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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 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 (42)

  • Peter K says:

    Hmmmm. I was hoping they’d be more interesting and I’d missed something when looking at them myself. Never mind and thanks for the review.

  • BS says:

    Aargh. I do wish they would offer a non-Amex version. Unsurprisingly sufficiently few places outside the US accept Amex that you’d have to have another card as well.

  • Freddy says:

    If this wasn’t sponsored I’d anticipate Rob would have said, the 1.5/2% return is great but it’s disappointing that it’s only against Amazon spending whilst all other spending is a paltry 0.5%.

    Saying that, I’m a heavy spender at Amazon so this card makes complete sense over using the BAPP card if used exclusively at amazon.

    • Rob says:

      The issue is whether you commpare this against personal cards or against business cards. In the context of returns from business cards it is good. It isn’t fair to compare it with personal cards because a large part of the business market wants dedicated business cards. Are you willing to give out 99 supplementary cards on your personal credit card to your staff?

      • Genghis says:

        Is there a difference?

        On the Amex business cards, the natural person is joint and severally liable along with the limited company (no separation of course for sole traders).

        E.g. here’s the Amex Gold business terms (I can’t get the specific Amazon card ones up)

        “The parties to this agreement are us, American Express Services Europe Limited and you, the Cardmember who
        sign(s) the agreement. Where your business is a limited company or limited liability partnership, there will be two joint Cardmembers, (i) the limited company or the limited liability partnership (as the case may be); and (ii) a director or a member of the limited company or limited liability partnership, both as identified in the application form for this agreement”.

        https://www.americanexpress.com/content/dam/amex/uk/legal/business/the-american-express-gold-business-charge-card-terms-and-conditions.pdf

  • mark2 says:

    Don’t forget that many people will have a 10% statement credit at Morrison’s offer from Amex which can be used to buy Amazon gift cards.

  • Charlieface says:

    Weren’t these cards knocking about a month ago already?

  • Genghis says:

    Note of course Amazon is a Curve cash partner, earning 1% back on the metal. Add in underlying card earnings and you can do better than 2%, even at Amazon. Metal does cost £150pa but comes with other benefits.

    • Harry T says:

      Genghis, are you using your Curve card on amazon, instead of Amex? Curious about your strategy these days. And how is the little one? 😊

      • Genghis says:

        “Strategy”? Big words. Lol. I have a number of cards that I use for various purposes.

        If I’m spending cash at Amazon, I use my Curve metal card for the extra return.

        However, I’ve thousands of pounds of Amazon gift cards I’m working through now from HSBC Prem WE.

        Like shopping at Tesco, I spend on my Tesco debit card and if in person, through Pay+ (good for petrol too).

        • Genghis says:

          Note I’m barely using my Amex Gold these days – much better return elsewhere.

          We’ll apply for 2 x BAPP next year after the 2 year fallow period. I think we might then get the cash cards. I’ve posted before why I like to keep an Amex so don’t want to be without one.

          • Harry T says:

            Guess you won’t be hitting the 15k spend on the Amex then?

            Thanks, I’m slowly learning how to maximise returns across the board through using different cards and opportunities. It was all about amex when I first started but the landscape has changed. Do you use Curve metal?

        • Harry T says:

          And how do you have so many amazon gift cards?!

          • Genghis says:

            I hit £15k on my Amex gold (then cancelled) but now on wife’s, we certainly won’t hit it this year.

            Yes – I use curve metal. I like the app and it has its uses. DYOR.

            Amazon Gift cards received by spending hsbc WE points.

        • Harry T says:

          Sorry, I meant how do you benefit from using Curve Metal, aside from amazon? The £150 is fairly steep for me, as I only have access to the free IHG card (no HSBC or Hilton card, alas).

  • Zack says:

    Will these cards come with Amex Offers?

    • Jay H says:

      They do yes (I have the black metal one)

    • Rob says:

      Not clear, but you don’t get many offers on Amex Business cards because, obviously, the cards are only meant to be used for business purposes and Amex cannot encourage you otherwise. My Business Plat has 13 offers vs 36 on my Personal Plat.

      • Ken says:

        I’ve Business Gold and the majority of my offers (28) look like personal ones.
        Ghost, Farfetch, Mulberry, Morrison’s, the wine & beer ones.
        A few could be either eg Claridges, / Radisson / Qatar ,

        and only about 3 look pure business (dell , drop box and indeed).

        Surely most offers just based on a spend profile algorithm.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        I have 38 offers on my Business Amex Plat. Morrisons, River Island, Theatre Tickets, various jewellers, usual array of hotels, will writing, Holland and Barrett, wine subscriptions…. The list goes on.

        Very few are business focussed. Shame Harrods and Marriott never appeared.

  • Andy D says:

    I need you to work for your sponsorship money Rob! Questions:
    Does this card’s 2% reward also earn on spending at Amazon AWS?
    The reward can be used to clear your Amex Bill – can you use Amazon rewards to clear your alternative Amex card Bill?

    • Rob says:

      1. No-one has said it does, put it that way!

      2. Absolutely no idea. If you could transfer lump sums onto your Amex statement then yes, because you could go into credit and ask Amex to move the balance to another card. However I am guessing it works in the same way as redeeming Membership Rewards for Amex credit, which involves picking a transaction on your statement and having it wiped off via points. You cannot use MR points to wipe a charge off a BA Amex statement.