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Review

Review of the American Express Business Gold Card

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Feb 05, 2018 | Updated Apr 23, 2020

(Rates & Fees)

Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $295
Regular APR: 14.24–22.24% Variable

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Good Min. credit level
Apply Now

The American Express Business Gold Card is an interesting and flexible card. It’s designed to help fund your business expenses, and is good for making a variety of different purchases.

Most reward cards come with a set of select categories that you have to either take or leave. But the Business Gold gives you six bonus category options. The two categories that your business spends the most in each month will earn 4X Membership Rewards points, which will be retroactively applied to all eligible purchases.

That means you’ll earn more points in the two categories that you spend the most in each month, a good situation for businesses that have a variety of spending. This is a fairly unique offer, customizing the rewards to fit your most frequent business expenses.

You can get a 25% point rebate after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.

You can earn a cash back equivalent of upwards of 8% with this card, if you transfer your points to qualifying airline or hotel loyalty programs. Other redemption methods will provide less value.

Currently, the Business Gold card provides a welcome offer of 35,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

The Business Gold card costs $295 per year (Rates & Fees) and is a charge card, which means that you can’t carry a balance from month to month (except for purchases of $100 or more). You’ll need to pay it off in full every billing period. Also, take note that this is a business card, so it’s a bit different than other cards.

Is this a good card to help you pay for business expenses? You may be able to earn a bit back while getting some good value out of the other benefits. Keep reading to find out!

Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible card accounts approved from 12/1/19 through 5/31/20, the period to make eligible purchases to earn the welcome bonus will be extended for an additional three months.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$295
Regular APR14.24–22.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We gave this card 5 out of 5 Stars because it’s one of the better high-level options out there for business owners.

Why We Like It

  • Get 4X Membership Rewards points in the two categories your business spends the most in each month.
  • There are six bonus categories in total, which is a lot for any credit card. And they’re all useful for businesses.
  • This card provides Membership Rewards points, which are valuable and can be redeemed in a wide variety of ways.
  • There are a few perks and benefits available while traveling if you have to make any business trips.
  • You can get employee cards to distribute.
  • American Express provides tools like spend tracking and account management options to make life easier.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees , although Amex isn’t accepted very widely outside the U.S.
  • American Express has relatively good customer support, especially for business cardholders.

This is a pretty solid card all around, but it doesn’t have everything. Check out some other good business cards with different rewards and benefits below.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Use this card for your business spending to earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar in the two categories that your business spends the most in each month, with 1X point for all other purchases.
  • You can use this card to build and improve your business credit. Pay your bill on time and in full each month to avoid interest and prevent your account from ever entering a negative status.
  • You’ll need to pay your balance in full every billing period with this card. So be sure never to charge more than you can pay back by the due date. The exception is purchases of $100 or more, which can be carried from month to month at interest.
  • You can get up to 99 employee cards, and set individual spending limits. Use them to manage spending and earn rewards more quickly.
  • The flight and gift card redemption methods are easiest, offering up to 1 cent per point. But you can transfer your points to a partner loyalty program to potentially get a better value.
  • Your spending limit will change over time. Pay your bills on time and be a responsible credit user to increase that limit.
  • Check out the Amex Offers benefit to find discounts at a wide variety of merchants. This gives you a way to earn more rewards more quickly.

The Rewards

This card can provide the equivalent of 4% cash back when you use the normal redemption methods. Or if you use a point transfer, you can potentially get over 8% cash back.

Earning

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
  • 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 35,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

As you can see, this card is pretty versatile. You’ll get more points for the types of purchases you make the most, with 4X points in the two categories that your business spends the most in each month. That makes this a good rewards program for businesses that have a variety of spending throughout the year.

The 4X rate will apply to the first $150,000 spent at that rate in combined purchases per year. After that you’ll earn 1X point.

The American Express Business Gold Card has a $295 annual fee.

Redeeming

The Membership Rewards points you earn with this card can be redeemed in a few different ways.

Your basic options are:

  • Normal redemption methods (flights, hotel reservations, gift cards, point of sale): 0.5–1.0 cents per point, 25% points back for airfare, up to 5% cash back equivalent
  • Statement credit: 0.6 cents per point, up to 2.4% cash back equivalent
  • Point transfer to frequent traveler loyalty program: highly variable cash back, equal to over 8% in some cases

Cashing in points for statement credits will only get you 0.6 cents per point, so we don’t recommend that. The other methods can provide up to 1 cent per point, with the exception of point transfers which can yield more.

Airfare booked through Amex Travel will provide a 25% bonus, in the form of 25% of your points back, so that’s a decent option too. It basically means you’re getting 1.25 cents per point, as long as you end up redeeming those returned points for 1 cent each.

So we recommend transferring your points to a loyalty program whenever possible. If you can’t do that, booking airfare and getting the 25% bonus will be your next best option. The statement credit method is the simplest, but it provides the least value per point.

As an example, say you earn a total of 10,000 Membership Rewards points. You can redeem them for flights or certain gift cards at 1 cent per point, which comes to $100. When booking for airfare you’d get 25% of those points back, which would be 2,500 points, so you could value those redemptions at $125. Or you can redeem them for a point transfer, where you may get a value of 2 cents per point or more depending on the details of the transfer, coming to a value of $200. A statement credit, at 0.6 cents per point, would only provide $60.

Below, you’ll find more information and examples of some normal redemption methods (travel, gift cards, and point-of-sale). Then you can go through a good and a poor point transfer example. Or you could jump down to some cards for earning points or miles directly with an airline or hotel.

We’ll show how your points will have different values depending on how you redeem them. For all of the following examples, we’ll assume that you’ll be trading in 10,000 Membership Rewards points.

The cash back equivalent you get on any redemption will depend on how you earned your points, so we show ranges below. If you earn at a rate of 4X points per dollar, you’ll get the higher end of the range. If you’re only getting 1X point per dollar, you’ll get the lower end of the range.

Travel

When redeeming for travel expenses you’ll have several options, but the most valuable is for airline flights because you’ll get 25% of your points back. The main way is to redeem through American Express Travel, though there are a couple other travel services you can use as well. You’ll be able to redeem 10,000 points in the following ways.

Redemption Method Travel Service Redemption Value Point Value (in cents) Cash Back Equivalent
Find Flights Amex Travel $100 1.0 1.0%–5.0%
Reserve Prepaid Hotels Amex Travel $70 0.7 0.7%–2.8%
Plan Vacations Amex Travel $70 0.7 0.7%–2.8%
Take Cruises Amex Travel $70 0.7 0.7%–2.8%
Airbnb Bookings Airbnb $70 0.7 0.7%–2.8%
Flights and Hotels on Expedia Expedia $70 0.7 0.7%–2.8%

So if you redeem 10,000 points for airfare, at 1 cent per point, you’ll get 2,500 of those points back. That means you’re getting a 5% cash back equivalent when spending in the 4X categories, assuming you went on to redeem those returned points for 1 cent each. This is basically like getting 1.25 cents per point.

Transferring to Loyalty Programs

You can transfer Membership Rewards points to a variety of different loyalty programs. Some are based in the U.S., while others are not. Many popular airlines and hotels are represented.

We’ll go over the basics of point transfers, and then provide two real-world examples: one showing a good deal, and one showing a poor deal.

Most transfers are at a 1:1 rate, though some are different. And there are also limited-time offers and special deals occasionally. There’s a fee of $0.0006 per point when transferring to US airlines, with no charge for any other transfers. And different programs will allow you to transfer points in different increments, like 500 points at a time or 1,000 points at a time.

Here are some example programs, along with their transfer rates and a point conversion example. Take note that offers may change.

Loyalty Program Type Transfer Rate You Give You Get
Aer Lingus Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
Aeromexico Airline 1:1.6 1,000 1,600
Aeroplan® Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
ANA Mileage Club Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
Avianca LifeMiles Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
Flying Blue® Award Miles  Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
Delta Air Lines Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
Hawaiian Airlines® Airline  1:.8 1,000 800
Choice Privileges® Hotel 1:1 1,000 1,000
Hilton Honors™ Hotel 1:2 1,000 2,000
Marriott Bonvoy Hotel 1:1 1,000 1,000

Let’s go through some examples to illustrate the potential value of Membership Rewards points after you convert them to a frequent traveler program. Keep in mind that there are many factors that influence the price of flights and hotel rooms. They include time of year, demand, availability, and special events. Airlines and hotel chains offer special deals and packages pretty frequently, as well. All of this will affect the value you get from your points.

While the following are actual real-world examples, the point transfer values you find for your flights and rooms may differ from what we show here.

Good Value — Flying Blue Award Miles

For this example, imagine you want to take an AirFrance flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Paris, France. AirFrance uses Flying Blue, which is one of the transfer partners.

The cheapest flight from the Barcelona-El Prat Airport to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris will cost $229. And the cheapest award mile option available is 10,500 miles. In this case, your miles would be worth about 2.47 cents each. This is for a flight on Thursday, February 7th.

So how many Membership Rewards points would it take to pay for this same flight? Well, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to FlyingBlue award miles at a 1:1 rate. But you also need to transfer in increments of 1,000. That means you’ll have to transfer 11,000 points in total.

Let’s say you earn those 11,000 points at the best possible rate of 4X points per dollar. That would require spending $2,750 at that rate. Then you can transfer those points to Flying Blue award miles, and book the flight.

In this example, you spend $2,750 to earn a flight worth $229. This is a pretty good deal, because it means you’re getting a cash back equivalent of about 8.33%. That’s pretty high compared to most cards. And you’ll even have 500 miles left over to use for next time. But if you earned any miles at less than the 4X rate, it would require more spending and your cash back equivalent would be less.

This shows the value you can get from certain point transfers, but they aren’t all so great.

Poor Value — Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints

To see an example of a point transfer that results in a poor value, let’s look at Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).

Insider tip

Update: The SPG program has merged with Marriott, and their rewards programs are now combined. All Starpoint balances are multiplied by three to give a new Marriott Bonvoy point balance.


Say you just flew to Paris in our previous example, and now you want to book a hotel for a night. Specifically, the night of Thursday, February 7th, at the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel & Conference Centre.

This room will cost €190, which is about $234 USD at the time of publishing. This same room will take 20,000 Starpoints to stay in.

So, how much do you need to spend with your Business Gold card to earn enough points for this room? Membership Rewards points don’t transfer at a very good rate to Starpoints. The conversion rate is only 1:.33, meaning you’ll get 333 Starpoints for every 1,000 Membership Rewards points you transfer.

You’ll need to transfer points in intervals of 1,000. This means you’ll need to earn 61,000 Membership Rewards points. You can transfer them to get 20,313 Starpoints, which is enough for the room.

To earn 61,000 Membership Rewards points, you’ll need to spend $15,250 at the 4X rate. If you earn points at a lesser rate, you’ll need to spend more and your cash back equivalent will drop.

In this example you spent $15,250 to earn a room valued at $234. This means the cash back equivalent is just 1.53%. In this case your Membership Rewards points were worth about 0.384 cents each. That’s not a very profitable deal, especially compared to the point transfer above.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible card accounts approved from 12/1/19 through 5/31/20, the period to make eligible purchases to earn the welcome bonus will be extended for an additional three months.

How to Offset the Annual Fee

This card has a $295 annual fee , so you’ll want to earn enough points to offset it each year.

How much do you need to spend, and how many points do you need to earn? That depends on two things.

  1. The rate that you earn points: 4X per dollar, 2X, or 1X
  2. The value you get per point when you redeem

You’ll need to earn enough points to equal $295 when you redeem. If you want to spend as little as possible, you’ll have to earn points at the highest rate and redeem them for the best value possible. But if you earn at a low rate and use a bad redemption method, you could end up spending many times that amount.

We’ve found that if you use a normal redemption method, at 1 cent per point, you can spend a minimum of $7,375 to offset the annual fee. If you redeem for airfare and get 25% of your points back, you could spend $5,900. And if you use a point transfer that grants 2 cents per point, you can spend as little as $3,688.

All of those spend amounts assume you’re earning at the 4X rate.

The exact amount you’ll need to spend depends on the rate at which you earn the points. You may not always get to choose what and where you buy, but you can control how you redeem your points. So be sure to redeem them for the best possible value you can get. The easiest way to do this is for airfare, where you’ll get 25% of your points back. You can also use point transfers to get an even better deal, but this might not be good for everyone. The value you get will vary and it requires you to travel to make use of it.

The following table shows how much you’ll need to spend to offset the annual fee in a variety of ways. You can see how much you’ll need to spend at each rate to reach the equivalent of $295. Most people will have a mix of spending, of course, so it won’t be so clear cut as this. But you can use this as a guide to see how much you’ll need to spend to earn those points.

This table shows how much to spend if you get a good value for your points. Here, that means earning 1 cent per point for the normal methods. And we’re also using 2 cents per point for the point transfer, which would be a pretty good value if you can get it. But remember, the value of your points when you transfer them will vary. We’ve also included statement credits to show how bad of a redemption choice they are.

As you can see, the normal and point transfer methods require the least spending, especially at the 4X rate.

Spending Requirements
4X points 2X points 1X point
Statement Credit: 0.6 cents per point $12,292 $24,584 $49,167
Normal Methods: 1 cent per point  $7,375 $14,750 $29,500
Point Transfer: 2 cents per point $3,688 $7,375 $14,750

These are relatively good redemption examples, but remember that if you redeem in some ways you’ll get a lower value for your points. This could happen if you choose a normal redemption method that only offers 0.5 cents per point. Or, if you make a point transfer that only grants 1.5 cents per point, for example.

So, no matter what rate you earn points at, redeem them for the best value you can get. And if there are no options that seem particularly appealing, you can hold on to your points until you see something you like.

The Benefits

Reports to Business Credit Bureaus

All American Express business credit cards will report your card activity to the credit bureaus in the same way. They let you improve your business credit, although there are also consequences for irresponsible behavior.

As long as your account is in positive standing, the activity will be reported to Small Business Finance Exchange. This is a large and commonly-used business credit reporting bureau.

But if your account enters a negative status, such as having unpaid collections or unpaid charge-offs, the activity will be reported to other bureaus. An account with a negative status will be reported to:

  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • TransUnion

So your positive activity will be reported to one business credit bureau. But your negative activity will be reported to a different business credit bureau, plus the typical consumer credit reporting agencies.

This means you can use the Business Gold card to improve your business credit, but not your personal credit. However, you can still hurt your personal credit with it. For a different card that reports positive activity to more business credit bureaus, see the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business.

The Hotel Collection

Cardholders can receive a credit for up to $100 to cover eligible expenses at hotels. This can be a nice way to save a bit of money when traveling. But there are quite a few guidelines and limitations you’ll need to be aware of:

  • $1 of credit will be given for every $1 spent on eligible purchases, up to $100
  • Eligible purchases do not include the cost of the room, gratuities, taxes, or fees (additional exclusions may apply at certain hotels)
  • The credit will be received at checkout, can’t be carried over to another stay, and is not redeemable for cash
  • Limit one credit per room, per stay
  • Must book the room either through Amex Travel, Business Platinum Travel Service, Platinum Travel Service, or Centurion Travel Service
  • Payment must be made in full with the Business Gold card

Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed

If you book an eligible prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and then find the same room being advertised online for a lower price, you can be refunded for the difference. You must submit your claim before the check-in date, and be sure to check your card details because some restrictions apply.

Amex Offers

You’ll have access to discounts at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are about 80 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.

You just need to head to the Amex Offers program and click ‘Add to Card’ for the deals you want. Then, just use your card as you normally would to make a purchase with that merchant. Your savings will appear as a statement credit later on, reducing your account balance. You may or may not earn additional rewards at the regular rate — this will depend on the particular offer.

Many of the deals can be quite valuable, saving you from $5 up through more than $100 for some of them. For most of them, you’ll need to spend a certain amount to get a certain discount. Some of the current offers include:

Merchant Need to Spend Cash Back Maximum Savings
Maggiano’s Wine $25 $20 80%
Exhale Spa $75 $25 33.33%
Harry’s Razors $15 $5 33.33%
Ticket Galaxy $300 $100 33.33%
Hello Fresh $50 $15 30%
Aveda $75 $15 20%
Hilton $50 $10 20%
Omni Hotels & Resorts $300 $60 20%
Rebecca Taylor $350 $70 20%

There are many fantastic deals waiting to be had here, though many other credit card issuers will offer a similar service. For example, Chase provides the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, Bank of America has its BankAmeriDeals offers, and Citi has the EasyDeals service. You’ll find a range of discounts in all of them.

The American Express Business Gold Card has a $295 annual fee.

Save 10% on Some Utilities

Occasionally you’ll be given the opportunity to save 10% on your cable, satellite TV, and/or cell phone bills. Just find the offer and click ‘Add to Card,’ and then use your card to pay for the utility as normal.

Tier One Program

Some businesses will be eligible for the Tier One Program from American Express. This comes with benefits that are “designed to streamline and enhance the business’s experience with American Express.”

At the beginning of every year, American Express will select businesses out of the pool of eligible candidates at its own discretion. Meeting the following criteria does not mean you’ll be selected.

To be eligible for the Tier One Program, a business must:

  • Be named on one or more U.S.-issued business charge cards or corporate cards from Amex
  • Have made eligible purchases totaling $5 million or more during the previous year on those cards
  • Have its billing address in the United States
  • Not have been enrolled in any Amex hardship program or have any transitional recovery products from Amex during the previous year
  • Not have any business or corporate card that has been 30 days or more past due in the previous year

Additional guidelines and limitations apply. Check your card’s Guide to Benefits for more details.

Entertainment Access

This benefit, also called Membership Experiences, provides pre-sale tickets to a variety of sports, music, and cultural events, as well as access to certain exclusive experiences. You’ll be able to search by interest, artist, event, or venue.

One offer that was available when this review was written is preferred seating at Lorde concerts all around the country. Another is an exclusive invitation to a hotel opening, with overnight accommodations, a private 4-course dinner, and an interactive cocktail class. This one is on the expensive end, though, at $1,850 per ticket.

American Express Personal Loans

Cardholders have the opportunity to apply for a loan through American Express (but only if they have been pre-approved). Loans are offered from $3,500 to $25,000, with fixed interest rates from as low as 6.90% up to 19.97%.

Employee Cards

You can get up to 99 employee cards; the first employee card costs $50, and after that they’re free. Individual spending limits can be set for the cards. Take note that there are certain purchases where the spending limit won’t apply, like restaurant tips and extended hotel stays.

The primary cardholder is responsible for all charges made to the account. The card activity will not affect the credit of employees using copies of the card.

Account Manager

Designate a trusted Account Manager to manage your Business Gold account. Must be at least 18 years old.

The American Express Business Gold Card has a $295 annual fee.

American Express Business App

A tool to help manage your spending throughout the year. Allows you to add receipts and notes to transactions, making tax time easier.

Connect to QuickBooks®

Provides an easy way to label and transfer your transaction data into a QuickBooks account.

No Preset Spending Limit

This card has no preset spending limit, which does not mean you can spend an unlimited amount.

Instead, this means that your purchasing power will adjust over time. It will change based on your card activity, payment history, credit record, and other financial resources.

Pay Over Time

This is a charge card, which means you typically need to pay the full statement balance each month. However, the Business Gold card also allows you to pay over time for purchases of $100 or more. If you choose that payment option you’ll accrue interest on those purchases at your given APR.

If you enroll, purchases of $100 or more can be automatically included in the Pay Over Time program, unless you change your personal settings to prevent this. You must always pay the minimum amount due for Pay Over Time balances. You’ll be given a specific Pay Over Time limit, and any purchases that go over that limit will not be included in this program.

Other Benefits and Perks

We’ve only described some of the most interesting benefits here, but this card comes with some others as well. For the most part, they are protections like:

  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Baggage Insurance Plan
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Protection

The Costs & Fees

Regular Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
14.24–22.24% Variable None None
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$295  None
Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
$39 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater. $39

This is a charge card, so you typically need to pay the statement balance in full. But if you choose to use the Pay Over Time feature for purchases over $100, those expenses will accrue interest at the rate above. We recommend always paying your statement balance in full to avoid interest.

The terms are very simple for this card. As long as you don’t make any late or returned payments, you’ll just have an annual fee to pay . If you feel like that fee is too high, check out some no-annual-fee business credit cards.

Charge card users may save money compared to credit card users, because many people will revolve a balance from month to month on their credit cards. This isn’t a great strategy because you’ll keep accruing interest, adding to your overall credit card debt. Whether you have a charge card or a regular credit card, we always recommend paying off your balance in full every billing period.

The Bottom Line

The American Express Business Gold Card is definitely a contender if you’re looking to earn points on your business expenses.

Take a look at the reward categories — do you spend a lot of money in at least a few of these? If you travel often, there are some good options here. You’ll be able to pick the reward category that you spend the most in, and still get points in the others. For frequent business trips, the airfare and gas rewards are especially useful.

The annual fee may seem high at first. But if you take into account the rewards you can earn and the value of the benefits, the cost should seem pretty reasonable. Just make sure that you’ll spend enough with the card each year to make the fee worth it. You can extend your reach by assigning cards to your employees, gaining rewards whenever they spend.

There are many more business credit cards out there. Check out some alternatives to the Business Gold card below.

How to Apply for the Business Gold Card

You can apply for this card securely on the American Express website. You’ll need to be an authorized officer for your business, responsible for managing finances.

The Amex Business Gold card is designed for cardholders with good credit or better, so you’ll likely have a higher chance of being approved with FICO scores of at least 670. With that said, even excellent credit scores won’t guarantee you approval, as the decision is based on several factors.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$295
Regular APR14.24–22.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

To apply, you’ll need your personal and business information. For corporations and partnerships, you’ll also need to provide your Federal Tax ID (the same as your Employer Identification Number, or EIN).

Alternatives to the Business Gold Card

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$595
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to The Business Platinum 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 Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) is a high-end business charge card designed for travelers. It reports to the business credit bureaus in the same way as the Business Gold.

The Platinum card has a $595 annual fee (Rates & Fees), so it’s much more expensive than the Business Gold.

But for that fee, you’ll get:

  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or Amex Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (0.5 additional points per dollar, up to 1 million additional points per year)
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus: 75,000 bonus points for spending $15,000 in the first 3 months

So you’ll be able to earn quite a lot of Membership Rewards points with the Platinum card. You’ll be able to redeem your Membership Rewards points in all the ways described above. That means at the 5X rate you can get the equivalent of up to 5% cash back with the normal redemption methods. And as much as 10% cash back or more through point transfers.

Not only that, you’ll get a nice set of benefits that can help save you money while traveling. These include an annual $200 airline fee credit, good for one airline of your choice per year. This credit is for incidental fees only, like checked bags and in-flight refreshments. It doesn’t apply to ticket costs.

Cardholders can access a variety of airport lounges, including American Express Lounges, Priority Pass Select, and Airspace Lounges. A fee credit is available for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® to speed you through the terminal. And there are a variety of other perks to make your trips more comfortable, like complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status.

The Business Platinum card will cost much more than the Business Gold card. But that’s because it’s meant for people who travel quite often, enough to make the annual fee worth it. If you use the $200 credit every year, you can offset the annual fee by spending at least $7,900 per year through Amex Travel. That’s if you use a normal redemption method. If you get a great deal on a point transfer, you may be able to offset it by spending as little as $3,950.

Read more in our Review of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Is it worth the $595 annual fee?

 

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR17.49% - 22.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases – with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don’t expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (Review) is a relatively new addition to the credit card market. It comes with a $95 annual fee, and four bonus reward categories:

  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per year on the following (then 1X):
    • travel
    • shipping purchases
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
    • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus: 100,000 bonus points for spending $15,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Redemption bonus: 25% point bonus when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards

As you can see, some of these spending categories overlap with the Business Gold. But in this case you get 3X points in all of them, rather than choosing just one. That comes out to 3% cash back normally. But with the 25% bonus you’ll end up getting 3.75% cash back if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Like the Business Gold card, you’ll be able to transfer your points to other loyalty programs with the Ink Business card. Many of the same frequent traveler programs are included by both. And you can transfer at a 1:1 rate, so you’ll get about the same value for both cards per point.

The extra benefits for the Ink Business Preferred are a bit simple compared to the Business Gold. You’ll get some basic shopping and travel protections, but that’s about it.

The bonus categories are similar between these cards, but there may be one or two that would be especially valuable for you. The real value of the Ink Business card lies in earning rewards and redeeming them through Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you can do that, it may be a good low-cost alternative to the Business Gold.

Read more in our Review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

 

Airline and Hotel Business Credit Cards

There are many valuable business cards that are co-branded with airlines or hotels. These cards are made to be used with that specific brand, and are less useful elsewhere.

We’ll take a look at an airline card and then a hotel card. Do you always find yourself flying with one particular airline or staying at one particular hotel? If so, a branded credit card might be a great way to save some money and access extra benefits.

Airline Business Credit Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months.
  • Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Status-like benefits: First Check Bag Free on Delta flights + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding
  • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
  • Get closer to status with Status Boost™. Spend $25,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs); spend a total of $50,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in a calendar year and earn an additional 10,000 MQMs. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn toward flights.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card (Review) is made for flying with Delta, and has a $250 annual fee. (Rates & Fees)

This card comes with:

  • 3X SkyMiles per dollar for:
    • Purchases made directly with Delta
    • Hotels
  • 2X SkyMiles per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1.5X SkyMiles per dollar for purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 50,000 miles per year
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar for all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus: 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months; $100 statement credit after first Delta purchase in the first 3 months
  • Status Boost: Earn 10,000 MQMs for spending $25,000, up to twice per calendar year

You can redeem your miles for Delta flights, where they’ll usually be worth about 1.25 cents per mile. Or you can transfer them to a number of airline partners. The Medallion Qualifying Miles you earn can be used to upgrade your status, which comes with better perks.

But besides the rewards, the value of many co-branded travel cards comes from their benefits. With the Delta SkyMiles Platinum you’ll get quite a few.

They include discounted access to the Delta Sky Club lounge for you and up to two guests. Entry will cost $39 per person. You’ll also get one free companion ticket per year, good for one economy-class round trip when you buy an eligible adult ticket. Your first checked bag is free too, for you and up to eight companions. And you can skip the wait with Priority Boarding.

And there are even more airline-related benefits included with the card than that!

Hotel Business Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$125
Regular APR15.74–24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Review) has an annual fee of $125. (Rates & Fees) It offers:

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Marriott Bonvoy Portfolio
  • 4X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar spent at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
    • Shipping
    • Wireless phone services
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Introductory bonus: 75,000 bonus points if you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months

So you’ll be able to earn points at the Silver Elite status level at Marriott Bonvoy properties with this card. You’ll be able to redeem for one-night stays starting at 7,500 points. And there are a variety of other ways to redeem your points as well.

The extra benefits are pretty good too, with an annual free stay at a category 1–5 hotel. You’ll get automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status, granting a level of exclusive or complimentary services at Marriott locations. And a fast track to Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status, which comes with even better perks.

There are no foreign transaction fees , so it’s a good card for traveling anywhere in the world. If you’re spending a lot of time at Marriott Bonvoy hotels for business, you might as well take advantage of some of the benefits you can get with a card like this.

 

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0.00
Regular APR13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening – with no annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • You’ll get 3% and 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
  • Redeem your cash rewards as a statement credit, check, or have cash deposited into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.
  • Get 75% more cash back on every purchase when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you will earn 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card (Review) is a simple but rewarding option. If you don’t like the annual fee of the Business Gold, this one might suit you better.

For no annual fee, it offers:

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice:
    • Gas
    • Travel
    • Office supply stores
    • TV/telecom and wireless services
    • Computer services
    • Business consulting services
  • 2% cash back on dining
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Spending limit: 3% and 2% rewards only up to $50,000 per year, then 1% back
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening

So your bonus reward categories are a bit more limited. The card offers a solid welcome bonus, and the spending threshold required to get it is pretty manageable.

There’s also a 0% intro APR period of 9 billing cycles for purchases. This is a nice feature to have for businesses with startup expenses who need some time to pay them back.

The extra benefits are pretty basic for the most part. They’re mostly shopping and travel protections, along with some account management tools.

Although it’s not the flashiest business card, if you spend a lot in those reward categories it offers a free way to earn cash back. Just pay your bill on time each billing period to avoid interest and fees.

The Business Gold doesn’t include office supply stores, TV/telecom and wireless services, or business consulting services. So if you need a card for those kinds of purchases as well, you could use both of these cards together. Since the Business Advantage Cash Rewards has no annual fee, you won’t need to pay anything extra.

 

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Regular APR18.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (Review) is another simple card. It has an annual fee of $95, waived the first year.

Unlike many rewards cards, which have bonus categories, this card offers:

  • 2% cash back on every purchase you make, with no limit
  • Introductory bonus:
    • $500 cash bonus for spending $4,500 in the first 3 months

So this card will just provide 2% cash back, anywhere you spend. This makes it very flexible and easy to use. No worrying about reward categories, figuring out how to earn the most points for every purchase.

As a Visa Signature, this card comes with an upgraded set of extra benefits. The most valuable are probably the travel-related services and discounts you can get through the Luxury Hotel Collection. And Capital One also provides business-specific benefits to help you out, including trained customer support representatives.

If you make purchases of many different kinds or don’t want to deal with reward categories, this card could be a good option. You’ll need to spend $4,750 per year with it to offset the annual fee. So if you regularly spend more than that you could end up with a profit. If you spend enough per year, consider using it along with the Business Gold to cover any purchases that fall outside of that card’s bonus reward categories.

Read more in our Review of the Capital One Spark Cash Back Business Credit Cards

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$295
Regular APR14.24–22.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Do you use the Business Gold Card from American Express? How do you like it? Leave your own review below, we’d love to hear from you!

Looking for other business credit cards? Check out our picks for the Best Credit and Charge Cards for Small Businesses and Startups!

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For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, please click here.

At a glance

The American Express Business Gold Card features a unique business-focused rewards program, flexible redemption options, and a handful of benefits, creating one of the more appealing business credit card offers on the market.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, and Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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