American Express has a great portfolio of small business cards, and the cards often have increased welcome offers. For that matter, a lot of card issuers have been focused on small business cards over the past several years, and you’ll often find that they have better welcome bonuses and benefits than personal cards.
For those who may not be familiar with the process of applying for business cards, in this post I wanted to talk about Amex small business cards — what offers are available, what are the advantages of applying for Amex business cards, and how should you go about applying?
The best Amex business cards
There are several great American Express business cards, including some cards earning Membership Rewards points, and some co-brand cards that can earn you valuable airline or hotel rewards.
The card that’s best for your small business will depend on what your travel goals are. Below are a few of my favorites.
Delta Business Amex
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (Rates & Fees)
- Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- $550 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
Hilton Business Amex
Hilton and Amex have a co-brand card portfolio, and that includes the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (review). For applications through Wednesday, December 21, 2022, the Hilton Business Card is offering the following two-part welcome bonus:
- Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $5,000 within the first three months
- Earn a Hilton Honors free night award after spending $10,000 within the first six months
- $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
Marriott Business Amex
- Earn 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- $125 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
Blue Business Plus Amex
If you’re looking for the best no annual fee Amex business card that earns Membership Rewards points, then The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) is the clear winner. The card also has an improved welcome offer:
- Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Earn 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually on all eligible purchases (and then 1x points after that)
- $0 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
Blue Business Cash Amex
As far as I’m concerned there’s one excellent cash back Amex business card, which has a generally similar rewards structure to the Blue Business Plus, and that’s The Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express (review):
- Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent annually (and then 1% cash back after that)
- $0 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
Business Gold Amex
- Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards bonus points after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first three months
- $295 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- The card offers 4x points in the two categories you spend most in each month, on a total of up to $150,000 in combined purchases every year; eligible categories include 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
Business Platinum Amex
- Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Annual Fee: $695 (Rates & Fees)
- The card offers many perks that help offset it, including all kinds of credits, a Priority Pass membership (enrollment required), access to Delta SkyClubs when flying Delta same day, Amex Centurion Lounge access, and more
Advantages of applying for Amex business cards
There are a few things worth knowing specifically about applying for Amex business cards. Anecdotally:
- Applying for Amex business cards doesn’t count toward Chase’s 5/24 limit; that’s because these applications typically aren’t reported on your personal credit report
- If you’re an existing Amex cardmember and apply for another Amex card, your credit won’t initially be pulled; this means that if you get a preliminary denial based on existing information, it won’t ding your credit score
- Among business cards, I find that Amex cards are significantly easier to be approved for than Chase or Citi cards, so it’s a great place to start if you’re getting your first business card
Restrictions on applying for Amex business cards
Amex’s general restrictions on applying for cards is as follows:
- You can generally have at most five Amex credit cards at any given point, which doesn’t include hybrid cards with no pre-set spending limit, like the Amex Business Gold; it doesn’t matter whether the credit cards are personal or business
- You can typically be approved for at most two American Express credit cards every 90 days, though there are some inconsistencies when it comes to that
How to fill out an Amex business card application
Those who already have business credit cards are probably familiar with the application process, but for those who aren’t, let’s talk about what you need to know.
It can be intimidating to apply for your first business card, though even if you’re a small business or sole proprietorship, you should be eligible. When applying for an Amex business card, you’ll be asked the following questions:
- Legal Business Name
- Business Address & Phone Number
- Industry Type
- Company Structure
- Years In Business
- Number Of Employees
- Annual Business Revenue
- Estimated Monthly Spend
- Federal Tax ID
If you’re a sole proprietorship, how should you approach this? First of all, and most importantly, answer everything truthfully. I think the concern that a lot of people have is that they think they need an incorporated business, a separate office, etc., in order to be considered for a business card. That’s not the case:
- You can use your name as your legal business name
- The business address and phone number can be the same as your personal address and phone number
- You can select “other” as your industry type, if the options don’t otherwise describe your business
- If you’re a sole proprietorship, you can select that as your company structure
- In terms of years in business, there’s no shame in saying it has been less than a year, one to two years, etc.
- In terms of the number of employees, saying just one is perfectly fine
- For the federal tax ID you can put your social security number
While a lot of people are intimidated by applying for their first business card, I think most are pleasantly surprised at the results. Again, the most important thing is to always be truthful on the application.
American Express business cards can be very beneficial additions to your wallet, so hopefully this is useful for anyone who hasn’t yet applied for an Amex business card. Even if you’re not someone who has applied for Amex business cards in the past, you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
At the moment there are some particularly good offers on Amex business cards, so this is a great time to take advantage of one of these offers.
What has your experience been applying for Amex business cards?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees), Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (Rates & Fees), Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card (Rates & Fees), Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card (Rates & Fees), The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees), Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), and American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (Rates & Fees).