Business cards can be great ways to bolster your business spending, but sometimes it can be difficult to choose what card to go with. Luckily in this instance, it’s pretty easy to tell which card is the better choice between the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express (Review) and the American Express® Business Gold Card (Review).
While the Business Gold is the clear winner, it might not be for everyone. The right card for you will likely come down to where and how much you spend, and how often you travel. We’ll delve into what separates these two cards, and what makes the Business Gold the better option.
It’s important to note these two American Express cards are both former charge cards, meaning you’ll typically need to pay off your balance in full each month.
Business Green and Business Gold – How Do They Compare?
- The Business Gold’s annual fee: $295
- The Business Green’s annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
- The Business Green earns Membership Rewards points mainly for travel purchased through American Express Travel (amextravel.com)
- The Business Gold earns Membership Rewards points for a variety of different purchases, including travel booked directly with airlines, Amex Travel, and a multitude of business expenses
- The Business Gold card earns up to double what the Business Green card earns
- The Business Gold card has more benefits and travel protections
- Welcome bonus differences:
- Business Gold: 70,000 bonus points for spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership
- Business Green: 15,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Even if you don’t want the Business Gold, we don’t recommend choosing the Business Green. There are far better business cards available. If you’re interested in an inexpensive American Express business card that earns Membership Rewards points, consider The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Review).
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
The Business Green is intended to be used for travel booked through Amex Travel. It doesn’t earn a great deal, but you could increase the value of the rewards by taking advantage of point transfers.
Point transfers let you transfer rewards to American Express’s travel partners where they could be worth more than the typical 1 cent. If you find a per-point value of 2 cents or more, that would increase your cash back equivalent to 4% or more.
Aside from point transfers, here are the other redemption options:
- Flights, hotels, travel, gift cards, point of sale: 0.5–1 cent per point, 1%–2% cash back equivalent
- Statement credits: 0.6 cents per point, up to 1.2% cash back equivalent
American Express® Business Gold Card
As you can see, the Business Gold card’s rewards program blows the Business Green’s out of the water. Not only does it earn double, but it covers a plethora of business expenses. And, the rewards are tailored to where your business spends the most, making it a much more flexible choice.
Just like the Business Green card, point transfers could increase the value of the rewards. Were you to find a per-point value of 2 cents or more, you could increase the cash back equivalent to 8% or more.
Normal redemption methods include:
- Flights, hotel reservations, gift cards, point of sale: 0.5–1 cent per point, 25% points back for airfare, up to 4% cash back equivalent or more
- Statement credits: 0.6 cents per point, up to 2.4% cash back equivalent
Hotel and Airline Partners
Take a look at Amex’s transfer partners.
|Amex Airline Partners|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||Flying Blue|
|Asia Miles||Iberia Plus|
|British Airways Executive Club||Marriott Bonvoy|
|Delta SkyMiles||Qantas Frequent Flyer|
|Emirates Skywards||SAS EuroBonus|
|Etihad Guest||Singapore KrisFlyer|
|Finnair Plus||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
|Amex Hotel Partners|
|Hilton Honors||Radisson Rewards|
Keep in mind, even if you don’t see your favorite airline as a partner, you might still be able to transfer points to it. If the airline is in the same airline alliance as one of the companies listed above, you can use your miles with that airline as well.
Which Card Is Best for Your Business?
How and where your business spends the most will determine which of these cards will work best for you. The Business Green card is primarily designed for travel, and offers no other incentives for business spending.
The Business Gold card has a spending limit of $150,000 per calendar year for its 4X categories. The Business Green doesn’t have a limit, but it’s restricted to one 2X category that strongly encourages the cardholder to book all travel through Amex Travel. No traveler likes having to book with only one service when rates tend to fluctuate between different travel companies.
There are no two ways about it: Whether you spend more or less than $150,000 a year, the Business Gold card is the better option. It earns the same rate for Amex Travel as the Business Green card, plus it offers a higher rate for airfare purchased directly through airlines, and for all of its other business-related bonus categories. Not to mention the Business Gold offers a much more flexible rewards program, adapting to meet your business spending from month to month. The Business Green can’t hold a candle to the Gold’s higher rate or versatility.
As long as your business spending is high enough to make the annual fee worth it, the Business Gold will be the card to choose. Even if your business spends as little as $10,000 a year, as long as you’re spending in the 4X categories, that could be at least $400 in rewards.
But even if your business spends less than $10,000, you shouldn’t choose the Business Green. And if your business spends more than $150,000, there are other business cards you should consider instead of or in addition to the Business Gold.
Why Choose the Business Green Card?
Don’t choose the Business Green card. But let’s take a look at some quick facts about it:
- It has a lower annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95)
- Decent benefits (Amex Offers and a handful of protections like car rental insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection (enrollment required; terms apply))
- Designed mainly for Amex Travel spending (2X points per dollar only with Amex Travel)
- Point transfers can increase the value of your rewards
But as stated above, there are better options for travel business cards that offer higher rewards and greater benefits. Consider these alternatives:
Why Choose the Business Gold?
The Business Gold card is the stronger option between the two, and here’s why:
- A more flexible earning experience
- More bonus categories
- Higher rewards
- Good benefits
- Better for frequent travel
While the Business Gold card has a much higher annual fee than the Business Green, it offers cardmembers a fair bit more. If your business spends enough to justify the cost, it’d be the better pick.
It has double the rewards rate, with more bonus categories. The benefits include more travel protections (trip delay insurance) and a repeatable $100 hotel credit thanks to The Hotel Collection. Hotel credits can help soften the blow from the annual fee. (Enrollment required for select benefits; terms apply.)
But take note, compared to other cards around this fee level the benefits aren’t too impressive. Typically, higher-fee travel cards offer perks like travel credits or hotel status, but you won’t find them here.
Pay Over Time
Can I Revolve a Balance With These Cards?
No, you’ll usually need to pay off each card’s statement balance in full each billing cycle. However, both of these cards can utilize a Pay Over Time plan for balances of $100 or more. Using the Pay Over Time plan lets you carry a balance and pay it down over a set amount of time as it accrues interest at a fixed rate.
Eligible charges can be included in a Pay Over Time balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. Eligible charges include purchases, foreign transaction fees, and annual membership fees.
The following are ineligible for Pay Over Time: cash advances, including cash and other cash equivalents, certain insurance premiums, and any other fees owed to American Express. Pay Over Time Limit applies to the total of the Pay Over Time, cash advance, and Plan balances.
All charges not added to a Pay Over Time balance, a monthly payment plan, or a cash advance balance must be paid in full each month by the payment due date.
The Bottom Line
There isn’t much contest between these two cards. The Business Gold is going to be the better choice. For a larger annual fee, it offers higher rewards and better benefits that can help save you money while on the road. But because of that high annual fee, make sure your business spending and travel habits match the card.
The Business Green card really shouldn’t even be considered. With its restrictive rewards and lack of impressive benefits, it’s not a good option. If you’re not interested in the Business Gold, there are much stronger business travel cards out there than the Business Green. While it may not be very expensive, it’s definitely not the most rewarding or beneficial choice either.
Consider these alternatives if you don’t think the Business Gold card is for you:
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (Review): Earns 5X points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel. Carries a large annual fee ($595 (Rates & Fees)) but offers a few large annual credits to help offset it. It has strong rewards and could be very useful for the frequent traveler.
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (Review): Earns a good rate in several bonus categories. It has a versatile redemption system, and one of the best point transfer opportunities. Transfer your points to Chase’s travel partners to increase their value.
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business (Review): A simple card that earns 5X miles per dollar for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 2X miles for everything else. Good for business owners who travel often and make a variety of different purchases, with mile transfer opportunities as well.
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Review): A solid alternative to the Business Green, the Blue Business Plus offers 2X points per dollar (for the first $50,000 spent each year, then 1X) for no annual fee (Rates & Fees). It even comes with a handful of useful perks.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.