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Got a small business? Amazon launches two generous SME Credit Cards

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This article is sponsored by Amazon

You may have thought that new co-brand credit cards were a rare breed, but Amazon and American Express have just launched two new products aimed at the small business market.

Review Amazon Business American Express credit cards

Whilst neither card earns travel rewards, they do give you the opportunity to earn a generous amount of Amazon credit in the form of Amazon Rewards. Alternatively, you can choose to defer payment on any of your UK purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business and Whole Foods Market for up to 90 days.

As we have said many times on HfP, miles and points earned from credit card spending are NOT free. You are always giving up the chance to earn cashback or pseudo-cashback from competing cards. Taking Amazon Rewards credit from these cards, and using the money you save to buy flights or hotels directly without any availability restrictions, may be a better deal.

Let’s take a look at the two Cards and see which one may work best for your business.

The only requirement needed to qualify as a ‘business’ is that you have a UK bank or building society account for the business, be a UK resident and the company must be registered in the UK.

Sole traders are welcome to apply. You are also welcome to apply if you have the personal Amazon Rewards Mastercard Card.

Review Amazon Business American Express credit cards

Amazon Business Prime American Express Card

As you can see from the image above, this is the first UK American Express Card to be issued in a vertical format! The card is made out of metal, like the American Express Platinum Card.

This is the most generous of the two Cards and is exclusively available to people who have Amazon Business Prime. Amazon Business Prime is different to ‘personal’ Prime and starts at £80 + VAT per year. However, a ‘Duo’ membership exists which allows customers who already have a normal consumer Amazon Prime account to combine Business Prime with their existing membership for only £40 extra. The prominent benefit is free delivery on all orders, but you also get progressive discounts on what you buy the most of.

You need to open a free Amazon Business account first

If you don’t already have an Amazon Business account, which is different to your personal Amazon.co.uk account, you can sign up here.

Once you have done this, you have two options: as an Amazon Business customer, if approved for the card and eligible, you’ll be offered Business Prime (worth £80 + VAT). However, if you already have Business Prime then you’ll be offered a £50 Amazon Gift Card.

What is the annual fee and interest rate?

There is a representative 32.6% APR variable based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £50 annual fee.  The interest rate on purchases is 21.9% APR variable.

Note that the £50 annual fee is waived if you spend £8,000 on the Card each year.

In addition, the first year’s £50 annual fee is waived for all Cardmembers who are Amazon Business Prime members.

What is the sign-up bonus on Amazon Business Prime American Express?

If eligible, Amazon Business customers will be offered Business Prime (worth £80 + VAT). If they already have Business Prime they will then offered a £50 Gift Card. There is no minimum spend required to trigger the gift card.

Do you qualify for the sign-up bonus?

There is no minimum spend required to trigger the Amazon Gift Card offered to existing Business Prime members.

What rewards do you earn?

You can choose between two rewards on your Amazon spending:

2% in Amazon rewards on UK purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business and Whole Foods Market, or

90 days to pay on each purchase at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business UK and Whole Foods Market UK

Everyone will receive:

0.5% in Amazon Rewards on all other spending

For most people, Amazon Rewards will be the better choice. Taking the 90 days to pay is effectively costing you 2%, since you lose out on earning Amazon Rewards. You can choose, on a transaction by transaction basis, whether you want to earn the 2% or take 90 days to pay.

Note that the 2% in Amazon Rewards is capped at £120,000 of Amazon purchases per calendar (not card) year. Beyond this, you will earn 1% in Amazon Rewards on your Amazon purchases.

How do I spend Amazon Rewards?

As you’d expect, you can use your Amazon Rewards to offset your purchases on the Amazon.co.uk website.

Interestingly, you can ALSO use them to pay off your American Express statement. This means that, even if your business does not spend much at Amazon, the card may still work for you. You can treat it as a straight 0.5% rewards card, using the credit to pay off your Credit Card bill.

Where do you apply?

Before you can apply, you will need a free Amazon Business account (click here).

The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card application page is here. (If you only see the basic card on the page that comes up, log out of your Amazon account and click again.)

Remember that all members of Business Prime will have the £50 fee waived for year 1, and all cardholders get the fee waived in any year where they spend over £8,000 on the Card.

OK, that is the first Card.

Let’s move on to the second option:

Review Amazon Business American Express credit cards

Amazon Business American Express Card

This card has a more conventional horizontal format! It is also made out of plastic and not metal.

In general, the Amazon Business American Express Card is less generous than the Prime version.

You do NOT need an Amazon Business Prime account to apply for it. You don’t even need an Amazon Business account.

What is the annual fee and interest rate?

There is a representative 32.6% APR variable based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £50 annual fee.  The interest rate on purchases is 21.9% APR variable.

What is the sign-up bonus on Amazon Business American Express?

New cardholders receive a £25 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card once approved. There is no minimum spend required to trigger the Gift Card.

Do you qualify for the sign-up bonus?

There is no minimum spend required to trigger the Gift Card.

What rewards do you earn?

You can choose between two rewards on your Amazon spending:

1.5% in Amazon Rewards on UK purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business and Whole Foods Market, or

60 days to pay on each purchase at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business UK and Whole Foods Market UK

Everyone will receive:

0.5% in Amazon Rewards on all other spending

For most people, Amazon Rewards will be the better choice. Taking the 60 days to pay is effectively costing you 1.5%, since you lose out on earning Amazon Rewards. You can choose, on a transaction by transaction basis, whether you want to earn the 1.5% or take 60 days to pay.

Note that the 1.5% in Amazon Rewards credit is capped at £120,000 of Amazon purchases per calendar (not card) year. Beyond this, you will earn 1% in Amazon Rewards on your Amazon purchases.

How do I spend Amazon Rewards?

As you’d expect, you can use your Amazon Rewards to offset your purchases on the Amazon.co.uk website.

Interestingly, you can ALSO use them to pay off your American Express statement. This means that, even if your business does not spend much at Amazon, the card may still work for you. You can treat it as a straight 0.5% rewards card, using the credit to pay off your credit card bill.

Where do you apply?

The Amazon Business American Express Card application page is here.

Review Amazon Business American Express credit cards

Which Amazon Business American Express card is best for me?

There is no simple answer to this question.

If your business already has a Business Prime account, it is a no-brainer. You should apply for the Amazon Business Prime American Express card. Upon approval, you get:

  • a higher sign-up bonus (£50 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card vs £25 Gift Card)
  • a higher return on your UK purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business and Whole Foods Market (2% vs 1.5%), or a longer period of free credit
  • the opportunity to get your £50 annual fee refunded, while the 1st year fee is also waived if you spend £8,000 in your card year

If you don’t have Business Prime and would not otherwise have paid for it, most people will still be better off with the Business Prime American Express.

The Business Prime plan offers the following benefits:

  • an automatic waiver of the annual fee for new Business Prime members in the first year, and the £50 fee refund in future years for spending £8,000+
  • the higher Amazon Rewards rate for UK purchases at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Business and Whole Foods Market purchases of 2% vs 1.5%, or the longer free credit period

If you wouldn’t spend £8,000 per year to trigger the fee refund on the Business Prime American Express, these cards may not be for you anyway. Unless you have a high level of Amazon spending, your Amazon Rewards are unlikely to cover the £50 fee on the basic Business American Express.

Review Amazon Business American Express credit cards

Conclusion

For a lot of small businesses, one of these two new Amazon Business American Express cards could be attractive.

They are especially valuable for businesses which are already spending a lot of money with Amazon in the UK, or who are going to spend a lot with them in the future. They are also valuable for those businesses which already have (or would value getting) Business Prime and so qualify for the more generous Business Prime American Express.

Whilst the cards carry an annual fee, at £50 it is substantially lower than the fee on American Express Business Gold (£120 after the first year), American Express Business Platinum (£595) and British Airways American Express Accelerating Business (£210). You will even get the £50 waived on the Amazon Business Prime American Express if you are a Business Prime member or you spend £8,000 each year.

You can learn more and apply for the cards here

Comments (43)

  • Dr C says:

    You can get better than 2% discount via other permanent methods where you can also use a credit card to purchase, if your not getting at least 5% off amazon then you should probably do some investigating.

  • Freddy says:

    Care to elaborate

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Well if you have a workplace incentive scheme you can buy Tesco gift cards at 4% off or Sainsbury’s for 5% and purchase as many Amazon gift cards as you want. Can’t use Amex anymore on my one though!

      I think Debenhams sell them too and you can get those for 7% off.

      I’ll be getting 10% + 8 virgin points / £ hopefully.

  • Tom says:

    We sell on Amazon and spend 6 figure sums on advertising. Does anyone know whether paying advertising fees with this credit card triggers the 2%?

    • Jay H says:

      I have an upcoming Amazon Advertising bill & have the card. Didn’t think to try because it doesn’t say that it does. But I will try it and see

      • Tom says:

        Yeah, i suspect it wont but our bill normally gets taken out of our disbursements so not sure how it bills but if its 2% discount then it is a no brainer for me!

        • Dr C says:

          Well if its taken out of disbursements you need to change it to card even if it doesn’t trigger the 2% any other card would be better than taking it out of your card. I actually suspect you would get the 2% though

          • Tom says:

            You are 100% right but would require careful management of the credit limit due to the volume we spend. For 2% plus free business prime it is probably worth the headache for 0.5% cashback somewhere else it probably isn’t.

    • Char Char says:

      Yes fair point assuming that this amazon card will give high limits and work.

    • KBuffett says:

      Are you able to share whether Amazon take 32% for advertising fees etc?

    • Rob says:

      Don’t know Tom, sorry. At that level of spend you can probably afford to take a punt on £50 though 🙂

      Worse case scenario is that you get the 0.5% because it is ‘other’ spend.

  • Pogonation says:

    Off topic: I have the Amex Gold Personal (charge card) and I’m unable to refer friends at the moment (when I login it says I am not eligible). I called Amex and they said the refer a friend function has been removed for everyone currently. Is that the case for everyone else?

    Also another question (in case refer a friends opens again).. Can I refer my business to get the Business gold card?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No issues here, just went in and created the link within the app.

      We’re you talking to Brighton?

      I can choose to apply for a business Play or Gold with my link (created from my personal Gold)

  • marcw says:

    Apparently, BA is going to ell First class Items.

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