Amex’s Blue for Business vs. Business Gold Rewards: Which Card Is Best?

We tackle two of American Express' popular business credit cards head-to-head.

As a small business owner, chances are you take on a lot of expenses each month. After all, it’s tough to maintain and grow a business if you don’t. That means it’s important to have the right credit card so you can maximize the rewards on all that spending. American Express is one of the largest issuers of business cards, among them, the Blue for Business credit card and the Business Gold Rewards card.

But what’s the difference between the two? And how can you determine what’s a better fit for you?

We’ll break down the rewards cardholders can earn with each of card. We’ll also outline the different benefits you can receive as well as what the cards’ costs entail to help you decide.

Some quick notes before we dive in: Be sure to read the fine print before applying for a new credit card — and check your credit, too, so you’ll have an idea of whether you’ll qualify for certain plastic. Remember, you’ll need a good credit score to net the best credit cards on the market.

How The Cards Compare

Blue for Business from American Express

With the Blue for Business card, you’ll earn 10x Membership Reward points on the first $2,000 you spend at restaurants within the first six months. In addition, you will earn 2x points on up to $50,000 worth of qualifying purchases during the first year you’re a cardmember. Each subsequent year, purchases will earn just 1x points. At the end of each year, you will receive a 30% bonus on the rewards you have earned. When you sign up for the Blue for Business credit card, you can earn 10,000 points after making a single purchase during the first three months.

Business Gold Rewards from American Express

When you sign up for the Business Gold Rewards card, you’re eligible to receive 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months. You will also receive 3x points on your choice of one of the following categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Advertising in select media
  • Gas stations
  • Shipping
  • Computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

You will also receive 2x points on the four categories that you didn’t choose to receive 3x points. This gives you the opportunity to earn the most points on your business’s largest expenses. The bonus category earnings are good on up to $100,000 each year. Any other purchases you make will earn 1x points.

How The Fees Stack Up

Not only is there quite a large difference in the amount of rewards you can earn with each card, there’s also a big difference in how much each card will cost. The Business Blue card comes with no annual fee. However, the Business Gold Rewards card will have an annual fee of $175, waived the first year. So even though you have a greater opportunity to earn rewards with the Business Gold Rewards card, it will cost you considerably more after the first year.

Another difference is that the Business Blue card is a credit card and the Business Gold Rewards card is a charge card. With the Blue for Business card, you will receive an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases for the first 12 months. Once the introductory period is over, the APR will change to a variable 11.74% to 19.74%, depending on creditworthiness. Because the Business Gold Rewards card is a charge card there will be no interest charges, but your balance is due each month or there will be a late fee of either $38 or 2.99% of the balance due, whichever is greater. (Confused? You can find a full FAQ about credit cards vs. charge cards here.)

If you travel a lot outside the U.S., here’s something to consider as well: The Business Blue card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%. However, there are no foreign transaction fees with the Business Gold Rewards card.

Weighing the Benefits

Since both cards are from American Express, they have many of the same ancillary benefits included. You will receive purchase protection, which means if an item you purchase is accidentally damaged or stolen in the first 90 days, American Express will have you covered. You will also receive car rental loss and damage insurance. As long as you decline the rental car companies collision damage waiver, either of these cards will offer you the protection you need. Other benefits include baggage insurance, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty protection on purchases. Plus, both cards will receive American Express OPEN benefits.

So Which Card Should I Get?

Blue for Business

The Blue for Business card is good for two different types of business owners. First, it’s ideal for someone that doesn’t want to deal with a bunch of bonus categories. Running a business is hard enough, and some people don’t want the added complexity and instead want something simple. The other person this card would be great for is someone that might be just starting out their business and their current expenses can’t justify an annual fee of $175. Having a card that comes with no annual fee, that still offer rewards might be a better fit.

Business Gold Rewards

The reason to pick the Business Rewards Gold card is simple. You are all about earning rewards and you don’t mind keeping track of the different bonus categories. Plus, your expenses can justify the high annual fee that you’ll have to pay after the first year.

Looking for more credit card breakdowns? Check our credit card review center.

At publishing time, the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express is offered through product pages, and is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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