Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express review
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Earn two-times the points on your first $50,000 in purchases annually.
- Take advantage of an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening (13.24% - 19.24% Variable after that).
- You'll earn points on purchases made above your credit limit, giving you earning power and flexibility (buying above your limit isn't unlimited; it's based on your payment history and other factors).
- If you routinely spend disproportionately in particular categories, you might be better served with a card that rewards purchases in those categories with a higher rewards-earning rate.
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When Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express marketing materials say the card will "fuel your vision," they're not kidding around. With two-times the points on your purchases up to $50,000 spent per calendar year, small business owners could see a huge return on their spending power. And there's no annual fee to offset, meaning all rewards stay in your pocket. (See Rates and Fees. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.)
Perhaps the one thing that sets the Blue Business® Plus apart from its competitors the most, however, is the ability to spend above your credit limit (with certain terms and regulations, of course) and still earn rewards on those purchases. The flexibility that this affords small business owners is among the top reasons you should consider adding this card to your wallet if you're a small business owner.
There's also intro 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening (then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable), which can help small business owners buy the things they need without additional fees that sometimes accompany other banks' terms. (See Rates and Fees.) You can also earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. As far as ongoing rewards go, users can earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. The 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, and then earn 1X per dollar thereafter.
- Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 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
- Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
- With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
- With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
- No Annual Fee
- Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
Trust – it's among the top things the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is selling to its cardholders. With the flexibility to spend above your credit limit, American Express is choosing to trust its members.
The amount you're allowed to spend above, while not set in stone and is subject to your credit rating, payment history, and other terms, not only allows you to purchase necessary items or services for your small to mid-size business, it also allows you to earn rewards on it. Talk about customer appreciation. And have we mentioned this card doesn't charge an annual fee? (See Rates and Fees.)
The rewards you can earn based on your spending are also worth noting. There are no categories rotating month-to-month, so you have a bit less to think about when it comes to making the most of your business' credit card rewards earning, but you also have the opportunity to earn more than the typical flat-rate rewards card.
Here's the deal: On the first $50,000 spent each calendar year, you'll earn two times the Membership Rewards® points on all your purchases. After that first $50k you'll earn one point per $1 spent. Welcome offers are great, but they're kind of a one-time deal. With this card though, you'll basically be getting a "welcome to a new year" opportunity to earn every year.
For small business owners looking to make some big purchases and pay interest-free over time or just to rack up rewards for regular business purchases, this card could be an excellent tool in helping you achieve business success.
Although the introductory 0% period is nice, don't let it lull you to sleep so much that you allow your balance to grow unchecked. You'll want to make a plan to pay off the balance before the intro period ends. Additionally, while the opportunity to earn two times the Membership Rewards® points on the first $50,000 spent annually is nice, if you know you'll spend well above that each year you could likely earn more rewards with a card that offers a higher spending cap for its highest rewards (that said, you'll probably pay an annual fee for those cards).
Additionally, if you spend more in specific categories, you might not be rewarded with the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express as much as you would with another card that offers higher rewards in particular categories.
Do you qualify for the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express?
The list of people who can apply for a small business credit card is long, and includes freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups. Most credit card companies define "business" quite broadly when it comes to considering applicants for small business credit cards. To qualify for a business credit card, you must be an "authorized officer" of a company. 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." You are, after all, the only owner of the company. 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® Plus vs. American Express® Business Gold Card
We'll start with the annual fee. The annual fee for the Blue Business® Plus card is zero. The annual fee for the American Express® Business Gold Card is $295.
This is a big difference, and it might cause you steer clear from the Business Gold card, but for that $295, there's a lot the cardholder receives.
The Business Gold Card offers a lot of rewards that should easily pay for the $295 annual fee, provided your business spends a lot. You'll get 4x Membership Rewards® points on the two select categories where your business spent the most each month– 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year. You also pick up 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.
As for the welcome bonus, with the Amex Business Gold Card, new cardholders can earn 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points after spending $10,000 during the first three months.
American Express Blue Business® Plus vs. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
These two credit cards are for business professionals, but that's really where the similarities end.
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business rewards new cardholders with 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,500 in the first three months of account opening, compared to the 15,000 Membership Rewards® points new Blue Business® Plus cardholders can earn after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
As for ongoing rewards, the Amex Blue Business® Plus card rewards 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 in purchases every year; after that, it's 1X point per dollar. The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business allows you to earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions. Plus, earn 5X the miles on hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One Travel.
The Blue Business® Plus credit card has no annual fee. The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has no annual fee for the first year – after that, there's a $95 annual fee.
American Express Blue Business® Plus vs. American Express® Blue Business Cash
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express and the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card both offer 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months. After that your APR will be a variable rate (currently 13.24% - 19.24% Variable for Blue Business Cash and 13.24% - 19.24% Variable for Blue Business® Plus), based, of course, on your creditworthiness. Both cards also allow users to spend beyond their 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, credit record and other factors.
As for ongoing rewards, the Blue Business® Plus gives you 2X Membership Rewards® points on every day business purchases up to $50,000 in purchases every year; after that, it's 1X point per dollar.
Instead of rewards points, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card offers 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, and after that, 1% on all purchases. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your account. The card also offers a $250 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Neither card charges an annual fee.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a great card for small business owners who want cash back as well as simplicity. With allowed spending above your credit limit, you have the flexibility you need to make decisions on the go for your business. The new entrepreneur or small business owner could find this card fits perfectly with their needs.
For rates and fees of American Express cards mentioned in this post, please see the following links: American Express® Business Gold Card (See Rates and Fees); American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (See Rates and Fees); The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees).