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American Express Blue Business Cash Review

overall rating
3.3

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The American Express Blue Business Cash offers exceptional cash-back rewards for business owners seeking a card with simple yet lucrative rewards. It carries no annual fee, offers 2% cash back on your first $50,000 in purchases each year, and has useful features for businesses like the ability to temporarily spend over your credit limit. There's also a generous 0% APR introductory offer.

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

overall rating
3.3
American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
On American Express' Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.24% - 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee If eligible, either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance Fee This product does not offer cash advances.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all business cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Currently rated one of our

Full Review of American Express Blue Business Cash

Pros
  • Earn 2% rewards

  • Flexible credit limit

  • 0% introductory offer

Cons
  • No welcome cash or points offer

  • Restrictive redemption options

Pros Explained

  • 2% Rewards: This card keeps it simple, with 2% rewards on your first $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1%. Some competing cards on the market offer higher rewards, but typically only in certain categories. For example, the Chase Ink Business Cash card pays 5% cash back, but only on office supplies and telecom expenses.
  • Flexible Credit Limit: This card provides the flexibility to spend above your credit limit without a penalty or the need to enroll in advance. That's a useful feature if your expenses vary from month-to-month or an occasional unexpected purchase forces you over the card's credit limit. However, the overspending comes with a few caveats. As it does with your spending limit, Amex will assess how much you’re permitted to overspend based on your payment history, credit record, financial resources, and other factors. And you can’t carry the overspending for long on your card; the portion that’s above your credit limit is due in full each month as part of your minimum payment. But as long as you pay your balance in full by the due date, you'll incur no interest charges.
  • 0% APR Introductory Period: It's not unusual for a business card to provide a 0% APR introductory period, and 12 months is a fairly typical length of time for this kind of offer. Still, this is a welcome and noteworthy feature. The introductory period is available for new purchases made with the card in the first year.  

Cons Explained

  • No Bonus Offer: Small-business cards, even those with no annual fee, often come with some kind of one-time offer in cash or points, but not this one. For example, both the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited, Chase cards with no annual fees, offer $500 in cash back if you spend $3,000 within your first three months of owning the card. The lack of any such offer puts the Amex Blue Business Cash at a disadvantage over many other cards in the same category.
  • Restrictive Redemption Options: This card's straightforward and generous rewards structure comes at a slight price: You can receive rewards only as an automatic statement credit on your card account. While you can use those funds to cover further purchases on the card, there's no way to turn your rewards into cash to cover obligations you can’t charge to a card. That may suit if you or your business want to pool points earned from multiple Amex cards, for example. Otherwise, you may find a card that rewards you in cash back is a better fit.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Minimalist Persona
    Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
    Minimalist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner

With its generous rewards and ability to exceed its credit limit, the American Express Blue Business Cash best fits small business owners whose card spending ranges across many categories and occasionally spikes up in certain months. It’s also for those who prefer receiving rewards as Amex points, perhaps so they can be combined with those earned with other Amex cards. 

Further, the Amex Blue Business Cash is most lucrative for business owners that will charge no more than $50,000 a year to the card, since that’s the spending limit for its 2% rewards, after which the rate drops in half to 1%. If you reach the annual $50,000 spending cap, those 2% cash-rewards would earn you $1,000 in statement credits—which is a fine return, especially for a card with no annual fee.

It's also a card for those with little time to navigate and optimize complex rewards programs. 

There’s a single rewards rate and one redemption option, which all but eliminates the need to make decisions about making the most of the card. 

Rewards Earning Details

Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year. All other purchases after that earn 1%. That means you’ll earn $2 for every $100 you spend on this card up to the spending cap. Rewards come in the form of an automatic statement credit.

If you do not pay the minimum due by the due date or if your account is closed before the credit is issued, you will not receive a statement credit for your rewards.  

Rewards Redemption Details

The straightforward redemption process of this card can be a big advantage for business owners who don't want to worry about, or don't have time for, figuring out redemption programs.

As long as you keep your account in good standing, any cash back you've earned comes in the form of an automatic statement credit to your account by the second billing cycle after your purchase. You don't need to navigate reward redemption options or even log in to an account to receive your earnings.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

With its generous reward of 2% on eligible purchases, it makes sense to make the most of the Amex Blue Business Cash by using it for all of your business expenses, including travel, hotels, office, marketing, insurance, and more. 

The closer you get to the card's $50,000 annual spending cap on those 2% earnings, the more you’ll make, naturally. If you indeed reach that spending total, you’ll earn $1,000 in rewards. You can then continue to use the card for further expenses, although you may want to look to another card in your wallet that earns more, given the paltry 1% you earn on purchases in excess of $50,000 a year. 

In addition, if you have any employees, consider opening additional card accounts for them. Since there's no charge for supplementary accounts, they provide a quick and easy way to boost the proportion of spending that goes onto the card account—and thus your annual rewards.

Average Case

Let's say you're a business owner who uses this card for a range of expenses that total $2,000 per month. Those monthly costs might include web development, gas for vehicles, office supplies, marketing expenses, and insurance premiums. Within a calendar year, you'd earn $480 in automatic statement credits on this card.

Aspirational Case

Leveraging free additional employee cards to earn more rewards on travel and entertainment expenses can increase rewards exponentially on this card. 

Let's say that you have three employees and you and they together spend $3,500 per month on the expenses noted above, plus others such as staff training and professional development. In addition, you and your employees travel once per quarter, spending $364 on each round-trip domestic flight, the average set out by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Then let’s add a further $1,000 per quarter of spending on entertainment. In total, you would earn more than $1,000 a year on this card.

American Express Blue Business Cash Outstanding Benefits

  • Ability to spend past your credit limit
  • Account Manager designation, to manage the card account
  • Additional employee cards at no annual fee 

Standard Benefits

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Travel and emergency hotline 
  • Extended warranties
  • Purchase protection for accidental damage or theft 

Cardholder Experience

In J.D. Power's 2019 customer satisfaction survey, American Express earned a score of 838, just below top-ranked Discover.

Cardholders can reach a customer service agent 24/7 by phone at 800-528-4800. Customers can also log into their account and live chat with a representative. Questions and comments can be tweeted to @AskAmex on Twitter. 

Security Features

The security features of American Express cards are in line with industry standards. Cards come with features like pre-purchase verification, account monitoring, and alerts for irregular activity. It also offers free next-day shipping for lost or stolen cards.

Fees To Watch Out For

Those who frequently travel internationally for business should be aware of this card's foreign transaction fee, which is 2.7% of each transaction made outside the U.S. This card's other fees are in line with industry standards. 

Our Verdict

Excellent flat-rate rewards make the American Express Blue Business Cash a beneficial card for small businesses with diverse charges that seek a straightforward payment solution.    

However, the Amex points you earn with the card can be used only to offset card charges. If you're seeking flexibility in redeeming rewards, and want to stick with American Express, consider the Amex Blue Business Plus credit card. It’s nearly identical to the Blue Business Cash card, including providing 2 points per dollar spent on business purchases up to $50,000 per year, but its rewards can be redeemed in a variety of ways, including as cash back. 

If you're willing to trade some simplicity for increased earnings, you might pair the American Express Blue Business Cash with another card that offers higher points rewards on the categories where you spend the most. Two Chase cards come to mind. The Chase Ink Business Cash card pays 5% cash back on office supplies and telecom expenses, and the Chase Ink Business Preferred card offers 3 points per dollar spent on travel, shipping, telecom services, and advertising costs on social media sites and search engines. (Chase points are valued comparably to Amex ones in many valuations.)

By splitting charges among two or more cards, such a pairing would also help larger small businesses keep spending on the American Express Blue Business Cash below the card's $50,000 annual limit for earning 2% rewards. 

Alternatively, bigger enterprises could simply opt for a card that provides a lower cash-back rate with no spending cap. The Spark Cash Select card from Capital One, for example, pays an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. 

Conversely, if you're a solo entrepreneur simply looking for a card that will help you segregate business expenses, you might get more value out of a consumer rewards card.

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For American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
on American Express' Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
overall rating
3.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.24% - 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.