It’s amazing how credit card rewards structures have evolved over the years. Back in the day you’d typically 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 in 2017 a card was introduced that offers a full 2x transferable points per dollar spent all with no annual fee, which was otherwise unheard of.
In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at that card, as this is one that virtually everyone who is eligible should have, in my opinion, as it’s one of the best business credit cards for everyday spending.
Amex Blue Business Plus Card Basics For January 2022
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?
Welcome Bonus Of 15K Membership Rewards Points
The Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card historically hasn’t typically had a publicly available welcome bonus, given how lucrative the card is. Fortunately that has changed — the card now offers a welcome bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 within the first three months.
That’s a solid bonus for a no annual fee card (Rates & Fees), especially since this is a card worth getting even without a welcome bonus, in my opinion.
Earn 2x Membership Rewards Points
The Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card earns 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases, and that applies to the first $50,000 spent per calendar year. You earn 1x points per dollar thereafter.
Membership Rewards points are one of the major transferable points currencies, and personally I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each. To me, that’s the equivalent of a 3.4% return on everyday business spending, which is phenomenal.
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 Amex Blue Business Plus Card has no annual fee (Rates & Fees), 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 Amex Blue Business Plus offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable rate (currently in the range of 13.24% - 19.24%), so if you do take advantage of this, make sure you can pay back the full amount within that period (Rates & Fees).
While this is a perk I typically stay away from, I know some small businesses appreciate this flexibility.
Spend Above Your Credit Limit
One thing that makes Amex business cards unique is that even though your business credit card has a credit limit, you can generally spend above that limit.
The extent to which Amex will 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.
Save Money With Amex Offers Program
The Amex Offers program is a way that you can save money and/or earn bonus points for purchases with a variety of retailers. This program saves me hundreds of dollars per year, and it’s also a reason to have as many Amex cards as possible. That’s especially true if you can get no annual fee cards, which really cost you nothing to hold onto.
In the typical year I save hundreds of dollars with the Amex Offers program, thanks to promotions for bonus points and statement credits with a variety of retailers. For example, I’ve seen offers for $25 back for every purchase of $500+, 10% off Hyatt stays, and more. The potential here really is endless, and Amex Offers is one of the most underrated perks of Amex cards.
2.7% Foreign Transaction Fees
I wouldn’t recommend using the Amex Blue Business Plus for purchases outside the United States, as the card does carry foreign transaction fees of 2.7% (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 that Amex business cards are easy to get 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
- There’s a limit of how many American Express credit cards you can have at any point, and typically that’s five
See this post for all major credit card application restrictions to be aware of. One of the other cool things to keep in mind is that applying for an Amex business card doesn’t count as a further card towards Chase’s 5/24 limit, so you can pick up this card without it impacting your ability to be approved for Chase cards in the future.
Is The Amex Blue Business Plus Worth It?
If you’re into collecting points then the Amex Blue Business Plus Card is an absolute must. Earning 2x Membership Rewards points, which I value at a ~3.4% return, is awesome. Best of all, you’re getting all of this with a no annual fee card that earns points that can be transferred to airline and hotel programs, and you’re getting access to Amex Offers and more.
Just keep in mind the $50,000 limit every calendar year for earning the 2x points.
Let’s take a look at some of the other cards that are worth considering, either in place of the Amex Blue Business Plus, if you’re looking for a cash back card, or if you’re looking for a card to use beyond your first $50,000 of spending per calendar year.
Comparison: Blue Business Plus Vs. Blue Business Cash
Most aspects of the cards are the same, with the major distinction being that the Amex Blue Business Cash earns 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent annually, while the Amex Blue Business Plus earns 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually.
While 2% cash back is a solid return 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 Business Credit Card Beyond $50K Of Spending
The Amex 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? There are lots of great business credit cards out there, though I’d say two are most competitive for everyday spending.
The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review) is an awesome option as well, as the card 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 (review), Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review).
Another great option is the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business (review), which offers 2x Spark miles per dollar spent. The card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year, and Capital One miles can also be transfered to a variety of airline and hotel partners.
Best Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card Complement
If you want to earn as many Membership Rewards points as possible, the American Express® Business Gold Card (review) is worth considering. The Amex Business Gold Card offers 4x Membership Rewards points on the two select categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle. The 4x points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from 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 Comparable Personal Credit Card
There’s only one no annual fee personal card that’s at all comparable to the Blue Business Plus, and that’s the Citi® Double Cash Card (review). The card also has no annual fee, and offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and an additional 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase.
If you have the card in conjunction with a card earning Citi ThankYou points, like the Citi Premier® Card (review), then rewards can be converted into ThankYou points at a rate of one cent per point. That makes this card incredibly versatile, as you can redeem rewards efficiently as cash back or towards travel.
Alternatively, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review) and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) earn 2x Venture miles per dollar spent, which can be transfered to airline and hotel partners. Those are fantastic cards as well, though they do have annual fees.
The Amex Blue Business Plus Card is one of the most lucrative cards out there. It offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year, all with no annual fee. On top of that, the card even offers a welcome bonus, and gets you access to Amex Offers.
This is also a fantastic “hub” card for holding onto Amex points, in situations where you want to cancel other premium Amex cards but want to hold onto your points. 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).