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American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card review: No annual fee and up to 2% cash back on all purchases

A simple-to-understand cash back rewards structure will have your small business enjoying 2% cash back on all your purchases up to $50,000 spent in a calendar year, then 1%.
 CardRatings Editor  | Updated

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American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

American Express Blue Business Cash™ CardSponsored card
Our Rating:   
Good, Excellent
on American Express's secure website

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.
Terms and Limitations Apply

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.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ BENEFITS

There are a number of appealing benefits with this card. In a nutshell…

  • No annual fee
  • 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
  • You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new card within the first three months of card membership
  • 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

Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
 Cash Back on Groceries
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
 Cash Back on Other
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

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.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES

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% 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.
  • No huge introductory bonus. Some people really get jazzed when they get, say, 30,000 points if they spend $500 in the first three months as a cardholder. With this card you can earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new card within the first three months of card membership, but some may find this offer slightly limiting.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ APPROVAL ODDS

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.

HOW THE AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ COMPARES TO OTHER CREDIT CARDS

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 has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card vs. Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Once again, this Chase card offers a nice welcome bonus to new cardholders whereas the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card bonus is somewhat specific. New Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card holders can earn a $500 cash-back bonus once spending $3,000 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 similiarity 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% fee. The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card vs. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

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.

IS AMERICAN EXPRESS BLUE BUSINESS CASH™ A GOOD CARD?

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

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card Compared to Other Cash back Cards

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Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Apply online for Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card with Cash Back Rewards
Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card with Cash Back Rewards
Cash Back on Gas
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. 
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% 
Cash Back on Gas
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on Gas
Qualified applicants will receive exclusive benefits such as 1% cash back rewards on all purchases 
Cash Back on Groceries
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. 
Cash Back on Groceries
5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target(R) or Walmart(R) purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. 
Cash Back on Groceries
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on Groceries
Qualified applicants will receive exclusive benefits such as 1% cash back rewards on all purchases 
Cash Back on other
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. 
Cash Back on other
1.5% 
Cash Back on other
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on other
Qualified applicants will receive exclusive benefits such as 1% cash back rewards on all purchases 

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