Amex Updates the Benefits on the Business Gold Card

Business Gold Card

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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 Business Gold card. That changed on Thursday. American Express has relaunched their Business Gold Card with an enticing new set of benefits which we will outline in this post.

Click Here to learn more about the new Amex Business Gold Card. 


Full Benefits of the Amex Business Gold Card

    • 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
      • Purchases for advertising in select media
      • Purchases at gas stations
      • Purchases for shipping
      • 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
    • Get up to 1 year free of G Suite Basic for 3 users and up to 1 year free of ZipRecruiter Standard in the form of statement credits for purchases on the card in your first 12 months of card membership (up to $3,188 of value).
    • 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 new Amex Business Gold Card. 


Our Analysis

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 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.


Welcome Bonus Analysis

The card isn’t offering a welcome bonus in the form of Membership Rewards points. Rather, the free year of G Suite Basic and/or ZipRecruiter Standard is supposed to be in place of that. This seems like a poor decision from Amex and something I hope gets fixed soon. Giving business owners the choice of Membership Rewards or free software might be a better option.

High Annual fee cards without a welcome bonus are a hard sell when it comes to the value proposition of the card. Barclays learned that the hard way when their Arrival Premier card went defunct 6 months after launching it earlier this year.


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.


Bottom Line

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, and offer a free year of G Suite Basic and/or ZipRecruiter, I would have rather seen an annual airline credit, a welcome bonus, or both instead of the free software to justify the fee increase. It will be interesting to see how Amex handles the welcome bonus on this card going forward.

Click Here to learn more about the new Amex Business Gold Card. 


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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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