While this card does carry an annual fee of $250, the card’s rewards and benefits can make up for those fees. In addition, because this is a charge card, it provides spending flexibility you won’t get with other cards. Of course, there’s much more to know before you can decide if the American Express Business Gold card is right for you. In this post, we’ll review how this card works, its benefits and drawbacks, and a few alternative small business credit cards to consider.
About the American Express Gold Business Credit Card
The AMEX Gold Business card has elements of both a credit card and a charge card. A charge card is different than a credit card in that the charge card:
- Comes with no pre-set spending limit.
- Must be paid in full each month for you to avoid fees.
- Carries no interest charges, since you must pay your balance in full each month.
The way this works with the AMEX Business Gold card is that you’ll have to pay off any purchases under $100 in full at the end of each month. If you’re late on any in-full payments, you’ll face late and penalty fees of $38 or 2.99 percent of your in-full balance, whichever is greater. As American Express points out, because this is a charge card and there’s no preset spending limit, “Your purchasing power can adjust with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record and financial resources known to us, and other factors.” On purchases over $100, you can opt to “pay over time,” like you could do with a credit card. For any payments you choose to make over time, you’ll pay interest based on your creditworthiness.
Benefits and Rewards with American Express Gold Business
Both the rewards and benefits of the American Express Gold Business card are robust. Rewards include:
- 4X points in two of six categories which include airfare expenses, restaurant purchases, ad spending, shipping costs, tech purchases, and gas.
- 1X points for spending in the other four categories
- Points are awarded dynamically based on where you spend the most in the previous billing cycle.
- Welcome bonus of 30,000 points is awarded when you spend $5000 in the first three months.
- One extra point is awarded for every dollar you spend with three merchants of your choice from AMEX’s list of approved suppliers.
In addition to these generous rewards, you get benefits including expense management reports, flexible spending limits, and improved cash flow management. You’ll also have business, travel, and purchasing coverage through this card. This can financially protect you from things like employee card misuse, rental car damage, and theft or damage to items purchased with your card.
Pros and Cons
As with any financial product, the American Express Gold Business credit card has its benefits and its drawbacks. For example, while the card’s rewards are robust, you’ll pay a price for earning those rewards, even if you don’t use them. To help you understand if this card is right for your business, we’ll use this section to review its pros and cons.
Pros of the American Express Gold Business Credit Card
1: You Can Enjoy Flexible Spending Limits
Since this is a charge card, your limits aren’t preset. Depending on your financial situation, you can ask the card provider to increase your limit. In months when you have a large expense for which you don’t have cash on hand, this card gives you an option to make the purchases you need to.
2: Generous Reward Structures Ensure You Earn Maximum Points
The American Express Business Gold card retroactively awards points on each statement based on which category you spent the most on in that month. This approach to providing rewards helps ensure your business earns as many points as it can each month. You can then use those points for purchases that help your business grow.
3: Provides Strong Benefits for Your Business
American Express provides useful tools for you to track your spending, save time during tax season, and manage your employees’ spending. This, in addition to the travel, purchase, and business coverage this card provides, is a great set of tools to add to your business.
Cons of the American Express Gold Business Credit Card
1: There’s Potential for Fees to Pile Up
A $250 annual fee is high for a credit card, but relatively average for a charge card. Still, even if you ignore the annual fee, there are plenty of potential fees including late and penalty fees on in-full and pay-as-you-go payments. If you’re not making your payments on time each month, this can pile up.
2: Different Payment Types Can be Confusing
You should never get a credit card unless you understand the terms and conditions of that card. With the American Express Business Gold card, those terms can be a little confusing since you’ll be subject to different payment timing for different types of payment.
3: Flexible Spending Limits Depend on Your Finances
As mentioned, because there’s no preset spending limit, you can adjust your limit up and down. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy unlimited spending. If your credit history is poor and you don’t have strong financial backing, you won’t be allowed to increase your spending limit.
Alternative Small Business Credit Cards
If you’ve considered this card but aren’t sure if it’s right for your business, there are alternatives. American Express Business Cards other than the Gold card are worth considering if you’d like to stick with American Express. In addition, the Capital One Spark Business credit cards are popular among many small business owners.
The American Express Gold Business card is a great option for small business owners, with two caveats. The first caveat is that you need to spend enough on business expenses with your American Express Gold Business card that you augment the $250 annual fee with rewards. After all, if you’re paying the $250 annual fee but not earning at least $250-worth in rewards, you’re coming out behind. The second caveat is that, with this card, you must be diligent about making payments on time and in full. Otherwise fees will pile up. However, besides those two considerations, the American Express Gold Business card can be a powerful tool for any business owner. Hopefully, this post will help you decide if this card is right for you. If it did, there’s a lot more where that came from, so subscribe to our blog and get more educational content like this delivered straight to your inbox.