A review of the American Express Business Gold Card
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There are a range of different personal and business American Express cards on offer in the U.K., and the choices can sometimes be confusing. Ranging from high annual fee, premium products to beginner products for those just getting started in the world of credit and rewards, there is a choice for anyone.
In that portfolio, American Express has designed a business card for those new to rewards cards, which provides an excellent first step to earning rewards. The American Express Business Gold Card is a great option for small business owners who want to earn rewards for their purchases without having to pay a high annual fee.
Who is this card for?
The Business Gold Card is marketed toward businesses that wish to earn simple rewards for business purchases but may not want a high annual fee. Nor may they need the extensive travel benefits that come with more expensive premium cards, such as the American Express Business Platinum Card.
You might be surprised at just how wide American Express defines “business.” Your business must have a current U.K. bank or building society account, you must have a permanent U.K. home address, be at least 18 years or older and have no county court judgments for non-payment of debt against you. Do note that this is a charge card rather than a credit card. So, you will need to pay off the balance in full each month.
Welcome bonus and annual fee
American Express is offering a welcome bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending £3,000 in your first three months of cardmembership.
Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 20,000 Membership Rewards points you can get as part of this welcome bonus are worth £280.
The Business Gold Card comes with a reasonable £125 annual fee. And, best of all, this annual fee is waived for the first year. Do note, however, that the annual fee is increasing to £175 as of 1 October 2021, though it will still be waived for the first year.
You cannot have held any American Express Membership Rewards-earning card in the past six months in order to receive this bonus, and business cards are not affected by the tough restrictions on American Express U.K. welcome bonuses.
You’ll earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 on purchases, uncapped. In addition, you’ll earn an additional Membership Rewards point for every £1 spent when you book your flight, hotel, car hire or experience through American Express Travel.
American Express has now increased the potential earning rate. If you spend £20,000 on the card in a three-month calendar quarter period (for example, 1 July to 30 September), you will earn an additional 50% Membership Rewards points. The earn rate will increase from 1 point per £1 to 1.5 points per £1, increasing your 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 points.
If you spend £20,000 in each calendar quarter for a year — £80,000 in total — for a new applicant eligible for the welcome bonus, they would earn a huge 140,000 Membership Rewards points. Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, those points are worth a whopping £1,960.
The bonus Membership Rewards points will be added to eligible cardmembers’ Membership Rewards accounts when they reach the £20,000 spend each three-month period.
There’s a 2.99% foreign transaction fee for purchases in foreign currencies, which does outweigh the value of the points you would earn. You may wish to avoid using this card for foreign purchases if your goal is earning points, as the fee will outweigh the points you’d be earning.
The Membership Rewards points that you’ll earn from this card are one of the most valuable points currencies available in the U.K. TPG U.K. values Membership Rewards points at 1.4p apiece.
The reason they’re so valuable is that they’re a transferable currency, meaning you’re not tied down to just one programme. In fact, the Membership Rewards programme partners with 13 different airlines (including household names like British Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic), as well as three hotel chains (Hilton, Radisson and Marriott) and two other partners (Club Eurostar and Nectar).
In other words, you’re not earning solely Avios, which can only be redeemed through British Airways. Instead, you’re earning a currency that could be transferred to Avios if you want but could also be transferred to one of 17 other partners.
That flexibility is extremely important.
That all being said, there are some better redemptions for your hard-earned Membership Rewards points than others. Check out our complete guide to using Membership Rewards points to ensure you’re extracting the most value from your points.
This card also offers some perks for cardholders, though they’re not necessarily as lucrative as those offered by the higher-fee Business Platinum Card. As the primary cardholder, you can request up to 99 complimentary supplementary cards for employees and associates.
Where this card’s perks really shine is when it comes to protections. The card offers refund protection for eligible items for 90 days up to £300, where the retailer you bought the items from won’t refund.
Additionally, it offers purchase protection for eligible items stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase, up to £2,500 per item. It also offers travel accident insurance up to £250,000 and travel inconvenience insurance up to £200.
Additionally, the card offers cashflow perks. If you’re currently paying your business expenses by cash, invoice or cheque, the cash will leave your account straight away. However, if you use the Business Gold Card, you’ll have 54 days until your payment is due, allowing you to keep your money in your account longer.
Keep in mind, however, that to take advantage of the cashflow benefit, you must pay your bill off in full every month.
Which cards compete with this card?
The main competitor with this card is the American Express Business Platinum Card. That card has more benefits, though with a much higher annual fee. You’ll get a higher welcome bonus — 40,000 Membership Rewards points — more perks and a bigger wow factor when opening your wallet. Though it comes at a higher cost of £595 per year.
So, if you are a business pumping some serious money through a card each month, the Business Platinum Card is a better value proposition.
The Business Gold Card can be a great way to earn points for business spending, especially considering that it has no annual fee for the first year. American Express has good acceptance across the U.K. and can be used abroad, though the foreign transaction fees will cancel out some of the benefits for businesses spending across borders.
Nonetheless, it still has an extremely generous welcome bonus, no annual fee in the first year and the flexible points currency of Membership Rewards. There’s also the sweetener of the 50% bonus Membership Rewards when you spend £20,000 in any calendar quarter.
Featured photo by Westend61/Getty Images.
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