Why I Don’t Care That The Blue Business Plus Doesn’t Have A Welcome Bonus

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A couple of days ago I wrote about how I can finally get The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express. I used to be at the limit for how many American Express credit cards you can have, though I finally canceled a card, meaning I once again have the ability to apply for another Amex card.

This is a card that has been on my radar since it was introduced last year, as it’s the single most lucrative credit card for non-bonused spend. The Blue Business Plus Credit Card has no annual fee, and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually. That’s an amazing return, and it’s a nice way to quickly rack up more Membership Rewards points.

When American Express first introduced the card, it had a welcome bonus of 20,000 bonus points after completing minimum spend. However, they pulled that welcome bonus within a couple of weeks, and we haven’t seen a public, published welcome bonus on the card since then. It seems to me that’s quite intentional, given that the card is so generous, so they don’t need a welcome bonus to lure people in.

Several of you asked whether I think we’ll see another welcome bonus on the card, and asked if I’m waiting for them to introduce one before applying. My take on that is as follows:

  • I doubt we’ll see another public welcome bonus on the card anytime soon, though with Amex you never really know; if nothing else, sometimes they have targeted offers
  • While I’d love for the card to have a welcome bonus, I’m applying even though it doesn’t, and don’t feel bad about it at all

Why am I applying in spite of the lack of a swelcome bonus? Because the way I see it, there are cards that I want to get at some point, and then there are cards where I’m actively missing out on value by not having them.

Based on my current credit card portfolio, the best return on non-bonused spend that I get with any card is on the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, as it offers up to 1.5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. Given that I make $50,000 of non-bonused purchases per year, the direct opportunity cost to not having the Blue Business Plus Credit Card is 25,000 Membership Rewards points per year (we’re talking about earning 100,000 points vs. 75,000 points). That 25,000 point difference is more than the welcome bonus you’d get on the card.

Some will certainly wait for a welcome bonus to apply for the Blue Business Plus Credit Card. While I wish those people luck and really hope Amex does bring back a welcome bonus on the card, for me the opportunity cost of waiting is too high.

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  1. I got this card and got the 20,000k bonus about 2 months ago.
    I searched online and used some tricks – can’t recall what website told me the info – but I fund the 20k sign up link in no time – after 30 mins of clicking. I used it applied and the 20k posted after the first billing cycle.
    I got the card early Dec 2017 – 2 months ago – so the link was still avail then

  2. I got a targeted offer earlier this month offering a $200 statement credit for $5000 spend in first 3 months. Wasn’t tempting enough for me to pull the trigger.

  3. For your spending patterns I think that makes total sense. For someone like me though, unbonused spend is something to put on a card to earn minimum spend. So no real utility in my wallet

  4. Patriotic Americans should visit Taiwan more than China:


  5. Lucky, what you say can make sense for eventual airline travel redemptions. For hotel, though, non-bonus spend is more valuable on the SPG AMEX or any of the Hilton AMEX cards rather than URs.

  6. If your spending that kind of money in non bonus categories. You certainly don’t need any Points to fund your trips

  7. The past year I put all my non-bonused spend on the regular blue business with its first year 2x and 30 percent bonus. It was a great year for non-bonus spend. Today is the close date for 13th month since I acquired the account I logged into my account to check out my statement and Amex offers me an upgrade to the Blue Business Plus with 20k MR points for 5K spend and 0% for 15 months. No more 30 percent but a 20K bonus for switching is nice. My 3rd Amex CC this year already that has me a little stressed.

  8. @Lucky I think the hype around this card is overrated. This card earns 2 MR/$ which you have said a few times is terrific. But, Starwood points can also be converted to MR at 3 MR/SP. So effectively you are earning 3 MR/$ if you put the same dollar you would spend on a SPG card rather than this card.

    What do you think?

  9. @ John Green — You actually can’t convert Starwood points into Membership Rewards points. You can convert Membership Rewards points into Starpoints at a 3:1 ratio (which is a terrible deal), but not the other way around.

  10. I think one of the biggest points lucky might not have added is that it holds your MR points AF free meaning if you dump one of your AF MR cards then you won’t lose your MR points. I find value just in that imho.

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