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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express
Update: Although Amex refers to the points you’ll earn as Membership Rewards points, they can only be transferred to partners if you have another MR-earning Amex card.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the various Amex small business credit cards, and the last one on the list was the Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express. It just so happens that this card has just announced a new, increased sign-up bonus that allows you to earn up to 20,000 Membership Rewards points, giving you a great reason to apply for the card now! Applications must be received by 07/29/2016.
The card normally provides a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points after making your first purchase on the card within the first three months, and that’s still a part of this new offer. However, for a limited time, you can also earn at additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months. The total haul is thus worth $380 based on TPG’s most recent valuations.
However, the value of the card goes beyond just the sign-up bonus. For starters, the card carries no annual fee (and actually made my list of best business credit cards without an annual fee back in December). The card also offers you solid everyday earning of 1.9% on all purchases (again based on TPG’s valuations), but you can also earn double Membership Rewards points for all purchases made through the American Express Travel website. This brings your return up to 3.8%, which is quite high for a card without an annual fee.
In addition, the card also gives you an annual 30% points bonus based on your past year’s purchases with the card. This means that if you spend $20,000 in your cardmember year, you’d earn an additional 6,000 Membership Rewards points. This actually boosts your return on everyday purchases to 2.47%, which is astronomical for a fee-free card.
Unfortunately, the card does tack on a 2.7% foreign transaction fee to all purchases made outside the US, so if you frequently travel outside the country, this may not be the best option for those trips. However, you can take advantage of the OPEN Savings program and gain access to discounts at several merchants. Though Hyatt will no longer be a partner in 2016, there are still several ways to maximize these discounts.
Applying for a Business Card
Even though the Blue for Business Amex is marketed as a business credit card, you don’t need to have a formal business with an EIN number in order to apply for it. For those of you who have small businesses, instead of applying with a Tax Identification Number, you can enter your social security number in the box and indicate that that you are a sole proprietor.
There are several key differences between personal and business credit cards, including different category bonuses and lucrative sign-up offers. Be sure to check out TPG’s top 10 reasons to get a business credit card for more details.
I love it when a credit card that normally flies under the radar comes out with an added incentive for new cardholders to apply, and doubling the sign-up bonus with a relatively reasonable minimum spend threshold (less than $1,000 a month) makes this a terrific option. If you’re looking for a card with an enhanced offer and no annual fee that also accrues valuable Membership Rewards points, the Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express could be a great option. Just be sure to apply soon to take advantage of this increased bonus!
Are any of you thinking about applying for this card?