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Charge Cards

Charge cards help prevent you from accruing costly interest charges. With a charge card, your total balance on your card account is due in full at the end of every billing cycle.

AMEX Gold vs Platinum

The differences between the Premier Rewards Gold Card and the Platinum Card are more stark than just metallic colors. Read this in-depth comparison to decide which card from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner, is right for you.


Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Read ReviewApply 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
Our 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... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

The Platinum Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for The Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsPoint RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConciergeEventsCar Rental Insurance Extended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityIdentity Theft Assistance
Our Review: Is the Platinum Card® from American Express worth the $550 annual fee? Read this in-depth review to help you decide... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Personal Charge Card
$550

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Read ReviewApply for Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsAirline RewardsPoint RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitDining RewardsEventsCar Rental Insurance Extended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionBaggage InsuranceTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityRoadside Assistance
Our Review: If you spend a lot on airfare, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express may be worth considering. Read on for 10 reasons to consider this Amex card and 4 reasons to skip it... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Personal Charge Card
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Read ReviewApply for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Welcome 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
Our Review: Is the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN worth the $175 annual fee? It depends. Read this in-depth analysis BEFORE you apply... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175

The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN
Read ReviewApply for The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN
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 6/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsTravel RewardsAirline RewardsBonus Airline RewardsHotel RewardsPoint RewardsNo Limits on RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConcierge DiscountCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionBaggage InsuranceTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency Card Replacement Identity Theft AssistanceRoadside Assistance
Our Review: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN offers travel-friendly benefits – including Global Lounge Collection, Airline Fee Credit, and Platinum Concierge Service. But with so many cards boasting no annual fee, why would anyone want to pay $450 to use this card each year?... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$450

The Plum Card from American Express OPEN
Read ReviewApply for The Plum Card from American Express OPEN
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Paying early pays off: Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
  • Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest, if you pay your minimum due.
  • Use the power of the Plum Card to buy big for your business.
  • Unlock new opportunities with a spending limit that can grow with your business.
  • Additional Employee Cards at no annual fee - and an early pay discount on employee spending.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $250
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply. See Rates & Fees
No Pre-Set Spending LimitDiscountCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionBaggage Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityIdentity Theft Assistance Roadside Assistance
Our Review: Is the Plum Card® from American Express OPEN worth the $250 annual fee? Read on to see how this card can help business owners manage cash flow... Read full review
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Business Charge Card
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $250

Charge Benefits

Benefits: Using a Charge Card

While charge cards share some similarities with credit and debit cards, they also have some unique benefits:

  • No Interest Charges: Your balance is generally due in full at the end of each month. This helps lessens the risk of accumulating interest on debt, so the purchases you make won’t end up costing more than you originally paid for them as long as you pay in full.

  • Flexible Spending Limits: Higher spending limits can be a useful feature, especially for business owners. Charge cards provide them with easy, short-term financing for large purchases of equipment or inventory.

  • Prestige: It’s a superficial benefit but not an insignificant one. Charge cards are a well-respected form of plastic, and they are usually available only for people with excellent credit histories. For both business owners and individuals, using a charge card can signal a level of financial or business success, plus credibility.

Drawbacks

Charge cards are not without disadvantages, especially compared to credit and debit cards:

  • Less Flexibility: Sometimes it’s useful to have the option of taking an extra month or two to pay your balance. However, failing to pay your charge card balance in full at the end of each month can result in late fees and an inability to continue using your card until the debt is paid. This can be especially problematic for business owners: An unexpected expense combined with late customer payments can result in cash flow issues and an inability to pay when the bill arrives.

  • Discipline Required: Having a charge card means being disciplined enough to set up and stick to a budget. They require more discipline than credit cards, which let you carry over a balance, or debit cards, which won’t let you spend more money than you have in the first place. You have to know what your personal spending limits are and stay within them.

  • Impact on Credit Score: One of the factors in calculating your credit score is credit utilization, or the amount of debt you have compared to the maximum amount you can borrow. Lower percentages are better for your score. Charge cards can make your debt utilization look a lot higher than it actually is because they have no set credit limit. Without a credit limit, some scoring models substitute your highest balance to represent the most you can borrow. So if the most you ever spent with your card in a month is $5,000 and you have a balance of $3,000 in a given month, your debt utilization is 60%. On a credit card with a set limit of $10,000, your debt utilization would be just 30%. Fortunately, this scoring anomaly would be a bigger problem for people with short or poor credit histories, but they are less likely to be approved for a charge card in the first place.

Charge cards come with a very specific set of rules and requirements, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you apply for one. Start by comparing charge cards to more traditional alternatives like credit and debit cards to determine which option is the best fit for you. The annual fees attached to charge cards are not insignificant, so be sure that the card you choose will both suit your financial needs and pay for itself through the rewards and other perks it offers.


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