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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

There are many tempting features of the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. For one, you receive a welcome bonus of 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of cardmembership. TPG currently values those points at $950, and they transfer to three hotel programs and 16 airlines as well as other redemption options. While the annual fee is $175, the card is free for the first year.

On top of that, as a business owner, you have five compelling reasons to get the Business Gold Rewards Card.

In This Post

1. Separating Business and Personal Expenses

Any accountant or CPA will tell you: The IRS prefers a firm line between business and personal expenses. A business credit card is the easiest way to do this. All your business expenses can be charged to the card, making it simpler to track them during the year and tally them at tax time. The more employees you have, the more important it becomes to keep a unique record of your transactions.

The Business Gold Rewards Card is an invaluable record-keeping tool. You can provide cards for your employees ($50 for the first one, waived the first year, and then free for all other employee cards), set spending limits and monitor their charges. Those transactions give you an accurate snapshot of the work they’re doing on your behalf, and allow you to analyze how much business is generated by different types of expenditures. By keeping your business charges separate from your personal expenses, you’re well on your way to a more profitable company and a hassle-free tax season.

2. Customizable Points-Earning

Earn 3x points on a category of your choice — with options including airfare.

Most credit cards dictate how points are earned, giving the cardholder little or no flexibility. With the Business Gold Rewards Card, you have control over how you earn your American Express Membership Rewards points. You’re able to decide which categories are most valuable, depending on where and how your business spends money. Here are the categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • US gas station purchases
  • US shipping purchases
  • US advertising purchases in select media
  • Purchases of computer hardware, software or cloud computing services from select US providers

You earn triple points on the category of your choice, and the other four categories yield 2 points per dollar spent; everything else earns at the rate of 1 point per dollar. Each category is capped at $100,000 in spending per calendar year, for a maximum total of $500,000 in purchases each year on which you can earn bonus points. You’ll also receive 1 additional point per dollar spent at the American Express Travel portal on prepaid purchases of airfare, hotels, cruises and vacation packages. Some of these categories (such as online advertising or computer equipment) are areas that are frequently overlooked by other business cards. When you determine the worth of each category at the beginning of the calendar year, the earning rates will apply to all employees who are authorized to make charges on the card.

3. Hotel Benefits and Travel Protections

When you and your employees travel on business, two things are important: the ease of making the travel arrangements, and the ability to function smoothly and get the job done when you hit the inevitable rough spots. The Business Gold Rewards Card will help in both areas.

If you make your plans at American Express Travel, you’ll have access to the American Express Hotel Collection. When paying with the card, you’ll receive room upgrades (when available) and a statement credit up to $75. On international trips, there are no foreign transaction fees for charges incurred outside the US. Remember that your American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to three hotel programs and 16 airlines, including international chains and carriers with global service.

If you do hit a snag while traveling, you can take advantage of the card’s baggage insurance of up to $500 per checked bag and $1,250 per carry-on. There’s also travel accident insurance, paying up to $100,000 for accidental death or dismemberment when traveling on a common carrier. In addition, you can take advantage of the Global Assist Hotline, which gives travelers access to medical, legal and financial services when traveling more than 100 miles from home, and Premium Roadside Assistance, providing services such as towing jump-starts and fixing a flat tire up to four times each year. You’ll also receive Car Rental Damage and Loss Insurance. When you pay for the entire rental with the card and refuse collision damage waiver at the counter, you’ll have secondary coverage for the first 30 days (eligible benefits not covered by any primary insurance you carry). You’re covered for damage to your rental car but not for injuries to yourself, other passengers or persons, or damage to other vehicles or property. Vans, limousines, off-road vehicles and antique cars are excluded, as are rentals in Italy, New Zealand and Australia.

4. American Express OPEN Benefits

Being a Business Gold Rewards cardholder connects you to the benefits of the American Express OPEN network. The OPEN Savings program gives you either 2 additional points per dollar or a 5% discount (rebated as a statement credit) when shopping with participating merchants such as Hertz, FedEx, Hewlett-Packard, Barnes & Noble and 1-800-FLOWERS. Example: On a $2,000 purchase, you’ll receive an extra 4,000 points or a credit of $100.

You’ll also have access to special events such as the annual “Retail’s Big Show,” hosted by the National Retail Association and sponsored by American Express, and the annual Small Business Saturday.

The OPEN network gives business owners more control over spending. You can appoint a trusted employee to be the Account Manager on your card, and the Account Manager will be able to make payments, review statements and dispute charges. You’ll also be able to monitor card use, identify irregular spending patterns and avoid late payments. All of this can be handled on mobile phone and tablet apps as well as online. For seamless record keeping, take advantage of Receipt Match, a mobile app that enables you to add receipts to your phone or tablet, and Connect to QuickBooks, which allows you to easily track your card transactions by sending them automatically to Quicken.

5. Purchase Protection

When you own a business, you make a lot of purchases: office equipment and supplies, mobile phones and tablets, computers and software. If none of these items break or become defective, you’re very lucky. If they do, there are times when the vendor won’t willingly exchange the item or provide a refund.

In that situation, call on American Express purchase protection. As a Business Gold Rewards cardholder, you can get the purchase price refunded by American Express up to $1,000 per occurrence (not to exceed $50,000 per account in a calendar year). Shipping and handling aren’t included (unless American Express asks you to ship the item to them), nor is coverage for perishable items, motor vehicles or their parts and accessories, and normal wear and tear. You have up to 90 days after purchase to file a claim.

Purchase protection extends to accidental damage or theft, although exclusions apply: if the damage or theft happens while the item is under the control of a third party; if the theft occurs when the item is not carried by hand, and under your supervision or the care of a traveling companion; if the item is not being reasonably safeguarded, or if the damage occurs as a result of alteration.

Bottom Line

As a business owner, you have five compelling reasons to get the Business Gold Rewards Card: the ability to separate business and personal expenses; flexible points earning; hassle-free travel; purchase protection and the benefits of the American Express OPEN network.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.