The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Review

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPENThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is an premium charge card for small businesses where you must pay off the balance each month, but you get the AMEX perks like purchase price protection, extended product return protection, and the famous AMEX extended warranty that actually pays out. Here are the highlights:

  •  Get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Built with business-sized purchasing power and fast rewards
  • 3X points on airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • 2X points on US purchases for advertising in select media, shipping, at gas stations, and made directly from select computer hardware, software, and cloud computing providers
  • Up to $100,000 in each category per year, then 1 point
  • Use points to entertain clients, reward employees, reduce travel costs, or just offset the everyday expenses of moving your business forward
  • Terms and limitations apply

Note: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product or any other Business Gold, Green or Platinum Card account within the last 12 months.” I’m not eligible for this one because I already got this exact card in January, but check out my post on apply for multiple American Express cards for ways to maximize your bonuses even more.

Business Credit Card Eligibility

Many people aren’t aware that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. Any individual can be a small business. Perhaps you sell items on eBay, Craiglist, or Etsy. Maybe you do some graphic design, web design, freelancing and/or consulting. If you received a 1099-MISC tax form and filled out a Schedule C, that means you have business income, you pay self-employment taxes, and you’re a sole proprietorship. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

This card will require you to personally guarantee that you’ll pay them back what you charge on the card, which means they’ll check your personal credit score like any other consumer card. However, as the card is a business card, American Express won’t have it show up on your personal credit report, so it won’t change things like your credit limits, average account age, or credit utilization ratio.

Comments

  1. Woo hoo, thank you! I’ll be paying my property taxes with this baby.

  2. I looked through the shop portal and all the Amex gift cards but at 2-1, so as near as I could tell this is really only worth $375 unless you’re willing to buy some pretty specific items or gift cards.

    Can you clarify when you say the points are worth $750?

  3. NOOOOO!!!! I just signed up for the 50,000 point one last week!!!!!!

  4. @lynn – Good idea. Your county takes credit cards with a fee?

    @anon – Yes, all the cash equivalent-type gift cards aren’t a very good idea, at about 0.5 cents per point. I was referring to retailer gift cards – you can get 1 cent per point at places like Home Depot, Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy, Macy’s, and so on. So 75,000 points = a $750 gift card to Home Depot, which can pay for a nice new front-load washer.

    @GH – Log into your account online and send AmEx a secure message explaining the situation calmly. They should match you the extra 25k points, either now or when you get your 50k.

  5. I should follow up – often the best redemption option for Membership Rewards is to wait until they have a transfer offer (they’ll e-mail you) and you can get 30-50% extra in miles towards a specific airline like Delta, British Airways (American partner), or Virgin Atlantic (Hilton Honors partner). Right now, I don’t see anything but it’ll be a while until I get the points anyway.

    Home Depot is my fallback, and you can sell $750 in Home Depot gift cards for $660 in cash or $693 in Amazon.com gift cards at Cardpool (currently higher payout than PlasticJungle).

  6. Young Limey says:

    Thanks for sharing!! Thinking about this…do you have a link to the retailers who offer gift cards? Wondering if Target is one of the retailers included…That may be the deciding factor for me

  7. @Young Limey – You should be able to view all your options at MembershipRewards.com, although I don’t see Target there. For the patient, there are also sometimes promotion where 1,250 points gets you a $25 gift card, effectively half off the usual price.

  8. AMEX seems to have a good deal on their business card.

  9. Is anyone else getting this message after filling out the application:

    We are sorry.

    Currently, our systems are not responding. Please try again later or call us at 1-800-519-OPEN (6736) to apply for a Card. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    I have been getting that message yesterday and today. Thanks.

  10. @Nate Yep, I get that every time I try and click yes on the “Are you already a Cardmember?” toggle

  11. I bet they only want new cardmembers, so if you already have a business card amex then they don’t want you. Try maybe delete your cookies or open the app in private browsing mode.

  12. I just applied. If you say you’re an existing cardmember, it’ll give you an error as the terms noted you can’t have a business AmEx charge card within the last 12 months. Consumer cards are different, so I said no.

    I was instantly approved:

    Congratulations, Jonathan! You have been approved for The Business Gold Rewards Card® From American Express OPEN.
    A confirmation e-mail has been sent and you will receive your new Card by mail at the business address you provided within two business days.

    Remember, you can always order Additional Cards for your employees simply by calling 1-800-492-3344.

    In the meantime, start exploring the benefits of membership by clicking the links below.

  13. Oh, and I’m holding out for a Delta transfer bonus so I can hopefully get about 100,000 Delta miles out of this for my parents.

  14. I’m getting the same response as Nate, even though I’m not already a card member. Is it something to do with annual revenues of my business or how long I’ve been operating? For the business portion – I put essentially no revenues and that I have not been open. I include my salary in the personal section of the application.

  15. @Marcin – Umm… this is a business card so they will expect you to (1) have a business and (2) have at least some business revenue… I said many self-employed people are a business, but why would they give a business card to a business that’s not even open?

  16. Jonathan,
    Does applying for a business card make filing taxes any more difficult or do you think it raises any eyebrows to the IRS? I sell some things on Amazon but that’s about it. I would like to take advantage of some of these nice offers though.

  17. @Mike – In terms of the IRS, not at all. You could put all your personal expenses on a consumer card and then reimburse yourself, lots of businesses do that. None of the activity on any credit card, business or personal, gets reported to the IRS.

    What you have to worry about is American Express approving your card. I don’t know their approval guidelines, but common sense would suggest they do want you to have a small business of some type with some amount of income, even a few thousand dollars a year.

  18. Jon in NYC says:

    Jonathan,
    I agree with your explanation of how easy it is for an individual to qualify as a sole proprietorship. Back in the days when we could borrow from credit card companies for 0% and earn 5% in the bank, I sometimes considered that a business, and I certainly had no reservations (and still don’t) about applying for business credit cards.

    But when an offer has a minimum spending requirement like this one does, and the card terms and conditions state “you…are REPRESENTING THAT ALL CARD(S) ISSUED ON THE ACCOUNT WILL ONLY BE USED FOR COMMERCIAL OR BUSINESS PURPOSES,” how can you meet the requirements within the terms? Personally, I’d feel a little funny calling prepaid utilities or a fist full of giftcards a business expense.

  19. @Jon in NYC – I understand your point. You have to do what you feel comfortable doing. If you have a home office, many household expenses can be partially deductible. You can pay your utilities on the business credit card, and then reimburse your personal side the portion that is personal. This keeps the deductible business expenses clean on and on your biz books.

    I also wanted to point out that you can pay your estimated taxes via sites like PayUSATax.com and pay a 1.89% fee while this card is basically 7.5% back on $10,000 spend. Your net bonus value is still well over $500. Basically the same situation as the Chase Ink Bold:

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/pay.....satax.html

  20. Hi Jonathan, I closed this card in April 2012. AM I eligible to apply for it again to earn the bonus? Thanks, Andy

  21. Hi, I finally was able to successfully apply yesterday and was instantly approved. What I did differently this time was use a DIFFERENT email address than my personal cards use. For several days I was applying and getting the “systems are currently not responding” message, even when I was not clicking “already a card member”. Yesterday I used a new email address I set up, with more of a business name, and it worked. I don’t know if the email address thing is what was causing mine to not work, but it is possible.

  22. Hello,

    Because of the annual fee. Do you cancel the card after one year?

  23. @Andy – That sounds like within 12 months to me…

    @John – You may find these posts helpful:

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/how.....score.html

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/tip.....tably.html

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/the.....nuses.html

  24. Hi Jonathan–

    Interesting to read you have 20 open cards right now. I’m curious — how many of the 20 have you had open for more than 12 months? Of those, which ones have an annual fee that you consider worth paying year after year?

    Thanks, Joe

  25. @Joseph – See the links in the comment just before yours for my views on annual fees and such, but right now the only annual fees I am paying for are:

    AmEx Blue Cash Preferred
    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/blu.....eries.html

    AmEx Starwood
    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/mul.....-card.html

  26. Many of them have been open for more than 12 months… too many to list right now, but if you look on this blog you’ll see them:

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/bes.....cards.html

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/get.....promotions

  27. What is your opinion on the high Annual Fee?

  28. @Matt – For this card specifically, I think $175 is too high except for those businesses that charge a lot of travel for themselves and their employees. After having this card for a few months, I don’t think I will be keeping it after the first year. You can wait unti you get charged the fee after a full year, and then call up AmEx to cancel and they will refund it and cancel for you at no cost. Best case scenario, they offer you a retention bonus of XX,000 points and also waive the annual fee for another year. Otherwise, just cancel, it doesn’t really affect your score because it is a business card.

    For other consumer cards, see How Opening and Closing Credit Card Accounts Affects Your Credit Score

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/how.....score.html

  29. You could sell the points. Easy to find a buyer online. Received $660 for 50k in points.

  30. Jonathan,
    Have you ever considered using a Square Credit Card Reader to meet the spending requirements? I have a reader linked to my bank account that I use for all kinds of reasons. It is really nice and the charged amount gets deposited into your account usually the next day. There is a 2.75% fee but even if you would charge the entire 5k that is $137.50 so on a $500 bonus that’s still $362.50.

  31. Will,
    I’m unfamiliar with the AMEX system. Why would anyone spend that much on 50K points? That’s only equal to $500 in GCs right?

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