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

Million Mile SecretsWhy I Won’t Apply For The New 50,000 Point The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express OPEN [EXPIRED]Million Mile Secrets Team

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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.

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?

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.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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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.

Million Mile Secrets

@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.

venmo really sucks.

Million Mile Secrets

@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.

@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.

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.

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. 😀

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