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Do you want a flat-rate business rewards credit card? Or perhaps you prefer to earn 2% back 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.
There are two different versions of the American Express Blue Business Credit Card. 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
The only signup bonus for the Blue Business lineup is an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months.
You won’t have the chance to earn bonus points by spending a minimum amount of money during an introductory period. No welcome bonus is a definite downside of these cards, but the introductory APR can be worth it if you need to make a large purchase.
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. Now you can earn 2% back instead of the standard 1%.
There is a 2.7% 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, 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 2 points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year. All remaining purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 for the rest of the year.
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 2019, is your preferred redemption option, choose this card. Each point is worth 1 cent each for cashback.
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
If you sleep during the rest of the Amex Blue Business Credit Card review, at least pay close attention to this section. 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, the 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
- Can exceed credit limit penalty-free
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.
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
Cashback lovers should go for the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card.
The reason why is that each “point” you earn is always worth one cent when redeemed. The first $50,000 spent each year gives you $1,000 in cash statement credits. However, redeeming your points for cash rewards with the Blue Business Plus is only worth $600 in cash rewards.
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 2019.
Summary of Amex Blue Business Credit Card Review
Both Amex Blue Business Credit Cards earn double points on the first $50,000 spent each year then unlimited 1 point per $1. 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.
Learn more: American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
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.