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Updated April 26, 2018

Business Gold Card Review: Is $295 Worth It?

Read more about American Express® Business Gold Card from American Express, a CreditDonkey advertiser
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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Is American Express® Business Gold Card worth the $295 annual fee? It depends. Read this in-depth analysis BEFORE you apply.

Business Gold Card
Apply Now

Overall Score

4.3

Rewards

5.0

Fees

3.5

Benefits

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Rewards
  • $295 annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit

Bottom Line

Good rewards card for established business owners

Business rewards cards are convenient for managing your expenses and getting something in return for using them, but you usually have no say in how the rewards work.

Business Gold Card is different. You earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. The 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.

The card does come with a steep annual fee, however, so it's important to get the cold hard facts to make sure it's a wise investment. We lay it out for you below, in plain English.

Who AMEX Business Gold is Good For

Based on the Business Gold card's features, we think it's right for three specific types of business owners:

  • Reward seekers: The card gives you 4x points on 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.

  • Established businesses: It takes excellent credit to qualify for the card, so it's ideal for seasoned business owners. If you haven't been in business long, you'll likely need to look elsewhere for a rewards card.

Current American Express Promotions: November 2018

ForCard
Earn RewardsAmerican Express Business Gold Card
Premium TravelThe Business Platinum Card
Payment FlexibilityThe Plum Card

Rewards Program

© Michael Duxbury (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Before we dive into the reasons to get this card, here are the basics of how the rewards program works:

When you make an eligible purchase with your Gold card, you earn reward points. You earn 1 point for each $1 spent on eligible purchases.

You have the potential to earn more: This card also offers bonus points in various categories. You earn 3 additional points per $1 spent (for a total of 4 points) in 2 categories (of 6) where you spend the most each month, up to the first $150,000 in combined eligible purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. The 6 categories available are:

  • airfare on a scheduled flight charged directly with passenger airlines (charter flights and private jet flights are excluded)
  • advertising purchased in the U.S. to promote your business online, on television, or on the radio
  • computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases in the U.S. made directly from select technology providers (the current list of select technology providers is available at: americanexpress.com/rewards-info)
  • gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S. (superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations)
  • restaurants located in the U.S.
  • shipping services purchased in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight.

Note: Eligible purchases in excess of $150,000 in a calendar year will receive only one point per dollar spent.

American Express Business Gold Card Promotion

REASONS TO Get Business Gold Card

When you're comparing business credit cards and charge cards, it's important to take a look at the bigger picture. We've highlighted things that make the Business Gold card a standout in our opinion.

  1. Multiple redemption options: The Membership Rewards points you earn with the card can be used in a number of ways, including redeeming them for airfare or hotel stays, swapping them out for gift cards to select retailers, or paying at the checkout when you shop online. You can also apply them as statement credit for previous purchases.

  2. Expense tracking tools: Keeping up with your deductible expenses is a lot easier with access to the Spend Manager mobile app, which allows you to organize receipts on the go. You can also sync your account with Connect to QuickBooks for easy tagging of business transactions.

  3. Travel benefits: If you're going to be taking this card with you on a business trip, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you're covered by complimentary travel accident insurance, baggage insurance, and roadside assistance.

  4. Easy points transfer: Another advantage of the card is that you can transfer Membership Rewards points to selected frequent traveler programs, including Delta SkyMiles and the Starwood Preferred Guest program.

  5. No pre-set spending limit: The card doesn't come with a pre-set spending limit, and your purchasing power is based on credit record, payment history, and card use.

To learn more about the AMEX Business Gold Card, including the official online secure application, visit American Express' website.

3 REASONS TO CONSIDER A DIFFERENT CARD

Every business card is different and finding one that meets all of your needs can be challenging. While we think the Business Gold card is great for some business owners, there are a few potential downsides that might make another card the better choice.

  • You don't plan on spending a lot: If you're going to pay an annual fee to have a business credit card, then you need to be earning enough rewards each year to at least justify it. With the Gold, you'd have to spend at least $615 per month in the 4x categories to earn back the equivalent of the $295 annual fee. If you're more of an occasional spender, this probably isn't the card for you.

    Tip: Are most of your credit card purchases going toward office supplies? Since that category isn't represented here, you'd get just 1 point back for those expenditures. You may be more interested in the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

  • You'd rather get cash back than points: Earning Membership Reward points can certainly pay off if you plan to swap them out for travel, merchandise, or gift cards, but some business owners prefer to have cold hard cash in their pockets. If that's the case, something like the Ink Business Cash Credit Card from Chase may offer the kind of rewards you're looking for.

How AMEX Gold Business Compares

It's always a smart move to look at least 3 different cards before choosing your next one. Here are other business rewards credit cards that pack a punch.

If you prefer no annual fee:
SimplyCash Plus SimplyCash Plus offers cash back rewards and no annual fee.

 

Business Gold Card

SimplyCash Plus

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for PurchasesN/A0% introductory APR on Purchases for 15 months
Purchase APR16.24% to 24.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.24% to 21.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction FeeNo foreign transaction fee2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Annual Fee$295 annual feeNo annual fee
Terms Apply. See Rates & FeesTerms Apply. See Rates & Fees
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back Cash Back Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent at wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
Earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Bonus Airline RewardsBonus Airline Rewards: Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.* 
PointsPoint Rewards: More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month †
4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
 
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 want to take advantage of travel extras:
American Express Business Platinum The Business Platinum Card from American Express: The Gold card is useful for earning points, but it's got some competition as far as travel cards go. If you spend a lot of time flying back and forth for business, you want to be able to do it in comfort and the Business Platinum card from Amex fits the bill with premium travel perks.

Members enjoy complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, along with other travel incentives like up to a $200 airline fee credit each year, 24/7 concierge service, and a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre every 4 years.

As far as the rewards go, you earn 1 point per $1 you spend (which is less than what you get with the Gold card), but the welcome bonus helps makes up for it. There's a potential downside to the card in the form of a $450 annual fee, but depending on your business' usage, the benefits maybe outweighed by the combined value of the different travel perks.

 

Business Gold Card

American Express Business Platinum

Annual Fee$295 annual fee$450 annual fee
Terms Apply. See Rates & FeesTerms Apply. See Rates & Fees
Points Deal Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.†
Travel 
Airline Airline Rewards: Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights on amextravel.com.
Bonus Airline RewardsBonus Airline Rewards: Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*Bonus Airline Rewards: 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
Hotel Hotel Rewards: Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
PointsPoint Rewards: More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month †
4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
Point Rewards: Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
Airline Status Airline Status: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year on a selected airline for incidentals such as baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more.
Access to 5 airport lounge networks including The Centurion® lounge network, The International American Express lounges, Delta Sky Club® lounges, Priority Pass(TM) Select, and Airspace Lounge. Enrollment required for Priority Pass Select.
Hotel Status Hotel Status: Enroll for complimentary SPG Gold Status (Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Preferred Guest).
Enroll for complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status.

Fine Hotels & Resorts - book your stay through American Express FHR at one of 600 luxury hotels and you may get a room upgrade upon arrival, daily continental breakfast for 2, guaranteed 4pm late checkout and a special amenity unique to each property.

If you want a straightforward way to earn rewards:
Business Green Rewards Card Business Green Rewards Card from American Express: Running a business is time-consuming and trying to keep up with multiple rewards categories on your credit card may not fit into your schedule. If you like to keep things simple, the Business Green Rewards card is worth considering.

Members earn 1 point per $1 on purchases, with the opportunity to double up on points when you use your card to book flights or hotel stays through American Express Travel. Compared to the Business Gold, the Business Green $95 annual fee is attractive if you're not a big spender, and it's waived for the first year so you have time to try the card out.

 

Business Gold Card

Business Green Rewards Card

Foreign Transaction FeeNo foreign transaction fee2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Annual Fee$295 annual fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Terms Apply. See Rates & FeesTerms Apply. See Rates & Fees
Points Deal Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the Card
Bonus Airline RewardsBonus Airline Rewards: Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.* 
PointsPoint Rewards: More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month †
4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
Point Rewards: Earn one Membership Rewards® point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases

BOTTOM LINE: Apply Business Gold?

At first glance, the Business Gold card looks appealing based on the amount of rewards you stand to earn. There are some potential snags, however, in the form of the annual fee and excellent credit requirement. Overall, we think it's a good fit for established business owners. New business owners may find the $295 annual fee too high. But if you spend more than $615 per month in the 4x categories, consider the American Express Business Gold Card.

Terms and limitations apply.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com

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 April 18, 2012. This content may have been updated on April 26, 2018. 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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American Express Business Gold Card
Apply for American Express Business Gold Card
At American Express' Secure Site
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month †
  • †4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Exclusive Offers: Get up to 1 year free on subscriptions to both G Suite Basic for up to 3 users and ZipRecruiter Standard, a combined value up to $3,188.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • Expense Management Tools: Connect to Quickbooks, access SpendManager(SM), receive a Year-End Summary, and more.*
  • Add Employee Cards with a no annual fee option. Earn rewards on employee purchases and track employee expenses with spending limits, alerts, and summary reports.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Bonus Airline RewardsPoint RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitEventsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn Protection Baggage Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityRoadside Assistance
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
16.24% - 24.24% Variable
$295

Compare Business Gold Card to:

Compare Business Gold Card vs American Express Business Platinum
Apply for The Business Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline RewardsHotel RewardsPoint RewardsNo Limits on RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConcierge Car Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionBaggage InsuranceTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency Card ReplacementIdentity Theft Assistance Roadside Assistance
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$450

Compare Business Gold Card vs Business Green Rewards Card
Apply for Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
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 LimitCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionBaggage InsuranceTravel Accident Insurance
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

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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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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.