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The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1X point per dollar

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    13.24% to 19.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards
  • Straightforward rewards program

Cons

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Welcome bonus

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card comes with a great welcome bonus: You can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.

This is a generous welcome bonus for a no-annual-fee credit card, which can be worth up to $150 if you redeem for travel through the Amex travel portal and potentially more if you transfer to one of the American Express travel partners (see more in the ‘Earning and redeeming rewards’ section). Also, $3,000 is not an extremely high minimum spend, compared to other American Express cards.

Earning and redeeming rewards

How to earn rewards

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card has a straight forward rewards program. Cardholders can earn 2X Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on purchases, up to $50,000 per year. After that, you can earn 1X point per dollar spent. This makes earning rewards simple as you don’t need to track specific spending categories.

And it doesn’t take long for cardholders to see the rewards stack up: After completing the minimum spend requirement to earn the welcome bonus, you will have amassed 21,000 points (15,000 points from the bonus and 6,000 points for the required spend).

If you want to maximize the rewards you earn, considering pairing this card with another Amex card like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. The card comes a high annual fee of $595 (see rates and fees), but you will receive a myriad of benefits, including a $200 Dell.com statement credit, airport lounge access, $200 airline fee credit, CLEAR security credit, complimentary hotel loyalty program status and more. Plus, small business owners who travel frequently will appreciate earning 5X points for every dollar spent on travel booked on Amextravel.com.

How to redeem rewards

American Express Membership Rewards can be redeemed in a number of different ways, including:

  • Cover your charges: You can apply your points directly to pay for charges on your billing statement
  • Pay with points at checkout: With partners such as Amazon and Walmart, you can pay for purchases using points
  • Gift cards: You can purchase gift cards to major retailers and restaurants
  • Book or upgrade travel: You can book travel through the Amex Travel portal using points
  • Shopping for merchandise: Amex has its own internal digital mall where you can shop for various items using points
  • Travel partners: Transfer your points to one of 19 airline partners and three hotel partners

Your points value varies depending on how you redeem them. The best value for your points is to transfer them to airlines and hotel partners. While the American Express points value calculator estimates you can get about 1 cent per point, there’s potential to maximize your points value (up to 2 cents per point) by transferring to airline partners and redeeming your rewards for first or business class tickets.

You can transfer any American Express Membership Rewards points you earn with your Blue Business Plus Credit Card to the following partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Aeroplan/Air Canada
  • AirFrance/KLM
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • El Al
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Hilton Honors
  • Choice Privileges

Keep in mind if you don’t typically fly with one of these airlines, you can always utilize their loyalty programs and book with one of their travel partners. For example, if you prefer to fly American Airlines, which is not an Amex travel partner, you can transfer your Amex points to British Airways and book a flight using Avios.

Benefits and perks

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card offers great features to assist small business owners. The card comes with:

  • Expanded buying power: Small business owners have the ability to spend above their credit limit. Eligibility is based on several factors, including payment history, credit history and a few other factors determined by American Express.
  • Extended warranty: Manufacturers warranties on eligible purchases are extended up to one additional year
  • Purchase protection: Purchases are covered up to 90 days from the covered purchase date if the product is stolen or accidentally damaged. The coverage is limited up to $1,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year.
  • Up to 99 authorized employee cards at no additional cost
  • Rental car insurance
  • Ability to link with Quickbooks for simplified accounting
  • Additional small business related benefits, including year-end summary of spending, vendor pay through Bill.com and access to the American Express Business app

Rates and fees

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card stands out because it has no annual fee.

New cardholders can take advantage of a 0% introductory APR for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that your APR will be a variable rate, 13.24% – 19.24%.

If you travel overseas regularly, the Blue Business Plus Credit Card may not be the best card. You will be charged 2.7% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside the U.S.

There are late payment fees (up to $39) and balance transfer fees (if eligible, either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater).

See rates and fees for the Blue Business Plus card.

Card comparison

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card has several competitors in the business credit card space. If you’re a small business owner, there are a plethora of cards to choose from. Whether your goal is earning cash back or travel rewards, it’s important to choose a card that serves your business’ needs.

Here are a few similar cards to the Blue Business Plus to see how they compare.

Amex Blue Business Plus vs. Amex Blue Business Cash Card

The Blue Business Plus and Blue Business Cash cards are nearly identical, except for their rewards program.

The Blue Business Cash Card offers cash back, rather than travel rewards. You can earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back after that.

In addition, the Blue Business Cash has an enticing welcome offer: You can earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases on your card in the first three months from account opening.

Overall, when you maximize how you redeem your points, the Amex Blue Business Plus is slightly more valuable. However, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use card, the Blue Business Cash has good rewards rate and the cash back you earn can be reinvested into your business.

Amex Blue Business Plus vs. Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited® credit card has a very generous welcome bonus: New cardholders can earn $750 bonus cash back after they spend $7,500 in the first three months of card membership. The Ink Business Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

While you can earn a better rewards rate with the Blue Business Plus, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited has a better welcome bonus. It’s worth doing to the math to see which one will help earn you more rewards. Let’s say you spend $50,000 in the first year of card membership. Including the current welcome offers, you will earn the following rewards:

Amex Blue Business Plus: 115,000 Membership Rewards points

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card: $1,500 in cash back

The overall value tilt goes to the Amex Blue Business Plus depending on how you redeem your rewards. However, if you don’t want to hassle with points values, there is nothing wrong with choosing a cash-back card.

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited has similar benefits to the Blue Business Plus, including rental car insurance and free employee cards. So while both of these cards deliver great value, the Chase Ink wins the welcome offer battle, while the Amex Blue Business Plus may deliver better value over the long run.

Bottom line

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card is an excellent addition to a small business owner’s wallet if they can maximize how the spend their Membership Rewards points. These rewards can help reduce travel costs when the small business owner books travel with points.

FAQs

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.