At the end of May American Express introduced the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card’s appeal comes from its simple, impressive non-bonused spend earning power. For no annual fee whatsoever, on the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year (January 1 – December 31), it earns 2 Membership Rewards on ALL purchases.
In a nutshell, if you can open a business credit card and…
- have a lot of expenses that don’t fall in more lucrative bonus spending categories, and/or
- can manufacture spend*…
….then you should consider opening a Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express. *Hat tip to Frequent Miler for keeping up a Complete Manufactured Spending Guide–no need to reinvent the wheel.
If you can manufacture spend, then there’s no doubt you should be maxing out this card’s annual potential. For no annual fee and 2 Membership Rewards for any purchase, the Blue Business Plus is the best around for non-bonused spending.
- Earn 2X Membership Rewards on all purchases, capped at $50,000 annually (January 1 – December 31), and 1 Membership Reward per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Value of Membership Rewards earned: Points can be transferred to 17 airline miles and 3 hotel points or used like cash toward the purchase of any flight at a rate of 1 cent per point. We value Membership Rewards at 2 cents each, and I would not use them like cash toward the purchase of a flight.
- Global Acceptance: Chip technology
- Foreign transaction fees: 2.7%, so don’t use while traveling or to make purchases from foreign companies
- No Annual Fee
- Eligibility: American Express once in a lifetime bonus rule
And here’s a fun fact for existing Amex cardholders: If you already have a credit card issued by American Express, the bank will not initially hard pull your credit report upon subsequent applications. They only pull your credit report if you are conditionally approved from internal information Amex already has on record, to double check nothing major has changed since then. As long as nothing has drastically changed, chances are you will be approved. In practice this means you can apply for a second, third, etc. Amex card without worrying about wasting the hard credit inquiry in vain.
Let’s go over some lucrative bonus spending categories for other business cards to make sure you’re allocating your spending correctly.
Examples of Business Cards with High Bonus Spending Categories
Chase Ink Business Preferred
3 Ultimate Rewards earned per dollar spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
American Express Business Gold Rewards
You get to choose one of the following categories to earn 3 Membership Rewards per dollar spent:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
The rest will earn 2x, which is no better than the Blue Business Plus card.
Do I qualify for a business credit card?
Myth #1: A business must have employees.
Your business can be a sole proprietorship, meaning only you work on the business. That’s how MileValue started, just Scott, and he had multiple business cards before ever hiring any employees.
Myth #2: A business must be profitable.
Businesses are set up to earn profit, but they aren’t profitable all the time. One time when almost no business is profitable is when it is just starting. That’s a time when you have to put money into the business before you can start making money from it.
A new business–even if it’s not making money yet–is still a business, and you can still get a business card.
Myth #3: A business must have an EIN.
Having an EIN is not mandatory. In the field that asks for a Federal Tax ID on the application, you can put your social security number.
Examples of Businesses You May Not Think are Businesses
- Seller on eBay
- Seller on Amazon
- Seller on Etsy
- Seller at consignment shops
- Seller at yard sales
- Seller of baked goods
- Seller of souvenirs from your trips abroad
- Seller and collector of coins or stamps
If you’re eligible for a business credit card and either have lots of spending power that wouldn’t otherwise earn a higher category bonus on another card or you can manufacture spend, then the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is a great option for you.
For the first $50,000 you put on the card every year, you can earn 2 Membership Rewards per dollar spent. That’s a 100k Membership Rewards a year.
Of course there are cards with sign up bonuses that high or almost that high that you could open and earn in three months for much less spending. But this is a brand new credit card, meaning you’re not held back from issuing bank rules that might prevent you from getting such bonuses (i.e. Chase’s 5/24, Amex’s Once in a Lifetime rule, and Citi’s 24 month rule).
Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.