A credit card specifically tailored for small business owners, the Blue Business Plus card offers a variety of advantages — like a 0% APR introductory period and 2X rewards points for business purchases. The card’s lack of an annual fee also makes it a noteworthy, budget-friendly option. However, its benefits do come with some limitations.
American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card Review
Finding the right credit card for your small business is vital if you want to enjoy spending flexibility and benefit from cash back rewards you can utilize fully. In our American Express Blue Business Plus Card review, we’ll explore what this card has to offer, like its 2X membership rewards program for everyday business purchases — as well as some of its potential drawbacks. Because the card’s 2X points accrual rate only counts for the first $50,000 in purchases per year, we recommend it for small business owners rather than executives with larger expenses.
Card Details to Know Up Front
- Bonus, Fee or FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card at a Glance
Sole proprietorships, partnerships and small LLCs will all find plenty of use for the American Express Blue Business Plus Card. A credit card with no annual fee and a 12-month 0% APR introductory period, the American Express Blue Business Plus card offers spending flexibility and low costs — especially for initial purchases.
One of the card’s most impressive aspects is its 2X membership rewards points accrual rate for the first $15,000 in business purchases. It also includes an “Expanded Buying Power” feature that gives you the freedom to spend beyond the card’s set credit limit without worrying about overdraft fees and similar setbacks. Note that the extra credit has to be paid in full by your next bill’s due date.
- American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
Great no-annual-fee card for earning rewards on business spending
- Good–ExcellentCredit Needed
- $0Annual Fee
- 2 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
- 1xRewards Rate on TV, Phone, Internet Services
- 1xRewards Rate on Online Shopping
Pros & Cons Explained
Unsure if this card is a good choice for your small business purchasing needs? Take a closer look at the American Express Blue Business Plus Card’s benefits and downsides.
- Initial rewards accrual rateThe Blue Business Plus Card’s initial rewards points accrual rate is fantastic, especially if you don’t usually spend more than $50,000 on office or business purchases per year. Getting two points per dollar spent means you’ll rack them up quickly and be able to spend those points on a variety of redemption options.
- Free employee cardsAs mentioned, you can get up to 99 Blue Business Plus Cards for your employees. Hand them out to anyone trustworthy in your organization, and you'll start racking up points quickly. Best of all, the employee cards can be picked up at no additional cost.
- No annual feeThe low overall costs and lack of annual fees make this a budget-friendly rewards card for small business owners who want to maximize their profit margins.
- Purchase protectionThe American Express Blue Business Plus Card also comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection for certain products you buy using the card for up to 90 days. These coverages can help small business owners save money when they may not have the funds to cover unexpected repair or replacement expenses.
- Lack of rewards categoryWhile the $50,000 spending cap for rewards is a downside, we’re also disappointed at this card’s lack of special categories or bonus points accrual options. As a result, you can’t target your spending during specific promotional periods to maximize the points you gain.
- Lack of travel benefitsThe lack of elite travel benefits or other perks makes this a jack-of-all-trades card rather than a specialized rewards tool. As a result, some small businesses may prefer a card with rewards tailored directly toward their interests and savings opportunities.
MoneyGeek has selected the American Express Blue Business Plus Card as one of the best business credit cards of 2021. You can compare this card to other cards that made it to our list - Top 5 Business Credit Cards of 2021.
Bonuses & Rewards Explained
The American Express Blue Business Plus Card’s rewards program is fairly straightforward. You earn two membership rewards points for every $1 you spend on up to $50,000 in certain business expenses.
Once you reach the $50,000 cap, you’ll still earn points, but only at a rate of one point per $1 spent. You may occasionally receive American Express offers in the mail, directing you to make purchases with specific merchants in exchange for bonus points accrual.
Want to know how to redeem points with the American Express Blue Business Plus Card? Fortunately, there are lots of possibilities, including:
Airfare or other travel benefits with American Express’s travel partners, including hotel stays, flights, rental cars and more
You can use your accrued points to help pay your monthly statement, allowing you to save money overall
Gift cards for American Express-affiliated merchants — each point redeemed in this way is worth $0.007 or 0.7 cents
Other Features Explained
The other features and benefits you may expect if you get the American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card include:
- Card FeatureDescription
- Expanded buying powerThis feature lets you use your Blue Business Plus Card beyond its actual credit limit. Your Expanded Buying Power limit may vary based on your credit record, payment history, financial resources and other factors.
- Connect to QuickBooksYou may integrate your business credit card account with QuickBooks for auto-expense categorization.
- Account managerAll Blue Business Plus cardholders get access to dedicated account managers.
To make the most of this credit card, grab a few extras and give them to your purchasing managers or supply chain executives at the beginning of your fiscal year. Since most small businesses front-load their purchases toward the beginning of the fiscal year, MoneyGeek recommends making as many business expenses as possible using your American Express Blue Business Plus cards to rack up points quickly.
With the 2X accrual rate, you’ll rapidly collect enough points to redeem them for rewards that can save you money through the second half of your fiscal year.
Understanding the Fine Print
Understanding the American Express Blue Business Plus card’s associated fees and charges in detail can help you determine if it’s right for your budget and needs.
The table below explains the most important fees, interest rates and associated charges that apply to this card. We’ll also break down how the foreign transaction fee can impact your overall business costs and what goes into the variable APR rate you’ll receive upon applying for this card.
- Card FeatureAmount or Rate
- Annual Fee$0
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate2 Miles per $1*
- Airline Benefits
The most important of these is the variable APR between 13.24% and 19.24%. Note that the variable APR rate you’ll receive will be settled at the time of your account opening. Your APR is set based on the credit score you have when you apply for the card. Even if your small business’s credit score improves over the 12-month 0% APR introductory period, it won't necessarily lower your APR rates.
American Express determines your variable APR rate based on factors like your creditworthiness, financial history and current business expenditures. Because these factors also impact how much extra credit you get with the “Expanded Buying Power” feature, we recommend applying for this card when your creditworthiness metrics are as positive as possible.
Foreign Transaction Fees
The American Express Blue Business Plus charges foreign transaction fees at a rate of 2.7%. That may not sound like a lot, but it can significantly impact how costly it is to do business with countries overseas.
For example, say you need to spend $10,000 on suppliers for an overseas vendor. You’ll end up paying another $270 in foreign transaction fees if you use your American Express Blue Business Plus Card.
If you do business overseas, MoneyGeek suggests picking a different card or using an international-focused card in conjunction with the Blue Business Plus.
Need to know how to find information about a credit card already in your wallet? You can check out a variety of official resources to learn more, including:
- The card’s customer service page
- The last billing statement you received for the card
- The credit card agreement database maintained by the Consumer Financial Protection Burea
Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card?
Other Considerations for American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
Versatile and flexible, the Blue Business Plus Card is a solid general use option for small business owners.
Things to Consider if This is Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card
If you plan only to use this business credit card for your small venture, keep these major factors in mind:
- Your 0% APR period won’t last forever. Get in the habit of paying down your credit card balance as much as possible in the first year so you don’t spend extra money on interest.
- The American Express Blue Business Plus Card is best used for all your business purchases up to $50,000. Use it as often as possible to wrack up rewards points, and then redeem them in the form of credit off your statement to save money.
- Don’t use the card for foreign transactions because of the fee associated with these purchases.
- Your credit has to be good to excellent for you to be approved for this card. Most business owners don’t get approved unless they have a credit score of at least 690.
Things to Consider if This is Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet
If you plan to keep the Blue Business Plus Card in your wallet alongside other credit tools, you have a little more freedom in your spending options. The Blue Business Plus is best used:
- To buy domestic business supplies: Choose another card without foreign transaction fees to buy bulk supplies or products from international companies.
- With multiple employees making transactions simultaneously: Even everyday business expenses can quickly add up and get you a significant amount of points if four or five people are using the Blue Business Plus at the same time.
- When the Expanded Buying Power feature is utilized only when absolutely necessary: This feature can quickly rack up expenses if you spend more than you can realistically repay within 30 days. If you have other cards in your wallet, consider using their remaining balances if you don’t have enough regular credit space on your American Express Blue Business Plus Card.
At MoneyGeek, we use a standardized, six-step process to review credit cards and other financial tools in detail. We also utilize a mathematical ranking system to determine the objective value of credit card factors relative to one another by considering factors like APR, fees and more.
In this way, we hope to provide valuable and thorough reviews so you know exactly which cards are best for your spending needs.
How American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card Compares to Other Cards
The American Express Blue Business Plus is similar to several other American Express credit card offerings, like the American Express Cash Magnet Card.
The unlimited cash back rate of the American Express Cash Magnet Credit Card makes it particularly attractive for regular spenders. However, it may not be worthwhile for small business owners, who make most of their business purchases in the first half of the fiscal year.
The Cash Magnet card is also attractive thanks to its promotional bonus: $150 of statement credit after spending $1000 or more within the first three months of having an account.
In the end, the Cash Magnet might be slightly better for small-time freelancers and regular spenders rather than small business owners specifically. In comparison, the Blue Business Plus's 2X points accrual rate is better for short-term points gains.
Comparing the American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
- Introductory Bonus: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months
- Variable APR: 13.24% to 19.24%
- Rewards Rate: 2X up to $50,000
- Intro Offer: 0% APR for first 12 months
- Best For: An ideal credit card for small business owners
American Express Cash Magnet Credit Card
- Introductory Bonus: $150 of credit after spending $1000 within the first three months
- Variable APR: 13.99% to 23.99%
- Rewards Rate: 1.5% unlimited
- Intro Offer: 0% APR for first 15 months
- Best For: A good "all-around" credit card for general spending
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
Still on the fence about the American Express Blue Business Plus Card? Let’s answer some helpful questions so you can make an informed decision.
Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.
Want to do some more research or still aren’t certain that the American Express Blue Business Plus Card is right for your company? Take a look at some of the other American Express credit cards we’ve reviewed at MoneyGeek. Alternatively, consider a different type of credit card or financing solution depending on what you need for your upcoming business goals.
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- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Credit Card Agreement Database." Accessed July 19, 2021.