I don’t write much about small business credit cards on Head for Points, because they tend to offer poor value. There are, for example, two British Airways American Express Corporate Cards, which I discuss in this post on the On Business loyalty scheme. They are not desperately exciting, though, and usually have no sign-up bonus.
American Express, however, has just launched a new deal on its small business cards.
You also receive 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply for the American Express Gold Business card. More interestingly, the American Express Gold Business card is free for the first year.
This is where is gets complicated.
According to the rules, you CANNOT get these bonuses “if you currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past six months”. In plain English, that means a Gold, Platinum, Green or Centurion personal Amex card. This is because, whilst these are called ‘business’ cards, they are mainly aimed at sole traders and the points go into a personal Membership Rewards account.
And yet … last time I wrote about this, two readers with existing Amex MR cards said that they had applied for the card AND successfully received the bonus. It may be that Amex really means that the bonus doesn’t apply if you have already had a ‘business’ Amex card in the last six months. Or perhaps Amex just has rubbish IT ….
The other issue is the £6,000 qualifying spend. Unless you have a business that puts a lot of spend through credit cards, this is a lot of spend to divert to the card if the bonus does not post. You may consider it worth the gamble though.
Getting the card
Here are the basics:
- The Platinum card carries an annual fee of £450, the Gold card costs £125 but is free for the first year
- Clause 18.2 of the Terms & Conditions confirms that you will get a pro-rata fee refund on the Platinum card fee if you cancel
- See this post for what you can do with Membership Rewards points in other loyalty schemes
- You need to spend £6,000 in three months to get the 40,000 points on the Platinum Business card
- You need to spend £3,000 in three months to get the 20,000 points on the Gold Business card
- You earn 1 point per £1 when you spend on the card
What does Amex count as a small business?
Here are the rules from the Amex website for Platinum:
To apply for the Platinum Business Card, you should be able to say yes to the following:
- I am aged 18 or over
- The company has been trading for more than one year and has a current UK Bank or Building Society account
- My personal income is over £20,000
- I/The Business have/has no County Court Judgements for non-payment of debt
- Pay annual fee of £450 (Tax deductable) [the site actually says £125 but this is a typo!]
There is one other important point to note. The Platinum Business card still comes with full travel insurance, with no small print. It is the policy that the Platinum personal card used to have before it was downgraded, with no requirement to use the card to pay for anything before you qualify. You can also cover 5 other family groups, apart from your own, by handing out supplementary cards on your account.
You receive Starwood Gold and Club Carlson Gold, as you would with a personal Platinum Amex. There is no mention of Accor Platinum, however. You will also receive a Priority Pass for airport lounge access.
If you run a larger business, you may want to consider giving you and/or your staff the American Express Green Corporate Card, Gold Corporate Card, Platinum Corporate Card or British Airways American Express Corporate Card. You can request more details on the corporate card range here.
(Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.)