Why I Put Most of My Spend on the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
If you're reading this and are one of the millions of people on Facebook, there's a very good chance that you've seen a sponsored or "boosted" post of ours on the site. Even though we have nearly 1.4 million fans (and rapidly growing), publishers like TPG need to pay Facebook to get our content in front of the people who want to read it.
While Facebook advertising isn't cheap, it's a highly effective way for us to grow our readership and fanbase and get you the content most relevant to you. And for me, it's been the biggest boon of my points-earning career because Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all take credit cards! And not only that, there are credit cards with lucrative bonuses for online advertising spend, so my #1 source of points earning is from online advertising. If you advertise online, whether Google or Facebook, you should be maximizing your spend to get the most points possible — never pay by invoice or wire transfer!
While most people think Chase Sapphire Reserve is the #1 card I use, that may be true for personal spend, but a majority of my spend is for the business. Here are three main reasons why my Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express is racking up hundreds of thousands of additional points each year:
1. Power of Charge Card
Charge cards offer way more flexibility in spending. Unlike credit cards, charge cards don’t have preset spending limits; instead, your transactions are approved on a case-by-case basis, and you have to pay the bill in full each month. This is ideal for businesses that are spending large amounts every month on advertising, airfare and more.
2. Credit Benefit
Charging large purchases and carrying massive balances on a personal card can decrease your credit score. When you open a business card it sits on a line of credit that is separate from your personal credit line so utilization and other factors shouldn’t affect your personal credit score.
3. Lucrative Category Bonuses
The Amex Business Gold Card lets you choose one category to earn 3x Membership Rewards per dollar, and that bonus can really add up. You can choose from one of these five categories:
- 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.
Upon signing up for the card, you'll be able to select which category with which you want to earn 3x points, and the remaining four categories will earn you 2x per dollar and you'll earn 1x points on all other purchases. So because I selected advertising as my category, all Facebook, Google and Twitter ads count as purchases to earn that bonus. Even though you can only earn up to $100,000 in spend with the 3x bonus, that's 300,000 Membership Rewards points — worth $5,700 based on my most recent valuations.
If I were to only earn 1x points on those same advertising purchases, I'd have 100,000 points versus the 300,000 I'll get with Business Gold — a pretty stark difference. The difference in points earned makes this card a no-brainer, considering the annual fee is just $175, which is waived the first year.
Amex BGR comes with a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. Note that there are 75,000-point bonus offers out there, so if you're targeted you'll want to go with that option instead.
To add to the valuable points-earning categories with the card, I was approved for a second Business Gold card for my side business. While I won't get the 50,000 point welcome bonus on the second card, I'm excited to continue maximizing the 3x category spend bonus.
The Amex OPEN Savings program can be a valuable tool for small business owners, as it gives you access to discounts or bonus points for purchases made with select merchants. If you're enrolled in the program with Business Gold, you can get an additional 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent OR a 5% discount as a statement credit with eligible OPEN Savings partners.
Now that Amex has added a 5x bonus on airfare purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express, I'll be charging flights on that card so that's one category I won't max out with Business Gold. But if you were to max out all five categories, you could earn 1,100,000 Membership Rewards Points — worth $20,900 based on my most recent valuations — plus any points you'd earn with the 1x point bonus.
Based on what your business is spending, Business Gold is a no-brainer — especially with the 50,000-point bonus. The bonus categories and the OPEN Savings program, coupled with the superior customer service of Amex, make the benefits of the card far outweigh the small annual fee.
The Business Gold Card is a mainstay with me for my business expenses. Even though I may not carry it in my wallet everyday, it's used (including spend by the authorized cardholders on the account) for much of TPG's expenses. It's nice to have a Membership Rewards balance in the seven figures because there are so many ways to use Amex points.