If you are looking for an American Express Card® for your small business, American Express offers two Cards in the UK – Gold Business and Platinum Business. We will be taking a look at the American Express Gold Business Charge Card in this article and the American Express Platinum Business Charge Card tomorrow.
The official application website for the American Express Gold Business Charge Card is here.
Whilst I know that a lot of small business owners read Head for Points, because it helps them maximise their travel spend, we haven’t spent much time in the past discussing the two small business cards. They are very similar to their Gold and Platinum personal Card siblings but each has a few key differences worth highlighting.
With Gold, the key difference is that the card remains a charge card whilst the personal version is now a credit card. The annual fee is lower but you do not receive the Lounge Club passes. With Platinum, there are some key tweaks to the benefits package, including better travel insurance benefits. We will cover these as we go.
About the American Express Gold Business Card
The American Express Gold Business Charge Card is aimed mainly at small businesses and sole traders. The criteria for applying is:
- You have been in business for over 1 year
- The business has a UK bank account
- The business has no County Court Judgements against it
- You are over 18.
There are no turnover or profitability requirements for the company itself.
Note that the American Express Gold Business Card is a charge card, not a credit card. There is no pre-set spending limit, but you MUST clear your balance in full at the end of each month. Whilst the personal American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card recently switched over to being a credit card, the Gold Business Card remains a charge card.
What is the Amex Gold Business sign-up bonus?
You receive 20,000 American Express Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 within your first 3 months. This is a very generous incentive given that card has no annual fee for the first year. The annual fee after the first year is £125.
There is one thing which is important to clarity as many HFP readers will already hold the personal Gold or Platinum Cards. You CANNOT get the sign-up bonus on Gold Business if you already have, or have had in the previous six months, a personal Gold or Platinum Card or any other card which earns Membership Rewards points.
For clarity, you will definitely receive the sign-up bonus if you already have a British Airways American Express, SPG American Express, Platinum Cashback American Express or any American Express card issued by Lloyds Bank.
What rewards do I earn for my ongoing spend?
You receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card. There are a few minor exceptions but you will rarely come across them.
What is a Membership Rewards point worth?
Membership Rewards points can be converted into a range of benefits. The most valuable options are converting into frequent flyer programmes (including Avios points and Virgin Flying Club) at a ratio of 1:1. This means that the sign-up bonus is worth 20,000 Avios points or 20,000 Virgin Flying Club miles.
Amex points also convert into Hilton Honors (at 1:2), Marriott Bonvoy (at 2:3) and Radisson Rewards at a generous 1:3. There are also a lot of non-travel redemptions including retailer gift cards – American Express is a partner with Tesco, M&S, House of Fraser, Amazon etc.
Membership Rewards points are awarded to the individual and NOT to the company so you can spend them however you wish.
Any other benefits?
Here are a few other key points on Gold Business worth noting:
You can apply for Supplementary Cards for your employees at no extra cost.
You will receive one consolidated statement showing the spend on your card and all of the supplementary cards. All of the Membership Rewards points earned on the supplementary cards will flow into your personal account.
Depending on when in your monthly cycle you make a payment, you will effectively receive up to 54 days free credit on your spending.
American Express statements provide more underlying transaction detail for flights and certain other transactions than Visa or Mastercard statements, making it easier to reconcile transactions.
The card also comes with some other niche benefits such as purchase protection (free replacement of goods bought on the card which are lost or stolen within 90 days, up to £2500 value), up to £250,000 of travel accident insurance cover when tickets are bought on the card, refund protection, Global Assist and emergency card replacement.
What is the Amex Gold Business annual fee?
There is no fee for the first year. For future years, there is a fee of £125. This is tax deductible as a business expense if the card is used solely for business expenditure.
Gold Business is £15 per year cheaper than the personal American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card. You should note that you do not receive the two annual Lounge Club airport lounge passes with the Gold Business Card, however.
The only major issue with Amex Gold Business Card is the lack of Amex acceptance by some suppliers but Amex is working on increasing their coverage.
If you are a sole trader or own a small business (even a service company) then the American Express Gold Business card is worth a look. And if you qualify for the sign-up bonus, the 20,000 Membership Rewards points you receive for signing up are an excellent incentive.
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. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.