The Business Gold Rewards Card vs The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Jul 27, 2016 | Updated Jun 21, 2017

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This is a comparison of two business rewards cards from American Express: the Business Gold Rewards Card and the Blue Business Plus Credit Card.

The first is a charge card, meaning the balance needs to be paid off each month, and has an annual fee. The second is a typical credit card that will let you carry a balance from one month to the next if necessary, and has no annual fee.

Both earn Membership Rewards points and come with a variety of benefits, but you’ll need to consider how much you spend per year and the categories where you spend the most to decide which card is a better fit for your business.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
Apply Now

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $175 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Quick Card Facts
  • Get 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • Redeem points for everyday business expenses, to help with travel costs or to reward employees and entertain clients
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • New: No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply
Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
Apply Now

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • No annual fee for each additional Employee Blue Business Plus Credit Card
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply

The Rewards

Business Gold Rewards

  • 3X points per dollar in one category of your choice:
    • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
    • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • U.S. purchases for shipping
    • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
  • 2X points per dollar on the 4 remaining categories
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in qualifying purchases in 3 months

As you can see, this card is pretty versatile. You’ll be able to choose the category that you’ll spend the most in to get 3X points, and still get 2X points in the others.

The 3X and 2X points apply to the first $100,000 spent in each category per year. After that, you’ll earn 1X point in that category.

After you pick your 3X category, you’ll be able to switch it once per year.

Blue Business Plus

  • 2X points per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases per year
  • 1X point per dollar for all purchases after that

The rewards card on this program is very straightforward, giving you the opportunity to earn the same rewards on all categories, with double the points on the first $50,000 you spend each year.

The Verdict

Membership Rewards points can be redeemed in a variety of ways. Many of the better ways, like redeeming for gift cards, result in a value of 1 cent per point, so we’ll assume that value for this comparison.

Let’s look at the Gold Rewards Card first. Since there’s a $175 annual fee on the Gold Rewards Card after the first year, you’d need to earn at least that much in rewards per year (or get that value from the benefits) to make the card worth it after the first year. If you spend heavily in any of the available 3X and 2X categories, you may be able to do this easily.

For example, if you spend at least $100,000 per year on shipping for your business and choose that as your 3X category, you would earn $3,000 worth of Membership Rewards on that category alone, so you would come out at least $2,825 ahead when considering the annual fee. Even if you spend $50,000 in that category you’d still come out $1,325 ahead after the annual fee. If you were to spend that same $50,000 on the Blue Business Plus, you’d only be earning $1,000 in Membership Rewards points value.

Basically, as long as you’re spending at least $50,000 per year on your business in any of the 2X or 3X categories, you can probably justify the annual fee on the Business Gold Rewards and earn more rewards value with that card. If you choose the 3X category wisely and spend a lot in that, you have the potential to earn many more points with the same spend.

If you’re spending less than $50,000 per year on your business, or you don’t spend enough in the 2X or 3X categories to earn 117,500 Membership Rewards points (17,500 to cover the annual fee of the Business Gold Rewards), then the Blue Business Plus may be the card for you.

The Benefits

Amex provides the same set of extra benefits for each card, which are designed specifically for small business owners.

Perks

  • Entertainment Access®

    Exclusive access to ticket pre-sales and card member-only events in your city.

OPEN Business Services

  • OPEN Forum®

    Online community for small business owners to connect with each other.

  • OPEN Savings®

    Extra savings on eligible purchases from participating merchants.

  • ReceiptMatchSM with QuickBooks®

    Track expenses with ReceiptMatch with QuickBooks®.

  • Account Alerts

    Get alerts about account information on your phone.

  • Account Manager

    Ability to give other people permission to manage your account.

Security

  • Dispute Resolution

    Help dealing with fraudulent and incorrect transactions.

Shopping

  • Extended Warranty

    For warranties of 5 years or less, get up to 1 extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Purchase Protection

    Items purchased with your card are protected against accidental damage and theft within 90 days of the purchase.

  • Return Protection

    If a merchant won’t take back an item within 90 days, American Express may refund the purchase price (restrictions apply).

Travel

  • 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.

  • Premium Roadside Assistance

    Assistance with services such as towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery in case of emergency (no cost for the first 4 times per year).

The Costs & Fees

Card Intro APR Regular APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Business Gold Rewards Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable  Not Applicable 0%
Blue Business Plus 0% for 15 months 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24% Variable Not Available N/A 2.7%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Business Gold Rewards Not Applicable Up to $38 or 2.99%, whichever is greater $38
Blue Business Plus 29.99% Variable Up to $38 $38

The Verdict

Here the differences are quite clear, as we’re comparing a charge card to a credit card.

If you want to have the option to revolve a balance from month to month, or take advantage of the 0% introductory APR for large purchases or balance transfers, you’ll need to use the Blue Business Plus card.

If you know that you can pay off your balance each month and can get enough value from the card to cover the annual fee, the Business Gold Rewards charge card may be the better choice for you.

Remember that you can avoid interest fees on the Blue Business Plus card, and all credit cards, simply by paying your balance in full each month.

The Bottom Line

The Business Gold Rewards Card and the Blue Business Plus Credit Card are two great business cards from American Express, designed for different kinds of spenders. You’ll be able revolve your balance from month to month with the Blue Business Plus card, or pay it off in full and possibly earn more rewards with the Business Gold Rewards.

Check the card rewards to figure out which one is right for you. Does your business make a lot of purchases in the categories listed for the Business Gold Rewards? Then it’s the obvious choice for you, even giving you the flexibility to change things up if you need to.

Or, if you don’t spend at least about $50,000 in the Gold Rewards Card’s 3X and 2X categories, the Blue Business Plus may fit your needs better, with the option to carry a balance when cash flow is tight.

Whichever card you use, you’ll have access to a nice set of extra benefits, including quite a few business-oriented features to help keep your finances in tip top shape. You’ll also get excellent customer service provided by American Express. This is an important selling point, especially for business products like these.

Want to apply for or learn more about one of these cards? Just click the card’s name below.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
Apply Now

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $175 (waived for the first year)
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Quick Card Facts
  • Get 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • Redeem points for everyday business expenses, to help with travel costs or to reward employees and entertain clients
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • New: No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply
Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
Apply Now

Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 12.24%, 16.24% or 20.24% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • No annual fee for each additional Employee Blue Business Plus Credit Card
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply
Not the cards for you? Click here to learn more about Business Credit Cards and see our picks for the best ones!

If you use one of these credit cards, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the Business Gold Rewards Card or the Blue Business Plus Credit Card, we’d love to hear from you!

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