New Amex Blue Business Plus Top Earner
We have seen quite a few new cards come to market over the past year. Most of the time we see leaks ahead of time and there is a marketing blitz. Yesterday though American Express pleasantly surprised us with the release of a brand new business credit card with seemingly no notice. It is a good one too!
Blue Business Plus Credit Card
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card is a fairly simple product. To start, it earns Membership Rewards points and has no annual fee. That means you can keep your Membership Rewards balance alive without having to shell out money for the Gold/Platinum/Green cards which come with a fee.
The card earns points in the following ways:
- 2X points on the first $50K in spend each year.
- 1X points thereafter.
Depending on how you value Membership Rewards points you could view that as a 3% or higher return on your first $50K in spend. Not bad at all.
American Express is also releasing this card with a generous sign-up bonus. The bonus is as follows:
- Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in qualifying purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
That is a great bonus for a no annual fee card, especially considering this card earns Membership Rewards points.
While you need a business to get this card, there are some other very positive reasons to consider adding it to your portfolio:
Great card to establish and build a long term relationship with Amex – American Express and other banks are using data more often to determine your value as a customer. They want to see you keeping and using your cards. This card has no annual fee and a great earning structure which means it is a perfect fit to keep and use for the long term.
It doesn’t count towards 5/24 – American Express doesn’t report business credit cards to the credit bureaus so this won’t count towards your Chase 5/24 numbers if that is of concern.
Maximize Amex Offers – I have found that often business credit cards from Amex get the best Amex Offers. Since this card has no annual fee you can also add employee cards at no cost. These cards also receive their own offers. Amex Offers could add hundreds or even thousands of dollars in value over the course of the year.
Points More Powerful in Combination – Since all Membership Rewards points are pooled, you could combine this with the Amex Business Platinum and its “Pay with Points” rebate. You also can pool points from cards that earn in bonus categories and use them to transfer to travel partners such as Delta, Etihad, British Airways, Aeroplan & more.
Due to the potential for Amex Offers, the signup bonus and the fact that I have A LOT of business spend, this card has risen to the top of my Amex wishlist. Right now I am in a holding pattern due to getting a mortgage, but this will be a card I get very soon.
Comparing to Other 2/3X Options
There are other cards on the market that earn 2% back or more, but not generally on business spend. Some other cards are:
- Citi Double Cash – No annual fee. No sign-up bonus.
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus – 2% back everywhere. 50K Sign-up bonus. First year annual fee waived.
- Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature – 3% back on all spend the first year. 2.5 thereafter. First year annual fee waived.
- Discover it Miles – 1.5% cashback everywhere. Cashback doubled at the end of the first year for an effective rate of 3% everywhere in year 1.
- Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature – 2% back everywhere with no annual fee or sign-up bonus.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – $150 sign-up bonus and no annual fee. 1.5X Ultimate Rewards points everywhere.
When looking at the Blue Business Plus compared to these other cards, I think it ranks favorably against all of them. While I could certainly see the Alliant Credit Union Visa being a bit more attractive in year 1, it is a personal card so it isn’t meant for business use. Either way, this new card is among the top earners for non-bonused spend.
It is always nice to see a new product hit the market, especially when it is one that is worth getting and keeping for the long term. While I still prefer Ultimate Rewards over Membership Rewards, the ability to earn 2X everywhere on all spend up to $50K plus access to Amex Offers on the primary and employee cards make this a winner in my opinion.