The bottom line:
If you travel often for business, the generous rewards and perks on this card could make the big fee seem like a bargain. Don't travel much? This isn't your card.
Quick FactsView rates and fees
Pros & Cons
Automatic elite status
Premium travel protections
Has annual fee
Requires good/excellent credit
Compare to Other Cards
14.24%-22.24% Variable APR
15.99%-20.99% Variable APR
14.24%-22.24% Variable APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Used right, the card can make up for its steep annual fee while providing generous rewards for travel spending and a suite of perks that road warriors will appreciate. It’s a leader among premium business cards and could be ideal for those who spend a lot and expect a lot.
To view rates and fees of , see this page.
Card type: Small business.
Annual fee: .
5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.
1.5 points per dollar on certain business categories (such as electronics and software) and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more for up to $2 million spent per calendar year.
1 point per dollar on all eligible purchases.
Membership Rewards points are worth about 0.5 cents to 1 cent each depending on how you redeem them. Travel and gift card redemptions are generally the most valuable. Points are also transferable and can be worth even more if redeemed strategically after being transferred to other loyalty programs.
Interest rate: Purchases made with 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 purchases on a regular credit card. If you have this option activated, purchases of $100 or more are automatically classified as Pay Over Time. . Although does not have a preset spending limit, it does impose a limit on your Pay Over Time balance; any purchases above that limit become Pay In Full. Terms apply.
Pay In Full: These purchases must be paid off completely each month, so 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. Terms apply.
Foreign transaction fees: None.
Why you'd want
The value of some rewards cards lies in the points earned for using it, but the value of is tightly tied to its benefits — almost like it’s a membership card that unlocks a wide range of perks to make your traveling life easier.
Some benefits mitigate direct costs, like up to $200 a year in statement credit for incidental fees on an airline you choose, as well as a statement credit for the application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. And many business owners can find something they need from Dell. The card provides up to $400 in statement credit — $200 in the first half of the year and another $200 in the second half — for purchases directly from Dell.
Other perks are harder to put a dollar figure on, but are clearly valuable — from automatic hotel elite status to travel protections to concierge service.
A welcome perk for road warriors, airport lounges can be a refuge from the loud, teeming gate areas and come with free refreshments. offers access to several types, including the highly respected American Express Centurion Lounges and the more ubiquitous Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. In addition, you get access to International American Express Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and lounges in the Plaza Premium, Airspace and Escapes networks, when enrolled in each.
All told, that’s access to more than 1,400 lounges across 140 countries. AmEx claims the lounge collection that comes with is the largest to be offered by a card.
Besides redeeming points for travel through American Express, you can also transfer them to some airline and loyalty programs, many on a 1-to-1 basis. This might provide more value per point. Airline and hotel partners include Delta, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Hilton, Choice and Marriott.
Other redemption options include merchandise, gift cards, Amazon.com purchases and more. But we recommend redeeming points toward travel to get the best value.
Potential for big bonus
A new-cardholder bonus offers an impressive haul of points — but earning the full bonus requires spending big bucks soon after receiving the card. Full details:
isn't designed for the low-spending entrepreneur. If you won't spend enough to earn the bonus but still want a travel-friendly business credit card, try a different option, such as the . Here's what you can get by signing up for this card:
Why you might want a different card
Narrow bonus spending rewards
Rewards are rich for travel spending via AmEx and poor for everything else.
The good. Membership Rewards points are worth an average of 1 cent apiece, so the 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotel stays booked through amextravel.com is equivalent to a 5% rewards rate, which is exceptional. Spend $11,900 a year on travel to break even on the annual fee, before factoring in card perks. What’s more, get 35% of your points back when redeeming them for flights with your selected airline through amextravel.com, meaning you could squeeze out an effective rate of 6.75% on travel spending.
The bad. If you won’t book a lot of travel through AmEx, this card loses its allure quickly. It’s simply a poor choice for racking up rewards for other types of spending, which earns just 1 point per dollar spent or 1.5 points on certain business categories or if the purchase is more than $5,000.
For non-AmEx travel, you'd be better off with a cash-back card like the . This card offers an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, and it comes with a good welcome bonus — but it's a charge card, so you can't carry a balance.
Dining rewards, in particular, are a weak spot for . Restaurant spending, which typically accompanies travel, earns just 1 point per dollar.
High annual fee
If you make full use of the perks offered by , the annual fee is worth it.
Notably, fully using the annual $200 airline fee credit mitigates the fee substantially. And it helps that the annual fee is a deductible business expense.
Use the calculator below to get an idea of whether the card's rewards and most popular credits and benefits make up for your annual fee.
But if like many people you're dead-set against paying that much, consider the . It earns 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each year, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. It has a jumbo welcome bonus and a much lower annual fee.
If you still want some luxury in a business travel card, consider the less pricey . With an annual fee of , it has better spending rewards bonus categories, one of which includes U.S. restaurants (see rates and fees). However, it lacks lounge access and some of the statement credits offered by .
To extract the most value from a high-end travel card, you need patience to learn the card’s perks, figure out bonus rewards and wrestle with redemption processes. If that sounds like too much hassle, consider the . This card works like the popular : Earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on purchases, and redeem miles for any travel expense. Book however you want, then pay for it with miles. There's a solid bonus offer, too.
For other business credit card options, visit the NerdWallet best credit cards page.
Is right for you?
Light-traveling small-business folks who fly coach and pinch pennies will struggle to get their money's worth from this high-end card. After all, it is a luxury travel card. But that’s exactly why hard-core road warriors are likely to extract enough value from the card to make its hefty fee seem like a bargain.
on American Express's website
NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.
Frequently asked questions
You’ll need at least good credit to qualify for .
Generally speaking, “good credit” is defined as a score of at least 690. But a credit score alone isn’t enough to qualify for any credit card. Issuers take into account your income, existing debts and other information.
The annual fee is .
Cardholders earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com; 1.5 points per dollar on certain business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (an extra half-point per dollar); and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
The card comes with a broad array of benefits. Among the most valuable are access to more than 1,400 airport lounges worldwide, a $200 annual airline fee credit, an application fee credit for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Precheck ($85) programs; and elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors hotel loyalty programs.
Getting a business card might not be as hard as you think. You don’t need a formal business structure, like an LLC, partnership or corporation. Sole proprietorships count, too, including those who earn extra income freelancing, contracting or side hustling. Your personal credit factors into whether you will be approved.
offers access to several types of lounges, including American Express Centurion Lounges and the more ubiquitous Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. In addition, you get access to International American Express Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and lounges in the Plaza Premium, Airspace and Escapes networks, when enrolled in those programs. All told, that’s access to well over 1,400 lounges worldwide. Terms apply.
It works like any other credit card for making business purchases, but to fully use its myriad of benefits and to optimize Membership Rewards points? Yes, there is a learning curve.
This card was originally introduced as a charge card, meaning your full balance was due every month. However, cardholders are now able to carry a balance on certain purchases using the American Express "Pay Over TIme" feature.