Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
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.
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
- $10,000 is a lot to spend in 5 months even with the 40+ ways to complete minimum spending
- 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
- Remember that consumer protections are weaker on business credit cards than on personal credit cards
- $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!
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?
Disclosure: I don’t get any referral bonus or commission from anyone for this post or for the links to the credit cards in this post.