If you're looking to control and track spending for your small business, while earning travel rewards and saving money over the long haul, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN may be the right card for you. (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser)
A traditional charge card, the Business Green Rewards Card has no interest rates, so you save money compared to cards with which you carry a month-to-month balance. With the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, the balance must be paid in full by the due date each month, so there's no temptation to let a balance slide from one month to the next (accruing interest along the way).
The card also comes with the ability to earn membership rewards that can be used toward business expenses whether it's for travel, purchasing gift cards for clients, dining out or simply shopping for office supplies and more at various retailers. You can also get cards for your employees, making it easier to stay on top of how much your employees are spending while also earning more rewards for your business.
New card ownership also comes with a welcome bonus offer allowing new cardholders to earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after making a qualifying purchase in the first year of card membership. Additionally, you'll earn one point for each dollar spent on qualifying purchases and two points for each dollar spent when booking travel on the American Express Travel website.
Here are the some of the perks that come with card ownership:
Besides those 5,000 bonus points just for making your first qualifying purchase in the first year of card ownership, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has a few things our editors really like.
While a charge card like the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is paid in full each month to help the card owner who doesn't quite trust themselves or their employees to spend responsibly, or simply want to keep their costs down, there is the Pay Over Time feature for some purchases. The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN allows eligible cardholders to enroll this Pay Over Time program to allow certain purchases to be paid over a certain length of time. With this option, on certain purchases you can pay over a certain length of time, choosing to carry a balance. You will accrue interest on these purchases, but it's certainly helpful if you are making a big ticket purchase for your business with this card and just can't quite pay it off in the same month as the purchase.
The card also offers a Pay with Points option when making purchases through American Express Travel to a Membership Rewards® program-enrolled American Express® Card. While purchases like car reservations, non-prepaid hotels and fine hotel and resorts bookings are excluded, the rest is fair game. Those accrued points you have will just be debited from your Membership Rewards® account and credited for the corresponding dollar amount which will be issued to your credit card.
If you travel often for business, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN provides a lot of extra assistance when traveling, which we like, from protection on lost and stolen baggage, to rental car insurance and its Global Assist hotline when traveling more than 100 miles from home giving you 24/7 access to medical, legal and financial assistance, as well as assistance wiring cash, replacing a lost or stolen passport and more. Plus, you won't pay any foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad.
Spending those Membership Rewards® points isn't particularly straightforward. According to American Express, the value of your Membership Rewards® points varies based on how you use them. Meaning, the number of points required for an item may vary depending on the merchant offering the item and which redemption channel you choose. Points are redeemed through various channels funneling through American Express Membership Rewards®.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card isn't a charge card like the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and also unlike the American Express card, there is no annual fee. Bank of America® cardholders earn cash back rather than points with their purchases: 3 percent cash back on purchases made at gas stations and office supply stores (up to $250,000 in spending each year, the 1 percent after that), 2 percent back at restaurants and 1 percent on all other purchases. New card holders can earn a $200 statement credit by making $500 in purchases within the first 60 days of card ownership. Additionally, new Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card members also enjoy nine billing cycles of 0 percent APR on purchases (then, 12.24% - 22.24% Variable APR on purchases), making this a great choice if you have start-up costs coming your way or some other major purchase.
Both cards offer an annual fee waived the first year, but the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card fee is significantly lower at $59 after that compared to $95 for Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. Unlike the American Express card, Capital One customers earn cash back, rather than points toward purchases, making it simpler. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business cardholders earn an unlimited 2 percent cash back on all purchases, which could add up to thousands of dollars to pour back into their business.
Plus, new cardholders can earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 within the first three months.
Unlike the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has no annual fee and offers cash back deals that are pretty robust. Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card cardholders earn 5 percent back each account anniversary year on the first $25,000 they spend in combined purchases at office supply stores, as well as on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable television services. They also earn 2 percent cash back each year on up to $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants, as well as 1 percent on all other purchases with no limit to the amount they can earn.
Your rewards can be redeemed for cash back, travel or gift cards, making this a fairly flexible rewards card. In addition, you can earn a $300 bonus after making $3,000 in purchases within the first three months -- something that should be easy given that new cardholders also enjoy 0 percent interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months.
The American Express Business Green Rewards Card is great for the small business owner who doesn't quite trust themselves not to carry a large balance and who travels often to take advantage of those membership rewards. A traditional charge card that does require you to pay in full each month, it does allow for building rewards which can be used toward future business travel.