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Double cash back with no annual fee: Review of the American Express Blue Business Cash Card

Nov. 12, 2022
11 min read
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American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card overview

The American Express Blue Business CashCard makes it easy for business owners to track expenses and earn 2% cash back on up to $50,000 in eligible purchases every calendar year.

Once you pass that threshold, you’ll earn 1% cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement on all eligible purchases. Cash back is credited to your statement automatically. Best of all, enjoy this earning power with no annual fee (see rates and fees). The American Express Blue Business Cash Card also offers a handful of travel and shopping benefits, plus cards for up to 99 authorized users at no additional cost (see rates and fees). Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Whether you’re a small-business owner or CFO of a major corporation, having a separate business card makes sense to help track expenses – whether it’s your own or those of employees. If you’re going to carry a business credit card, you may as well earn rewards that you can use down the road.

With no annual fee, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is great for small-business owners on a budget. The simple rewards system, with no rotating categories to track, makes it a great card for everyday business use.

Let’s look at the other benefits the American Express Blue Business Cash Card provides for business owners looking for a simple, straightforward cash-back rewards card.

Who is this card for?

THE POINTS GUY

American Express is a trusted name in credit cards and the brand has a certain prestige, making it a go-to for many business owners.

If you’re looking for your first business credit card and don’t travel a lot for business, you’ll like the simple rewards structure of the American Express Blue Business Cash Card, with its $0 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Welcome bonus: $250 cash-back rewards

The American Express Blue Business Cash Card traditionally doesn’t come with a welcome bonus — unsurprising for a no-annual-fee card. However, Amex has an elevated offer for this card: $250 cash back via statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. This is an easy way for business owners to add some cash to their wallet at a doable spending threshold.

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There’s also an added opportunity of a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases for the first 12 months from the date of account opening (see rates and fees), then 16.99%-24.99% variable applies (see rates and fees). This introductory offer can help you finance any large purchases you may have upon account opening.

Related: Cards currently offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more

Main benefits and perks

If you’re familiar with the following American Express cards – the American Express® Green Card, the American Express® Gold Card, and The Platinum Card® from American Express, as well as their business versions – you know those cards have no preset spending limit because they are not conventional credit cards, so the amount you can spend adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment and credit history.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

However, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a conventional credit card with a unique perk that makes it similar to the better-known Amex charge cards. The Expanded Buying Power feature on the card allows you to exceed your spending limit with no over-limit fees or penalties. You can even earn cash-back rewards on purchases that exceed your credit limit. You just have to pay your minimum payment, which would include any purchases charged over your limit. Since TPG always recommends paying your balance in full to avoid interest charges, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Another caveat: Exceeding your credit limit could reduce your credit score, since your credit utilization ratio factors heavily into your credit score.

Related: Choosing the best American Express card for you

The Expanded Buying Power feature is especially helpful if you have additional cardmembers on your account. If two employees make a large purchase at the same time that brings the card over its limit, they can avoid the embarrassment of having the card declined and you’ll avoid those pesky over-the-limit fees.

Other benefits to the American Express Blue Business Cash Card include secondary car rental loss and damage insurance when you rent a vehicle with your card,* up to one year extended warranty protection on purchases (for manufacturer warranties of five years or less)** and 90 days of purchase protection against theft or damage.**

The card also delivers concierge-level service through the Global Assist feature when you travel more than 100 miles from home.^ Global Assist includes 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services for medical, legal, or passport referrals. Amex can also help with missing luggage and emergency cash wires. Cardmembers must pay the charges for third-party services.

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

**Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

^Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Cardmembers are
responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

How to earn rewards

To earn points, simply use your American Express Blue Business Cash Card to make in-store or online purchases or to pay bills. It’s that easy. You’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in purchases you make each calendar year, and 1% after that.

How to redeem rewards

Your cash back appears as a monthly statement credit. That way, you’re effectively reducing your business' operating expenses thanks to cash-back rewards appearing on your account.

@NINA_P_V VIA TWENTY20

Which cards compete with the American Express Blue Business Cash Card?

The Ink Business Cash Credit Card from Chase also has no annual fee and offers heftier rewards in certain categories – notably, 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office-supply stores and on internet, phone and cable service each account anniversary year.

But if you don’t spend a lot in these areas, or you’re a new business owner who isn’t sure where you’ll be spending money yet, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card offers simple yet solid rewards.

Related: Ink Business Cash credit card review

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

If you’d prefer to earn travel rewards instead of cash back, take a look at The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Like its counterpart, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases in a calendar year; then 1 point per dollar on other purchases. The points are valued at an average of 2 cents each, based on TPG’s valuations, making them double the value of cash.

By redeeming points strategically through American Express transfer partners, you can maximize their value up to 7 or 8 cents or more. This card also has no annual fee (see rates and fees) and offers 15,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership — worth slightly more at $300 (based on TPG’s valuations).

Related: Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express review

ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY

Big spenders might prefer a more robust card like the American Express® Business Gold Card, which offers a welcome bonus of 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership.

The Business Gold card carries a hefty annual fee of $295 a year (see rates and fees), but bigger business owners will like the 4 points per dollar on business-friendly categories where the business spends the most in two select categories each billing cycle, up to the first $150,000 spent in those categories per calendar year (then 1 point per dollar). Finally, consider the American Express Business Gold’s generous welcome bonus that gives you a jump start on your rewards.

Related: American Express Business Gold Card review

Little-known facts about The American Express Blue Business Cash Card

As credit cards go, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card isn’t very complex. But there are a few things you may not know about the card.

Add up to 99 employees free of charge

While some business credit cards charge a fee for adding authorized users, the Amex Blue Cash does not (see rates and fees). You can add up to 99 users.

Use the card to track business spending

Not only does Amex allow you up to 99 authorized users at no charge, but you can set up spending limits and track their purchases through alerts via the American Express Business app. You can also use the app to compile receipts and even add notes to purchases. Set spending limits and purchase alerts on employee cards to protect your business and stay aware of who’s buying what.

American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a relatively new addition to the Amex line

Released in mid-2019, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is designed to help small-business owners manage and track their spending while earning cash back. Noticing that 65% of cardholders reported using their personal cards for business spending, Amex sought to give small-business owners a solid business card option without a hefty annual fee.

The Blue Business Plus card, released at the same time, ranks as one of the best business credit cards for small businesses. Blue Plus might offer more valuable rewards, but for many small business owners, nothing beats getting cash back each month.

Bottom line

No doubt, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card is lacking in a number of areas.

The 2% cash-back rewards are moderate, at best, and can’t compete with Chase Ink Business Cash or the Amex Business Gold card. But the 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months from the date of account opening, 16.99%-24.99% variable thereafter, and lack of an annual fee may entice small-business owners looking for an easy way to manage business expenses and finance large purchases.

For business owners just learning how to leverage rewards and manage a small business at the same time, however, the American Express Blue Business Cash Card could be a solid starter card.

Application link: American Express Blue Business Cash Card with a $250 cash-back welcome offer.

For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Cash, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Plus, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, click here.

Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Stella Shon.

Featured image by HERO IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more