Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Big changes are coming for the American Express® Business Gold Card — a business card with a $295 annual fee ($375 if application is received on or after Feb. 1, 2024; see rates and fees) — through a card refresh where we will see new perks but a higher annual fee as well.
Most credit cards with premium annual fees come with statement credits to help offset this cost year after year, yet Amex Business Gold previously offered no statement credits as part of its normal benefits package — until now.
New cardholders who apply before Feb. 1, 2024, and existing cardholders can take advantage of the current annual fee in addition to the new perks.
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.
Overview of the Amex Business Gold benefits
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 Business 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 as a new or existing cardmember:
- Earning rate: Earn 4 points per dollar Membership Rewards points on the two categories where your business spent the most each billing cycle on the first $150,000 in combine spending each calendar year (then 1 point per dollar). Current categories include:
- U.S. purchases of online, TV and radio advertising
- U.S. computer hardware, software and cloud systems from select technology providers plus purchases from electronic goods retailers
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. wireless service providers
- U.S. shipping (only valid for purchases through Jan. 31, 2024)
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines (only valid for purchases through Jan. 31, 2024)
- Transit (trains, taxi cabs, rideshare, tolls, ferries, buses and subways)
- Statement credits: Receive up to $240 annually (up to $20 a month in statement credits) for eligible purchases at FedEx, Grubhub and office supply stores. Plus, receive up to $155 back annually in statement credits for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal). Enrollment required for select benefits.
- 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 American Express Travel, you’ll get a 25% points rebate back to your account, up to 250,000 bonus points per calendar year. This benefit is ending as of Jan. 31, 2024.
- 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).
- No foreign transaction fees: When traveling internationally, you won’t incur foreign transaction fees when you pay with this card (see rates and fees).
- Cellphone protection*: Get reimbursed for a damaged or lost cellphone up to $800 per claim when the monthly service bill is paid using the Amex Business Gold (no more than two claims per 12-month period; subject to a $50 deductible per claim).
As noted above, cardmembers will be losing access to U.S. shipping purchases and airfare purchased directly with airlines as eligible bonus categories on Feb. 1, 2024, and the Pay with Points rebate will also no longer be available as of that date.
*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
Strategies for maximizing the Amex Business Gold
That said, here’s a cheat sheet of when to use and when not to use your new Amex Business Gold Card.
Use your Amex Business Gold to pay for top business expenses
While this seems like a no-brainer, the Amex Business Gold is the best for your top two business categories, as you’ll earn 4 points per dollar automatically on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then 1 point per dollar). 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 increased $375 annual fee by our valuations.
Just remember that U.S. shipping purchases will no longer be eligible to earn 4 points per dollar as of Feb. 1, 2024.
Use your Amex Business Gold to redeem for flights
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). However, remember that this benefit will be discontinued starting Feb 1, 2024, so it’s best to take advantage of it to maximize your rewards.
Use your Amex Business Gold for big-ticket purchases
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 shopping protections on the card 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. And as noted previously, you’ll now enjoy cellphone protection when you pay the wireless service bill using your Amex Business Gold.
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.
*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
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 4 points per dollar earning rate on most purchases outside the U.S. — including restaurants and gas stations. If you dine out or fill up your rental car with gas in another country, you’ll only earn 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. technology solutions and U.S. advertising purchases. In that case, you’ll want to supplement your card strategy with other options that offer bonus points on the Amex Business Gold’s other potential categories as well as on other non-bonus expenses.
Remember that only your top two categories each month will earn 4 points per dollar — every other purchase 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 2 points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent in purchases each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar. You can add another 100,000 Membership Rewards points to your rewards balance every year by maximizing this threshold for purchases that don’t fit into the categories of the Amex Business Gold.
Meanwhile, 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 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and at worldwide restaurants. Then, by using the Business Gold for other purchases within its bonus categories, your overall earning potential can be expanded greatly.
The Amex Business Gold tends to fly under the radar compared to 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 by 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