Maximizing the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card’s 3x Bonus Categories

Mar 18, 2016

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While personal rewards cards are known to provide fantastic value, several small business options are worth a look, too. Today, TPG Points and Miles Editor Sarah Silbert digs into the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card, showing you how to earn hundreds of thousands of bonus points on everyday business transactions.

If you regularly charge in any of these categories, you could be earning 3x points on the first $100,000 you spend (in each category) every year:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • US purchases for advertising in select media
  • US purchases at gas stations
  • US purchases for shipping
  • US computer hardware, software and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

The card that gets you this return on your spending? The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. And considering that TPG values American Express Membership Rewards points at 1.9 cents apiece, you have the opportunity to earn a 5.7% return on your spending with the 3x bonus category of your choice.

Read on for a rundown of this product’s benefits, and information on how to maximize the bonus categories.

How It Works

Earn up to 3 points per dollar on airfare with the Business Gold Rewards Card.
Earn up to 3 points per dollar on airfare with the Business Gold Rewards Card.

First of all, note that the Business Gold Rewards Card doesn’t offer you 3x points on all of the above purchases — you choose one of the categories to earn 3 points per dollar on, and you’ll earn 2 points per dollar for the other four. And you’ll want to choose carefully; once you select a 3x bonus category, you’re locked in for a calendar year.

The other caveat is that there’s a cap on how many bonus points you can earn. The 3x and 2x category bonuses only apply on the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the five categories per year, and you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on any spending beyond that limit. Still, that $100,000 isn’t in combined spending, so you have the opportunity to earn bonus points on $500,000 in purchases each year, potentially netting you hundreds of thousands of bonus points — definitely not too shabby, or too limited!

Finally, note that the Business Gold Rewards Card is a charge card rather than a credit card. This means it has no preset spending limits like a credit card does, making it ideal for large business-related purchases. Still, you’ll need to pay your balance in full each month or you’ll be hit with significant late fees and risk having your line of credit suspended.

Maximizing the Bonus Categories

When it comes to making the decision of which category to earn 3 points per dollar on, consider the other cards in your wallet. For example, if you have the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, you’ll earn an uncapped 3x points on airfare purchased directly with the airline, so you could use this card to book all flights and choose another category for 3x on the Business Gold Rewards Card.

Also consider which bonus categories aren’t offered by other business credit cards. When it comes to advertising, for instance, the Business Gold Rewards Card is probably your best option (unless you’d prefer 3% cash back with the SimplyCash Business Credit Card from American Express) — which is why TPG selects this category for the 3x bonus.

As for the Membership Rewards points you earn, they can be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel partners for award redemptions, including Delta, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines and Starwood. Most transfer rates are 1:1, though there are some exceptions, like British Airways.

In addition to offering generous bonuses on a variety of spending categories, the Business Gold Rewards Card features access to the Amex OPEN Savings program (which includes discounts with FedEx, Hertz and others) plus purchase protection, extended warranty coverage and more.

Currently, the Business Gold Rewards Card is offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of cardmembership. Based on TPG’s latest valuations, that’s worth $950. The card has an annual fee of $175 that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a charge card for business purchases — especially in one of the five bonus categories — the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express is a great option. Just make sure you choose your 3x category wisely, since you can only change your pick once each calendar year.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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