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Securing a credit card in the name of your small business can prove invaluable to your future growth potential, as many banks will require that your business has an established credit history before they’ll consider lending larger forms of financing.
These are both charge cards, which means that you can’t carry a balance from month to month. Instead, you’ll need to pay off the entire balance every billing period.
Should you be funding your business with one of these cards? Keep reading our review to find out!
Business Green Rewards
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
As you can see, this card is pretty versatile. You’ll earn 4X points in the two categories you spend the most in every month, which are automatically calculated at the end of the month.
You’ll also get some valuable first-year benefits, described below.
These cards are pretty different.
The Green card is simple and designed mainly for travel spending, with just the single category to earn 2X points in. The Gold card lets you earn more points in the categories you spend the most in, even if that changes from month to month. You’ll have more opportunities to earn points, and there’s a 25% bonus for certain redemptions too.
If your primary objective in securing a business card is to build a credit history for your business, and you don’t expect to make significant business-related purchases for equipment, travel, or marketing, the Green Rewards card is probably the more cost-effective option.
However, if your business is more established, you have a consistent budget for operational expenses (and revenue to cover those costs each month), and your team travels and/or entertains clients frequently, the Gold Card may be a simple way to earn rewards for business expenses you’ll incur regardless.
These cards come with a shared set of benefits from American Express, which is pretty comprehensive when it comes to the business-oriented features, as well as providing strong shopping and travel protections.
The Gold card also includes a few valuable benefits that you won’t get from the Green card, as noted below. To see the full set of benefits for either card, see:
- Benefits for the American Express Business Green Rewards Card
- Benefits for the American Express Business Gold Card
One Free Year of ZipRecruiter Standard (Gold Card Only)
You’ll get up to $2,988 in statement credits for ZipRecruiter in your first year, enough for one year at the Standard plan level.
One Free Year of G Suite Basic (Gold Card Only)
You’ll get up to $204 in statement credits for G Suite in your first year, enough for one year at the Basic plan level.
The Travel Collection by Travel Leaders Group (Gold Card Only)
Enroll to gain access to a variety of travel planning services, discounts, and amenities
The Hotel Collection (Gold Card Only)
Get a credit of up to $75 for eligible hotel expenses booked through Amex, for qualifying stays of two nights or more. Does not cover the cost of the room.
Get a variety of valuable discounts at many different merchants. Must be added to the card manually online.
Tier One Program
Businesses that spend at least $5 million per year may be eligible to receive enhanced benefits from Amex. Check your Guide to Benefits for details.
Exclusive access to ticket pre-sales and card member-only events in your city.
Free Employee Cards
You can get up to 99 employee versions of this card at no additional cost. You can set individual spending limits and earn rewards from their purchases.
ReceiptMatch with QuickBooks®
Track expenses with ReceiptMatch with QuickBooks®.
Get alerts about account information on your phone.
Ability to give other people permission to manage your account.
Help dealing with fraudulent and incorrect transactions.
For warranties of 5 years or less, get up to 1 extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty.
Items purchased with your card are protected against accidental damage and theft within 90 days of the purchase.
If a merchant won’t take back an item within 90 days, American Express may refund the purchase price.
Global Assist® Hotline
When you travel 100 miles or more from home, provides help with travel accidents like lost passports, the need for a lawyer, sudden illness, and more. You pay for all third-party service costs.
Baggage Insurance Plan
Eligible lost, damaged, or stolen bags are covered up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage & checked bags together and up to $500 for checked baggage only.
Travel Accident Insurance
Up to $100,000 in financial security if accident or death is caused when traveling by Common Carrier plane, train, ship, or bus.
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
Stolen or damaged vehicles are covered if you use your card to pay and reserve the rental, and you decline the collision damage waiver.
Assistance with services such as towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery in case of emergency.
The Costs & Fees
|Card||Annual Fee||Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Business Green Rewards||$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95||N/A; paid in full monthly||N/A||N/A||2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.|
|Business Gold||$295||N/A; paid in full monthly||N/A||N/A||None|
|Card||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|Business Green Rewards||$38?or?2.99%?of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater.||$38|
|Business Gold||$38?or?2.99%?of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater.||$38|
These are both charge cards, so they don’t have traditional interest rates. This means you’ll be saving money compared to someone carrying a balance from month to month, but you’ll need to pay off the entire card in full every month.
However, the Gold Card does have an option that allows you to carry a balance from month to month at a given interest rate, like a typical credit card. We don’t recommend doing this, because you’ll incur interest that will eat away at the value you get from the rewards and benefits.
As you can see above, the main difference here is the annual fee. You’ll pay almost more than twice as much for the Gold card, so be sure you’ll earn enough points each year to make the fee worthwhile.
These cards both have no pre-set spending limit, but this doesn’t mean you can spend as much as you want. You’ll be given a spending limit when you’re approved, and this limit will be adjusted over time depending on your usage and credit history (either increasing or decreasing).
You can get additional employee cards to distribute to your employees with both the Green and the Gold card.
The Bottom Line
The American Express Business Green Rewards Card and the Business Gold Card are both good options, but they provide rewards in very different ways. The three aspects to compare are the rewards, benefits, and fees.
If you’re looking for a card primarily to improve your credit history, the Green Rewards is obviously the cheaper card to get the job done. If not, you’ll need to base your decision on the rewards they offer. Do you only need the card for travel spending? Or does your business spend money in the Gold Card’s categories each month?
If you need a card for a variety of different purchases, and you’ll end up spending in at least a few of the categories, the Gold Card will serve you better. The ability to earn points in the categories you spend the most in is pretty unique. Just make sure that you’ll use it enough and earn enough points to make the annual fee worth it.
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