The Blue Business Plus From American Express: Best For Business Owners
The Blue Business Plus from American Express is the only Amex business card that earns Membership Rewards points and has no annual fee , making it a desirable choice for business owners looking to increase their travel rewards once business travel starts to pick up again.
This card offers simplicity at its finest, as you dont need to keep track of bonus categories. Instead, youll earn a flat 2 points per dollar on all purchases made with the Blue Business Plus, up to $50,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar thereafter. Since The Points Guy values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, thats effectively a 4% return on your first $50,000 of purchases every year.
Businesses also pay nothing to add authorized users, and youll earn points on any expenses charged on those employee cards as well as your own. Plus, the Blue Business Plus offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months you have the card, which rises to a variable 13.24% to 19.24% afterward. So if you use the card to finance your business purchases, make sure to pay the debt in full before the intro period ends.
Essentially, if you own a small business that typically spends less than $50,000 per year on credit cards, the Blue Business Plus allows you to track your business expenses while earning flexible Membership Rewards travel points, and all without paying an annual fee.
American Express Gold: Best For Dining
Foodies will love the American Express Gold card, thanks to the huge number of points you can earn on food-related purchases, along with the cards annual dining credits.
With the Amex Gold which earns Membership Rewards points youll earn 4 points for every dollar you spend at restaurants worldwide, as well as up to $25,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets . Best of all, many food delivery services also code as restaurants, which means youll continue to earn 4x points when you order food to your home.
Youll also get up to $120 in annual dining credits broken up into credits of up to $10 each month when you pay with the Amex Gold at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruths Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations.
Youll also receive up to $10 each month in Uber Cash with the Amex Gold, as well as a complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership for up to 12 months when you enroll by Dec. 31, 2021. This Uber Cash can be used either for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides within the US.
Although the Amex Gold has a substantial $250 annual fee , new card members can also earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account. Add it all together and youre looking at a great overall dining card.
Where Can I Use The American Express Shop Small Scheme
There is a useful map on the American Express website showing customers where they can make purchases with qualifying small businesses. All you need to do is enable location tracking on your device, or enter your location manually in the search bar, to find a list of participating retailers near you. There is also the option to search by business name to find out if they are participating in the Shop Small scheme.
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Adding Existing Ones To Your Card
During this time of reduced travel and spending, there are still many ways to save money through Amex Offers. But first, you must enroll before you can take advantage.
The key here is scrolling through your Amex Offers & Benefits and adding promotions that you even potentially may be able to take advantage of. There is no harm in adding offers to your card even if you dont use them. When a given offer expires, itll simply disappear from your account.
Plus Even More Benefits From Amex
As an American Express business member, youll get even more benefits. These can be priceless for running your business and maintaining your financial well-being.
Benefits include convenient access to financial tracking and support services that can help you to manage your expenses, manage your spending, and even grow your business based on advice from leading industry experts.
For example, with ReceiptMatch, you can manage your card expenses by adding receipts, tags, and notes to your transactions through your mobile device and/or your desktop computer.
Should there happen to be an incorrect or a fraudulent charge on your statement, American Express will work with you to resolve the issue.
To help you avoid late payments and monitor irregular activity on your card, you can set up account alerts. This can also be set up on employee cards to monitor spending.
Plus, the account manager feature allows you to assign someone else to handle tasks like reviewing statements, making payments, or even disputing fraudulent charges. This can free up your time for other activities.
Online statements lets you view your card statements from just about anywhere. You can also prepare reports to invoice clients, budget your expenses, and view your purchase history on your card.
If youre a business owner who is on the go, you can easily pay bills, check your card balance, and do a plethora of other tasks all from your smartphone or other mobile device.
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Bankrates Take Is American Express Cash Magnet Card Worth It
You can earn easy cash back by using your Amex Cash Magnet Card without having to worry about an annual fee, but you may want to consider your spending habits before getting this card. If you spend significantly in categories that could be rewarded at a higher rate with a different card, it may be worth getting a cash back card with rotating categories or one that requires an annual fee but rewards you more for specific purchases.
Unless you plan on choosing an American Express credit card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited may be a more rewarding option especially if you consider its more flexible rewards and benefits. But if you dont want to pay an annual fee or worry about activating categories, the Amex Cash Magnet Card is a good option.
How To Get A Cash Advance From An American Express Card
American Express is a global services company with an astounding 110 million cardholders. The company has total assets of $158.9 billion and provides credit cards that cater to individuals, businesses and corporations. If you are a current American Express cardholder, you may not be aware that you can get a cash advance. This feature comes in handy for emergency expenses that can’t be paid with a credit card.
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Best Way To Maximize Amex Points
Getting cash-back on your Amex Blue Business Cash card is easy. Thats because cash-back is automatically credited to your statement.
Once youve made eligible purchases, the credit will automatically appear on your statement during the second billing period.
Throughout the calendar year, cardmembers can receive statement credits of 2% cash-back on the first $50,000 of eligible purchases. After that, 1%.
So, while you may have written out a check for these expenses in the past, using your card to pay the bill can be a great way for you to earn additional rewards in the future. In fact, doing so can really pay off!
After that, you will receive back 1% on all other eligible purchases. Be sure to use your card throughout the duration of the year, even if youve met the dollar limit for the 2%.
Blue Cash Preferred From American Express Review
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The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® card offers exceptional 6% cash-back rewards for spending at supermarkets and on streaming services, and a generous 3% rate for gas and transit purchasesalthough superstores and warehouse clubs are excluded. It has a $95 annual fee, but you could justify that over the year if you spent $31 per week on groceries alone.
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Locate A Participating Atm
Cash advances from American Express are only available at one of the company’s participating ATMs. Fortunately, there are over 1.2 million of these ATMs, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one close by. American Express’s ATM Locator allows you to search for an ATM by address, airport code or landmark.
When you find a nearby ATM, you can use your card to request the cash. Be aware that American Express may impose a limit as to how much cash you can withdraw per day. The ATM you’re visiting may also have withdrawal limits and can even charge you a fee to make the transaction.
The Plum Card From American Express
Our pick for: Flexible financing for businesses
Businesses with high working capital needs but sometimes inconsistent cash flow might find The Plum Card® from American Express a perfect fit. Pay early and get a discount, or enjoy up to 60 days without interest. Terms apply. There’s a substantial annual fee, but if you’re using the card for, say, big inventory purchases, the benefits could far outweigh the costs. Read our review.
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Maximizing The Amex Trifectas Benefits
While you can earn a generous welcome bonus with all three cards in the Amex card trifecta, the real purpose of signing up for all three cards is to use them strategically to earn more points over time. Here are some tips that can help you do just that:
- For starters, use the Amex Platinum to earn high rewards on airfare and prepaid hotels. Also, make sure you use this card for restaurants worldwide since youll earn 10X points on up to $25,000 in combined eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. for the first six months.
- Use the Amex Gold to earn 4X points on up to $25,000 in U.S. supermarket spending each year .
- Also, use the Amex Gold on all dining purchases after you hit your max with the Platinum or after your first six months with the Platinum since you earn 4X points on restaurants with the Gold.
- Use the Amex Blue Business Plus for miscellaneous purchases to earn 2X points on up to $50,000 in purchases per year .
All the points you earn with the three cards will collect in a single American Express Membership Rewards account. This will make it considerably easier for you to redeem your rewards for travel, gift cards or merchandise later on.
In terms of maximizing the Amex benefits of all three cards, this is another area where youll want to use all the perks you can. Doing so is the best way to offset the annual fees youll pay to carry two out of the three Amex trifecta cards.
With the Amex Platinum Card, you should:
Blue Cash Everyday Card From American Express: Best For Beginner Cash Back
Welcome offer: Earn 20% back on purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership. Cash back received in the form of statement credits.
Cash back rate: Earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets , 2% on U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% on other eligible purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
Annual fee: $0
Why we chose it: Beginners to the rewards game will appreciate the Blue Cash Everydays no annual fee and simple cash-back structure. Youll also get 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR, 13.99% to 23.99% see rates and fees). While its certainly not as lucrative from an earning perspective as the Blue Cash Preferred, it is a great option for those just jumping into the cash-back game for the first time.
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How Much Cash Back You Could Earn With Top Cards
To put it into perspective, lets look at how much cash back you could earn in the course of a year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. household spent $4,643 on groceries, $3,526 on dining, $2,094 on gas and $3,050 on entertainment in 2019. Using those figures, lets take a look at how much youd earn in the first year with three of our top cards in these categories :
Benefits Of American Express Everyday Card
The main reason to sign up for the American Express EveryDay Credit Card is to get the chance to earn American Express Membership Rewards points without paying an annual fee.
The rewards you earn in this program are a lot more flexible than cash back you can redeem Membership Rewards points for gift cards, merchandise, travel booked through AmexTravel.com or transfers to airline and hotel partners. The cards introductory rate for purchases is also enticing, offering more than a year to pay down new purchases without paying a dime in interest payments.
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Amex Platinum Uber Cash Credit
In late 2018, Uber added an extra step that made redeeming your credits more difficult. In the past, credits would automatically be applied when taking a ride, but in October 2018, Uber started adding the credits to riders Uber Cash balance. Uber Cash consolidates all of your Uber credits in one place.
As TPGs Zach Honig wrote following the change:
Those $15 in Amex credits are applied to your Uber Cash balance, and you need to manually select Uber Cash as your payment method in order to use your credits. If your overall balance isnt high enough to cover the entire ride, youll be prompted to add credits to your account, or you can scroll down and select a card to cover just the remaining amount.
Boost Your Credit With Other Monthly Payments
If you dont currently have any credit cards or loans, then you may have a limited credit history thats making it hard for you to show proof of on-time monthly payments to boost your credit score. The credit bureau Experian offers a solution.
Experian Boost is a free service that allows you to have your monthly bills reported to the credit bureaus the same way that debt payments are. As a result, you can have your phone bill, utilities, streaming services and more show up on your credit report as on-time payments, boosting both your payment history and your credit score.
Similarly, there are services that will allow you to add your rent payments to your credit report, though this generally requires a monthly fee.
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Ways To Avoid Extra Fees And Interest
In a pinch, fast access to cash can help you cover an emergency or unexpected crisis. But one of the most unattractive aspects of is how expensive they can get. Not only is the interest rate usually higher than on regular credit card purchases, but youll typically have to pay a fee as well.
Alternatives To The Amex Blue Business Cash Card
The Amex Blue Business Cash card has some great earning potential, but there are some drawbacks.
The cash-back is only good on your first $50,000 spent, which means if you have a business that spends a lot on cards you will probably max that out and only earn 1% cash-back afterward.
A comparable competitor card is the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. With this card, you can earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.
Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchaseswith no limit to the amount you can earn.
An Ink Business Preferred Card also costs $95 per year, though there is also the Ink Cash® Business Credit Card that earns cash-back in specific categories with no annual fee.
One advantage of the Chase credit cards over the Amex Blue Business Cash card is that the points can be transferred to Chase Ultimate Rewards partners and redeemed for much higher value.
Bottom Line: The Amex Blue Business Cash card only allows 2% cash-back on the first $50,000 spent per year, whereas its competitor the Ink Business Preferred Card has an additional 3x points categories.
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Pay Your Card In Full And Avoid Fees
This is a given regardless of what type of credit card you have. But if you want to make the most out of your cash-back credit card and ensure youre maximizing your savings, then keeping a balance on your card is never a good idea. As always, use your card only insomuch as you have the money to pay it off every month on or before the due date.
American Express Serve Vs Bluebird
The American Express Serve card isnt the only prepaid card American Express offers. Theres also the Bluebird card, which is billed as an alternative to a traditional checking account.
On the surface, the American Express Serve card and the Bluebird card are very much alike but there are some key differences.
Most significantly, the Bluebird card has no monthly fee or foreign transaction fee and it comes with check-writing capabilities.
That might be preferable to someone who hasnt gotten the hang of paying bills online yet. You can read MyBankTrackers head-to-head breakdown of the Amex Serve vs. Bluebird.
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