For small-business owners placing big Amazon orders, American Express’ newest business cards might be worth getting excited about.
On Tuesday, the issuer announced the launch of the Amazon Business American Express Card, a $0-annual-fee credit card with choose-your-own-adventure-style rewards.
You can opt to get either 3% back at Amazon or get a 60-day interest-free period on these purchases. After that interest-free period ends, interest will begin accruing on a going-forward basis; that is, you won't be charged interest retroactively. Terms apply.
Entrepreneurs with eligible Prime memberships can opt for the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, also with an annual fee of $0. For Amazon purchases made with this card, you can choose either 5% back or a 90-day interest-free period. Terms apply.
"We’ve found through our research that small businesses really want that flexibility in their business buying,” says Courtney Kelso, head of U.S. commercial card solutions at American Express. She notes that at checkout on Amazon properties, there are two buttons, and cardholders can choose for each purchase whether they want a percent back in rewards or interest-free payment terms.
Neither card comes with spending caps on rewards categories or a limit on how many rewards you can earn.
Nerd tip: If you're looking for a rewarding Amazon credit card, but don't own a small business, keep in mind that Chase issues a similar consumer version of this card.
Key features of the cards
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: Eligible Prime Members get a $125 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval for the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card. Terms apply.
Amazon Business American Express Card: Get a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval for the Amazon Business American Express Card. Terms Apply.
The annual fee for both cards is $0.
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: 5% back or 90-day interest-free payment terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. Terms apply (see rates and fees)
Amazon Business American Express Card: 3% back or 60-day interest-free payment terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. Terms apply (see rates and fees).
For all cardholders: 2% back on purchases at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. 1% back on all other eligible purchases.
Metal construction: Cardholders with an eligible Prime membership get a metal version of the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card.
Purchase details: For purchases made with Amazon Business in the U.S., you’ll have access to line-item detail, including cost per item and quantity ordered.
Small-business benefits: Cardholders get access to a suite of benefits American Express offers to its small-business cardholders, including access to Spend Manager, a mobile app for tracking expenses; the option to connect to QuickBooks; and no-annual-fee employee cards with employee controls (for example, the option to set different limits on each card).
Should you get one?
For entrepreneurs with Amazon Prime who spend heavily — particularly at Amazon properties — this $0-annual-fee card could be incredibly lucrative. The easy-to-nab welcome offer makes it even more appealing.
If you’re on the fence, though, here’s something to keep in mind: Thes cards are ideal for those who plan to use them to earn rewards and pay their bills in full every month. While their unusual payment options are potentially useful, the cards lack an introductory 0% APR period; that makes carrying a balance over a longer period of time more costly. And unlike some AmEx small-business cards, these come with a set spending limit, and you can’t make purchases that go beyond that limit.
If these are features that are important to you, you might want to look for another small-business card. But if you’ll find 5% back at Amazon useful, this is a valuable choice.