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American Express® Business Gold Card – Review


Amex Business Gold

Our rating

4.1/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upGenerous welcome offer
  • thumbs-upExcellent travel benefits
  • thumbs-upStrong rewards program

Cons

  • thumbs-downHas an annual fee
  • thumbs-downBaseline earn rate is low
  • thumbs-downStrict qualification requirements

The American Express® Business Gold Card is a small business card with a $375 annual fee.

Business Gold’s generous rewards program favors popular business spending categories, including:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. gas station purchases
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. purchases of computer hardware, software, and cloud computing services made directly from select providers
  • U.S. restaurant purchases

The Business Gold Card competes with a number of other business cards, including American Expresses “color” card family (Platinum, Green, and Plum), along with the American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card and the American Express Blue Business Cash Card. Though American Express doesn’t get into specifics about how it screens card applicants, it definitely positions Business Gold as a high-end card for very well-qualified applicants. If you have any serious blemishes on your credit, you likely won’t qualify for this card.


What Sets the American Express Business Gold Card Apart?

The Amex Business Gold Card has several features worth calling out right away. Terms apply for all:

  • Generous Welcome Offer. Though subject to change, this card’s welcome offer is among the best in the category. It should be easy for moderate-spending small businesses to reach too.
  • Flexible Rewards Program With Minimal Effort Required. You can earn up to 4X points on eligible purchases with this card, and you don’t have to worry about manually choosing favored categories or keeping track of rewards tiers over time. You simply earn at favored rates in your top two spending categories of the year.
  • Lots of Travel Benefits. This card has lots of potentially valuable travel benefits, though as always, it comes down to how adept you are at taking advantage of them.
  • Lots of Business Benefits. This card also has lots of useful benefits for your business and your finance team. It’s worth taking the time to understand them and how they can (potentially) save you some time managing your account.

Key Features of the American Express Business Gold Card

These are the key features of the American Express Business Gold Card.

Welcome Offer

Earn 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after you spend at least $10,000 in eligible purchases with your American Express Business Gold Card during the first 3 months of cardmembership.

Earning Membership Rewards

The Amex Business Gold Card has a three-tiered rewards program.

4X Points

This card earns 4 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 in combined annual purchases made in 2 of the following categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. advertising
  • U.S. gas stations, including fuel and non-fuel
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. shipping, including UPS and FedEx
  • Computer technology, including hardware, software, and cloud computing services

These categories apply to U.S.-based purchases only, with the exception being airfare, which does not need to be purchased in the U.S. The 4x categories are automatically chosen for you based on your spending patterns: they’re your 2 top-spending categories of the year.

3X Points

Travel purchases made through AmexTravel.com, the company’s travel portal, earn an unlimited 3 points per $1 spent.

1X Point

All other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent, including purchases in the 2 bonus categories above the $150,000 annual spending cap.

Redeeming Membership Rewards

Accumulated Membership Rewards can be redeemed for general merchandise, travel, transportation (including Uber rides), gift cards, and statement credits.

Redemption minimums start at 1,000 and vary by redemption method. Point values vary as well: Membership Rewards points are generally worth $0.01 apiece when redeemed for merchandise, but just $0.006 when redeemed for statement credits.

Important Fees

The annual fee is $375. There is no foreign transaction fee. For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please visit this rates and fees page.

Airline Redemption Bonus

After you use Pay With Points to cover all or part of a flight booked with American Express Travel, you’ll get 25% of your points back. To qualify, the flight must either on your selected qualifying airline or a first or business class reservation. This benefit is limited to 250,000 points back per calendar year. Terms apply.

Additional Travel Benefits

The Amex Business Gold Card has some additional notable travel benefits that could significantly enhance your value in the air and on the road. Terms apply for all these benefits:

  • The Hotel Collection. Book participating properties in The Hotel Collection with American Express and stay at least 2 qualifying nights to enjoy benefits like a $100 experience credit (qualifying experiences vary by property) and room upgrade at check-in where available. Certain room categories are not eligible for upgrades.
  • Global Assist Hotline. When you travel more than 100 miles from home, the Global Assist Hotline is available for 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services. You may be responsible for costs incurred through use.
  • Baggage Insurance Plan. Purchase the entire common carrier fare on your eligible card to take advantage of Amex’s baggage insurance plan for lost, damaged, or stolen carry-on and checked baggage, subject to coverage limits and exclusions.
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance. Book the entire cost of your rental car with your eligible card and decline the rental company’s offer of coverage to take advantage of this benefit, subject to coverage limits and exclusions.
  • Trip Delay Insurance. Book the entire cost of your round-trip with your eligible card and take advantage of trip delay insurance if your trip is delayed beyond certain time limits, subject to reimbursement limits and other restrictions.

Additional Business Benefits and Tools

Business Gold comes with a great lineup of business-friendly benefits, including adjustable employee spending limits on employee cards, and expense tagging and tracking. You can also designate a trusted account manager from your team to save time managing your own cards.

Credit Required

This card requires good to excellent credit.


Advantages of the American Express Business Gold Card

Here’s the lowdown on the top advantages of the American Express Business Gold Card.

  • Generous Rewards With High Category Caps. This card has a pretty generous rewards program. Its 4X category is capped at $150,000 in annual spending in your 2 top-spending categories, which means you can net up to 600,000 points across those two categories. The 1x category isn’t capped at all. This is great for business owners with high spending needs, and a significant advantage over less generous competitors such as Chase Ink Business Cash ($25,000 category limits).
  • Lots of Reward Redemption Options. Business Gold allows you to redeem accumulated Membership Rewards points for just about anything, including general merchandise, travel, and cash equivalents (gift cards and statement credits). Some competing cards, such as Capital One Spark Cash (cash equivalents only) and Spark Miles for Business (travel purchase offsets only), are less flexible.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee. Business Gold doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, a nice perk for cardmembers who travel outside the U.S. often.
  • Solid Welcome Offer. Earn 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $10,000 in eligible purchases with your American Express Business Gold Card during the first 3 months of cardmembership. That’s a very nice haul.
  • Lots of Value-Added Benefits. The Business Gold Card has a number of attractive value-added cardmember benefits not available with some competing credit cards.
  • Airline Redemption Bonus. When you use Pay With Points to pay for all or part of a flight booked with American Express Travel, you’ll get 25% of your points back, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year. Qualifying reservations must either on your selected qualifying airline or for first or business class reservation.

Disadvantages of the American Express Business Gold Card

The Business Gold Card has some downsides that might give you pause. Consider them carefully before you apply.

  • Relatively High Annual Fee. The Business Gold Card’s $375 annual fee is higher than that of many competing cards, including the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express, Chase Ink Business Preferred, and Capital One Spark Miles for Business. This is a big drawback for cardmembers who don’t spend heavily enough – and thus earn rewards fast enough – to offset the annual outlay.
  • Strict Qualification Requirements. The Business Gold Card is a high-end card with very strict qualification standards. If American Express deems that your credit isn’t good to excellent, or that your business lacks adequate cash flow, you won’t be approved for this card. Some competing cards, such as the American Express Blue Business Plus and the Capital One Spark family, have somewhat looser (though still choosy) underwriting standards.
  • No Native Payment Processing System. Business Gold doesn’t integrate directly with an in-house payment system. This is inconvenient for mobile business owners who wish to accept payments on the go and sync their business spending via Business Gold with their cash flow. Chase’s Checkout system, available to Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Cash cardholders, offers this opportunity.

Final Word

The American Express® Business Gold Card is a member of American Express’s “color” business card family, which also includes the Plum Card, Business Green Rewards, Business Platinum, and Blue Business Plus and Cash.

Since it belongs to a larger card family, it’s helpful to think of the Business Gold Card as part of a business card ladder. Each rung on this ladder offers progressively more generous rewards and benefits. If your credit or cash flow doesn’t qualify you to stand on a higher rung, you can start lower and try to work your way up.

Business Gold occupies a middle rung on this ladder. If your business is very small, just starting out, or both, set your sights on American Express’s Business Green Rewards Card, a less exclusive option. If things go well, you have the opportunity to work up to Business Gold. And, if things really take off, there’s an even higher rung on the ladder: the generous Business Platinum card.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please visit this rates and fees page.

Up to $300 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period.   Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Eligible Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a Common Carrier Vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible Account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on Baggage and up to $500 for checked Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip.   Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Amex Business Gold

Our rating

4.1/5

Pros

  • thumbs-upGenerous welcome offer
  • thumbs-upExcellent travel benefits
  • thumbs-upStrong rewards program

Cons

  • thumbs-downHas an annual fee
  • thumbs-downBaseline earn rate is low
  • thumbs-downStrict qualification requirements
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
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