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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 2/2/17: This offer has now been extended until February 22, 2017.
Update 10/27/16: This post has been adjusted to clarify how the 30% points bonus works. If you spent $50,000 in the first year, you’d earn an additional 15,000 points; the bonus is based on spend rather than on the total number of points earned over the year.
The Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express is currently offering new cardholders the opportunity to earn a ton of bonus Membership Rewards points. Now until February 22, 2017, you can earn 10x points at US restaurants for the first six months (on up to $2,000 in purchases), plus 2x points on all qualifying purchases on the first $50,000 in the first year. Additionally, you’ll get 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months.
In addition to those perks, you can still earn the sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you make your first purchase on the card in the first three months, and you’ll still get an annual 30% points bonus based on the past year’s purchases on your Blue for Business Card.
Is It Worth It?
If you were to max out the 10x bonus on up to $2,000 at US restaurants, you’d earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points — worth $380 based on TPG’s latest valuations. But since you’d normally earn 1 point per dollar, we’ll subtract 2,000 points and $38 of value. Add in the value of the 10,000 points you’ll get just from making a purchase with the Blue for Business Card in the first three months from account opening, and you’re looking at $532 in value. That’s not bad at all for a card with no annual fee — and things get even more rewarding when you factor in the 2x points you’ll earn on the first $50,000 spent in eligible purchases in the first year. If you maxed out that category, you’d take home an additional 50,000 points (over the base 1x earnings) and bump up your bonus earnings to 78,000 points, worth an impressive $1,482. Factor in the 30% points bonus (more on that later) and you’re at 93,000 bonus points, worth $1,767.
This offer is especially compelling when you compare it to the standard earning rates of the Blue for Business Card. Usually, cardholders get just 1 point per dollar on all purchases, with 2 points per dollar offered for eligible purchases made through the Amex Travel website. So you’ll be earning 100% more points on non-bonus spending for the first $50,000 in your first account year, in addition to earning 10x on up to $2,000 spent at US restaurants, where you’d otherwise earn just 1x points with this card.
If you need some time to pay down debt, the 0% APR for the first 12 months could also come in handy. Usually, the Blue for Business Card offers 0% APR for the first 9 months, so this gives you a little extra time to pay things off without incurring interest.
Clearly, now is an ideal time to sign up for the Blue for Business Card, since you can earn significantly more rewards than you would with the standard offer. However, is this card an ideal pick for you? As always, it depends on your award-travel priorities and spending habits. This card technically earns points in the Membership Rewards program, although these points can only be transferred to Amex’s 20 airline and hotel transfer partners if you have another MR-earning Amex card.
Once the 10x offer for spending at US restaurants expires, you’ll earn a maximum of 2x points (a 3.8% return) on purchases in the first year, which is definitely solid for a no-fee card. (That’s assuming you got in on the current offer — otherwise you’d be looking at a 1.9% return for all non-Amex Travel purchases.) 3.8% is better than the 3.15% return you’ll get on all purchases with the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, and that’s not even factoring in the 30% points bonus you’ll get each year with Blue for Business.
If you sign up for this card before February 22, 2017 and spend $50,000 on it in the first year, you’ll earn 110,000 points, including the first-purchase bonus (assuming none of your purchases counted toward the 10x restaurant bonus). Thanks to the 30% points bonus, you’ll get an extra 15,000 points — worth $285 — posted to your account within 30 days of your cardholder anniversary.
Thanks to this limited-time sign-up offer, the Blue for Business Card is worth a closer look. The ability to earn 10x points at US restaurants on the first $2,000 spent in the first six months, plus 2x on the first $50,000 in purchases in your first year, makes it a compelling option, especially for a no-fee card. Around the same time last year, Amex came out with an elevated sign-up bonus of 20,000 points for this card — but this year’s offer is significantly more lucrative. If you’re looking to earn a bunch of extra Membership Rewards points, you might want to consider signing up.
Will you be taking advantage of this sign-up offer?
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.