The American Express® Business Gold Card has been a popular choice for business owners for many years. Cardholders love earning bonus rewards that automatically apply to their top two spending categories and the ability to add up to 99 employee cards for no additional cost.
And now, Amex has announced a refresh to the card, with new bonus categories, available statement credits and a higher annual fee. All changes are effective immediately, except for the increased annual fee, which goes into effect in February 2024.
Here’s what you need to know about the Amex Business Gold Card to determine whether these changes are positive or negative for your small business.
Higher annual fee
As we’ve come to expect with a card refresh, one of the card’s changes is a higher annual fee. As of Feb. 1, 2024, the Amex Business Gold‘s annual fee will be $375 — an $80 increase from its current $295 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Spending category changes
The Amex Business Gold bonus category structure remains the same: You’ll earn 4 points per dollar spent on your top two spending categories each billing cycle (on up to $150,000 in combined spending). However, there are some changes to the available bonus categories.
The refreshed card has two new bonus category options:
- Transit purchases (including trains, taxicabs, ride-hailing services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses and subways)
- Monthly wireless telephone service charges made directly from a wireless telephone service provider in the U.S.
The two new categories are in addition to these four continuing categories:
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
- Purchases at U.S. media providers for advertising in select media (online, TV and radio)
- U.S. purchases made from electronic goods retailers and software and cloud system providers
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However, the new categories do come with a trade-off. Cardholders are no longer able to earn bonus rewards on spending in these two categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for shipping
Whether these bonus category changes are good, bad or neutral will depend on your unique business spending.
Related: Best business credit cards
Higher earning on Amex Travel
The Amex Business Gold will now earn 3 points per dollar spent on flights, prepaid hotels and prepaid flight and hotel packages booked through Amex Travel or AmexTravel.com.
On the surface, this seems like a positive change since the card previously earned 2 points per dollar spent on travel booked through Amex Travel. However, cardholders no longer receive a 25% rebate when they Pay with Points, and most won’t earn enough with these increased rates to make up for the loss of this rebate value.
Additionally, booking through Amex Travel is often more expensive than booking directly with an airline or hotel, so this change still doesn’t make up for the loss of the option to earn bonus points on airfare purchased directly from an airline.
Also, keep in mind that there are some cons to booking through a travel portal, including more difficulty changing travel plans and forfeiting elite status perks, that make this change far less exciting than it initially appears.
Related: 9 things to consider when choosing to book via a portal vs. booking directly
Until now, a common critique of the Amex Business Gold was that, unlike its personal counterpart, it didn’t come with any statement credits that could help offset its annual fee.
Those critics will rejoice to see that Amex Business Gold cardholders now get up to $395 in statement credits annually:
- Up to $240 back annually ($20 per month) for eligible purchases at FedEx (shipping only), Grubhub (delivery only) and office supply stores
- Up to $155 back annually ($12.95 per month) for a monthly Walmart+ membership
If you’re able to maximize these statement credits, they more than make up the card’s increased annual fee. The FedEx credit is especially good news for anyone who uses FedEx for shipping and was disappointed to see shipping drop off the card’s available bonus categories.
Those who don’t ship with FedEx should still be able to maximize the $240 in annual credits through a combination of Grubhub and office supply store purchases. Even if you don’t already subscribe to Walmart+ and won’t save with that credit, maximizing $240 in credits will bring your effective annual fee down to just $135. If you’re already a Walmart+ subscriber and will save money with the full $395 in annual credits, you’ll more than recoup the card’s $375 annual fee.
Related: The top 11 credit cards with annual travel statement credits
The Amex Business Gold now comes with cellphone protection. As a cardholder, you can be reimbursed for your cost to repair or replace your stolen or damaged cellphone for up to $800 per claim (on up to two approved claims per year, with a $50 deductible applied to each claim).*
Of course, this won’t save you much money if you don’t need to use it, but it will provide peace of mind and may allow you to cancel any other cellphone insurance plans you’re already paying for.
*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
Related: The best credit cards for phone protection
Rose gold option
The fan-favorite rose gold option on the personal Gold card is now available for the Amex Business Gold. This isn’t a value add for everyone, but it’s great news for those of us who love the look of a rose gold card in our wallets.
No change to welcome offer
Unfortunately, the card refresh doesn’t come with a new welcome offer. New Amex Business Gold cardmembers will still earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Even so, this bonus is worth $1,400 based on TPG’s valuations, so it continues to add significant value for new cardholders.
Related: How to redeem Membership Rewards points for maximum value
The refreshed Amex Business Gold Card has new bonus categories, higher earning on Amex Travel, up to $395 in annual statement credits, cellphone protection and a rose gold option. However, these changes come with an increased $375 annual fee effective Feb. 1, 2024, plus the loss of some bonus categories and the 25% rebate when you book travel through Amex Travel and Pay with Points.
Whether these changes are beneficial or detrimental depends on your business spending habits. However, businesses that can take advantage of the statement credits will almost certainly see these changes as positive.
Aside from the higher annual fee, these changes are already in effect, meaning current and new cardmembers can take advantage of the monthly statement credits and expanded bonus categories without paying a higher annual fee between now and Jan. 31, 2024.
Apply here: Amex Business Gold Card
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here.
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