American Express Blue Business℠ Plus Review – 2019

BLUE BUSINESS PLUS

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card card from American Express allows businesses to earn points but purchasing the goods and services they need. Cardholders can redeem their Amex points towards:

  • Travel expenses, like airline tickets
  • Cashback
  • Amazon purchases
  • Gift cards

Is there an annual fee?

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card comes with no annual fee. This is good, but not unique. Other cards without annual fees include:

  • The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®
  • The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, this card comes with no annual fee.

Despite this, plenty of cards still have annual fees, making the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card more affordable than some alternatives, like:

  • The Chase Ink Business Preferred card ($95 annual fee)
  • The Spark Cash for Business from Capital One (also $95)
  • The Spark Miles card from Capital One ($95)
  • The Business Platinum® Card from American Express ($450, soon to be $595)

What is the APR?

This card comes with a standard variable APR of 13.49%, 17.49%, or 21.49%, depending on several factors at the time of opening the account, such as creditworthiness.

Who is the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card right for?

The long introductory period with 0% APR makes this card great for new small businesses or startups without much revenue looking to fuel their growth with a large amount of everyday spending. Such companies include:

  • Development studios purchasing large amounts of computer equipment to build an app for future release
  • Small local businesses buying equipment like point-of-sale systems or decorating their shop prior to launch, like hardware stores, fashion boutiques, or coffee shops
  • A sole proprietor with a side hustle making and selling artisanal jewelry or other fashionable items needing to buy materials or manufacturing equipment

Owners with other types of small business owners can check this rundown of business cards to find one that meets their needs.

Are there introductory rates and rewards?

For the first fifteen months, cardholders get 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (useful for topping up a balance to claim a tiered reward on another card). Fifteen months is an unusually long introductory period, with many cards sticking to six months at most.

There aren’t any introductory bonus points to be earned, however.

After the fifteen-month introductory period expires, the APR goes up to APR of 13.49%, 17.49% or 21.49%. The rate received depends on factors like credit score.

How many points do I get?

For the first $50,000 a cardholder spends annually, they’re rewarded with 2X points. After that, it drops to 1X points. There are no categories to keep track of, either.

2X points is as generous as anything else on the market for everyday spending. However, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers the same 2X for miles, but without the $50,000 limit.

How can I use my points for travel?

Earned points can be transferred to 21 different travel partners, including:

  • 18 airlines
  • 3 hotel groups

Cardholders can also book directly through Amex, although the Business Gold Card and Business Platinum Card offer a 25-35% rebate on points when booking this way.

What other travel perks and benefits are available?

  • Baggage insurance of $1,250 for carry-ons and $500 for checked luggage
  • Travel accident insurance for journeys via plane, train, ship, or bus, including added financial support for beneficiaries in the event of accidental death
  • Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance (excluding Australia, Italy, and New Zealand)
  • Access to a roadside assistance hotline
  • Access to the Global Assist® Hotline when traveling more than 100 miles from home, providing medical, legal, financial, or other emergency coordination and assistance

These benefits are common to most American Express business cards, but other credit providers may struggle to match the level of emergency assistance offered.

Does this card offer cash back?

Although Blue Business℠ Plus is a rewards card, holders can redeem their points for cash back.

What other benefits come with this card?

Blue Business℠ Plus cardholders also receive:

  • Expanded buying power, to go over the credit limit (not by an unlimited amount) to make big purchases when necessary
  • Access to Amex’s Relationship Care® service, which provides 24/7 telephone customer support specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses.
  • Online statements
  • Mobile and tablet apps to monitor and manage the account
  • An itemized year-end summary, detailing helpful information like spending by category
  • Account alerts
  • Automatic integration with Quickbooks
  • Free employee cards
  • The Spend Manager, to add notes and receipts to transactions for easy record keeping and money management
  • Appoint a trusted account manager with permission to manage the account on behalf of the primary holder

While most card providers offer easy record downloads in the Quickbooks format, Amex is the only provider currently offering direct integration with this popular accounting software.

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