If you’re running a business, regardless of its size, you know the importance of having business management tools that can help you organize your expenses, track how your money is being spent, and help your business grow.
Having the right business credit card is just one of those critical business management tools. We frequently discuss business cards and the role these cards play in your business operation but today we’re narrowing our focus to 2 popular business cards issued by American Express.
The American Express® Business Gold Card and the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express have a lot in common. The cards earn valuable Membership Rewards points and have travel redemption options that deliver excellent value.
Both cards also come with business management tools that can help you run your business and useful travel/shopping benefits.
However, there are stark differences in the 2 cards that can determine which is the better fit for your specific operation.
We’re all set to investigate those differences here today and in the end, create a clear picture of which card might be more suitable for your specific business profile.
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
One of the first benefits you’ll notice on most rewards-earning cards is the welcome bonus offer. You’ll generally earn this bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.
Earning the bonus is significant as it serves to jump-start your earnings account. You’ll rarely have the opportunity to earn as many points in such a short time frame.
Let’s look at a snapshot of each card’s current welcome bonus, and a summary of the card’s pricing and fees.
Amex Business Gold Card
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info|
|American Express® Business Gold Card|
(at Amex's secure site)
- Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
- MORE REWARDS: Get 4x Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1x is earned for other purchases.**
- **4x points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
- AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
- PAY OVER TIME OPTION: Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month—or pay over time with interest.*
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
- Annual Fee: $295
- *Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, click here.
Must Reads: For more info on the Amex Business Gold Card see our guide on its benefits, top FAQ’s and our full review.
Amex Business Green Card
|Credit Card||Key Benefits & Info|
|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express|
(at Amex's secure site)
- Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases with the Business Green Rewards Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 2x for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at amextravel.com
- Earn 1x for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
- For rates and fees of the Amex Business Green Card, click here.
While the Amex Business Gold card comes with a higher welcome bonus, it also charges a higher annual fee. Welcome bonuses fluctuate, so be sure to access the current information before applying for any card.
Comparing Earning Options
Both of our featured cards earn valuable Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed in a variety of ways that we’ll discuss shortly.
Next up, however, we look at how the cards compare when it comes to earning potential.
|Amex Business Gold Card||Amex Business Green Card|
- 4x points per dollar spent on your 2 highest purchase categories each month up to $150,000 each calendar year in purchases; categories include:
- 2x points on qualifying travel purchases via Amex Travel
- 1x points on all other purchases
- 2x points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases via Amex Travel
- 1x points on all other purchases
The Amex Business Gold card offers far more bonus earning categories but the card does come with a higher annual fee. However, if your business spends just $7,500 in 4% bonus category spending each year, the annual fee could be easily offset.
While earning is a significant component when selecting a business card, redemption options and benefits are also important.
Let’s see how the 2 cards stack up to each other when it’s time to redeem your rewards.
Bottom Line: If you have a business with ongoing expenses falling into the bonus categories of the Amex Business Gold card, the card would be a hands-down winner over the Amex Business Green card. It’s possible, however, that smaller businesses with travel expenses that can be made via Amex Travel and a preference for a lower annual fee may fare better with the Amex Business Green card.
Comparing Redemption Options
Since both cards earn Membership Rewards points, redemption options are similar. However, the Amex Business Gold card has 1 clear advantage over the Amex Business Green card at redemption time.
Let’s take a look at how these cards compare when it’s time to redeem your rewards.
|Redemption Option||Amex Business Gold Card||Amex Business Green Card|
|Travel via Amex Travel|
- Redeem points for 1 cent each via Amex Travel
- Redeem points for first and business class flights and for flights on your preselected airline to receive 25% of your points back as a rebate
- Redeem points for 1 cent each via Amex Travel
|Transfer to travel partners||20+ airline and hotel partners; most transfer at a 1:1 ratio and a small fee applies|
|Statement credits||Redeem for 0.06 cents per point|
|Additional redemption options||Upgrade flights, gift cards, merchandise, shopping with retail partners|
Both of our featured cards offer the option to redeem points for travel via the Amex Travel portal and an additional option to transfer points to airline and hotel partners where your points could receive potentially greater value.
The Amex Business Gold card offers the additional redemption benefit of receiving a 25% flight bonus rebate when using points to book travel via Amex Travel.
Bottom Line: Both cards offer identical redemption options with the key exception of the 25% flight bonus rebate offered by the Amex Business Gold card. If your business spends money on travel, this may be a benefit that could add direct economic value to your business travel budget.
Travel Benefits and Protections
You probably wouldn’t select a card based solely on the travel benefits and protections it provides, but if your business involves travel, you’ll want a business card that does offer some level of coverage.
Here’s an overview of the coverages that come with our featured cards.
|Benefit||Amex Business Gold Card||Amex Business Green Card|
|Car rental insurance||Secondary car rental insurance with the option to purchase Amex Premium Protection for 1 low fee that covers the entire rental period, prices range from $12.95 to $24.95|
|Trip delay coverage|
- Up to $300 for eligible expenses if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours, maximum 2 claims per 12 month period
|Baggage insurance||Receive up to $1,250 for damaged, lost, or stolen carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage per covered person, per trip|
|Global Assist Hotline||24/7 travel and emergency assistance when you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home|
|Travel accident insurance||Up to $100,000 per person for accidental death or dismemberment|
|Foreign transaction fees|
|Hotel Collection benefits|
- Enjoy a $100 hotel credit, an upgraded room when available, and 2x earnings on prepaid bookings on qualifying stays of 2 nights or longer
Bottom Line: If your business involves foreign purchases, you’ll save by having the Amex Business Gold card. Add in the trip delay coverage and Hotel Collection benefits and you’ll find the card may be a better fit for travel over the Amex Business Green card.
Shopping Benefits and Protections
If you’ve ever accidentally damaged an item shortly after purchase or had it fail just after the manufacturer’s warranty ran out, you’ll appreciate the protections that come with both of our featured cards when you use the cards to make an eligible purchase.
Additionally, you’ll find shopping benefits and offers that can save you money:
- Extended Warranty — Manufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less, on eligible items purchased with the applicable card, receive 1 additional year of warranty coverage. Maximum coverage is $10,000 per covered purchase, $50,000 per eligible card.
- Purchase Protection — Receive coverage for theft and accidental damage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase on eligible items purchased with the card. The maximum coverage limit is $1,000 per covered purchase, $50,000 per eligible card.
- Amex Offers — Amex Offers can offer significant savings or bonus earnings on purchases made with select merchants. Log into your online card account and scroll down the home page to find a list of offers that can be added to your affiliated card.
- American Express Auto Purchasing Program — Receive guaranteed savings when purchasing a new car and be able to use your Amex card to pay for at least $2,000 of the car’s purchase price.
Business Management Tools
Both of our featured cards come with plenty of tools to help you manage your business operation.
- Free Employee Cards for Authorized Users — Add up to 99 additional users at no charge.
- Pay Over Time Feature — Decide whether you want to pay eligible purchases in full each month—or pay over time with interest
- Connect to Quickbooks — Make accounting simpler by loading your receipts and syncing your Amex account information with QuickBooks.
- Year-End Statements Online — Tax time will be easier with organized reports of all your business spending.
- Mobile Account Management — Access and manage your card account anytime, anywhere.
- Custom Account Alerts — Set up alerts for maximum spending limits, payment reminders, and managing employee purchases.
Bottom Line: Both the Amex Business Gold card and Amex Business Green card come with the same shopping benefits and protections. The cards also offer an equal collection of business management tools.
Amex Business Gold Card vs. Amex Business Green Card — Summary
We’ve covered a lot of information on our 2 featured cards. Let’s sum it all up with our take on how the cards compare in each category.
Best for Earning Rewards — With a long list of 4x bonus earning categories on common business purchases (up to $150,000 in purchases each calendar year), the Amex Business Gold card is definitely the winner in the earning category.
Best for Redeeming Rewards — While both of our cards offer the option to redeem points for qualifying travel via Amex Travel and transfer points to travel partners for even greater potential value, the Amex Business Gold card offers the distinct advantage of receiving a 25% flight bonus rebate when redeeming points for travel.
Best for Travel Benefits and Protections — The Amex Business Gold card has the edge when comparing travel benefits and protections as the card offers trip delay coverage, no foreign transaction fees, and access to benefits at Hotel Collection properties.
Best for Shopping Benefits and Protections — Both cards offer the same shopping protections when using your card to make an eligible purchase. In addition, you’ll find both cards come with Amex Offers and the Amex Auto Purchasing Program.
Best for Business Management Tools and Adding Authorized Users — Both of our featured cards offer the same business management tools, including the ability to add up to 99 additional users for no extra fee.
Bottom Line: The Amex Business Gold card surfaces as having greater earning potential and an edge when using points for eligible flights. It does have a higher annual fee, so your spending in 4x bonus earning categories would need to be nearly $7,500 each year or find additional value in the benefits offered for it to be a fit for your business.
Alternative Amex Business Cards
Two cards that are also popular business card choices include The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card.
The cards pair up similar to our featured cards in that 1 works better for international business travelers, the other for smaller businesses that want more simplicity.
Amex Business Platinum Card
The Amex Business Platinum card is highly popular with business travelers due to its unprecedented access to airport lounges worldwide, its elevated earning on travel, and the ability to receive excellent value when transferring points to affiliated travel partners.
The card comes with plenty of travel and shopping benefits and protections as well.
Amex Blue Business Cash Card
Busy startup business owners have little time to keep track of bonus earning categories and complicated redemption options. The Amex Blue Business Cash card offers a simple solution with its 2% flat cash-back earnings on every purchase the business makes, up to $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1% thereafter.
Bottom Line: American Express offers several business card products suitable for every type and size of business. To learn more, check out all the best Amex business card options overviewed in our article on the topic.
There is no doubt that the Amex Business Gold card offers far more earning potential, the edge when it comes to redemption options with the 25% rebate on eligible travel, and greater travel benefits/protections.
You will, however, pay a higher annual fee to receive these added benefits. The better card for your business operation will be the one that allows you to receive greater value than you would pay for an annual fee.
If your operation has a lot of expenses in the bonus categories offered with the Amex Business Gold card, you would fare better with that card. If you are looking for an entry-level business card with a lower annual fee, your business’ expenses are non-bonus category expenses, and travel expenses could be facilitated with Amex Travel, there might be a case for the Amex Business Green card.
You might also consider the Amex Business Green card if your primary purpose for getting a card is to start establishing business credit with American Express.
The information regarding the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.