American Express® Business Gold Card review: For big-spending businesses

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In a Nutshell

The American Express® Business Gold Card might be a good fit for your business if you spend a lot in the high-earning categories and plan to use the points for high-value redemption options. But the high annual fee coupled with the complexity of using a charge card might make you consider other options if your business doesn’t spend much on a monthly basis.

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Pros Cons
Up to 4x Membership Rewards® points per $1 spent on purchases $295 annual fee
Employee cards with no annual fee Potentially high APR for Pay Over Time feature
No foreign transaction fee

 

From our partner

American Express® Business Gold Card

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

What you need to know about the American Express® Business Gold Card

If you’re thinking about applying for the American Express® Business Gold Card, here are some of the card’s top features to consider.

Earn 4x Membership Rewards points in top spending categories

This unique feature allows you to earn a total of four Membership Rewards points per $1 spent in your top two spending categories each billing cycle. You’ll earn extra points in two of the categories from the following list:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

Unfortunately, you’re limited to earning bonus category points only up to your first $150,000 spent on combined eligible purchases each calendar year. After that, you’ll earn only one point per $1 spent.

You’ll also earn one point per $1 spent on other eligible purchases outside of the bonus categories.

Interestingly, you don’t get to pick your bonus-points categories, which can help simplify your life. At the end of each billing cycle, American Express analyzes your purchases in the six categories listed above. It then awards the three extra points for every $1 spent in the two categories where you spent the most.

Reward redemption can be complex

Redeeming your points can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. The redemption method to get the most value out of your points can be complicated.

You can redeem points in the following ways:

  • Pay at checkout at certain stores
  • Redeem for gift cards
  • Cover your credit card charges as statement credits
  • Book or upgrade travel
  • Transfer points to frequent traveler programs (which may incur a fee)
  • Shop with select merchant partners

The highest fixed-value options for redeeming points are booking or upgrading flights as well as some gift cards. If you book a flight with points through Amex Travel, you’ll also get 25% of your points back.

We calculated your points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed through American Express Membership Rewards. But you might get a higher value if you redeem through an American Express transfer partner. Depending on which you choose, your points could be worth an estimated 1.32 cents each. See Credit Karma’s point valuations to learn more.

The lowest fixed-redemption option values points at only half a cent per point.

Transferring points to frequent traveler programs may allow you to get a better value per point — but you’ll have to pay a fee of $0.0006 per point, with a maximum fee of $99, to transfer the points.

High annual fee

This card charges a hefty $295 annual fee for the primary cardholder. But you may be able to offset this annual fee if you earn enough rewards in the highest points-earning categories.

If you redeem your Membership Rewards points at a value of $0.01 per point, you’d have to spend about $615 in your top two 4x-points categories each month to earn $295 worth of points.

Add employee cards with no annual fee

The American Express® Business Gold Card allows you to add employee cards to your account without an additional annual fee. You can set up spending limits, alerts and view summary reports for each employee card.

Personal guarantee required

As with many business credit cards, American Express requires the person applying for the card to personally guarantee the account. This means that if your business can’t pay the credit card balance due, you’re responsible for paying the balance.

While it isn’t ideal to have a credit card for your business where you’re also responsible for the payments, it’s a fairly common practice.

Other factors to consider

The American Express® Business Gold Card has some other features your business may want to consider before you decide whether to apply for this card.

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees, so spending overseas isn’t a problem.
  • The American Express® Business Gold Card is a charge card, which means that you have to pay off your balance in full every month unless you use the Pay Over Time feature.
  • If you do choose to use Pay Over Time, the variable APR on eligible purchases will be 15.99% - 23.99%.
  • If you use your Membership Rewards points to book your flights through Amex Travel, you’ll get 25% of those points back. You can earn up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.
  • You only earn one point per $1 spent on all other purchases that aren’t in your monthly bonus categories, which is lackluster as far as credit card rewards go.
  • This card offers extra perks that add value, but only if you use them. They include car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection.

Who is the American Express® Business Gold Card good for?

The American Express® Business Gold Card is good for businesses that spend a significant amount of money each month in the bonus points-earning categories. In order to offset the card’s $295 annual fee, you’d need to spend at least $7,375 in two bonus-points-earning categories each year. That’s without considering any other benefits or the single points earned on all other purchases.

Additionally, businesses will need to be cautious about how they redeem their rewards. If you get this card, you’ll want to make sure the redemption value you receive more than offsets the annual fee. For this reason, this card is probably best for business owners that plan to redeem their points for travel, either through booking flights or transferring points to a frequent traveler program.

If your business doesn’t spend much on a monthly basis or you want to earn straight cash back for your business’ spending, this card may not be the best fit.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

The American Express® Business Gold Card isn’t a good fit for every business. Here are some alternatives to consider if it doesn’t meet your business needs.

  • American Express® Blue Business Cash Card: This card is good for companies that want cash back without an annual fee.
  • Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: This card is ideal for big-spending businesses that want to earn unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card: Businesses with lots of travel and online advertising purchases should look into this card.