American Express Blue Business Cash Card Review: Simple Cash Back
Earning cash back on purchases can help your business get ahead financially. Your choice of cash back credit card matters.
The offers a simple approach to earning and redeeming cash back. Purchases earn a flat rewards rate, with cash back applied as a statement credit automatically.
"Expanded Buying Power" allows you to spend over your limit when necessary. There's no annual fee (see Rates & Fees; terms apply).
The American Express Blue Business Cash Card could be a great choice if you want straightforward rewards.
Learn more to help you decide whether it's the right cash back card for your business.
Blue Business Cash Card from American Express Pros & Cons
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.
Earn 2% Cash Back When You Spend
The Blue Business Cash Card from American Express's best feature is its cash back program.
With this card, you can earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each calendar year. Once you hit that threshold, you continue earning 1% cash back.
If you spend $50,000 per year on business purchases, you'd earn $1,000 in cash back rewards. Anything you spend above that would earn 1% cash back until the next calendar year begins.
Cash back earned with the card is applied as a statement credit automatically.
That makes it easy to use the cash back you've earned. You don't have to remember to redeem your cash rewards.
You can add employee cards to your account to earn more cash back. There's no fee to add employee cards.
Get More Purchasing Power When You Need It
One of the most challenging parts of running a small business is staying on top of your budget.
Your spending can fluctuate from month to month.
To make matters worse:
You may have a large purchase you need to make unexpectedly, such as a new piece of equipment.
The Blue Business Cash Card from American Express makes managing cash flow challenges easier. As a cardmember, you can take advantage of the Expanded Buying Power feature.
Expanded Buying Power gives you the ability to spend beyond your credit limit. It's similar to the no preset spending limit feature that's available with some American Express business charge cards.
That doesn't mean your ability to spend is unlimited, however.
Instead, American Express adjusts your limit based on creditworthiness, payment history and your financial background.
This feature is nice to have if you occasionally spend beyond your typical purchasing habits. You just have to make sure you're making your minimum payments on time each month.
Otherwise, the amount of your balance that's over your credit limit will trigger a penalty APR.
Other Card Benefits
The American Express Blue Business Cash Card comes with plenty of useful features to help you manage your business, including:
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Global Assist Hotline access
- Designated account manager
- Account alerts
- Year-end summary
- Vendor Pay by Bill.com
- Extended warranty protection
- Purchase protection
- Dispute resolution
- Amex Offers
Since this isn't a travel rewards card, you don't get a lot of premium travel perks. But the features you do have can be helpful for staying on top of business spending.
Amex Offers could help you save money in your business.
This program lets you take advantage of card-linked offers to earn more cash back and/or snag discounts when you shop at partner merchants.
This card is fairly light on fees.
The biggest one to watch out for may be the foreign transaction fee (see Rates & Fees; terms apply). But if you're not using this card to book travel plans outside the U.S., that may not have much of an impact.
If you're adding employee cards, there are no annual fees for those.
There's a 99-card limit for adding employees to your account.
Compared to Other Business Credit Cards
The American Express Blue Business Cash Card has some solid benefits.
But just in case you're shopping around for other cash back offers, here are three more cards to consider.
The Plum Card from American Express
The is a charge card, not a credit card. That means you pay the balance in full each month.
But the Plum Card does offer some flexibility with payments. If you pay early, you can use the Early Pay discount to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases. If you need more time to pay, you can take up to 60 days to pay off your balance without interest.
This card has no preset spending limit, which means your purchasing power can change from month to month. You can also choose your own billing cycle.
The annual fee is $250 (see Rates & Fees; terms apply) for the Plum Card.
Chase Ink Business Cash
The features a generous cash back rewards program.
You can earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each year. You also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants.
Once you hit those spending limits, you'll keep earning 1% cash back. All other purchases outside the bonus categories also earn unlimited 1% cash back.
Rewards can be redeemed for travel, cash back, gift cards and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This card has no annual fee and it's free to add employee cards.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
The might appeal if you're looking for flat-rate cash back rewards.
With this card, you can earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. Rewards can be redeemed in any amount, with no minimums.
This card also offers an introductory cash back bonus when you meet the minimum spending requirement. There's a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95 thereafter.
Business Credit Cards vs. Personal Credit Cards
At first glance, you might assume business credit cards and personal credit cards are the same. But there are several ways they differ, including:
- Rewards and purpose
- APR and fees
- Credit score impact
Business and personal credit cards can both offer rewards but they serve different needs.
A business credit card is designed for business purchases; personal cards are for personal spending. While you could use a personal card for business and vice versa, that can make it difficult to keep spending separate.
Business credit cards tend to offer rewards on things businesses buy: travel, gas, dining, office supplies, advertising, etc.
Personal cards may be most rewarding for travel, groceries, dining and shopping.
Personal credit cards also offer more consumer protections than business credit cards.
And business credit cards may require your social security number to apply but your account history may be reported to the business credit bureaus.
Applying for a Business Credit Card
If you're ready to apply for a business credit card, the process is similar to getting a personal credit card.
You just need to give the credit card company a few extra pieces of information, including:
- Your name
- The name of your business
- Your personal address
- Your business address
- Your social security number and/or tax identification number
- The type of business and which industry it's in
- How many employees you have
- Annual revenues
This is all standard information that's used to get a business credit card. If you have a brand-new business, the credit card company may use your personal credit score and income as the deciding factors for approval.
Applying for a business credit card can result in a hard pull on your personal credit.
But again, once your account is open it can be reported to the business credit bureaus instead of showing up on your personal credit reports.
The could be suited to business owners who have a typical annual spend of $50,000 and want to maximize cash back rewards easily.
This card is also a good choice for avoiding annual fees and being able to spend over your limit without a penalty.
You may want to try another card if you're looking for a higher cash back rewards rate. And because of the foreign transaction fee, it may not make sense for earning cash rewards on travel.
Overall, this card could be a great pick for business owners who want simple cash back rewards and increased spending power.
See the rates & fees for the mentioned American Express cards: American Express Blue Business Cash Card (Rates & Fees; terms apply) and The Plum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees; terms apply).