Last month, we saw American Express make huge improvements to the American Express Gold Card. The card was completely refreshed with new benefits and spending category bonuses which I think are worth the new $250 annual fee.
While they updated the personal version of the American Express Gold card, there were no changes announced for the American Express Business Gold Card. That changed on Thursday. American Express has relaunched its American Express Business Gold Card with an enticing new set of benefits which we will outline in this post.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Business Gold Card
Full Benefits of the American Express Business Gold Card
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership.
- The card now earns 4x points per dollar spent on two business categories up to $150,000 in spending each calendar year. Your 4x categories will change each billing cycle based on which categories you spend the most in:
- Airfare booked directly with airlines
- U.S. Purchases advertising in select media
- U.S. Purchases at gas stations
- U.S. Purchases for shipping
- U.S. Purchases for computer hardware, software & cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
- 25% points back after you book a flight with the pay with points feature (up to 250,000 back each year). This will function identically to the Business Platinum benefit which you can read more about here.
- Add employee cards with a no annual fee option
- Annual Fee is now $295 and is not waived for the first year. This is increased from the $175 annual fee on the old version which was also waived for the first year of card membership.
- Click Here to learn more about the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
It was only a matter of time before Amex refreshed the Business version of their Gold card. These new benefits give the Amex Business Gold card an identity as a solid card for those who spend a lot on select business categories. I value Membership Rewards points at somewhere around 1.7 cents each, so earning 4x points on two of the five business categories above is a 6.8% return on those categories.
One great thing about the update is that you don’t need to predetermine which categories will earn 4x points per dollar spent as you did with the old version. Every billing cycle, you’ll earn 4x points on the two categories in which you spent the most. This means if you spend the most on airfare and gas during one billing cycle and in the next one you spend the most on advertising and shipping, you’ll earn 4x points on all of those purchases.
There is no other small business card that can compete with that earning rate or flexibility of these categories. This makes it an immediate winner and a serious competitor of Chase’s Ink Bussiness Preferred Credit Card. The decision on which card to hold will likely come down to which flexible points currency you value higher, Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. Though, if your business spends enough, having both cards would be a solid decision because of the spending caps on both cards ($150,000).
It is worth noting that the Amex Business Gold Card will earn 4x Membership Rewards points in the US only, so any international purchases at gas stations, shipping & computer hardware, software & cloud computing purchases made directly from providers outside of the US will only earn 1x Membership Reward point per dollar spent.
Annual Fee Analysis
The annual fee on the updated Amex Business Gold Card will now be $295 and it will not be waived for the first year of card membership. This is substantially higher than the card’s biggest competitor, the Chase Ink Business Preferred which charges just $95 annually, and $120 more than the annual fee on the old version of the Business Gold card.
While I think the new earning rates can justify the fee increase, I think Amex missed the mark on the welcome bonus.
Existing Amex Business Gold Card Members
If you are an existing cardholder of the Business Gold Rewards card, you will not be automatically converted to the new Amex Business Gold card. You can call Amex to request this, but can also keep your existing card with the current earning, benefit and annual fee structure. We are not sure yet how long this option will be available.
It was only a matter of time before Amex refreshed the Business version of the Gold Card. However, I am not as impressed with the changes as I was with the personal version of the Gold Card. They increased the annual fee by $120 and completely removed the 50,000 point Membership Rewards welcome bonus.
While they did increase bonus categories to 4x Membership Rewards per dollar spent, add a 25% credit for the pay with points feature, I would have rather seen an annual airline credit, a welcome bonus, or both instead of the FedEx credit to justify the fee increase. It will be interesting to see how Amex handles the welcome bonus on this card going forward.