The Business Gold Rewards Credit Card vs The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Jul 27, 2016

If your questions are not answered by this post, use the ASK button in the top right to tell us what’s missing!

Although Credit Card Insider does receive compensation from some card issuers as advertisers, this does not in any way influence our overall judgement of a card. American Express has not endorsed this content in any way.

Learn more about how we rate credit and charge cards.

This is a comparison of two business credit cards from American Express OPEN: the Business Gold Rewards and the Blue for Business® credit cards.

The first is a charge card, meaning the balance needs to be paid off each month, while the second is a typical credit card you can use to carry a balance from month to month. Each of them offers points for certain types of purchases, as well as a number of specialized business services.

Should you be using one of these to help fund your business? Keep reading to find out.

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 25,000 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

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.49%, 15.49%, or 19.49% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn a 30% annual Relationship Bonus — without an annual membership fee
  • Get 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after making your first purchase on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership — valued at up to $100 in gift cards at select merchants
  • No annual fee for each additional Employee Blue for Business® Credit Card
  • Get a low introductory APR on purchases for 9 months
  • Use points to reinvest in your business and reward your employees and clients
  • Choose rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply

The Rewards

Business Gold Rewards

  • 3X points per dollar in the 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
  • 25,000 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 for Business

  • 2X points per dollar for eligible travel purchases from the Amex Travel website
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
  • 10,000 bonus points after making your first purchase in the first 3 months
  • 30% point bonus every year

The Verdict

Here, the obviously superior card is the Business Gold Rewards, providing quite a few more points per dollar and giving you a wide variety of categories to pick from (a pretty rare feature on most cards). The rewards are great, but take note that you’ll end up paying an annual fee with them, and you’ll have to pay off your balance in full each month.

Take a look at your spending habits – do you need a card that rewards you in all those categories? Or would you be able to use the Amex Travel website often, for flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises? If you end up spending a lot on those kinds of things, that 30% bonus could add up to quite a bit.

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 for Business 0% for 9 months 11.49%, 15.49%, or 19.49% *Variable Not Available 25.49% *Variable 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 for Business 29.49% *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 you’ll need to use the Blue for Business card, which will help with its 0% introductory APR. But take note that you can’t use this card for balance transfers.

If you know that you can pay off your balance each month and can handle the annual fee as well, you’ll be all set to use the Business Gold Rewards charge card. The charge card makes things a bit simpler, with no interest or penalty APR to worry about.

Remember that you can avoid interest fees on the Blue for Business 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 for Business Credit Card are two great business credit cards from American Express, designed for different kinds of spenders. You’ll be able revolve your balance from month to month with the Blue for Business card, or pay it off in full and be worry-free 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’re looking for a card primarily to make travel purchases with, the Blue for Business card will be cheaper and more effective for your needs. You’ll get all those rewards and benefits at no annual fee, and the card can even be completely free to use if you avoid interest.

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, which has tied for first place for customer satisfaction. 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

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 25,000 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

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 11.49%, 15.49%, or 19.49% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn a 30% annual Relationship Bonus — without an annual membership fee
  • Get 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after making your first purchase on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership — valued at up to $100 in gift cards at select merchants
  • No annual fee for each additional Employee Blue for Business® Credit Card
  • Get a low introductory APR on purchases for 9 months
  • Use points to reinvest in your business and reward your employees and clients
  • Choose rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment
  • 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 for Business Credit Card, we’d love to hear from you!

Was this helpful?

The Insider

John Ganotis
Two free rides from 11 US airports from Uber and American Express
John Ganotis | Nov 16, 2016

Read More
Brendan Harkness
Review of the Best Western® Rewards MasterCard®
Brendan Harkness | Oct 21, 2016

The Best Western Rewards MasterCard provides 13 points for every dollar you spend with Best Western, along with a variety of extra perks and benefits.

Read More
Brendan Harkness
Review of the Upromise® World MasterCard®
Brendan Harkness | Sep 28, 2016

The Upromise World MasterCard offers up to 10% cash back at select retailers, and you can redeem your rewards directly to your college fund or student loan.

Read More

Trusted Credit Information

Putting People First, Always.

We are advocates of the responsible use of credit, building and managing your credit history, and making informed decisions when selecting a credit card.