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Maximize your earning with the Amex Business Gold

Oct. 29, 2021
9 min read
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Most credit cards with premium annual fees come with statement credits to help offset this cost year after year.

The American Express® Business Gold Card — a business card with a $295 annual fee (see rates and fees) — takes a different approach. In fact, the card offers no statement credits as part of its normal benefits package. Still, the Amex Business Gold comes with incredible earning potential (up to 4x on business-related purchases up to an annual cap amount), making it very possible for companies with thousands of dollars in annual expenses to find outstanding value from the card.

What may initially persuade you to apply, however, is the generous welcome offer on the card. You'll earn 70,000 points after you spend $10,000 or more on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership. With TPG valuing Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, this welcome offer is worth $1,400 toward travel, which can help you justify that $295 annual fee for the first year at the very least.

Once you open the card, you'll want to learn how to maximize your earning potential with the Amex Business Gold, so here are some of our best strategies for doing so.

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Overview of the Amex Business Gold benefits

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

For business owners who are more concerned with spending and earning than with superfluous statement credits that can take a lot of time and effort to use (we're looking at you, The Platinum Card® from American Express), the Amex Business Gold is a worthwhile option. Here are all of the benefits you'll get with the card:

  • Earning rate: Earn 4x Membership Rewards points on the two categories where your business spent the most each billing cycle, from airfare (purchased directly from airlines); U.S. purchases of online, TV and radio advertising; U.S. computer hardware, software and cloud systems from select technology providers; U.S. gas stations; U.S. restaurants; and U.S. shipping, on up to the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, then 1x. Additionally, earn 1x on other eligible purchases.
  • Pay with Points rebate: When you redeem your points for airfare via Amex Pay with Points for business- or first-class tickets on any airline, or any class on your selected qualifying airline through Amex Travel, you’ll get a 25% points rebate back to your account, up to 250,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • The Hotel Collection: When you book a reservation through The Hotel Collection for at least two consecutive nights, you’ll get elite-like perks such as an up-to-$100 hotel credit and a room upgrade (upon availability).
  • Travel protections: When booking travel with your card, you’ll receive complimentary baggage insurance, secondary rental car insurance, trip delay insurance and access to the Global Assist Hotline.
  • Purchase protections: When purchasing eligible items with your card, you'll receive complimentary purchase protection and extended warranty protection for a covered period.
  • No foreign transaction fees: When traveling internationally, you won't incur foreign transaction fees when you pay with this card (see rates and fees).

While the list of benefits is shorter than of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, the annual fee is much more reasonable for business owners (the Business Platinum Card's annual fee is $695 see rates and fees). And, there's arguably better rewards potential with business-centered bonus categories on the Amex Business Gold.

Related: No fuss with high earning potential: Full review of the Amex Business Gold Card

Strategies for maximizing the Amex Business Gold

All that said, here's a cheat sheet of when to use (and in the section below, when not to use) your new Amex Business Gold Card.

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Use your Amex Business Gold to pay for top business expenses

Strategically pick two categories where your business spends the most each year. (Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images)

While this seems like a no-brainer, the Amex Business Gold is the best for your top two business categories, as you'll earn 4x automatically on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then 1x). While you don't have to activate these bonus categories each year, it's absolutely worth strategizing which two categories you want to prioritize that make the most sense for your business.

Think about the two categories from the list above that will get you as close as possible to maximizing the $150,000 spending threshold per year. You're looking at a potential maximum of 600,000 Membership Rewards points earned, or a value of $12,000, based on TPG's valuations. Even if you're a smaller business or a freelancer who can't get near the $150,000 limit, know that it takes just $3,700 in spending to earn enough Membership Rewards points to make up for that $295 annual fee by our valuations.

Use your Amex Business Gold to redeem for flights

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Once you accrue a haul of points, you can do lots with your Membership Rewards balance. Our favorite way at TPG is to transfer your points to Amex's airline and hotel loyalty partners, which can get you that outsize value of 2 cents each (or greater).

Another way to get excellent value from your points is to redeem for flights with the Pay with Points rebate. You can get a 25% points rebate when booking business- or first-class airfare with any airline, or any class of ticket with your selected qualifying airline through Amex Travel (up to 250,000 points per calendar year).

For example, you can redeem 20,000 Membership Rewards points for a $200 economy flight with your selected airline through the Amex Travel portal. In reality, it'll effectively only cost you 15,000 points since you'll receive 25% of your points back (or 5,000 points). This makes business travel for you and your company more effortless than ever to book with points.

Use your Amex Business Gold for big-ticket purchases

(Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images)

Your business likely has to invest in big-ticket purchases from time to time that are necessary for your everyday functions. Although you'll only earn 1 point per dollar on non-bonus purchases, the purchase protection and extended warranty coverage this card offers are convincing reasons enough to still pay with your Amex Business Gold.

Purchase protection covers eligible items from damage or theft up to 90 days from the date of purchase and can reimburse you up to $1,000 per item (with up to a $50,000-per-year maximum). On the other hand, an extended warranty adds an additional year of coverage to an original manufacturer's warranty of five years or less, reimbursing you up to $10,000 per item and up to $50,000 per year on the card.

You never know when something may happen, and these benefits are essential to help protect your business against the potentially high costs of unforeseen issues.

When not to use the Amex Business Gold

Though the Amex Business Gold is helpful for the above scenarios, there are a few noteworthy exceptions.

Don't use your Amex Business Gold when traveling abroad

Although the Amex Business Gold waives foreign transaction fees, you won't get the 4x earning rate on most purchases. Besides airfare, the eligible top two categories for that 4x bonus earning only pertain to U.S. purchases, in which case any international purchases will only earn a measly 1 point per dollar.

Don't use your Amex Business Gold outside of the top two categories

Suppose you strategize and intentionally only use your Amex Business Gold on U.S. shipping and U.S. advertising purchases. In that case, you'll want to supplement your card strategy with other options that offer bonus points on all of the Amex Business Gold's other potential categories as well as on other non-bonus expenses that will only accrue 1 point per dollar.

You can still maximize your points

Fortunately, the Amex Business Gold pairs well with other cards in the Membership Rewards family. Case in point: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee (see rates and fees) and offers 2x on the first $50,000 spent in purchases each calendar year, then 1x. You can add another 100,000 Membership Rewards points to your rewards balance every year by maximizing this threshold.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The consumer version of the Amex Business Gold — the American Express® Gold Card — comes with a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) but has excellent returns that can pair well with the business card. Amex Gold cardholders can earn 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1x) and at restaurants. Then, by using the Business Gold for other purchases within its bonus categories, your overall 4x Amex earning potential can be expanded greatly.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Related: Best American Express credit cards of 2021

Bottom line

The Amex Business Gold tends to fly under the radar compared to its bigger brother, the Amex Business Platinum. Still, there are many reasons why a business should opt for the Business Gold instead, with the potential of earning 600,000 Membership Rewards points if maximizing the $150,000 spending cap. That's a terrific haul of points that will get you and your company to seek new destinations for a fraction of the usual cost.

Official application link: Amex Business Gold

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Plus, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold, click here.

Featured image by ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY
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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TPG featured card

TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
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 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points120,000 points
The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Good, 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

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
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

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.