Choose the Right American Express Business Credit Card to Maximize Your Rewards and Benefits

Learn how to turn your small business expenses into valuable rewards with the right credit card from American Express.
Last updated Jun 27, 2021 | By Lee Huffman
Small business owner and customer in store

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

If you’re searching for a credit card that will offer big benefits for your business and your wallet, look no further than American Express business credit cards. Whether you’re looking to save money on your everyday purchases, earn airline miles or hotel points, or improve your travel experiences, Amex offers a card that will meet your needs.

Read on to learn about which American Express business credit cards are available, how these cards can help you, and which one is right for your business.

In this article

What American Express business credit cards offer

Business credit cards help businesses track expenses, control their cash flow, and earn valuable rewards. Though some business cards come with annual fees, the perks cardholders receive are generally worth more than the fees paid each year. This makes the decision to apply for and keep American Express business credit cards each year a no-brainer.

American Express business credit cards offer the ability to turn normal expenses into great rewards. Depending upon which card you choose, you’ll earn cash back, hotel points, airline miles, or Membership Rewards. Plus, you can enjoy great benefits such as free checked bags, hotel elite status, and airport lounge access. Do note that cash back is in the form of a statement credit and enrollment is required for select benefits.

Some of the most popular American Express credit cards for business include:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - this card comes with automatic elite status and up to two free hotel nights each year.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - cardholders get access to over 1,200 airport lounges and 35% of points back for flight redemptions. Select benefits require activation or enrollment.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card - cardmembers get complimentary Gold status and up to two free hotel nights each year.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card - this card comes with free checked bags and priority boarding.

Rewards available with Amex business credit cards

With American Express business credit cards, you can earn cash back, airline miles, Membership Rewards points, or hotel points. Cash back is in the form of a statement credit. To choose the best card for you, think about where what type of rewards are most valuable to your small business and where you spend the most money.

Here are a few of the best Amex credit cards that offer great rewards to help your business.

Card name Reward details Welcome offer Annual fee
American Express® Business Gold Card 4X Membership Rewards points for the first $150,000 spent in two select categories each year (after that 1X), and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months $295 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months $595 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton, 6X on select business and travel purchases, and 3X on all other eligible purchases Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months) $95 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that 0% for 12 months, then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable) (See rates and fees) $0 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that 0% for 12 months, then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable) (See rates and fees) $0 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card 2X miles per $1 spent on purchases at Delta, restaurants, eligible U.S. shipping, and eligible advertising in select media; 1X miles per $1 on all other eligible purchases Earn 70,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months $99 (waived first year) (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card 3X miles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta and on eligible hotel purchases; 1.5X miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (capped at 50,000 miles per calendar year); and 1X mile per $1 spent on other eligible purchases Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 MQMs, and a $100 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months $250 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points (plus 2 bonus Free Night Awards) after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months $125 (See rates and fees) (Terms apply)

These credit cards for small business owners offer a wide array of benefits. The rewards you earn from them can be used to improve your business or thank employees for a job well done.

Which American Express business credit card is right for you?

There are several important things to consider when deciding which American Express business credit card is right for you. Are you okay with paying an annual fee? Do you want to earn airline miles, hotel points, cash back, or Membership Rewards? And what credit card benefits are most important to you?

Cash back credit cards

Cash back cards offer some of the most straightforward rewards out there. Whenever you make purchases with these credit cards, you'll receive a portion of your purchase back in cash as a statement credit.

For example, the Blue Business Cash Card has a $0 annual fee, and cardmembers earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each year, then 1% after that. Cash back is in the form of a statement credit.

Airline co-branded credit cards

Co-branded airline credit cards offer a lot of wonderful perks for frequent travelers. You can save money by checking bags for free, receive priority boarding even when you don't have status, and get discounts on in-flight purchases. If having elite status is important to you, some airline credit cards can help you achieve and maintain your loyalty levels.

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business Credit Card is a good example. With this card, you earn 2X miles per $1 spent on purchases at Delta, restaurants, eligible U.S. shipping, and eligible advertising in select media; 1X miles per $1 on all other eligible purchases. Cardholders also get a free checked bag and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding. Checked bag fees on Delta are $30 each way per bag, so this credit card can quickly pay for itself with just a couple of flights. Just remember to put your SkyMiles number on each reservation to enjoy your benefits.

Hotel co-branded credit cards

American Express offers hotel credit cards from two of the most popular hotel brands, Marriott and Hilton. With these co-branded credit cards, you will automatically receive elite status and earn extra points toward future free nights.

The Hilton Honors Business Card earns 12X on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton. Cardholders also get complimentary Gold elite status and ten free Priority Pass visits. Based on your spending, you can earn two free weekend nights and be upgraded to Hilton Honors Diamond status. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Business owners will also benefit from the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. With this card, you earn 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases. Cardholders also receive automatic elite status and have the ability to earn two free nights each year worth up to 35,000 points each.

Cards that earn Membership Rewards

Membership Rewards points are very lucrative. You can use these points to book hotels or flights, pay for purchases, or transfer to airline and hotel partners, and more. Business owners who are looking for flexibility with their credit card rewards will appreciate this type of card.

The Business Gold Card is one great option. As a cardmember, you earn 4X Membership Rewards points for the first $150,000 spent in two select categories each year (after that 1X), and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. Plus, you'll receive 25% points back when booking First or Business Class tickets on any airline. You'll also be refunded up to 250,000 points back each calendar year.

Take advantage of Amex Offers

All of the American Express business credit cards come with Amex Offers, which provide additional ways to earn and save. These personalized offers must be manually activated and used before they expire. Each Amex card comes with its own unique offers, and they’re based on your profile, where you spend, and how much you spend.

Amex Offers may include extra points, fixed dollar statement credits, or a percentage back on your purchase. For example, the following offer gives 20% back on cell phone charges up to a maximum of $50. This is a quick way to make money on purchases you were already planning to make. Just remember to activate the offer before your purchase.

Right American Express Business Credit to Maximize Your Rewards and Benefits

A note on charge cards versus credit cards

Most banks today offer credit cards that allow cardmembers to carry a balance from month-to-month in exchange for paying interest. However, charge cards must be paid in full each month in order for your account to remain in good standing.

Most of the cards we’ve discussed here are credit cards, but not all of them. The Business Platinum Card and Business Gold Card are considered charge cards. You must pay your bill in full each month unless other arrangements are made. For example, the Business Gold Card offers a Pay Over Time feature on purchases over $100 up to a limit that is unique to you.

Conclusion

Business owners can use credit cards to improve their business and earn generous rewards. American Express offers several different credit cards and charge cards, each with varying earning structures, benefits, and annual fees. So, which American Express business credit card is right for you?

The best way to choose is to decide what type of rewards and benefits you want to receive. Then compare those rewards and perks against any annual fee that may be charged. If the rewards you'll earn exceed the annual fee, the chances are you’ve found the best business credit card for you.

Premium Business Rewards

Intro Offer

100,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$595

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on qualifying flight and hotel purchases
  • 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more
  • Up to $200 statement credit per year for airline incidental fees
  • $595 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • High annual fee
  • Requires good to excellent credit
Card Details
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Terms apply

Author Details

Lee Huffman Lee Huffman is a former financial planner and corporate finance manager who now writes about early retirement, credit cards, travel, insurance, and other personal finance topics. He enjoys showing people how to travel more, spend less, and live better. When Lee is not getting his passport stamped around the world, he's researching methods to earn more miles and points toward his next vacation.