If you are looking for an Amex business card, American Express offers two core products in the UK. This review looks at the American Express Business Gold charge card. My review of the other Amex business card, the American Express Business Platinum charge card, is here.
(EDIT: This article was updated on 24th September 2020 and all of the information was correct as of that date. Ignore the September 2019 publication date.)
If you want to check your credit record before applying for an Amex business card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.
Why Amex Business Gold?
The American Express Business Gold charge card is issued directly by American Express.
The card is aimed mainly at small businesses and sole traders. The criteria for applying are fairly lenient:
- You have a permanent UK home address
- 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. There is no longer any requirement to have been in business for one year – you can now apply as soon as you have a bank account.
Note that the American Express Business Gold card is a charge card, not a credit card. You MUST clear your balance in full at the end of each month.
What is the Amex Business Gold sign-up bonus?
20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when you spend £3,000 within three months. This is a very generous incentive.
The card is also free for the first year. The annual fee for the following years in £125.
Membership Rewards points can be converted into a range of goodies. The most valuable options are converting into frequent flyer miles (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 points.
There are also a lot of non-travel redemptions including retailer gift cards – Amex 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?
You can apply for supplementary Amex business 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.
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.
What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?
You receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card.
What is a Membership Rewards point worth?
Anything from ‘not a lot’ to ‘a lot’ is the answer! This article outlines my view on the most valuable American Express Membership Rewards transfer options.
If you redeem your points for, say, an Amazon gift card then you will receive around 0.5p per point. This is a poor return.
I tend to value airline miles at 0.75p – 1p each (this is conservative) so that is your valuation if you transfer to an airline programme.
Some of the hotel programmes also offer good value. Radisson Rewards (the Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn scheme) transfers at 1:3 from Membership Rewards, for example. Their top hotels generally only cost 70,000 points per night so just over 23,000 Membership Rewards points. This is easily over 1p per point of value. That would make your sign-up bonus worth £200.
Gift cards generally get you 0.5p per Membership Rewards point so this is less attractive than using them for travel rewards.
Other points to note
American Express states on the Gold Business website that “you will not receive the sign-up bonus if you have held a Membership Rewards enrolled card [ie Platinum, Gold or Green American Express card] in the six months before you apply.” This includes personal and business cards.
For clarity, you will definitely receive the sign-up bonus if you already have a British Airways Amex, Marriott Bonvoy Amex, Platinum Cashback Amex or the Lloyds Avios Rewards American Express card.
The only major issue with Amex business cards, including American Express Business Gold, is the lack of acceptance by some suppliers.
Realistically, you will need to have a Visa or Mastercard as well to ensure that you can always get a card accepted. I recommend the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card. Capital On Tap offers 10,000 Avios for signing up and a very generous earning rate of 1 Avios per £1.
The Head for Points verdict:
If you are a sole trader or own a small business (even a service company) then the American Express Business Gold card is well worth a look.
The 20,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up are an excellent incentive, and with no fee for the first year you have nothing to lose.
How to apply
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.