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As a business owner, there’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the best business credit cards. And qualifying for a small-business credit card is not as difficult as you may think. Dog walkers, eBay sellers and freelance writers are among the workers earning income outside a regular 9 to 5 job, who may meet the requirements of a small business.
If you’re looking for a way to earn a stash of Amex Membership Rewards points, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express may be perfect for you. As the entry-level product in the company’s line of charge cards, it doesn’t offer any premium perks or benefits, so it doesn’t make the cut for our list of best American Express credit cards. But it can still be plenty useful. The card earns flexible Membership Rewards points which can be redeemed for travel through the Amex travel portal or transferred to any Amex travel partner.
To help you decide if this card is right for your wallet, here’s our review of the Business Green Amex Card.
With the Amex Business Green Card, you can earn a welcome bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening. These are flexible rewards, which means you’ll have multiple redemption options. Depending on your redemption method, points could be worth anywhere from ~0.5 cents per point to 7+ cents per point.
The card has an annual fee of $95 that’s waived for the first year (see rates and fees), which gives you time to evaluate its worth before being charged the annual fee.
Benefits and perks
Being the entry-level card in the lineup of charge cards, the American Express Business Green Card does not provide extravagant travel perks like an Amex airline fee credit, dining credits or airport lounge access. But the card does carry a few solid features to save you money on your day-to-day expenses, along with tools to help you better manage your business expenses.
No preset spending limit
You might run a ton of business expenses through your cards every month and wonder how much you can charge to the card. This card doesn’t come with a hard credit limit. Rather, because it’s considered a charge card, there’s no preset spending limit. This means that your American Express Business Green Card limit will depend on your spending patterns, payment history, credit and overall financial picture.
As an American Express cardmember, you’ll have access to Amex Offers. This is a great way to save money and earn bonus points on shopping, dining and travel purchases you normally incur.
You can see offers for a variety of categories through your online account and your mobile app. These will typically offer statement credits, bonus points and additional cash savings for making purchases or meeting spending requirements at certain stores.
Tracking your small-business expenses can sometimes be difficult. The American Express Green Business Card helps because cardmembers have access to have a wide range of expense management tools designed to provide a better view of business expenses:
- $0 annual fee for additional employee cards (see rates and fees)
- Account alerts to notify you of employee card spending
- Year-end summary to categorize all of your purchases
- Vendor Pay by Bill.com to make the most of your business bills
- American Express business app to help you manage receipts
Mishaps sometimes happen when you travel. The Amex Green Business Card makes you eligible for two important travel perks.
When you use the card to rent a car, you could be covered if the car is damaged or stolen. Make sure to use the card to pay for the entire rental and decline the collision deductible waiver. Coverage will be secondary to your existing rental car coverage, and you’ll also want to go through the fine print to read any important exclusions and restrictions.
Baggage insurance is also available if you purchase the entire fare with the card. This coverage can apply if our baggage is damaged, lost or stolen. And coverage can be provided for up to $1250 for carry-on baggage and $500 for checked baggage. Again, read the fine print for any exclusions and restrictions.
How to redeem rewards
One of the great things about the American Express Business Green Card is that it earns flexible Membership Rewards points, so you’ll have a number of ways to redeem your points: statement credits, gift cards, Pay with Points at select merchants, and travel bookings. You’ll generally get around ~0.5 to ~1.5 cents per point with these redemption options.
To get the most value out of your points, transfer them to Amex airline and hotel transfer partners. By going this route, it’s possible to get as much as 7+ cents per point.
You can read our review on American Express Membership Rewards points to find out more.
Is the annual fee worth it?
As with any card that carries an annual fee, make sure you’re getting at least enough value from the card to justify the annual fee. The annual fee for this card is waived for the first year (then $95), so with the card’s welcome bonus and its other perks, you’ll definitely come out ahead in Year One.
But beyond the first year, you’ll want to pay closer attention to how much the card is saving you. The card doesn’t carry many premium travel perks, so you might want to track the annual savings you receive through Amex Offers throughout the year. Or, you could see whether you’re seeing enough value from earning and redeeming Membership Rewards points for your daily spending on the card.
Who is this card for?
You must be a business owner to be eligible to apply for this card. Qualifying for a business credit card is actually much simpler than you may think. If you receive a 1099 tax form from your employer(s), have a side gig selling items on eBay, mow lawns in your free time, or basically anything that you do for extra income, there’s a very good chance you qualify. We even have a guide on applying for an Amex business card.
The Amex Green Business Card is a good way to test the waters with little to no risk (in the first year) if you’re a business owner who might like to earn Amex Membership Rewards points for business expenses. It’s also a good choice if you aren’t eligible for welcome bonuses on any other cards and you’re looking for a way to quickly boost your Membership Rewards points balance.
There are other Amex business credit cards available if you don’t think this card is for you.
Take advantage of the value of Amex Offers, which provide for some pretty lucrative savings throughout the year. Even if you carry other Amex cards, the offers you receive may vary on each card, so check them all to see if there’s an opportunity to earn extra bonus points or save big on a purchase you were going to make anyway.
Right now I have offers to save 40% on Dropbox (up to $50); receive up to $15 back on $35 in spending at Care/of; $30 back on $150 in spending with Ring, and earn 1,500 Membership Rewards points by spending $50+ at California Pizza Kitchen.
And recently, I took advantage of an offer for a $2,500 statement credit for refinancing my home through a lender specified by Amex, which was a win-win all around. I lowered my interest rate and my monthly mortgage payment, all for virtually no cost once I factor in the $2,500 statement credit.
Pairing the Amex Business Green Card with other cards
The American Express Green Business card earns Membership Rewards points, which can be pooled across all your Amex accounts. So, you can essentially combine this card with any other Amex Membership Rewards points-earning card, like The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express to increase the rate at which you earn Membership Rewards points.
The Amex Business Green earns 1x Membership Rewards points on all purchases. Eligible travel purchases made at amextravel.com will earn you 2x points. So the Amex Business Green could enhance your ability to earn more points if you carry any other cards that don’t have bonuses for travel spending.
If you’re a small-business owner looking to boost your Membership Rewards points balance, and you’re not eligible for a bonus on any other Amex card, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express could be perfect for you. Because of the waived $95 annual during the first year, you have plenty of time to evaluate whether the Membership Rewards points you earn will be valuable enough to keep the card.
You’ll earn a welcome bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening. And once you earn these flexible points, you can transfer them to any Amex travel partner for potentially more value.
Do you have the Amex Business Green Card? Share your experience in the comments below.
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For rates and fees of the Amex Business Green Card, click here.