American Express Business Green Card Review
The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN gives you a way to flexibly manage your business expenses while earning reward points. This card does charges a $95 annual fee so in our opinion, it's more suited for those who plan to use the card frequently.
Pros and Cons
- 5000 bonus point offer
- No pre-set spending limit
- No annual fee for first year
- $95 annual fee
- Cannot carry a balance
Good charge card for small business owners with reliable cash flow
10 Reasons to Get the Card
Here's a quick rundown of what you stand to gain by having it.
- Earn double points on travel when you book on the American Express Travel website. If your small business takes you to places near and far on a regular basis, you stand to be rewarded for your travels. This card pays 2x points per dollar when you book through the American Express Travel website.
- Get rewards on purchases. Beyond the potential for double points on travel, you'll earn 1 point per $1 on your other eligible purchases. How much do you spend stocking up on office supplies or picking up the tab for a business lunch?
- No minimum spending requirement. Many business credit cards offer sign-on bonuses when you open a new account, but there's usually a minimum spending limit you have to hit to get it. With the Business Green Rewards card, you'll get 5,000 bonus points just for making your first purchase.
- Transfer points. The card is part of the Amex Membership Rewards program, so you have the option of transferring your points to frequent traveler programs with participating airlines and hotels.
- Shop with your points. If you don't want to redeem your rewards for flights or hotel stays, you can use them to buy merchandise through selected Amex partners, including Apple. You can also use your points on Amazon to purchase supplies for your business.
- Not a credit card. The Business Green Rewards card is a charge card, so your balance is always due in full each month. That means you do not have to worry about paying interest charges on what you spend.
- Reward employees with gift cards. If you want to treat your employees to a little something extra, you can redeem your Membership Rewards points for gift cards. Some of the retailers you can choose from include Home Depot, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Gap.
- Gain travel protections. The Business Green Rewards card comes with some built-in features that keep your business trip from being a bumpy ride. If you're hurt while you're on the road or your rental car is damaged, you can use the card's travel accident and rental car insurance to minimize your out-of-pocket costs on eligible expenses.
- Gain purchase protection. When you're buying things for your business, you want to make sure that they're going to last. This card gives you both purchase protection and extended warranty protection so you're covered against damage or loss on eligible purchases.
- You can try it with no annual fee for the first year. Earning rewards for your business usually means paying an annual fee, and the Business Green Rewards card will cost you $95 annual fee per year to use it. The upside is that the fee is waived for the first year so you have time to try it on for size. And the annual fee is only for your first card — if you add employee cards to your account, you won’t have to pay additional annual fees for them.
4 Reasons to Consider a Different Card
|© Victor Bayon (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr|
Now that we've looked at why the Business Green Rewards card is worth considering, it's only fair to balance things out by considering its potential drawbacks. We've pinpointed four reasons why you may want to choose another business rewards card.
- You want a bigger sign-on bonus. While 5,000 Membership Rewards points is nothing to sneeze at, there are even bigger bonuses out there for business owners who are willing to spend a little more. The Amex Business Gold Rewards card, for example, offers a special 50,000-point bonus, provided you can spend $5,000 on the card within the first 3 months of card membership (the Business Green Rewards card gives you 365 days to make one purchase to collect its 5,000-point bonus).
- You travel overseas. If you regularly travel abroad on business, you need a card that doesn't charge you a premium to use it. The Business Green Rewards card comes with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which means you'll hand over $27 for every $1,000 you spend outside the U.S. A card with no foreign transaction fees is the better choice if you plan to spend a lot of time globetrotting.
- You might also want premium travel perks. While you get some travel incentives with the Green card, there are other cards that offer even more benefits when you fly the friendly skies. With the Business Platinum card, for instance, you get valuable extras like complimentary access to more than 1,000 lounges worldwide and a 50% airline bonus when you use your points to book flights on your selected qualifying airline through Membership Rewards Pay with Points.
- You want to carry a balance. While not having to worry about interest charges is nice, sometimes you want the ability to carry a balance. Since the Business Green card is a charge card, you'll have to pay off your balance in full each month. If your company has unpredictable cash flow, you might prefer a business credit card instead.
When you make a purchase with the American Express Business Green Card, you earn reward points. You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on the card.
You get 2 points for every dollar spent with American Express Travel. You can also earn up to 10 points per dollar by shopping through the many retailers on the American Express reward shopping website. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn per year and the points never expire. This rewards program applies both to your card and any cards you give to your employees. There is no fee to add employee cards to your account.
Once you’ve collected Membership Rewards points, they can be redeemed for a variety of rewards. American Express offers a flexible rewards program for travel. You can convert your points into flights with any airline without worrying about blackout dates. You can also roll over your points into over 20 frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. If you aren't interested in flights, you can use your points for hotel stays, merchandise, or as a credit to pay down your card balance.
- Offers a 5,000 point bonus after your first purchase
- Waives the annual fee for the first year
- No pre-set spending limit
- Earns reward points on purchases.
- Redeem reward points for flights, merchandise, and cash back
- $95 annual fee
- Does not let you carry a card balance
How It Compares
To wrap things up, we decided to pit the Business Green Rewards card against the Business Gold Rewards card:
American Express Business Gold Rewards
If you don't mind tracking multiple rewards categories, the Amex Business Gold Rewards card can help you rack up more points for your business. The card pays 3x points in your choice of one of five categories. You get 2 points per dollar on purchases in the four remaining categories, plus 1 point per dollar on 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.
The card does come with a higher annual fee of $175, but it's also waived for the first year. There are no foreign transaction fees, which is a plus compared to the Green card. However, like its Green cousin, this is a charge card, so you should choose it only if you're sure you can pay the balance in full.
|Annual Fee||No annual fee for the first year - $95 Annual Fee thereafter||$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175|
Benefits and Features
|Introductory Bonus Reward Points||Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Get 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the Card||Introductory 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|
|Point Rewards||Point Rewards: Earn one Membership Rewards® point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases||Point 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|
|Discount||Discount: 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.||Discount: 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 Partners||Airline 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.||Airline 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.|
In our opinion, this is a good choice for a business owner that has steady cash flow and wants to get a high level of rewards for his business. To use this card, you must be able to pay off your balance each month. Terms and limitations apply.
David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Write to David R at email@example.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.
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 August 10, 2012. This content may have been updated on October 6, 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.