American Express offers some of the best travel rewards credit cards on the planet, so it's no surprise that the bank also has some of the best cards for business owners. That's true if you're looking for a business card packed with travel perks … but it's also true if you want something simple without a big annual fee.
With the current welcome offer on the Blue Business Plus, you can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within the first three months.
On top of that, you can pile up points in a hurry by earning a generous 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar on your everyday business spending. And unlike other banks, American Express doesn't require you to have yet another card in order to unlock the full value of those points and send them to Amex transfer partners. This one can be a one-and-done solution for business owners.
Read on for a full review of all this card has to offer.
Related reading: The Best Business Credit Cards for Travelers
Blue Business Plus Card Overview
No need to worry about juggling cards to get the most points for each purchase.
*blue biz plus* offers a straightforward structure that lets you earn 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 a year. After the first $50,000 spent, you'll simply earn 1x Membership Rewards for every dollar spent.
It’s a great card for businesses that don't want to carry several cards in order to maximize their spending – or even for those that have a lot of spending in categories that wouldn’t otherwise earn a multiplier from other business cards.
- Welcome Offer: *Blue Biz Plus Bonus*
- Earn 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
- Earn 1x Membership Rewards points after the first $50,000 spent each year
- Buy above your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power. The amount you can spend above your credit limit adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record, and other factors.
- No annual fee (see rates & fees)
Learn more about *blue biz plus*.
Who is the Blue Business Plus Right for?
Since the American Express Blue Business Plus is a small business credit card, you'll need to have a business in order to apply.
Before you write this card off thinking you're ineligible, you might want to reconsider. You don't need a full-time business with huge revenue streams and big profits in order to qualify for business credit cards. In fact, many people will qualify and get approved even if their small business is just a part-time side hustle, a freelance job, a gig economy job, or even by selling goods on online marketplaces like Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and more.
When applying for business cards, your personal credit will be pulled in order to evaluate the application, but once you get the card it won't show up on your personal credit report – meaning balances won't count towards your overall credit utilization and it won't show up as a new account. That's especially useful if you're also applying for personal credit cards and don't want to add to your 5/24 count for Chase cards.
How to Earn Membership Rewards Points
Earning points with the Blue Business Plus couldn't be simpler.
Since the card earns 2x Membership Rewards points on purchases, up to $50,000 per calendar year, it's an easy card to keep in your wallet for everyday business use. There aren't any category bonuses to consider or hoops to jump through in order to earn your rewards. Simply use the card for your business expenses and watch your rewards pile up – it's as easy as that!
Thrifty Tip: Be sure to check your Amex Offers for targeted promotions to earn even more points, like this recent offer. With this promotion you're getting an extra 1,500 Membership Rewards every time you spend $6,000 (up to three times). Adding this offer to your Blue Business Plus would mean you're effectively earning 2.25x Membership Rewards on every $6,000 you spend during the offer period.
How to Use Membership Rewards Points
When it comes to using your Membership Rewards points, you’ve got a handful of options at your disposal. Since we’re a travel website, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Using them for travel will get you the best value by far.
And if you want the most bang for your buck, transferring points to one of Amex's many travel partners is almost always the best bet. Here's an example.
Let's say you need to be in New York City for a meeting and planned to fly Delta. You could book a cash fare through Amex Travel for your business trip and it would cost you $303 or just over 30,000 Membership Rewards points.
Another option would be to book the same Delta flights, but instead transfer your Membership Rewards to Delta and book your trip as an award ticket. Booking this way, it'd cost you 24,500 Membership Rewards points and $11.20 in taxes and fees instead of the 30,000 points required to book through Amex Travel.
That's just one example of how transferring points can result in a better deal – and it's far from the best. You can come out even further ahead when transferring points to redeem for international travel or first and business class cabins.
Related reading: 10 Amazing Ways to Redeem Amex Membership Rewards Points
It's also possible to redeem your points for charges on your recent statements or even gift cards … but many of those redemptions are really poor in value by comparison. For example: When using points to cover charges on your card, 10,000 points will only cover $60.
When it comes to gift cards, the value of your points will change depending on the gift card you are looking at. Target is a popular choice, as they sell just about anything you could ever want or need. If you decide to redeem your points this way, a $50 Target gift card would cost about 7,000 points – a slightly better deal than using your points to cover statement charges.
Regardless of what you choose, you've got options when it comes to redeeming your Membership Rewards points. That's what makes earning a transferable currency so valuable, whether you're paying with a personal card at a restaurant or charging business expenses.
Read more: A Complete Guide to Amex Membership Rewards
Small Business Tools
Small business owners have a lot to juggle and in many situations, time is quite literally money. The Blue Business Plus provides some tools and perks to small business owners that can save them both time and money.
- Employee Cards: Business owners can add up to 99 Employee Blue Business Plus Business Cards to their account for no additional fees. That means employees can get their own card for business purchases or supply runs, but all those charges go to the business owners' account.
- Expanded Buying Power: This feature gives business owners the ability to go over their credit limit without additional fees or penalties and helps them get business done when they need it most. The amount you can spend above your credit limit isn't unlimited – it adjusts with your use of the card, payment history, credit record, and other factors.
- Account Manager: You can designate an account manager, which allows trusted individuals – like an assistant or business partner – to access and manage your Blue Business Plus account on your behalf. With this feature, your Account Manager is able to get work done when you can't be there or free you up to take care of other priorities.
- Account Alerts: Setting up account alerts can help you monitor spending and check for any irregularities, as well as monitor spending on employee cards.
- Purchase Protection: When you make a covered purchase with your Blue Business Plus Card, American Express will cover that purchase for up to 90 days from the purchase date. If your purchase is stolen or damaged during that 90 day period, you're eligible for reimbursement up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. Some purchases are excluded from this protection, but it still offers some additional peace of mind as you're buying things for your business.
- Amex Offers: Amex regularly has offers on their cards, including the Blue Business Plus, that offer a statement credit or additional points when spending with a specific merchant. Keeping an eye on available offers and using them when they fit your business needs can be a great way to save some additional money on your business expenses.
While none of these features are particularly earth-shattering on their own, it's a nice suite of benefits for a card that carries no annual fee.
Which Cards Compete with the Blue Business Plus?
There's no doubt the Blue Business Plus is one of the best no-annual-fee business cards on the market, but it's got some competition.
The *ink unlimited* offers uncapped 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points earning with no annual fee.
For the first $50,000 of spend each year, you'd be better off earning 2x Membership Rewards with the Blue Business Plus, but anything beyond that would only earn you 1x points. The tipping point for the Ink Unlimited being the better option would be for businesses that spend more than $100,000 in a calendar year.
But the biggest difference between these cards is how you can use the points you're earning. With the Ink Unlimited, you'll only earn cash back unless you also have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards (like a *ink preferred* or a personal Chase Sapphire card). If you prefer earning cash back, this isn't an issue, of course.
Capital One also has a business card similar to the Blue Business Plus with its *spark miles select*. This card earns an unlimited 2x miles per dollar spent, everywhere, with no limits or category restrictions. The downside to the Spark Miles card is that there's an annual fee: While it's waived in the first year, after that you'll be on the hook for $95 every year.
*blue biz plus* isn't just one of the best no-annual-fee cards – it's one of the best small business cards, period.
The simple and lucrative rewards structure allows businesses to rack up 2x Membership Rewards on everyday expenses, giving it a place in any business owner's wallet.
Learn more about *blue biz plus*.