American Express Business Gold Card Benefits & Review 2021
The American Express® Business Gold Card is an excellent option for business travelers. It’s also possible to get a redemption bonus when booking award flights. You also get to choose which purchase categories can earn up to 4 Membership Rewards per $1.
Here is an in-depth look at the travel and business perks the Amex Business Gold offers.
You should consider this card if you’re a business traveler who prefers redeeming your credit card points for award flights. You can get 25% of your Membership Rewards back on award flight redemptions allowing you to give these points a second life.
This card is also unique as you can earn up to 4x Membership Rewards on your two highest spending categories for the month. Some of the options include airfare purchases, advertising, and shipping.
While this card has flexible redemption options and some travel benefits, the annual fee is a relatively high $295. You may need to be a frequent flyer to justify this fee.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|Annual Fee: $295|
Current Bonus: 70,000 Membership Rewards after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
4x Membership Rewards on 2 purchase categories per month (for the first $150,000 per year then 1x)
25% points back on award flight redemptions (up to 250,000 points back per year)
1:1 point transfers to airlines and hotels
Up to $100 hotel credit at The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Travel Insurance benefits
Business Management tools
No Preset Spending Limit
APR: 14.24% to 22.24% variable APR on purchases
Free employee cards
Good or Excellent Credit required (700+)
Featured American Express Business Gold Card Benefits
These are the best reasons to use this card for business purchases.
70,000 Membership Rewards Welcome Offer
You can earn a one-time welcome offer of 70,000 Membership Rewards after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months.
This bonus can be worth as much as $875 when you redeem the points for award flights and get the 25% airline redemption bonus. The offer is worth up to $700 for gift cards.
Customizable Bonus Categories
Tiered rewards credit cards can be an easy way to rack up the points if your most significant monthly purchases are the bonus categories.
This card can help you earn 4 Membership Rewards per $1 on two bonus categories each month.
There are six rewards categories and Amex automatically rewards 4x points instead of the 1x standard payout to your two highest qualifying expense types each month.
You will earn 4x Membership Rewards on the first $150,000 in combined annual spending. Then, you receive 1x points on the remaining purchases.
The 4x bonus categories are:
- Airfare purchases directly from airlines
- Online, TV, and radio advertising
- Computer hardware, software, and cloud systems
- Gas stations
- Restaurants (includes takeout and delivery)
Except for airfare purchases, you will only earn the 4x bonus on U.S.-based transactions for the other bonus categories.
As this is a retroactive bonus, you don’t have to opt-in to bonus categories. Instead, American Express automatically applies the bonus to the two highest expense types for each statement period.
25% Airline Bonus
You will get the most value from this card when redeeming your Membership Rewards for the 25% award flight redemption bonus.
You can receive up to 250,000 points back per year by booking qualifying award flights with a selected airline through Amex Travel.
First class, business class, and main cabin tickets are eligible for this bonus if you fly with your pre-selected airline.
You can choose an airline once a year in January. Then, any redemptions for the calendar year are eligible for the 25% deposit.
This card doesn’t offer an airline fee credit like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. However, you may appreciate this benefit as a way to save on flight bookings if you usually don’t incur incidental charges like checked bags or in-flight purchases.
1:1 Point Transfers
You also have the flexibility of transferring your Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio to several airlines and hotels. This redemption option can be more valuable than the 25% airline bonus when another carrier offers a better deal.
No Preset Spending Limit
This business card and its personal equivalent, the American Express Gold Card, do not have a preset spending limit. As a result, this product is technically a business charge card.
While American Express performs a hard credit check on your personal credit score when you apply, this card won’t impact future card applications like a credit card with a preset spending limit.
As a result, this card may not affect your Chase 5/24 limit for personal credit cards.
Other American Express Business Gold Benefits
These travel and business perks can also be worth it.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You won’t pay a foreign transaction fee on any international purchases. However, this card continues to be best for domestic purchases to earn 4x Membership Rewards on more purchases.
Hotel Collection Benefits
You can enjoy a couple of benefits when you book a minimum 2-night stay in The Hotel Collection from American Express.
- $100 on-site credit for dining, spa, and resort activities
- Space-available room upgrades
Travel Insurance Benefits
You can enjoy a quartet of travel insurance benefits:
- Baggage Insurance Plan: Up to $1,250 for carry-ons and $500 for checked baggage. New York State residents have an aggregate $10,000 limit for all covered persons per trip.
- Trip Delay Insurance: Up to $300 per covered trip (2 trips per year) when a roundtrip is delayed at least 12 hours for qualifying reasons.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Secondary collision damage waiver on most domestic and international car rentals.
- Global Assist Hotline: Receive medical, legal, and travel assistance when traveling at least 100 miles from home. Help requests are free but third-party services cost extra.
Expense Management Tools
Tracking your spending and paying bills can be easier with this card as you have several complimentary expense management tools.
- QuickBooks Integration: The accounting software can auto-categorize transactions and import your spending data.
- Vendor Pay by Bill.com: The Basic plan for one monthly user is free. You can use this service to pay invoices from domestic and international vendors.
- Account Manager: You can assign a trusted team manager to manage this card account, including managing payments and adding employee cards.
Free Employee Cards
While you pay a $295 annual fee for the primary card, each additional employee card is free. In addition, you can request up to 99 secondary cards.
Qualifying purchases with an original manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less can receive a one-year warranty extension.
Most cards only extend initial warranties of 3 years or less.
Covered purchases that are accidentally stolen or damaged within the first 90 days are eligible for up to $1,000 in purchase protection. The annual coverage limit is $50,000.
There are many ways to redeem your points for travel, cash and shopping rewards. These can be your most valuable options.
Each Membership Reward can be worth 1.25 cents when you book award flights on your selected airline with the 25% airline credit.
Your points are only worth 1 cent each when booking flights on other airlines through Amex Travel.
Non-award flight travel redemptions are also possible. However, your redemption value can be less than 1 cent if you use your points for hotel nights and car rentals.
Airline and Hotel Point Transfers
Membership Rewards has an extensive portfolio of airline and hotel transfer partners. Most of the loyalty programs support 1:1 point transfers in 1,000-point increments.
Many airline transfer partners are international carriers but Delta Air Lines and JetBlue are two domestic options.
You might consider this option when the redemption value is more than 1 cent per point as you get more mileage than through Amex Travel.
However, when transferring Membership Rewards to a U.S. airline, you will pay a $0.0006 federal excise fee (maximum $99 per transfer). Other credit card providers may not charge this fee when transferring points to domestic airlines.
Redeeming points for select retail and restaurant gift cards can make each point worth 1 cent each. So if you won’t fly soon, these gift cards can be the best non-travel award option.
Your points are worth 0.7 cents each for Amazon.com statement credits. You can link your Amazon and Membership Rewards accounts to pay for Amazon purchases with Amex points.
Cash Statement Credits
You can also redeem your points for cash statement credits. Unfortunately, this is one of the least valuable redemption options since each point is only worth 0.6 cents.
Here is a summary of the card fees:
- Annual Fee: $295
- Additional Cards: $0
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Late Payments: $39 or 2.9% of the Pay In Full amount (whichever is greater)
- Purchase APR: 14.24% to 24.24% variable APR
American Express Business Gold Compared to Similar Cards
These alternative business credit cards may offer purchase rewards, additional benefits, and card fees that are a better fit.
Chase Ink Business Preferred:
The Chase Ink Business Preferred makes it easy to earn bonus points on several purchase categories. You earn 3x Ultimate Rewards on the first $150,000 in combined annual spending for these expenses:
- Social media and search engine advertising
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Shipping purchases
All non-bonus spending earns 1 point per $1.
This card also has a 25% award travel redemption bonus and it applies to more bookings. Instead of getting a points rebate, your points are automatically worth 1.25 cents any time you book award travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Each point is also worth 1 cent each for cash and gift cards.
This card also has several travel insurance benefits, including primary car rental coverage.
The annual fee is $95 for the primary card and $0 for secondary cards.
Capital One Spark Miles:
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business earns unlimited 2x miles on purchases. Each point is worth 1 cent for travel statement credits and booking upcoming travel.
You can also transfer points to airlines and hotels, including many of the same airline partners. Unlike the Membership Rewards program, the transfer ratio is a lower value at 2:1.5 for most programs.
One additional travel benefit of note is a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100.
The annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months and then $95. Additional cards are free.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited:
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5% back on every purchase. Each point is worth 1 cent for travel, cash, and gift cards.
This card doesn’t offer point transfers to airlines and hotels like the Chase Ink Business Preferred or the American Express Business Gold.
You won’t pay an annual fee but a 3% foreign transaction fee applies.
Chase Ink Business Cash:
The Chase Ink Business Cash earns 5%, 2%, or 1% back on purchases.
Your first $25,000 in combined annual spending for office supply stores, internet, phone, and cable services earn 5% back (then 1% back).
Next, you earn 2% back on the first $25,000 in combined annual spending at gas stations and restaurants.
Each point is worth 1 cent for travel, cash, and gift cards. Travel point transfers are unavailable.
You won’t pay an annual fee but will encounter a 3% foreign transaction fee.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express:
The American Express Business Platinum Card offers more travel benefits than the Business Gold Card. You also pay a $595 annual fee instead of the Gold Card’s $295 annual fee.
Featured benefits include:
- 5x Membership Rewards on Amex Travel bookings
- 1.5x points on purchases above $5,000
- 35% airline bonus (up to 500,000 points back per year)
- Annual $200 airline fee credit
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- CLEAR statement credit
- Up to $200 in annual Dell Technologies statement credits
- American Express Global Lounge Collection airport lounge benefits
- Fine Hotels & Resorts stay benefits
If you’re a frequent flyer, this card can be worth the higher annual fee.
Blue Business Plus Card from American Express:
The Blue Business Plus Card from American Express lets you earn Membership Rewards without paying an annual fee.
Your first $50,000 in annual purchases earn 2x Membership Rewards. After that, all remaining spending earns 1 point per $1.
Each point is worth 1 cent when booking award flights through Amex Travel and you can also transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the Membership Rewards transfer partners.
The annual fee is $0 and the foreign transaction fee is 2.7%.
The annual fee is $295 for the primary card and $0 for employee cards.
The foreign transaction fee is 0% on all purchases.
Card purchases earn 4x Membership Rewards on the first $150,000 in combined annual spending. All standard purchases earn 1x points.
The Amex Business Gold bonus categories are:
Airfare purchases directly from airlines
Online, TV, and radio purchases*
Computer hardware, software, and cloud systems*
*U.S. purchases only.
American Express retroactively applies 4x Membership Rewards to your two highest bonus categories each month until your combined annual spending reaches $150,000.
You will receive 25% of the Membership Rewards back that you redeem for award flights for the airline of choice through Amex Travel. The maximum annual rebate is 250,000 points.
All award flight bookings for other airlines do not receive the 25% redemption bonus.
Each Membership Reward has a net value of 1.25 cents when your redemptions qualify for the 25% airline bonus.
Otherwise, each point has a maximum face value of 1 cent for award flights and gift cards.
Sadly, the Business Gold Card doesn’t offer airport lounge benefits. This perk is for the Business Platinum Card from American Express.
The American Express Business Gold Card is a charge card without a preset spending limit. Your spending power can be different each month as it relates to your recent spending and payment activity.
Yes, the American Express Business Gold is made of metal. However, your only card design is Gold as the Rose Gold design is currently exclusive to the consumer version.
Despite being a business credit card, you will need good or excellent personal credit to qualify. Applying with a minimum 700 credit score can give you the best approval odds.
Corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships can apply for the Business Gold.
First-time applicants can earn 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards after making $10,000 in purchases during the first 3 months.
This bonus isn’t available to applicants that have earned a previous Business Gold Card welcome offer.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The American Express Business Gold Card is a good option if you redeem your Membership Rewards for frequent flyers and maximize the 25% airline bonus and 1:1 point transfers.
You should also consider this card if you can earn the 4x Membership Rewards on the bonus categories.
Otherwise, this card has a high $295 annual fee without offering premium travel benefits. You can get similar purchase rewards and redemption options with a smaller annual fee if your spending and travel habits cannot offset the annual cost.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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