American Express Blue Business Cash Card Review
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Amex is the classic car of business credit cards. This newer addition to the fleet, with its straightforward 2% cashback setup and $0 annual fee, is a reliable starter card for small business owners who need some cash flow flexibility.
The American Express Blue Business Cash card is essentially the base model of Amex’s fleet of biz credit cards. It has a simple 2% cashback rewards setup (on up to $50,000 of spending annually) and pays a 1% rewards rate after you hit the ceiling. The card comes with some of the standard extras designed to help keep your business humming smoothly, like access to accounting features, budgeting reports, employee cards, etc. For businesses that need some spending wiggle room, the American Express Blue Business Cash card is much more forgiving than your average credit card if you exceed your credit limit.
The basics: Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Offers 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, with a variable APR after that. Welcome bonus: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your card in the first three months.
American Express Blue Business Cash
American Express Blue Business Cash pros and cons
- 2% cashback on eligible purchases (basically everything)
- Rewards automatically applied as statement credit
- Flexible spending limit
- Up to $500 welcome bonus up for grabs
- 0% APR on purchases for first 12 months
- Plays nice with QuickBooks
- $0 annual fee
- Access to Amex travel perks/protections
- 2% cashback rate capped after $50,000 in spending each year
- Lowly 1% base rewards rate applies after you hit the annual spending cap
- High $15,000 spending requirement to earn full sign-up bonus
- Only one cashback redemption option (statement credit)
- 2.7% foreign transaction fee
American Express Blue Business Cash cashback rewards spending categories
The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.
Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (a.k.a. the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g. $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”
|Category||Default Rate||Bonus Rate||Bonus Spend Cap||Bonus Spend Period (Months)|
What we like
The 2% cashback applies to your first $50,000 in eligible purchases each calendar year, which comes to a cool $1,000 in potential rewards. No need to keep track of rotating rewards categories here!
Cashback (in the form of a statement credit that is automatically applied within the next two billing cycles.
Oopsy, exceeded your credit limit? It doesn’t have to become A Thing. The card’s Expanded Buying Power feature enables you to avoid extra interest and penalty fees as long as the overage is paid in full (on top of any minimum payment due on an existing balance) by the closing date of the current billing cycle.
A 0% introductory APR for 12 months after sign-up provides a breather on any big purchases on the near horizon. Just be sure to make the minimum monthly payments each month.
Receipts are stored in the Amex Business app for seven years. Like many business credit cards, the card’s app is designed to work with QuickBooks, and will automatically categorize your expenses.
Rack up more cashback if you have vendors that accept Amex by enrolling in Vendor Pay (run by Bill.com), which allows businesses to manage payables and receivables. The basic plan is free for one user. Just be aware of potential “per transaction” fees (which run $0.49-$1.99), and that payments via check and automated clearinghouse (ACH) aren’t eligible for rewards.
Benevolent overlords can get up to 99 employees their own Amex business cards ($0 annual fee), and then track their spending with alerts and summary reports. Added bonus: Their spending will add to your rewards cache.
Amex offers more employee card controls than a lot of cards, allowing you to set spending limits per card/billing period, and even block certain types of transactions (like hitting up an ATM and making purchases at Amex Travel Service locations).
Purchase protection against theft or damage covers you for 90 days, up to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year.
Car rental loss and damage insurance can help you save, allowing you to decline the cost of collision damage coverage at the rental company.
Get help with travel mishaps (lost passport, lawyering-up situations) with Global Assist Hotline. (Note that you’ll still need to foot the bill for third-party services.)
The Blue Business Cash Card also comes with Amex’s fun stuff, like access to event ticket presales and preferred seating. No staring at the back of a pillar during the NSYNC2MenStreetBoyz reunion tour!
What we don't like
Consider this the base model of Amex's business credit cards. The 2% cashback rate is fine for a starter card, but it ratchets back to 1% once you hit $50,000 in spending each year. That’s a factor for businesses with higher annual expenses to put on plastic.
Apologies if you were looking forward to redeeming cashback for something other than a statement credit. That’s not happening with this card. If travel-related rewards are more valuable to your business operations and you pine for an Amex card, consider American Express’ Blue Business Plus card. It has a similar rewards setup (2 points for the first $50,000 in spending each year, 1 point after that), but Membership Rewards points are redeemable for travel and are more valuable when used with Amex partners.
There are other cards that pay higher category-specific cashback rates if your regular business expenses are gas, travel, telecom or office supplies.
Keep an eye on your cash flow. Although Amex’s Expanded Buying Power gives you a pass on excess interest and fees if you go above your credit limit, if you fail to pay the amount of the overage in full by the end of the billing cycle, ouch: You’ll owe a penalty rate of close to 30% on the entire balance. Also…
Don’t go nuts testing Amex’s boundaries: The amount you can spend above your credit limit has limits based on your card use, payment history, financial resources, credit record and other factors.
The bottom line
Is the American Express Blue Business Cash the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the investor.com Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.
American Express Blue Business Cash fine print
Read all about it! It, being the American Express Blue Business Cash Card rates and fees.
Does the American Express Blue Business Cash charge an annual fee?
No, the American Express Blue Business Cash charges an annual fee of $0.
Roughly 11% of the business cashback cards we track in our database charge an annual fee. The average annual fee is $200.
Does the American Express Blue Business Cash offer a welcome bonus?
Yes, the American Express Blue Business Cash has a welcome bonus of $250.
Of the business credit cards in our database, 83% offer a welcome bonus. Currently, the average sign-up bonus on a new business cashback card is $421.79, with the median being $300.
How much cashback can I earn with the American Express Blue Business Cash?
The average business that spends $2580 per month will earn $510.84 in cash back per year using the American Express Blue Business Cash. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the business credit cards in the investor.com database is $483.97, and $464.40 is the median.
These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the American Express Blue Business Cash depends entirely on your unique spending habits.
Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the American Express Blue Business Cash by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.
The results of the investor.com Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.
To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:
- Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
- Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
- Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
- Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
- Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.
What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)
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