Edited by: Juan Ruiz
& Kellie Jez
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American Express is a known leader when it comes to business credit cards, with many great options for business owners.
Finding the perfect Amex business credit card that brings the most value back into your business operation may seem challenging, but we’re here to walk you through various choices and help you determine which card is the right fit for your business.
|Card||Welcome Offer||Annual Fee||Best For|
|Best for Travel & Lounges|
|Best for Earning Points|
|Best for Start-ups, Cash Back, Intro APR Offer|
|Best for No Annual Fee, Intro APR Offer|
|Best for Cash Back|
|Best for Delta Loyalists, Lounges|
|Best for Marriott Loyalists|
|Best for Hilton Loyalists|
Cardholders can earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amex Travel and 1.5x points on eligible purchases at U.S. construction material and hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software and 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).
Praised by business travelers everywhere, the card delivers all the perks a traveler would value. Lounge access alone covers the annual fee, and when you add in 35% Pay With Points rebates on travel purchases, hotel and rental car status and benefits, and luxury hotel benefits with Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection, there’s no better fit for the frequent business traveler seeking an American Express travel business card.
The card also comes with a host of statement credits, including:
When we look at all of the American Express Business cards, there isn’t one that comes close to delivering more value for travelers than the Amex Business Platinum card.
Yes, it does come with a high annual fee, but it delivers value for the frequent traveler far beyond the amount of that fee.
We’d also recommend taking a look at this Amex Business Platinum offer.
Another solid business card is the Amex Business Gold card, which rewards your greatest purchases with 4x points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month for the first $150,000 annually (then 1x). This ensures your greatest spending categories earn the greatest rewards. Eligible bonus categories are selected from a list of 6 common business expense categories:
If your business has significant spending in a particular category, points will add up quickly. We would also recommend taking a look at this Amex Business Gold welcome offer.
Hot Tip: The Amex Business Gold card also earns a spot on our list of best business credit cards for advertising purchases.
Startup businesses may have an initial mix of expenses that differ from established businesses, as they may need to build technology infrastructure, open a brick-and-mortar storefront, or have the need to launch a massive marketing campaign to get up and running.
For this reason, selecting a business credit card that rewards startup expenses is critical to getting the most value back from a business credit card.
The Amex Blue Business Cash card is a solid card for a startup business because it offers the business owner a simple cash-back earning structure — 2% cash-back on every eligible purchase their business makes (up to $50,000 per year; 1% thereafter). The card also offers a
Those looking for a rewards-earning business credit card without an annual fee should highly consider the Amex Blue Business Plus card.
With it, you’ll earn 2x points on all purchases of up to $50,000 in spend per year, and 1x points thereafter.
Further, the Amex Blue Business Plus card is one of the few business credit cards to come with a
Cash-back is, of course, the most liquid form of rewards you can earn on your business card because the money can go right back into your business. While American Express doesn’t offer a lot of cash-back cards, the Amex Plum card, with a more simplistic structure, earns 1.5% cash-back on the portion of your balance you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. However, if you need more time to pay off your charges, you’ll also get up to 60 days to pay without interest.
Additionally, the card has added perks like no foreign transaction fees, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection (rates and fees).
If your business requires air travel, it makes sense to look at how American Express’ Delta co-branded business credit cards can add value and save your business money.
Delta business credit cards can earn SkyMiles for reward flights, deliver travel perks that make your journey more comfortable and productive, and even fund a family vacation.
With the Delta Reserve Business card, you’ll enjoy card benefits like:
If you regularly stay at Marriott hotels then the Marriott Bonvoy Business card is likely to be a great option for you.
For starters, it allows you to earn 6x points on Marriott stays, 4x points at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping, plus 2x points on all other purchases.
Beyond point earning, it offers automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, 15 Elite Night Credits each year, a 7% room rate discount, and more.
Business owners who’ve made Hilton their hotel chain of choice will find tons of value in the Hilton Business Amex card. For a reasonable
The IRS defines a business as an activity “carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit,” but credit card issuers have their own criteria for approving business credit card applications.
Some issuers want to see tax returns that show your business operation and others find a small side gig with little income as a perfectly acceptable business operation.
The stronger your personal credit history, the more likely you are to be approved for a business credit card, even if your business is just starting out.
Before completing a business credit card application, you’ll want to gather the information you’ll need to complete the application accurately.
Tips for completing the business credit card application:
You may wonder if you need a business credit card for your startup or small business. You may not be generating a lot of profit starting out, and you’ve probably been able to get by using your personal credit card for your business expenses.
The most important reason for using a business credit card is to keep business expenses separate from personal expenses.
The easiest way to do that is to put all of your business expenses on a business credit card. Separating your expenses can be especially important when it comes time to complete your annual tax return and add up your business expenses for the year, or in case you face an audit.
You’ll also want to open a separate bank account for your business even before applying for a business credit card. It’s a prudent business practice to use funds from your business bank account to pay your business expenses on the credit card.
Hot Tip: Another reason to secure a business credit card is business cards frequently offer perks for businesses, have business cash management tools, offer higher credit limits, and reward business category spending more than personal cards.
You’ll want to know the difference between a business charge card and a business credit card to make a good decision on which card will match your business spending patterns — and which will bring the most value to your bottom line.
An Amex business credit card allows you to carry a balance from one statement period to another. You will be charged interest on any balance remaining on the card when your statement period ends.
A charge card requires the balance to be paid off in full each statement period as charge cards do not typically allow a balance to be carried over to another statement period.
The Amex Plum card offers the opportunity to carry over a balance, but this option is the card’s key feature and it is stated upfront. Each card has different requirements, and the opportunity to carry over a balance must be initiated by the card issuer.
Charge cards usually have no preset spending limit, although that does not mean you have an unlimited credit limit. The credit card issuer will determine your limit internally based on how you’re managing the card.
Hot Tip: For more information on this topic, check out this article dedicated to the differences between charge cards and credit cards.
American Express offers more business credit cards than you could use in the lifetime of your business. Their business credit card options are generally strong contenders against other credit cards in their categories, so an American Express business credit card can be a good choice.
Of course, a prudent business owner compares other options before making a decision, so we’ll speed up the process and encourage you to take a look at our comprehensive list of the best business cards for cash-back, rewards, and more.
You’ll find a selection of business credit cards for every type of business operation and confirmation that American Express is a rock star among issuers in the business credit card world.
The information regarding the Amazon Business American Express Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Plum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
Business cards work the same way personal credit cards do. Charges are made throughout the statement period and you must either pay off the entire statement when due (charge card) or have the option to make at least a minimum payment and carry over a balance (credit card).
If you own a business, you’ll want to keep personal expenses separate from business expenses and a business credit card can help you do that. You will, however, be personally responsible for paying the charges on your business credit card and your personal credit will be used to determine whether you’re approved for the business credit card.
On a cash-back business credit card, any purchase you make on the card earns a percentage of that purchase back in cash. Some credit cards allow you to take the cash, but most apply the cash as a statement credit.
Many cash-back credit cards have bonus spending categories that allow you to earn as much as 5% cash-back on your purchases. The biggest benefit of cash-back is the money can be invested directly back into your business to help offset expenses.
Even small side businesses such as photographing sports on the weekends or selling homemade jams have the potential for a business credit card, but you’ll need to have a strong personal credit history to be approved.
The IRS recognizes any activity that has the intent of earning a profit as a business, so that’s a good guideline to start with, but credit card issuers want your personal credit history to be strong, as you’ll be personally responsible for paying the business credit card.
Most business credit cards with introductory APR periods for balance transfers charge fees, usually 3% to 5% of the amount being transferred. You’re more likely to find personal credit cards that offer a 0% APR period for balance transfers that do not charge transfer fees.
Our complete guide to 0% APR credit cards includes some American Express personal credit cards that meet these criteria.
The short answer is yes, it is possible to use your business credit card for personal expenses. However, one of the reasons for obtaining a business credit card is to keep personal and business expenses separate.
The benefit of keeping these expenses separate is bookkeeping will be easier at tax time without having to determine which are personal and which are business expenses on the credit card.
Also, should you be audited, it’s best to have only your business expenses on the business credit card.
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