With the number of people starting small businesses on the rise, having a way to instantly purchase necessary items and services can truly add to a company’s success.
It can also be extremely convenient for you as a business owner, since many banks and lenders have tightened the reins on business borrowing.
But, by going an alternate route and using The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN to finance the purchase of your company’s inventory, equipment and/or travel, you have access to capital now.
You’ll also earn rewards points in the process, which can be used on a variety of things–primarily travel benefits.
Card Summary Table
- Card Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
- Card Provider
- Card Type(s):
- Card Focus:
- Gas (Driving)
- Select Computer Services
- Annual Fee
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
- Rewards CenterAmerican Express Membership Rewards
- Foreign Transaction FeesNone
- Typical UsersBusiness Owners, Frequent Travelers, International Travelers
- Customer Service Number
- Login Link
- Interest Rates ?
- There is no interest rate on this card since cardholders are required to pay off their balance in full every month.
- Late fees ?
- $38 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater
- Returned payment fee of $38
- Balance Transfers
- Cash Forwarding
The Ideal Cardholder
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Bonus and Earning Categories
If you apply for the card, you will be eligible for the current Membership Rewards bonus points after you spend the appropriate amount in qualifying purchases on the card during the allotted time (see above).
Rewards points are extremely flexible to accumulate, and they can add up fairly quickly if you use the card frequently. Depending on the type of business you have and the expenses you incur, you could see numerous rewards.
For example, you can earn 3x points in one category of your choice from the following list (Terms and Conditions Apply):
- Airfare purchased directly from an airline
- Select advertising (U.S. purchases)
- Gas stations (U.S. purchases)
- Shipping (U.S. purchases)
- Computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchased directly from certain providers (U.S. purchases)
You will then earn 2x points in the other 4 remaining categories, and other purchases will earn 1x points. So, every month in which you make qualifying purchases on the card, your points balance will continue to build.
During your first year, the card’s annual fee is waived. After that, the annual fee is just $175.
Benefits Of Being a Member: Having Ultimate Buying Power for Your Business
The American Express OPEN Business Gold Rewards Card isn’t just a way to buy items for your office and flights in and out of town. This card provides you with the ultimate in buying power, starting with no pre-set spending limit.
This means that the buying power you have will adjust with your use of the card.
This also comes with additional advantages, such as:
- Quick and convenient funding
- No collateral required
- No time-consuming loan paperwork
- Fast financing decisions
Plus, there are no interest charges to contend with when you pay your card balance in full every month. This of course is important to do, otherwise you’ll negate the value of the rewards earned!
Other Perks of the Card: Insurance, Protection, and More
As a business owner, you may be on the road a lot meeting with clients, searching for new inventory, or checking on your properties. If so, know that The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has your back.
Whether you’re in the air or on the road, this card provides a myriad of protections, including:
- Travel accident insurance
- Premium roadside insurance
- Baggage insurance plan
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Global assist hotline
The card can also provide you purchase protection for up to 90 days when something you buy with the card either breaks or is stolen.
With the card’s extended warranty feature, you can worry a whole lot less knowing that the manufacturer’s original warranty can be extended for up to one additional year.
The Benefits Of Being a Member: Even More Convenience
Even more benefits are included with this card through American Express OPEN. As a business owner, these can add even more convenience, especially if you’re constantly on the go.
Receipt Match is a feature where you can add receipts, tags, and notes for any purchases from your desktop or your smartphone. This will help you keep your finances organized and your accountant happy!
You can set up account alerts to notify you of upcoming due dates, as well as anything employees purchase on the cards. It also acts as a security device and notifies you of any irregular activity on your card.
While not touted as a bonus category partner, there are a few additional partners where you will earn extra points with OPEN Savings: FedEx, HP, 1800Flowers, and Hertz.
You can earn an additional two Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent with these partners after simply registering your card!
Drawbacks of Using The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN and Alternatives
While there are numerous benefits to using The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, there are also a few things to consider prior to diving in with this card too.
This is especially true since there are a number of other business credit cards out there to choose from.
First, the card has an annual charge of $175 per year. However, this charge is waived during the first year, so you have an opportunity to really check out whether or not you like the card and all its benefits during that time period.
As with any other American Express charge card, you are required to pay off your balance in full each month.
So while you can obtain funding for items your business needs, you will need a way to pay off the balance fairly soon.
That being said, this card does allow you to earn a significant number of points in a wide variety of categories. For just about any business owner in any industry, the points can definitely start to rack up rather quickly.
Alternatives to this card include any of the Chase Ultimate Rewards business cards, including the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. These cards are typical credit cards that allow you to carry balances for a fee.
The Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is great because it comes with a 0% introductory APR that will allow you to get your business started while being a little more uncertain of the money coming in!
How to Get the Most Out of the Card
For a business owner, this card can provide a nice array of rewards, and you can certainly choose to use it on its own.
However, you can multiply the benefits even more by combining it with The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN for all of its nice perks. If your business requires travel, you will be happy to have this card.
With The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, you can receive travel benefits and rewards that can help reduce expenses.
Card owners receive one point for each dollar in eligible purchases, and there is no limit on the number of points you can receive.
While this card does carry a $450 annual fee, this card offers a $200 airline fee credit plus an airport lounge access program, which can quickly offset the card’s annual fee (and then some)!
Final Thoughts: A Summary of the Card
As a business owner who makes a lot of monthly purchases – including big ticket items such an inventory or equipment – The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN could offer a great way to make your financial life easier.
With no pre-set spending limit, this card provides you with the ultimate in purchasing power.
By providing you with quick, easy access to the capital that you need, you’ll no longer need to worry about paperwork, collateral, or sitting for hours waiting for an answer from the bank.
If you’re a frequent business traveler, the card can provide you a variety of protections, whether you’re in the air or on the road.
By ensuring that your vehicle, your belongings, and your life are covered with ample financial protection, you can travel with much more peace of mind.
In addition to the membership benefits, you will also be automatically eligible for all the convenient rewards that are included via American Express OPEN.
This can add the icing on the cake for those seeking time-saving ways to both manage and protect their financial transactions.
All the while, this card will provide you with points: 3x points in a preferred category, 2x in a secondary category, and 1x for any other purchase that you make.
One of the very best parts about this card is that if you just aren’t sure whether it’s your best option, you have and entire fee-free year to check it out.
The $175 annual fee is fully waived for the first year of ownership, which allows you to use all the benefits of the card to determine if it’s really the right card for your needs.
Great Card If
- You are an entrepreneur or small business owner
- You travel frequently
- You make frequent business purchases
- You are able to pay off your balance each month
Don't Get If
- You are not a business owner
- You are not able to pay off the card’s balance each month
- You are seeking a cash advance
- You are seeking a place to move a balance transfer from another credit card
U.P. Pro Tips
Does your business tend to spend a lot in one or more of the 3x rewards categories?
If so, then this card can be a great option for you to really rack up the points and reap the benefits that accrue for yourself, your business, or your employees.
Entertainment, events, meals – you name it, the rewards are nearly endless. And because The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN doesn’t have a pre-set spending limit, your points can really add up in higher spending months!
How to Use The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN: The Upgraded Way
Best Way to Maximize Points
Although there are many benefits you can gain from The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, one thing that cardholders really want to know is how they can rack up their Amex points!
Just like any good business plan, the key here is having a strategy to achieve the best success.
The good news is that with this card, it’s easy! All you really need to do is determine what the best category will be for your 3x points.
This will often depend on the type of business you own and/or the type of traveling you do the most.
Tip #1: Once you have nailed down your primary points category, be sure you use the card each time you make a purchase in that 3x points area.
Tip #2: Don’t rule out the additional 2x and 1x points. Regardless of what else you’re purchasing, you can still earn either 2x or 1x points just by using the card.
Tip #3: Add additional cardmembers. If your business has employees, you may consider getting additional employee cards for them.
There is a $0 introductory annual fee for Employee Cards in the first year. Then, you’ll pay $50 for the first Employee Card, but no fee for additional Employee Cards after that.
Tip #4: Don’t forget your additional 2x points partners at FedEx, Hertz, and HP! These are common businesses you would need to run your company.
If you need to buy anyone flowers, you always have the 1800Flowers partner on hand as well!
Best Way to Redeem Points
Unlike many cash-back cards that will have you redeeming points on merchandise you may never use, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN provides you with a very flexible rewards program.
It is part of the Amex Membership Rewards program, and can be combined with any personal cards you also have enrolled. Here, your rewards points can be used in a variety of ways.
Some Options for Redeeming Points
For example, points may be redeemed toward the cost of travel through American Express, as well as toward gift cards. You can do this by going to the American Express travel portal and walking through the steps to redeem your points there.
The points can also be used toward merchandise, if that’s what you choose to do. However, this really isn’t where you’ll get the most bang for your proverbial buck with this card.
In some cases, you may be able to redeem your points directly at the counter at some American Express partners, as well as directly at checkout on Amazon.
The Real Valuable Rewards: Travel Partners
If you want to get the most value out of your points earned, you’ll want to transfer them to travel partners within the Membership Rewards portal.
Go to your Membership Rewards account, select “Travel,” and you will find the option to transfer. Some transfers are more valuable than others, but in the end, those points can be used at usually $0.02 per point or more!
AMEX Membership Rewards airline partners include:
Club Premiere Aero Mexico, MilleMiglia Club Alltalia, British Airways Executive Club, Asia Miles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Air France /KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada Aeroplan, Hawaiian Airlines, Emirates Skywards, Iberia Plus, KrisFlyer, Delta SkyMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin America Elevate, Etihad
AMEX Membership Rewards hotel partners include:
Some awards partners have different transfer rates than a 1:1 ratio. See the Membership Rewards review for more details.
In order to make the best use of the card, it can help to review some examples.
The key idea here is to determine whether the card’s annual fee of $175 will be “worth it” in terms of the rewards you can earn by using the card. You can find out by doing some simple calculations.
Because The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is primarily for business owners, it can help to have a detailed plan for how and how often the card will be used to ensure the most benefit will be obtained from it.
To see if the card is really worth it, you could also do some quick math on purchases you frequently make for your business. For example:
|Annual Fee:||$175 / year (after the first year)|
|3x Categories (Terms and Conditions Apply):||(Choose one of the 5)|
|Airfare purchased directly from airlines|
|U.S. purchases for advertising in select media|
|U.S. purchases at gas stations|
|U.S. purchases for shipping|
|U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers|
|2x Categories:||Points on the four remaining categories|
|1x Categories:||Points on all other purchases|
For those who plan to move forward with applying for this card, it can help to know that the benefits of the card will be used to their fullest, and that those benefits will far outweigh the cost of the card’s annual fee.
Number Crunching and Determining Value
To take a look at some actual numbers, we came up with some standardized business spending, much like our model families. There are three different business categories: small, medium, and large.
Let’s take a look at the small business in this scenario, which we define as something generating less than $150,000 in expenses per year. The theoretical expenses are as follows:
|Shipping||$4,000||Travel expenses related to above||$2,000|
|Cell phone||$2,400||Legal fees||$10,000|
|Internet||$1,800||Web expenses (including dev)||$12,100|
|Cable||$ –||Other transportation||$500|
|Gas station||$5,200||Accounting fees||$10,000|
There are a total of $135,800 in expenses put onto The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. To begin, we can compare this to the cost of the card: $175 per year.
To pay off the card fee at a standard $0.01 per point value, we would need to earn 17,500 points in a year. Clearly, total spending for this business more than makes up for the cost of the card!
The Value of Business Spending
Using the numbers above, we can calculate the rough number of points a business would earn in a year. For this card, we must at least make the assumption of what 3x category was chosen.
In this scenario, we will choose advertising since it is a pretty important expense and has one of highest budgets.
|Reward Earning Category||Total Dollars Spent||Total Points Earned|
According to the above table, you can earn upwards of 166,000 Membership Rewards points for using The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN at some small business numbers!
That’s worth $1,660 at the basic $0.01 per point value, and if you utilize the transfer partners correctly you could redeem it for over $3,320 worth of airfare!
Final Thoughts on Card Math
As you can see, the higher annual fee of the card becomes a non-issue if you’ve got a small business that has a lot of expenses.
Figure out what your highest hitting category will likely be (this may take a little estimation, or ask a mentor) and choose that as your 3x category.
Once you put all the spending on your card, you may find that you have thousands of dollars in free flights waiting for you!
The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know
Just like almost everything else in life, there is always “the other side of the story.” This is the also true of The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.
It’s important that you read all the “fine print” so you know exactly what counts for your various allocations of points with the card.
First, note that there is actually a $100,000 category bonus limit. This applies to each bonus category individually, though, so it will generally be a non-issue.
For instance, if you spent $105,000 on advertising in the year, only the first $100,000 would earn the 2-3x bonus points, but the extra $5,000 would still earn at 1x points.
Second, you cannot transfer a balance to this card, nor take a cash advance, there is no way to earn points in this capacity.
Also, you aren’t able to earn points on gambling-related transactions, which would include the purchase of lottery tickets and other types of betting.
Bonus Categories Demystified
Next, lets demystify the bonus category spending. Airfare and gas stations are pretty straightforward, with the only caveat being that airfare must be purchased directly through an airline and not travel agent.
Advertising, shipping, and computer and cloud services are a bit less obvious. According to American Express terms and conditions, some of these categories have preset vendors, but others are open-ended.
Advertising: The overall caveat here is that advertising must be purchased through official U.S. online, television, or radio advertisers in order to promote your business.
This could include Google, Facebook (or other PPC advertising), NBC or ABC advertising, or ads from your local radio stations. There is not a complete list, but do note that direct mail ads are specifically excluded.
Shipping: The shipping must be a U.S. carrier or freight forwarder, and includes places like FedEx, UPS, and the USPS. One common forwarder that should be covered is CEVA.
Online shipping costs and moving expenses do not count in these categories, and the charge must be for shipping business goods.
Software, Hardware, and the Cloud: Only the following vendors are approved to earn 2x points.
Apple, CDW, Dell, HP, IBM, Intuit, Lenovo, Microsoft, Newegg, Oracle, Rackspace, Sage Software, Salesforce.com, Symantec, and Tiger Direct.
Other Unique Features of This Card
Certainly, one of the coolest things about the card is the fact that you can earn 3 points per dollar in a category of your choosing. Additionally, the card provides you with a relatively long list of options to choose from.
Also, the fact that you can get either 1 or 2 points on all other purchases makes this somewhat unique from other cards, where you don’t get any points at all on certain spending.
Other than that, honestly, this card pretty much offers a lot of the typical benefits that you would find on other business credit cards, such as:
Travel Accident Insurance – Up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling on a Common Carrier.
Premium Roadside Assistance – Just one call can provide you with help in changing a flat, jump-starting a battery, or towing up to 10 miles.
Baggage Insurance Plan – Card members can travel more comfortably knowing that they can be covered for eligible lost, stolen, or damaged baggage when traveling on a plane, train, ship, or bus.
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance – When you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for eligible vehicle rental and you decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter, you can still be covered if the car is stolen or damaged.
Global Assist Hotline – When you travel more than 100 miles from home, you also have 24/7 access to medical, financial, legal, or other select emergency services – all because you are a member.
There are also more benefits with this card that are included through American Express OPEN. As a business owner, these can add even more convenience, especially if you’re constantly on the go. These include:
Receipt Match – Never wonder again which purchase came from where. With Receipt Match, you can add receipts, tags, and even notes to your purchase transactions from your desktop 0r mobile device.
Account Alerts – Avoid late payments (and the corresponding fees) by setting up account alerts to notify you of upcoming due dates, as well as employee card spending. Alerts can also notify you of any irregular activity taking place on your card.
OPEN Savings – When you make qualifying purchases, you’ll automatically be eligible to enjoy additional savings. Your card comes fully equipped with this benefit.
Account Manager – If you’re like most business owners, you probably don’t have a lot of time to sift and sort through account statements.
The account manager feature will allow you to assign an employee or business partner to take on this task for your business card account. This way, your time is freed up to focus on other details of running your business.
Dispute Resolution – Should you find an incorrect charge or any type of fraudulent activity on your Amex statement, American Express will work with you in resolving this matter immediately.
Online Statements – In today’s paperless world, you’ll be able to easily and conveniently view your statements anytime online. From your online account, you can also view your purchase history, prepare reports to invoice your customers, and budget your expenses.
Mobile and Tablet Apps – When you’re a business owner on the go, you may not want to carry a laptop with you.
That’s why you also have access to all you need from your account via mobile and tablet apps. This can make checking your information quick and easy.
OPEN Forum – Growing your business and networking with other like-minded individuals is simple when you’re a member of OPEN Forum. By accessing the articles and information, you can obtain important tools and advice to move your company forward.
Photo Credits / Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Boss Offering Gift: Pressmaster/Shutterstock
Entertaining Business Clients: iofoto/Shutterstock
Woman Using Business Card: Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Woman Relaxing in Chair: racorn/Shutterstock
If you're a business owner - and especially if you travel frequently - then yes, this card can be well worth it. First, you have the opportunity to try out the card for one full year before being obligated to pay the annual fee.
Some of the key benefits included with your membership on the card include:
- 3X points on a category of your choice, and 2X points on four additional categories (Terms and Conditions Apply)
- 1X points on all other purchases
- No pre-set spending limit, so you can fund large business purchases instantly
- Ability to earn points on employee purchases
- Purchase protection
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Baggage insurance plan
- Global assist hotline
- Premium roadside assistance
- Travel accident insurance
- Extended warranty
Plus, you also receive all of the benefits for members of American Express OPEN, including:
- OPEN Savings
- Dispute Resolution
- Account Alerts
- Account Manager
- Online Statements
- Mobile and Tablet Apps
- OPEN Forum
Yes. The annual fee is $175, but this fee is waived for the first year.
No, the points on the card will not ever expire or go away unless you cancel all your Amex rewards cards. In that case, you will end up losing your points.
But, provided that you keep at least one of your Amex rewards cards open, you will be able to keep all of your points.
While Amex Business Gold focuses more on the earning of points and providing services for your business, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has more focus in providing luxury travel benefits.
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has 2-3x bonus categories, whereas The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN only earns 1x points on all purchases.
Both cards are valuable on their own, and could be even more powerful if combined.
The American Express® Green Card is a beginner business card offered by Amex. There are no real additional benefits to the card other than earning 1x Membership Rewards points.
The Amex Business Gold is very good for earning points, especially for those who spend a lot of money in the five different bonus categories: airfare, shipping, select computer services, select advertising, and gas stations.
If you want to upgrade your card, you can call American Express customer service and ask them to upgrade your card. You will of course have to pay the higher fees and will lose your 2-3x bonus points, but you will get luxury travel benefits.