Most people recognize the American Express® Green Card by sight due to its classic green design. Many of you have probably carried that card yourself at one time.
But did you know the familiar Green Card is available for your small business too?
The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN gives you the same great benefits of the personal card with added benefits for business owners!
Card Summary Table
- Card Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
- Card Provider
- Card Type(s):
- Card Focus:
- Annual Fee
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
- Rewards Center
- Foreign Transaction Fees2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars
- Typical UsersBusiness Owners
- Customer Service Number
- Login Link
- Interest Rates ?
- No interest is charged because you pay your balance in full each month.
- Late fees ?
- Up to $38. However, if your account does not have a Pay Over Time feature or balance and you do not pay for two billing periods in a row, your fee will be $38 or 2.99% of the past due amount, whichever is greater.
- There is a returned payment fee of up to $38.
- Balance Transfers
- Cash Advance APR
The Ideal Cardholder
Welcome Bonus, Earning Categories, and Points
The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN usually has a decent welcome bonus (see table above), and the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Purchases made with the card are worth 1 point per $1. However, you will earn 2x points when you book travel through American Express Travel, including flights, prepaid hotels, vacation packages, cruise reservations, and more.
Benefits of the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
A nice feature of the card is that rather than having a set limit, you have a flexible spending limit.
Your limit will adjust based on your use of the card, payment history, and other factors to better meet the changing needs of your small business.
Membership Rewards points earned with the card can be redeemed for hundreds of rewards from airlines, hotels, restaurants, retailers, and other brands.
In fact, you can use Membership Rewards points to pay for part of a flight or hotel with American Express Travel through the Pay with Points program.
Small Business Benefits
Small business owners will appreciate the fact that Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has no annual fee for the first year; this includes the free employee cards.
The business credit card also comes with the many OPEN benefits offered by American Express to help run your business smoothly.
Take, for example, your account’s ability to connect to QuickBooks and ReceiptMatch, 2 tools that work together to help you manage your business expenses.
ReceiptMatch allows you to attach receipts, tags, and notes to your American Express card transactions, which can then be uploaded straight to QuickBooks.
Stay abreast of payment due dates, employee spending, and any suspicious activity on your card by setting up account alerts from your online account. You can always access your account through the online statements at the mobile and tablet apps.
If you don’t have time to review your statements and make payments, you can select a partner or employee to manage these tasks for you through the account manager feature.
The OPEN Savings feature is also a plus! Earn more points when you make purchases from OPEN Savings partners such as HP.com, Hertz, and FedEx. You can either earn 2 extra Membership Rewards points per dollar or an automatic discount of 5% on those purchases.
Sometimes running your own business can bring unexpected challenges. That’s where OPEN Forum comes in! Browse online articles and information by industry experts and other business owners for advice, and access tools for your business too.
Perks With the Card
American Express has a reputation for offering some of the best credit card perks and insurances, from shopping and fraud protection to travel assistance.
For instance, with purchase protection, your purchases are protected against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
In addition, you can add up to 1 year to the original U.S. manufacturer’s warranty on items purchased with the card through the extended warranty feature.
Car rental loss and damage insurance can be invaluable if you and your team rent vehicles on a regular basis while traveling. This protects rental cars from theft or damage when you decline the collision damage waiver and pay with your card.
Speaking of traveling, the roadside assistance hotline can give you peace of mind when on the road. Just call the number on the back of your card to get help recharging a battery, changing a flat tire, or something else.
These are just some of the credit card insurances available when you use the card or other participating American Express credit cards.
Drawbacks of the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
As with any credit card offer, there are a couple of drawbacks of the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.
First, you must make your payments in full every month. This is different from with The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, which allows you to spread payments over time (with interest).
Another caveat is the lack of bonus earnings categories. Basically, you earn 1 point per $1 spent with the card with no extra points for purchases at office supply stores, restaurants, or other select categories.
If you would like to earn more for your spending in certain categories, you may prefer The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.
It offers 5 bonus categories related to business spending: airfare, select U.S. advertising, U.S. gas stations, U.S. shipping, and select U.S. computer services. Earn 3x points for the category you choose and 2x points for the rest.
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express has also updated its earning rate, and now earns 2x points on all purchases on the first $50,000 each year, after which it will earn 1x points.
Fees are another drawback of the card. There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on any purchases made while abroad.
If you and your employees regularly travel outside the country, you may find more value in a credit card without foreign transaction fees, such as The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN.
Not only does it free you from foreign transaction fees, but this card also gives you a 1.5% discount when you pay your bill early. However, the annual fee is $250 after the first year.
While the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN lacks the earnings categories and high welcome bonuses of some of the other American Express OPEN cards, it does provide some value for small business owners.
Businesses that experience frequent travel expenses can earn points quickly by booking through American Express Travel for 2x points on most purchases.
Points earned with the card can be redeemed for rewards from over 500 leading travel, merchandise, and entertainment brands. Plus, access to the suite of tools for business owners can be worth the price of the annual fee after the first year.
Great Card If
- You and your employees travel frequently
- You will use the suite of tools available for small businesses
- You want a card that earns Membership Rewards points
Don't Get If
- You want the option to spread out your monthly payments (with interest)
- You prefer to earn cash-back rewards
- You travel outside the U.S. regularly and will incur foreign transaction fees
U.P. Pro Tips
Overall, most purchases made with the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN are worth 1 point per $1. One exception is most travel booked through American Express Travel.
Therefore, using American Express Travel to handle as much of your business travel arrangements as possible can be a smart strategy to accrue more Membership Rewards points.
As we mentioned previously, travel purchases eligible for 2x points include airline tickets, prepaid hotel stays (including those made from The Hotel Collection), flight/hotel packages, and cruise reservations.
You won’t earn 2x points for rental car reservations or bookings for Fine Hotels & Resorts.
How To Use the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN: The Upgraded Way
Best Way To Maximize Points
OK, so you can earn 2x points for booking through American Express Travel and 1x points for your other purchases. But how can you rack up as many points as possible with the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN?
Here are some tips to get you on your way:
Tip #1: Make your first purchase to get your bonus points. You have 3 months to do it and qualify for the welcome offer to receive the Membership Rewards points!
Tip #2: Get cards for your employees. The more people in your business earning points, the more points in your Membership Rewards. Plus, there’s no annual fee for the cards.
You’ll be happy to know you have control over employee spending limits. Set them online or by calling the number on the back of the card.
Tip #3: This is one of the American Express business credit cards that requires you to pay your balance in full each month.
Be sure to make your payment on time to ensure you don’t forfeit your Membership Rewards points and incur costly fees.
Tip #4: Do you have an American Express personal card that earns Membership Rewards? Link it to your business credit card and accumulate tons of Membership Rewards points!
Best Way To Redeem Points
When it comes to redeeming Amex points, there are plenty of options, ranging in value from $0.006 per point to more than $0.02 per point.
Option #1: Statement Credit
Pay your Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN statement balance with Membership Rewards points. Points are valued at $0.006 each when redeemed for a statement credit.
Option #2: Shopping
Choose from a wide selection of Membership Rewards gift cards in a wide range of categories like dining, entertainment, and much more. The points value will vary depending on the gift card, but ranges between $0.006 and $0.01 per point.
Use points to pay for all of your purchase, or combine them with cash when you shop through the American Express Membership Rewards portal.
You’ll find hundreds of technology, office, beauty, and other products in the online mall. You can even redeem for events. Redemptions in the shopping portal are valued at $0.005 per point.
Amazon.com and BestBuy.com
Want to pay for your Amazon.com and BestBuy.com shopping cart with Membership Rewards points? Points are valued at $0.007 per point when used directly with these 2 online retailers.
Option #3: Event Tickets
Tickets through Ticketmaster, Telecharge, and AXS
If you’re looking for tickets to an upcoming concert or event through Telecharge.com, Ticketmaster, or AXS, you can pay with Membership Rewards points. These points are valued at $0.005 each.
Option #4: Donate to Charity
For those who want to give back, donating to charity using Membership Rewards points can be a terrific opportunity. The first 500,000 points donated each calendar year are valued at $0.01 each. Make a donation starting at 1,000 points.
Option #5: Travel
Transfer to a Loyalty Program Partner
When you have an Amex card that can transfer points to partners, you open up the most valuable way to use your points.
You will have to pay a transfer fee of $0.0006 per point (up to $99), but when you consider the potential of piggybacking on the loyalty program redemption rate, it can the most valuable redemption option.
Redeem Points Through American Express Travel
Use your points to pay for all or part of your rewards travel, starting with 5,000 Membership Rewards points. Points for flights are valued at $0.01 per point, and other options are valued between $0.007-$0.005 per point.
There are no blackout dates, and you get a flexible seat selection!
Car Rentals and Amtrak
Redeem points toward rental cars and Amtrak starting at 5,000 points.
As a cardholder, you have access to 20 airline and hotel loyalty program partners.
Airline Partners: KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Air Canada Aeroplan, Virgin America Elevate, British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Club Premiere Aero Mexico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Etihad, Delta SkyMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, MilleMiglia Club Alitalia, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Plus, Emirates Skywards
As a small business owner, you need to know how valuable the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN can be for your needs. To recap the cost and earnings potential of the card:
|Annual Fee||Points Earned for Purchases Through Amex Travel||Points Earned Everywhere Else|
|$0 first year, then $95/yr||2x||1x|
Because the annual fee is $95, your points will need a value of at least that much in order for you to come out ahead.
For our calculations, we’ll assume points are valued at $.01 each. That means you’ll need to put a minimum of $9,500 on the card during the year to break even.
Annual Small Business Expenses
This is a sample budget for a small business that spends $135,800 a year on expenses. We’ll use this budget for the calculations in this section of the review.
|Shipping||$4,000||Airline Expenses related to above||$1,000|
|Cell Phone||$2,400||Hotel Expenses related to above||$1,000|
|Landline||$ –||Legal Fees||$10,000|
|Cable||$ –||Web Expenses (including dev)||$12,100|
|Gas Station||$5,200||Other Transportation||$500|
|TOTAL BUSINESS SPEND||$135,800|
Calculating the Membership Rewards Points
When we apply the expenses to the earnings categories, assuming all airline and hotel costs are booked and paid for with Amex Travel, the total points are as follows:
|2x Amex Travel||$2,000||4,000|
|1x Everything Else||$133,800||133,800|
Based on these expenses, it’s possible to earn 137,700 Membership Rewards points with the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.
Per our example, you could earn up to 137,700 points by using the card each year, which is equivalent to $1,370 at $0.01 per point.
Since the card has a $95 annual fee, it is well worth the cost in this scenario!
Remember, you can get a value of as much as $0.02 per point when transferring them to the 20 loyalty programs in Membership Rewards, doubling the value to $2,740.
And that doesn’t include any extra points that can be earned with the welcome bonus!
The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know
As with any credit card, there are several things to keep in mind if you decide to use the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN.
First, unlike some Amex cards (such as The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express), you must pay your balance in full each month. Failing to do so will mean having to pay costly penalty fees and risk losing your earned points.
Also, although most purchases through Amex Travel earn 2x points, there are some exclusions. You can’t earn double points on purchases for car rentals or Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Expect it to take 10-12 weeks for points to be applied to your Membership Rewards account after payment.
In addition, American Express does not allow you to combine promotions. For instance, if you already have an American Express card, you can’t earn another welcome bonus.
The best way to ensure you understand the rules of using the card is to read the terms and conditions.
Other Unique Features
As a cardholder, you have access to certain travel and shopping benefits:
Travel Accident Insurance – When you book your trip using the card, you receive coverage that can protect you in case of accidental death or dismemberment during your travels.
Baggage Insurance Plan – You and your employees will enjoy peace of mind knowing your bags are insured against being lost, damaged, or stolen. Carry-on bags are covered up to $1,250 and checked bags up to $500.
Global Assist Hotline – With all the risks associated with travel (lost passport, illness, etc.), it’s nice to know you can call a number for help when more than 100 miles from home.
Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance – Receive coverage in case your rental car is lost or stolen when you use the Business Green Rewards Card.
Roadside Assistance Hotline – Don’t waste time worrying about what can happen on the road! Roadside assistance provides services such as recharging your battery, changing a flat tire, and more.
Return Protection – You may receive a refund if you are unable to return an item to the merchant you purchased it from within 90 days. Refunds are limited to $300 per item and $1,000 per year.
Extended Warranty – Add up to a year on the original manufacturer’s warranty for an item purchased with the card.
Purchase Protection – If an item you purchased is stolen or accidentally damaged within 90 days, you may be covered.
American Express OPEN cards also provide the following business-related benefits:
ReceiptMatch – Take a photo of a receipt with the app and it will be added to the transaction on your online statement. You can also add tags and notes. This benefit is only available with business cards from American Express OPEN.
Online Statements – Stay on top of your credit card account with online statements. You can budget expenses, prepare reports, and view your purchase history.
Account Alerts – No more late payments when you set up account alerts to notify you when due dates are approaching! You can also set up alerts to monitor employee card use and notify you of irregular card activity.
Dispute Resolution – American Express will resolve issues of fraudulent activity or incorrect statement charges.
Account Manager – Assign an account manager to take care of tasks like managing employee cards, making payments, managing disputes, and reviewing statements.
Mobile and Tablet Apps– Use the mobile and tablet apps to manage your account no matter where you are through your smartphone or tablet. View benefits, pay your monthly bill or check your current balance.
OPEN Savings – Receive an automatic 5% or an additional 2 points per $1 on purchases made with participating OPEN Savings partners. Featured partners include HP.com, FedEx, and Hertz.
OPEN Forum – Get answers to your business questions from industry experts as well as access to tools to grow your business with the OPEN Forum.
Man on laptop: Have a nice day Photo/Shutterstock
Man on laptop at airport michaeljung
Woman at laptop at home Billion Photos
Man on smartphone with credit card mirtmirt
The card can be well worth it for small business owners who travel domestically and use it to pay for monthly expenses.
While the card has a $95 annual fee after the first year, it has the potential to earn plenty of points (2x for travel through American Express Travel, 1x everything else).
In addition to coming with a suite of tools designed for the small business owner, the card offers travel and shopping insurances.
When you use the card with OPEN Savings partners, you can earn 2 additional points per $1 or get a 5% discount.
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express earns 2x reward points on all purchases for the first $50,000 in a year, after which it earns 1x points.
The 2x bonus also applies to the Amex Travel portal and Amex OPEN partners, even after the $50k limit. Additionally, it typically comes with an intro APR on purchases and has no annual fee.
While it has the potential to earn more points than The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, there is a caveat.
You can't transfer points to the 20 travel partners in the Membership Rewards program unless you have another American Express card that allows it, such as The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express.
If you do have a card in the program, you can pool the points you've earned with both cards and transfer them together.
Another big difference between the cards is that purchases made with The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express do not need to be paid in full each month. You can spread payments over time, though interest will apply.
The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express is a cash-back credit card that doesn't earn Membership Rewards points.
It earns 5% cash-back on wireless telephone services and at office supply stores, as well as 3% on a category of your choice out of 8 options (up to $50,000). It earns 1% on everything else.
Cash-back is applied as statement credit. It's a good choice for small business owners who want cash-back to pay off expenses rather than Membership Rewards.
The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN earns 1-2 points per $1 spent, which can be redeemed for Membership Rewards including statement credit, shopping, gift cards, travel, and more.
The annual fee is $95, but there is no annual fee the first year. That gives you a chance to try out the card for 12 months before having to pay for it.
No, there is no annual fee for employee cards.
No, there is no APR associated with the card because your balance must be paid in full each month.
Yes, earn 1-2 Membership Rewards points per $1 for using the card plus more when you purchase from OPEN Savings partners.
It depends on the reward. Redemptions range from $.006 (statement credit) as high as $0.02 (airline and hotel transfer partners).
The only way your Membership Rewards points will expire is if you cancel all of your American Express rewards cards. Just keep at least one card open that earns Amex Membership Rewards, and you won't lose your points.