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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.
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.
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express — Best for travel rewards
- American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card — Best for cash rewards
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.
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.
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).
Earning Rewards Points
With the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, you will earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. The cash back automatically appears as a monthly statement credit.
With The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, you will earn 2x Membership Rewards® points per $1 on the first $50,000 in everyday business purchases per calendar year, 1x point per dollar thereafter.
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 cards 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
- Air Canada
- Air France KLM
- Asia Miles
- British Airways
- EL AL Israel
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Choice Privileges
- Hilton Honors
- Marriott Bonvoy
Most point transfers happen 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.
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 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 points (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 to 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.
Amex Blue Business Cash Review
Cash back lovers should go for the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. You earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. The first $50,000 spent each year gives you $1,000 in cash statement credits.
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.
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.
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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
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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.