The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express – Review

Full Disclosure: We may be compensated when you click on links to credit card products from our advertising partners, such as American Express, Chase & Barclays. Opinions on this site are ours alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. Thanks!

"More Membership Rewards for Your Business!"

Earn Membership Rewards for your business spending the easy way: get 2x points for the first $50,000 in purchases per year, and 1 point per dollar thereafter.

Apply Now (at Amex's secure site)

One responsibility a small business owner always takes seriously is paying the bills.

With The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, you can stay on top of your monthly expenses while earning Membership Reward points good toward flights, hotels, and hundreds of other redemptions.

Plus, you always have the option of paying your credit card bill over time (with interest) instead of all at once.

Card Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Blue for Business Amex Ideal Cardholder
As a small business owner, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express can be ideal for earning points to use toward big rewards.

Welcome Bonus and Earning Categories

The card comes with a long list of opportunities to rack up the Membership Rewards points! See the card summary table above for any current welcome bonus offers.

Also, you now earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. The 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.

You will also always earn 2x points for purchases you make directly through the American Express Travel site and American Express OPEN partners even after the $50,000 limit is reached.

All this with no annual fee!

Bottom Line:  For no annual fee, you will earn 2x points on all purchases for the first $50,000 per year when you use The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express.

Card Benefits for Small Businesses

American Express OPEN cards like The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express offer a suite of tools designed to make life easier for small business owners, starting with online statements.

Get free employee cards (up to 99 of them!) and stay on top of charges by signing up for text and email account alerts. Use Account Manager to set credit line limits and review statements for your employee cards.

Other tools include Receipt Match, which helps you add receipts to transactions simply by taking a picture. Your year-end summary can help review your spending for the year, and OPEN Forum gets your business questions answered by experts in the field.

Plus, get 2 additional points per $1 on spending with select partners such as HP.com, Hertz, and FedEx. If the points don’t interest you, you can choose an automatic 5% discount instead!

Bottom Line:  Small Business owners will benefit from free employee cards and other business tools when they use The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, and also earn 2x bonus points with OPEN partners!

Other American Express Perks

American Express credit cards are very popular due to the insurances and shoppers’ protections that are included with membership.

For example, if you spend a lot of time on the road, insurances such as premium roadside and car rental coverage can be a real lifesaver. If you fly often, travel accident insurance and baggage insurance can be just as valuable.

Finally, you can count on purchase protection to cover items bought with the card if they are damaged or stolen.

And add up to 1 year to your manufacturer’s original warranty with the extended warranty program.

Bottom Line:  Plenty of insurance benefits are available when you own The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express.

Drawbacks of The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

There is also a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. These fees can add up quickly if you travel internationally on a regular basis.

In that case, you may be better off with one of a business credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

Another caveat? Your points are good for Membership Rewards only. If you would rather earn cash-back to reinvest in your business, you might prefer the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.

Bottom Line: The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express does not *typically* come with the ability to utilize your points with transfer partners; you will need another Amex card to be able to transfer your points.

Comparison to Other American Express OPEN Cards

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has more earning power than the Blue business card but comes with a hefty $175 per year annual fee.

It earns 3x points in 1 of 5 business-related categories, and 2 points per $1 in the remaining 4 categories (up to $100,000). Other purchases earn 1 point per $1.

If you use The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, you must pay your balance in full each month.

Another option is the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. It is much less powerful than The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, but it does have a lower annual fee of $95 that is waived the first year.

Basically, The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN earns 1 point for purchases except when booking travel through the American Express Travel website (which earns 2x the points).

Payment is also due in full each month.

Bottom Line: You may find more benefit with one of the other business credit cards from American Express if The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express does not have the benefits you desire.

Final Thoughts on the Card

If you want a card for your business without an annual fee that has the potential to earn lots of extra Membership Rewards points, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express may be your best shot.

When you have a complimentary card, remember these points are able to be used with travel partners!

Great Card If

  • You will put all (or most) of your business spending on the card
  • You prefer not to pay an annual fee
  • You want the flexibility to make payments over time (with interest)

Don't Get If

  • You don’t have an Amex card that participates in the Membership Rewards transfer program (allowing you to pool points for travel benefits)
  • You and your employees travel internationally on a frequent basis and will incur the 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars
  • Interest Rates
    • 0% on Purchases for 15 months
    • Ongoing APR: 13.24% - 21.24% Variable
  • Late fees ?
    • 29.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfers
    • 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months
    • Ongoing APR: 13.24% - 21.24% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR
    • N/A

U.P. Pro Tips

Whether dining with clients or eating meals with your employees, using The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is a terrific way to add reward points to your Membership Rewards balance!

You’ll want to use the card for as many expenses as possible anyway to take advantage of the 2x points on all purchases up to $50,000.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express Pro Tips
Put as many of your business expenses on the card as possible to ensure the maximum points possible!

Best Way To Maximize Points

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express provides plenty of opportunities to accrue points. Here are some tips to ensure you earn all the Amex points available.

Tip #1: Make sure you earn any welcome bonus (when available) Membership Rewards points. You can’t get simpler than that!

Tip #2: Use the new 2x points on the first $50,000 for all purchases! Anything you need to buy will earn 2x Membership Rewards points.

Tip #3: Get cards for your employees; they’re free and there’s no annual fee associated with them. You’ll get the Membership Rewards points for their spending at no additional cost.

Tip #4: Use the OPEN Savings benefit that comes with business card. Select 5% savings or 2x points when you make a purchase from any OPEN Savings partner.

Featured partners include FedEx, HP.com, Hertz, and 1-800Flowers. Find a full list of participating partners here.

Tip #5: Book all travel through the American Express Travel site. You’ll earn 2 points per $1 instead of 1.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express Earn More
Earn 2x points for all purchases for the first $50k spent, and by booking travel through the American Express Travel website, or the OPEN partners.

Best Way To Redeem Points

Because The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is part of the Membership Rewards program, you have several redemption options.

Let’s look at some of the Membership Rewards redemption options from lowest to highest per-point value.

Lower Value Options

Option #1: Gift cards and tickets ($0.005-$0.01/point)

Choose from the following gift card categories: Dining, Entertainment, Retail, Air & Lodging, Car & Rail, Experience, and Theme Park. You can also purchase American Express gift cards in different denominations.

The point value here depends on the merchant and gift card amount. For example, purchase a $10 Bath & Body Works gift card for 1,000 points (a value of $0.01 per point).

Here’s another example:

A child’s ticket to Legoland California requires 8,900 points. Since a child’s ticket costs about $84 at the Legoland website, the value is $.009 per point, which is not so great.

Ticket purchases from Ticketmaster, Telecharge.com, and AXS are valued at $0.005 per point.

Option 2: Shop through Amex ($0.005/point)

Make purchases with your Membership Rewards points when you shop through the American Express shopping mall. You also have the option of mixing points and cash to pay for a purchase.

Option 3: Points for statement credit ($0.006/point)

While you have the option to apply points as statement credit, the value is low at $0.006 per point. If your preference is statement credit, you can get better value from a cash-back credit card.

Option 4: Shop Amazon.com and BestBuy.com ($0.007/point)

Pay for your Amazon.com and BestBuy.com purchases directly with your Membership points. Click on “More Ways to Use Points” at the top of the page when logged into the portal.

Option 5: Hotel stays booked through the portal ($0.007/point)

Book a hotel room through the Membership Rewards portal and pay with your points. The value of $0.007 per point only pertains to travel rewards other than flights.

Higher Value Options

Option 1: Select gift cards ($0.01/point)

While gift cards vary in point value, certain gift cards are worth up to $0.01 per point, such as the Bath & Body Works gift card mentioned above.

Option 2: Donate points ($0.01/point)

Donate to one of the many charities in the Membership Rewards program and your first 500,000 points will be valued at $0.01/point. The minimum amount you can donate is 1,000 points.

Option 3: Flights booked through Amex Travel Rewards ($0.01/point)

Unlike hotel rewards, flights booked through American Express Travel Rewards have a value of $0.01 per point. However, be prepared to pay a service fee unless you have The Platinum Card® from American Express (which waives fees automatically).

 

Option 4: Transfer to loyalty partners ($0.01-$0.02/point)

Transfer points to more than 20 airline and hotel partners (plus access all 3 major alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star). This is typically the redemption with the highest value because you can multiply value with the loyalty programs.

Again, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express does not participate in this program. But if you have an American Express card that does (the majority do), you can pool the points together and make a transfer.

For instance, you could easily add another no annual fee card like The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express to your portfolio.

Note, you will be charged a fee of $0.0006 per point transferred up to a maximum of $99.

American Express Membership Rewards airline and hotel partners:

Airline partners: Club Premier Aero Mexico, MilleMiglia Club Alitalia, 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 Guest

Hotel partners: Honors, Choice Privileges, SPG

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

No matter which credit card you use, it’s always important to read the terms and conditions.

You can’t earn points for cash advances, balance transfers, or transactions related to gambling like lottery tickets and other types of betting.

Other Unique Features of This Card

As we mentioned earlier, The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express comes with a number of perks and insurances.

Travel accident insurance – Up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling on a common carrier.

Premium roadside assistance – Call to get help changing a flat, jump-starting a battery, or getting a tow (up to 10 miles).

Car rental loss and damage insurance – Reserve and pay for a rental car with the card and decline the collision damage waiver to get covered if the vehicle is stolen or damaged.

Baggage insurance plan – Whether traveling by plane, train, ship, or bus, get covered for eligible lost, stolen, or damaged baggage.

Global Assist Hotline – Get access to emergency services (medical, financial, legal) 24/7 when you’re more than 100 miles from home.

Additional benefits with the card from American Express OPEN target small business owners.

Receipt Match – Add receipts, notes, and tags to purchase transactions from your desktop or mobile device.

Account alerts – Set up account alerts to notify you when your bill is due and to keep track of employee spending.

OPEN Savings – Receive 2 additional points per $1 or a 5% discount when you purchase from participating OPEN partners.

Dispute resolution – Don’t worry about fraudulent transactions or incorrect charges when you use the card. American Express pledges to work with you to solve the problem right away.

Online statements – Keep track of your account online from anywhere. Find transactions, prepare reports or invoices, and set up a budget.

Mobile and tablet apps – Access your account on the go via your mobile phone and tablet.

OPEN Forum – Get advice from business experts and fellow professionals through the articles and other information available to you as a member of OPEN Forum.

Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Woman Presenting in Business Meeting: ASDF MEDIA/Shutterstock
Person Shopping Online: Kite_rin/Shutterstock
Lightbulb: M.Stasy/Shutterstock
Stacking Quarters: Singkham/Shutterstock

FAQ

Is The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express worth it?

If you are a small business owner who travels frequently, the business card can be quite valuable, especially since there is no annual fee associated with the card.

It earns 2x points for all purchases (2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter), and also specifically for Amex Travel and OPEN partners.

What is the annual fee for The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express?

When do Membership Rewards points earned with The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express expire?

Your Membership Rewards points won’t expire unless you cancel all your American Express Membership Rewards cards.

How does The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express compare to The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN?

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN earns more points in 5 categories: airfare, U.S. shipping, select U.S. computer services, select U.S. advertising, and U.S. gas stations.

Earn 3x points in 1 of the categories and 2x points in the remaining 4.

You won’t be charged foreign transaction fees with this card, and the annual fee of $175 is waived the first year.

What is the login for The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express?

Log in to your account on the American Express website.

Advertisement

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. For more information on our advertisers, see here.