Editorial Review

AmEx Business Gold Review: Bonus Rewards Change With You

The card earns elevated rewards in categories where your business spends the most, automatically. But the annual fee is hefty, and you'll miss out on some perks.

Robin Saks FrankelApril 18, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

3.6

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: Having rewards categories that automatically sync with expenses can be a boon. But other cards offer a similar degree of customization, for lower annual fees.

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$295

Regular APR

16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Annual Fee
$295
Regular APR
16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Has annual fee

Alternate Pick: Sign-up bonus, no annual fee

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Tiered rewards, intro APR period

This card doesn't shift bonus categories based on your spending, but it offers elevated rewards in popular spending areas, for an annual fee of $0. It also has a sign-up bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. And if you need to finance a large purchase, it offers an intro 0% on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 21.49% Variable APR.

Read our review

Full Review

The American Express® Business Gold Card wants to be your agreeable business-expense sidekick. With this card, you can earn elevated rewards in your top two spending categories each month, from a list of six.

Plus, it's automatic; there's no need to opt in or keep track yourself. Who couldn't use an easy-to-please card like that?

Here's the catch: The annual fee is hefty when compared with other similar business cards. And if your spending patterns don't align with the six areas that are eligible for those bonus rewards — or if you're looking for specific benefits like a 0% intro APR offer or elite travel perks — you might be better off with a different option.

American Express® Business Gold Card: benefits and basics

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $295.

Welcome offer: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply..

Rewards: Earn 4X Membership Rewards points on the two categories where your business spent the most each billing cycle from the list below, up to the first $150,000 in combined spending from these two categories each calendar year:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines.

  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio).

  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions.

  • U.S. purchases at gas stations.

  • U.S. purchases at restaurants.

  • U.S. purchases for shipping.

Other spending earns 1 point per dollar spent. Terms apply.

Membership Rewards points are worth an average of 1 cent apiece, according to NerdWallet valuations.

Interest rate: Purchases made with the American Express® Business Gold Card are classified as either "Pay Over Time" or "Pay In Full":

  • Pay Over Time: This is an optional feature that allows you to carry a balance from one month to the next, just like a regular credit card. If you have this option activated, purchases of $100 or more are automatically classified as Pay Over Time. The ongoing APR is 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. Although the American Express® Business Gold Card does not have a pre-set spending limit, it does impose a limit on your Pay Over Time balance; any purchases above that limit become Pay In Full.

  • Pay In Full: These purchases must be paid in full each month, and they do not incur interest. All purchases of less than $100 are Pay In Full, as are any purchases over your Pay Over Time balance limit. If you choose not to use Pay Over Time, then all purchases are Pay In Full.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Other perks: Extended warranty and purchase and return protections, among others. Terms apply.

Why you might want the American Express® Business Gold Card

Generous and effortless rewards

If your spending is centered in some of the six categories that are eligible for elevated rewards and you typically spend around $150,000 in those areas annually, this card offers a fantastic rewards rate, made even easier by the fact that you don't have to opt in or keep track of where you're spending the most. It's automatic.

Potential air-travel points bonus

Book your flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards Pay with Points and get 25% of those points back, up to 250,000 points per calendar year. Terms apply. Even the best airline cards won't give you that kind of rebate.

Savings on business software

For a limited time, new American Express® Business Gold Card cardholders can get up to a year free of G Suite Basic, a software collaboration program, for up to three users in the form of statement credits for purchases on the card in the first 12 months of card membership. Plus, get up to one year free of ZipRecruiter Standard, an online employment marketplace, in the form of statement credits for purchases on the card in your first 12 months of card membership. If you sign up for both subscriptions, it's worth a maximum value of $3,188, according to American Express.

Why you might want a different card

High annual fee

If you like personalized rewards categories but are trying to keep costs low, you may not want to spend $295 just to hold a specific card. For a lower-annual-fee option, you could consider the U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card, which earns 2 points per $1 spent on purchases made in the top two categories where your business spends the most, plus 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. It has an annual fee of $95. Or, if you're dead-set against an annual fee, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card could be an option. It, too, offers tiered rewards, although its bonus categories don't change based on monthly spending, so you'd need to make sure the card is suited to your expenses. Its annual fee is $0.

no 0% INTRO APR PERIOD

If you love the idea of customizable rewards but could really use some extra time to finance large purchases upfront, the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express offers new cardholders this: an intro 0% on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 21.49% Variable APR. The card earns 5% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined spending annually at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. Plus, earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight, and 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply. It has an annual fee of $0.

YOU want a bigger welcome offer of cash or rewards

The American Express® Business Gold Card comes with the following welcome offer: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Plus, up to 1 year free on subscriptions to both G Suite Basic for up to 3 users and ZipRecruiter Standard.

Although the G Suite Basic and ZipRecruiter Standard membership offers are worth quite a bit for a business that uses them, others may not find as much value from this perk. If you're looking for a welcome offer of straight-up cash or rewards, the American Express® Business Gold Card isn't going to give you that. One card that will: the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The card's annual fee is $95.

spending might not match the bonus opportunities

It doesn't matter how generous a card's bonus categories are if they aren't in areas where you spend. If you're just seeking an all-around easy-to-use card that rewards you on every purchase for a relatively low annual fee, consider the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. It earns an unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, for an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95.

A lack of premium travel perks

If you're looking for benefits like airport lounge access, an airline credit, or reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application, consider The Business Platinum® Card from American Express instead. Terms apply.

Is the American Express® Business Gold Card right for you?

The American Express® Business Gold Card could be a points-earning bonanza for the right business owner who enjoys having rewards categories that are automatically tailored to company expenses.

But other business cards on the market offer a similar degree of rewards customization, and for lower annual fees. And if you tend to spend outside of this card's bonus categories, other choices may align better with your business.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, please visit this page.