As we announced yesterday, American Express has launched the biggest sign-up bonuses ever seen on a UK payment card.
These are, genuinely, on a scale unlike anything we have seen before. If you or someone you know qualifies, you should seriously think about applying. It simply won’t get any better.
The bonus has also increased on its sister card, American Express Business Platinum. It comes with a huge bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points, although you must spend £10,000 within three months to trigger it. You can apply here and our latest Amex Business Platinum review is here.
The key facts about American Express Business Gold
In this article, I want to look more closely at American Express Business Gold. Here are the key things you need to know:
- American Express Business Gold is free for the first year (£125 thereafter)
- You receive a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points
- You need to spend £5,000 in three months to qualify for the bonus
- This special offer ends on 9th April 2021
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?
Until 9th April, you will receive 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when you spend £5,000 within three months. This is an exceptionally generous incentive.
The card is also free for the first year. The annual fee for the following years in £125.
To put it in context, I have never – in the 20 years I have been interested in miles and points – seen a bonus as high as 50,000 points on a card which has no annual fee for the first year.
The standard bonus on this card is just 20,000 Membership Rewards points.
What can I do with 50,000 Membership Rewards points?
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 50,000 Avios or 50,000 Virgin Points.
There are also a lot of non-travel redemptions including retailer gift cards, but the best value will come from travel redemptions.
Do you qualify for the 50,000 points?
American Express states on the Business Gold 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.
Note that the rule here only looks back six months. This is more generous than personal American Express cards, where they look back 24 months.
For clarity, you will definitely receive the sign-up bonus if you already have, or recently had, a British Airways Amex, Marriott Bonvoy Amex, Nectar Amex, Harrods Amex, Platinum Cashback Amex or the Lloyds Avios Rewards American Express card.
Any other benefits?
You receive £100 credit per year to spend with Dell. No minimum spend applies but the credit is split into two parts. You can earn £50 cashback between January and June and £50 cashback between July and December. This a very generous benefit especially as you are not paying a card fee in the first year.
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 Business Gold 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 ‘quite a bit’ to ‘a lot’ is the answer. This article outlines my view on the most valuable American Express Membership Rewards transfer options.
In the very worse case, you can transfer your 50,000 Membership Rewards points into 50,000 Avios and onwards into 80,000 Nectar points. 80,000 Nectar points will get you £400 to spend at Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.
£400 is the worse case scenario for your 50,000 bonus points, remember. You should be able to get more value than that if you use your points for a premium cabin air miles redemption.
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 £500.
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 which I review here. 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 has always been worth a look.
50,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up is an outstanding incentive, and with no fee for the first year you have nothing to lose. Be sure that you can spend £5,000 within three months of applying, however.
How to apply
The offer of 50,000 Membership Rewards points runs until 9th April.
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.