Amex Business Gold Now Offering a 35k Welcome Bonus Worth $700
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Amex long had one of our favorite business credit cards on the market in the Business Gold Rewards Card, thanks to strong earning rates, a solid welcome bonus and a waived annual fee for the first year. But in late 2018, the issuer closed applications for the BGR and introduced the American Express® Business Gold Card with improved earning rates, bonus categories, a variety of value-added perks and a higher annual fee of $295 a year versus the old $175 per year (See Rates & Fees).
While there’s a lot to like about this relatively recent addition to the Amex business card lineup, the welcome bonus — up to 1 free year of ZipRecruiter Standard and up to 1 free year of G Suite Basic for up to 3 users — received mixed reviews. Those services come in handy for some business owners, but others would prefer cold, hard points. Some of you may have been able to score a referral bonus of 50,000 points instead, but now a points-based bonus is the standard welcome offer.
The Amex Business Gold Card is now offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. Based on TPG’s valuations, 35,000 points are worth $700. It’s not the most lucrative welcome bonus we’ve ever seen as far as Amex offers go — and it’s lower what you may be able to get via referral bonus — but for those who get no use out of ZipRecruiter and G Suite, it’s a significant step up for the standard offer.
And for those who do find follow in the free year of access to these two business services, there’s good news too: The ZipRecruiter and G Suite benefits aren’t disappearing; they’re just no longer be offered in place of a welcome bonus. Amex values those two benefits at up to $3,200, though your mileage may vary, of course.
The Business Gold Card lets you earn 4 points per dollar on your top two select spending categories on a monthly basis. Amex will automatically determine your top two categories of business spend every month by using all posted account transactions that fall into the six categories (listed below).
- Airfare purchased from airlines
- US purchases for advertising in select media
- US purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
- US purchases at gas stations
- US purchases for shipping
The annual cap on bonus earnings is $150,000 per year across all categories combined, and you’ll max out at 600,000 Membership Rewards points per year before you drop to an earning rate of 1 point per dollar for all purchases.
The Amex Business Gold Card will keep a number of the perks from the old BGR card, and adds two as well:
- 25% Pay with Points Rebate — You’ll get 25% of your points back when you use points at Amex Travel to pay for first or business-class airfare on any airline, or economy-class tickets with an airline you can select each year. This is similar to the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers the same perk with a 35% rebate (up to 1 million points per calendar year). This is a perk that could come in handy for businesses who don’t want to fuss with searching for award availability, as it means you’ll get 1.33 cents per redeemed point (rather than the standard 1 cent) and can book any flight that’s available for a regular cash price. Plus, flights booked this way are treated as revenue tickets, so you’ll earn both redeemable miles and elite credit on them.
- Automatic Enrollment in Pay Over Time — As a card member, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Pay Over Time, which offers an extended payment option for purchases over $100. You’ll be charged high interest rates, which we don’t recommend, but it could be something to consider for a business that needs extra cash flow. Amex touts this as a great option for businesses who want the flexibility of a traditional credit card, rather than the issuer’s typical charge card model, which requires you to pay off your balance in full each month.
For those who didn’t see much opportunity in the ZipRecruiter and G Suite benefits, this just-introduced welcome offer on the Business Gold Card is welcome news. 35,000 Amex points are worth $700 based on TPG’s valuations, and there are plenty of great ways to put those rewards to use, from business-class American Airlines flights to Europe booked through Etihad to flying to Asia in style on ANA.
For more information on the Amex Business Gold Card, see these posts
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold Card, please click here.
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