What American Express Gold Business has to offer for the small business owner

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NOTE: American Express is running an advertising campaign for its Business cards at the moment and asked us to write something about it as part of that. This technically makes this article an ad, although regular readers will recognise that the article has the same sentiments as other Gold Business articles we’ve published in the last seven years.

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.

Review Amex Gold Business 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.

This HFP article outlines my view on the most valuable Membership Rewards transfer options.

You can take a look at the full list of Membership Rewards options here.

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.

Any downsides?

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.

Conclusion

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.

The official Amex website, which contains full details and the application form, is here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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.

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Comments

  1. Alex W says:

    Can one refer from personal Plat to Business Gold?

    Can Business Gold be upgraded to Business Plat to get the 20k bonus?

  2. Freddy says:

    Ignoring the sign up bonus and supp cards for employees (I have none!) would it be better to put ongoing use through one of the free personal amex cards for the same earning rate. I’m currently a sole trader and have been using the SPG card for all business purchases. If I turned limited would this still be permissible?

    • Louise Allen says:

      It’s always best to keep business spending and personal spending entirely separate. Showing clear separation means HMRC are less likely to go through your personal finances should they choose to investigate a VAT return, for example. What cards you choose to achieve that, is entirely up to you.

    • Michael C says:

      Freddy, I use my BA Amex for business, too – I repay it by bank transfer from my business account once the exact amounts in GBP have appeared in my account, remember to include a reference each time for accounting purposes (“Conference reg. fees” etc).

    • Mr Dee says:

      You can carry on as you are, the main benefit of this card is the higher spend limits often much higher than personal credit limits.

    • Yes permissible. SPG was my go to card but I’m back on BA these days.

      Either pay off monthly or use the directors loan account

  3. Louise Allen says:

    There must have been an admin hiccup when I got my Amex Gold Business card (late 2017/early 2018). I already had a Personal Platinum Amex card but still got the sign up bonus from the business card. I now have two membership points pots. It seems like the Business card is totally ringfenced from my Personal.

    • I also got the sign up bonus when I took out the Gold amex business card and had the Plat card at the time, this was ~5 years ago maybe more

    • It seems to be strictly enforced now, if you have a personal MR account then no sign up bonus on a business card as they tie MR to back you personally.

      • I meant that the bonus was on offer to existing amex card holders. I would not have wasted a sign up if no offer was available.

  4. Shoestring says:

    O/T my wife gets the green corporate Amex for work expenses and must have a few points accrued by now, though she never gets to see the statement. Free for her of course though I see online it costs her employer £45/ year. She hasn’t set up an online a/c.
    1. can she get to use the points herself, I guess by paying a fee?
    2. can she set up an online a/c?

    • I have a business green Amex through my employer. I have an online account but I do not see or get any points. I assume that there are no points advantage, at least for the employee. If there is something for the employer, someone somewhere is doing well out of it, as the company has over 250k employees 😀

      • Shoestring says:

        You can definitely accrue personal points on a green Amex, as I did it myself many moons ago. Though I only realised I had any points at all when I was about to leave the company and a friend in Finance said: don’t you want to keep your Amex points?, you’ll need to transfer them out before we cancel the card.

        Which is how I got my first 100,000 Virgin miles 🙂

        But how my wife gets her mitts on her MR points, I haven’t a clue.

    • Depends on the deal the employer has, some companies appear to get lower card fees if they agree to not let employees have points.

    • We also get green amex where I work (big multi national californian company).

      I called Amex to ask at MR points and they mentioned that there was a £39 enrolment fee. I paid that, and have been receiving reward points into my personal MR account ever since. No going through my corp to do this

      • Shoestring says:

        thanks, worth me calling them then, just when I get my wife in a good mood ready to go through ID first, I suppose! Could be £39 for some very cheap points 🙂 Wd be a shame if she didn’t start accruing yet, though.

  5. OT amex: £100 off £1000 @Trailfinders offer is back.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Oh I’ve got a cruise booked with Trailfinders I might pay off a bit.
      BA now have a cruise company you can earn avois on but of course it wasn’t set up when I booked my trip for next year. A tad miffed to miss out on 3points per £ !

  6. Would it be better to identify the posts that are not ads?

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Ouch

    • It’s not really an ad – we wrote it and it is virtually identical to the last non-sponsored Gold article we did a couple of years ago. Amex wanted some coverage this week and said they’d pay …. everyone wins.

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      Would it be better to pay a subscription?

    • Rui N. says:

      Is this the same Debit from One Mile at a Time? S(he) is branching out to the other side of the pond?

  7. Shoestring says:

    O/T Travelodge to build another 100 hotels over the next 5 years (vs 575 now)
    https://www.insider.co.uk/news/travelodge-profits-up-business-customers-14152120

    Which – even if you don’t use budget hotels – is good news all round as it’ll keep market pricing competitive & obvs increase choice. [Personally I like Travelodge (and Premier Inns even more) for what they are.]

    • And it seems they have concerns about recruitment…

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47605767

      • the_real_a says:

        Well – this is exactly what we did before cheap imported labour. Ensure flexibility in shift patterns to attract (often overqualified) people with children who were looking for extra income. Recruitment of 16-18 year olds who needed support and mentoring but had potential (as opposed to 25 year olds form the EU who have the life skills already but happy to work for the same minimum wage). Provide development opportunities so non-academic young people could see a future in the company whilst starting out in entry level jobs. Coffee was served, rooms were clean and receptions were manned prior to 2004.

    • Think they heard that elderly mobile couples are selling up and moving in! Like in the USA. No bills, no cleaning, toiletries supplies. TV, WiFi. No cooking or cleaning up after. Food on tap downstairs. Can move around to be near various sets of grandchildren. And if there is a pool nearby, it’s heaven… It’s our plan B!

      • Shoestring says:

        At £30 a night it’s no more than a normal house costs…nearly 20 years ago whilst motoring around Spain we came across a whole load of pensioner Brits spending 2 or 3 months in Spanish hotels as the all-inclusive full board rate was less than they’d have to pay in the UK winter!

        Not for me all year round, I’d miss my garden 🙂

  8. Memesweeper says:

    Do you get an anniversary bonus for spending on Business Gold? This used to be a benefit on the Personal Gold Charge Card (and I’ve no idea if it carried over to the Gold Credit Card).

    • Memesweeper says:

      Seems that the anniversary bonus still exists on the personal but I see no mention of it for the Business card. 🙁

  9. Qwerty Bertie says:

    (That was a sarcastic response to Debit; I’m not suggesting subscriptions!)

    I see no harm in sponsored reading material which is relevant to the genre of this site.

    • Does not seem to stop the critics reading…but I cannot help wondering if they write to ITV every time Coronation Street comes on to complain about sponsorship and product placement?

  10. Is there a limit to the supplementary cards and what checks are run on my employees if we apply for one of these cards for them?

    • Shoestring says:

      Supplementaries never need a credit check. I assume all the risk is on the employer from Amex’s pov

    • Platinum – You get 2 Platinum, 1 main and 1 supplementary + 99 gold cards. All benefit from travel insurance but golds don’t get Priority Pass.

    • Charlieface says:

      Just ID check via Experian, it doesn’t show on credit report. At least that’s what they do for personal supps

  11. Mr Dee says:

    Very good product with the spend limit being higher enough for most small-medium businesses way beyond what most personal cards would be able to spend in one go, once you have established spend history.

  12. O/T (slightly)… just realised you can’t do the upgrade route from personal Gold to Platinum now because of the difference in cards. Is this any way to get up to platinum with the sign up bonus or are you better off just closing an existing gold and waiting 6 months?

  13. OT: Couple of questions from me today – help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. How do amex refund your card fee if you cancel?
    2. Got the offer to upgrade to plat from gold and spend 1k in 3 months to get 20k Membership rewards. I’m into my second year of gold (i’ve kept it around due to 3x points with spend on amex travel) will my annual fee i’ve paid for gold be rolled into plat and i’ll only be charged the difference?
    3. Will i get a bonus for adding a supplementary card holder when i do upgrade to Plat? (I’ve currently got one for my gold card).

    I’m planning to get the 20k and then cancel.

    • 1. They refund it to the card account. I always make sure that I owe more than the refund before I cancel, but others differ.

      • thehornets says:

        Once it is in the card account they can either move the balance to another Amex card OR pay it directly into your bank account. Its easily done over live chat in a few minutes

  14. Optimus Prime says:
  15. rams1981 says:

    OT bought a £500 apple gift voucher and got the email confirmation regarding using the offer from Amex.

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