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American Express® Business Gold Card

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Bonus Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 within first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)


Bonus Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 within first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)

★ This card earns bonus points for spend in the following bonus categories:

Airfare4x
Computer Hardware / Software / Cloud Computing4x
Dining4x
Gas Stations4x
Online and Offline Advertising4x
Search Engine / Social Media Ads4x
Shipping4x

Best for:

Those with strong spend on two of the included bonus categories, as 4X points can really add up!

Card Features and Benefits:

    The American Express® Business Gold card is a powerful earner for business owners with high spend on the included bonus categories.

    (Before we begin: Not sure if you qualify for a business card? Read this article about what qualifies as a business. It's more than you think.)

    Why Is the American Express® Business Gold Card So Strong?

    amex business gold card

    The card is particularly strong on both the earning and redemption side.

    To start, the American Express Business Gold Card offers 4 Membership points per dollar spent in several different categories where businesses are likely to make a lot of purchases. You'll earn 4X Membership Rewards points in the two qualifying categories where your business spends the most money every month. Many businesses easily max this out each year for an easy 600,000 points which we would value at over $10,000!

    There are also a ton of useful perks that come with the card. You'll receive travel insurance and credits at The Hotel Collection, as well as rebates when you book flights with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards points.

    American Express Business Gold Card Welcome Bonus

    The Amex Business Gold Card comes with a strong welcome bonus of 70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 on eligible combined purchases with the card in the first three months as a cardholder.

    American Express Membership Rewards points are valuable. Given how flexible the points are, we value them as worth 1.7 cents each. At the MilesTalk / Your Best credit Cards point value, your Amex Business Gold Card welcome bonus is worth almost $1,200. That's a huge premium to the $295 annual fee.

    Annual Fee

    As mentioned above, the card does have a $295 annual fee, which is not waived the first year (or any other year). But with $1,200 in value just to sign up for the card, not to mention the perks that we will talk about later, you'll have that fee covered for years.

    American Express Business Gold Card Earn Rate:

    • 4X on Airfare purchases directly with the airline
    • 4X on U.S. online, TV and radio advertising purchases
    • 4X on U.S. Computer Hardware / Software / Cloud Computing purchases
    • 4X at U.S. Gas Stations purchases
    • 4X at US Restaurants (including takeout and delivery)
    • 4X on US Shipping purchases
    • 1X Membership Rewards points on all other eligible purchases.

    Remember that the 4X bonus is only good on the first $150,000 in combined bonus category purchases per year with 1X thereafter.

    How Does American Express Define "Cloud Computing Services (Not to Mention Software and Hardware)?"

    American Express has a number of rules regarding how you earn bonus points in each bonus category. To earn bonus American Express Membership Rewards points, you must make a purchase from a provider included on Amex's list of computer hardware, software and cloud computing services.

    You must also purchase directly from the U.S. location of the companies on the list of select providers. You will not earn bonus Membership Rewards points if you buy through a third party.

    The select providers are:

    • Apple
    • CDW
    • Dell
    • HP
    • IBM
    • Intuit
    • Lenovo
    • Microsoft
    • Newegg
    • Oracle
    • Rackspace
    • Sage Software
    • Salesforce.com
    • Symantec
    • Tiger Direct

    If you have any questions before making your purchase, be sure to check with American Express, since these are big purchases. Terms apply.

    Also, note that Amazon's AWS is not included on the list of providers.

    American Express Business Gold Card Review and Benefits:

    On top of the strong welcome bonus and 4X bonus categories, the Amex Business Gold Card has a huge number of perks for the annual fee. Here are just a few (terms apply to all benefits):

    Insurance Benefits

    • Baggage Insurance. When you pay for your entire fare for a Common Carrier ticket (e.g., plane, trip, ship or bus), you'll receive baggage insurance for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for baggage that you check.
    • Rental Car Coverage. Receive secondary coverage for car rental loss and damage when you pay with your Amex Business Gold Card. There are exceptions for certain vehicle and rental types, and the card does not cover liability.
    • Trip delay insurance. Trip delay insurance is limited to $300 per covered trip, with a maximum of 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive months.

    Other Benefits

    • American Express Travel Rebates. Pay for flights at Amex Travel with Membership Rewards points and receive a 25% rebate on the points that you use in all classes of service on one airline that you must choose each year (Enrollment required) and on all airlines when you redeem for First/Business Class. You can receive up to 250,000 rebated points per year. (Note that if you also have an Amex Business Platinum Card, your points all combine and you would receive the 35% rebate that comes with that card on all of your points, regardless of which card earned them.
    •  No Foreign Transaction Fee. American Express charges no foreign transaction fees when you make a purchase outside of the US. This is an extremely handy benefit for those that travel internationally.
    • Hotel Collection Benefits. Book two or more consecutive nights through American Express Travel with participating properties and receive additional benefits, including a $100 resort credit and upgrade at check-in, if available. The cardholder must be traveling on the itinerary.
    • Extended Warranty. Receive up to 1 additional year of coverage on original manufacturers' warranties of 5 years or less. You'll receive up to $10,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 per year in benefits.
    • Purchase Protection. Covers theft or accidental damage for up to 90 days after the purchase of the covered item. You're covered for up to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per year.

    American Express Business Gold Card Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners

    jetblue mint suite new

    Want to cash in your Membership Rewards points for the new JetBlue Mint Suite? No problem. Emirates is a transfer partner that can book JetBlue awards. Image Courtesy: JetBlue

    The best use of American Express Membership Rewards points is to transfer them into an airline partner. The option to transfer into hotel points exist, but they're typically at a disadvantageous rate.

    Note: If you are transferring Membership Rewards points into a US airline, Amex will charge you $.0006 per point, up to a maximum of $99. American Express explains that this charge is to offset excise taxes that the airlines charge.

    Membership Rewards Points Transfer into the Following Partners at a Rate of 1:1

    • Aer Lingus
    • Air Canada
    • Air France
    • Alitalia
    • ANA
    • Avianca
    • British Airways
    • Cathay Pacific
    • Delta
    • Emirates
    • Etihad
    • Hawaiian
    • Iberia
    • Qantas
    • Singapore
    • Virgin Atlantic
    • Choice Privileges
    • Marriott Bonvoy

    Other Membership Rewards Transfer Partners

    • JetBlue: 250 MR Points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points
    • AeroMexico: 1,000 MR Points = 1,600 AeroMexico Club Premier points
    • Hilton: 1,000 MR Points = 2,000 Hilton Honors points

    Best Uses for American Express Membership Rewards Points

    The best use for your Membership Rewards points will almost certainly be to transfer them to an airline partner. But which partner to choose? The answer, of course, depends on where you are flying, but to get the best value, you'll need to expand your search to non-US airlines.

    Go Around the World with ANA Miles and the Star Alliance

    The most interesting use of Membership Rewards points is an around the world flight on ANA and the Star Alliance. You'll have up to 8 stopovers to maximize the use of your points and the cost in miles is based on the total distance that you fly. But your 80,000 American Express Membership Rewards points (70,000 from the welcome bonus, at least 10,000 from your spending) will let you fly up to 20,000 total miles in Economy Class. Business isn't that much more, starting at 115,000 points. It's hard to find any single international trip at these rates with other mileage programs, never mind one that will take you around the world.

    Best bet for booking an ANA Round the World award: Determine whether there is "Saver" / partner availability for the segments that you want to fly (Use the award search at United Airlines) and book over the phone with ANA.

    There are a few rules and things to know when booking an around the world flight with ANA miles:

    • Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 to ANA.
    • The required mileage is calculated according to the total basic sector mileage for the entire itinerary (Calculations exclude ground transportation sectors.). If you have mixed classes, the higher rate will apply for the entire trip.
    • Get used to seeing water: You must cross both the Atlantic and the Pacific once each.
    • You must move in one direction, either east --> west or west --> east. There's no backtracking allowed.
    • You may have up to 8 stopovers between the departure and the final return destination. You're allowed up to 3 stopovers within Europe and up to 4 stopovers within Japan.
    • Your departure of your last international flight to your final destination must be at least 10 days after the first international flight.
    • You can have up to 12 flight segments in total, as well as up to 4 ground transportation segments (trips between airports that don't involve an airplane).

    ana around the world award amex
    Have fun with this one!

    Use Avianca to Go to Europe in Business Class

    Avianca LifeMiles are great when you want Star Alliance flights that will not only save you miles but also reduce the amount of fees that you will owe, since they don't pass through carrier fuel surcharges.

    LifeMiles trips to Europe, particularly in premium classes of service, are cheap. US to Europe flights in business class are only 63,000 miles and, if you are flying one of the few remaining first class products, such as Lufthansa's First Class, you'll only need 87,000 miles with no surcharges other than a $30 partner booking fee.

    But the real steal with Avianca is when you need to round up your balances. If you don't have enough miles to book the flight that you want, you can buy them directly from Avianca. While I don't normally recommend buying miles from an airline, Avianca runs frequent promotions, meaning that you may be able to get a great deal to finalize your flight.

    Take a Short Flight with Avios

    amex business gold card - transfer partners

    British Airways Avios redemptions are distance-based, rather than zone-based, so they are excellent for short-haul flights. There's a bit of a "penalty" for North America, where the minimum for a one-way flight is 7,500 Avios (up to 650 miles). Of course, that still means that your welcome bonus and minimum spend would get you 10 one-way flights between, say, Boston and New York - assuming that American Airlines releases Saver award space. You can also redeem on Alaska Airlines.

    It's even better abroad. BA short-haul flights start at 4,750 miles (after a recent 750 mile increase) and partner flights in the lowest bucket are 6,000 miles.

    Avios can be a great alternative for short flights that are expensive if paid for directly in cash. Of course, if you do pay for the flight, be sure to use the American Express Business Gold Card, since you'll receive 4X points if airfare is in one of your top two qualifying spending categories.

    There are actually many more great ways to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points via transfer partners, if you are interested!

    American Express Membership Rewards Points -- Other Redemptions

    There are several other ways to redeem points, but they generally tend to be lower value. Even transferring to hotel programs won't get you much, given that Hilton points are only worth about 0.5 cents each and Marriott about 0.6 cents.

    If you have to use points for something other than airline miles, consider using them to pay for travel through amextravel.com. Normally, those points would be worth a penny each but, when you include the 25% Membership Rewards bonus points rebate from the Amex Business Gold Card, it boosts the value of a point to just over 1.3 cents. Remember: Your rebate caps out at 250,000 bonus points per year.

    There are other ways to redeem Membership Rewards points, but they should not be in your consideration set. They include:

    • Gift cards, which offer 0.7-1.0 cents per point
    • Shopping, which is worth about 0.7 cents per point
    • Statement credits, worth about 0.6 cents per point

    American Express Business Gold Card Frequently Asked Questions

    What qualifies as a business? Can I even get this card?

    Read this short article about what qualifies as a "business." Even a gig or part-time business of only a few hours per week may qualify you.

    What credit score do I need to get the American Express Business Gold Card?

    There's no set score that you need, but you should probably have a personal FICO score of 700+ to have a decent shot.

    What Credit Bureau will American Express pull from?

    Most of the time, Amex will pull from Experian. On occasion, they may also pull from Equifax or TransUnion. If you already have existing American Express accounts, however, they usually will not pull any credit at all, relying on their own proprietary algorithms.

    Do I need to pay my bill in full every month?

    You can sign up for the "Pay Over Time" feature, but we recommend that you don't. They'll charge you interest that far exceeds any rewards that you will earn. If you can't pay the card in full every month, get a low-interest rate card, preferably one with a zero percent offer period.

    Does the Amex Business Gold card provide car rental damage insurance?

    Yes, but it's only secondary coverage, meaning that you'll have to go through your personal auto insurance company first before Amex will pick up the tab - unless you pay per rental for their Premium Car Rental Protection. If you're looking for primary auto insurance from a credit card, Chase has a pretty good selection of credit cards with primary car rental protection.

    Can I transfer Membership Rewards points to another person?

    Yes, in a way. You can deposit Membership Rewards points to the account of an authorized user on your account, but the user must have had their card for at least 90 days prior.

    Does the American Express Business Gold card offer airport lounge access?

    No, the card does not offer airport lounge access.

    Is there a limit on the number of Membership Rewards points I can earn?

    No, there is no limit. American Express created this card for heavy users, so they're happy to let you rack up as many points as you can. And the No Present Spending Limit means that it's easy to gradually increase your true limit over time based on your spend and on-time payments, rather than having to apply for a credit line increase.

    Do Membership Rewards points expire?

    In general, no. If you cancel your card, however, you could lose your points - unless you have another credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards. If you cancelled all Membership Rewards earning cards, you would lose all of your accrued points.

    Can I add an authorized user to the Amex Business Gold card?

    Yes, you can. There is a $50 fee for the first additional user, with no further fees after that. You can add up to 99 authorized users. Spending from authorized users will count toward your Membership Rewards points balance.

    Is there a no-fee version of the American Express Business Gold Card?

    The benefits aren't nearly as good but, if you want a no annual fee American Express business card, the Amex Blue Business Plus card is a good option which earns 2X points on everything, but only on up to $50,000 in annual spend; 1X thereafter.

    Conclusion: Is the Amex Business Gold Card worth it?

    american express business gold card

    Courtesy: American Express

    It is. The card offers 4X Membership Rewards points in some of the most popular categories that businesses use so, if you spend a lot in the qualifying categories listed in the first paragraph, the card is extremely valuable.

    Membership Rewards points are particularly useful. You'll have 18 airline partners to transfer to, with representatives from each of the 3 major global airline alliances. If you want to cash out your points instead, paying for travel through amextravel.com is another good use, particularly given the 25% points rebate that the card offers.

    The biggest perk right now, though, is the 70,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus when you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. Those points are worth almost $1,200 if you convert them into airline miles but, as we saw above, they can do a lot more, even taking you around the world on ANA, where a RTW flight can end up costing fewer points than even a single round-trip ticket. How many other cards can say that?

    Related Credit Cards

    Rates and Fees for the American Express(R) Business Gold Card

American Express Business Gold Card

Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $10,000 within first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates and Fees)

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