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The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is great for startup business owners who are looking for a credit card that earns points and valuable rewards without costing a fortune.
Since the card is under American Express, cardholders are entitled to travel and buyer protection benefits. There’s also flexibility in rewards redemption because you can transfer your points to other hotel and frequent flier loyalty programs on a 1:1 ratio.
It definitely offers a great return on your investment since it has zero annual fees. Business credit cards typically have annual fees that range between $95 – $500.
Let’s dig deeper on what this card can offer. From its key features, benefits to drawbacks, we’ve listed down all the details that you need to know.
Amex Blue Business Plus Key Features
The points earnings on this card is pretty straightforward. Cardholders will earn:
- 2 points per $1 spent on daily business purchases – up to $50,000 per calendar year
- 1 point per $1 once you reach the $50,000 spending threshold
The points you earn will not expire so you’re free to choose when you want to redeem them. Just go to Amex Membership Rewards and you can choose from a wide variety of rewards like travel essentials, shopping vouchers, home appliances, gadgets, and more.
The points are transferable too so you can redeem other rewards if you don’t like what Amex offers. There are more than a dozen loyalty programs you can transfer your points to such as Delta SkyMiles, TruBlue, and Marriot Bonvoy, too name a few.
The value of Membership Rewards points would depend on what your redemption strategy is. However, a lot of credit card experts say that these points would value between 1 – 2 cents, especially if you transfer them to other programs.
Amex Blue Business Plus Benefits
Aside from the rewards and points earnings, the card has tons of benefits that are useful for business, shopping, and even travel.
- Zero Annual Fees – Earn points and rewards without paying for expensive annual fees.
- Free Employee Cards – You can get up to 99 free cards for your employees without additional annual fees. You can set individual credit limits and you can monitor employee spending too. This feature alone helps you earn more points faster since the points earned by your employees are credit to you.
- 0% Intro APR – You’ll pay 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
- Credit Limit Flexibility – Every cardholder will have a certain amount they can spend over their credit limit. This allowance is determined by the financial information you provided to the issuing company.
Purchase Protection and Travel Insurance Benefits
- Extended Warranty – Purchases that have a 5-year warranty or less will have an extra one-year warranty. There’s a $10,000 spending limit on single purchases and a $50,000 total spending limit for one calendar year.
- Purchase Protection – Stolen and accidentally damaged purchases have a 90-day protection with a coverage of up to $1,000 per incident. The spending limit is also $50,000 for one calendar year.
- Car Rental Loss Or Damage – Get a secondary insurance coverage of up to $50,000 when you use your card to pay for car rentals. Remember, secondary insurance only kicks in ones you’ve used up your primary insurance.
- Baggage Insurance – Lost luggage is insured on flight reservations made using your card. The insurance will also cover immediate family members such as spouse and dependents.
Amex Blue Business Plus Drawbacks
The card’s simple rewards structure is what makes it a great business card. It’s not complicated so it’s business-friendly, especially for startup owners.
However, it can also be the reason why you may want another card because the card’s simplicity limits the benefits. Here are some reasons why you may want another card.
- No Sign-Up Bonus – The Blue Business Plus doesn’t have a welcome bonus, but it’s quite common for cards that have zero annual fees to not have it. However, there are a few exceptions such as the Chase Ink Business Cash which offers a $500 sign-up bonus and a 5% maximum cashback on common business expenditures.
- Low Rewards After Reaching Spending Limit – Points earning goes down to 1 point per $1 after spending $50,000. If you’re spending more than this, a great option would be the Marriot Bonvoy Premier Plus. It does have a $99 annual fee but you can earn unlimited points at a maximum of 6 points per $1 on eligible purchases.
- Foreign Transaction Fees – You might want a different card if you’re going to use this when you travel abroad. It has a 2.7% fee which is pretty hard on the wallet if it accumulates over time. A good option would be Bank of America’s Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard. It has zero annual fees, zero foreign transaction fees, and unlimited points earning.
Do You Prefer The Cashback Version Of The Card?
The Amex Blue Business Plus is a rewards card. This means that the points you’ll earn can be used to redeem rewards on the Amex Membership Rewards portal. Your points can be transferred to different loyalty programs too so you have lots of rewards options to choose from.
If you find these rewards programs too confusing, you can always choose the cashback version which is the Amex Blue Business Cash. It has zero annual fees, 0% intro APR for 12 months, and the points earnings are the same too.
It’s the exact opposite of the Amex Blue Business Plus but you’ll just be earning cashback instead. It’s less complicated since you can just redeem the cashback as a statement credit, check, or a direct deposit.
- Non-expiring points
- Lots of transfer partners
- Zero annual fees
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers & purchases (12 months)
- Points earnings drop to 1 point after reaching the $50,000 spend limit
- Foreign transaction fees
- No bonus offer at the time of this writing.
Who Is This Card For?
The Amex Blue Business Plus’ target market is small business owners who don’t spend more than $50,000 a year
If you’re a business startup, you’ll also want the card because of its lengthy 0% intro offer on purchases and balance transfers. It’s one of those small business cards that can help you make big purchases on materials and equipment to help you kickstart your business.
If you spend more than $50,000, you’re probably a big business so you’re better off with a mid-tier or premium business credit card.
You can try getting the Amex Business Gold or the Amex Business Platinum. These cards have annual fees but the points earnings and rewards are bigger.
Read More: How To Get A Business Credit Card
Tips On Using Your Amex Blue Business Plus
If it’s you’re first time getting a business card, the Amex Blue Business Plus is a good choice to start with. You don’t need to worry about comparing the annual fee against the benefits or thinking how much you need to spend per year on certain categories.
But as simple as this card is, here are some ways on how to fully maximize the card’s potential:
- Since the card has zero annual fees and 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, make big purchases for your business and pay your loans on time to build your credit score.
- Learn the ins and outs of transferring points to other loyalty programs. It will be worth it and you’ll be able to maximize the value of your Membership Rewards points.
- Get a secondary business credit card that earns at least the same points or cashback. Once you reach the $50,000 spending limit, use your second card so you won’t just settle down for the 1 point rate of the Amex Blue Business Plus.
The card benefits most businesses, especially those that don’t have enough spending power or have limited revenue. You also don’t need to have a brick-and-mortar business just to have the card. If you’re a freelancer or E-commerce shop owner, you’re qualified to get the card as long as you have good credit.