5 Lesser-Known Perks of the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
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The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is one of the best tools available for maximizing your business spending. The welcome bonus is enticing: 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of cardmembership. Those points are worth at least $500 when booking airfare on the American Express website, and they’re worth $950 based on TPG’s valuations. You can transfer points to three hotel programs and 16 airlines in addition to other redemption options. Best of all, your first year of cardmembership is free — the annual fee is $175 thereafter. This gives you a unique opportunity to earn points and experience all the other benefits of the card at no cost.
However, there are other unique benefits that are frequently overlooked, and they help make the Business Gold Rewards Card an indispensable tool for your small business.
1. Points-Earning Flexibility
One of the best things about the Business Gold Rewards Card is that it allows you to earn the greatest number of points in the areas where your business spends the most. You earn 3x Membership Rewards points in one category of your choice:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- US gas station purchases
- US shipping purchases
- US advertising purchases in select media
- Purchases of computer hardware, software and cloud computing services from select US providers
You earn double points on the four remaining categories, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. These earning rates apply to the first $100,000 per category in each calendar year, for a potential total of $500,000 in purchases each year eligible for bonus points. This allows you to make the most of your spending in areas that are frequently overlooked by other business cards, such as online advertising. Make your selection at the beginning of the year, and it will apply to all employees who have access to the account. You’ll also receive one additional point per dollar spent at the American Express Travel portal on prepaid purchases of airfare, hotels, cruises and vacation packages.
2. American Express OPEN Perks
As a Business Gold Rewards cardholder, you have access to the benefits of the American Express OPEN network. It begins with the savings program: when doing business with participating OPEN merchants, you receive either an additional 2 points per dollar spent, or a 5% discount (given as a statement credit). On a purchase of $1,000, for example, that would mean an additional 2,000 points or a $50 credit. Network members include merchants such as FedEx (Office, Ground and Freight), Hewlett Packard, Hertz, Barnes & Noble and 1-800-Flowers.
The OPEN network also gives a business owner more control over his or her spending patterns. You can set up account alerts to monitor employee card use, identify irregular spending and avoid late payments. For your convenience, you may designate a trusted employee to be an Account Manager on your card. The Account Manager can make your life easier by making payments, reviewing statements and disputing charges when necessary. If you prefer, you can handle all those things on mobile phone and tablet apps as well as online. The entire process is geared toward making your life seamless and stress-free.
Other benefits include Receipt Match, a mobile app that allows you to add receipts and notations to your phone or tablet. You can also enroll in Connect to QuickBooks, which automatically ends your card transactions to Quicken so you can track them more easily.
As a cardholder, you can also take advantage of 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.
3. Purchase Protection
We’ve all been there: You buy an expensive electronic gadget, it breaks three days later, and the store won’t take it back or give you a refund. With the Business Gold Rewards Card, the purchase price can be refunded by American Express up to $1,000 per occurrence (not to exceed $50,000 per account in a calendar year). This protection can cover purchases of office furniture, equipment and other necessary items. 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 and their parts or accessories, and normal wear and tear.
You have up until 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 personal 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 (including but not limited to cutting, sawing or shaping).
4. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
When you use your card to pay for the entire rental and decline collision damage waiver at the counter, you’re covered if the vehicle is damaged or stolen. This benefit provides secondary coverage, which means it pays eligible benefits not covered by any primary insurance that you have. Protection applies to the first 30 days of a vehicle rental. Note that this benefits covers you for damage to the rental car but not for injuries to yourself, other passengers or persons or damage to other vehicles or property. Certain types of vehicles are excluded (such as vans, limousines, off-road vehicles and antique cars), as well as rentals in Australia, Italy and New Zealand.
5. Travel Benefits
The Business Gold Rewards Card is just as valuable on the road as it is at home. Some of its most useful perks include:
- No foreign transaction fees on charges incurred outside the US
- Baggage insurance up to $500 per checked bag and $1,250 per carry-on
- Access to the American Express Hotel Collection: When paying with the card, you receive a room upgrade (when available) and a statement credit up to $75
- Travel accident insurance, providing up to $100,000 for accidental death or dismemberment when traveling on a common carrier
- The Global Assist Hotline, which gives cardholders access to emergency medical, legal and financial services when traveling more than 100 miles from home
- Premium Roadside Assistance, providing road services such as towing jump-starts and fixing a flat tire at no additional cost up to four times each year
The Business Gold Rewards Card can be an indispensable tool for the small business owner. It provides great flexibility for earning points on purchases, and gives you access to all the benefits of the American Express OPEn network. In addition, it offers purchase Protection, car rental loss and damage insurance and a slew of travel benefits. Best of all, the card has no annual fee for the first year and is only $175 thereafter.
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