The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express Review: Small Business Owners Rejoice [2020]

Earn rewards on startup costs with this no-fee credit card that has small business owners in mind.
Last updated Aug 6, 2020 | 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 (learn more), 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

Benefits

  • Up to $300 in statement credits at Dell Technologies, DocuSign, and FedEx
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
  • 2X Membership Rewards Points on first $50,000 each year
  • Global Assist hotline
  • No annual fee
  • Terms apply


Who should get this 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. A 1X earning potential leaves a lot to be desired for bigger spenders.

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. Its 0% introductory APR (annual percentage rate) for 12 months on purchases makes sense for new businesses with startup costs. 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

Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus Earn up to $300 in statement credits ($100 at each of the following: Dell Technologies, DocuSign, and FedEx) after making an eligible purchase in first 3 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% for 12 months on purchases    
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.7%

Top card benefits

  • 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. 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.
  • No annual fee: The Blue Business Plus Credit Card allows you to enjoy rewards for purchases without the burden of an annual fee.

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

Small business owners would be smart to 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.

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.

Maximizing your redemptions

The best value for your Membership Rewards points is to transfer your points to one of Amex’s travel partners. The American Express Membership Rewards program currently offers 19 airline partners and three hotel partners.

For an example of how this method of redemption is beneficial, let’s look at what 1,000 Membership Rewards points can get you through some of Amex’s more popular travel partners:

Membership Rewards points Transfer partner Transfer partner points
1,000 Air France-KLM 1,000 Flying Blue Awards Miles
1,000 British Airways 1,000 Avios
1,000 Delta Air Lines 1,000 SkyMiles
1,000 Hawaiian Airlines 1,000 HawaiianMiles
1,000 JetBlue 800 TrueBlue Points
1,000 Hilton 2,000 Hilton Honors Points
1,000 Marriott 1,000 Bonvoy Points

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.

Common questions

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 to a frequent traveler program 1:1 transfer value

Do the Blue Business Plus rewards points expire?

Amex Membership Rewards points never expire.

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

Yes, there’s a 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

Businesses with expenses well over $50,000 annually may benefit more from the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card. It offers Earn $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 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.

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.

Simplified Earnings for Small Business Owners

Special Offer

Earn up to $300 in statement credits ($100 at each of the following: Dell Technologies, DocuSign, and FedEx) after making an eligible purchase in first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
  • $500 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