Guide to American Express Business Credit Cards
Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available.
American Express originally issued only “charge cards,” which required users to pay back their entire balance every month. This is my preferred method — in fact, my only method — of dealing with revolving credit with an interest rate. These days, American Express also offers typical credit cards, complete with annual fees, interest on carried-over balances, and rewards.
When it comes to “business” credit cards, you don’t have to own or operate a business to qualify.
Business Gold Rewards
While this card offers no introductory rates on purchases or balance transfers, the Business Gold Rewards Card is running a limited promotion in which new customers receive 25,000 points. These points can be redeemed for a free round-trip airline ticket.
This card is a charge card, not a credit card. This means, like American Express’s original cards, the balance must be paid in full each month. Hence there are no introductory interest rates — or any interest rates. If you are late on a payment, American Express may charge you up to $35 or 2.99% of the delinquent balance. That’s not an annual interest rates, that’s an immediate percentage of the overdue balance.
Platinum Business FreedomPass
The American Express Platinum Business FreedomPass Card is a credit card for those interested and active in travel. The points you earn by spending can be applied to travel expenses without seat restrictions or black-out dates. AmEx is now offering 5,000 points with your first purchase.
This card offers no annual fee and an introductory 0% APR on purchases for one full year.
Blue Cash for Business
With this card, you can earn up to 5% cash back on your purchases, but there are restrictions. In fact, earning that 5% might prove to be difficult to some. In order to earn 5% on your current purchase, your year-to-date spending must be between $7,500.01 and $15,000, and the 5% rebate only applies to purchases from American Express “OPEN Savings Participants.”
American Express will provide users of this card, as well as those of any card in the OPEN network, a wallet-sized card that lists certain vendors who provide additional discounts beyond the typical cash back. For example, you can save an additional 5% at FedEx, 5% at Ruby Tuesday, and 10% at Symantec, and these rebates are automatically credited to your account.
The card also offers a 6-month introductory 0% APR on purchases.
Starwood Preferred Guest Business
You may recognize Starwood’s hotel brands, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, and St. Regis. The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express which carries a $30 annual fee (waived for the first year) caters to frequent patrons of these establishments. With 10,000 bonus points with your first purchase, you can take advantage of three free nights in one of Starwood’s hotels. When you purchase stays at a Starwood hotel, you earn two points for each dollar, while other purchases earn one point per dollar.
The card also boasts a relatively high standard interest rate of 18.24%, with a 6-month introductory period during which the rate is 2.9%.
With my rewards credit card from Citi, I have to request a check to receive my cash back. The SimplyCash Business Card makes the process of redeeming rewards easier; cash back is automatically credited to your credit card statement each month. As far as those rewards go, you earn 5% cash back on gas, office supplies, and wireless services, and 1% back on “virtually all other purchases.”
The card also offers an introductory period of a full year in which no interest will be charged on all purchases. The regular rate is a “low” 8.25%.
Business Green Rewards
Like the Business Gold Rewards Card, the Business Green Rewards Card is a charge card, not a credit card. Balances are due in full each month, and if payments are late, they are subjected to what could be a hefty fee. There is no annual fee for the first year of card use, and you earn points with every purchase, including an extra $5,000 points for your first purchase.
Despite the name of the card, ownership has no environmental benefits. These days, when something is called “green,” it’s almost assumed that it has been designed with an eye towards respect of the environment, but in this case, it is simply a color chosen by American Express, not much different than blue or gold.
The cards above are likely the most interesting of the available products from American Express, but there are at least a few more rounding out the offerings.
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card: This card offers numerous bonuses that can be redeemed with Delta Airlines.
- JetBlue Business Credit Card: If you’re a frequent flier on JetBlue, the rewards offered for spending with this card will be useful.
- Platinum Business Credit Card: This is a standard card with a one-year introductory APR of 0% on purchases.
Applying for any one of these cards is a straightforward process. You don’t need to include a business name or tax ID number other than your Social Security number if you do not want. American Express is usually quick to let you know whether you are approved.