American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card review: No annual fee and up to 2% cash back on all purchases
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. A $50,000 annual spend cap on bonus rewards is quite good for a card with no annual fee.
- Your business needs are always changing, and therefore, your spending habits might often change too. This card offers Expanded Buying Power, which allows you to spend beyond your credit limit. Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, and credit record.
- Take advantage of 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable.
- The $50,000 annual spend cap on bonus rewards is quite high, but if you see yourself spending beyond this each year, a card with no spending cap might be a better fit. Even if it has an annual fee, if you're using the card often enough, offsetting the fee likely won't be too hard.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ BENEFITS
- AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE
- AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES
- AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ APPROVAL ODDS
- HOW AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS
- IS AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ A GOOD CARD?
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is kind of like the perfect dinner guest. It doesn't suck up the life of the party by being too flashy and ostentatious but also isn't a bore either. In other words, it has a straight-forward cash back plan and no annual fee, and you won't be embarrassed that you invited it into your wallet. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is kind of like the perfect dinner guest. It doesn't suck up the life of the party by being too flashy and ostentatious but also isn't a bore either. In other words, it has a straight-forward cash back plan and no annual fee, and you won't be embarrassed that you invited it into your wallet. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.That said, if you're looking for creative ways to get points and cash back, and you do a lot of traveling for your business, this may not be your thing. But if you're starting a business or are an established business owner, and you just want to earn cash back on your purchases, and to heck with those rotating categories that some rewards cards have, we'll lay out a case for why you may be interested in the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card.
There are a number of appealing benefits with this card. In a nutshell…
- No annual fee
- Earn a $250 statement credit after making $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months
- A straight-forward cash-back plan— you'll get 2% cash back on your first $50,000 in purchases each year, and then 1%, and the cash you earn is automatically credited back to your statement
- Intro 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Expense management tools
- Free employee cards
- Expanded buying power— gives you the freedom to spend beyond your credit limit; just remember, the amount you can spend is not unlimited and adjusts with use of your card, your payment history and credit record
- Terms apply
- Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
- Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
This is worth discussing, because on foreign purchases, this card charges 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. Though that's better than many card's 3% fee, there are cards that don't have any foreign transaction fees, which could be better for frequent international travelers.
Let's say that you jet off to Australia, and you spend $8,000 on your American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. That 2.7% foreign transaction fee means you'll spend an extra $216 on the trip. So you'll really end up spending $8,216. Now, of course, the 2% cash back offer would actually mean you'd earn $160 off that $8,000 (assuming you haven't met the annual $50,000 yet), so you could look at it as though you're actually spending an extra $56 on the trip and not $216, but still, it's something to think about.
If you or your employees travel abroad often, you might want to consider a card with no foreign transaction fee, such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (compared below). The trade off is that the Chase card charges an annual fee, but it also offers a huge welcome bonus as well as a plethora of travel benefits to help offset that.
If you simply don't travel much, and your financial life isn't very complicated, you may not care about the foreign transaction fee and welcome the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card's simplicity.
Just as there are a number of appealing benefits with this card, there are some potential negatives. You've probably caught wind of all or most of them if you've read through this so far, but just to recap, what you may not love about the card includes…
- A $50,000 annual spending cap on bonus rewards. If your business spends a ton every year, and each month, it may disappoint you that the 2% cash back ends after reaching $50,000. So if you typically spend well over $4,100 a month, you may want a different card. That said, you still get 1% cash back after the $50,000, and that isn't limited.
- A 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. foreign transaction fee. As we covered above, this fee likely isn't ideal for frequent international travelers; however, it probably won't be a big deal if you don't travel abroad often or don't shop with overseas vendors in foreign currency.
- The introductory bonus. Business cards are known for some huge welcome bonuses. While this card does offer a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, that pales in comparison to many business card offers. Perhaps not a deal-breaker, but something to keep in mind.
Do you qualify for the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card? Since you don't necessarily need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to qualify for a business credit card, your chances could be higher than you might think.
Most credit card companies define "business" quite broadly when it comes to considering applicants for small business credit cards. So the list of people who can apply for a small business credit card is fairly lengthy and includes freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups.
To qualify for a business credit card, you must be your company's "authorized officer." Basically, this means that you must have the legal right to enter into borrowing arrangements with financial institutions on behalf of a business. If you are the owner of a sole proprietorship business or the sole owner of a small business, you are already an "authorized officer."
It can be more complicated determining who ranks for businesses that have multiple owners. In general, though, most owners are also "authorized officers." Credit card issuers consider each application on its own merits, so don't assume you don't qualify just because your business might not fit that standard business model. Do keep in mind though that your personal credit history will likely be what is used to determine your eligibility and/or credit limit on a business card before you've built up a credit history for your business.
If your business doesn't have a tax ID number (EIN), you can enter your personal social security number instead. In general, try to have the following information handy when you apply:
- Business name
- Business name as you want it to appear on the card
- Business address
- Type of business
- Tax ID number (or your social security number)
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue/sales
- Monthly expenses
- Number of years in business
- Ownership type (publicly traded, privately owned, etc.)
- Business structure (LLC, corporation, non-profit, etc.)
To learn more about who can qualify for a small business credit card, and how to apply for one, be sure to check out our "Small Business Credit Cards 101" guide.
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card vs. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is fairly different from the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, but they can both be great fits for different types of credit card users.
To start, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has an annual fee, whereas the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card does not. That said, Chase's annual fee is pretty small as annual fees go– $95. There's also a nice welcome bonus of 100,000 points once you spend $15,000 on the card in the first three months of opening the account. This bonus can be worth as much as $1,250 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, which is plenty to offset the annual fee for years to come.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card also has a more robust rewards program than the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. The Chase card offers three points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and other select business categories each account anniversary year, and one point for every $1 spent on everything else. Points can then be exchanged for cash transfers, gift cards or, for 25% more value, can be redeemed towards airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
That can really save a cardholder money, but it's a lot to remember, which is why some people might prefer 2% cash back on all purchases up to $50,000 and then 1% cash back from there on out like with the American Express card. Pretty simple.
There is no foreign transaction fee with the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card; the American Express Blue Business Cash Card charges 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars..
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card vs. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
This Chase card offers a hefty welcome bonus to new cardholders compared to that offered by the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, even though the spending threshold is high. New Ink Business Cash® Credit Card holders can earn a $750 cash-back bonus once spending $7,500 on purchases in the first three months of opening an account.
As far as ongoing rewards go, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
That may work out better for many Chase Ink Business Cash® cardholders, especially those who spend heavily on office supplies and communications costs, whereas some might just appreciate the simplicity of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card's cash back program: 2% cash back on purchases up to $50,000 annually, and then unlimited 1%.
One notable similarity between these two cards is that neither charges and annual fee, so they could both be great options for anyone looking for a no-annual-fee card to use, or to use as a secondary option to other cards.
Also worth noting are foreign transaction fees. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (unlike the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, which has no fee) has a 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars fee. The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card charges 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars..
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card vs. Capital One Spark Cash for Business
These are interesting cards to compare in the sense that in some ways, they're very much alike. Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers 2% cash back on all purchases. No caps. No categories to track. It's simple, like the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, which has that $50,000 cap, but is definitely simple: 2% cash back on purchases up to $50,000 and then 1% cash back on everything else - each year.
So you might think Capital One Spark Cash for Business is the way to go, but note, there is a $95 annual fee (waived the first year). And there's a bonus of $500 after you spend $4,500 in the first three months.
Lastly, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business has no foreign transaction fees.
Absolutely, but it depends what your interests are. If you travel a lot for business, and you want rewards for that, this probably is not your card, especially because of the foreign transaction fee.
If you want a straight-forward reward program that allows you to earn cash back, without worrying about rotating categories or tiers, or an annual fee, this is a great option to consider.
See Rates and Fees for the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card