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AMEX small business credit cards are very appealing to folks in the miles & points hobby because they do NOT appear on your personal credit report. So opening cards will NOT hurt your chances of being approved for Chase cards.
That said, the sign-up bonus and perks have to be valuable to consider submitting an application. Because you’re only eligible to earn the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.
If you qualify for small business cards, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is worth considering. The sign-up bonus can easily get you $900 (or more) if you transfer points to airline and hotel partners and book award travel. And the card’s annual fee is waived the first year!
I’ll share my full review of the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card.
My Review of the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
When you sign-up for the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card, you’ll earn 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. These flexible points are extremely valuable for folks looking to get Big Travel with Small Money!
Some folks tell me they’ve received targeted mailers with larger sign-up bonus offers. So keep an eye out to see if you can get a better deal.
Remember, with AMEX, you can only earn the sign-up bonus on a card ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards. So it’s best to apply when you can take advantage of a larger than normal sign-up bonus.
As an AMEX Business Gold Rewards cardholder, you’ll also earn 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 you spend in 1 of these 5 categories (you get to choose):
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases for shipping
- US computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
Note: You can choose your AMEX Business Gold card 3X bonus category within the first 2 months of receiving your card. After that, you can change it annually between December 1 and January 31. If you don’t make a change, your 3X bonus category will remain the same as the previous year. Here’s a step-by-step guide to choosing your AMEX Business Gold card 3X bonus category.
For the remaining 4 categories, you’ll earn 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent. And you earn 1 point per $1 for all other purchases.
Keep in mind, you’ll earn 2X and 3X points on the first $100,000 in eligible purchases in each category per calendar year. After that, you’ll earn 1 point per $1.
And the card’s $175 annual fee is waived for the first year. So you can use the card for ~10 or ~11 months to see if the perks are worth the annual fee. Then, decide whether to keep the card or cancel.
What Can You Do With 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points?
AMEX Membership Rewards points get you lots of travel flexibility. Because if you don’t have set travel plans for a future trip, these transferable points give you the option to choose from multiple airline and hotel partners when the time comes.
Transferring points to partners will usually get you the most value for your points. But you can also redeem points for 1 cent each using AMEX Pay With Points for flights through the AMEX Membership Rewards portal without having to worry about blackout dates. This means the 50,000-point AMEX Business Gold Rewards card sign-up bonus is worth at least $500 in airfare savings!
Here are a few ways you can use the 50,000-point sign-up bonus to get more than $500 worth of travel!
1. Cheap Award Flights to Hawaii
Alaska Airlines and Singapore Airlines are now partners. This means you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines. Then, book coach award flights on Alaska Airlines to Hawaii from West Coast cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle for only 12,000 Singapore Airlines miles!
So the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card 50,000-point sign-up bonus could be worth 2 round-trip flights to Hawaii! The same flights could easily cost more than $900 total if you pay cash. Redeeming points this way makes the card’s sign-up bonus extremely valuable!
2. Delta Award Flights to Los Angeles, New York City, and Many Other Great Cities!
Folks traveling within the US can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points from the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card sign-up bonus to Delta. Then, book award flights to fun cities like New York or Nashville.
Delta no longer publishes an award chart! But it’s possible to find cheap one-way coach award flights at the following prices if you’re flexible with your travel dates:
- 5,500 Delta miles for short-haul flights (i.e. Los Angeles to San Francisco)
- 10,000 Delta miles for medium-haul flights (i.e. New York to Atlanta)
- 12,500 Delta miles for long-haul flights (i.e. New York to Los Angeles)
Keep in mind, you’ll have to pay a small excise fee to transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Delta because it’s a US airline.
3. One-Way Business Class Award Flight to Europe
If you’re looking to travel to Europe in style, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Air Canada Aeroplan and book a Business Class award flight. And Air Canada is part of the Star Alliance, which means you can redeem miles for award flights on partner airlines like Lufthansa, SWISS, and United Airlines.
A one-way Business Class award seat from the US to countries in Western Europe (like Germany, Italy, and Switzerland) costs 55,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles.
Remember, you’ll have at least 55,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points with the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card after you sign-up and complete the minimum spending requirements (50,000 point sign-up bonus + at least 5,000 points from minimum spending).
A similar one-way Business Class flight could cost several thousand dollars if you paid cash. So the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card sign-up bonus can save you lots of money!
6 Money Saving American Express Business Gold Card Perks
Besides the valuable sign-up bonus, AMEX Business Gold Rewards cardholders can also take advantage of these money saving perks:
- No foreign transaction fees
- AMEX OPEN Savings – discounts of up to 5% or bonus points at eligible merchants
- AMEX Premium Roadside Assistance
- Return protection – 90 days to return eligible purchases (up to $300 per item and up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year)
- ShopRunner – AMEX cardholders get a free membership, which can save money with free 2-day shipping from dozens of retailers
One of my favorite parts about being an AMEX cardholder is getting access to AMEX Offers. These targeted deals allow you to get a discount or earn extra points on purchases you might already be planning. And they’re always changing, which means there are always new opportunities to save money!
Apply Using Just Your Social Security Number!
You can apply for the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card using just your social security number. You’re NOT required to have an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to apply.
AMEX does NOT have strict income requirements for business cards. They’re usually more concerned with your personal income and credit history because you’re personally responsible for any debt you accrue.
When you sign-up for the AMEX Business Gold Rewards card, you’ll earn 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements. The sign-up bonus is worth at least $500 in airfare if you book using AMEX Pay With Points.
But you can get potentially much more value by transferring points to any of 20 direct airline and hotel partners for award travel. For example, the sign-up bonus points can get you 2 round-trip award flights from the West Coast to Hawaii if you transfer points to Singapore Airlines and book award flights on partner Alaska Airlines.
Besides the valuable sign-up bonus, AMEX Business Gold Rewards cardholders can save money with perks like:
- No foreign transaction fees
- AMEX OPEN Savings
- AMEX Premium Roadside Assistance
- Return protection
- Free ShopRunner membership
- AMEX Offers
Don’t forget, AMEX small business credit cards do NOT appear on your personal credit report. So opening cards will NOT hurt your chances of being approved for any Chase cards! And there are no strict income requirements for AMEX business credit cards.