If you’re a small-business owner or even have a side hustle, such as driving for Uber or walking dogs, paying a credit card annual fee is likely out of the question when trying to save on costs. Fortunately, there are two solid welcome offers from American Express on a pair of its business-oriented, no-annual-fee cards: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (see rates and fees) and the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (see rates and fees).
Historically, these cards offered low or even no welcome bonuses — so this is quite a good deal if you’ve been considering applying for either card.
Both cards have similar earning rates, so you’ll have to decide whether you want to earn Membership Rewards points for travel (and a wide array of other redemption options) or cash back. In this post, we’ll review these cards’ elevated welcome bonuses and evaluate their worth.
Amex Blue Business Plus available with 15,000 bonus points
Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. That’s worth $300, according to TPG’s latest valuations.
Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees).
Earning rate: Earn 2 points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent on purchases each calendar year and 1 point per dollar on purchases afterward.
Amex Blue Business Cash available with a $250 statement credit
Welcome offer: Earn $250 cash back via statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership.
Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees).
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Earning rate: Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
Amex Blue Business Plus vs. Amex Blue Business Cash
There are a lot of similarities between the Blue Business Plus and Blue Business Cash. Both cards have a similar bonus reward rate (2 points per dollar or 2% back) on the first $50,000 of purchases each calendar year. So, if you can’t decide which product is better for you, the first step is to evaluate your personal and business needs.
The Amex Blue Business Plus earns points through the Membership Rewards program. This means you have the potential to stretch out the value of your welcome bonus (and any points you earn thereafter), as you can select from a library of redemption options. You’ll often get the most value from your points by transferring them to one of Amex’s 21 airline and hotel loyalty partners, although that may require much more effort than redeeming for pure cash-back rewards.
If you’re a cardholder of another Membership Rewards-earning card — such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card — you can pool any points you earn from your new Blue Business Plus. This is quite alluring if you’ve been eyeing that business-class award ticket and need to top off your balance of Membership Rewards points with this new welcome offer or boost your earning potential by taking home 2 points per dollar.
On the other hand, the Amex Blue Business Cash is meant for those who are looking for simplicity. You’ll earn cash back, which is automatically credited to your account as a statement credit, helping you reduce your overall operational costs. The only downside is that you don’t have flexibility for your earnings; they can only become statement credits. Of course, if you’d rather earn cash-back rewards than navigate the complexities of Amex’s transfer partners, this can be a great option — especially with the new welcome offer.
What other benefits and perks are there?
You can’t go wrong with either card under your belt, thanks to Amex’s included travel and shopping protections. On both cards, you’ll enjoy the following:
Both cards come with expense management tools and free employee cards upon request.
*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
**Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Cardmembers are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
***Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
Both of these cards come with an excellent 2% reward rate on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year. For small businesses that spend well under this threshold annually, either of these cards is an excellent option to maximize all of your purchases without keeping up with confusing and nominal bonus categories.
These welcome bonuses are an additional incentive to apply, as the cards typically don’t have welcome offers. As a result, picking up one today could be a great option for your travel goals in 2024 — and beyond.
Application link: Amex Blue Business Plus with a 15,000-point offer.
Application link: Amex Blue Business Cash with a $250 statement credit offer.