The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express Review [2021]: Small Business Owners Rejoice

Earn rewards on startup costs with this no-fee credit card that has small business owners in mind.
Last updated Aug 27, 2021 | By Kevin Payne

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Small business owners have tons of expenses. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a new business. So why not earn rewards for those purchases? With The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, you’ll have a card that simplifies earning rewards and earn points for every dollar you spend.

But how does this card stack up to other business cards? Does it make sense to add this Amex business card to your company’s assortment of credit cards? Keep reading this Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card review to find out.

Simplified Earnings for Small Business Owners

Intro Offer

15,000 Membership Rewards points

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Up to 2X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2X Membership Rewards Points on first $50,000 each year
  • Global Assist hotline
  • No annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that
  • Terms apply

In this Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express review

Who should get the Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card?

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a straightforward card designed for small business owners looking to open a small business credit card.

Tracking expenses and rewards is a breeze for holders of this card because there aren’t any bonus rewards categories to factor into spending. The spending you do with this card earns 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that. Businesses with expenses that far exceed the $50,000 threshold will be better served with other popular business cards. 

You don’t have to be a long-established company with tons of employees to take advantage of this card’s benefits, either. Startups, sole proprietors, and even freelancers should give the Blue Business Plus Card a look. It has a generous 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases, then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable) (See rates and fees) after that. This could makes sense for new businesses with startup costs that are likely to happen during those early months of card membership. Just be sure to pay off purchases before the introductory period ends to avoid interest charges.

Taking all that into account, businesses that don’t have a lot of expenses should capitalize on this offering from American Express.

Card basics

Card type Business
Card issuer American Express
Annual fee $0 (See rates and fees) (terms apply)
Welcome bonus Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Reward rate 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% for 12 months on purchases, then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable)    
Foreign transaction fee 2.7% (See rates and fees)

Blue Business Plus benefits and perks

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Everyday purchase power: Earn rewards quickly and then keep earning them with 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening, then 13.24% to 19.24% (variable). Business owners can relax knowing they have this time to pay their balance in full.
  • Expanded buying power: Spend beyond your credit limit as your business needs require it. This feature isn’t unlimited, it but adjusts as you use your card. Your credit record, payment history, and other factors guide how much you can go over your limit. Any amount spent above your credit limit will be due in full as part of your monthly minimum payment. But you won’t face interest charges on that portion of your account balance as long as you pay the entire minimum payment due by the end of the billing period. If you don’t, the penalty rate will apply to your entire balance, including spending above the credit limit.
  • $0 annual fee: The Blue Business Plus Credit Card allows you to enjoy rewards for purchases without the burden of an annual fee.
  • Purchase protection: If you make an eligible purchase with your Blue Business Plus card, you could be covered for up to 90 days from the purchase date if that item is stolen or accidentally damaged. Coverage is limited to $1,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Extended warranty: Items purchased with your card could also qualify for extended warranty coverage. This extends the original manufacturer's warranty for up to one additional year.

Drawbacks to this card

  • Spending limits on rewards: If you spend a lot on expenses for your business over the course of the calendar year, you may max out your rewards potential with this card. That may mean this card isn't the right one for you or that having more than one business credit card would be a smart move.
  • Credit score: You'll need to have a solid credit history to become a Blue Business Plus cardmember. So if your current score is not in the good or excellent range, but you've made it a goal to get this card, then you might start by investigating how to improve your credit score.

Earning & redeeming Membership Rewards

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look how your cash back can add up with The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent per point.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $820

Year two earnings: $670

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

Best ways to earn

Categories Rewards rate
First $50,000 in purchases per year, after that 1X 2X
Purchases made after first $50,000 is spent each year 1X

Choosing to apply for a small business credit card can be a smart move. Small business owners could utilize their Blue Business Plus Credit Card for all of their everyday expenses. You can take full advantage of the rewards-earning potential by using your card for large purchases like computer equipment and even to pay utility bills when possible. 

And since you earn bonus points for every purchase you make with this card, you could also use it for everyday business purchases at the office supply store, for fueling up company car at the gas station, or for booking car rentals for traveling employees.

Another lucrative way to earn points is through employee cards. American Express allows business cardholders to add employee cards to their account. There are no fees for these cards, and you can set credit limits for each employee and track their spending. On top of that, this gives you the opportunity to earn even more Membership Rewards points as employees charge expenses on their cards.

Additionally, the American Express Blue Business Plus is part of the Amex trifecta and increases in value when used in combination with certain other American Express cards. Basically, you combine the power of three credit cards to get the most in cash back and rewards for more of your spending.

Maximizing your redemptions

The best value for your Membership Rewards points is to transfer your points to one of the many Amex travel partners. Other redemptions available to Blue Business Plus cardholders include:

  • Paying with points on purchases at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Staples
  • Booking travel directly through Amex
  • Gift cards
  • Shopping through the Membership Rewards portal

Redemption values will vary depending on what you use your Membership Rewards for. You’ll generally get the worst values for the Blue Business Plus by booking travel directly through Amex and shopping online through the Amex portal.

Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card transfer partners

There are a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs that are Amex transfer partners. Most Membership Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio with these travel partners, with some exceptions. With the following airlines, you could use your Amex rewards to book nearly free flights.

Amex Airline Transfer Partner Airline Alliance Transfer Ratio
AeroMexico SkyTeam 1:1.6
Air Canada Star Alliance 1:1
Alitalia SkyTeam 1:1
Aer Lingus N/A 1:1
Air France SkyTeam 1:1
All Nippon Airways Star Alliance 1:1
Avianca LifeMiles Star Alliance 1:1
British Airways Oneworld Alliance 1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyTeam 1:1
EL AL Israel Airlines N/A 50:1
Emirates N/A 1:1
Etihad Airways N/A 1:1
Hawaiian Airlines N/A 1:1
Iberia Plus Oneworld Alliance 1:1
JetBlue Airways N/A 5:4
Singapore Airlines Star Alliance 1:1
Qantas Airlines Oneworld Alliance 1:1
Virgin Atlantic Airways N/A 1:1

If you want to use your Amex Membership Rewards for your lodging, you can also work your way toward the goal of staying at a hotel for free.

Amex Hotel Transfer Partner Minimum Transfer Transfer Ratio
Choice Hotels 1,000 1:1
Hilton Honors 1,000 1:2
Marriott Bonvoy 1,000 1:1

Amex Blue Business Plus FAQs

Is the Amex Blue Business Plus a charge card?

No, the Amex Blue Business Plus isn’t a charge card. It’s a business credit card. It has a set credit limit, and the balance doesn’t have to be paid in full every month.

How much are Amex Membership Rewards points worth?

To determine the value of your rewards, you’ll divide the monetary value of an item by the number of points you need for it. As a result, Membership Rewards Point values will vary depending on the specific way they’re used and which Amex card was used to earn them.

That said, here are some general values you can expect:

Method of redemption Value per point
Shopping on Amazon 0.7 cents
Gift cards Up to one cent
Statement credit 0.6 cents
Book travel through Amex 0.7 cents to one cent
Transfer to a frequent traveler program 1:1 transfer value

Does the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express have a foreign transaction fee?

Yes, The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.

Can I transfer a balance to the Blue Business Plus Credit Card?

Currently, it is not possible to transfer a balance to the Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card. You'd be better off using one of the credit cards with the longest 0% APR balance transfer periods if you have existing credit card debt and are after saving on interest charges. 

Other cards to consider

If The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is one of the best business credit cards out there, but if doesn't seem like the right fit for you, there are plenty of other business cards to consider. Here are two other credit card offers that might be a good match for your financial goals and needs:

Businesses with expenses well over $50,000 annually may benefit more from the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card. Cardholders earn a sign-up bonus of $750 after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months. It's perfect for small business owners because it's easy to use and track your rewards since you earn 1.5% cash back on all spending. The introductory 0% APR for 12 months on purchases is attractive and allows businesses to not have to pay their balance in full the first year. It offers many other benefits for both new and small businesses as well.

For more details, read our Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card review.

If you’re using your rewards for travel, check out the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. You can earn 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months You'll also earn 5X miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, and 2X miles on every purchase, every day, so your travel rewards will rack up fast. There’s a $95 (waived first year) annual fee, but the rewards you’ll earn will more than make up the value. Frequent travelers will also enjoy the statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck that comes with the Spark Miles.

For more information, read our Capital One Spark Miles for Business review.

Simplified Earnings for Small Business Owners

See how these cards compare:

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
  • New Offer: $750 cash back sign-up offer
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all spending
  • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases
  • No annual fee
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • 50,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.