Why the Amex Blue Business Plus remains firmly in my wallet

I’ve been collecting points and miles on travel credit cards for nearly two decades, and I hear a common refrain when talking with friends and family members about the topic. “Why would I ever pay an annual fee on a credit card?” Longtime readers know the answer to this question, but I still find that so many just can’t get past the idea of paying for a credit card.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great no-annual-fee cards out there — and for small-business owners, there’s one that stands above the rest: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Here’s why this card remains firmly in my wallet.

Flexible Membership Rewards points

Many card issuers allow you to pool your points when you have multiple cards in their respective ecosystems. However, this usually means that your no-annual-fee options require higher-end cards to maximize their value. That is not true for the Blue Business Plus. Even if it’s the only American Express card you have in your wallet, you’re earning 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent (on up to $50,000 in spending each year, then 1 point per dollar). And these are fully flexible Membership Rewards points. You can use them for flights, hotels, and rental cars via American Express Travel, but my favorite redemption option is transferring them to Amex’s 21 airline and hotel partners.

The top options for me include:

I’ve even topped up my Delta Air Lines SkyMiles account when I was just a bit shy of a specific redemption, though this did incur Amex’s frustrating fee to offset federal excise taxes on the transfer (0.06 cents per point, up to a maximum of $99).

No annual fee

As mentioned before, the Blue Business Plus incurs no annual fee. This means there’s no cost to your small business every year. With 2 points per dollar spent, you’re getting the equivalent of 4% back on all purchases — that’s a fantastic rate of return. Note that the card does impose foreign transaction fees when used outside the U.S. As a result, this isn’t a good option when traveling abroad.

Valuable Amex Offers

I am a huge proponent of regularly checking your credit card accounts for discounts and bonus offers that must be activated before making a purchase. And the Amex Offers platform is among the most valuable on the market. In 2023, here’s just a sampling of the offers I used on my Blue Business Plus:

$60 back on a monthly YouTube TV subscription ($20 back, up to three times)
$75 back on a $300 purchase at a Hyatt Centric in New York City
$10 back on a $75 purchase at Office Depot
$44 back on a $221 stay at a Residence Inn
$75 off a $300 purchase at a Kimpton hotel
$100 off $536 in purchases at Lowe’s
$14 off $137 in purchases at FedEx Office
$60 off my $120 annual renewal of Dropbox
2,500 bonus Amex points for purchases at amazon.com
In all, I received over $645 in statement credits plus an additional 2,500 Amex points. That’s nearly $700 of added value, all on purchases I was already making.

How well it plays with others

If you’re only looking for a small-business card with no annual fee, the Blue Business Plus is a fantastic option. However, there’s something to be said about pairing it with other Amex cards to amplify your earning opportunities. For example, I also have the personal American Express Gold Card, which awards 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide. I’ll use the Gold card for those purchases, but then the Blue Business Plus can cover a variety of other purchases that don’t fall into traditional bonus categories. And since the Amex Gold waives foreign transaction fees, it’s a great option for trips outside the U.S.

I also hold The Platinum Card from American Express, and while I don’t use it frequently for spending, I do value the array of perks on the card — including extensive lounge access and luxury hotel perks. The other great thing is that your Membership Rewards points from multiple Amex cards get pooled when you add them to a single online account. As a result, there’s no need to worry about managing multiple logins and separate balances.

Current welcome offer

If you don’t currently have the Blue Business Plus, it’s worth noting that you can currently earn a welcome bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases on your card in your first three months. This isn’t a wildly lucrative offer, but the card has gone through long stretches in the past with no welcome bonus. As a result, if you’ve been waiting to apply, now is a great time to do so. Just be aware of Amex’s once-per-lifetime policy on welcome bonuses, and be sure you’ve read through our guide to application restrictions so you’re aware of potential roadblocks. And note that you may not need a formal business to get approved — I was approved years ago using just my Social Security number as a sole proprietor.

Bottom line

I am a huge fan of the Amex Blue Business Plus card. With 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases along with an array of lucrative Amex Offers and easy pairability with other Amex cards, the Blue Business Plus has a long-term spot in my wallet. With the current welcome offer, now could be a fantastic time to add the card to your arsenal — and start earning valuable Membership Rewards points for your small business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *