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In many ways, the new American Express® Business Gold Card felt long overdue, especially after the personal American Express® Gold Card got its own makeover a few weeks earlier. In addition to raising the annual fee on the Business Gold Card to $295 a year, Amex retooled the bonus categories. You’ll now earn 4x Membership Rewards points (equivalent to an 8% return based on TPG’s latest valuations) on your top two spending categories each month from the following list:
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media
- US purchases for shipping
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases at restaurants
- US purchases made from select technology providers
While this decision by Amex to automatically reward you where you spend the most on a month-by-month basis is great for businesses, for most of us, the decision to apply for a new credit card is also wrapped up in the value of the welcome bonus. Amex decided to forego the traditional points based welcome bonus, and instead offer new applicants a free year subscription to ZipRecruiter standard and G Suite basic for up to three users (up to a $3,188 value).
This makes the mental math with this card more complicated than normal. But don’t be fooled; the Amex Business Gold Card can be a great value for the right types of businesses. If you’re still on the fence, here are 6 lesser-known benefits that might make this card right for you.
1. 25% Pay With Points Bonus
Following the Business Centurion and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, the Amex Business Gold is the third card in the Amex business card portfolio to offer a rebate when redeeming your points for the cost of airfare through the Amex travel portal.
While you need to have the full amount of points in your account at the time of booking, the 25% rebate (which will be credited to your account within 6-10 weeks) gives you a minimum redemption value of 1.33 cents per point. This is still below TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, but this can still be a great deal in the right circumstances. If you find a cheap cash fare, it might cost fewer miles to pay with points than to transfer to a travel partner to book. You’ll also earn both elite and redeemable miles on these bookings which can help lock in your elite status and bump up your return. This rebate is capped at 250,000 points a year, and is valid on all first and business-class tickets, as well as economy tickets with your selected airline.
2. Pay Over Time
As a charge card, the Amex Business Gold doesn’t come with a preset spending limit, which can be a valuable benefit to high-spending businesses. Amex will also be automatically enrolling all Business Gold card holders in its pay over time program, which gives you the option to carry a balance and structure payments on charges over $100. The interest rates are painfully high, though, varying from about 15-25% depending on your credit history. While this likely won’t be your first choice for managing your cash flow, it’s a nice option to have if you need it in a pinch.
3. Account Management Tools
Keeping with the theme of primarily rewarding larger businesses, the Amex Business Gold card offers a comprehensive suite of account management tools. For a flat fee of $50 a year (waived the first year) you can add up to 99 employee cards. You can also designate an employee as your account manager, allowing you to delegate the tasks of making payments, adding employee cards and tracking expenses to someone you deem trustworthy. You can also use the Amex receipt match feature, which lets you upload receipts from mobile or desktop, tag and annotate transactions and even sync with QuickBooks to keep all your accounting streamlined.
4. The Amex Hotel Collection
A carryover from the old Business Gold Rewards card, Business Gold card holders will still enjoy benefits on select travel bookings. In addition to earning 2x Membership Rewards points on bookings made through Amex Travel, you’ll enjoy a $75 property credit on stays of two nights or more when booking through the Amex Hotel Collection.
Like all Amex cards, you’ll also have access to Amex Offers, which can help you save money or earn bonus points on purchases you were already planning to make. Many of these offers are targeted to specific card holders, and while this is purely anecdotal, Amex sometimes appears to target Gold and Platinum card holders with the best offers.
5. Travel, Car Rental & Baggage Insurance
While these are not the most generous policies on the market, the Amex Business Gold offers a number of travel insurance policies in the event that things go wrong while you’re on the road. The first and most gruesome is travel accident insurance. In the event that an accident results in your death, your beneficiaries may be entitled to compensation if you paid for your entire fare with the Business Gold Card. Note that this excludes award tickets, even if you pay for the taxes with your Business Gold Card.
If you use your Business Gold Card to pay for the entire cost of a rental car, you’ll be entitled to secondary coverage beyond and in addition to your own personal policy in the event of theft or damage. There are a number of restrictions to be aware of, such as excluded countries (Australia, Italy and New Zealand for example), excluded vehicle types (off-road vehicles, limos, antiques) and the fact that you must decline the rental companies collision damage waiver to be eligible.
You’ll also be eligible for reimbursement if your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged, again, if you pay for the entire cost of the ticket with your Business Gold Card. Coverage limits are $1,250 for carryon baggage and $500 for checked baggage, and New York state residents are limited to $10,000 for all covered persons per covered trip.
6. Extended Warranty, Purchase & Return Protection
There’s something exciting and nerve-wracking about the first days after you buy a new phone, laptop or camera. If you use your Business Gold card for eligible purchases, you can enjoy up to 120 days of purchase protection for theft or accidental damage. You can also rest easy with extended warranty benefits. On eligible purchases with warranties of five years or less, you can get up to two extra years added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. And if you try and return an eligible item within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t accept your return, Amex may refund the full purchase price (excluding shipping and handling) up to $300 per item, and a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year.
The Amex Business Gold Card clearly targets high-spending businesses looking for a simple, rewarding strategy that doesn’t involve managing multiple cards or carefully studying and maximizing benefits. If this is going to be your primary card, these lesser-known perks can add a ton of value and simplicity to your life. From tools to help your business track expenses to insurance policies in the event that your trip goes wrong, there’s more to the Amex Business Gold Card than meets the eye.
- More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month †
- †4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
- Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
- Exclusive Offers: Get up to 1 year free on subscriptions to both G Suite Basic for up to 3 users and ZipRecruiter Standard, a combined value up to $3,188.*
- Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
- Expense Management Tools: Connect to Quickbooks, access SpendManager℠, receive a Year-End Summary, and more.*
- Add Employee Cards with a no annual fee option. Earn rewards on employee purchases and track employee expenses with spending limits, alerts, and summary reports.*
- *Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees