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Amex Business Gold Card: 4x Bonus Categories [Explained]

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The American Express® Business Gold Card is easily one of the best business credit cards for racking up points quickly on your largest business expenses.

That said, while the card offers a variety of different 4x bonus categories, you only earn 4x rewards on your 2 highest spend categories each billing cycle. So if you want to earn as many points as possible, you need to implement a little strategy when it comes to what expenses you charge to the card.

In this guide, we will break down what purchases do and do not qualify for each of the card’s bonus categories. We’ll also offer tips on how to build your own points-earning strategy.

Amex Business Gold Card Overview

BEST FOR BONUSES
American Express® Business Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

American Express® Business Gold Card

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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Get 4x points in 2 select categories where your business spends the most each month (on your first $150,000 spent each year).

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

American Express® Business Gold Card

Get 4x points in 2 select categories where your business spends the most each month (on your first $150,000 spent each year).
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
70,000 points
$1,540
$375
19.49% - 27.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Business Gold Card is excellent at racking up rewards for your business spend.

The card earns a whopping 4x points per $1 in the 2 categories (from a list of 6) that your business spends the most money on each month. With no need to opt-in or preselect your categories, so you can focus on what matters most — running your business.

Pros

  • 4x points per dollar spent on your 2 highest purchase categories each month up to $150,000 each calendar year in purchases; categories include:
    • NEW! Transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
    • NEW! U.S. purchases made from electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers
    • NEW! Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S.
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
    • Purchases at U.S. media providers for advertising in select media (online such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, plus TV and radio)
  • 3x points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card
  • Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Cell phone insurance

Cons

  • $375 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • No elite travel benefits like airport lounge access or elite status
  • 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.*
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com using your Business Gold Card.
  • Earn up to $20 in statement credits monthly after you use the Business Gold Card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and Office Supply Stores. This can be an annual savings of up to $240. Enrollment required.
  • Get $12.95 back in statement credits each month when you pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with your Business Gold Card. $12.95 plus applicable taxes.
  • Your Card – Your Choice. Choose from Gold or Rose Gold.
  • *Terms Apply

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.49% - 27.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Here is a quick look at what the Amex Business Gold card offers to cardholders:

  • 4x points per $1 in your top 2 categories each billing cycle, on up to $150,000 in spend each calendar year (1x per $1 thereafter):
    • Purchases with U.S. media providers for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
    • Purchases in the U.S. from electronic goods retailers and software and cloud system providers
    • U.S. purchases from restaurants, including takeout and delivery
    • U.S. purchases at gas stations
    • Transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, ride-share services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
    • Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S.
    • Airfare purchased directly with airlines (through January 31, 2024)
    • U.S. shipping purchases for courier, postal, and freight (through January 31, 2024)
  • 3x points per $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked at AmexTravel.com with the Amex Business Gold card

The card also offers 2 statement credits (upon enrollment):

  • $240 flexible business credit: $20 in monthly statement credits after you use the card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and office supply stores (enrollment required)
  • $155 Walmart+ credit: $12.95 in monthly statement credits when you pay for a Walmart+ membership (enrollment required)

Cardholders can enjoy various travel and purchase protections, no foreign transaction fees (rates & fees), cell phone protection, and access to The Hotel Collection (Amex’s curated hotel program).

The card also has no preset spending limit, which means your spending limit is flexible. Unlike a traditional card with a set limit, the amount you can spend adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history

Hot Tip:

For a detailed guide on everything that the Amex Business Gold card offers, read our full guide on the best benefits of the Amex Business Gold card.

Amex Business Gold Card 4x Bonus Categories

To help you better determine which of your purchases qualify for 4x rewards, we’ll give you examples of purchases that do and do not qualify. Keep in mind that this is meant to be merely a guideline, not a comprehensive list.

Transit Purchases

For a purchase to qualify in the transit category, the merchant’s primary business must be transit. Some examples of eligible transit purchases include:

  • Buses
  • Ferries
  • Parking
  • Rideshare services
  • Subways
  • Taxicabs
  • Tolls
  • Trains

Examples of purchases that would not be eligible for this bonus category include:

  • Airfare
  • Cruises
  • Rental cars
  • Trams

For most businesses, your expenses in the transit category are unlikely to fall into the 2 highest of the categories. However, it is good to have the option should you need it in the future.

Electronic Goods Retailers

Amex Business Gold Upgraded Points LLC 1 large
Earning 4x rewards on your largest expenses helps you rack up points quickly with the Amex Business Gold card. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

To qualify for 4x rewards in this category, the purchase must be made directly from U.S. electronic goods retailers or software and cloud system providers. This includes merchants such as:

  • Adobe
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Best Buy
  • Dell Technologies
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Newegg
  • Salesforce

Examples of merchants you would not earn additional rewards with include :

  • Application purchases via aggregator platforms
  • Consulting and management services
  • Online marketplaces that provide products outside of electronic goods, like Amazon and eBay
  • Superstores like Target and Walmart
  • Wireless telephone and cellular service providers like AT&T and Verizon

This category presents an excellent opportunity for business owners who use these merchants’ services frequently, as these expenses tend to be larger. That means you’d earn far more points thanks to the 4x rewards.

Monthly Wireless Telephone Service Charges

If you find yourself with a rather large phone bill each month, earning 4x rewards on this monthly bill could take the sting out a bit. The rewards apply to most major carriers in the U.S., such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Purchases that would not be not eligible include:

  • Bundled services from wireless companies
  • Hardware (e.g., phones and accessories)
  • Purchases from authorized retailers, resellers, or third-party sellers
  • Repair services
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services
Hot Tip:

Don’t forget that when you pay your phone bill using your Amex Business Gold card, you not only earn 4x rewards, but you also receive cell phone protection, which covers up to $800 in damages to your devices, up to 2 times every 12 months, after a $50 deductible.

Gas Stations

This is often a confusing category, since many large retailers sell gas and many gas stations sell items other than gas. American Express defines a gas station as “in the primary business of selling gasoline to consumers. Gas stations may sell other convenience items, but its primary business must be selling gasoline to consumers.”

Eligible merchants include:

  • Exxon
  • Gulf
  • Hess
  • Mobil
  • Murphy Express
  • Murphy USA
  • Shell

This means you would not earn 4x rewards from larger retailers that also happen to sell gas, like Costco, Kroger, Target, Walmart, etc.

You would, however, receive 4x rewards on purchases made at dedicated gas stations that also sell food and drinks, gift cards, and other convenience items.

Restaurants

Amex Business Gold Upgraded Points LLC 12 large
Earning points on dining is easy with your Amex Business Gold card. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

This category is the most open-ended of the bunch, as you’re eligible to earn 4x rewards from most restaurants in the U.S., including on takeout and delivery orders.

Because that’s the case, it is easier to give you examples of purchases where the 4x restaurant rewards would not apply, such as:

  • Any restaurant outside of the U.S. (even if it is an American chain)
  • Bakeries
  • Bars, breweries, and nightclubs
  • Caterers
  • Convenience stores
  • Meeting venues
  • Restaurants inside another venue (e.g. casino, hotel, food court, etc.)
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Theater clubs
Hot Tip:

If most of your dining expenses are personal expenses, or if you spend a lot at restaurants overseas, then you might want to consider our picks for the best credit cards for dining.

Media Providers

Lastly, Amex gives you bonuses for advertising on select media. Online, television, or radio advertising must be purchased in the U.S. directly from media providers in order to promote a business.

Examples include CBS Radio, Facebook, Google, NBC National Broadcasting, and Yahoo.

It would not include direct mail services, or list/lead generation services.

Depending on what type of business you run, advertising could very easily be one of your largest expenses. If so, the Amex Business Gold card would be an excellent option, as it is the best business card for advertising purchases.

Airfare (Through January 31, 2024)

With the recent refresh of the Amex Business Gold card, the 4x airfare category is set to be discontinued on January 31, 2024. However, after that date, you’ll earn 3x points on airfare booked through AmexTravel.com with the Amex Business Gold card.

Amex defines this category as airfare for a scheduled flight on a passenger carrier, purchased directly from an airline like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, etc.

However, you will not earn 4x points on flights that are purchased as a part of a vacation package, even if it is directly through an airline. You also won’t earn bonus points on flights that are purchased from third-party providers like Expedia, Priceline, etc.

U.S. Shipping (Through January 31, 2024)

This bonus category is also set to be discontinued as of January 31, 2024, leaving a few more months for cardholders to potentially get some extra 4x points.

American Express defines shipping purchases as courier, postal, and freight shippers located within the U.S. This includes merchants like FedEx, UPS, and the United States Postal Service.

It does not include shipping costs added to retail purchases, moving services, local trucking, or trash removal.

Expense Strategy: How To Earn Maximum Points With Your Card

Since your 4x rewards are limited to your 2 highest of the eligible categories each month, you need to strategize to earn as many points as possible.

One option, and arguably the easiest, is a set-and-forget strategy. Say you own a landscaping business with your 2 largest monthly expenses being advertising and gas (to keep all of your equipment fueled up). You could make your Amex Business Gold card your go-to card for these purchases, using another card (earning more than 1x points per $1) on all of your other expenses.

If you’re a business owner whose expenses tend to vary month to month, your best path forward is to plan out your expenses in advance to maximize your rewards. For instance, instead of paying your software or cloud system provider monthly, you could opt for an annual plan in which you pay in full for the year. Not only does this usually come with a discount and earn you a large chunk of points at once, but it also allows you to pivot your card spending to other expense categories in subsequent months.

Remember, the 4x rewards on your Amex Business Gold card apply to the 2 largest categories per billing cycle. You do not need to select them in advance, so your card can adapt to your spending patterns as you see fit.

Final Thoughts

Though the setup of the Amex Business Gold card can be confusing, it can quickly become one of your best cards for earning Amex Membership Rewards points once you understand its ins and outs. In fact, businesses with large expenses that hit the $150,000 annual 4x threshold can earn a whopping 600,000 Amex points each year. With our value of Membership Rewards points, we estimate these points to be worth $13,200.

If you add the Amex Business Gold card to your wallet, make sure you’re planning your monthly expenses carefully to ensure that you’re always earning those coveted 4x rewards per $1 spent!


For the cell phone protection benefit of the American Express® Business Gold Card, coverage for a stolen or damaged eligible cellular wireless telephone is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of liability of this benefit. The maximum liability is $800, per claim, per eligible card account. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible. Coverage is limited to two (2) claims per eligible card account per 12 month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Amex Business Gold card worth it?

If you’re a small business owner who has large business expenses in 1 or more of the card’s bonus categories, then being able to earn 4x rewards on these purchases will likely be worth it for you. Plus, the Amex Business Gold card offers perks like an annual flexible business credit of up to $240, an annual Walmart+ credit of up to $155, access to The Hotel Collection, cell phone protection, and more.

What are the 4x bonus categories on the Amex Business Gold card?

The categories on the Amex Business Gold card that can earn you 4x rewards are:

  • Purchases at U.S. media providers for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases from electronic goods retailers and software and cloud system providers
  • U.S. purchases from restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • Transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, ride-share services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
  • Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S.
  • Airfare purchases directly with airlines (through January 31, 2024)
  • U.S. purchases from shipping merchants (through January 31, 2024)

Keep in mind that your 4x rewards are limited to the 2 categories in which you spend the most each billing cycle. Rewards are capped at $150,000 in annual spend each calendar year.

Does the Amex Business Gold card have airport lounge access?

No, the Amex Business Gold card does not offer airport lounge access. If you are interested in lounge access, consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express instead.

What is the annual fee of the Amex Business Gold card?

The annual fee of the Amex Business Gold card is $375 (rates & fees).

What is the credit limit on the Amex Business Gold card?

The Amex Business Gold card does not have a preset credit limit. Your credit limit will flex month-to-month based on factors like your purchase habits, payments history, credit score, and more.

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About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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