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When you want something better than a run-of-the-mill business credit card, the American Express® Business Gold Card may be on your radar. But not every person qualifies for this card. Fortunately, it can be easier to qualify for than you think.
After all, as long as you have a business earning a steady income and clean personal credit, your approval odds can be high.
The American Express Business Gold Card
The American Express® Business Gold Card is one of your best options earns 4x points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month (the 4x points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases annually, all other purchases earn 1x per $1 spent). Your bonus category options include:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- Gas stations (U.S. purchases)
- Shipping purchases (U.S. purchases)
- Restaurants (U.S. purchases)
- TV, radio, and online advertising (U.S. purchases)
- Computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions technology provider (U.S. purchases)
Your rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for award flights. Each point is worth 1 cent each when booking award flights on AmexTravel. You can get up 25% of your points back (up to 250,000 points per year) on one airline of choice. Another option is transferring your points to an airline partner at a 1:1 ratio to loyalty programs including Delta SkyMiles and British Airways.
Cardholders also have access to a Pay Over Time Option, which is a flexible payment option, with interest, to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more (terms apply). The annual fee is $295 (See Rates & Fees).
Basic Requirements for the American Express Business Gold Card
American Express has three basic requirements to qualify for the Business Gold Card:
- At least 18 years old
- Must be a U.S. resident
- All card purchases will be for business or commercial purposes only
What American Express doesn’t disclose are factors like the credit score needed or the permissible amount of recent credit card applications. Of course, Amex reviews each card application on a case-by-case basis. Even if two applicants have identical credit scores, there is no guarantee both applicants will receive the same approval decision. Each of us has a different credit history.
670 Credit Score
The American Express® Business Gold Card requires a good credit score of at least 670. You might qualify with a personal credit score in the mid-600s if you have a high income or an existing relationship with American Express.
Having a positive history with at least one other credit card, regardless of the issuing bank, also helps. The Business Gold Card isn’t an entry-level credit card, so you may have a hard time qualifying if you have a minimal credit history.
Your approval odds are higher when you have a 740 credit score as you have “excellent credit.”
If you are in a corporation or partnership, you will need to enter your federal tax ID into the application. Sole proprietors only need to submit their Social Security number. Amex than uses this information to pull the appropriate credit reports to view your credit history.
Some of these credit score factors may affect your application decision:
- Credit utilization ratio
- Payment history for other credit cards
- Number of recent new accounts
Annual Business Revenue
American Express also takes your annual business revenue and estimated monthly spending into account. Higher incomes can only help your approval odds, but a high income alone doesn’t guarantee you get approved for the American Express® Business Gold Card.
Another benefit of a high income is a higher spending limit. Gold Cards don’t have a preset spending limit and it can vary month-to-month as your spending and payment habits vary.
Recent Credit Card Applications
The American Express® Business Gold Card is technically is “charge card” so the application rules can be more lenient than most credit cards. For example, American Express doesn’t enforce these credit card application rules:
- Only one new credit card in 5 days
- Up to 2 new credit cards in 90 days
- Can own up to 5 American Express credit cards at one time
It can still be a good idea to follow these three guidelines to maximize your approval odds. Too many recent applications can lower your credit score and even jeopardize your chances of qualifying for the Gold Card’s welcome offer.
Unlike the Chase Ink business credit cards (which are credit cards and not charge cards), you don’t have to worry about a “5/24 rule.” Chase will most likely decline your business credit card application if you have opened at least 5 new credit card accounts in the most recent 24 months.
You may consider the American Express® Business Gold Card because you don’t qualify for any Chase business credit card offers at this time. Because the Gold Card is a “charge card,” this account doesn’t count toward the Chase 5/24 restriction. How do you like that flexibility?
Existing American Express Credit Cards
Loyalty can have its benefits. If you’re a current American Express customer with a positive relationship, you may receive a special offer for the Business Gold Card. These offers mean your approval odds are very high and you may even have a higher welcome offer than the public has current access to.
If you are offered a special offer, act on it as they are usually only available for a limited time, such as these limited-time best credit card offers 2019.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Approved?
The strongest applicants will receive an instant approval decision. Less competitive applicants may require further review.
If Amex declines your application, you may appeal the decision by calling their reconsideration line. This doesn’t guarantee a decision reversal but it can’t hurt.
When speaking with the agent, always be courteous and professional. Try seeing if they can give you more details about why your application wasn’t approved. Maybe you need to submit further documentation to verify your business income.
If it seems like the customer service representative is helpful, you may mention why you want to be a long-term customer:
- Plan on maximizing the 4x bonus categories
- You need flexible airline redemption options for business travel
- Want to use the Vendor Pay feature after your first year of ownership
- Other cardmembers in your industry highly recommend owning the Gold Card
- Want a business credit card without a foreign transaction fee (See rates & fees)
As this card has a $295 annual fee (See rates & fees) and doesn’t offer travel credits or complimentary airport lounge access that frequent flyers can quickly redeem, this isn’t the most popular card for travel hacking. This can also work to your advantage because there isn’t much incentive to open the card, use the benefits and cancel before your card anniversary date.
Tip: If you are interested in earning points and miles to maximize your travel experiences, check out our post on the best travel credit cards 2019.
If you still can’t qualify, you can try asking the agent if you pre-qualify for a different American Express business card. It never hurts to ask and it saves an unnecessary application if you don’t get approved for a different card.
Getting the American Express® Business Gold Card is one thing to consider. However, you should also determine if you can earn the card’s welcome offer before applying.
American Express has a “once in a lifetime” policy for earning signup bonuses. If you have owned the Gold Card in the past and earned the welcome offer, you can’t earn it a second time.
There is also this one condition:
“We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.”
If it appears that you are only opening the card to get the welcome offer and close the account, you may receive a message stating you won’t qualify for the welcome offer. You will also receive the same message if you have earned the Gold Card welcome offer in the past.
The American Express Business Gold Card welcome offer is the ability to earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Summary of the American Express Business Gold Card
Getting the American Express® Business Gold Card isn’t difficult if you have a credit score of at least 670, consistent income, and positive payment history with at least one other credit card. If your credit score is below this mark, it might be worth waiting until your score improves if you don’t have an established business with consistent income.
Learn more: American Express® Business Gold Card
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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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.