rewards Card. That’s because it’s a very basic card but it could offer you some value depending on what you’re looking for.
The Business Green Rewards Card has a zero dollar intro annual fee but then a $95 annual fee after that so it is definitely one of the cheaper cards offered by American Express.
If you spend money through Amex Travel (which is where you can book flights and hotels), you’ll be able to earn 2X on every dollar you spend which isn’t bad.
You might be able to find a welcome bonus on this card for something like 15,000 points after you spent $3,000 in the first three months which at least is a little something.
But overall if you are interested in large amounts of ongoing value then I would consider cards like the Platinum and the Gold Card despite them having higher annual fees.
Amex business credit card FAQ
The best American Express business card is the one that suits your business needs best.
But generally, the Business Platinum Card and American Express Business Gold are two of the best Amex business cards.
The Gold Card is great for those who can earn bonus points in categories like advertising and the Platinum Card is great for business travelers and other high spenders.
A great choice for getting 0% APR with an American Express business card is the Blue Business Plus Credit Card.
The best Amex business card for advertising is the American Express Business Gold which allows you to earn 4X on advertising on up to $150,000 spent per year.
The Business Platinum Card is a great card for airline travel because you can earn 5X on airfare and also redeem your points at over 1.5 cents per point for air travel.
If you like to fly Delta Airlines, there are several Delta cards you can choose from including the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express is great for someone interested in staying at Marriott properties and it comes with a free night every year that can easily offset your annual fee.
If you are interested in Hilton then you might look into the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card which comes with automatic Gold status. If you spend $15,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, you can also earn a free weekend night.
In addition to that card, the Business Platinum Card also offers automatic Hilton gold status.
A great card for cash back is the Amex Blue Business Cash Card which earns a very straightforward 2% cash back on up to $50,000 in purchases every year.
The Amazon Prime business card can save you a lot of money if you are a high spender at Amazon or AWS because 5% back on up to $120,000 in spend comes out to $6,000!
American Express business cards come in many different forms and so you can earn many different types of rewards.
The most valuable type of rewards are Membership Rewards and you can earn those with cards like the Business Platinum Card and American Express Business Gold.
The amount that it will cost you to add an authorized user (aka employee card) to an American Express business card depends on the type of card.
In some cases, you can add authorized users for free such as adding a Green Card authorized user, but in other cases it will cost you $50 or more.
The Platinum Card has the most expensive authorized user fee at $300.
American Express can expedite a business card for you upon approval.
Many times they will ask you if you need the card expedited but you can always be proactive and make the request.
In my experience, an expedited business card from American Express will arrive within a couple of business days.
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.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC.