The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a solid choice for small businesses and start-up companies that are looking for an easy way to maximize rewards points for their everyday expenses.
Unlike some rewards cards such as the American Express Business Platinum card, the Blue Business Plus card does not charge an annual fee. Nor does it have a minimum spending limit. The card does not come with the robust travel benefits available on those cards, but it still provides some benefits for the frequent traveler.
And that’s the distinction that business owners need to make. In fact, some businesses choose to carry both cards. If they do enough travel, they can use the Business Platinum card for those purchases and justify an annual fee. They can still benefit from the ability to earn 2x the points on most other qualifying purchases with the Blue Business Plus card.
How Do Users Earn Points?
One of the nicest benefits of the Blue Business Plus card is the simplicity of its point earning structure. Cardholders can earn 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 they spend in a calendar year. After that, they earn 1X Membership reward point per dollar spent.
Points can be redeemed typically for between 0.5 cents and 1 cent each depending on the category. Because points can be transferred, users may be able to get the biggest benefit by transferring points to another airline or hotel’s reward program and maximizing the transfer benefit.
What Other Member Benefits Are Included?
Cardholders have the opportunity to earn up to $300 back when they purchase from Dell, DocuSign or FedEx. Eligible purchases can earn a statement credit of up to $100 for eligible purchases from each retailer. Purchases must be made within the first three months of opening the account.
Business owners can designate an account manager to manage their account when they are unavailable. And up to 99 employee cards can be on a single account.
Another benefit that some business owners find helpful is the ability to spend a limited amount above their credit limit. It can come in handy in an emergency. However, this extra amount is different for all cardholders and will depend on card use, payment, and credit history as well as the financial information that users provided on their application. And it can go up or down over time.
And when you cardholders use the card for travel they will get additional peace of mind benefits including baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, car rental insurance, and roadside assistance.
What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
Unlike some cards in the Amex universe, the Amex Blue Business Plus card is a credit card, not a charge card. This means it does carry a variable APR. However, new cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on purchases. This is for the first 12 months of opening the account. After that the rate is a variable APR that is currently between 13.24%-19.24%.
Do You Qualify?
The Amex Business Blue Business Plus card is for individuals with good to excellent credit defined as having a credit score between 690 and 850. The ability for some applicants with a credit rating in the high end of the good category is an advantage that other premium cards usually do not offer.
Does the Card Have Limitations?
The only limitation of the card is capping the ability to earn 2x the points at $50,000. If you know you’re going to spend far more than that every year, there may be better options that ensure you can continue to maximize the points you can earn.
When you are booking rewards-funded travel, cardholders must go through American Express (amextravel.com). There is a fee to transfer points to frequent flier programs. And there is also a small fee for booking airfare through the Amex site.
Also, there is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee that some premium business cards do not charge. This is important to consider if a business is currently, or plans on, doing business internationally.
What Cards Are Similar to The Blue Business Plus Credit Card?
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card is almost identical to the Blue Business Plus Cash Card. The biggest difference is simple but important. The Blue Business Plus Cash card gives users cash back instead of points. The cashback is automatically credited to the cardholder’s statement. The Blue Business Plus Card is a rewards card where users earn Merchandise Rewards points that can be redeemed for such things as travel and gift cards.
Also if you do fall into the category of spending over $50,000 per year, and are willing to pay an annual fee, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card may be a good alternative. It pays 2 miles per dollar on all purchases with no cap. And it offers a sign-up bonus.
The Blue Business Plus Card is an ideal card for many small businesses and those that are just getting started. It’s even a choice for some freelancers. The benefit of the card is in its simple point-earning structure. And you get that without paying an annual fee and with a 0% APR for the first 12 months.
However, the card is not ideal for businesses that spend more than $50,000 per year, those that do international business, and/or those who prefer to get cashback rewards.