Why the 75,000 Point The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express OPEN May Not Be Worth It [Expired]

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Why the 75,000 Point The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express OPEN May Not Be Worth It [Expired]

Million Mile SecretsWhy the 75,000 Point The Business Gold Rewards Card From American Express OPEN May Not Be Worth It [Expired]Million Mile Secrets Team

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A lot has been written on The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN which offers 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 within 4 months.  Sure it has a large number as the sign-up bonus – 75,000 points – but it has a large number for the minimum spending requirement as well ($10,000).

High Spending Requirement

You have to spend $10,000 within 4 months to get the 75,000 point sign-on bonus.  If you’ve run out of other cards to apply for or have no problem meeting the minimum spending requirement, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN may make sense to apply for.  But most folks have only a limited amount of money which they can spend on credit cards and their sign-up bonuses.

So by spending $10,000 in 4 months on The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, you’re diverting money AWAY from other (potentially more lucrative) credit card sign-up bonuses.

For example, you could get 2 Citi American Airlines cards for 50,000 miles each after spending $3,000 on each card within 4 months.  And 50,000 points with the Chase Ink Bold after spending $5,000 within 3 months.  So the SAME $10,000 earned you 150,000 miles & points –  100,00 American Airlines miles and 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

I can make the contrast more extreme by including the somewhat targeted Chase United card which could potentially get you 55,000 United miles after spending $1,000 within 3 months or the Barclaycard US Air card with 40,000 miles after your 1st purchase.

My point is simply that you should go BEYOND the headline sign-up bonus and see if the card makes sense for YOU.  Bigger is not necessarily better.

American Express has had previous versions of The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN which offer 50,000 points for $5,000 in spending, which may be a better offer for many.  I’m pretty sure that we’ll see that offer again (no inside information & just a hunch).

Financial Review

Ah, you say, but you can use Amazon Payments and Vanilla Reloads and cross that spending hurdle.  Yes, you certainly can, but it may not always work out in your favor.  In my previous experience, feedback from readers, and folks on this FlyerTalk thread, you are more likely to get a Financial Review from American Express by spending on The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN than on any other card.  Even legitimate business spending has triggered a financial review.

My best guess is that American Express is really sensitive to high volume of spending on this card and a sudden ramp up in spending on the card leads to a financial review.  But this is only a guess.

All your American Express credit cards are suspended during an American Express financial review and you usually have to fax in a form allowing American Express to review your tax information and sometimes send them your bank statements.  I don’t enjoy this, but see this as the cost of doing business with American Express and partaking in their credit card offers.  And I do think it is prudent for a bank to verify the income of people to whom they lend money.

But here’s how it may not work out in your favor.  If you claimed to have an eBay or Amazon sole proprietor business which generated income, but didn’t file a Schedule C (which details sole proprietorship business activity) with your tax returns, American Express may decide to cancel your account.

I’ve been approved for American Express business cards with only a few hundred dollars in income and readers have been approved for start-up business which aren’t generating any income.  But know that your business gold card may be cancelled during a financial review if you don’t have any Schedule C income.  Of course, you can always explain that you haven’t yet filed your tax returns for 2012, but the Financial Review folks aren’t the easiest to convince.

Many folks don’t get a financial review with The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, but I just want to point out what may happen.

Bottom Line

75,000 Membership Rewards is a big sign-up bonus.  But don’t let that distract you from the equally big $10,000 minimum spending requirement.  This card could make sense for many, but be sure that you can comfortably meet the minimum spending requirement and that it won’t take away from other good sign-up bonuses!

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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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Great article. Thanks for the info, it’s easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a “IRS Schedule C Form”,I found a blank form here: form link http://goo.gl/iWMZbh

Hmmm… I guess you can put me in the 1/2 a brain category. 3K in 3 months is usually the max I can find spend for. The only thing that I don’t pay with a credit card is my mortgage. No VR opportunities where I live. I just got the Ink Bold a couple of months ago which requires 5K spend in 3 months. Luckily I was able to pay my wife’s graduate school tuition with the Ink Bold, to be able to make a good chunk of the minimum spend. For a while I was making minimum spend by making accelerated car payments (paid off a 5 year car loan in 18 months). And I’ll be darn if I’ll buy things just to buy things. My wife and I live well within our means and except for a 44K balance on our mortgage, we have zero debt. My financial adviser even advised taking some of my savings and paying off the house, as interest on savings is practically zero at the moment. Remember, always contribute the max to your employer sponsored retirement accounts and get the employer match. Save now, enjoy later.

Million Mile Secrets

@Margaret – You could try setting an ExpertFlyer seat alert for the flights which will email you when the seats open up.

I must not have heard about this unlimited source of making minimum spends…

Where I am, there are no VR credit card opportunities (cash only everywhere around here). AP is only $1K per month. Other than putting up all of the $ on Kiva I’m not sure what else do to, especially since AmEx Gift Cards won’t take my orders.

Guess I have less than 1/2 a brain…

FWIW, my wife applied and rec’d the Amex Gold. Did not “commit fraud” (face palm). She put her expected business income in the $0-$49,999 category. Of course, she’ll be hovering right around that zero level. But she does have mid 6 figure income, so she gets just about any card she wants. Her problem is hard pulls despite being a 1%er (which is hugely ironic considering her financial position vs broke college students who apply – and get – the same number of cards).

As for Dariaus’ silly post today that you’d be diverting cash from other cards is patent nonsense. Anyone can meet spend these days IF they have half a brain. But since this site caters to the one’s without half a brain, maybe good advice…

“Wire fraud charges”? C’mon, let’s get serious. I’ve had folks steal my credit cards from the mail and go into banks and steal several thousand dollars. And the credt card companies didn’t seem interested in prosecuting. The idea that they’re going to go after folks who buy Vanilla Reloads — and that the Feds would take such a case — is beyond absurd. Let’s keep it real.

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