Why I Won’t Apply For The New 50,000 Point The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express OPEN [EXPIRED]

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Update: This offer is no longer available. 

There was a flurry of activity on the blogs about The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN yesterday.

You get 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 within 5 months and the annual fee of $175 is waived for the first year.

This is  much better than the regular offer of 15,000 Membership Reward Points, but the required $10,000 in minimum spending is very high.

The Points Guy wrote (bolding mine):

There is a 3/2/1 point bonus structure as well for this card. It’s still 3x points on airfare, but 2x on advertising, gas and shipping (vs gas and groceries on the personal card) and 1x for everything else.

This is quite possibly the best business card on the market – and definitely the best intro offer. I’m currently on my iPhone, but I’ll post more on the offer later.

But I don’t see what the fuss is about!

Not The Best Sign Up Bonus

This is clearly, NOT, in my opinion, “the best intro offer” for a business card.

The best sign-on bonus for a business card is the 75,000 AAdvantage mile bonus on the Citi AAdvantage Visa Business Card.

Not only is the sign-on bonus 50% higher (75,000 vs 50,000) on the Citi Visa Business card, but you also have to complete only $1,500 in minimum spending over 6 months versus $10,000 in spending over 5 months for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.

A lower sign-up bonus TOGETHER with a 567% increase ($1,500 vs. $10,000) in the minimum spending required (to get that lower sign-up bonus), makes The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN much less desirable to me than the Citi AAdvantage Business Visa.

Transfer Bonuses

But what about the transfer bonuses when you transfer American Express Membership rewards points to Delta or British Airways?

Yes, but even with a 50% transfer bonus you get only 75,000 (50,000 sign up bonus + 25,000 transfer bonus) Delta or British Airways miles.

And I’d take 75,000 American Airline miles over 75,000 Delta or British Airways miles anytime.

That’s because redeeming 75,000 American Airline miles will almost always be cheaper than redeeming British Airways miles (except perhaps if you go to South America since BA charges 40,000 miles for a coach round trip versus 60,000 for AA).

British Airways has a more expensive redemption chart, in general, and also charges more for fuel surcharges compared to American Airlines.

Delta may get you to Australia and Bora Bora through partner airlines, but has pretty exorbitant award redemption for almost anywhere else.

There’s a reason why they offer those transfer bonuses. 😉

Other Reasons Why I’m Not Applying

  • Sure, I can use Amazon Payments and Venmo to meet the minimum spending, but I will be using those services to the maximum and will not have any back-up should a better offer come along
  • Earning twice the number of points on advertising and shipping is not useful to me

Why this card may work for you

  • You don’t have an issue meeting the $10,000 minimum spending
  • You earn three times the number of points on 1 of 5 categories you choose:  Airfare purchased directly from airlines, US advertising in select media, US gas stations, US shipping, and US hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases.  And 2X points on the 4 categories you don’t choose.  So if you make a lot of purchases in these categories you will end up with extra Membership Reward Points
  • You want to transfer the Membership Reward points to partner airlines such as ANA, Aeroplan, Continental, Delta, or British Airways
  • You have no issues finding Delta award availability from your airport

If you do apply for the card

  • $10,000 in minimum spending could potentially be difficult to complete in 5 months (in which case your sign up bonus is zero Membership Reward Points)
  • American Express is notorious for having Financial Reviews of your account (where they suspend your card and request your tax returns from the IRS) if you purchase a lot of American Express gift cards to help meet the minimum spend, so be careful!

Bottom Line:

This card is not for me, primarily because of the high minimum spending required, but may be useful to some readers.

Will you apply for this card?  Why or why not?

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31 responses to “Why I Won’t Apply For The New 50,000 Point The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express OPEN [EXPIRED]

  1. Does this card offer free lounge access?

  2. Do you have any invite for venmo. I noticed that they accept new people only with invitation. I will appreciate that. Thanks

  3. I will apply, not because of the 50k bonus, but because I will likely be able to tack on another 100k bonus via code 6608.

    • @alohastephen – No, it does not offer lounge access. The AMEX Platinum offers lounge access with Delta, US Air, and AA.

      @Shami – Try “mash6”

      @FrequentMiler – I’ve read the code 6608 expired on August 16, but would be neat if you could get it activated (but may not be possible).

      @Steve Schwartz – I still do champion getting the card if it works for you, and it certainly will work for lots of business owners or folks who can meet the minimum spend. I wasn’t trying to suggest that one had to choose between the AA and AMEX cards (always better to get both if you can 🙂 ), but was suggesting that it isn’t the best sign up offer as has been suggesting.

  4. Well Daraius, this blog finished better than it started! I was shocked reading it in the beginning as you wrote it as tho we had to choose between the AMEX and the AA Business cards, when you have been championing getting all the ones that work for you!

    It works for me. Using it for my business, I’ll get the spend in less than one month. Used 18,000 of the just posted Sapphire bonus to bring my wife up to 100,000 miles and will use the balance and the AMEX bonus to get me there. That means we’ll both have 100,000 miles and can get two Business Class tickets – so for me, it’s a good deal!

    Peace 🙂

  5. Daraius- the Amex card is a charge card, which offers much higher limits than the AA Business card. So for an actual business owner (especially one who spends a lot, especially on airfare, gas, advertising, office supplies) this card BLOWS the AA card out of the water.

    AA miles are fine, but they are not flexible? What if you have to fly Star Alliance? Skyteam? With an AA card you have no flexibility. As a small business owner I really value that flexibility and spend power. I guess I should have highlighted that more in my post, but there’s a lot more that goes into a card than initial sign-up bonus.

    • @The Points Guy – I don’t disagree with you that (for an actual business owner) this is a very good card.

      But I do disagree that this is the “best intro” offer. It is not, unless you value the flexibility more than 25,000 additional AA miles. I don’t, but as my post highlights, there could be reasons why the card would work for you. I just don’t see this as a useful card for many folks who churn cards.

  6. @Frequentmiler- the 6608 bonus code is for the Amex Business Gold card, which has been discontinued. If you already applied for it, then the 6608 should get you 100k, but the Business Gold Rewards card is the new replacement. Amex even took the Business Gold down from their website.

  7. As a real business owner with 4 employees (architecture) I don’t think I’ll be getting this one. In the Pacific NW AMEX is not popular and you get shot down most of the time trying it. Having just gone through the $4,500 CITI AMEX spend I won’t put myself through a $10,000 spend right now even with 5 months to do it.

    TPG’s points are valid for a company with any reasonable amount of required travel as airfare would be a great way to get the spend, but without that component much harder. In order to maximize profitability I spent the last 10 years developing the lowest cost sources of everything we use and those vendors don’t take plastic.

    But all of these deals work that way, they are complicated enough that they are perfect for some and not very good for others.

  8. I wont be getting the card due to the 10k spending. Im gearing up for a round of approvals and the citi business is definitely number 1 for my situation.

  9. I’m not getting the card. I’ve got too many others out there right now where I have to meet minimum spend and too many outstanding AMEX gift cards from previous spends—I’ll pass until all these things are out of the way.

    • @Brian(J) – I didn’t know that AMEX was hard to use in the Pacific NW! This is a good card if you buy a lot of air tickets or the categories for 2X points, but as you point out some will find it useful and some will not. I just don’t see it as the best intro offer.

      I’ve tried to help business owner friends rack up FF points, but as you point out, it is usually a trade off between lower prices or being able to pay with a credit card. And most times the cost savings are more lucrative than the FF points.

      @Eric& @Ed – Thanks for sharing. This would be a much better deal if the minimum spending wasn’t so high!

  10. I agree with you on this one Daraius. I can see where this card would be great for some people, I am, however, not one of them.

  11. How can I get a https://venmo.com invite ?

  12. @JAZ, I got a “self-invite” 2 weeks ago by requesting one on their website.

  13. I agree with you Daraius. I won’t be getting this card because of the high $10K spend compared to the bonus, and will instead hold out for future offers that may be better. Thanks for your post!

  14. Point Guys… Thanks for the info on the discontinued promo code for 100k bump. I was going to do that. I guess not. Funny another site suggested to use the new card with the old promo. I am glad I didn’t. Just have to wait now for new opps…

    • @IPBrian & @Jenny – Maybe they will come out with a version with a lower spend soon!

      @JAZ – You can use “mash6″

      @Ed -Thanks for helping out!

      @Cheaplee – Bonus code 6608 expired on August 16.

  15. Isn’t Open Savings what really gives the card an advantage? I agree with Daraius that it’s not the best signup bonus but I agree with points guy that it makes a strong argument for a great business card because of the 50k MR in conjunction with the Open program…

  16. I think this is a good earning card for a real biz card, and it is a “not bad” intro (let’s face it the 75-100k are likely to be culled back over time)

    I do feel TPG has become a bit blinded by Amex recently though. Think all these free points and favors he is being showered with cloud the vision. Promoting crappy uses like pay with points and accepting free points left right and center…. love his blog but I have to put on the “de-rosing” glasses reading it these days

  17. this is something that really irks me
    I got the biz gold card back in march when they had a “one day only” event
    same bonus 50k
    got it bumped a few times, latest was to 100k, but those points havent posted yet….waiting
    but what now? turns out the card i have does NOT give the 2x/3x points the way premier rewards card DOES, or like i thought it would.
    Can i get the NEW GOLD card? probably but prob no bonus.
    and all those thousands i blew on airfares on this card yielding half or a third as many points as i would have gotten from using sapphire card….ugh

  18. I think Daraius’ analysis is spot on from a churner’s or non-business owner’s point of view. The sign-up bonus/initial spend combo would ward me off. That being said if a business owner needed a card for purchases this would be one of the best out there to garner points. Nice post btw.

  19. Regarding some of the bump comments, based on my recent experience with bumps at Amex, it seems to be wishful thinking, and yes, YMMV. They would not do it for the personal PRG as recently as this week and I tried everything. And I have a very good relationship with Amex and a ton of spend.

    I wish the blogs that make it sound easy would stop. Even doing it on the Plat card a few months ago, while ultimately successful, was no simple task.

  20. No problems using AMEX here in the PNW. Good to know this card isn’t the same as the old Biz Gold. May have to add it to the quiver. 😀

  21. Chiming in with another perspective as a small business owner.

    I’ve applied for and been approved for this card already. I can meet the $10k spend very easily within a few days, and 95% of my charges on my business cards are advertising related. The 2x bonus for advertising expenses will be ridiculously lucrative for me, so much so that I’m willing to risk getting a financial review from AMEX. I’m really excited about this card.

  22. @JAZ and others, re Venmo…their product is really NOT ready for prime time. I was simply testing their application with a $1 transfer between my son’s phone and mine and they froze my accounts—they said I had “multiple accounts” and it appeared to be fraudulent.

    Use them with caution. I will not recommend them for my network of friends. Prefer to wait for Paypal to roll out a better system.

  23. venmo really sucks.

    • @Phil – I agree that it is quite a good card if you do have a business, but it is not the “best” intro as claimed.

      @dan – That sucks! Though, you may be able to get the sign on bonus again if this is considered a new card type. I’m not sure on this, but do let us know what happens.

      @Farhan – Thanks! I was writing from my perspective, but it was nice to be reminded of the other perspectives as well!

      @Carl – I agree that it is YMMV.

      @HikerT – Always nice to have another arrow, isn’t it!

      @Seeking Status – I’m curious to learn how AMEX codes “Advertising” what is included. Big agencies don’t take credit cards (Y&R etc.) so I’m wondering what counts. Is it Kinkos and smaller print shops that count as advertising?

      @Ed & @wacky guy – I’ve not had any problems with Venmo, but have read that they are very trigger happy about suspending accounts.

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  25. The $10,000 spend totally put me off the card and I was 100% in agreement with Darius and couldn’t get TPG’s point at all, I even posted to that effect earlier. But now I am coming around to a different view.

    I’ve got the AA cards and the Alaska cards and lots of airline miles, where I am hurting is hotel miles. If I go for this deal there are a couple of ways I could make it work, like paying property or estimated FIT taxes or other bills that I normally would never do because of the CC fees. But look at the numbers, even if I don’t use a portal/gift card launder to reduce the fees, even if I pay 3% CC fee on the entire 10K my out of pocket would be $300 for 60,000 miles that could go direct to my Hyatt program. In reality I can get the fees down around $150 so the net cost of the miles gets to around $.0025/mile and more if I push to BA with a bonus some day. Those points plus 6K I can transfer from my Sapphire or my Amex Gold Rewards will get 3 nights at a top shelf Hyatt for about $200 and that is a very good deal.

    • @Brian(J) – I’m in the same position as well, which is why I applied for the BOA Hawaiian Airline card and will convert the 35K miles into 70K Hilton points. It is harder to get hotel points, than it is to get air miles.

      However, you can’t transfer MR points to Hyatt. You could transfer them to Hilton at a 1:1.3 ratio or to Priority Club (1:1) or SPG (3:1), but the ratio makes it very unattractive. You’d just about get 1 night after making the transfer.

      I do hear ya on paying a 3% fee for 50,000 points and even if you value the 50K points at least 1 cent you still earn $200. I’d rather wait for another card, but see how this could make sense to some.