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Review

2019 Review: American Express® Blue Business Cash Credit Card — Best Beginner Business Card?

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Sean Messier By Sean Messier Sep 27, 2019 | Updated Nov 07, 2019

(Rates & Fees)

Our rating
Credit range: Good
Annual Fee: No annual fee
Regular APR: 14.74–20.74% Variable

Compared to a lot of business cards, the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is blessedly simple.

You earn cash back rewards on all purchases at a flat 2% rate up to the first $50,000 spent annually, and then you get 1% back on everything else.

Interestingly, the cash back earned is credited to your account automatically at the end of each billing period, so there’s no need to worry about putting in any legwork to redeem your earnings.

Benefits included with the card are fairly basic, but perks like expense management tools and car rental insurance add a little extra flavor to a package that’s already quite nice.

The Blue Business Cash charges no annual fee and boasts introductory APRs for both purchases and balance transfers before the usual variable rate kicks in (Rates & Fees), and that makes it hard to find fault with this basic, yet solid, credit card offer.

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual FeeNo annual fee
Regular APR14.74–20.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We score the Blue Business Cash at 5 out of 5 stars. There’s no annual fee (Rates & Fees), and you earn 2% rewards on everything up to $50,000. That’s a pretty big number if you’re involved with a smaller, up-and-coming business, which makes this card great for mom-and-pop shops and larger businesses alike.

Why We Like It

  • Flat reward rate lets you earn on every purchase without category restrictions
  • $50,000 annual spending limit at the 2% rate is quite high for small businesses
  • Automatic statement credits simplify the rewards system
  • Perks like the Amex Business App and Connect to QuickBooks offer expense tracking assistance
  • No annual fee (Rates & Fees)
  • Intro APR offer for both purchases and balance transfers allows you to save on interest

Why It Could Be Better

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Consider the Blue Business Cash for your first business card: The Blue Business Cash card is really, really easy to use. It also has a somewhat-low spending limit in its 2% category, and these factors combined make it an excellent pick if you’re looking to establish and build your business’ creditworthiness while earning some rewards on the side.
  • Use the Blue Business Cash with other cards: This card’s $50,000 spending limit at the 2% rate can be pretty limiting for larger businesses. But the card still makes a great pair (or polygamous partner, rather) with other business credit cards with higher reward rates in specific areas — whenever you can’t use those, swipe this card to earn 2% rather than the 1% most cards provide on “all other purchases.”
  • Stick with something else after the first $50,000: It’s safe to say this card’s reward system loses its appeal after the first $50,000 spent annually. Considering there’s no annual fee (Rates & Fees), that’s not a huge detriment, but if you think you’ll be spending more than $50,000, you should consider adding another flat-rate card to your wallet.
  • Finance a larger purchase right off the bat: The Blue Business Cash card’s introductory purchase APR offer means you can knock out big expenses as soon as you’re approved for the card, and then spend a bit of time paying them off without incurring interest charges.
  • Finance a larger purchase anytime: Expanded Buying Power means you might be able to make purchases that would typically exceed your credit limit. But there’s an important catch here — you have to repay the full amount you spent over your limit as part of that billing period’s minimum payment. If you fail to do so, you risk getting the penalty APR. So it adds some flexibility for those times when you really need it, you just have to be sure you’ll be ready to pay your bill.
  • Transfer a balance if you have to: It’s by no means the best card for balance transfers, but if you’re looking to transfer a balance that you can definitely pay off within a year, the Blue Business Cash could be helpful.
  • Manage company expenses: Features like the Amex Business App, QuickBooks compatibility, and free employee cards help simplify expense management.
  • Use Amex Offers: You’ll often find valuable deals that allow you to earn more rewards than usual through Amex Offers. If they seem like a good fit for your business purchases, make the most of them.
  • Just relax: There’s no need to worry over redemptions or anything like that. The cash back is credited automatically to your statement, which adds a lot of appeal for the business owner who’s constantly busy, and isn’t worried about milking every credit card for all it’s worth.

The Rewards

The simplicity of the Blue Business Cash card’s rewards program is what makes it special. You might balk if you’re looking to redeem reward points for travel, but — spoiler alert — the card has a fraternal twin, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Review), that lets you do just that.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase, up to $50,000 spent annually
  • 1% cash back for every purchase after that

There are a lot of great business rewards credit cards out there that serve up huge reward rates in highly specific spending categories, from rideshare services to shipping and beyond.

The Blue Business Cash isn’t one of them.

It earns 2% back on everything up to its $50,000 spending limit each year, and then 1% after that.

If $50,000 sounds like too small a number for your business, you’re probably not alone. But you could still find a lot of value in this card with the right approach.

For example, if you’re always hopping all over the place for meetings, you could use a travel rewards card to earn big on flights, gas, or hotels. You can probably find another credit card that’ll earn you a pretty high reward rate at the restaurants you visit while you’re out and about.

But if you’re looking to order, say, a bulk batch of branded water bottles for the whole team, you may have trouble finding a credit card that provides any rewards beyond 1%. And that’s where you’d use the Blue Business Cash.

Its smallish reward rate isn’t a gamechanger, by any means, but it’s nice to know you can get a few percent back on whatever you need to buy when there’s no better card to cover it.

It’s worth noting that the Blue Business Cash card provides no public welcome bonus (you may be targeted for a bonus offer, however). But considering the simplicity and annual-fee-free (Rates & Fees) nature of the card, it probably wouldn’t have been all that valuable anyway, so it’s not a huge disadvantage.

Redeeming

The Blue Business Cash card makes redeeming your cash back as easy as it could possibly be.

There’s really nothing to it. You rack up rewards, and they’re applied to your account as a statement credit automatically. That means that if, for example, you’ve earned $20 in cash back, your card’s balance will be reduced by $20 when the statement credit is applied.

If you’re looking to redeem your rewards for literally anything else, however, you’re out of luck. You can’t use points to book business travel. There’s no exchanging your cash back for gift cards. It’s statement credits from here on out.

Is that a bad thing? Definitely not. There are plenty of people out there who’re simply looking to shave business expenses wherever possible, and the Blue Business Cash is helpful if that’s where your interests lie.

The Benefits

Seeing as it’s a straightforward credit card with no annual fee (Rates & Fees), it’s probably not a big shock that the Blue Business Cash offers relatively simple benefits. There’re quite a few of them, though, and some could come in handy for your everyday business operations.

  • Expanded Buying Power: This feature allows you to spend beyond your credit limit without penalty to assist with cash flow. However, the amount you can spend above your credit limit isn’t unlimited, and will change based on your credit history and use of the card. You also have to repay the amount you spent beyond your limit in full as part of your next minimum payment, which could be a significant obstacle.
  • Employee cards: Get up to 99 employee credit cards, all of which earn rewards, for no additional fee.
  • Account manager: Allow other users to manage your credit card account.
  • American Express Business App: Add receipts and take notes on transactions to make tax season a bit simpler.
  • Connect to QuickBooks: Track expenses with ease.
  • Amex Offers: Like many credit card companies, American Express often provides cardholders with a variety of special offers associated with various merchants. Just log in to your Amex account to check what’s available, and then add the offers you’d like to use. Offers generally include extra cash back, discounts available after spending a certain amount with the merchant in question — that kind of thing.
  • Various protections: Purchase protection, extended warranties, and car rental loss/damage insurance.
Though it’s not exactly a card-specific benefit, another perk of the Blue Business Cash is that Amex will report your account activity to certain business credit bureaus. This allows you to build business credit, which can have a variety of far-reaching benefits for your business.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
0% for 12 months, then 14.74–20.74% Variable 0% for 12 months, then 14.74–20.74% Variable None
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
No annual fee 2.7%
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. None
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
29.99% Variable Up to $39 $39

The Blue Business Cash card charges no annual fee (Rates & Fees). Considering how you earn 2% back on everything, that’s pretty great. Some competitors, like the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (Review), do charge you annually (sometimes after the first year), which gives this card a competitive edge. However, many competing cards — including the aforementioned Spark Cash — feature no spending limit, which drastically increases earning capabilities.

The card’s introductory purchase and balance transfer APR offers (Rates & Fees) may also be reasonably useful. These can make it much simpler to tackle a big expense, or allow you to transfer a balance away from a higher-interest account and pay it off without incurring any interest charges.

Otherwise, the Amex Blue Business Cash card’s fees are about average.

The Bottom Line

The American Express® Blue Business Cash Card is a solid general-use cash back credit card that’ll probably work best when paired with more specialized rewards cards. The $50,000 spending limit on the 2% reward rate is a rather significant constraint, but it’s still an excellent card for up-and-coming or smaller businesses, especially since there’s no annual fee (Rates & Fees).

Any other drawbacks the Blue Business Cash presents are nullified almost entirely by the existence of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which offers the reward redemption flexibility that this card intentionally lacks.

Speaking of which, the fact that you don’t have to do any work to redeem your rewards bolsters this business card’s appeal to the owner who’s busy enough that scrutinizing redemption options just seems like a waste of time.

With that in mind, the Blue Business Cash is a very good all-around credit card to keep on hand for oddball purchases that don’t fit into common rewards categories. But whether you’ll actually want it in your wallet will ultimately come down to two things: your preferred reward redemption method, and your business’s need for a flat-rate card with a restrictive spending limit.

How to Apply for the American Express Blue Business Cash Card

If the American Express Blue Business Cash credit card seems like the right piece of plastic for you and your business, click the “Apply Now” button below.

You’ll have to provide details about your business in addition to the usual medley of personal information, but you shouldn’t have to do much work beyond that. Applicants must be authorized officers who have the power to make financial decisions on behalf of their respective companies.

You’ll probably get an instant decision. If not, hold tight, or contact the issuer support line. American Express may also reach out for additional information about yourself or your business.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska, 21 in Puerto Rico)
  • Various business information, including legal business name, the business name you’d like to appear on the card, business address and phone number, industry type, company structure, years in business, number of employees, annual business revenue, federal tax ID, and your role in the company
  • Personal identifying information

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual FeeNo annual fee
Regular APR14.74–20.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.


Alternatives to the American Express Blue Business Cash Card

We usually recommend using at least one or two other cards alongside the Blue Business Cash even if you think it’s a great fit for your business. With that said, if you’re not confident the Blue Business Cash measures up to your business needs, there are plenty of other picks that can serve a similar purpose. We’ve chosen a few of the best.

 

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Our rating
Credit rangeExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual FeeNo annual fee
Regular APR14.74–20.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

If you love everything about the Blus Business Cash except its rigid redemption system, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Review) is your dream come true. You earn 2X points per dollar on everything up to $50,000 annually. And, as with most point-earning rewards cards, you can redeem for all sorts of things, from travel to gift cards.

But the Blue Business Plus offers the most potential value if you’re planning to transfer points to Amex travel partners. Depending on where you transfer your points and how you eventually redeem them, you may be able to secure a cash back equivalent as high as 4% (or more) — double what you’re offered by the Blue Business Cash.

Other than that, this card offer is virtually the same as the Blue Business Cash.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on all purchases after that

Key Features

  • Perks: Mostly the same as the Blue Business Cash benefits outlined above
  • Point transfer: To several airline and hotel loyalty programs, including Delta, JetBlue, Hilton, and Marriott Bonvoy
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months, then 14.74–20.74% Variable (for transfers requested within 60 days) (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

 

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.74% - 22.74% (Variable)

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business (Review) is another somewhat-basic flat-rate rewards card, but unlike the Blue Business Cash, there’s no limit to the rewards you can earn. The catch? You get 1.5% back, rather than 2%.

If you’d prefer to get 2% back on everything, you can always upgrade to the Spark Cash Select’s pricier counterpart, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (Review), which charges an annual fee after the first year.

Both Spark Cash cards let you redeem your cash back as either statement credits or checks, and you can schedule automatic redemptions for convenience.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for all purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $200 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 6.67%

Key Features

  • Free employee cards: For convenient spending at all levels of your business
  • Quarterly and year-end summaries: Custom reports for both your primary and employee cards help make tax season simple.
  • Network-provided perks: Including 24/7 concierge service, the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, shopping discounts, travel protections, and various other benefits
  • Purchase APR: 0% 9 months, then 14.74% - 22.74% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0
The same way the Blue Business Cash has the Blue Business Plus, the Capital One Spark Cash cards have the mile-earning Spark Miles cards: the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business (Review) and the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business (Review). Compare all four Capital One Spark business cards to decide which you’d benefit from the most.

 

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Credit rangeExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99% - 20.99% Variable

Yet another cash back card with no annual fee, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (Review) has grown quite popular thanks to its solid rewards program, which features several useful spending categories. There’s a $25,000 annual spending limit on its 5% and 2% categories, however, which means it may not be the best option for big-league spenders.

This card could work well as a complement to the Blue Business Cash, rather than in place of it.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on up to $25,000 spent per year at:
    • Office supply stores
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% cash back on up to $25,000 spent per year at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $500 bonus cash back for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 16.67%

Key Features

  • Free employee cards: Provide employees with their own credit cards and set spending limits at no additional cost.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Including purchase protection, extended warranties, travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and more
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 14.99% - 20.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

 

American Express® Business Gold Card

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$295
Regular APR15.74–23.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The American Express® Business Gold Card (Review) is a close-to-premium business charge card with excellent rewards and benefits, and a fairly high annual fee (Rates & Fees). You’ll still face a spending limit with its 4X reward rate, but $150,000 is considerably higher than any of the limits mentioned above.

Similar to the Ink Business Cash, the Amex Gold’s rewards program is highly specific — you earn 4X points in the two categories (from the list below) where you spend the most each month — which means that you’ll likely be best off using this card in conjunction with a flat-rate rewards card anyway.

Oh, the Gold card is also made of metal. But that’s just a fun bonus.

Spending Rewards
  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar in the two categories you spend the most in each month, up to $150,000 per year (then 1X):
    • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
    • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
    • U.S. purchases for shipping
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on eligible purchases from Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 35,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

Key Features

  • Travel perks: Get a 25% point bonus when booking eligible airfare through American Express Travel, earn a credit of up to $75 on eligible hotel expenses booked through Amex, and enroll in The Travel Collection by Travel Leaders Group for various travel planning services, discounts, and amenities.
  • Point transfer: To several airline and hotel loyalty programs, including Delta, Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and more
  • No foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee: $295
  • Charge card: You must pay your balance in full each month.

 

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual FeeNo annual fee
Regular APR14.74–20.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

If you found this review helpful, feel free to spread the word and share it with a friend! Not sure we did the card justice? Comment below, and tell us what you think we missed.

Today’s world of business credit cards is pleasantly diverse. Need something that’s better for travel? Pick a business card with no foreign transaction fees. If you’d prefer something suitable for freelancers, there are lots of options there, too. Otherwise, just explore all of our picks for the best credit cards available, and you should find something that complements your spending habits before too long.
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