American Express has been revamping each card in its charge card portfolio over the past several years. These changes have added new cardholder benefits, increased Membership Rewards point-earning opportunities and, unfortunately, higher annual fees. If you’re curious about the differences between charge cards and credit cards, check out this article.
The Gold version of the card, previously known as the Business Gold Rewards card, was renamed to just the Business Gold Card. If you decide that you want to sign up for this card, or any American Express business credit cards, we’d appreciate it if you use our link. We receive Membership Rewards points for each referral, which helps us keep Your Mileage May Vary HQ going strong.
Are the new benefits of the card worth the higher annual fee?
$295 per year
Sign Up Benefits
This card is subject to AMEX’s one sign-up bonus per lifetime rule. To read more about that, check out this article from Doctor of Credit.) AMEX also has added this stipulation to their cards:
Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility
If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain a welcome offer (s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit Membership Rewards points to, we may freeze Membership Rewards points credited to, or we may take away Membership Rewards points from your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us.
The referral link we have for this card currently has a 70,000-point bonus once you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Spending Bonus Categories
The Business Gold card earns 4X Membership Rewards on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from the list below, plus earn 1X on other purchases:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year, then earn 1 point per dollar.
This ability to earn a bonus on different spending categories each month is new to American Express cards. Previously, you had to choose a single category to get extra points in for the entire year. I really love this perk of the card because you might spend a bunch on airfare one month and none the next.
A drawback of this card is that the bonus categories only count for charges made in the U.S.
With the American Express Business Gold card, you’ll earn points in AMEX’s transferrable points program, Membership Rewards. While there are many uses for Membership Rewards, the best one is transferring points to one of AMEX’s travel partners.
- Are Lingus Aerclub
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia Millemiglia
- ANA Mileage Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Delta SkyMiles
- El AL Madmid Points
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest Miles
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- Iberia Plus Miles
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Choice Privileges Rewards
- Hilton Honors
- Marriot Bonvoy
25% Airline Bonus
You can use your Membership Rewards points to pay for airline tickets on the American Express Travel website at a value of 1 cent per point. You receive 25% of Membership Rewards points back for all or part of an economy ticket booked with American Express Travel on your chosen airline or a first or business class ticket on any airline, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.
The kicker is that you can only choose one of the following airlines per year for this benefit on economy tickets:
On a side note, AMEX really needs to proofread/update their T&Cs.
If you select Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, or AirTran Airways, to receive your 25% Airline Bonus you must call American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services at 1-800-428-0253.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
As you would hope a card that earns points that you can use for travel worldwide, the Business Gold Card does not charge any foreign transaction fees.
Pay Over Time
Since this is a charge card, the balance is due in full every month. Now, if you’re using your cards to earn points and miles for travel, you’re hopefully paying your balance every month on every card. If you need to carry a balance on this card, there is an option to do so.
A charge made by you or any additional Card Member on your account is eligible to be paid over time if it is equal to or more than $100 and is approved by us. Charges under $100 will be due in full each month. The following types of charges are ineligible for the Pay Over Time option: Cash and Express Cash, American Express® Travelers Cheques and other cash equivalents, certain insurance premiums, casinos and other gambling transactions, any fees owed to American Express except foreign transaction fees, and other transactions designated by us.
For transactions added to your Pay Over Time balance, we will charge interest beginning on the date of each transaction. We will not charge interest on charges added to your Pay Over Time balance if you pay your account Total New Balance by the due date each month. You must pay at least the Minimum Payment Due by the Payment Due Date each month to keep your account in good standing. The Minimum Payment Due includes all Pay in Full charges, any interest accrued on your account and a portion of your Pay Over Time balance.
The option is automatically turned on, but here’s how to deactivate it and why you should do so.
There’s no fee to add additional cardholders to your account. The maximum number of Additional Cards on an account is 99.
The American Express Business Gold Card has a variety of bonus categories. Getting the bonus multiplier on the two categories with the most spending each month is so much better than having to pick one or multiple categories for the entire year.
Getting a 25% discount on pay with points can be a huge perk if you often pay for economy flights on the same airline or business/first-class tickets. It still only gives a value of 1.33 cents each for Membership Rewards points, which is not that great. However, if you have plenty of points or if you’re booking an inexpensive business or first-class fare but still don’t want to pay cash for the ticket, this is a way to accomplish that.
While most of the American Express card portfolio changes have seemed lackluster to me, I think the Business Gold card changes are intriguing. I didn’t think the previous version was worth the $175 annual fee, and it would take some serious crunching of numbers to see if the $295 annual fee is worth it. You’d really have to take advantage of the 4x bonus categories or the 25% airline bonus to make the numbers work in your favor.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary