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But which is better for your situation?
Here’s a look at where you can earn points for travel or save money with each program.
Where You’ll Save Money or Earn Points With AMEX OPEN
You can choose to earn discounts or American Express Membership Rewards points when you shop at the participating merchants using your American Express business card.
Note: You only have the option to earn American Express Membership Rewards points if you have a Membership Rewards card. The AMEX SimplyCash and Starwood Preferred Guest Business from American Express are NOT such cards. Instead you’ll earn cash back.
You’ll also save between 3% and 10% at Hertz depending on how much you spend per year. But I prefer other ways to save money on rental cars.
When you enroll your American Express business card in the AMEX OPEN program, you’ll automatically get a 5% discount on your statement or 2 additional Membership Rewards points (if your card earns them).
You get the discount on up to $20,000 per year per card on your combined purchases with FedEx Express and FedEx Ground.
You get the same discount on up to $20,000 of spending with each card with FedEx Freight.
And you get the 5% automatic rebate or 2 additional Membership Rewards points on up to $20,000 of spending at FedEx Office.
The FedEx Office discount can be a great deal for real estate agents making signs and sending out postcards. It can also make sense for small businesses handing out flyers and brochures.
You can also use FedEx Office to create invitations and banners announcing grand openings or sales.
For travelers like us, FedEx Office can be a convenient place to get a new passport photo.
The Chase Ink Plus, Ink Bold, and Ink Cash get you 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (or 5% cash back) at office supply stores. And your American Express business card can get you the same discount at FedEx Office when you enroll in AMEN OPEN.
When book a paid stay at Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz, or Grand Hyatt hotel, the AMEX OPEN program reduces your bill by 5% with a statement credit. Or you can choose 2 additional Membership Rewards points per $1 spent.
This applies on up to $10,000 of spending per card per year.
And remember, AMEX SimplyCash gives you another 3% back when you choose hotels as your 3% savings category.
The Chase Ink Plus and Ink Bold earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (or 2% cash back) when you purchase rooms directly from the hotel. And those cards are eligible for more hotel discounts with the Visa SavingsEdge program.
Where You’ll Save Money With Visa SavingsEdge
For instance, you’ll get discounts at Alamo and National, but I prefer better ways to save money on rental cars.
You’ll save 5% when you book directly with a participating hotel. This includes:
- Days Inn
- Howard Johnson
- La Quinta
- Super 8
Note: The discount is applied as a credit on a future account statement and is only for room reservations. It does NOT apply to restaurants, bars, etc. in the hotel.
So when you book directly with these hotels using your Chase Ink Plus or Ink Bold, you’ll save a total of 7%. That’s because Ink Plus and Ink Bold save you 2% when booking rooms directly with the hotel.
The 2% savings is on the 1st $50,000 you spend at hotels and gas stations combined per card year.
When you spend at least $200 at Staples in the US or online, you get 1% back. You might find that useful if you’re buying Visa gift cards, the new iPhone, a computer, or bulk purchases of granola bars for your wife.
And remember you get 5% back (or 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) when you use your Chase Ink card at Staples or other office supply stores.
Which Program Is Better for You?
For folks who already have an American Express business card or Visa business card, it makes sense to enroll in AMEX OPEN or Visa SavingsEdge because they’re free. However they may use your purchasing data to better market those granola bars.
If you’re trying to decide between applying for an AMEX business card such as the AMEX SimplyCash or Chase business card such as the Ink Plus, the other merits of each card will probably outweigh the benefits of their savings programs.
That said, if you spend A LOT at 1 of these merchants, it could be a big enough savings to influence your decision.
For instance, businesses who do lots of FedEx shipping could do very well with AMEX Open! And businesses who book lots of paid stays at budget hotels could be very happy with Visa SavingsEdge.
And you can save money by linking your Visa business card, such as the Chase Ink Plus or Ink Bold, to the Visa SavingsEdge program. You’ll save at over 30 places but Staples and participating budget hotels might be the most interesting.
Unless you spend a huge amount at a participating merchant, neither program will likely influence you to get 1 card over another.
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