It used to be that you’d only earn one point per dollar spent on credit cards. Then we saw some cards introduce up to 1.5x points per dollar spent. Then a card was introduced in 2017 that offered a full 2x transferable points per dollar spent all with no annual fee (Rates & Fees), which was otherwise unheard of. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at that card.
Amex Blue Business Plus Card basics for January 2020
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is almost too good to be true, given that the card has no annual fee, offers up to 2x transferable points per dollar spent, and gives you access to some other useful perks as well.
There aren’t many credit cards that I say just about everyone should have, though this is one of them. So, what makes the Amex Blue Business Plus so rewarding?
Earn 2x Points
The Blue Business Plus offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent on eligible purchases every calendar year. After that, you receive 1x Membership Rewards points.
Membership Rewards points are one of the four major transferable points currencies, and personally I value the points at 1.7 cents each. So to me that’s the equivalent of a 3.4% return on everyday spending, which is unrivaled.
I should also mention that this card earns Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to Amex airline and hotel partners. There aren’t many no annual fee cards that are enrolled in the “full” Membership Rewards program, so that in and of itself is a reason to keep this card.
No Annual fee
The Blue Business Plus Card has no annual fee, so this is a card that you can keep long term to maximize your rewards. You can also add authorized users to your account at no extra cost.
0% Intro APR
The Blue Business Plus is offering 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. After that, your APR will be a variable rate (currently in the range of 14.74% - 20.74%), so if you do take advantage of this, make sure you can pay back the full amount within that period (Rates & Fees).
Spend Above Your Credit Limit
One thing that makes Amex business cards unique is that even though your business credit card has a limit, you can generally spend above that limit.
The extent to which they’ll let you spend above that limit varies based on quite a few factors, though it is something to be aware of, and something I’ve benefited from in the past when I had big purchases to make on cards with fairly low credit limits.
One of the great features of Amex cards is access to Amex Offers, which offers savings or bonus points on purchases with all kinds of retailers. There’s huge value to be had in getting as many no annual fee Amex cards as possible, so that you can get these offers on multiple cards.
Amex Offers could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can access these offers by logging into your account and scrolling down to the bottom of your account summary page.
2.7% Foreign Transaction Fees
I wouldn’t recommend using this credit card for purchases outside the US, as the card does have 2.7% foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees), which will eat up most of the value of your rewards.
Getting Approved For The Blue Business Plus
For those with excellent credit, I find Amex business cards to be incredibly easy to be approved for. Anecdotally most people I’ve heard from have reported instant approvals on this card, so it really shouldn’t be very tough to be approved for, even if you haven’t gotten many business cards in the past.
Just make sure you know that:
- You can be approved for at most two Amex cards in a 90 day period
- You can have at most five American Express credit cards at any point (this doesn’t include charge cards)
See this post for all major credit card application restrictions to be aware of.
Is The Blue Business Plus Worth It?
If you’re into collecting points then the Blue Business Plus Card is an absolute must. Earning 2x Membership Rewards points, which I value at a ~3.4% return, is unrivaled. Best of all, you’re getting all of this with a no annual fee card that earns points can be transferred to airline and hotel programs.
Just keep in mind the $50,000 limit every calendar year for earning the 2x points.
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at some of the other cards that are worth considering, either in place of this card, if you’re looking for a cash back card, or if you’re looking for a card to use beyond your first $50,000 spent.
Comparison: Blue Business Plus Vs. Blue Business Cash
While the Blue Business Plus Card has been around for a couple of years, Amex also recently introduced the Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express (review), which is a cash back version of this card.
That card offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. While that’s solid for a no annual fee business card, personally I have a strong preference for earning 2x Membership Rewards points rather than 2% cash back.
Best Cards Beyond $50K Spending
The Blue Business Plus offers an incredible 2x points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year, so what are the best cards for everyday spending beyond that?
- The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business (review) offers 2x Spark miles per dollar spent, a big welcome bonus, a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit, and a $95 annual fee that is waived for the first year
- The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card (review) offers 1.5x points per dollar spent, and has no annual fee; those points can be transferred to Ultimate Rewards partners if you have the card in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
The Business Gold Card offers 4x Membership Rewards points on the two select categories where your business spent the most each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these these categories each calendar year.
The bonus categories are as follows:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
Best Cash Back Business Card
A lot of businesses are looking for a great cash back card. If that describes your business, my single favorite cash back business card is the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business (review), which offers 2% cash back on all purchases, with no caps.
The card does have a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year, though there is a limited time welcome bonus of up to $2,000, as follows:
- Earn $500 when you spend $5,000 within the first three months
- Earn an additional $1,500 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first six months
The value of that bonus should more than cover the annual fee for several years.
If you want a straightforward cash back business card with no caps, I’d recommend this card.
Amex Blue Business Plus Summary
The Blue Business Plus Card is one of the most incredible cards out there. It offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year.
This is a card that anyone who is eligible should get, assuming you’re into collecting points.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).