Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express Review

overall rating
2.5

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The Business Green Rewards card from American Express offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel booked through Amex, and 1 point for all other purchases.  It charges a $95 annual fee after the first year of card membership. It’s a charge card, but Amex may extend an invitation to carry a balance on it.

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express

Overall Rating
2.5
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
On American Express' Secured Site.
Current Offer

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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
Excellent
Regular APR (%) N/A variable
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at amextravel.com. 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee This card does not offer balance transfers.
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

The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express is not one of our top-rated business credit cards. You can review our list of the best business credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Business Green Rewards Card from American Express

Pros
  • Decent rewards, albeit with limitations

  • Flexible spending limit

Cons
  • Uncompetitive bonus offer

  • No reliable option to carry a balance

Pros Explained

  • Flexible Spending Limit: Because the Business Green Rewards is a charge card, with the balance due in full each month, there's no hard limit on what you can spend, as there is with a credit card. That flexibility is useful if your business expenses vary from month-to-month or an occasional unexpected purchase might force you over spending limit for a credit card. However, that doesn't mean you’re entitled to unlimited spending. Rather, Amex adjusts your purchasing power according to your use of the card, payment history, credit record, and known financial resources.

Cons Explained

  • Uncompetitive Bonus Offer: The value of the bonus you receive for acquiring this card falls short of most cards with a similar annual fee and qualifying spending requirement. It offers 15,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $3,000 within your first 3 months after opening a card account. At the better rates of redemption, which are generally found when buying travel through Amex, that offer is worth about $231. By comparison, two other business credit cards with the same initial bonus spending requirement of $3,000 in the first 90 days, the Chase Ink Business Cash card offers a $500 bonus and Bank of America Platinum Plus offers $300.
  • Mediocre Rewards: The only way to earn this card's best rewards rate of two points per dollar is by booking travel through amextravel.com. Even then, the type of travel purchases eligible for that rate are limited to airfare, vacation packages, prepaid hotels, and cruise vacations. Any other purchase made with the card earns just one point per dollar. In turn, receiving the best return on those points generally demands that you also redeem them for travel purchased through Amex. With Investopedia valuing such redemptions at 1.54 cents per point, Amex travel purchases would yield rewards worth over 3 cents per dollar spent. You can do better—to earn comparable rewards with fewer restrictions—with some other business cards with a comparable fee.

This Card is Best For

  • 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 Business Green Rewards card from American Express could fit business owners who are comfortable trading away (at least with any certainty) the convenience to occasionally carry over a balance at month's end for the flexibility of a spending limit that may adjust month-to-month according to your needs. It’s also best for those willing to forgo some rewards compared with the best business credit cards in order to enjoy that flexible credit limit. 

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express Bonus Offer 

New cardholders who spend $3,000 or more within the first three months of card membership will receive 15,000 membership rewards points. You'll get the reward in the form of a statement credit eight to 12 weeks after you reach the spending requirement.

Depending on how you choose to redeem points, the one-time offer is worth varying amounts. It yields an estimated value of $231. That's a fairly low return compared to other bonus offers on the market with similarly high spending requirements. As mentioned above, by comparison, two other business cards with the same $3,000-in-90-days spending requirement, the Chase Ink Business Cash card ($95 annual fee) and Bank of America Platinum Plus (no annual fee) offer $500 and $300 respectively as their welcome bonuses.

Rewards Earning Details

This card offers unlimited 2 membership rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible charges made on your card at amextravel.com, which includes airfare, prepaid hotels, vacation packages, and cruise reservations. All other purchases earn 1 membership reward point per $1 spent. 

By our calculations, you could justify the $95 annual fee if you spend around $4,000 annually through the American Express travel portal and then also redeemed points through that same service. That’s more than the required spending with some comparable cards, which provide more lucrative and sometimes broader rewards.

As an example, the Chase Ink Business Preferred, which also has a $95 annual fee, rewards you with 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. Investopedia values those Chase points at 1.6 cents when used for travel, significantly more than the valuation for Amex points. 

The upshot: To justify the $95 annual fee, you need to spend only $2,000 with the Chase Ink Business Preferred, which is half what’s required with the Business Green Rewards by American Express. 

One caveat for small businesses that are more sizable. The Business Green Rewards by American Express has no limit on the value of purchases that earn its best rewards rate, where the Chase Ink Business Preferred, like some other cards, caps the spending that earns premium rewards at $150,000 a year. 

Spending outside of eligible travel earns 1-point-per-dollar-spent with the Business Green Rewards by American Express. Membership rewards points never expire.

Rewards Redemption Details

The American Express Membership Rewards program is fairly flexible, offering a range of ways to redeem points. You can use membership rewards to book travel through American Express, purchase items on Amazon.com, buy gift cards, get an account credit, or purchase items through the Amex shopping portal. It's also possible to transfer points to a frequent flyer program.

When redeeming, though, keep in mind that you'll get the best value by using points to obtain flights through American Express travel, or by transferring them to a frequent-flyer program.

Transferring Points

Membership Rewards points can be transferred to the frequent-flyer programs of Amex’s partner airlines, with values that vary by the airline. The partners include major airlines like Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and Air Canada. 

Unusual among card issuers, though, Amex charges 0.0006 cents per point for some transfers, to a maximum fee of $99. You might be allowed to redeem additional points to cover the transfer fee, though, and despite the charge, there's still a good chance you'll get the most value out of your points by transferring them to another rewards program. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

To get the most out of the rewards on this card, book all your spending on airfare, prepaid hotels, vacation packages, and cruise reservations through the American Express travel portal, to earn 2 Amex points per dollar spent—this card's best rewards rate.

Make sure, too, to spend at least $3,000 on this card within the first three months of membership in order to take full advantage of its one-time offer. While its value is modest—$231 when used for travel, we estimate—it's still well worth meeting this attainable “spend” in order to earn the bonus.

And make sure to redeem your points for travel through American Express or transfer them to a partner frequent flyer program, which is where you'll likely get the most value.

Average Case

Let's say you use this card for travel and various other monthly business costs, like marketing, subscriptions, and office supplies. Your travel expenses consist of one domestic flight each quarter, which together might cost you about $1,500 per year, based on the average value of such flights. That travel spending, at 2 points per dollar spent, would yield 3,000 points, which are worth a total of about $46. 

Let's say you put an additional $1,500 per month on the card, which would yield a further 18,000 points for the year. That extra spending would add about $277 to your rewards which, added to the travel earnings, creates an annual total of about $323.

Aspirational Case

As with almost all business cards, there's no additional charge for issuing cards to employees, whose spending can exponentially boost the points balance in your account. Let's add their potential travel spending to that detailed above. 

Let's say you have three employees who also take quarterly business flights with the same value as yours, and charge them to the card. They would add a combined $4,500 per year on flights, which would yield an additional $139 (4,500 * 2pts * 1.54 cents) in rewards. 

In addition, we'll say you utilize this card's flexible spending limit and put one $12,000 purchase on the card annually—which would earn you 12,000 points worth about $185.

In total, adding your $46 in rewards from personal business travel spending to the $139 for your employees' travel, plus the $185 from your extra major expenditure, your rewards from the card would total about $370 for the year.  

American Express Green Business Rewards Card Outstanding Benefits

  • No pre-set spending limit
  • Baggage insurance for lost luggage

Standard Benefits

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Global assistance hotline
  • American Express business app
  • Connect your card to QuickBooks
  • Free additional employee cards to track and manage spending
  • Ability to designate an account manager to manage the card account

Cardholder Experience

American Express earned a score of 838 in J.D. Power's 2019 customer satisfaction survey. Discover was the only airline that beat out Amex, earning a score of 842.

Cardholders can reach a customer service representative 24/7 by phone at 800-528-4800. You can also chat live with a representative, or tweet comments and questions to @AskAmex on Twitter.

Security Features

You'll find that all cards from American Express are in line with industry standard security precautions. Fraud and online account protection are standard, as are pre-purchase verification and alerts for irregular activity. If your card is lost or stolen, Amex will provide next-day shipping for a new card.

Our Verdict

If you’re in the market for a business charge card—as opposed to a credit card on which you can carry a balance—the Business Green Rewards from American Express offers decent-enough unlimited rewards, at least for travel when bought from Amex, along with a flexible spending limit that might help businesses with widely varying month-to-month expenses.

However, many or most businesses might be better off with one of the competing business cards with the same annual fee that offer superior rewards and higher introductory bonuses—along with the option to carry a balance over from month-to-month as needed. 

The Chase Ink Business Preferred card, for example, offers three Chase points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel, shipping, Internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites. Given the higher value of Chase points compared with Amex ones, those rewards are almost twice as lucrative as those for the Business Green Rewards from American Express. The 100,000-point one-time offer for the Chase Ink Business Preferred is worth more than three times that of the one with the Business Green Rewards from American Express—albeit with a 90-day spending requirement of $15,000, versus $3,000 for the Business Green Rewards from American Express.

If you'd rather stay in the American Express card family, and you're willing to pay more for additional benefits and better rewards, consider the Business Gold from American Express, which is in effect a credit card since it allows a pay over time option for all purchases over $100. The annual fee is $295, but the one-time offer of 35,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months adds enough value compared with the Green Rewards from American Express to justify the difference in annual fee between the cards for a full two years. And it earns 4 points per dollar on the two eligible categories where you spend the most each month, compared with half those points for travel expenses alone with the Green Rewards from American Express. 

Finally, the Business Gold from American Express is a better choice for international travelers than the Green Rewards from American Express, since it lacks a foreign transaction fee (where the Green Rewards from American Express charges 2.7% for purchases made from foreign companies).

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on American Express' Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
overall rating
2.5
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
Excellent
Regular APR (%) N/A variable
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 Membership Rewards points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at amextravel.com. 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
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.