American Express has announced major changes to the popular American Express® Business Gold Card (review). The card is getting several new perks, additional flexible bonus categories, and more, but the annual fee is also increasing, and one other benefit is being taken away. Let’s cover all the details, starting with the bad news.
In this post:
Amex Business Gold annual fee increasing
Let’s start with the bad news. The Amex Business Gold Card currently has an annual fee of $295 (Rates & Fees). For applications as of February 1, 2024, that annual fee will change to $375, representing an $80 increase. That’s a significant increase, but I think many can recoup the annual fee with some of the new perks.
Amex Business Gold loses 25% Amex Travel rebate
The Amex Business Gold Card has historically offered up to a 25% rebate on redemptions through Amex Travel when using “Pay with Points.” This applies when redeeming for a premium cabin flight or for travel on a designated airline. Unfortunately, with this card refresh, that benefit has been eliminated. However, nothing is changing to the ability to transfer Amex points to travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. There are still lots of great uses of Amex Membership Rewards points.
Amex Business Gold bonus category changes
One of the reasons that the Amex Business Gold Card is worth having is because of its bonus categories. The card offers 4x Membership Rewards points on your top two eligible spending categories each billing cycle, on up to $150,000 (and then 1x) in combined spending per calendar year.
Going forward, the card will have a total of six categories to choose from, comprised of the following:
- Purchases at U.S. gas stations
- Purchases at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery
- Purchases at U.S. media providers for advertising in select media, including online, radio, and TV
- Purchases at U.S. electronics goods retailers and software and cloud system providers
- Purchases of transit, including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
- Purchases of monthly wireless telephone service charges made from a wireless telephone provider in the U.S.
Specifically, those two last bonus categories are the new ones, and they join the other four (which have been the standard ones for quite some time).
On top of that, the Amex Gold Card will start offering 3x Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases through Amex Travel.
Amex Business Gold up to $395 in annual statement credits
The Amex Business Gold Card now offers up to $395 in statement credits annually (Enrollment required). This includes the following:
- Up to $240 back annually for eligible purchases with FedEx, Grubhub, and office supply stores (up to $20 per month)
- Up to $155 back annually for a monthly Walmart+ membership subject to auto-renewal (which ordinarily costs $12.95 per month)
Amex Business Gold cell phone protection
Going forward, the Amex Business Gold Card will offer a cell phone protection plan. You can be reimbursed the lesser of your repair or replacement costs following damage (such as a cracked screen) or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone is listed on a wireless bill, and an eligible card account paid the prior month’s wireless bill.
Coverage for a Stolen or damaged Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per Eligible Card Account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per Eligible Card Account per 12 month period.
- Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.
- Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
- Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
Amex Business Gold rose gold design
Much like the personal version of the card, the Amex Business Gold Card now comes with the option for a rose gold design. This is something that many card members like, so I’m sure this will prove to be popular.
My take on these Amex Business Gold Card changes
The Amex Business Gold Card has always been more of a niche business card. It has a fairly high annual fee, and it has been useful primarily if you spend a lot in the categories in which the card offers bonus points. However, it doesn’t have the same wide appeal as a product like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review) (Rates & Fees).
So, what do I make of these changes? Here are a few thoughts:
- The cell phone protection makes this a more compelling card in terms of offering perks beyond just bonus points, so I’m happy to see that, especially with the opportunity to potentially earn 4x points on those purchases
- I think the $80 annual fee hike can very nicely be offset by the new credits of up to $395; even if you don’t value the Walmart+ membership, getting $240 toward FedEx, Grubhub, and office supply stores, is pretty awesome
- I’m not thrilled to see the 25% Pay with Points rebate being eliminated on some redemptions, though personally that wasn’t my preferred use of Amex points anyway
On balance I’d say these changes are positive, primarily because I think the card’s annual fee is much easier to justify than before, thanks to the up to $240 in annual credits. Admittedly everyone will have a different take on that depending on their own behavior.
The Amex Business Gold Card is undergoing some major changes. The card’s annual fee is increasing by $80, though the card is getting more flexible bonus categories, cell phone protection, and up to $395 in annual credits. People will have mixed feelings about these changes, though personally, I think the annual fee will be easier to justify thanks to the added credits.
What’s your take on these Amex Business Gold Card changes?
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).