Review: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card – Best Beginner Business Card?
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The American Express Blue Business Cash Card provides an uncomplicated experience. You’ll earn a flat 2% rate for every purchase, up to $50,000 spent per year. Your rewards are automatically redeemed as statement credit, so all you have to do is watch your spending.
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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We score the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card at 5 out of 5 stars. There’s no annual fee, 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
- Intro APR offer for purchases allows you to save on interest
Why It Could Be Better
- $50,000 spending limit at the 2% reward rate is peanuts for many larger companies
- Rigid reward redemption system (which is made up for by the card’s point-earning counterpart, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Review))
- Barebones benefits, but that’s no big deal with no annual fee
- Charges a fee for purchases outside U.S. currency: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars
Compared to a lot of business cards, the Blue Business Cash 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 an introductory APR for purchases before the usual variable rate kicks in, and that makes it hard to find fault with this basic, yet solid, credit card offer.
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, 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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
Seeing as it’s a straightforward credit card with no annual fee, 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.
Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 12 months from date of account opening, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable||None||None|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|No annual fee||2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|29.24% Variable||Up to $39||$39|
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (Rates & Fees)
The Blue Business Cash card charges no annual fee. Considering you earn 2% back on everything, that’s pretty great. Some competitors, like the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, 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 APR offer may also be reasonably useful. These can make it much simpler to tackle a big expense 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.
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 Do I 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, follow the link below to apply now.
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.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the American Express Blue Business Cash Card?
It’s recommended that you have good credit before applying for the Blue Business Cash.
That would mean your credit scores within the ranges of 670–739 for FICO and 700–749 for VantageScore.
Keep in mind credit card issuers look at other factors when considering your creditworthiness. They’ll check things like your income, and your source of income, when making the decision. So even if your scores are lower than what’s recommended, you might still be approved.
However, that also means even if your scores are higher, you could still be denied.
Qualifications and Requirements
- Must be 18 to apply
- Business identifying information: Business name, company DBA name (if applicable), business name on card, industry type, company structure, years in business, number of employees
- Business address and contact information: Business address, business phone number
- Business financial information: Annual business revenue, estimated monthly costs, federal tax I.D
- Personal identifying information: Name, date of birth, role in company, Social Security number
- Address and contact information: Email, address, phone number
- Personal financial information: Total annual income
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I redeem my cash back?
You won’t have to worry about any redemption methods here. Your rewards are automatically applied to your account as a statement credit, at the end of your billing cycle.
What benefits come with the American Express Blue Business Cash Card?
One of the more useful benefits is expanded buying power, which lets you spend beyond your credit limit without any repercussion, though your buying power isn’t unlimited. You’ll have to pay back any amount spent above your limit as part of your next minimum payment.
You’ll get an introductory purchase APR period to help finance some large expenses: 0% for 12 months from date of account opening, and then your rate will be 13.24% - 19.24% Variable.
There’s also a handful of shopping and travel protections, Amex Offers, and a few other perks that are typical of business cards.
You can check out the full list of benefits and see what else your card will have.
Alternatives to the American Express Blue Business Cash Card
The information related to The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
The information related to Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
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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.
Sean Messier works to empower individuals with the knowledge required to use credit cards responsibly and to their advantage. His writing- and research-based background has granted him experience in an array of topics, from finance to business and beyond. Sean distills the knowledge accumulated over years of experience in the credit space into consistent, actionable articles, guides, and reviews.
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