Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Like other flat-rate rewards cards, the Blue Business Plus card is a good fit for small businesses whose expenses mostly go to purchases outside of traditional business rewards-card bonus-earning categories such as dining out or office supplies. For example, if you have a home repair business and most of your expenses are hardware and building supplies, this could be a good card for you. The flat-rate earnings of 2 points per $1 spent (on up to $50,000 of purchases) can add up fast.
Even though it's not technically a business travel rewards card (it even charges a foreign transaction fee), the Blue Business Plus card's points are most valuable when you transfer them on a one-to-one basis to one of American Express's Membership Rewards travel partners. Frequent fliers or hotel regulars with one or more of Amex’s travel partners are good candidates for the Blue Business Plus card.
A simple, flat rewards-earning rate
Strong rewards without an annual fee
Stretchy credit limit
Good 0% APR offer on purchases
Slim redemption options for non-travelers
Cumbersome points redemption (relative to cash back)
Ho-hum welcome offer
A simple, flat rewards-earning rate: The Blue Business Plus card keeps things simple with a generous 2 points for every $1 spent on up to $50,000 worth of purchases. After that, you’ll get 1 point per dollar.
Lucrative redemption options for travelers: Cardholders who know how to make the most of American Express' Membership Rewards program can potentially come out way ahead with this card. The key is to transfer your points on a one-to-one basis to one of American Express' travel partners.
Stretchy credit limit: The Blue Business Plus card offers more breathing room than the average credit card, allowing you to charge important business purchases even after you've bumped up against your preset credit limit. The card's Expanded Buying Power perk isn't unlimited, however. The amount of extra room you have to spend above your card's limit will vary depending on your credit history, financial resources, and previous business card spending. But if you're a small business owner with varying cash flow and expenses, the extra flexibility the Blue Business Plus card offers can be a tremendous asset.
Good 0% APR offer on purchases: Compared to consumer credit cards, the Blue Business Plus card's 12-month introductory APR on purchases is just OK. But for a business credit card, it's pretty good. Many business cards don't offer any kind of introductory APR promotion, or only offer a 0% APR for six to nine months. So if spreading out the cost of business purchases is important for your cash flow, the Blue Business Plus card's 12-month reprieve on interest could save you a lot of money.
Slim redemption options for non-travelers: Membership Rewards points are great if you're redeeming them for travel and don't mind transferring them to another loyalty program. However, if you'd rather trade in your points for something else, such as gift cards, cash, or merchandise, you'll be disappointed to find that your points aren't very valuable.
Cumbersome points redemption (relative to cash back): Committing to a points rewards card requires getting to know its rewards program and figuring out how best to redeem your points. Amex's Membership Rewards program is not especially complex, but you’ll want to understand it to get the most value.
Ho-hum welcome offer: The Blue Business Plus card's welcome offer is nice if you redeem it for travel, but it wilts in comparison to the generous sign-up offers that some no-annual-fee business cards offer. Small business owners looking for a quick infusion of rewards may find other card offers more attractive.
American Express Blue Business Plus Card’s Bonus for New Cardholders
The Blue Business Plus card offers a 15,000 point bonus to new cardholders who charge at least $3,000 in the first three months of having the account. That's not many points if you redeem them for non-travel rewards. For example, redeeming 15,000 points at 1 cent each for a gift card nets you $150 in rewards. That's below what many competitors offer. But if you transfer your bonus points to an Amex travel partner, your welcome offer could net you more than $300 in value, which isn't bad.
Earning Points & Rewards
Earning points with the Blue Business Plus card is easy. You'll get the same 2 points per $1 spent regardless of what you buy for up to $50,000 worth of purchases in a given year (after that you’ll earn 1 point per $1). Depending on how you redeem your points, that's worth as much as $1,000 to $2,040 in rewards, based on our calculation of average point values.
Some competitors offer richer bonuses—say, 5% cash back—on select purchases. But the bonus categories on business rewards cards tend to be focused on certain kinds of business expenses—dining, telecommunications, office supplies, and the like. Unless you run a really large office or regularly take clients or colleagues out as a business expense, your bonus spending for those types of cards may be limited.
To get the most value out of the Blue Business Plus card, you'll need to transfer your points to a partnering frequent flier or hotel loyalty program, then redeem your points from there.
That's no small thing with some frequent flier programs, which are notorious for imposing travel blackout dates and other inconvenient restrictions. However, if you're willing to take the time to learn the system, you'll be rewarded with points that can be worth more than twice the value of the average cash-back credit card rewards point.
According to The Balance's estimates, Membership Rewards points redeemed for partner airfare are worth anywhere from 1.1 to 2.04 cents each, on average. With a 2-point bonus on purchases, that's equivalent to earning more than 4% cash back with every purchase when you redeem your points for more lucrative airfare.
The Blue Business Plus card's competitive edge fades, however, when you redeem your points rather than transfer them. If you redeem your points for cash, for example, your points will be worth just 0.6 cents each—less than the 1 cent per point value we consider the base for redeeming rewards points. Membership Rewards points redeemed for gift cards may be worth 1 cent each, depending on the gift card. Points redeemed for merchandise are typically worth much less.
Those kinds of differences can make a huge impact on your overall return. Airfare worth $100 with a transfer partner, for example, may only cost 5,000 Membership Rewards points. But a $100 gift card could set you back 10,000 points. Trading in your points for $100 in cash is even pricier. It would cost more than 16,000 Membership Rewards points to take home $100 in cash. By contrast, with a 2% cash-back card, you'd get $160 back for the same amount of spending.
How To Get the Most Out of This Card
Of course, use your card regularly for business purchases. The Blue Business Plus card also works well as a companion credit card. For example, if you carry another card that offers a bigger bonus on select purchases, such as office supplies or internet service, you can use the Blue Business Plus card as your backup payment card for all other business expenses.
Keep track of your total charges if you expect to charge more than $50,000 in a given year. Once you've reached that threshold, you're better off using another flat-rate credit card.
On the redemption side, you'll get the most value from your points if you transfer them to an American Express transfer partner that offers a high return for every point you spend. According to The Balance's rewards estimates, the most generous travel loyalty partners on American Express's roster include British Airways, Qantas, Air Canada, and Avianca. However, hotel rewards aren't nearly as lucrative. For example, points transferred to some hotel travel partners, such as Hilton and Choice, are worth less than 1 cent each.
Your next best option is to redeem your points for airfare booked through American Express, or redeem your points for gift cards or other Membership Rewards purchases valued at a minimum of 1 cent per point spent, such as gift cards.
Avoid spending your points on merchandise or other rewards that deliver less value than 1 cent per point. And never redeem your points for cash. If you want cash, you're better off using a cash-back rewards card.
American Express Blue Business Plus Card's Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your policy)
- Extended warranty
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
American Express has earned a reputation for solid customer service. It offers a 24/7 customer service line designed to help cardholders with "business-savvy support," around-the-clock emergency assistance, and two separate apps for customers: a general American Express card app and a special business app for tracking receipts. American Express customers also consistently give the issuer high marks for customer service. The bank recently earned the top spot in J.D. Power's 2021 Customer Satisfaction survey as well as J.D. Power's Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction survey.
American Express offers the security and privacy features standard with big bank card issuers.
American Express Blue Business Plus Card's Fees To Watch Out For
The American Express Blue Business Plus card's fees are also standard. It does charge a foreign transaction fee, though, so don't use this card for travel.