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Updated November 1, 2018

American Express Business Card Offers

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American Express has many promotions for small business applicants. But which business card is best? Read this in-depth review and comparison of Amex business cards.

American Express, a CreditDonkey partner, offers several cards for small businesses. Whether you're a new business, want cash back or travel miles, AMEX has a card that could work for you.

Read on to see which card is right for you.

© CreditDonkey

Note: AMEX cards come in credit cards and charge cards. Charge cards have no preset spending limit, but you must pay your bill in full each month. Credit cards have a spending limit, but you are allowed to carry a balance. We note which ones are charge cards in our guide.

For Startups: Blue Business Plus

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
Apply for The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% on Purchases for 15 months
0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months
13.24% - 21.24% Variable
$0

Who this card is right for: Small businesses just starting out.

The Blue Business Plus has a long intro APR period, which is great if you have some larger purchases to make for your business and need time to pay them off. It's also good for small businesses that don't yet have a steady cash flow. That intro period will come in handy if there's a slow month and you can't make the payment.

You get rewarded on purchases, so it's also good for small businesses with varied spending.

For Cash Back: SimplyCash Plus

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
Apply for SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% on Purchases for 15 months
N/A
14.24% - 21.24% Variable
No annual fee

Who this card is right for: Businesses with specific spending.

We love that this card gives you a say in your rewards. You get to choose your 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of 8 categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel stays (excluding timeshares, banquets and events)
  • Purchases from select major car rental companies listed at americanexpress.com/rewards-info
  • Purchases at U.S. gas stations
  • Purchases at U.S. restaurants
  • Purchases made in the U.S. for shipping
  • Purchases made in the U.S. for advertising in select media
  • Computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made in the U.S. directly from select providers

The drawback is that there is a foreign transaction fee, so it's not ideal if your business often travels abroad.

For Reward Points: Business Gold Card

American Express Business Gold Card
Apply for American Express Business Gold Card
At American Express' Secure Site
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
16.24% - 24.24% Variable
$295

Who this card is right for: Businesses with expenses concentrated in specific categories.

If earning reward points is your priority, consider the AMEX Business Gold. Membership Rewards points can be used to purchase flights, transferred to airline and hotel partners, or swapped for gift cards.

Tip: If you're not sure about this, there is a lighter version: The AMEX Business Green. It has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. You get 2x points on travel purchases booked on the American Express travel website, and 1x point on other purchases.

For Business Travelers: Business Platinum (Charge Card)

The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Apply for The Business Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$450

Who this card is right for: Very frequent business travelers.

The Business Platinum is rich is travel perks. You get perks like an airline fee credit, global lounge access, Boingo Wi-Fi, Gogo in-flight internet passes, and Global Entry application credit. Frequent business travelers will be able to make use of them, which more than helps justify the hefty annual fee.

You can transfer the points 1:1 to 20 airline and hotel partners. And if you pay for a flight with points on the AMEX travel portal, you get 35% of the points back (up to 500,000 bonus points per year).

For Managing Cash Flow: Plum Card (Charge Card)

The Plum Card from American Express
Apply for The Plum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $250

Who this card is right for: Businesses with unpredictable cash flow.

The Plum Card's real value lies in the payment flexibility. This option to take up to 60 days to pay with no interest (if you pay your minimum due) could be invaluable if your business doesn't have steady cash flow. It's also good for seasonal businesses.

There are no bonus categories, but you do get rewarded for paying a bill early. You get a 1.5% discount when you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. The discount will be applied as a credit on the next statement.

There is a $250 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year). Your business must have enough expenses to justify the annual fee. To get enough rewards to break even on the annual fee, your business would have to pay at least a total of $17,000 early each year.

For Delta Flyers: AMEX Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express
Apply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.74% - 26.74% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Who this card is right for: Businesses that fly Delta.

The value of this card lies in the perks, like the free first checked luggage. That helps justify the annual fee even if you fly Delta just once a year (round-trip) with a partner and each check a bag. If your business flies Delta often, then this card can save you a ton on a luggage fees.

Tip: Enroll in Delta's free SkyBonus business program and get points when your employees fly with Delta or its partners. You can redeem the points for flight certificates, upgrades, and Delta lounge passes.

Amex has two other Delta co-branded business cards as well: The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business and the Delta Reserve for Business. You can earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend a certain amount a year, which can buy you more benefits (like seat upgrades). The Delta Reserve also gives you complimentary Delta Sky Club access.

For Hotel Nights: SPG Business & Hilton Honors Business

If your business often stays in hotels, then you may prefer one of the AMEX hotel business cards.

 Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American ExpressThe Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
 Apply NowApply Now
 

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

 

Summary

 
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,700 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 29 brands.
  • Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
  • Plus, earn Gold Elite status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Note: effective January 1, 2019, the spend threshold will increase to $35,000.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
  • Enjoy complimentary Gold status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74% to 26.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.74% to 26.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95$95 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Hotel RewardsIntroductory Bonus Hotel Rewards: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.Introductory Bonus Hotel Rewards: Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Travel Rewards
 
Bonus Hotel RewardsBonus Hotel Rewards: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.Bonus Hotel Rewards: Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
Hotel RewardsHotel Rewards: Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,700 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 29 brands.
Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
Hotel Rewards: Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
Airline Status Airline Status: Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
Hotel StatusHotel Status: Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
Plus, earn Gold Elite status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Note: effective January 1, 2019, the spend threshold will increase to $35,000.
Hotel Status: Enjoy complimentary Gold status with your Hilton Honors Business Card. Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France (Flying Blue), Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Avianca, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Etihad, Asiana Airlines, Air China, Alitalia, Air Berlin, Jet Airways, China Southern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Thai Airways, Virgin Australia, Aegean Airlines, Miles and More, All Nippon Airways, China Eastern, and more. 
 Apply NowApply Now

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  • The AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest Business isn't the best at earning reward points, as you only get bonus points for SPG or Marriott purchases. However, points are very valuable in the travel world. You can transfer them to airline partners (with a bonus), so you get more flexibility in how you want to use your points.

  • The AMEX Hilton Honors Business will allow you to rack up points to a free night faster, as you get bonus points on every purchase. You get 6x points for flights (booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel), select car rentals, U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. wireless services, and U.S. shipping purchases. And plus, you get the opportunity to earn up to 2 additional weekend night rewards when you reach certain spending thresholds.

What You Get With AMEX Business Cards

  • Mobile app. The Spend Manager mobile app allows you to track business expenses and organize your receipts. You can also connect to QuickBooks to quickly categorize your expenses.

  • Employee cards. Track each card's spending and earn rewards from their purchases. You can set spending limits and purchase alerts. (Note that some cards charge an annual fee for each employee card.)

  • Year-end summaries. Get a year-end itemized report of your spending.

  • Purchase protection. You are covered if your eligible item is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.

  • Extended protection. Extend the manufacturer's warranty up to 1 year (for warranties of 5 years or less).

Things to Know About American Express Business Credit Cards

  • There's a difference between a credit card and charge card. Charge cards have no preset limit, but you must pay your bill in full each month. So there are no interest charges. Credit cards have a spending limit, and you are allowed to carry a balance, but you'll accrue interest. Only get a charge card if you are sure you can pay in full each month (the exception is the Plum Card).

  • Beware the welcome bonus restrictions. Some cards have a fine print that says that the welcome offer is not valid for applicants who have held that card before. This applies even if you opened the same card years ago and closed the account. Also, AMEX may consider the number of AMEX cards you have opened and closed for the welcome offer eligibility.

  • They do not show up on your personal credit report. AMEX does not report your business card activities to consumer credit bureaus, so your personal credit will not be affected.

  • You will need to provide business information. On the application, you will need to provide your business' annual revenue and Tax ID Number or Employer ID Number. Don't worry, even if you're a new business with no revenue, you can still apply. Read: How to Get a Business Credit Card.

  • You will have to sign a personal guarantee. This is a clause that states that you, personally, will repay any business debt. If you stop making payments on the card, American Express can come after you personally to recover the balance owed.

  • Generally, you need excellent credit. The American Express business cards require excellent credit, typically around 700+.

Which Small Business Card?

The right one for you depends on your business' needs and spending habits. Newer businesses may want to start out with one of the no-annual-fee cards. The Blue Business Plus is good if you need an promotional interest rate, while the SimplyCash Plus is good for cash back.

More established businesses with higher expenses will find that the annual fee cards offer better reward potential. The Business Platinum is great for frequent business travelers, while the Business Gold will allow you to rack up points fast. And if you're a frequent Delta flyer or like to stay in hotels, AMEX has got several co-branded cards as well.

Remember, as with all credit card offers, terms and limitations apply.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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