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Updated October 27, 2016

American Express Blue for Business Review

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
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Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express combines everyday rewards with opportunities to cash in on your loyalty. Keep reading to find out what makes this Amex credit card a right pick for growing businesses.

2/22/2017 Update: We're sorry, Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Overall Score

4.1

Rewards

4.0

Interest Rates

4.0

Fees

4.5

Benefits

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Bonus points offer
  • No annual fee
  • Annual relationship bonus
  • No balance transfer promotion

Bottom Line

Good no-annual-fee rewards card for small business owners

WHO THE CARD IS GOOD FOR

  • Small business owners who need the flexibility of being able to pay off their purchases over time.

  • Business owners who want to earn points on purchases without having to juggle specific spending categories.

  • Entrepreneurs who prefer to reinvest their rewards in their business and employees versus using the rewards for travel expenses.

10 REASONS TO CHOOSE THIS CARD

We've picked out the benefits that, in our opinion, make the Blue for Business card worthwhile for business owners.

  1. You're not a card hopper: American Express rewards Blue for Business members for their loyalty annually by paying out a 30% annual points bonus based on the past year's purchases on your card.

  2. You don't want to have to spend too much to qualify for a bonus: New cardholders need to make just 1 purchase in the first 3 months to earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points. 10,000 Membership Rewards points is valued at up to $100 in gift cards at select merchants.

    There's more. You earn 2x points on all qualifying purchases on the first $50,000 for the first year. That's an additional 1 point per dollar spent on purchases.

  3. You're looking for a 0% APR introductory promotion: The card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for the 12 months. After that, a variable rate, currently 11.74%, 15.74% or 19.74%, based on your creditworthiness as determined at the time of account opening. Keep in mind, you still need to make at least the minimum payment due.

  4. You want to pass on the annual fee: Unlike some business rewards credit cards, the Blue for Business card doesn't come with an annual fee. And there is no annual fee to add extra cards for your employees.

  5. You want straightforward rewards: Members earn 1 point for every $1 they spend on eligible purchases.

  6. You need help tracking expenses: You'll automatically get access to ReceiptMatch, which allows you to match up images of your receipts to purchases made with your card so you can categorize them in QuickBooks.

  7. You want extra savings on certain purchases: The Blue for Business card also gives you access to the OPEN Savings program, which is designed to give you either a 5% discount or 2 additional reward points per $1 when you make purchases with select Amex partners.

  8. You want extra coverage when you travel: Travel accident insurance, baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, and 24-hour roadside assistance are just some of the benefits available to members.

  9. You're not interested in a charge card: With a traditional American Express charge card, you are be responsible for paying the balance in full every month. The Blue for Business card, however, gives you the option to spread the payments out over time, with interest.

  10. You want flexible redemption options: Points earned with the card can be redeemed for travel (via AMEX transfer partners), entertainment, merchandise, and gift cards from more than 500 brands.

To learn more about the Blue for Business, visit American Express' website. Their website includes information on additional benefits, details on the promotions and an online secure application.

WHY YOU SHOULD LOOK ELSEWHERE

No business credit card is perfect, and there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind before applying for the Blue for Business card.

  • You normally charge expenses when traveling overseas: If you plan to use a credit card to pay for expenses overseas, be prepared to pay a premium to do so. This card comes with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which adds an additional $27 on to every $1,000 you spend. While that's slightly lower than the typical 3% some business cards charge, you can find plenty of no-foreign transaction fee options.

    If you frequently travel abroad, consider using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees instead.

  • You want to transfer a balance: Transferring a balance from one credit card to another makes sense if it allows you to save money on interest, but the Blue for Business card has no introductory promotion for balance transfers.

    If you have an existing balance to transfer, you might want to consider a card like the Chase Ink Business Cash instead.

HOW IT COMPARES

Before you apply for the American Express Blue for Business card, it helps to know how it stacks up against the competition. We've highlighted a few other business credit card contenders that give it a run for its money.

If you want to focus on cash back:
SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express: If you shell out a lot of money at U.S. office supplies stores or with U.S. wireless services providers, the SimplyCash Plus can put some of what you spend back in your bank account. The card earns 5% back on these purchases (up to $50,000/year) and 3% back on a category you choose from a selected list of 8 (also on purchases up to $50,000/year). Plus, you'll earn 1% back on other purchases.

As a nice little extra, you'll get a one-time $200 statement credit when you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases within the first 6 months. Plus, you can earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your card within the first year.

Like the Blue for Business, the SimplyCash Plus also has no annual fee.

 

SimplyCash Plus

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 9 months
Purchase APR12.74% to 19.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual FeeNo annual fee
See Rates & Fees
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Special Offer: Earn up to $400 cash back
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores. 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases. (5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.)
DiscountDiscount: The OPEN Savings benefit is built into Business Cards from American Express OPEN and provides either a 5% discount or 2 additional Membership Rewards® points (if your card is enrolled in the Membership Rewards program) for each eligible dollar spent at OPEN Savings merchants. Terms and limitations apply.

If you want to earn more points towards business travel:
Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN: Frequent business trips can quickly eat into your bottom line, but you can rack up savings with the Business Gold Rewards card. Members can now earn 3x points in one of 5 categories they choose. For the remaining 4 categories, you'll earn double points, plus 1 point on all other purchases. Keep in mind, the 3x and 2x apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1x point per dollar thereafter.

A special offer of 50,000 Membership Rewards points is also yours if you make $5,000 in purchases on the card within the first 3 months of card membership. Points can be used towards flights, hotels, and rental cars or any other everyday business expense. The $175 annual fee is a little steep, so unless you plan on spending enough to earn it back, you might be better off sticking with the Blue for Business card.

 

Business Gold Rewards Card

Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
See Rates & Fees
Points DealIntroductory Bonus Reward Points: Special Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
PointsPoint Rewards: Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories. 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases. 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
DiscountDiscount: The OPEN Savings benefit is built into Business Cards from American Express OPEN and provides either a 5% discount or 2 additional Membership Rewards® points for each eligible dollar spent at OPEN Savings merchants. Terms and limitations apply.
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Emirates, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways and more.

If you prefer Visa or MasterCard:
Ink Business Cash: Although American Express cards are accepted in millions of locations around the world, they're not universal and in some cases, you may need a Visa or MasterCard as a backup. The Ink Business Cash credit card from Chase is a candidate if you want a cash back card with no annual fee.

 

Ink Business Cash

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 12 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 12 months
Purchase APR13.74% to 19.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR13.74% to 19.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn $300 bonus cash back when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
Unlimited 1% cash back on all other card purchases.
GasGas Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
RestaurantDining Rewards: Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.

Ink Business Cash: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees were obtained on January 17, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Ink Business Cash Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

BOTTOM LINE

© daveynin (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Compared to the other business credit cards we've mentioned here, the Blue for Business card doesn't have as many obvious bells and whistles, but it's a solid choice if you prefer a no-muss, no-fuss approach to earning rewards. Earning the initial sign-on bonus is a straightforward, and the 30% annual points bonus (based on the past year's purchases on your Blue for Business Card) rewards you for your long-term loyalty.

If you want the ability to earn rewards without having to jump through an endless number of hoops, this is one card you'll want to seriously consider.

As always, terms and limitations apply.

2/22/2017 Update: We're sorry, Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

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.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on July 10, 2015. This content may have been updated on October 27, 2016. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check American Express website for updated information.

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.

Disclaimer: The information for the Ink Business Cash Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Compare Blue for Business to:

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Apply for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Special Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
  • Track, organize, and stay on top of your business expenses with powerful expense-tracking tools
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsPoint RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitDiscountEventsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase Protection Return ProtectionBaggage Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency AssistanceEmergency Card ReplacementIdentity Theft AssistanceRoadside Assistance
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Apply for Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the Card
  • Earn double Membership Rewards® points for each dollar of eligible purchases made when you book on the American Express Travel website
  • Earn one Membership Rewards® point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
  • Choose rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Terms & Limitations Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsPoint RewardsNo Limits on RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitDiscountCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionBaggage Insurance Travel Accident Insurance
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

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