Editorial Review

AmEx Blue Business Plus Review: Simple Rewards, Unique Features

Earn double points on purchases up to an annual cap, snag a generous intro APR offer and gain some credit limit flexibility.

Sara RathnerDecember 5, 2019

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Our Take

4.8

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: You'll get straightforward rewards and the ability to finance large business purchases. But globetrotters and big spenders can find more lucrative options.

American Express The Blue for Business® Credit Card

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

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Annual Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

Cons
  • No welcome bonus

Alternate Pick: Sign-up bonus, unlimited 1.5% back

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

No cap to worry about

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back, plus a new cardmember bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

18.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

12.74% - 22.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 9 billing cycles

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

Business owners have enough to worry about without adding a complicated credit card to the mix. If you crave ease of use and the flexibility to weather unexpected expenses, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express keeps it simple.

The $0-annual-fee card can help you finance your business with a long intro APR period, spend above your credit limit if needed, and earn double the points on all purchases up to an annual spending cap. There's no need to concern yourself with bonus categories. Terms apply.

But those seeking a welcome offer or the chance to earn elevated rewards on specific spending will want to look elsewhere. The card's also not a good fit for businesses with expenses that far exceed the card's annual cap on double rewards.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Key features

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $0

Welcome offer: None

Rewards: Earn 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year and 1X points on spending above $50,000.

Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for things like travel, gift cards, statement credits and more. NerdWallet values Membership Rewards points between 0.5 cent and 1 cent each, depending on how you redeem.

APR: 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%.

Other benefits: 

  • Get more flexibility with the ability to spend a limited amount above your credit limit.

  • Give a trusted individual access to manage your card account when you're unavailable by designating an account manager.

  • Employee cards at no cost (you can add up to 99 employee cards on your account).

  • Terms apply.

Why you might want the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Simple, Generous rewards rate

You'll earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on up to $50,000 in purchases each calendar year, and 1 point back thereafter. Terms apply. That's a high ongoing flat rate for a card that doesn't cost you anything to carry, and it isn’t just for new cardmembers — the opportunity to earn double points resets each year. That could earn this card a spot in your wallet for the long term.

INTRO APR OFFER

Managing a small business can come with some hefty bills, so you may need extra time to pay down a credit card balance. With The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, you'll get an intro 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR. Terms apply. Not all small-business cards come with such a lengthy offer on both purchases and balance transfers.

credit limit wiggle room

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offers a unique feature that allows you to spend a limited amount above your credit limit, which can give you more flexibility if one month is more expensive than usual. The extra amount you can charge isn't the same for all cardholders. It varies based on factors including your card use, payment and credit history, and the financial information you provided when you applied for the card. This additional credit limit can go up or down for you based on these factors over time. And as long as you make at least the minimum payment on your credit card bill, you won't be charged interest on the amount you charged above the credit limit (though you will still be charged interest on the remaining balance that's within your credit limit).

Why you might want another card

Your annual expenses far exceed the $50,000 cap

With The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, your double-points-earning potential ends once you hit $50,000 in spending in a calendar year. If you max out that cap, you'll earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points, worth about $1,000 at the highest redemption value (not including points earned after the cap, at 1X back per dollar spent). Terms apply. That's a decent return, but if you spend a good deal more than that per year or you're willing to keep track of bonus spending categories that offer higher rates, you can do better. The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, for instance, earns a whopping 5% cash back on up to $50,000 a year in combined spending on U.S. wireless phone service and U.S. office-supply store spending. You'll also earn 3% cash back on up to $50,000 a year in spending on a category you choose, from a list of eight options. All other spending earns 1% cash back. Terms apply. Meeting the spending cap on even the 3% cash-back category would earn you $1,500 alone. The card's annual fee is $0.

There's no welcome offer

An eye-popping bonus makes it easy to accumulate tons of rewards when you first get a new card, but it's not an option with The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. If you plan to redeem your rewards for travel, consider the $0-annual-fee Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, which offers this bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for every dollar you spend. Accounting for bonus and ongoing rewards, if you spent $50,000 in your first year with the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, you'd earn $1,250 worth of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, whether you redeem for travel through Chase, or for straight-up cash back.

redeeming for cash back isn't as lucrative

Membership Rewards points are worth half a cent to one cent a piece, depending on what you redeem them for. Booking travel or buying gift cards toward some travel expenses will get you a value of one cent per point, but statement credits are worth only 0.6 cents per point. If cash back is your preferred way to redeem rewards, consider the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. It earns unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, and new cardmembers get this sign-up bonus: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95. If you'd prefer an annual fee of $0, the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has your back, albeit with a smaller bonus and lower earning rate of 1.5% cash back.

This card isn't ideal for travel

American Express cards aren't accepted as widely overseas, and a 2.7% foreign transaction fee makes any purchase abroad more expensive. If you travel internationally for business, look into cards with no foreign transaction fee, like either of the above Capital One cards, or the Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card, which has a $0 annual fee, no spending caps, and a bonus for new cardmembers: Earn 25,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,000 in net purchases within 60 days of your account opening which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit towards travel purchases.

You can visit NerdWallet's list of the best credit cards to see how these products compare.

Is The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express right for you?

If you want a no-frills rewards card with ample time to pay off a balance and some room to spend more when needed, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express could fit the bill. World travelers, bigger spenders and fans of cash back may want to explore other options.

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

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