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Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express Review

overall rating
3.1

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The Blue Business Plus credit card from American Express offers relatively lucrative rewards, a flexible credit limit, and a decent 0% introductory period. It lacks a bonus offer and the travel benefits of many more expensive business cards, but there’s also no annual fee.

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card

overall rating
3.1
Blue Business® Plus Credit 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 Membership Rewards points per dollar on purchases up to $50,000 annually, then an unlimited 1 point per dollar.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance Fee This card 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

Full Review of Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

Pros
  • Decent rewards on up to $50,000 in annual purchases

  • Spend over your credit limit

  • 0% introductory offer for purchases

Cons
  • No bonus offer

  • Spending capped on 2-points-per-dollar rewards

  • Lacks travel benefits

Pros Explained

  • Decent Rewards On Up to $50,000 in Annual Purchases: This card has appeal for business owners seeking a card offering relatively lucrative rewards—of Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent—on all purchases. When used for travel booked through Amex, Investopedia estimates the average value of those points at 1 cent each when redeemed for travel through Amextravel.com. Points redemption values can be higher in certain instances as determined by various Membership Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners. Competing cards may not offer as much value, or limit their highest rewards to certain categories, or both.
  • Spend Over Your Credit Limit: This card offers some wiggle room to make purchases above your credit limit when you need to do so. No penalty or enrollment is required, and you still earn Membership Rewards points on spending over your limit. The amount you can spend above your credit limit depends on your payment history, credit record, financial resources, and more. But as with any other card charges, you need to pay off in full the purchases over your limit by the end of the billing cycle or you will pay interest on them.
  • 0% Introductory Offer for Purchases: A 12-month 0% APR introductory period starts immediately for purchases. Such an offer covering new purchases isn’t that common with business cards that lack an annual fee, and provides a useful cash-flow break and interest-saving move for a business. After the 0% APR period expires, there’s another plus: the ongoing purchase APR that kicks in—of 13.24% - 19.24%, based on creditworthiness—is lower than for many other business cards. 

Cons Explained

  • No Bonus Offer: It’s not unprecedented for a business card to offer no bonus in cash or points, especially if it doesn’t impose an annual fee. Still, it’s a comparative disappointment. Numerous other cards from Chase, Bank of America, and other issuers dangle bonuses worth between $300 and $500 if you spend $3,000 to $4,500 in the first three months of owning the card. 
  • Spending Cap on 2 Points Per Dollar Rewards: The best, 2 points-per-dollar rewards rate on this card is reasonably generous, but it only applies to the first $50,000 in business purchases. That limit may not hinder solo entrepreneurs or businesses with only one or two other employees, but larger enterprises may want to look at other cards. 
  • Lacks Travel Benefits: Save for a few features—secondary car rental insurance, a global assist hotline, and a lack of foreign transaction fees—this card is light on travel-related benefits. While that's not entirely unusual for a no-annual-fee business card, it's still worthy of note for business owners who travel frequently.  

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner

The Blue Business Plus card is best suited to small businesses that spend in a broad range of categories, and in varying amounts from month to month. The former priority aligns well with this card’s single rewards rate, albeit to an annual limit, and the latter one to its flexible credit limit, which increases to accommodate higher spending, albeit only for a single billing cycle without triggering interest charges. 

The card has special appeal for businesses who plan a lot of spending soon, for which a break on paying would be particularly useful, or that is carrying a debt on another high-interest card. Not only does the Blue Business Plus have a 12-month 0% APR introductory period but its ongoing APR is comparatively low once the offer expires.     

This is also for a card for those willing to take rewards in the former of Amex Membership Rewards points, rather than as simpler cash-back. And to redeem those points for travel bought through American Express and its loyalty program partners, since those are the most lucrative redemption options for this card. 

Rewards Earning Details

With this card, you earn 2 points per dollar spent on all eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each calendar year. All other purchases after the $50,000 spending cap is met earn 1 point per dollar.

 We currently value each Membership Rewards point at 1.19 cents. 

Rewards Redemption Details

American Express offers several ways to redeem the Membership Rewards points you earn with this card. According to both Amex and our own calculations, points are worth 1 cent each to book travel through American Express. You can also purchase gift cards, with points worth up to a cent apiece, depending on the vendor whose card you select. 

Most other options yield less value, as a rule. You can use points, typically at value of 0.7 cents apiece, at the checkouts of Amazon, BestBuy, and others or you can use them, at 0.6 cents each, to erase charges from your account statement. 

Transferring Points

Membership Rewards points can be transferred to the loyalty programs of any of Amex's airline and hotel partners. The list includes popular programs like Delta SkyMiles, Virgin Atlantic Flyingclub, Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and more.

Transfers may come with a fee of $0.0006 per point, with a maximum fee of $99. That's an unusual levy among card issuers. However, American Express may offer you the option to redeem points to cover that cost. And despite this expense, transferring points can be a worthwhile option that earns you greater value.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

To make the most of the Blue Business Plus card, use it for all of your business-related expenses, which earn 2 points per dollar spent.

Reaching the annual $50,000 spending cap for 2-points-per-dollar rewards will earn you 100,000 Membership Rewards points, which we value at $1,000 when used to buy travel from Amex. If your budget permits you to reach that cap, you can continue to use the card for other expenses, but you'll only earn 1 point per dollar spent on those purchases.

If you can, take advantage of the 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. Doing so could help you finance a major purchase during the first year of card membership.

Finally, give out additional cards to your employees in order to boost your rewards balance even further. There's no charge for these additional cards, which is not always the case with business cards.

Average Case

Because this card allows you to earn 2 points per dollar rewards on every purchase you make, let's assume you charge a wide variety of expenses totaling $24,000 per year. Perhaps those costs include a mix of office supplies, advertising, insurance premiums, equipment, vehicle costs, and professional membership association fees. In total, you'd earn 48,000 Membership Rewards points during a calendar year worth $480, if used to book travel through Amex. 

Aspirational Case

You can amplify your rewards earnings by taking advantage of free supplemental employee cards. But with more people using the card, you may need to be especially mindful of exceeding the $50,000 annual limit for the 2-points-per-dollar earning rate.

For example, let's assume you have three employees. Combined, you and they spend a total of $4,000 per month on the expenses noted above plus additional expenses like meals and professional development. Total: $48,000. 

Let's say you also each travel twice per quarter, spending $350 for each round-trip domestic flight ticket and $1,200 total per quarter on hotel stays. The travel expenses would add $7,600 to your annual spending, bringing it to a total of $55,600.

At 2 points per dollar spent, you’d earn 100,000 points on the first $50,000 of that spending, worth $1000 when used to buy travel from Amex. Beyond that total, your earnings drop to 1 point per dollar on the remaining amount. In this case, then, the $5,600 in excess of $50,000 would earn 5,600 additional points for a grand total of 105,600 points, worth $1,056. 

Blue Business Plus Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Make business purchases over your credit limit

Standard Benefits

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Global assist hotline
  • Free additional employee cards
  • Designate an account manager to manager the account
  • Relationship care service for small business support

Cardholder Experience

American Express ranked second of nine issuers scored in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Study, ranking just below Discover.

The Amex customer service department can be reached 24/7 by phone at

800-528-4800. Customers also have the option to log into their account and live chat with a representative. Amex is also active on social media. Questions and comments can be sent to @AskAmex on Twitter. 

Security Features

American Express offers a host of security features that are standard in the industry. Those include a monitoring system that detects fraudulent activity and alerts you in the case that unusual activity is detected. 

Amex also provides security services like pre-purchase verification and personal security keys to safeguard your information and protect your account. For both card members and non-card members, American Express provides MyCredit Guide, a service that offers a free credit score and report.

Our Verdict

The Blue Business Plus credit card from American Express is well suited to small businesses who want a card with a simple rewards structure, the ability to spend more when needed, and a one-year option for 0% APR on news purchases. But it’s not a great fit for larger businesses with expenditures above $50,000, or at least not as a sole business card.

Indeed, pairing the Blue Business Plus card with another American Express business card could help you make the most of rewards, provided your spending is high. For example, the American Express Business Gold charges an annual fee of $295 a year but earns 4 points per dollar—double the rate of the Blue Business Plus—spent on the two categories where you spend the most each month (On on to $150,000 in combined purchases each year, then 1 point). You could use it for spending on categories like restaurants and advertising and potentially use the Blue Business Plus card for everything else.

Apply Now
For Blue Business® Plus Credit Card
on American Express' Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Blue Business® Plus Credit Card
overall rating
3.1
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 Membership Rewards points per dollar on purchases up to $50,000 annually, then an unlimited 1 point per dollar.
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.