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Do you want a flat-rate business rewards credit card? Or perhaps you prefer to earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on your business purchases without paying an annual fee. This review of the Amex Blue Business Credit Cards can help you pick the best card to earn cash or travel rewards for your business.

amex blue business cards
The London Skyline. Credit: American Express

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Amex Blue Business Cards Review

Both cards have similar rewards programs and benefits. The largest difference is that one earns cash rewards and the other earns Membership Rewards® points which are best for award travel.

Earning Rewards Points

With the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, cardholders earn:

  • 2% cash back on everyday eligible business purchases, up to $50k per calendar year, automatically credited to their statement, then 1% cash back thereafter
  • 1% cash back on other eligible purchases after the first $50k spent on their Card, automatically credited to their statement

With The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, cardholders earn:

  • 2x points on everyday eligible business purchases, up to $50k per calendar year, then 1x point thereafter
  • 1x points on other eligible purchases after the first $50k spent on their Blue Business Plus Card

As you can see, earning rewards, whether they be in the form of cash back or points, is fairly simple. As long as you haven’t hit the $50,000 threshold, you’ll earn double rewards.

Annual Fee

The annual fee for both cards is $0 (See Rates & Fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card) (See Rates & Fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express).

No annual fee makes this a great option for any business, especially if you primarily need a secondary card to maximize your non-bonus purchases. You can read about the best small business credit cards if you want further ideas.

There is a foreign transaction fee so you won’t want to use this card for international travel (See Rates & Fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card) (See Rates & Fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express).

Welcome Offer

New American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card cardholders can earn a $250 statement credit after making $3,000 in purchases on their Card in the first 3 months.

New The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express cardholders can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within their first 3 months of Card Membership.

Redeeming Rewards Points

Which card version you have determines your award options.

The Amex Blue Business Cash only lets you redeem your points for cash statement credits. In fact, your monthly purchases automatically apply as a cash statement credit each billing cycle. If the Blue Business Cash, one of the best cash back credit cards, is your preferred redemption option, choose this card. Each point is worth 1 cent each for cash back.

The Blue Business Plus lets you earn American Express Membership Rewards points on each purchase. These points are most valuable when redeemed for travel as each point is worth 1 cent each when booking award flights on AmexTravel.com. You might find more value by transferring them to the airline transfer partners including Delta, Emirates, and British Airways.

Points are usually worth less than 1 cent each when booking other award travel like hotel nights or rental cars on Amex Travel.

You can also redeem Membership Rewards for gift cards and cash rewards. Some gift card redemptions make each point worth 1 cent each. However, your points are only worth between 0.5 and 1 cent each for cash back and shopping credits.

Transferring Membership Rewards

Point transfers are the #1 reason to consider getting The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.

The most valuable redemption option for the Amex Blue Business is the Membership Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners. In particular, the airline partners as air miles are almost always worth more than hotel points.

Here is a current list of the Membership Rewards transfer partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France KLM
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • EL AL Israel
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Most point transfers are instant with a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments.

If you regularly fly these airlines, point transfers are one of the best ways to maximize your Membership Rewards. Also, very few credit cards without an annual fee let you transfer points to airlines and hotels on a 1:1 basis.

Amex Blue Business Plus Review

Now let us take an in-depth look at The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.

This is the better option if you want to redeem your points for travel. Specifically, this is best if you transfer your points to the Membership Rewards partners. Doing so can make each point worth more than 1 cent each. That is the highest value when redeeming your points through American Express.

Maxing out the $50,000 bonus spending incentive lets you earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points each year. This balance is worth $1,000 in award flights booked through AmexTravel.com. If you can transfer them to an airline and get at least 1.5 cents value per point (which is relatively easy to do with award flights), your points are worth at least $1,500 in award travel.

Cardholders can also enjoy more flexibility to use their card for more purchases and rewards when buying above their credit limit. The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express, and other factors.

One of the best ways to squeeze the most value is booking first class or business class seats. You need more points upfront but can avoid spending paying thousands of dollars in cash for a seat. For example, you can book partner flights on United through Singapore Airlines or even on Singapore Airlines for flights to Europe and Asia.

This card is also a good pairing with the Business Platinum Card from American Express or the American Express Gold Card. Both of these cards earn bonus Membership Rewards points on key business expenses. Instead of continuing to earn only 1 point on non-bonus spending, put the first $50,000 on the Blue Business Plus to get 2 points instead. Then, you can pool your points to book award travel more often.

Additional Travel and Purchase Benefits

Besides the standard American Express business credit card tools, there are no additional benefits like airport lounge access or a Global Entry application fee credit.

Here are a few key features you can use besides earning up to 2 points per $1 spent:

  • Free employee cards
  • Complimentary vendor pay at Bill.com basic plan for 1 user
  • Connects to QuickBooks

Amex Blue Business Cash Review

Cash back lovers should go for the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases of up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.

One downside of the Blue Business Cash is that you can’t redeem your points for award travel or gift cards. On the bright side, Amex automatically redeems your cash balance each month, so you don’t have to manually redeem your rewards. This is also one of the best small business credit cards.

It also comes with Expanded Buying Power which gives cardholders the ability to spend beyond their credit limit. Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express, and other factors.

Summary

The Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card is best if you redeem points for award travel or want to earn Membership Rewards points. Go with the Amex Blue Business Cash Credit Card if you prefer cash rewards. Both cards can be great supplements as they earn 2x rewards annually, up to $50k spent annually.

For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please click here.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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